AWC has assembled some of the most beloved, highly read authors in the industry who will be sharing their wisdom and expertise with you. Some of the country’s top agents and editors are looking forward to learning about your work in our One-on-One Pitch Sessions.
Author of The Descendants, Kaui Hart Hemmings was born and raised in Hawai’i. She received her degrees from Colorado College and Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of House of Thieves, a collection of stories. The Descendants was Kaui’s debut novel. It has been published in nine countries and was made into the highly acclaimed American film by Fox Searchlight starring George Clooney.
John Lescroart is the New York Times bestselling author of 23 novels including most recently The Hunter (January 2012), the latest in the San Francisco based Wyatt Hunt series. Libraries Unlimited has included him in its publication “The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors.” His books have been translated into 20 languages in more than 75 countries and his short stories appear in many anthologies.
Thomas H. Cook is the author of 18 books, including two works of true crime. His novels have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Macavity Award and the Dashiell Hammett Prize. The Chatham School Affair won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel in 1996. His true crime book, Blood Echoes, was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1992, and his story “Fatherhood” won the Herodotus Prize in 1998 and was included in Best Mystery Stories of 1998, edited by Otto Penzler and Ed McBain. His works have been translated into 15 languages. Thomas is the award-winning author of literary mysteries including Breakheart Hill, The Chatham School Affair, Red Leaves, and Master of the Delta. Cook’s novels explore the theme of evil in all of its aspects, especially the kind that dwells in the soul of a person faced with an unusual dilemma in his life. Most of his body of work presents a psychological story with a literary-quality theme. In places, his prose reads like poetry. His stories, many told in retrospect, often end with some stark and insightful revelation about human nature.
Rebecca Walker is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, Black, White and Jewish, and the critically acclaimed, Baby Love. Her writings have appeared in numerous publications including Bookforum, Newsweek, Glamour, The Washington Post, Vibe, Modern Bride, Essence and Interview. Time Magazine named Rebecca one of the most influential leaders of her generation. Rebecca has appeared on Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, Oprah, Fresh Air, BET, and dozens of blogs, sites, and other media. She has addressed audiences at hundreds of universities and corporate campuses including Harvard, Brown, MIT, Oberlin, The University of Utrecht, The University of Linkoping, Rollins College, Union College, JP Morgan Chase and Microsoft. Rebecca has also participated in creative collaborations at the Walker Art Center, The Hammer Museum, Headlands Center for the Arts, The Ministries of Gender and Culture of Estonia, The Jewish Museum in New York, Mocca: The Amsterdam Cultural Education Foundation, and the Merz Foundation in Turin.
Joseph Valencic is a Cleveland-based writer, historian and filmmaker. He has promoted personalities and institutions as varied as Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Wimbledon, the Cleveland Browns, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has written more than a hundred TV spots, as well as three documentaries screened at international festivals. He writes and lectures on marketing, immigration history, film history and popular culture for publications and conferences in the U.S. and Europe.
Ann Garvin is an Easterner who lives in the Midwest and a fiction writer who makes a living as a scientist and educator. After working as a nurse for fifteen years she completed her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, publishing extensively in the area of exercise, mental health and media. Decades of teaching and studying characters in their natural habitat proved a perfect backdrop for her debut novel On Maggie’s Watch, published by Berkley Penguin in November 2010. Ann is a sought after speaker and educator at writers conferences and festivals in between her full-time position at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Ann is anticipating her second novel I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around to be published by Berkley in the spring of 2013.
Across a career that spans three decades, New York Times best-selling author William Martin has written ten novels, an award-winning PBS film on the life of George Washington, book reviews, magazine articles, and a horror movie that’s now considered a classic. His novels, including Back Bay, Cape Cod, and City of Dreams, have chronicled American history from the Pilgrims to 9/11 and established him, in the words of Publisher’s Weekly, as “a storyteller whose smoothness equals his ambition.” A favorite of national writers’ conferences, his reputation as a lecturer and author of historical fiction is legendary. He was the recipient of the prestigious New England Book Award. Of his latest novel, Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin has said, “I am a huge William Martin fan, but The Lincoln Letter is my absolute favorite.”
Award-winning food journalist Gail Bellamy is executive food editor of Restaurant Hospitality magazine, a national publication for the restaurant industry. Gail is a Certified Culinary Professional, and earned a Ph.D. in Creative Writing. She is the past-president of the International Foodservice Editorial Council and author of several books, including nonfiction titles Cleveland Food Memories (Gray & Co.) and Design Spirits (St. Martin’s Press) as well as two poetry collections — Victual Reality: Food Poems and Traveler’s Salad (both published by Pudding House). With Vicki Draeger, she co-authored The Vegetable Storybook (Keiki O Ka ʻ Āina Press) for children, which won a “Best in the U.S.” 2011 Gourmand World Cookbook Award. Her sixth book is scheduled to be published by Gray & Co. in Fall 2012. She has twice served as a judge for the James Beard Foundation’s Journalism Awards. From 2009-2011 she served as the City of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate.
Paul is a self-employed writer with several published books and a continuous annual output of magazine editorial features. Paul has received the 2008 Hawai‘i Society of Professional Journalists “Magazine Feature Writing/Long Form” Finalist (“Teaching Aloha” for Hana Hou! Hawaiian Airlines inflight magazine), 2007 Hawai‘i Society of Professional Journalists “Magazine Feature Writing/Long Form” Finalist (“Hanai Tales” for Hana Hou!), 2007 Pa’i Award from Hawai’i Publishers Association, and first place for Editorial Feature (“Into The Remnant Forest” for Spirit of Aloha). The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC has invited Paul to present Writing Without Pencils in the form of a three-hour workshop there at their home on the banks of the Potomac in January, 2013.
Jackie is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling novel, The Deep End of the Ocean – chosen as the first book for Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club and named by USA Today as the second most influential book of the past 25 years. She has subsequently written seven other best selling novels, including The Most Wanted, A Theory of Relativity, Cage of Stars, and Still Summer. She has written three Young Adult books, as well as four children’s books. Her essays on family, ethics and modern life have been widely anthologized. Jacquelyn was a member of the 2002 Fiction Jury for The National Book Awards.
Diane Lake, wrote the Academy Award winning film Frida, which was nominated for six Academy Awards and won two.She has been commissioned to write films for Columbia, Disney, Miramax and Paramount. Inaddition, Diane has written a mini-series for NBC and created a half-hour series for CBS. Diane is also a screenwriting professor at Emerson College and has previously taught screenwriting for UCLA’s acclaimed Writer’s Program.
Bill has been called the “master of the courtroom drama” by Library Journal and his 23 books, including most recently the New York Times bestseller Capitol Conspiracy, have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. He is also the author of The Code of Buddyhood, a coming-of-age novel described by The West Coast Review of Books as “a powerful and sophisticated novel about the nature of friendship,” and a biography for young adults, Equal Justice: The Courage of Ada. William Bernhardt’s bestselling novels, featuring Oklahoma defense attorney Ben Kincaid, capture the bare-knuckles reality of high-stakes criminal defense, as lofty ideals of justice clash with power, corruption, and wealth. With 17 titles in the series to date and millions of copies sold, William Bernhardt’s Ben Kincaid series has become a collection staple.
Erin York is a nationally recognized poet and editor. She attended school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she graduated with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing. Her writing has received both numerous publications and awards that include national acclaim, such as the Younkin-Rivera Prize for Poetry. Aside from writing, Erin speaks on social media for authors and offers private social media consulting. For more information, visit her website: www.wix.com/eywritereditor/erinyork. Find her on Facebook (ErinYorkAuthor), Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn under the username: EYWriterEditor.
Kealoha is an internationally acclaimed poet and storyteller who has performed throughout the world from the White House to ‘Iolani Palace. A graduate of MIT with a degree in Nuclear Engineering, Kealoha was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Hawaii and was the first poet to perform at a Hawaii governor’s inauguration. He was honored as a “National Slam Legend” at the National Poetry Slam and was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program. Kealoha has gained national recognition as a storyteller by showcasing at events such as the National Storytelling Network Conference, the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, and the Honolulu Storytelling Festival. His poetic style has been said to combine analysis with creative writing in order to investigate social, personal, and philosophical themes. He is the founder of HawaiiSlam, First Thursdays, and Youth Speaks Hawai`i. His best known work is the performance poem Dichotomy (a.k.a. Hawaiian in the 21st Century), an identity piece that demonstrates conflicting arguments within the Native Hawaiian community.
Some of the country’s top editors and agents will be on hand, anxious to hear about your work and to encourage you. Conference registration includes two optional free “pitch sessions” during our two and a half day “One-on-One” sessions. These ten-minute sessions allow you to quickly present your manuscript face-to-face. Agents may ask for more, and if not they will explain why. Additional sessions may be purchased at the conference, based upon availability. Our agents/editors include:
Neil S. Nyren is senior vice president, publisher and editor in chief of G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Among his authors are Clive Cussler, Robert Crais, Ken Follett, Jack Higgins, W.E.B. Griffin, John Sandford, Dave Barry, Frederick Forsyth, Randy Wayne White, Alex Berenson, Ace Atkins, and C.J. Box; nonfiction by Bob Schieffer, Maureen Dowd, John McEnroe, Linda Ellerbee, Jeff Greenfield, Charles Kuralt, Secretary of State James Baker III, General Tony Zinni, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Elizabeth Evans is an agent at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, where she represents a wide range of nonfiction, including memoir, current affairs, journalism, popular science, psychology, history, biography, humor and relationships. She is always on the lookout for stories of adventure and books that aspire to foster knowledge and understanding. Before joining JVNLA in January 2010, Elizabeth worked for six years in the San Francisco Bay Area with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Hamilton College with a degree in English literature and holds an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco. She is the founder of Room to Write (www.roomtowrite.net), a volunteer group of over 70 New York City publishing professionals, and she teaches a weekly creative writing workshop to eighth grade students in Harlem.
April specializes in high-quality women’s fiction: thoughtful, carefully crafted narratives by, for and about women, the kind of books that generate interest and insights among women’s book club members. The agency also represents selected Young Adult works, particularly those aimed at prompting meaningful discussion between mothers and daughters about relationships, values and decision-making. April holds an MBA from Boston University in Marketing and Finance, a BA from Hamilton (Kirkland) College in Anthropology and French, and a CPLF degree from the University of Paris. She divides her time amongst San Francisco, New York and Paris.
Les Stobbe of Les Stobbe Literary specializes in literature for the Christian market. However, the agency has just added Sally Apokedak as associate agent. While she will represent all genres, she will specialize in general market children’s and YA books. Les has helped many authors get their start. Among those he has assisted during his 21 years in book publishing are Erwin Lutzer, Dennis Rainey, John Maxwell, David Jeremiah, Zola Levitt, Marie Chapian, Gayle Roper, Marian Wells, Kathy Collard Miller, Marilyn Willett Heavilin, Jan Frank, Marita Littauer. Several of today’s editorial directors in Christian publishing got their initial training in book editing under Les’s leadership. Along the way Les wrote or co-wrote 14 books for people like Jim Talley, Dale Evans Rogers, Ken Nair, and other nationally known leaders. As editor in chief of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild he wrote most of the lessons on writing non-fiction articles and books for the distance learning courses “What’s Your Story” and the Journeyman Course.
Marcy is the Folio Management Literary. She straddles the line between adult and children’s books (middle grade and young adult only). In the adult world, she’s looking for commercial women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery, biography, history, health and lifestyle – especially thoughtfully written commercial novels, thrillers with international settings, and narrative non-fiction.
Melissa Flashman grew up in Kentucky, graduated from Wesleyan University and studied in the Ph.D. program in English at Johns Hopkins University. She works with Trident Media of New York representing narrative and serious non-fiction including; memoir, popular science, political, business/economics, technology, pop-culture books and select fiction, including young adult.
Claudia is an Editor-at-Large for Random House, Inc., having worked mostly within the Knopf and Doubleday imprints over the past 10 years. She works on commercial fiction, in addition to narrative nonfiction and biography. She is also Executive Story Editor for Random House Films. The list of books she has edited include; Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando, My Song by Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson, (Knopf 2011); and the forthcoming debut novel Leading Man by Benjamin Svetkey (Vintage, 2013). On the film side, she was Executive Story Editor on the film adaptations One Day, which stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, (2011); and Lay the Favorite, screenplay by D.V. DeVincentis (High Fidelity, Grosse Point Blank), slated for release in 2012. As a ghostwriter, she has written three books with Jillian Michaels – Winning By Losing (Harper Collins, 2005), and the New York Times bestsellers Making the Cut (Crown, 2007), and Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life (Crown, 2011). She also ghostwrote Jeanette Jenkins’s The Hollywood Trainer Weight-Loss Plan: 21 Days To Make Healthy Living a Lifetime Habit (Putnam, 2007).
In her 38 years as an award-winning writer and editor, Rita has authored magazine articles, book reviews for The Chicago Tribune, advertising copy . . . and occasionally gets paid for writing humorous verses under the alias Lovely Rita, Meter Maid. In 2004, the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association gave their Award of Excellence to her pictorial history book Every Grain of Rice: Portraits of Maui’s Japanese Community, written as a fundraising project for the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in Wailuku. Rita left her native Chicago for Maui in 1978. A freelance writer for eighteen years, she is now senior editor of Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.
New York Times bestselling novelist, Jackie Mitchard is also an author and editor for YA Fiction. Mitchard is editorial director of Merit Press Books, a new division of F&W Media, which strives to offer the highest quality content in a wide variety of formats – from print to digital to video. Merit Press Books is dedicated to thoughtful and intensely readable suspense for audiences 14 and up
Special One-on-One: Know Your Characters
Are you writing about a character with a physical or emotional dysfunction? Would you like to learn more about your sociopathic antagonist or your adolescent heroine? John is a medical doctor, Board Certified in Adult, as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is chief of Behavioral Health Services for Kaiser Permanente in Hawai`i. John will be available Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. to give you an in-depth analysis of your character in a 20-minute “One-on-One” included in the price of registration.
John was lead writer of the article entitled, “The Obligatory Exerciser: Assessing an Over Commitment to Exercise,” (June 2005) which was picked up by Jane Brody of the New York Times. It was reprinted in the newspaper under the title, “Fit is One Thing: Obsessive Exercise is Another (August, 2005). Along with Alayne Yates, M.D. he co-authored Chapter 8 “Conduct Disorders” of the popular textbook, Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders (fourth edition). John is presently chairman of the Investigational Review Board at Kaiser Permanente in Hawai`i.