Pitch / Critique Sessions

Present your work one-on-one to literary agents, editors, and publishing consultants.


Pitching your manuscript to an agent on Kauai can be both more casual and more productive than in a more formal setting. Agents accustomed to the high pressure New York publishing scene find this event a chance to unwind, relax, and open up to the unexpected. Like all of us, agents have their preferences and their quirks. Every agent loves some books that others don’t get. The Kauai conference can be your opportunity to find the agent who is the right match for your premise and voice. We invite you to look through our agents’ websites, decide who seems the best fit for you, and sign up for one or more private sessions.

Pitch sessions are available for an additional $50.


The supportive and insightful feedback from these top literary agents will help you make your manuscript one that agents will want to read and publishers will want to publish.

Submit part of your manuscript to literary agents Stephanie Cabot, Steve Fisher, Molly Friedrich, Jeff Kleinman, Andy Ross, Emma Sweeney, and/or editor Jamie Raab in advance and they’ll have a one-on-one feedback session with you at the conference. Instructions will be provided with your registration.

Up to 20 pages, double spaced. $95


Alternatives to traditional publishing have become respected and important channels for authors to find their readership. Kauai Writers Conference is fortunate to have some of its leading exponents.

Jon Fine, former head of author relations for Amazon, Brooke Warner, founder and publisher of She Writes Press, and April Eberhardt, author advocate and independent publishing consultant will be available for individual sessions. This is an invaluable opportunity to discuss your manuscript, whether completed or in progress, and discover new paths to publication including self-publishing of both ebook and hard copy, and collaborative publishing.

Up to 20 pages, double spaced. $95

Learn more about the agents …

Stephanie Cabot +

Stephanie Cabot is a literary agent with the Gernert Company, one of the true powerhouse agencies in New York. Gernert represents John Grisham among many others. Stephanie is the agent for Priya Parmar, a member of our 2016 faculty, author of the highly-acclaimed Vanessa and Her Sister.  Half French, half American, Stephanie was educated in Europe and in the US where she majored in history at Harvard. Her agenting career began in London and she spent nine years at William Morris - London, the last five as Managing Director, where she built a list of international, bestselling and prize-winning authors. She moved back to the States in 2005 with her husband and four children, joined The Gernert Company, and is now selectively adding writers from a variety of genres, including crime/thrillers, commercial and literary fiction, latte lit, and non-fiction. She is especially interested in writers who tell original stories with strong narratives and distinctive characters. She divides her time between New York and New England.



Schedule a Manuscript Critique with Stephanie.

Schedule a Pitch Session with Stephanie.

Steve Fisher +

Steve Fisher is senior vice president in the Literary department at APA, one of the largest diversified talent agencies in the industry with headquarters in Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville, Atlanta and London. Based in the agency's Beverly Hills offices, Fisher’s extensive roster of playwrights, authors, literary estates and intellectual properties includes Dorothy Allison (National Book Award nominee for “Bastard Out of Carolina”); Alison Bechdel (author of the acclaimed graphic memoir and Broadway show, “Fun Home");  the estates of Arthur C. Clarke; Patrick O’Brian (“Master and Commander” series) Peter Matthiessen and Truman Capote; Lee Child (“Jack Reacher” franchise, starring Tom Cruise); Jim Sallis (author of “Drive”, starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan) ; bestselling suspense author John Saul; John Connelly, and Pulitzer Prize winners Phil Caputo (“Rumor of War”), Gregory Maguire (“Wicked”), and Burrows & Wallace (“Gotham”).

Prior to joining APA, Fisher worked in similar capacities at ICM, Innovative Artists and H.N. Swanson. He began his career in television journalism in New York, where he worked as head of research at World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and as a producer at CNN.


For more about Steve, read this article




Schedule a Manuscript Critique with Steve.

Schedule a Pitch Session with Steve.

Jeff Kleinman +

Jeff Kleinman is a literary agent, intellectual property attorney, and founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, a New York literary agency which works with all of the major U.S. publishers (and, through subagents, with most international publishers).  As an agent, Jeff feels privileged to have the chance to learn a great variety of new subjects, meet an extraordinary range of people, and feel, at the end of the day, that he’s helped to build something – a wonderful book, perhaps, or an author’s career. Books of his clients include the bestsellers The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein), The Snow Child (a Pulitzer finalist; Eowyn Ivey), Widow of the South (Robert Hicks), and Mockingbird (Charles Shields), among many others.


Jeff Kleinman will be teaching the Master Class Finding & Working with an Agent

Schedule a Manuscript Critique with Steve.

Schedule a Pitch Session with Steve.

Jamie Raab +

Jamie Raab is a legend among publishers. For thirty years she headed Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette, and published hits ranging from commercial blockbusters by novelists like Nicholas Sparks, Nelson DeMille and Scott Turow, to zeitgeisty nonfiction books by Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres, Al Franken and Amy Sedaris.

This year she stepped down, along with fellow Grand Central veteran Deb Futter, to launch a new publishing division of MacMillan, Celadon Books. She’s especially eager to find idea-driven narratives and nonfiction books, and works about politics.

Along with Futter, she wants to publish novels that straddle the line between commercial and literary, and cited Noah Hawley’s thriller “Before the Fall” as an example.

Kauai Writers Conference is thrilled to have her at this auspicious moment in her career. She’s a true leader of the publishing world, just setting out in search of new authors. She comes to Kauai in hopes of finding them among our attendees.

Schedule a Manuscript Critique with Jamie.

Schedule a Pitch Session with Jamie.

Andy Ross +

Andy Ross opened his literary agency in 2008. Prior to that, he was the owner of the legendary Cody’s Books in Berkeley for 30 years. During that time, he sold more than 10 million books and hosted over 5000 events for some of the world’s greatest authors. In 1989, Cody’s was fire bombed in retaliation for the store featuring Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. This made them the first victim of Islamic terrorism in The United States, which goes to show that bookselling can be a dangerous business. They never stopped selling the book.

Andy’s agency represents books in a wide range of non-fiction genres including: narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, popular culture, and current events . They also represent literary, commercial, historical, crime, upmarket women’s fiction, and YA fiction. For non-fiction he looks for writing with a strong voice, robust story arc, and books that tell a big story about culture and society by authors with the authority to write about their subject. In fiction, he likes stories about real people in the real world. No vampires and trolls, thank you very much. He doesn’t represent poetry, science fiction, paranormal, and romance.

Authors Andy represents include: Daniel Ellsberg, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Anjanette Delgado, Elisa Kleven, Tawni Waters, Randall Platt, Mary Jo McConahay, Gerald Nachman, Michael Parenti, Paul Krassner, Milton Viorst, and Michele Anna Jordan.

Andy also works as a freelance editor.



Schedule a Manuscript Critique with Andy.

Schedule a Pitch Session with Andy.

Emma Sweeney +

Emma Sweeney Agency LLC is a boutique literary agency based in New York City. They’ve had eight New York Times bestsellers, including At the Water's Edge, In The Shadow of the Banyan, How It All Began, Water for Elephants, Ape House, Meddling Kids, Making Rounds with Oscar, and The Joy of Living. Their authors have won The Booker Prize and the American Book Award, been short-listed for the Orange Prize, and are Guggenheim Fellows as well as the recipients of NEA grants. Emma and her agency specialize in general fiction, historical fiction and narrative nonfiction projects including memoir, history, science and religion. They work with co-agents in every territory, from the UK and Australia to Germany, Spain, France, Italy, eastern Europe, and Asia, and make dozens of foreign rights sales (as well as audio and first serial sales) for clients every year. She is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives and the Women's Media Group, where she served as president in 2003. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in English Literature. Emma is also a writer whose own books include Tulipa (Artisan, 2000) and As Always, Jack (Little, Brown, 2002;)



Schedule a Manuscript Critique with Emma.

Schedule a Pitch Session with Steve.

Molly Friedrich +
The Friedrich Agency was formed in 2007 by Molly Friedrich, and is located in New York City. We represent a small list of beloved writers, mainly in the categories of literary and commercial fiction for adults and young adults, as well as narrative non-fiction and memoir.


For more about Molly, read this article

Schedule a Manuscript Critique with Molly.

Schedule a Pitch Session with Molly.

… and publishing experts.

Jon Fine +

Jon Fine is one of the world’s most knowledgeable people about non-traditional publishing: self-publishing, collaborative publishing, and hybrid publishing models. He served for six years as Director of Author and Publisher Relations for Amazon, and left in 2015 to lead his own firm, Jon Fine Law and Media. He was the primary interface between Amazon and the vast number of authors who used its self-publishing platform.

Before Jon’s tenure at Amazon, self-publishing was relatively unimportant compared to the traditional world of agents, publishing houses, editors and publicists. Now, thanks in no small part to Jon’s contributions, self-publishing and hybrid publishing rival traditional publishing in the literary world.

This seismic shift in the industry has created new opportunities as well as new challenges for authors and publishers.

As both a lawyer and an expert advisor, Jon provides strategic, legal, business and creative consulting in digital and traditional media for content creators, publishers and other media companies, start-ups, and other members of the creative community. He is exceptionally proficient in content licensing, contract drafting and negotiation, copyright, publishing strategy, marketing, brand development, and M&A, advertising, First Amendment, privacy, and other matters across digital and traditional media.

There is no better person in the world to help writers navigate and prosper from this new landscape of publishing. We are fortunate to have him as a faculty member and workshop leader at KWC 2108.

INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATIONS: In his role as Director of Author and Publisher relations for Amazon, Jon helped shape what has become by far the world’s biggest self-publishing platform, and guided many hundreds of authors to profit from it. In his current role as an independent publishing consultant at Jon Fine Law and Media, he has helped both authors and publishers to understand and succeed in the new landscape he was so intimately involved in creating. Kauai Writers Conference is fortunate to have Jon available to give a limited number of individual consultations to authors. He will discuss your work and help you learn which publishing option is best for you, and how to use it to your best advantage.

Together with April Eberhardt, Jon will be teaching the master class Navigating Today’s New Publishing Landscape: A Roadmap for Authors

April Eberhardt +

April Eberhardt, a literary change agent and author advocate, is passionate about helping authors be published in the most effective and satisfying way. After 25 years as a corporate strategist and consultant, Ms. Eberhardt joined the literary world, where she saw strategic opportunity to play a role in the changing world of publishing.

Ms. Eberhardt advises and assists authors worldwide as they choose the best pathway to publication for their work, be it indie or traditional, digital or print. She represents authors traditionally, and also provides guidance to those who wish to explore non-traditional paths to publication. She serves as a consultant to new publishing startups, and is a reader for the Best American Short Stories series published annually by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She divides her time between San Francisco, New York and Paris.

Read this interview to learn more.

Together with Jon Fine, April will be teaching the master class workshop Navigating Today’s New Publishing Landscape: A Roadmap for Authors

Choosing Your Best Path to Publication | Publishing & Marketing

What’s the most suitable and satisfying path to publication for you and your manuscript? Let’s discuss the specifics of your project, as well as your own personal goals, dreams, timetable and budget. We’ll examine the pros and cons of each publishing choice, including traditional publication, as well as partner-, assisted-, cooperative- and self-publishing. Working together we’ll identify the route(s) with the highest likelihood of success for you and your work. Then we’ll clarify next steps and specific to-dos, so that by the end of our conversation you’ll be empowered with practical, useful knowledge and a solid plan.

Brooke Warner +

Brooke Warner 

She Writes Press was founded by Kamy Wicoff and Brooke Warner in 2012 as a response to the barriers to traditional publishing getting higher and higher for authors. Kamy’s online community, She Writes, had been founded on the principle of connecting and serving women writers everywhere, offering a community for established and aspiring writers. Brooke had been the Executive Editor at Seal Press for eight years, and was witnessing firsthand the contracting publishing environment, where she personally was having to reject beautifully written books on a regular basis because the submitting author didn’t have a strong enough author platform.

Kamy and Brooke envisioned a company where authors would be invited to publish based on the merit of their writing alone. They wanted to found a press for women writers that would be a platform—that could launch their writing careers, and where they could legitimately compete with their traditional counterparts.

In 2013, She Writes Press secured traditional distribution through Ingram Publisher Services and established itself as a real player in the hybrid publishing world. This relationship secured the right for SWP authors to submit their books for review through traditional channels, creating a more level playing field. SWP authors have been featured in O! magazine, People, and USA Today, and have been reviewed in all of the trade magazines: Publishers Weekly; Kirkus; Booklist; Library Journal; and featured on Shelf Awareness.


Brooke is available for individual sessions to discuss you manuscript.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This