Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lucinda Karter of Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 7.22.44 AM.pngLucinda Karter is a literary agent with Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

“On the fiction side, I am looking for upmarket commercial fiction, be it a thriller or a literary novel. I also represent historical or literary young adult novels and am seeking young adult nonfiction. I also have a few children’s book authors. I do not represent fantasy or science fiction. I seek out strong voices and good style and pacing. I am also looking for serious nonfiction, in either memoir, biography, or economics/finance. That said, an important current events book or a true crime book would interest me too. I’m also interested in works about food and health.”

Lucinda has spent more than 25 years in publishing, working for the Georges Borchardt Literary Agency, Doubleday, HarperCollins, and W.W. Norton, among others. Most recently, she served for 15 years as director of the French Publishers’ Agency, where she agented works such as Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française and Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation and other bestsellers to worldwide English-language publishers. She has translated fiction, memoir, and children’s literature from French to English and served as a juror for the annual Prix Anaïs Nin in Paris. In 2002, she was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.



Get to Know a Publisher in Attendance: Rahiem Jerome Brooks of Prodigy Gold Books

Rahiem Brooks.jpgRahiem Jerome Brooks heads Prodigy Gold Books (PGB) as CEO and Publisher, an up-and-coming small traditional press headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. PGB is devoted to the business and promotion of novels.

Raheim is a crime novelist and a member of the Mystery Writer’s of America. His debut thriller, LAUGH NOW, won 2010 African-Americans on the Move Book Club’s (AAMBC) Book of the Year & he earned 2011 AAMBC Author of the Year. LAUGH NOW also won the Most Creative Plot at the DMV Expo’s Creative Excellence Awards. Rahiem was also nominated at the 2011 & 2012 African-American Literary Awards for Mystery of the Year for Con Test and Murder in Germantown.

At the 2018 conference, Rahiem is taking pitches and Prodigy Gold Books is seeking: commercial YA and adult projects in the following genres: speculative fiction (horror, SFF, and all sub-genres), African-American fiction, mystery/suspense, thrillers, historical fiction, and general/literary fiction. “We’re looking for strong plots that are ninety-percent complete and needs the Prodigy team to bring out that last ten-percent.”

Rahiem is also doing critiques, for writers of mystery, crime, thriller, and any books with African-American themes. And at the 2018 Philly conference, he is teaching on thriller/mystery writing.

Get to Know an Agent and Instructor in Attendance: Damian McNicholl of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

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Damian McNicholl is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. At the 2018 Philly workshop, he is taking pitches from attendees, and also teaching how to write a nonfiction book proposal.

Damian grew up in Northern Ireland and moved to the US in the early nineties. A former attorney, he’s the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel A SON CALLED GABRIEL (CDS Books/Perseus Books Group). Tremendously interested in the business side of publishing as well as the creative, he attended the initial meeting with the publisher armed with a marketing plan that helped convince the publisher to add his novel to their list. The novel was a Lambda Literary Awards debut fiction finalist and an American Booksellers Association Booksense Pick (now known as Indie Next List). Sold in the UK to independent publisher Legend Press, he negotiated the sale of a second novel, Twisted Agendas, to them. A screenplay he wrote of his debut novel was a quarterfinalist in the Nicholl Fellowships organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Damian has appeared on television and radio in the US and UK to discuss his work. His latest novel, The Moment Of Truth from Pegasus Books, was a Houston Chronicle summer read selection when it first released in hardcover. A new version of A Son Called Gabriel with an Author Afterword, republished by Pegasus Books, was well-reviewed by the New York Times Book Review. Damian is now keen to utilize his experience to help talented published and unpublished writers achieve their goals.

He is seeking: great nonfiction and fiction that appeals to a wide audience and makes people think, laugh and sob. “In fiction, my interests are novels that hit the sweet spot between literary and commercial and select offbeat/quirky. Nonfiction interests are memoir, biography, history, investigative journalism and current events especially cultural, legal and LGBTQ issues that can help lead to meaningful change in society. No genre fiction at this time. As a guide, examples of novels I’ve enjoyed include The Kitchen House, The Help, Water for Elephants, My Year of Meats, Watership Down, Cold Mountain, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Atonement. Admired nonfiction authors include David McCollough, Tim Pat Coogan, Eric Schlosser, Augusten Burroughs, and David Sedaris.”

Please do not pitch him genre fiction. That means no mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction, or fantasy.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Marie Lamba of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.13.48 AM.pngMarie Lamba is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Marie Lamba ( is author of the young adult novels What I Meant… (Random House), Over My Head and Drawn, of the picture book Green Green: A Community Gardening Story (Farrar Straus Giroux), and of the upcoming picture book A Day So Gray (Clarion). Her articles appear in more than 100 publications, and she’s a frequent contributor to Writer’s Digest. Marie has worked as an editor, an award-winning public relations writer, a book publicist, and has taught classes on novel writing and on author promotion.

What I’m looking for:

​”I’m currently seeking middle grade and young adult fiction and non-fiction, especially with diverse points of view, or a STEM tie-in. I also want general adult fiction and women’s fiction. I’d love to find an original women’s novel that would inspire the next smart and funny chick flick. I want memoirs with strong voices and unique, inspiring stories (especially foodie memoirs, or ones with a celebrity or pop culture connection). I also represent a select number of established illustrators and picture book authors. I’d love a fresh non-gory ghost story for any age. I’m fascinated with hidden treasures, artifacts and with discovering ancient civilizations right beneath our feet. I’m a huge fan of folklore and fairy tales, and, while I wouldn’t want a retelling, I always enjoy those elements woven into a story in a unique way. Overall, books that are original, moving and/or hilarious are especially welcome.

“I’m NOT interested in Christian fiction, adult non-fiction, horsey books, genre science fiction or high fantasy (though I am open to speculative elements, especially in middle grade fiction), erotica, category romance (though romantic elements are welcomed in novels), or books that feature graphic violence.

“Some favorite titles on my reading shelf include Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Shug by Jenny Han, and Dogzilla and Hallo-weiner by Dav Pilkey.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Anjali Singh of Pande Literary

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Anjali Singh is a literary agent with Pande Literary.

Anjali started her career in publishing in 1996 as a literary scout. Most recently Editorial Director at Other Press, she has also worked as an editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Vintage Books. She is is best known for having championed Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis after stumbling across it on a visit to Paris.

She has always been drawn to the thrill of discovering new writers, and among the literary novelists whose careers she helped launch are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Samantha Hunt, Preeta Samarasan, Zoe Ferraris, Victoria Patterson, Natalie Bakopoulos, Enid Shomer and Brigid Pasulka.

As a literary agent, she is looking for new voices, character-driven fiction or nonfiction works that reflect an engagement with the world around us, literary thrillers, memoirs, YA literature and graphic novels. She is a member of the International Committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival.

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Lauren Jablonski is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, part of Macmillan

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Lauren Jablonski is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, part of Macmillan.

Lauren is interested in acquiring commercial fiction and nonfiction for both young adult and adult. She enjoys contemporary, historical, fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, romance, thrillers and anything with a unique voice — especially works that promote strong female characters, inclusion, and diversity.

In nonfiction, she is interested in quirky, gifty, and celebrity projects as well as memoir, pop-science, business, and projects about strong women. She loves being sucked into worlds she knows nothing about. The magic is in the details.

She works with authors including Anita Hughes, Meghan Masterson, Jonathan Maberry, Lev Grossman, Martine Rothblatt, Doug the Pug, and Ron Darling among many others.

She was a Literature major at CNU before doing NYU’s post-grad certificate program in publishing at the Summer Publishing Institute. She moved to New York City from Virginia (which everyone should go visit) and has been at Macmillan for the past five years.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alec Shane of Writers House

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Alec Shane is a literary agent with Writers House.

“I began my career at Writers House as an intern in September of 2008 and simply refused to leave, so I was given the wonderful job of Assistant to Jodi Reamer. I am now also in the process of actively building my own list and currently represent a fairly eclectic mix of children’s and adult fiction and nonfiction. I’m eagerly looking for both.

“On the fiction side, I love mysteries, thrillers (although I’m experiencing a bit of terrorist fatigue at the moment), bad-ass protagonists with a chip on their shoulders, beautifully told historical fiction (The Vietnam War, the Maccabees, and The American Revolution fascinate me in particular), well-researched adventure stories, and great horror. I haven’t been scared to turn off the light in far too long and something needs to be done about it.

“In terms of children’s books, getting boys to read again is especially important to me, and thus I’m particularly on the lookout for a fun middle-grade adventure series, ghost story, or anything else geared toward younger male readers.

“On the nonfiction side, I’m attracted to odd, quirky histories, military history, biographies of people I didn’t even know existed (but definitely should have), ‘guy’ reads, humor, narrative nonfiction that sheds light on under-the-radar events and lifestyles, and all things sports. I’m also currently up in the air as to whether or not I believe in ghosts, hauntings, and the supernatural, so if you have something that can convince me one way or the other, I’d love to see it.”