Our Annual Literary Agents Panel
Monday, May 22, 2017
7:30 to 9:15 p.m. (networking follows the program)
For writers, the decision about getting an agent is critical. The publishing marketplace changes constantly. The right literary agent can be an author’s advocate, fighting for the writer en route to traditional publishing. Agents are also a writer’s partner and guide, pointing authors and screenwriters to editors, publicists, and the right publishing house or producer.
Each April, following the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, IWOSC assembles a panel of Southern California agents — including an agent representing screenplays for film or TV. These agents will give us, the writers, a look at the publishing world of 2017.
They will tell us:
- What you as an author needs to know to find the right agent
- Who is looking for what? Which agent will be the right one for your brand, your material, and your career?
- How to get an agent’s attention (in a good way): query letter and proposal do’s-and-don’ts, and the dynamics of the author/agent relationship
- What a writer needs BESIDES a good book or script (educational credentials, social media footprint, clips or credits) to attract an agent’s attention
- How far are today’s agents willing to go to represent a writer? Will they deal with self-published authors? Will they pitch to smaller boutique publishers, independent studios, and networks, or only the “big boys” – and what does this mean for an author’s long-term career?
- Scam agents versus the real thing – how to tell the difference.
In addition, we’ll look at ebook publishing, transitioning from self-publishing to traditional publishing, book-to-film deals, and contract basics.
If you are a writer, come join us — and tell a friend!
Meet our fabulous panel:
- Sara Nestor, Verve — a talent and literary agency
- Charlotte Gusay, The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency
- Steve Hutson, WordWise Media Services
CHARLOTTE GUSAY, The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency
Literary Agent Charlotte Gusay’s love of the literary has deep roots. She has come to be known as the “Diane Keaton” of agents — eclectic, quality, and very selective in choosing projects to represent.
Founded on the basis of her hands-on experience in the book business (as a bookseller for many years,) Charlotte Gusay (founder-owner) represents both fiction and nonfiction books, entertainment rights, books to film, selected screenplays and screenwriters and she often partners with WGA film agents.
The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency is looking for those books — both fiction and nonfiction that are both quality and commercial. For example, the Agency is particularly interested in innovative, unusual, eclectic, literary, historical, humorous books and those on any issues or topics, timely or socially important. Selection always comes down to the writing. The writing must be superb; the voice, seductive.
Some (not all) areas of interest are:
Adventure, Contemporary Fiction, Feminist Fiction, Historical Fiction, Humorous Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, Military/War Fiction, Multicultural Fiction, Mystery, Regional Fiction, Suspense, Agriculture/Horticulture, Alternative Lifestyles, Anthropology/Archaeology, Art/Architecture, Biography, Communications, Cooking/Foods/Nutrition, Ethnic, Feminism, Film/Cinema/Stage, Gardening, Gay/Lesbian Nonfiction, General Nonfiction, Gift Book, Government/Politics, Health/Medicine, History, House and Home, Humanities, Humorous Nonfiction, Language and Literature, Literary Criticism, Multicultural Nonfiction, Music and Dance, Nature and Environment, Philosophy, Popular Science, Psychology, Reference, Regional Nonfiction, Religion, Sports, Travel.
Charlotte’s website is: The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency
STEVE HUTSON, WordWise Media Services
Steve Hutson is a native of Los Angeles, a child of the sixties, and a storyteller almost from birth. (He’s convinced that the Wimpy Kid books are based on his childhood, but he can’t prove it.)
After several years of freelance editing and directing a writers’ conference, he branched out as a literary agent in early 2011.
Steve has placed his clients’ works with Dutton, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale, Potomac, David C. Cook, Praeger, Writer’s Digest Books, and others. Several clients have won prestigious awards for their works.
He speaks frequently at writers’ events and writes an eclectic blog.
Steve’s areas of interest are:
Anything except erotica, picture books, poetry, and short stories.
Steve’s website is: WordWiseMedia.com.
SARA NESTOR, Verve — a talent and literary agency
Sara Nestor specializes in the Motion Picture Literary department at Verve Talent and Literary Agency.
In her time at Verve, she has spearheaded the agency’s ever-expanding presence in the book space, finding ways to source and package IP for Verve’s impressive roster of author, screenwriter, director, and producer clients.Sara was also previously involved in building out the agency’s sales and packaging division alongside Amy Beecroft.
Sara currently represents such talents as Tim Talbott (screenwriter of The Stanford Prison Experiment), Andrew Cosby (graphic novelist, screenwriter, and co-founder of BOOM! Studios), and Susan Fowler (author, engineer, and blogger who wrote the explosive blog post that exposed Uber for practicing sexual harassment and discrimination), to name a few. She is passionate about finding ways for the company to grow and evolve and has found much success with this entrepreneurial spirit.
Sara’s company website is: Verve — a talent and literary agency.
KARI SUTHERLAND — Bradford Literary AssociatesKari Sutherland joined the Bradford Literary Agency in 2017 after a decade of experience in publishing from the editorial side. While at HarperCollins Children’s Books, she worked with bestselling and critically acclaimed authors on projects such as the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. With her editorial insight and experience with the entire publishing process, Kari is passionate about helping to polish each manuscript and equip her clients for success.
Open to genres from picture books through adult, Kari is most interested in finding stories full of heart; ones that carry readers to faraway places or deep into a character’s mind; action-packed page-turners that surprise her; dark dramas with touches of humor; and, above all, a voice that leaps off the page. She is actively seeking diverse voices across all genres.
Kari is not seeking: horror, romance, erotica, memoir, cookbooks, business, spiritual/religious, poetry, or screenplays.
Kari’s company’s website is: BradfordLit.com.
TELLY DAVIDSON just came out with his newest book, Culture War, which has attracted rave reviews from critics as wide-ranging as John Powers, David Frum, and PBS’ Book View Now. Telly was senior film and TV reviewer for bestselling pundit David Frum’s FrumForum from 2009-12, has written about movies, TV, and music for FilmStew, 213 Magazine, iF Monthly, Entertainment Today, Guitar Player, AllAboutJazz, The American Conservative, and Attn.com.He also wrote the Emmy-cited media tie-in TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows, works alongside top indie film producer’s rep Jeff Porter of Porter Pictures on the placement of independent films, and worked in the past on TV specials for NBC and PBS, including the Emmy-nominated Pioneers of Television.