FREE* 10-minute Agent and/or Indie Publisher Pitch Sessions

The10-minute elevator pitch provides you the chance to present the idea of your book the way you would if you were on a slow elevator ride with an agent or publisher. Your job is to learn how to pitch so compellingly that the agent or publisher tells you to send the entire manuscript for consideration of representation.

Conference attendees have the opportunity to sign up for up to three 10-minute pitches with any of the literary agents or indie publishers FREE of charge. Slots will be filled on a first-come basis, with priority given to members of Hampton Roads Writers. Come prepared to pitch your project.


Emily Gref is a literary Agent at Lowenstein Associates Inc., as well as the contracts and royalties manager. She also handles foreign and subrights.

Her interests are wide and varied. In Young Adult and Middle Grade she is looking for all genres, but has a weak spot for fairy tale, folklore, and mythology retellings. Emily is also interested in fantasy and science fiction, as well as literary and commercial women's fiction.

In non-fiction she is looking for strong narratives and books by recognized experts with a wide-reaching platform, especially books that lend themselves well to digital mediums. Subjects of interest include popular science, linguistics, anthropology, and history. She is not looking for memoirs or biographies at this time.

Kaylee Davis is a literary Agent at Dee Mura Literary. Growing up in The Middle of Nowhere, Ohio, Kaylee’s lifeline to sanity was the local library where she nurtured her love of all things literary. Kaylee received a B.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in Sociology from Miami University, and she is certified in Copyediting from Emerson College. Recognized for her obsessive-compulsive attention to detail and crazy-fast reading ability, Kaylee joined the team as a professional copyeditor, proofreader, and administrative assistant. She has recently been promoted to Associate Literary Agent.

SPECIAL INTERESTS: Sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, young adult, new adult, steampunk, urban fantasy, social commentary, and counter-culture*

Kimiko Nakamura is a literary Agent at Dee Mura Literary. Her career started in the publishing houses of Boston where she fostered her talent for sales. At Dee Mura Literary, she found another passion: helping writers build successful careers. Kimiko works with new and emerging writers. She looks for page-turning fiction and non-fiction that leaves people inspired and offers readers a full range of emotions—laughter that slips out while reading in public, tears that splash onto our e-readers, and an aha of connection on the page, reminding us that books are more than something we simply hold in our hands.

SPECIAL INTERESTS: Contemporary fiction, young adult, new adult, women’s lit, romance, upmarket literary, mystery, urban fantasy, satire, memoir, narrative nonfiction, mind and body, cookbooks, spirituality, and health*

*A full list of the categories Dee Mura Literary accepts for submission can be found here.

Linda Epstein has been a literary Agent at The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency since 2011. Before that she interned and read manuscripts at some of the top agencies in New York. She is actively seeking Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade fiction as well as picture books. She likes quirky, character driven stories that don't skimp when it comes to plot, including realistic contemporary, historical, fantasy, and science fiction, both literary and commercial. She is drawn to stories that touch upon questions of identity and social issues (without being too heavy) and particularly appreciates a distinctive narrative voice. Linda is not a good match for any kind of thriller, horror, western, or Christian fiction.

Diana Flegal, has been a literary agent at Hartline Literary Agency since 2010. Before that she held the position of Office and Editorial Assistant to Joyce Hart, CEO and founder of Hartline Literary Agency, for 6 years. Diana is seeking to add both established and promising authors to her list of clients. Hartline Literary Agency represents fiction and non-fiction books to leading mainline and inspirational publishers. Diana represents writing of all genres, but is not interested in titles that would conflict with the Christian Worldview. In fiction, she is currently looking for inspirational women’s fiction and formula romance titles. She will entertain YA Fantasy titles, but only if they are of outstanding quality. Non-fiction titles written by authors with well established platforms are always considered.


Dr. Philip Brady, professor of English at Youngstown State University, where he directs the Poetry Center, is also Executive Director for Etruscan Press. Brady is the author of three collections of poetry, Fathom, (Word Press, 2007); Weal (winner of the 1999 Snyder Prize from Ashland Poetry Press); and Forged Correspondences, (New Myths, 1996) chosen for Ploughshares’ “Editors’ Shelf” by Maxine Kumin. His latest book is  BY HEART: REFLECTIONS OF A RUST-BELT BARD (ForeWord Gold Medalist, 2008). He also has published a memoir and has edited a book on James Joyce.

 His poetry and essays have appeared in over fifty journals in the United States and Ireland, including Abraxas, The American Literary Review, The Belfast Literary Supplement, Centennial Review, College English, Green Mountains Review, The Honest Ulsterman, The Laurel Review, The Massachusetts Review, Poetry Northwest, and Thought & Action. One of his essays was chosen as Notable Essay of the Year by Best American Essays 2008. Brady won an Ohioana Award, five Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, and a Thayer Fellowship. He plays in the New-Celtic band, Brady's Leap.

Etruscan Press publishes books of poetry, literary novels, creative non-fiction, literary short story collections, literary criticisms, literary anthologies, and translations. They do not accept individual poems, essays, or short stories. All manuscripts must be a minimum of 50 pages book length. The mission of Etruscan Press, a national literary publishing house founded in 2001, is to produce and promote books that nurture the dialogue among genres, achieve a distinctive voice, and reshape our literary and cultural landscapes. Etruscan produced two National Book Award Finalists, earned four NEA grants, and had work reprinted in Best American Poetry, 2007.

Amanda Aksel, is one of the three founders of Elephantine Publishing. She realized her passion for publishing in 2011 when she co-produced and ghostwrote the New York Times Bestseller, Vision: Your Pathway to Victory. She has more than five years of experience working with entrepreneurs and enjoys helping others build a successful career with innovative ideas and effective marketing. She is a women's ficition author who understands the entire process from inspiration to promotion. Amanda is looking for women's fiction with unique female leads and general fiction, particularly coming of age. As a representative of Elephantine Publishing, Amanda will listen to pitches for all of the genres listed below.

Elephantine Publishing is accepting submissions for the following genres:

YA Paranormal, YA Urban Fantasy, YA Contemporary, NA Paranormal, NA Urban Fantasy, and NA Contemporary accepted by Heather Hildenbrand.
Heatherelephantine (at) gmail dot com

Science Fiction, High Fantasy, and Middle Grade accepted by Sara Panek.
Saraelephantine (at) gmail dot com

Commercial Women’s Fiction and General Fiction, particularly coming of age stories, accepted by Amanda Aksel.
Amandaelephantine (at) gmail dot com

If you want to participate in the agent/publisher pitches, you won't want to miss the following workshops:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

How to Nail Your 10-Minute Agent Pitch
Discover the best tips for perfecting a 10-minute agent pitch in a workshop designed for both fiction and nonfiction writers. All conference attendees are welcome to participate and those who plan to pitch this year will not want to miss this opportunity. You’ll learn how to effectively communicate your ideas by determining the most salient points of your pitch, the best ways to engage with a perspective agent, and even how to leave time for constructive feedback in those precious 10 minutes.
Presented by Kimiko Nakamura, Literary Agent at Dee Mura Literary

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 from 11:15 to 12:15 AM.

What are publishers looking for? How can you get an editor's attention, and distinguish your manuscript from the pile of submissions received every day? This workshop will focus on strategies and protocol for authors looking to break into publishing without aid of a literary agent.
Dr. Philip Brady, author, Youngstown State University professor, and executive director of Etruscan Press

* Free with Paid conference registration

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