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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WVW 2010 Summer Conference Pitch Session Information

On the morning of Saturday, June 12th, West Virginia Writers, Inc., will kick off a day of extreme opportunity with an open discussion forum entitled "Agents, Editors and You." The Cedar Lakes assembly hall will still be buzzing with Saturday Registrations, but center stage will take precedence as we proudly bring you:

1. PETER LYNCH, Editorial Manager (trade) at Sourcebooks, Inc., one of the country’s largest and most innovative independent publishers. Peter has worked for Sourcebooks as Editorial Manager for the past ten years. He acquires and develops 20–30 books per year, across a variety of categories. Peter’s nonfiction interests include, but are not limited to, books on parenting, history, memoir, self-help, reference, humor, and college/study aids. He is also interested in historical fiction and commercial women’s fiction. Peter is always interested in hearing from authors who are self-motivated and willing to publicize their books in innovative ways. Sourcebooks, Inc ( is currently looking for: romance fiction (single title all subgenres, 80,000 words +), YA fiction and non-fiction, historical fiction, Jane Austen sequels/retellings/contemporary romances/etc., commercial women's fiction (must have a really unusual premise), multi-media and digital book projects, non-fiction: memoir, how-to, humor, college guides, study aids, parenting, business, careers, personal finance.

2. CHRISTINE WITTHOHN is a literary agent and the founder of Book Cents Literary Agency. She is one of the main sponsors of the International Women’s Fiction Festival held annually in Matera, Italy, and has strong ties to the international market. She is member of AAR, RWA, MWA and is actively building her client list. She is on the hunt for well-written commercial and women’s fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and would love to find some great new YA projects. Christine is looking for: young adult, mystery/suspense, thrillers, romance: contemporary, rom coms, paranormal, light and urban fantasy. She is NOT looking for: inspirational, westerns, sci-fi, horror, erotica, or poetry. Website:

3. KAYLAN ADAIR is an associate editor at Candlewick Press, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She works with such authors and illustrators as Mark London Williams, Valeri Gorbachev, Lisa Moser, Jill Murphy, and Lucy Cousins (of Maisy fame). While her interests run the gamut from picture books to young adult, she is particularly keen to add more middle grade and young adult titles to her list. Kaylan is looking for strong, original voices and compelling, engrossing stories. PLEASE NOTE: Kaylan's one on one critique sessions have already been scheduled and her schedule for them is full. She will not be doing pitch sessions at the conference. However, anyone attending any of Kaylan’s workshops at the conference will receive a validation to submit a full manuscript for Candlewick’s consideration. (Candlewick Press is not currently accepting submissions otherwise, so this is a prime opportunity.)

4. KELLY MORTIMER started Mortimer Literary Agency with one thought in mind: there were too many great writers who couldn't get their foot in the door. She's only 5'4”, but she wears a size 8-1/2 shoe, so she thought she could help. And she did, selling manuscripts for her first two clients in the same week. Kelly is a two-time nominee and the 2008 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers "Agent of the Year" award. In 2008, Kelly made the Top Five on the Publisher’s Marketplace list of “Top 100 Dealmakers” – Romance Category, and with a fraction of the clients most agents represent. (She bested her Top 10 standing from 2007. Boo-Yah!) She’s also a recipient of the Orange County Chapter RWA’s “Volunteer of the Year” award. Mortimer Literary only signs PRE-PUBLISHED writers (those who have yet to snag a contract with a traditional pub house), or haven’t had a book pubbed within the last three years. (Sorry, Nora—still no dice.) Kelly wants to ferret out those pre-published writers whose manuscripts are great as is, but no one'll give ’em a chance, or those whose manuscripts are close, but need some work to catch an editor's eye. Kelly is actively seeking: Comedy, Contemporary Romance - Single Title and Category, Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance - Single Title and Category (other than westerns), Mainstream/General Fiction, Paranormal, Thrillers/Suspense, Young Adult (protagonist is 16 years old and above), Nonfiction (with a proper proposal, not to mention either a killer platform, or a gigantic hook). She's open to many categories, accepts queries on almost any subject, but does not represent books that are: anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-military, anti-liberating wars, or anti-the-Greatest-Freakin’-Country-on-the-Planet. (The United States of America.)

Okay, that’s four industry pros going one on one with YOU in an Agent / Editor Forum and three pros fielding pitches in the afternoon of Saturday, June 12th.

Each individual pitch session will cost $10 and will be timed to precisely five minutes and we will have an intern on the clock. So if you must script and rehearse your pitch to hit this five minute window, by all means do it (usually 2.5 double spaced pages equals 5 minutes, if you're memorizing).


Pitch sessions will be limited for each of our editor/agents, so early reservation for them is recommended.
  • In order to participate in these Pitch Sessions, you must register and pay for at least the day of Saturday, June 12, of the Conference.
  • The cost of each session is $10 per FIVE MINUTE PITCH. No allowances will be made for anything longer than five minutes so please rehearse. The cost of these pitches will help offset the agent/editor expenses for WVW.
  • You may pay for the pitch session(s) as well as schedule the time at the conference.
  • You may pitch to any or all of those agents/editors who are taking pitches or do multiple pitches at a cost of $10 per pitch.
  • To schedule your PITCH SESSION(S) with: Peter Lynch, Kelly Mortimer, and/or Christine Witthohn, send an email to Rhonda White. You may reach Rhonda at:
And for a HOW TO session on giving pitches, Christine Witthohn will be conducting both an upcoming interview on that very topic for the WV Writers Podcast, as well as a Saturday morning workshop on that topic at our conference.

PLEASE don’t pass up this incredible opportunity, these folks are aggressively seeking new authors and they publish nearly every genre in any given bookstore. If you would like to verify what they publish, take a look at their websites.

And just so you know…… The appearance of Peter Lynch, Kaylan Adair, and Kelly Mortimer is due in great part to the incredible efforts of Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency and WVW Secretary, Teresa Newsome.

Books Cents has become an outstanding advocate to the writing community in West Virginia and Kentucky. Much thanks to our good friend, Christine!

For conference registration information: