Editors and Agents Pitches

Know what to pitch—and to whom

Your RWNZ 2017 Conference Pitching Opportunities

Weekend conference attendees who’ve registered, paid and indicated on their booking form they’d like a pitch appointment will be contacted by our Pitch Co-Ordinator (via the email address supplied with your booking).  Appointments are on a first come, first served basis and whilst we will strive to meet your pitching choices, due to the demand and timing we cannot guarantee you will see all your choices. So get in quickly with your conference booking!

I’ve never pitched before, what do I do?

After the details of the pitching line-up (below) there is a guide with links to help you with your preparation. The key thing to remember is these great people are wanting to love your book as much as you do. Read more about pitching here….

How do I book pitches?

You book your pitch at time of registration. Harlequin have confirmed two editors (global and Australian) therefore select them in your cart, you can always change your mind later when we have the names of who are coming, but it’s better to be in than out. You can update your registration at any time by logging into the website and visiting the My Account in the top right of the homepage. If you do change your pitching options please email the pitch coordinator to let her know.

The Pitching Line-Up

Sue Grimshaw – Category and Specialist and Editor at Large for Penguin Random House NY

Sue Grimshaw actively acquires for the Penguin-Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine
Bantam Dell, Loveswept and Flirt lines in New York. Previously, Sue was employed as Romance Buyer for Borders and Waldenbooks stores for almost sixteen years.

Sue works with New York Times bestselling authors Virna DePaul, Tracy Wol, and Ruthie Knox, to name a few, and USA Today bestselling authors Stacey Kennedy, Tina Wainscott, Mira Lyn Kelly, Tina Leonard, Bronwen Evans, Maggie McGinnis and many more talented writers. And she’s still acquiring!

Sue is a recipient of the prestigious Vivian Stephens Industry Award from the Romance Writers of America. Other honours include the Melinda Helfer Award from the Romantic Times organization, and the Romcon Champion Award as well as many other RWA chapter group recognitions and corporate awards for excellence. Sue is one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry and truly enjoys sharing her knowledge of the Romance genre.

Which areas/imprints are you actively acquiring for? Bantam Ballantine Dell Loveswept Flirt

What kind of works/subgenres are you currently seeking? Romance; Women’s Fiction (with heavy romance elements) and all subgenres within – from suspense to PNR, historical, contemp, erotic, etc.  The only things I’m not much interested in are the extremely niche types of stories: Steampunk, Futuristic and so on.

What kind of writing will especially pique your interest?  Character driven storylines with first person POV but I’m interested in all.

What are you not looking for?  Steampunk, Futuristic and niche types of stories that are slow selling in the market today.

What would you love/hate to see pitched to you? I’d love to have the next New York Times bestseller pitched to me – exclusively 🙂

Jessica Watterson – Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Jessica has been an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency since 2014.

A graduate of the University of California at Irvine, Jessica has immersed herself in books and literature from the time she could first read. While in college, she started an indie review blog that has featured author interviews and reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Jessica is always on the hunt for new and diverse voices, and is most interested in all genres of romance. For historical romance, she favors settings in America, Scotland, or somewhere outside of the traditional Regency setting.

In the contemporary sphere, she loves novels with strong characters that jump off of the page and stay with you long after you have finished the book.

In paranormal romance, she is looking for anything unusual and unique, vampires need not apply.

In regards to romantic suspense, it takes something different and edgy to capture her attention, and she greatly enjoys anything Kristen Ashely has written in this genre.

She also loves Women’s Fiction that concerns itself with elements of life that can greatly change one’s perspective and outlook on cultures and experiences.

On the YA side, Jessica is looking for just about anything that aligns itself with fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, lgbtq reads, #ownvoices, and of course a bit of romance thrown in is never a bad thing in her opinion.

She is also interested in author illustrated picture books that capture the fun and joy of reading between adults and children.

Jessica’s sales include: Amber Lynn Natusch’s Dare to Tell a Lie (Tor Teen), Katie Ruggle’s Christmas Search and Rescue/K9 novel (Sourcebooks), Jade Chandler’s Brotherhood Investigations (Carina Press), Dawn Luedecke’s Montana Mountain Series (Lyrical/Kensington), Debbie Burns Rescue Me Series(Sourcebooks), Emily Alibright’s Everyday Magic (Merit Press).

Please note that Jessica is specifically not interested in: middle grade, non-fiction, memoir, cookbooks, poetry, short stories, screenplays, self-help, or religious/spiritual books.

Allison Carroll – Harlequin Global

Allison Carroll is a Montana transplant who once upon a time packed all her belongings in a U-Haul and drove cross-country to NYC. Her introduction to publishing began at Dorchester Publishing in 2009 and continued at Macmillan’s Heroes and Heartbreakers. Allison joined the Harlequin family in 2012 and counts several New York Times bestselling authors among the writers she works with.

Allison started her Harlequin career working on Series before moving onto HQN and now Graydon House, so she is well-placed to represent the wealth of writing opportunities across Harlequin Series and Trade. And I know she is thrilled to be attending the conferences!

Graydon House Books, is a select hardcover and trade paperback imprint of Harlequin that will showcase commercial women’s fiction with a relationship element woven through. Stories will range in tone from lighthearted humour to emotional tearjerkers and edgier drama.