Agents Attending Washington Writers Conference 2018

Note: We expect to have a full slate of 15 agents by late January; we’ll add their biographies here as we receive them. Once we have them all confirmed, we’ll open agent selection for registrants. (Early registrants will receive a personal email soliciting their choices.) And remember: Register by January 31st and you’ll be guaranteed to meet with four agents instead of the usual three!

Since establishing Fairbank Literary Representation in 2002, Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank has had the pleasure of working with a dynamic, varied list, representing bestselling authors, Edgar recipients, award-winning journalists, and, of course, one of her favorite kinds of client: the debut author. She is a member of AAR, the Author's Guild, PEN, and the Agents' Roundtable, and is on the Literary Council for Grub Street. Her clients can be found with all the major publishers, as well as in the New York Times, Boston Globe, New Yorker, Tin House, Glimmer Train, Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, Granta, Smithsonian, McSweeney’s, Narrative, One Story, and many other places. Her tastes in novels tend toward literary fiction, international voices, and women’s voices. On the nonfiction side, she prefers books that tackle current or historical events and topical and societal issues with a narrative treatment. She has a strong interest in women’s voices, class and race issues, quality lifestyle books (food, craft, design), memoir that goes beyond the memoir, humor, gift books, and pop culture. Sorche is also looking for illustrator/authors of children’s picture books and middle-grade books.

Diana Finch has helmed her own agency in New York City’s Flatiron District since 2003, after more than 15 years with the Ellen Levine Literary Agency and a start in agenting at Sanford Greenburger Associates. She looks for strong storytelling in fiction — literary, YA, and the occasional genre (or genre-bending) novel, with plots that turn on action (even in domestic stories), and distinctive, surprising, even shocking concepts. Most of her list is nonfiction: science, environment, politics — either progressive or scandalous — social issues, memoir, health, and business. Many of her clients are journalists, and recent sales include books on Russian owls, migrating trees, going grey naturally, and the Zoroastrian creation myth. She chairs the AAR’s International Committee and is always partial to projects with international appeal. She began her publishing career as an editorial assistant, learning the inner workings of a publishing house at St. Martin’s Press. She has a B.A. in English from Harvard and an M.A. in American literature from Leeds University in the U.K. She loves yoga, running, and just about any team sport and, as a New England native and longtime resident of the Bronx, rates the Yankees/Red Sox series as the highlight of every baseball season. 

Shaheen Qureshi is a native of the Washington, DC, area and received her B.A. in literature from Bard College in New York. As the former managing editor of Tadween Publishing, a Middle East academic press, she oversaw the publication of a political cartoon book and a collection of interviews with Iraqi activists. She started at Capital Talent Agency as a literary assistant and was promoted to literary agent this year. As a new agent, Shaheen is eager to bring her personal, hands-on approach to editing and work collaboratively with each of her clients. She is seeking literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoirs, cookbooks, and graphic novels. She is particularly interested in diverse, character-driven stories that give voice to the underrepresented and marginalized. Books that challenge the status quo and look at race, class, food, gender, or history in a new light will grab her attention. Aside from her agent work, Shaheen writes poetry, has taught writing workshops, and volunteers in public schools as a writing mentor.

A well-established agent who began her career as an editor at major publishing houses, Rita Rosenkranz represents almost exclusively adult nonfiction titles. Her wide-ranging list includes health, history, parenting, music, how-to, popular science, business, biography, sports, popular reference, cooking, writing, humor, spirituality, illustrated books, and general interest titles. She represents first-time as well as seasoned authors and looks for projects that present familiar subjects freshly or lesser-known subjects commercially. Rita works both with major publishing houses and regional publishers that handle niche markets. Representative titles include Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad by Betty DeRamus (Atria Books; an bestseller), Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World (Wiley; James Beard Award winner) by Gil Marks; 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker (Da Capo Press; New York Times bestseller, MS Awareness Award Winner, Books for a Better Life); and A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley, Ph.D. (Tarcher). She is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR), the Authors Guild, and Women's Media Group.

Regina Ryan, of Regina Ryan Publishing Enterprises, Inc., has been the head of her own independent literary agency company for over 35 years, handling adult and juvenile nonfiction. Her areas of interest are wide-ranging and eclectic and include narrative nonfiction, natural history (particularly birds), popular science (particularly the brain), the outdoors, gardening, women’s issues, parenting, psychology, business, health, wellness, self-improvement, lifestyle, history, food, travel, popular reference, and a limited amount of memoir. Among the authors she represents are Andrea Warren, Donald Kroodsma, Nathan Pieplow, Randi Minetor, Peter Meltzer, Kurt Stenn, Andrea Lyon, and David and Kathryn Deardorff. She loves good stories and good writing.

Claire Anderson-Wheeler comes from Ireland and grew up in Dublin as well as in Belgium and Switzerland. She earned a law degree from Trinity College, Dublin, and a Master’s in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, and began her career in agenting in 2008 in London, where her first position was at the Christine Green Authors' Agency. She has been agenting in New York for over six years and has been an associate at Regal Hoffmann and Associates since 2013. She's glad to consider submissions across a range of genres, the common thread throughout being a meaty narrative and a confident voice. She's open to broad-appeal nonfiction (excluding self-help) and practical nonfiction titles, and is by and large not seeking memoir. In fiction, she is open to well-crafted middle-grade and YA fiction, as well as adult fiction.

Roger S. Williams has worked in publishing for over 38 years. He has been a sales rep and sales manager at Bantam Doubleday Dell, co-owner of a bookstore, developer of one of the industry’s first websites, and V.P. of Field Sales at Simon & Schuster. In 2009, he hung out his shingle as an agent and, in August 2010, bought New England Publishing Associates, a literary agency founded in 1981. In 2015, NEPA became Roger Williams Agency. Roger Williams Agency manages rights and marketing for nonfiction, specifically history and military history, with an emphasis on American history, biography, or autobiography; "big think" business concepts; marketing; communications and consumerism; current events; politics, popular culture, and social policy; medicine and health; body, mind, and spirit; psychology and family relationships; the sciences; religion; nature and the environment; and language and reference. Roger is also a partner in the Pike and Powder Publishing Group LLP, which publishes mostly military history titles and is sold and distributed by Simon & Schuster.


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