“Start clean and simple. Don’t try to write pretty or noble or big. Try to say just what you mean. This is hard because you have to find out what you mean, and that’s work, real work. (Gertrude Stein)”- Rebecca Robins
Advance Submission & Agents
SBWC’s Advance Submission program is an opportunity for conference participants to meet agents and editors, and receive individual feedback on their writing.
Agents and editors who have participated in the past return because they enjoy meeting with writers and hearing about their work. They know SBWC attendees consistently offer high-quality writing. Many of our students have gone on to publish their work because of the agents and editors they met during our conference.
If your manuscript is complete and polished, and you think you are ready for an agent to represent your work, read up on our agents and choose those who seem interested in your genre or already represent clients whose work you think is similar to your own.
Advance Submission is your chance to separate yourself from the thousands of other single-space, one-page, letters agents receive each year. Though SBWC has had many success stories in the past, we make no promises of representation, nor further interest in your manuscript. We do, however, hope this is a rewarding and enlightening experience, and at the very least, an opportunity to make a personal and professional connection.
You must be registered for the conference to participate.
1) Register and choose your readers either online by credit card, or by mail. We expect some agents and editors will fill their schedules quickly, so be sure to register early. You may submit to as many readers as you like.
2) Mail the first 5 pages of your manuscript. Be sure to allow for transit time as the deadline for pages to be recieved is May 3. If you have chosen multiple readers, you will include a copy for each reader.
3) Once you check into the conference on June 7, we will give you the details of the meeting arrangements. Your reader will have read the pages before you meet and will come prepared to talk about your writing. This is a one-on-one for 10 minutes, a chance for you to get personal feedback from an agent or editor. All meetings will take place Monday, June 9.
The cost for each submission will be $40, and you will be able to sign up beginning March 1. Once you have signed up with an agent or editor, there will be no refunds given for any reason, so please consider your choices carefully.
Elise Capron — Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
Erin L. Cox — Rob Weisbach Creative Management
Paul Fedorko — N.S. Bienstock, Inc.
Lucas Hunt — Philip Spitzer Agency
Michael Larsen — Larsen Pomada Literary Agents
Toni Lopopolo — Toni Lopopolo Literary Management
Elizabeth Pomada — Larsen Pomada Literary Agents
Elizabeth Poteet — St. Martin's Press
Jennifer Rofé — Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Liz Stein — Amy Einhorn Books/G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Elise Capron is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, which was established over 30 years ago and is known for guiding the careers of many best-selling fiction and non-fiction authors, including Amy Tan, Lisa See, Maxine Hong Kingston, Chitra Divakaruni, Eric Foner, Marcus Rediker, and many more. A graduate of Emerson College, Elise holds a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing. She has been with the Dijkstra Agency since 2003.
On the fiction side, Elise is interested in serious character-driven literary fiction with unforgettable writing, a terrific narrative voice/tone, and memorable characters. She loves novels with an unusual or eccentric edge, and is drawn to stories she has never heard before. On the nonfiction front, she is looking primarily for well-written narrative nonfiction, particularly history. She aims to work with writers who are getting their work published regularly in magazines and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience.
A few of Elise's recent and soon-to-be-published books include
- Courtney Brkic's The First Rule of Swimming (Little, Brown)
- Tiphanie Yanique's The Land of Love and Drowning (Riverhead)
- How to Escape From a Leper Colony (Graywolf)
- Jane Vandenburgh'sThe Wrong Dog Dream: A True Romance (Counterpoint)
- Jonathon Keats' Forged: Why Fakes Are the Great Art of Our Age (Oxford University Press)
- Maureen McHugh's After the Apocalypse (Small Beer Press) which was picked as a “Top Ten Book of the Year” by Publishers Weekly
- Billy Smith’s Ship of Death: The Voyage That Changed the Atlantic World
- Jack Shuler's upcoming The Noose: A History (Public Affairs),
and many more.
Erin L. Cox develops and represents writers for the company, provides publicity expertise to company clients, offers individualized publicity and promotion services for outside clients, and works with corporate clients including Conde Nast Digital and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Erin was most recently Book Publishing Director at The New Yorker where she oversaw book advertising and developed support for books on the business and editorial sides of the magazine. Erin began her career in book publishing in 1999 in the publicity department at Scribner, where she worked with New York Times bestselling authors Frank McCourt, Linda Fairstein, Kathy Reichs, and Al Roker, and critically-acclaimed writers Colm Toibin, Meg Wolitzer, Maile Meloy, and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. In addition to creating and implementing traditional book campaigns, Erin also worked on the publicity team responsible for innovative e-book initiatives for Stephen King and Robert Jordan. In 2005, Erin was named Associate Director of Publicity at HarperCollins, where she worked on bestsellers by Lisa Scottoline, Janet Evanovich, and Tony Hillerman, among others.
Erin represents literary fiction and narrative nonfiction in the areas of memoir, history, pop culture, fashion, and psychology.
Having built his career on both the publishing and literary agency sides of the book business, Paul brings expertise working directly with established authors, new writers and personalities on both fiction and non-fiction projects.
Prior to joining Bienstock, Paul had been a literary agent at Trident Media Group for more than five years, ran The Paul Fedorko Agency and spent more than 20 years as a publishing and marketing executive at Bantam Doubleday Dell, Simon & Schuster and William Morrow working with many brand name as well as first-time authors. "Having worked on both sides of the book business, my passion is helping authors develop their projects and partnering them with the right editor and publisher." Born and raised in New Jersey, Paul graduated from St.Peter's College, currently resides in Manhattan and considers himself a native New Yorker.
In general I am looking for fiction ranging from World War II thrillers and British-type mysteries to contemporary mysteries featuring a female PI, plus any fiction set in New York in the 40's or 50's. I would also like to see young adult and adult contemporary fiction, and am always looking for little-known true stories, except true crime.
Lucas Hunt graduated with a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, where he wrote for The Daily Iowan newspaper, and was accepted into the Poetry Writer’s Workshop. He received an MFA from Southampton College, published his first volume of poetry, Lives, and won a John Steinbeck Award. Hunt’s second volume of poetry, Light on the Concrete, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim. Lucas Hunt is currently a Rights Manager at the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency in NYC, where he negotiates audio, foreign, digital, film, and domestic print deals. Agency clients include Michael Connelly, Andre Dubus III, and James Lee Burke. His professional interests are literary fiction, travel, crime, and the humanities.
Michael Larsen, born and educated in New York City, worked in promotion for Bantam, William Morrow, and Pyramid (later assimilated into Berkley). He and his wife Elizabeth Pomada started Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco in 1972. They are members of AAR and have sold books to more than 100 publishers.
Mike is eager to find nonfiction books that will excite big and midsize houses: how-to’s, self-help, business, personal finance, popular culture, biography, current affairs, history, health, medicine, spirituality, inspirational books, trends, technology, the future, and other books with practical, social, or literary value.
He is the author of the third editions of How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent. With Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and David Hancock, he is co-author of the second edition of Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work.
Literary Agent, Toni Lopopolo, has a book-publishing resume that began in 1970 in the publicity dept of Bantam Books, where she publicized authors Philip Roth, Barbara Cartland, Louis L'Amour, plus. When Macmillan offered Toni the title of Executive Editor, she published Judy Mazel's Beverly Hills Diet, Elvis 56 by Al Wertheimer among other hits. Next, Toni became executive editor for St. Martin's Press: 1981 to 1990, published Hot Flashes, Barbara Raskin, Rich and Famous, Kate Coscarelli, plus Elsa Lanchester, Herself, by Elsa Lanchester, & many more.
In 1991, Toni opened Literary Management, sold books for authors Shelly Lowenkopf, Sol Stein, Lee Silber, Lillian Glass, Steve Duno, Nancy Baer, and others. Known for her Fiction Bootcamps, she uses unique methods that help first novelists master skills needed to write successful fiction, and helps nonfiction writers produce compelling narrative nonfiction, using fiction techniques. Toni’s noted for her popular lecture, The Ten Most Common Mistakes First Novelists Make. Toni Lopopolo Literary Management is located in Alexandria, Va. & Santa Barbara, CA.
Toni scouts novels for women over 45, Latina fiction, noir thrillers, young adult, and new adult, as well as speculative and steam punk fiction. Nonfiction: personal journey, health, and business.
Elizabeth Pomada worked at David McKay, Holt Rinehart & Winston, and the Dial Press in New York City before moving to San Francisco in 1970 with her partner and husband, Michael Larsen. Together, they started Michael Larsen – Elizabeth Pomada Literary Agents in 1972. Since then, they have sold books from hundreds of authors to more than 100 publishers. Elizabeth is a member of the Association of Author’s Representatives, The Author’s Guild, ASJA, WNBA, and co-founder with Michael of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the Writing for Change conference. She travels extensively, speaking at conferences, universities and in front of other groups of writers. She represents narrative nonfiction (memoir), adult commercial and literary fiction, women’s fiction, romance, thrillers and mysteries. She loves to find promising new writers who are writing books that will interest New York publishers.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Elizabeth Poteet attended Colby College where she majored in English and Religious Studies. While studying at St. Andrews, she realized that though she enjoyed Shakespeare and the Dead Sea Scrolls, she preferred reading stories with a little more heat and heart. Lizzie now works as an editor at St. Martin's Press and is always looking for a good love story. She’s actively seeking New Adult, YA, historical and contemporary romances, and loves anything with a happy ending.
**You do not need to have an agent to meet with Elizabeth.**
Jennifer represents projects ranging from picture books to YA. Middle grade is her soft spot and she's open to all genres in this category, especially the tender, hilarious, or zany. She is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and "adorkable" heroes. As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to contemporary works; dramatic, funny, or cringe-worthy romance; and urban fantasy/light sci-fi. She's especially interested in smart stories that are layered, complex, and unexpected, and she appreciates big, developed worlds. In terms of picture books, she is interested in character-driven projects and smart, exceptional writing. Jennifer also represents illustrators and author-illustrators.
Some of Jennifer's clients include:
- Meg Medina, author of the Pura Belpré Award winning novel Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass and the Ezra Jack Keats Award winning picture book Tia Isa Wants a Car (Candlewick)
- Christina Diaz Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella and A Thunderous Whisper (Knopf/Random House)
- Joy Preble, author of The Sweet Dead Life (Soho Press) and the forthcoming Finding Paris (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins)
- Crystal Allen, author of How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba Sized Trophy and the forthcoming Mya series (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins)
- Tameka Brown, author of the Charlotte Zolotow Honor picture book My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood (Viking/Penguin)
- Kathryn Fitzmaurice, author of the middle grades Destiny, Rewritten and The Year the Swallows Came Early (HarperCollins)
- Samantha Vamos, author of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor picture book The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred (Charlesbridge)
- Denise Doyen, author of the E.B. White Read Aloud Honor picture book Once Upon a Twice (Random House)
Jennifer also represents author-illustrators Eliza Wheeler (Miss Maple’s Seeds, Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin), Mike Boldt (123 Versus ABC, HarperCollins), and Bob Boyle (Rosie & Rex, HarperCollins).
Liz Stein began her publishing career at Penguin in 2008 and is currently an associate editor for Amy Einhorn Books/G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Liz has acquired books for the Putnam, Amy Einhorn, and Plume lists and is also looking to find books for the Berkley list. Liz seeks novels that are beautifully written with a strong narrative voice and have interesting, memorable characters. She is particularly drawn to fiction that bridges the literary-commercial divide and has a soft spot for quirky characters, unreliable narrators, stories with a psychological twist, coming-of-age stories, and high concept fiction that will resonate with book clubs. On the nonfiction side, Liz is drawn to adventure stories, health/fitness, pop psychology, and memoir. In the few hours that Liz is not reading and editing, she prefers to spend her time outside running and hiking, or, if weather restricts, she can be found inside cooking and playing the violin.
**You do not need to have an agent to meet with Liz.**