Welcome to the Westport Writers
Pitch and Publish Your Book Conference
We are pleased to announce our first annual Westport Writers Pitch and Publish Your Book Conference on Saturday, April 2, 2022, with a networking reception on Friday, April 1, 2022, at 7:00pm.
The conference events will be held at the Westport Library with WestportWRITES, a program of the Westport Library. Attendees may choose to come in person or can access the conference virtually. The day’s panels and speakers will be recorded and available to attendees after the conference as well.
At this first ever conference, you’ll learn about the ever-changing publishing process from experts in the field. This must-attend conference will be held in person and online with a full agenda of panels, talks, and networking opportunities for writers of commercial fiction, nonfiction, memoir, literary fiction, and young adult/middle grade/children’s books.
Westport Writers’ Workshop has planned exciting interactive panel discussions with prominent New York City literary agents, major publishing house editors, and public relations professionals. A highlight of the day will be our guest agent and author talk with Q&A, followed by the rare opportunity to pitch your book in a one-to-one session with agents.
0800 - 0900 Registration
0915 - 0930 Welcome Orientation
0930 - 1045 Agent Panel Discussion
1045 - 1100 Short Break
1100 - 1215 Editors Panel Discussion
1215 - 130 BREAK FOR LUNCH
The library sits within downtown Westport where attendees will find a variety of restaurants offering a discount for conference attendees.
130 - 230 How to build a platform to market your writing
230 - 330 Agent and Author Talk about the journey to publication
330 - Final Comments
345 - 600 One-to-One agent & attendees meetings continue
Cynthia Manson, Moderator, Panel Discussions
Cynthia Manson Literary Agency
Cynthia Manson is a well-known and respected literary agent who represents a number of bestselling authors in a variety of genres. She graduated from Scripps College for Women in Claremont, CA. Manson has worked in both magazine and book publishing including Sterling Lord Literary Agency, Putnam, Bertelsmann, Scientific American, and Advertising Age Magazine. She is well connected to the Hollywood community and has brokered numerous deals in the book to film and television market.
Richard Doetsch is the author of six international bestsellers including The 13th Hour, The Thieves of Heaven, and Half Past Dawn published in twenty-eight countries, several of which have been acquired for film and television. He is an adrenaline junkie with a passion for kitesurfing, skydiving, SCUBA [diving, triathlons, and defying gravity in Zero G aircraft. He has served as a CEO, president, and director in the real-estate industry, managing, creating, and preserving more than 50,000 units of affordable housing with an emphasis on social and community programs. Richard is married to his childhood sweetheart, Virginia, who is the impetus and inspiration behind everything he writes.
His latest novel, The 13th Hour: Chaos
will be released on May 3rd, 2022.
See more about Richard Doetsch here.
Trident Media Group Literary Agency
The James Literary Agency
Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
Mark Gottlieb is a highly ranked literary agent, both in overall deals and other individual categories. Using that same initiative and insight for identifying talented writers, he is actively building his client list of authors. Mark Gottlieb is excited to work directly with authors, helping to manage and grow their careers with all of the unique resources that are available at book publishing’s leading literary agency, Trident Media Group. Through his work at Trident Media Group, Mark Gottlieb continues to represent numerous New York Times bestselling authors, as well as major award-winning authors, and has optioned and sold books to film and TV production companies. He previously ran the agency’s audiobook department, in addition to working in foreign rights. In his free time, Mark Gottlieb tutors free English language classes to adults from low-income immigrant families, via the Literacy Volunteers program at Family Centers, a nonprofit organization offering education, health and human services. He is actively seeking submissions in all categories and genres and looks forward to bringing new and established authors to the curious minds of their future readers.
Established in 2021, The James Literary Agency is a full-service agency specializing in commercial and literary fiction, as well as a wide range of nonfiction, that proudly represents a list of award winning, national and international bestselling authors.
With nearly two decades in the business, Nicole James is the founder of The James Literary Agency where she represents a broad range of fiction and non-fiction. Her authors and titles include Ben Coes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Dewey Andreas series; many works in translation including the worldwide sensations THE HISTORY OF BEES and THE LAST WILD HORSES by Maja Lunde, and Diana Harmon Asher, children’s author of the 2018 ALA Notable Book SIDETRACKED as well as UPSTAGED, among others.
Sarah Landis represents young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as genre fiction in the YA-adult crossover space. Sarah is particularly drawn to high-concept plots, inventive and distinctive world-building, novels with a strong emotional core, and sweeping fantasy. Her recent titles include Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez, and The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly by Meredith Tate. Before joining Sterling Lord Literistic in 2017, Sarah worked as an editor for fifteen years, holding roles at G.P. Putnam Son’s, Hyperion Books, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Over the course of her career, Sarah has had the pleasure of editing many talented and award-winning authors such as: Lauren Groff, Katherine Howe, Jodi Lynn Anderson, Kasie West, Michael Buckley, and Claudia Gray. Sarah graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia. Sarah does not represent non-fiction, literary fiction, or historical fiction—she largely represents YA/MG but does also represent adult fiction in the thriller, SFF, and contemporary women’s fiction space.
Please note that our editor panelists do not take pitches, nor do they accept unsolicited manuscripts from writers not represented by literary agents.
VP Executive Editor
Andrea Walker is VP, Executive Editor at Random House. She has previously held editorial positions at Little, Brown and Penguin Press. She began her publishing career at Conde Nast Publications, where she worked in the Books department of The New Yorker magazine. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Chicago.
Executive Editor at Harvest, an imprint of William Morrow at HarperCollins
Sarah Pelz is an Executive Editor at Harvest, an imprint of William Morrow at HarperCollins. She acquires groundbreaking and thought-provoking lifestyle titles, including health, wellness, self-help, parenting, cooking, and inspiration, and strives to publish books that are both smart and life-changing. She edits New York Times bestselling authors Jake Cohen (Jew-ish) and Dr. Sara Gottfried (Women, Food, and Hormones), as well as Dr. Amy Shah (I’m So Effing Tired), Dr. Paul Saladino(The Carnivore Code), and Brittany Williams (Dear Body, forthcoming), and new books in the bestselling Whole30 Endorsed cookbook series. Prior to joining William Morrow, she held editorial positions at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Atria/Simon & Schuster, Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group, Harlequin Nonfiction, and McGraw-Hill. Throughout her career, she’s worked with numerous New York Times and internationally bestselling authors, including Dr. David Sinclair (Lifespan), Ichiro Kishimi(The Courage to be Happy), David Bach (The Latte Factor), Dr. David Ludwig (Always Hungry?), Marla Heller (the DASH Diet series), Rip Esselstyn (The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet), JJ Virgin (The Virgin Diet), and Kimberly Snyder (the Beauty Detox series), among many others.
Promote Your Book and Self Panel
Tessa Smith McGovern is an award-winning writer whose linked short story collection, LONDON ROAD: LINKED STORIES, received a ‘Featured’ review from Kirkus, is an Amazon best-seller, and a gold medal winner in the 2021 eLit Awards. Her non-fiction book, COCKTAILS FOR BOOK LOVERS (Sourcebooks), is also an Amazon best-seller. Her many publication credits include the Connecticut Review and Equinox, a UK poetry journal. She’s currently writing a contemporary fantasy novel inspired by British mythology and pursuing her MFA in Writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is founder and editor of eChook Digital Publishing. eChook won a silver medal in the 2012 eLit Awards and its stories have been read by thousands of readers in 100+ countries. Tessa is also host, writer, and producer of BookGirlTV (BGTV), an award-winning digital channel that promotes books and reading. BGTV has 6 million+ minutes viewed on YouTube and 10,000+ likes on Facebook.
Meryl Moss Media Group
Meryl Moss is founder and president of Meryl Moss Media Group, a literary media relations and marketing firm that for nearly 30 years has been promoting and branding authors and their books through media exposure, speaking engagements, social media, and creative marketing solutions. The firm specializes in working with first-time authors, as well as authors who are established and looking for professionals with the “juice” to take them to the next level. Meryl Moss Media Group is proud to work with authors book after book, the best compliment there is.
In 2004, Meryl Moss created BookTrib.com on a napkin. When traditional media outlets started reducing their book coverage Meryl wanted to create a solution. Today BookTrib.com is an online community featuring under-the-radar authors who deserve to be discovered.
Mindy Stockfield has held senior positions in publishing, entertainment and media with a focus on marketing, and digital. She has led critical launches for a number of new and culture-defining initiatives utilizing some of the latest approaches in digital and social media. Coming fresh from working several years at Scholastic as Senior Vice President of Marketing, Creative, and Digital, she has driven these A-list publishing brands including: Harry Potter, Dog Man, The Babysitters Club, and Goosebumps as well as helped to build the careers of emerging authors. In addition, she has worked with top authors and talent including Mitch Albom, Caroline Kennedy, Maria Shriver, Michael J. Fox, and Jamie Oliver. Prior to Scholastic, she held prior senior roles at MTV, Disney, and Cartoon Network. She has consulted for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Cricket Magazines. In addition, Mindy serves on the adjunct faculty at NYU’s Center for Publishing program while also teaching at Marist College and Syracuse University.
Making Your Pitch!
Writers who have registered for the conference have the option to discuss their work in person at the library or via Zoom with two agents for 10 minutes each (included in the cost of registration). Pitch appointments will be scheduled throughout the day but as all speaker sessions will be recorded and available after the conference, no one will have to miss any part.
Once registered for the conference, you will receive a link to choose two Pitch Takers to meet with. In this link, you’ll find more information about each Pitch Taker and about how to best choose your preferred pitch appointments.
Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group Literary Agency
Fiction and nonfiction
Amy Giuffrida, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Adult, YA, MG fiction, nonfiction. Seeking all genres and BIPOC, LGBTQ+, neurodiverse, and disabled creators
SFF, mysteries/thrillers, interested in authors belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in publishing, especially Black authors
Nicole James, The James Literary Agency
Commercial and literary fiction, and a wide range of nonfiction
Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
YA/MG, adult fiction in the thriller, SFF, and contemporary women’s fiction space.
Nelson Literary Agency
Adult and YA fiction
Commercial and literary fiction, suspense, women's fiction, contemporary romance, YA, non-fiction, memoir
Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Thrillers, Mysteries, Suspense, and Nuanced Horror.
Carol Mann Agency
Non-fiction, also memoir, narrative non-fiction, lifestyle, and cookbooks, and in fiction, literary and upmarket adult fiction
Specialities are middle grade, YA, and adult upmarket fiction, some picture books
Paige Terlip, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
The following editors from publishing companies will be taking pitches for direct submissions to their publishing companies. Be sure to review their websites for further information.
Historical fiction, nonfiction (biography, memoir, pop science, music, culture, true crime), suspense, thrillers, WWII fiction and nonfiction.
Multiple genres and sub-genres
The Westport Writers Workshop has transformed my life. Being a novice and amateur, I have benefited so much from your practical tips. Your insights have opened up a new horizon how to get work published. Thank you so much. I look forward to staying in touch.