Publisher Emily Bestler, Agent Liza Dawson, Novelists Alice Dark & David Henry Sterry
3 lucky writers get to present their pitch/query!
It’s the greatest time in history to be a novelist. From the traditional approach of finding an agent and getting a big splashy six-figure advance with one of the Big Six (or Big 5, with the merger of Penguin and Random House into Penguin House), to partnering with a cutting-edge independent publisher, to taking matters into your own hands and DIYing it with e-books and print-on-demand, there are revolutionary new avenues for writers to reach his or her audience. But first, of course, you have to write a book that people want to read. You have to learn how to pick the right idea, develop deep fascinating characters, write believable dialogue, build a world, create suspense, hone your voice, craft a plot with a satisfying beginning, middle and ending, edit edit edit, rewrite rewrite rewrite, and use beta readers wisely. To celebrate the publication of Sterry’s Mort Morte, novelists, a publisher and agents will discuss how to write and sell a novel successfully. At the end of the presentation, we will randomly pick three writers who will get 90 seconds to present their pitch/query, which the panelists will then critique. So, all you novelists, come prepared to listen and learn, and maybe get a chance to kickstart your writing career!
David Henry Sterry is the author of 14 books, a performer, muckraker, educator, activist, and book doctor. His first memoir, Chicken, was an international bestseller, and has been translated into 10 languages. His anthology, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys was featured on the front cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review. He authored The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published with his ex-agent and current wife. He has been featured everywhere from National Public Radio to the London Times to Playboy, and he is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. His new illustrated novel is Mort Morte, a Diary of a Wimpy Kd as told by Travis Bicle from Taxi Driver coming-of-age black comedy about gun violence and children, and a boy who really loves his mother. www.davidhenrysterry
Emily Bestler attended Barnard College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and received her M.A. in English from Columbia University. After attending New York University’s Publishing Program, she began her career at Macmillan Books and then moved to Random House where she became a Senior Editor. Emily was named Editorial Director of Pocket Books and became Executive Editorial Director at Atria/Pocket Books. Last year she founded Emily Bestler Books, where she is a Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief.
Liza Dawson is the founder of owner of Liza Dawson Associates. Last year, she had three # 1 bestsellers in the US and the #1 bestseller in Germany. The agency represents women’s fiction, thrillers, mysteries, literary fiction, fantasy and science fiction, YA, picture books, history, parenting and humor. She has also e-published a mixture of reprints of authors and originals and has participated in several panels at Digital Book World as an expert on matters electronic. She is on the board of the Association of Author Representatives and is a member of the Women’s Media Group. She spent the first fifteen years of her career working for major NY publishers.
Alice Elliott Dark is the author of the novel, Think of England, and two collections of short stories, In The Gloaming and Naked to the Waist. Her work has appeared in, among others, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Redbook, DoubleTake, Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards ,and translated into many languages. “In the Gloaming,” a story, was chosen by John Updike for inclusion in The Best American Stories of The Century and was made into films by HBO and Trinity Playhouse. Her non-fiction reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many anthologies. She is a past recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and has been awarded Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowships for residency at The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a fellowship at Yaddo. She is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers-Newark in the MFA program and English Department.