Pennwriters offers many ways for our attendees to meet and get feedback from agents and editors in the publishing industry.
- Pitch Sessions: One-on-one agent/editor appointments are available at no additional fee. You must have a finished manuscript to sign up for a pitch session. Spots are limited and are filled on a first-registered, first-assigned basis. Sign up for 8-minute pitch sessions when you register for the conference. Please note: A pitch session does not guarantee publication.
- Agents/editors will also be leading workshop sessions and participating in panel discussions. Bring your questions about the publishing process and hear these experts talk about the state of the industry.
- Agents and editors are also part of our Friday night read-and-critique sessions, where you can get feedback on your writing from industry pros.
Agent and Editor Pitch Sessions
Lawrence Knorr, Owner
Lawrence Knorr is the Founder/CEO of Sunbury Press, Inc., the trade publisher based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Sunbury Press now manages over 1200 titles and 600 authors under 15 different imprints. Sunbury's books are distributed and sold worldwide, wherever books are sold. The company will be celebrating 20 years in business in 2024, and Lawrence has led the firm from its founding to a sizable independent press.
Lawrence combines 40 years of information technology experience with 20 years of publishing experience, as well as an MBA from Penn State. Lawrence has been an entrepreneur in many settings over the years and has taught Marketing, Business Management, and Economics at the college level. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in History. Sunbury Press only makes money by selling books, so the advice offered is practiced every day and several of the suggestions buck conventional wisdom. These methods work for presses of all sizes and independent authors, too.
What we are seeking:
We publish a wide variety of categories under 15 different imprints. We have been concentrating most on history, biography/memoir, historical fiction, true crime, mystery/detective, spy thrillers, and literary fiction. We also have regional imprints for Pennsylvania Dutch, Northern Appalachia (Western PA), and Green Mountain (Vermont) content.
L. Diane Wolfe, Owner/Editor
Dancing Lemur Press
Owner of Dancing Lemur Press LLC, Speaker, & Author
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation. Wolfe is the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
Dancing Lemur Press, LLC
Spunk On A Stick
Spunk On A Stick's Tips
Insecure Writers Support Group
Dancing Lemur Press seeks:
science fiction, fantasy (both adult categories), and middle grade historical.
President, Headline Books
President of Headline Books, Inc., Cathy Teets has been publishing books since 1985. Her company's first title, Killing Waters: The Great West Virginia Flood of 1985
, was named a Best seller by USA Today and sold over 100,000 copies. Headline Books https://headlinebooks.com/
is the 2020 Independent Publisher of the Year and was named 2014 Outstanding Independent Publisher of the year by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Headline Books has over 500 titles in print and won 898 National Awards that include Mom’s Choice Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Creative Child Magazine Awards, Eric Hoffer Awards, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year, and others.
Cathy is also the Founder of Zoom Into Books https://zoomintobooks.com/
, an international video marketing program that reaches over 380,000 people around the globe per month. Hosting award-winning and New York Times Best Selling Authors, Actors, Musicians (including the lead singers from The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Platters and The Drifters), Scientists and a series of writing and marketing workshops put together in YouTube video playlists, and markets them to libraries, book clubs, schools, homeschools, waiting areas, and more. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ_752fV55A7-72cu7nexuA/videos?view=0&sort=p
Zoom Into Books allows us to take the authors and their books directly to the customers and the program continues to grow daily.
Cathy's new endeavor is Headline Design and Marketing, a professional design company that takes a raw manuscript to a finished book and includes a one year marketing program with a top notch PR firm.
Melissa Keir (Virtual Pitches)
Chief Operating Officer, Inkspell Publishing
Growing up in a small town, Melissa created stories in her head and lived them out with her sisters. They climbed through the quarries, built forts among the leaves, and pretended they were their favorite television heroines.
Always trying to spread joy and happiness, Melissa has written over 30+ stories of couples who eventually find their Happily Ever After. Her award winning and best-selling books are filled with broken heroes and heroines who overcome real-life obstacles and come out stronger than ever. Her children’s books (written under her childhood name- Missy Watling) feature endearing tales infused with important lessons about self-acceptance.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Inkspell Publishing, Melissa has worked with over fifty authors to bring their amazing books to life. Inkspell authors have gone on to become best-selling and award-winning authors in their own right. Inkspell Publishing began as a dream and now shares outstanding contemporary and paranormal romances with readers. The hands-on approach and small publisher experience creates a family among the Inkspell authors. Melissa enjoys helping others reach for the stars.
Escaping the cold Midwest winters, she and her husband, along with furbabies, enjoy the beaches of South Carolina and can be found talking to the gators and turtles. She posts photos of her gator friends as well as other wildlife. After all, sometimes they have the best advice!
She’d love to hear from you! www.melissakeir.com
Amy Giuffrida (Virtual Pitches)
Agent, Belcastro Agency
After Amy earned her BA at the University of Kutztown and a M.Ed. from Lock Haven University, she incorporated her love of reading and books with being a middle school teacher. Amy’s biggest joy was to put the perfect book in the hands of a teen and change their minds about reading. Amy turned this love into a career by reading romance slush for a publishing company, then interned for various literary agencies, until she became an associate literary agent in 2020. In her spare time, you can find Amy either listening to, reading, or talking about books. She also loves binge-watching teen and reality TV shows—all while snuggling with one or more of her three rescue dogs.
Some of Amy’s favorite books: It by Stephen King; The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas; Looking for Alaska
by John Green; Red, White & Royal Blue
by Casey McQuiston; The Grace Year
by Kim Liggett; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid; The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
by V. E. Schwab.
Her favorite TV shows are Buffy, The Boys, Schitt’s Creek, Stranger Things,
and anything remotely like Married at First Sight
Amy’s Wish List:
Nonfiction: If you have a strong platform and love what you do, feel free to pitch me a concept; Narrative non-fiction, Business/Social Media/Tech/Cooking books for teens, Social Emotional Learning - geared towards middle-grade or teen readers, Blogger cookbooks, Popculture - teen or adult
Middle Grade: Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Young Adult: Contemporary/Realistic Fiction, Horror, Thriller
Adult: Book Club/Commercial Fiction, Historical Fiction with commercial appeal, Literary Upmarket Fiction, Romantasy, Paranormal Romance, Speculative Fiction w/a unique hook
In all genres and age categories, I am especially looking for stories written by BIPOC/POC authors.
Amy is NOT accepting:
Contemporary romance, Pandemic stories, Zombies, Summer camp stories, Stories set in space, Military, Political, or Medical-based stories, Novellas, short story collections, screenplays, Previously self-published work, Chapter books, Stories that include: religious themes, suicide, rape, physical/mental abuse, sexual abuse
Allen Media, Marketing and Public Relations Specialists
Allen Media Strategies is one of the nation’s premier media, marketing and public relations firms, focusing on communications consulting and strategy including comprehensive television, radio, print and online media relations services.
Allen Media Strategies expertise includes high impact representation for authors/publishers, entertainers, subject matter experts, government agencies, political campaigns, non-profit groups, corporations and many others featuring television and radio media tours, personal appearances, satellite media tours, print and online outreach, audio news releases and much more.
We believe that to be effective in today’s world, you need to know what your message is, how to communicate it, and where to strategically market it.
Jeff Johnson, Allen Media Strategies’ designated Hype Man and Allen Media Strategies Director Of Fun Burke Allen first worked together back in the 1990’s helming a trio of hugely successful radio stations across the USA. The veteran broadcast consultant has coached and trained dozens of top media personalities and is well known for his strategic grasp of audience research and consumer trends. Jeff earned a B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University and can B.S. about P.R. for AMS P.D.Q.