May 28 & 29 Conference Agenda

Participating agents:

Friday: Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, Scott Hoffman, Elana Roth, Jeff Kleinman, Kristin Nelson, Kathleen Ortiz, Suzie Townsend, Diana Fox

Saturday: Jamie Brenner, Kathleen Ortiz, Suzie Townsend, April Eberhardt, Diana Fox, Marisa Corvisiero, Molly Jaffa, Jason Allen Ashlock, Rebecca Strauss, Donald Maass

PLEASE NOTE: While the following schedule has been confirmed, due unforeseen circumstances, individual program parts are subject to change

Friday, May 28

9:00 – 10:30

Track One (Ballroom A/B): Say Goodbye to the Slushpile: Writing the Perfect Query Letter Pitch for your Novel – workshop – Kristin Nelson

10:30 – 12:00

Track One (Ballroom A/B): Crafting the Perfect Hook: Part Two  – workshop -Jeff Kleinman, Joanna Volpe, Kristin Nelson

Track Two (Ballroom C): Agent panel: “What Literary Agents Want” – Elana Roth, Kathleen Ortiz, Suzie Townsend, Diana Fox

12:00 – 1:00
Lunch (on your own)

1:00 – 2:00

Track One (Ballroom A/B): Agent-Author Relationship: Scott Hoffman, Norb Vonnegut, Jeff Kleinman, Elizabeth Letts (Karen Dionne, moderator)

Track Two (Ballroom C): Master Class: “Social Media Fast Track for Authors” – Don Lafferty

2:00 – 3:00

Track One (Ballroom A/B): Author-Editor Relationship: Gayle Lynds, Keith Kahla, Lorenzo Carcaterra, Mark Tavani (Jason Pinter, moderator)

Track Two (Ballroom C): Author panel: “Writing from the Edge: Sin, Sex, and Similar Taboos” – Rachel Kramer Bussel, J.E. Taylor, M.J. Pearson (Randy Susan Meyers, moderator)

3:00 – 3:30
break w/refreshments

3:30 – 4:30

Track One (Ballroom A/B): Master Class: “You, too, can plot. Really.” – Gayle Lynds -

Track Two (Ballroom C): Author panel: “Writing the Authentic Young Adult Voice” – Barb Ferrer, Randy Susan Meyers, A.S. King (Rebbie MacIntyre, moderator) – tips for creating believable younger characters

4:30 – 5:30 Keynote Address – Neil S. Nyren “Myths and Truths About Publishing”

7:00 – 9:00
Spotlight Guest/group author signing

9:00 – 11:00
cocktail reception    

Saturday, May 29

9:00 – 10:00

Track One (Ballroom A/B): Master Class: “Writing the Love Story/subplot”  Richard Krevolin

Track Two (Ballroom C): Master Class: “Marketing yourself from day one – how to build your buzz to rack up sales” – Janice Gable Bashman

10:00 – 11:00

Track One (Ballroom A/B): Buying and Selling: From Publisher to Bookstore – Dana Kaye Litoff, Ron Koltnow, TBA (A.S. King, moderator)  

Track Two (Ballroom C): Master Class: “Help! I’m a Writer, Not a Computer Whiz! Computers for the Technically Challenged” – Sharlotte Giberson-Graham

11:00 – 12:00

Track One (Ballroom A/B): “Two Minute, Two Pages” workshops  

Track Two (Ballroom C): Master Class: “Preventing and Overcoming Writer’s Block” – Eileen Kennedy-Moore

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch (on your own)

1:00 – 2:00

Track One (Ballroom A/B): “Two Minute, Two Pages” workshops

Track Two (Ballroom C): Master Class: “The 10 Most Common Mistakes Writers Make” – Jerry Gross

2:00 – 2:30 break w/refreshments

2:30 – 3:30

Track One (Ballroom A/B):
Agent Panel: “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Literary Agents, But Were Afraid to Ask” – April Eberhardt, Marisa Corvisiero, Molly Jaffa, Jason Allen Ashlock, Colleen Lindsay  

3:30 – 4:30
Master Class: “Writing the Breakout Novel” – Donald Maass

4:30 – 5:30

Track One (Ballroom A/B): Author panel: “But I Wasn’t Even Born Yet!” – Rebbie MacIntyre, Elizabeth Letts, Stephanie Cowell (M.J. Pearson, moderator) – writing realistic fiction outside the present day

Track Two (Ballroom C): Master Class: “What I wish someone had told me!” — Hank Phillippi Ryan

Opening Pages Workshop Format

In small groups of no more than 12 authors, 2 agents react to the author’s material as the author reads aloud as though they’d received it as a submission, stopping the reading when the material stops working for them, and then explaining why.

Authors should be prepared for honest, objective feedback. Naturally, if an agent loves the work, authors are welcome to submit their material at the agent’s invitation. But if suggestions for improvement are offered, as is most often the case, authors should not be discouraged. Because these are workshops and not pitch sessions, authors whose materials were not as well-received as they had hoped can apply the suggestions that resonate and submit to these same agents later, according to the agents’ regular querying process.

At the end of each small-group workshop, there will be an opportunity for general discussion and questions. Additionally, the 15 minutes between program parts, and the half-hour mixer provide plenty of time for registrants to speak with all of our attending agents. There’s no need to be shy about approaching agents – remember, agents come to our conferences because they want to help writers, and because they’re looking for great projects!

PLEASE NOTE: Workshops will be assigned on a first come, first served basis according to the genre you specify when you register for the conference. One workshop per person.


What to Bring

Each registrant should bring 15 copies of their their opening two pages to their assigned workshop.

Opening pages should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins. You may start the text at the top of the first page, rather than dropping down a number of lines to begin a chapter in standard manuscript format. Please staple each set of pages together.

All materials should be in 12pt Times New Roman. Be sure to include your name, book title, genre, and contact information on your opening pages. Agents frequently bring their copies back to their offices for further review, and they need to be able to get in touch with you if your project catches their interest.

Where to go

floor plan




The seminars will take place on the Radisson’s second level.

The Track One program will take place in Ballroom A/B. Track Two is in Ballroom C.

Workshops will take place in Herald Square A, Herald Square B, Greeley Square, Chelsea A, Chelsea B, and the PC Boardroom.

Registration begins each day at 8:00 a.m. in the second-floor lobby. When you enter the hotel, turn left, take the elevator to the second floor, and turn left again.