R292. The Gatekeepers: Behind the Scenes of Literary Agencies

Room 24, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


The world of literary agents can seem murky and impenetrable to authors beginning the publishing process, but it doesn't have to be that way! This panel will focus on candidly exploring how authors and agents actually find each other in the real world. What do agents do, why do they do it, and what does it take to get their attention? With an extended question and answer session, writers will have the opportunity to ask our panel of actively acquiring agents their most burning questions.



Beth Staples is an editor at Lookout Books and senior editor at Ecotone at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she also teaches classes in editing, book design, and publishing. She received her MFA from Arizona State University, and is currently at work on a novel.

Michelle Brower is an agent with Aevitas Creative Management, where she specializes in literary fiction, book club fiction, and narrative nonfiction. Her authors include Clare Beams, Sarah Domet, Jason Mott, Tara Conklin, Viet Dinh, and many others.

Lucy Carson has been with The Friedrich Agency since 2008, where she works with Pulitzer Prize–winning and New York Times bestselling adult authors including Elizabeth Strout, Jane Smiley, Sue Grafton, and Karen Joy Fowler, as well as children's authors Judy Blundell, William Ritter, Jessica Khoury, and others.

Allison Hunter was an agent at InkWell Management and the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency before joining Janklow & Nesbit. She is acquiring upmarket and commercial women’s fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and pop culture. Clients include Swan Huntley, Katie Heaney, and Anne Helen Petersen.

Erin Harris is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management who represents literary and upmarket fiction, narrative nonfiction, and YA. She received her MFA in creative writing from The New School.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center