The NYC Pitch and Shop Conference Faculty



• New York Pitch Home Page

• Agent and Pub Contracts

• Pitch Alums Comment

• How it Works at The NYC

• Conference Event FAQ

• Who Should Attend NYC?

• New York Pitch Faculty

• Application-Registration

• Contact Us Here



• The Home Page

• Algonkian FAQ Page

• About Algonkian WC

• Writer Events and Retreats

• Author Talk and Contracts

• Pre-event Assignments

• Event Comparisons

• The Event Faculty

• Novel Writing Courses

• Contact Algonkian WC

Contracts   Commentary   FAQ    NYC Faculty   Who?   Registration

NYC Pitch and Shop Conference Faculty

Workshop Leaders and Director
Publishing House Editors
Business Pros

Ibrahim Ahmad

Ibrahim Ahmad is senior editor at Akashic Books. He has acquired and edited dozens of titles for the completely independent Brooklyn-based company, which is dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction, upmarket/general fiction, fantasy (YA and adult), crime fiction, and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers. Akashic's enduring commitment to seek out and publish fresh voices is reflected by the diversity and eclecticism of the twenty-five or so books released annually by the company. In addition to its regular publishing program, Akashic hosts a number of other imprints including the Little House on the Bowery experimental fiction line; Chris Abani's Black Goat poetry imprint, which seeks to provide a proportional representation of female, African, and other non-American poets; and the Akashic Noir Series, showcasing original short crime fiction from around the world.

Stephanie Bowen

Stephanie Bowen is an editor at Sourcebooks, Inc., one of the largest independent publishers in the U.S. For fiction, her main focus is historical fiction set in an unusual time period or place, historical adventure fiction, contemporary women's fiction with a fresh, distinctive perspective on women's lives, as well as commercial literary fiction. For nonfiction, she specializes in history, memoir, current affairs and women's issues, and practical, prescriptive nonfiction with a unique hook and strong science/psychology element. Recently published and forthcoming fiction authors include: award-winning authors Cathie Pelletier and Kenneth Cameron and international bestseller C.C. Humphreys. Prior to joining Sourcebooks, she worked at Doubleday (an imprint of Random House) for five years on fiction and nonfiction, including David Hoffman's Pulitzer Prize-winning, THE DEAD HAND.

Michael Braff

An editor at Del Rey Books (Random House Publishing Group) Mike is currently acquiring science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, and thrillers. He loves genre fiction in any form, and his favorite books are the ones with a well-realized world, iconoclastic characters, and new twists on well-loved themes and ideas. Mike has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Kevin Hearne, Jason M. Hough, Pierce Brown, Richard K. Morgan, Alan Dean Foster, Matthew Stover, Ted Kosmatka, and newcomer Alan Smale, among many other talented authors.

Kat Brzozowski

Kat is an associate editor at St. Martins. She interned at the Maria Carvainis Agency, Foundry Literary + Media, and Writers House. She looks for non-fiction by authors with a great platform, like Joe Zee, creative director of ELLE magazine. She is working with R.L. Stine on reviving his young adult "Fear Street" series, which has sold more than 80 million copies around the world. She is seeking contemporary novels, general or upmarket, both light and dark, as well as mystery, suspense, or thrillers, and YA that exposes readers to new points of view.

Jackie Cantor

Jackie Cantor is an Executive Editor at The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin. Prior to joining Berkley in August 2005, she was a Vice President and Executive Editor at Bantam Dell, where her list included a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction titles in all formats. She is proud to have discovered the New York Times bestselling authors Diana Gabaldon and Eloisa James. Other major authors whose work she has acquired include John Grisham, John Lescroart, and Hope Edelman (MOTHERLESS DAUGHTERS). At Berkley, her list includes the nationally bestselling authors Kate Furnivall (THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINE, THE WHITE PEARL), Kate Quinn (MISTRESS OF ROME, EMPRESS OF THE SEVEN HILLS), Laura Brodie (THE WIDOW'S SEASON, ALL THE TRUTH), Lucy Dillon (LOST DOGS AND LONELY HEARTS, WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS) and Lucy Ferriss (THE LOST DAUGHTER).

Tom Colgan

An Executive Editor at Penguin, Tom has worked in publishing for over twenty years in publishing. His specialties are general fiction, category fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and just about any high-concept marketable tale. Authors he has worked with include Tom Clancy, Ed McBain, Clive Cussler, W.E.B. Griffin, and Jack Higgins.

Brendan Deneen

Brendan Deneen is a former development/production executive for Scott Rudin and Bob & Harvey Weinstein (Miramax/Dimension Films/Weinstein Company), and a former literary and film manager, where he closed dozens of publishing and movie deals. Deneen is currently an Editor at Thomas Dunne Books (a division of St. Martin's Press/Macmillan), where he also launched a film division (Macmillan Films' first project, TEMPEST, was pre-empted by Summit Entertainment, producers of the TWILIGHT movies, and Deneen is an Executive Producer on that film). Additionally, he teaches Writing for Film & Television at Hunter College, teaches How To Write Young Adult Novels for, and is also independently producing a number of film and television projects. He is looking for high concept projects in a variety of genres including science fiction and YA fantasy, mysteries, suspense and thrillers, and just about anything that sounds fresh and commercially viable.

Claire Eddy

Claire Eddy is a Senior Editor at Tor Forge Books and has been with the company for close to thirty years. Starting in the science fiction and fantasy field, she has worked with Jacqueline Carey, Juliet Marillier, Jane Yolen, and Jack Vance; as well as newcomers Beth Bernobich and Ian Tregillis. In addition, she also does projects in the historical, thriller and mystery fields, working with Carole Nelson Douglas, Sharan Newman, and newcomers such as Tony Hays.

Michaela Hamilton

Michaela Hamilton, executive editor at Kensington, acquires and edits commercial fiction including thrillers, mainstream mysteries, cozy mysteries, women's fiction, true crime, platform-driven memoirs, and nonfiction and fiction involving animals. Highlights of her publishing career include DONNIE BRASCO by Joseph D. Pistone, SMALL SACRIFICES by Ann Rule, JFK HAS BEEN SHOT by Dr. Charles Crenshaw, and AN UNEXPECTED GRACE by Kristin von Kreisler.

Brent Howard

Brent Howard is a senior editor at New American Library, a division of Penguin Group USA, where he focuses on narrative history, military, sports, mystery/thriller, general/upmarket, and men's fiction. Recent books include Gregg Jones's HONOR IN THE DUST, Jonathan W. Jordan's BROTHERS, RIVALS, VICTORS, R.V. Burgin's ISLANDS OF THE DAMNED, and Lew Paper's PERFECT. His upcoming titles include Rachel S. Cox's INTO DUST AND FIRES, Timothy M. Gay's ASSIGNMENT TO HELL, John C. McManus's SEPTEMBER HOPE, and Steven James's OPENING MOVES.

Dana Isaacson

Dana Isaacson, Senior Editor at the Random House Publishing Group, has worked in the book publishing industry for nearly twenty years in various capacities: as abridger, literary agent, writer, online editor and acquisitions and content editor. Prior to Random House, he edited at Pocket Books, St. Martin's Press, and ReganBooks. At Random House, he has worked on a wide variety of titles -- from bestselling commercial fiction (Tess Gerritsen's THE MEPHISTO CLUB, Dianne Emley's THE FIRST CUT) to literary biographies (TOO BRIEF A TREAT: THE COLLECTED LETTERS OF TRUMAN CAPOTE, Jonathan Reynolds' WRESTLING WITH GRAVY) to historical narratives (Gerry Adams' A FARTHER SHORE, Michael Kauffman's AMERICAN BRUTUS).

Peter Joseph

Peter Joseph is an executive editor at Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press, where he acquires fiction and nonfiction. His nonfiction list covers narrative nonfiction, memoirs, biographies, nature, science, history, politics, and humor. His fiction list includes literary, general fiction, crime, and historical novels. He has edited notable and bestselling authors such as Patrick J. Buchanan, Senator Robert Byrd, Mayor Buddy Cianci, Dario Fo, Steve Guttenberg, Steve Hamilton, Robert Littell, Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer, William Shatner, Wilbur Smith and Senator Arlen Specter. With Anne Hillerman, he co-founded the annual Tony Hillerman Prize for debut mystery set in the Southwest.

Silissa Kenney

Silissa Kenney is an editor at St. Martin's Press, where she is vigorously seeking high-concept, marketable fiction, including book club fiction, literary fiction, unique women's fiction, and historical fiction, as well mysteries, thrillers, and psychological suspense.

Lyssa Keusch

Executive Editor Lyssa Keusch acquires primarily commercial fiction for the William Morrow/Avon imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Her main focus is on rich, textured, thought-provoking commercial women's fiction, contemporary upmarket or historical fiction, and high-concept thrillers, mysteries and suspense. She has launched the careers of New York Times bestselling authors James Rollins and Julia Quinn, with whom she is thrilled to continue to work. Among her other authors are New York Times bestsellers J. A. Jance, Jefferson Bass, Samantha James, and Elizabeth Boyle, award-winners Jamie Freveletti, Sean Chercover, Robin Burcell, and Mary Daheim, and international bestsellers Kathryn Fox and Glenn Cooper. While her list is generally comprised of commercial fiction, she enjoys editing the occasional narrative nonfiction project as well, keeping an eye out for books in which the reader learns something fascinating, on topics ranging from popular science and nature to history to cultural explorations to memoir.

Allison Malecha

Allison Malecha is an assistant editor at Grove Atlantic, working on a mix of fiction and nonfiction. Her experience includes both editorial and publicity at Grove Atlantic which focuses on literary/upmarket fiction, serious nonfiction, works in translation, and literary mysteries and thrillers, and works closely with Otto Penzler on his Mysterious Press imprint. She has a B.A. in comparative literature from Columbia University.

Karyn Marcus

Karyn Marcus is a Senior Editor at the flagship imprint of Simon and Schuster. Acquiring both fiction and nonfiction, Karyn's interests are varied: she looks for voice-driven upmarket fiction, well-paced suspense, memoir, and narrative nonfiction about science, health, and culture. Among the fiction titles she has worked on are THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion, WOOL by Hugh Howey and THE SILENT WIFE by A.S.A. Harrison.

Julie Mianecki

Julie Mianecki is an Assistant Editor at the Berkley Publishing Group. She is actively looking to grow her list of women's fiction, both commercial and more upmarket, as well as romance, mystery, and general fiction. Among her current authors are Leah Ferguson (ALL THE DIFFERENCE), Fiona Sussman (ANOTHER WOMAN'S DAUGHTER), and RITA finalist Alyssa Alexander (THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK, IN BED WITH A SPY).

Amanda Ng

Amanda Ng is an Assistant Editor at Penguin Group USA working with senior editor Tom Colgan. She is developing her own list and actively looking for general fiction, SF/F, mystery and suspense, high-concept thrillers, and just about anything that will sell. Among her clients from the New York Pitch is Luke McCallin, author of THE MAN FROM BERLIN.

Leis Pederson

Leis Pederson is currently an editor at the Berkley Publishing Group. She acquires commercial fiction, including romance and women's fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and general fiction. Forthcoming titles include THE SHADOW WALKER by Michael Walters, LA VIDA VAMPIRE by Nancy Haddock, and THE DANGEROUS DUKE by Christine Wells.

Elizabeth Poteet

Liz is now an Assistant Editor at St. Martins Press and is always looking for a story that will keep her on the edge of her seat, whether it's a hot romance or a chilling mystery. She loves strong heroines, sharp banter, and humor. She is actively seeking genre romance, YA, cozy mystery, and prefers stories with happy endings--and bad guys who get their comeuppance. A couple of her recent acquisitions include an edgy, emotional romantic suspense, THE STRONGEST STEEL by Scarlett Cole, and a sexy historical romance set in Scotland all about revenge called THE BEAST OF CLAN KINCAID.

Michelle Richter

Michelle Richter is now an agent at Foreword Literary Agency. A former editor, she has worked with bestselling authors including Tom Perrotta, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and Ian K. Smith, MD and with authors well-known in other media such as Paul Anka; Albert Brooks; and Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian on fiction and on nonfiction topics. She's seeking book club fiction, literary and high-concept general fiction, and well-crafted women's commercial fiction, as well as thrillers and mysteries, specifically amateur sleuth, police procedurals, and smart cozies. She loves memoir and biography: the subjects don't have to be famous people but do have to have a story that needs to be told. She also has a soft spot for books in and about Boston/Massachusetts, Ireland, and Russia. Michelle has a Masters of Science in Publishing from Pace University.

Peter Senftleben

Peter Senftleben is an Assistant Editor at Kensington Publishing. He is interested in a wide variety of fiction and actively looking for mainstream general fiction, women's fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, urban fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, as well as erotic romance, gay fiction, and new adult fiction.

Kristin Sevick

Kristin Sevick is an editor at Tor/Forge where she has worked for more than seven years, acquiring a wide range of commercial fiction, including romance, crime, historical, upmarket and women's fiction. Before coming to Tor, she spent a few years working at a veterinary journal which was both good editing experience and also made her a hypochondriac about her dog. Kristin's list includes New York Times bestselling author W. Bruce Cameron, Boston Globe bestseller Hank Phillippi Ryan, award-winning authors Rebecca Cantrell and Carrie Bebris, and many others.

Hilary Rubin Teeman

Hilary is an editor at St. Martin's Press. She acquires commercial and literary fiction, historical fiction, thrillers, mainstream romantic suspense, and chick-lit as well as social and cultural histories, narrative non-fiction, popular sociology, playful self-help, and memoir. Recently published and forthcoming titles include: Lenore Hart's BECKY, a novel of the "true life" of Becky Thatcher; Tamar Yellin's THE GENIZAH AT THE HOUSE OF SHEPHER, an award-winning novel of four generations of a Jerusalem family; Lea Jacobson's BAR FLOWER, a gripping memoir of the decadent, destructive life of a Tokyo nightclub hostess; and Lori Uscher-Pines's BUYING THE COW IN THE AGE OF FREE MILK: HOW TO GET YOUR MAN TO PROPOSE; and star of VH1's The Pickup Artist, Mystery's THE MYSTERY METHOD: HOW TO GET BEAUTIFUL WOMEN INTO BED.

Michelle Vega

Michelle Vega is an Editor with the Berkley Publishing Group, an imprint of Penguin Group, USA. She has a Master's degree in British and American literature and began her career with Berkley in 2005. She is interested in cozy, paranormal, traditional and historical mysteries. She also loves urban fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, and some YA, but she'll read anything with intriguing characters and a compelling plot. Her mystery authors are published under Berkley's New York Times bestselling Prime Crime imprint and she has also acquired for the Berkley, Ace, and Jove lines.

Abby Zidle

Abby Zidle is a senior editor at Gallery and Pocket Books acquiring commercial fiction and nonfiction, including romance, suspense, general fiction, women's fiction, memoir, and popular culture titles. Her authors at Pocket include everything from New York Times bestsellers to debut novelists. Prior to working at Pocket, she was an editor for Harlequin's HQN line. She began her career in publishing at Bantam Dell, after abandoning the glamorous life of a Ph.D. student (the only job that pays worse than editorial assistant).

Business Pros

Katharine Sands

A literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books. She is the agent provocateur of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent's Eye--a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents. Actively building her client list, she likes books that have a clear benefit for readers' lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. For compelling reads in faction, memoir and femoir, she like to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed; for fiction, she wants to be compelled and propelled.

Susan Schwartzman

Susan Schwartzman has been in the publishing field for more than 20 years. She began her career in book publicity in 1992 as a freelance in-house book publicist, working for major publishers, including Workman Publishing, William Morrow, Penguin-Putnam, Harcourt Brace, Villard, Wiley, Avon Books, Simon & Schuster, Warner Books, Red Dress Ink, New American Library, and Downtown Press. As an independent book publicist, Susan has promoted a wide variety of literary and commercial fiction and nonfiction titles. Her business, Susan Schwartzman Public Relations, has provided major media placements for her clients in major media throughout the country.

Pitch Workshop Leaders

Caitlin Alexander

Caitlin Alexander is freelance editor in New York, also an editorial consultant for Author Salon. As a senior editor at Random House Publishing Group she acquired and edited a variety of projects including New York Times bestsellers Michelle Richmond (THE YEAR OF FOG), David Gibbins (THE LOST TOMB), Andy McDermott (THE HUNT FOR ATLANTIS), and Gwen Cooper (HOMER'S ODYSSEY); Angela Davis-Gardner (PLUM WINE), and International Thriller Writers Award winner Tom Piccirilli (SHADOW SEASON).

Susan Breen

Susan Breen is the author of the novel THE FICTION CLASS, discovered at the New York Pitch and published by Plume, an imprint of Penguin Group. Her novel was also published by Headline Review (in the UK), Wheeler Publishing (large print) and is a selection of Reading Group Choices. Susan has been a finalist for the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship Competition. Her stories have been published by a number of literary magazines, among them North Dakota Quarterly, The Chattahoochee Review and American Literary Review. Susan teaches beginning and advanced fiction classes at Gotham Writers' Workshop; she is also a contributor to The Writer and Writer's Digest.

Paula Munier

Senior Literary Agent and Content Strategist at Talcott Notch Literary Services, Paula boasts broad experience creating and marketing exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as Disney, Gannett, Greenspun Media Group, and Quayside. Her specialties include mystery/thriller, SF/fantasy, romance, YA, memoir, and humor. Paula is very involved with the mystery community, having served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America as well as on the MWA board. (She's currently VP of that organization.) She's also served as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee for seven years and counting. And she's an active member of Sisters in Crime.

Michael Neff - Director

New York Pitch and Algonkian Writer Conferences director, Michael Neff, now an associate with AEI Films and Books in Los Angeles, is not only workshop-leading in New York, but also on the search for high-concept SF/F, mystery/thrillers, historicals, and generally darn good fiction, upmarket or otherwise. Michael is the creator and director of WebdelSol.Com, a literary and cinema arts community, and one of the largest publishers of periodical contemporary lit on the WWW. He edits and publishes several highly acclaimed national literary magazines including 5_Trope, In Posse Review, La Petite Zine, Perihelion, and The Potomac, as well as the "Paris Review of the Internet," Del Sol Review. His own work has appeared in such classic literary publications as The Literary Review, North American Review, Mudlark, Quarterly West, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Conjunctions, and American Way Magazine. His upmarket political novel, YEAR OF THE RHINOCEROS, was published in 2009.

NOTE: NYC Pitch and Shop Conference faculty are subject to change as circumstances dictate, however, new editors and/or workshop leaders will be substituted who are just as qualified and diverse in taste.

Click here for more details about the conference.
If you need to contact us click here.

Traditional Novel and Fiction Workshops and Conferences
Algonkian Writer Conferences

- New York Pitch Authors and Books -

It began with "The Fiction Class" by Susan Breen. Going into 2015, the New York Pitch has assisted and networked writers into dozens of agent and commercial publishing contracts. More information and commentary on this subject can be found on our NYC news page. 


Interview with NYC Pitch and Shop Conference attendee, writer Christine Stewart, writer in residence at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, Director of the Write Here, Write Now workshops, founding co-sponsor of the Baltimore chapter of the Maryland Writers Association, and recipient of the Ruth Lilly Fellowship.  

Interview with New York Pitch attendee, best-selling author Pam Binder. Two of the four editors I met with asked to see my work and the other two were very interested ... I credit the reception of all four editors to the pitch. It generated questions which helped me explain in more detail the vision of the project.  

Interview with NYC Pitch and Shop Conference attendee, author Kate Gallison. Her second mystery series featured Mother Lavinia Grey, an Episcopal priest in a small town in New Jersey struggling to keep her church open and solve the occasional murder...  

- Algonkian Writer Events in The U.S. -

Upcoming Algonkian events with only the best faculty, story analysis, pitch training, cross-market craft and market-positioning methodology. New writer retreats enable you to work on your novel or nonfiction in a pragmatic, mentored environment while also locating you in a genuinely scenic and relaxing place. All events are enhanced with new pre-event studies, extended consult time with professionals, and an emphasis on making novel as competitive as possible... [more]

Interview with NYC Pitch and Shop Conference attendee, Alex Keto. Alex was a journalist for twenty-one years. He joined Dow Jones Newswires and worked New York City as a reporter, in Amsterdam as a bureau chief, and Bonn as a reporter. He returned to the U.S. in 1995 and worked as the company's White House correspondent for ten years.  

Interview with NYC Pitch and Shop Conference author, Randy Susan Meyers. The critique isn't for the faint of heart, but is for those who truly want to hear where they need to work on their presentation, how commercial their ideas are, and about the effectiveness of their pitch  

Interview with NYC Pitch and Shop Conference attendee, writer Doug Grudzina. Doug writes and edits for Prestwick House, Inc., where his books and writings have won a number of national awards. His short stories have appeared in several publications, and he reviews articles for the National Council of Teachers of English.  

Algonkian Writer Conferences
2020 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Suite 443
Washington, D.C. 20006

Contact us
info (at)
Customer Service Line
Writer Reviews
Letters + Interviews
Portal del Sol
Writer's Block
Mystery Writer's Forum
New York Pitch
Frequently Asked
Event Comparisons
Conference Page
Agent Interviews
Novel Events
Algonkian Retreats
Santa Barbara
Write to Market
New York Pitch
Print Page, Search, or Email URL
Send this webpage URL to a friend.

Search This Website

Connect with us