Choose from 40+ hours of workshops, panels and sessions led by talented industry specialists. Keynotes, authors, editors and agents will be sharing a wealth of information. The weekend will be full of networking opportunities. One-on-one agent/editor pitch appointments will be available at no additional fee. Also included are Friday evening’s read-and-critique sessions, where pre-registered participants can get immediate feedback on their work. Join Pennwriters in celebrating a milestone: the organization’s 30th annual conference. Making Milestones will be the theme—setting goals, celebrating achievements, and working toward making milestones in our writing lives.
Online registration has closed.
We can still accept late registrations as “will-call” (pay at the event), but no meals can be included. For more information about late registration, contact Heather Desuta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-337-6966.
For details on PRICING, click here: 2017 Pennwriters Conference pricing
For the Schedule, click here: PWC2017ScheduleForWebsite
For conference workshops and faculty, click here: Workshops and Faculty
For conference interviews click here: Conference Interviews
Meet Our KEYNOTES:
Friday evening keynote Chuck Sambuchino is a bestselling humor book writer, a freelance editor, and a former editor for Writer’s Digest Books for many years. During his time with WD Books (until 2017), he edited the Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog was one of the biggest blogs in publishing, averaging more than 350,000 page views each month. He was named by Forbes as one of the top influencers in publishing in recognition of his personal Twitter. His first humor book, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack (gnomeattack.com), was released in Sept. 2010 and has been featured by Reader’s Digest, USA Today, the New York Times and AOL News. The film rights were optioned by Sony and director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future). The book was translated into several languages. His newest humor book is When Clowns Attack: A Survival Guide (Ten Speed Press, fall 2015), which was mentioned by New York magazine four months before its release. In addition, Chuck’s also written three other writing-related titles: the third edition of Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript (2009), as well as Create Your Writer Platform (fall 2012). His latest writing guide is Get a Literary Agent (Jan 2015). Chuck is a former staffer of several newspapers and magazines—most notably Writer’s Digest. During his tenure as a newspaper reporter, he won awards from both the Kentucky Press Association and the Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists. He is a produced playwright, with both original and commissioned works produced. During the past fifteen, more than 700 of his articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and books. He loves connecting with writers and helping them get published and sell more books. Besides that, he is a husband, exhausted father of a toddler, cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie fiend, movie lover, competitive retro gamer, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.
Saturday luncheon keynote Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Circle of Influence was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and Bridges Burned was an Agatha Award finalist for Best Contemporary Novel of 2015. Her latest release, With a Vengeance, is the fourth in the series. Annette has served as Vice President and Past President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Since 2004, she has served on the Pennwriters board of directors in various roles, including Area 3 Rep, 2009 Conference Coordinator, and Vice President. She was also the 2013 recipient of the Pennwriters Meritorious Service Award.
Meet Our GUEST AGENTS AND EDITOR:
Agent Noah Ballard
Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Noah Ballard received his BA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and began his career in publishing at Emma Sweeney Agency where he sold foreign rights for the agency in addition to building his own client list. Noah specializes in literary debuts, upmarket thrillers and narrative nonfiction, and he is always on the lookout for honest and provocative new writers. Noah has appeared across the country at graduate programs and writing conferences speaking about query letters, building nonfiction platforms and submission etiquette. He lives in Brooklyn.
Looking for: “…literary fiction, including general fiction, story collections, upmarket crime and thriller, horror. Also, narrative non-fiction of all kinds, but very few memoirs these days.
Best tip for pitching me: Let’s just sit down and have a conversation. Please don’t monologue at me.
Agent Louise Fury
The Bent Agency
Louise Fury represents young adult, middle grade, new adult, commercial fiction including romance, and select nonfiction. A native South African, Louise now lives in New York City and travels to Cape Town every year, where she spends time educating South African writers, meeting with international publishers and distributing books. Before agenting, she worked in marketing and advertising for both the consumer markets and publishing. Prior to joining The Bent Agency, she worked as a literary agent at the L. Perkins Agency. Louise represents numerous New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors. She encourages her authors to have one foot in traditional print publishing and the other in the digital-first arena, and is a huge advocate of utilizing secondary rights—she has sold film/TV, audio and foreign rights for her clients. She believes in staying ahead of the pack by embracing change, not just adapting to it.
Looking for: “I’m looking for writers with a unique voice and an unforgettable story. I’m particularly drawn to stories with a strong protagonist. In young adult, I look for manuscripts that are written with an unforgettable voice—this can be deep, dark and gritty or literary, lyrical and emotional. I’d love to find a young adult novel that has a bone-deep sense of danger that haunts me from page 1 and doesn’t let go of me for days. I want delicious adult romances with creative plots, sexy liaisons and unique characters who sweep me up in their love story. I want to feel something unforgettable when I read your pages. I want manuscripts that I can’t stop thinking about.”
Also interested in: Middle Grade fiction with a literary feel—it must be realistic and thought provoking, and the characters must be authentic and original. In Nonfiction, I look for humor and pop culture manuscripts. I also love cooking and craft books.
Agent Mark Gottlieb
Trident Media Group
Mark Gottlieb attended Emerson College and was President of its Publishing Club, establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature & publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP. Mark’s first position at Publishers Marketplace’s #1-ranked literary agency, Trident Media Group, was in foreign rights. Mark was EA to Trident’s Chairman and ran the Audio Department. Mark is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident. He has ranked #1 among Literary Agents on publishersmarketplace.com in Overall Deals and other categories.
Looking for: Fiction, nonfiction, young adult, middle grade, children’s books, graphic novels.
Not looking for: Poetry, textbooks, novellas, short stories, personal memoir, romance, erotica, early readers, spiritual/religion/inspirational, horror, urban fantasy, new adult, plays, screenplays, cooking.
Best tip for pitching me: I prefer to hear the 1-2 sentence hook.
Editor Liz Kossnar
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Liz Kossnar joined Simon & Schuster in 2013 after a year working as the editorial manager for the review websites, Teenreads.com and Kidsreads.com. Liz focuses on middle grade, but also acquires young adult and picture books. While working at Simon & Schuster, she has had the privilege of working with authors such as Stuart Gibbs, Neal Shusterman, Jessica Lawson, Tim Federle, Heather Vogel Frederick, and on Alex Morgan’s The Kicks series.
Looking for: She most enjoys reading whimsical, diverse middle grade novels and mysteries, and subversive, contemporary young adult fiction, or any work of fiction that inspires a sense of empathy toward an unlikely character or difficult situation. Anything feminist is a plus, and she’s always looking for an untold history nonfiction.
Not looking for: Liz is not the best match for animal stories, sentimentality, or traditional romance.
Agent Eric Myers
Myers Literary Management
Eric Myers founded Myers Literary Management in 2017, following two years with Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret LLC and 13 years with The Spieler Agency. A graduate of UCLA and the Sorbonne, Eric entered publishing as a journalist and author. As an agent, Eric has a strong affinity for Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction, as well as adult non-fiction, especially in the areas of history, biography, psychology, health and wellness, and pop culture. He also represents thrillers and historical fiction, and is open to memoir from writers who already have a strong platform. Among his authors are Chris Grabenstein (Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library), Lydia Kang (Control and Catalyst), MAD MEN cast member Bryan Batt (She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother), David Neilsen (Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom), former Soviet spy Jack Barsky (Deep Undercover), and WW II Resistance fighter Justus Rosenberg, whose autobiography will be published in 2018.
Looking for: Eric has a strong affinity for Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, as well as adult non-fiction, especially in the areas of history, biography, psychology, health and wellness, mind/body/spirit, and pop culture. He also loves a good thriller, and is open to memoir from authors with strong platforms.
Pitching tips: Try to keep your pitch to one page if possible.
Agent Roseanne Wells
The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Roseanne Wells joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an associate agent in 2012. Previously with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency, she has also worked as a proofreader and a special sales/editorial assistant. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with degrees in Literature and Dance. An avid reader, Roseanne discovered her passion for book publishing during her internship at W. W. Norton, and she approaches agenting as a writer’s advocate, editor, and partner. She is a member of SCBWI and a volunteer for Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Soho, NYC.
Looking for: In Nonfiction: I’m interested in authors who have a unique story to tell and are dedicated to building their platform and reaching their audience. I like narrative nonfiction, select memoir, science (popular or trade, not academic), history, religion (not inspirational), travel, humor, food/cooking, and similar subjects. I’m also interested in fresh, modern self-improvement that not only inspires but energizes readers to action in this rapidly evolving world. In Fiction: I’m looking for strong literary fiction that emphasizes craft and style equally, and doesn’t sacrifice plot and character for beautiful sentences; young adult of all genres; very selective middle grade of any genre that connects me to a strong main character; science-fiction and fantasy; con/heist stories, especially featuring art, jewelry, and tech; and smart detective novels (more Sherlock Holmes than cozy mysteries).
Pitch sessions are available Friday and Saturday on a first-registered, first-assigned basis.