"In thrillers, I look for strongly written female leads who don't fall prey to cliché. I want genuinely spine-tingling, keep-you-up-all-night books with well-crafted plots."
Novelists looking for an agent and a publisher can pitch their books to two New York agents attending the annual West Texas Writers’ Academy June 10 through 14 on the campus of West Texas A&M University. The five-day academy will feature Rachel Beck with Holloway Literary and Rosie Jonker with Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. Academy participants have the opportunity to pitch their novel to each with the possibility of gaining agent representation to large publishing houses. Whether writers are ready for publication or still honing their first book, the Academy offers five classes designed to guide writers on a journey from refining their craft to publication in the commercial market.
Beck is interested in representing:
Women’s fiction, especially upmarket/book club fiction, such as Emily Giffin, Liane Moriarty, and Diane Chamberlain
Contemporary romance with a humorous voice and subplots in addition to the romance, such as Kristan Higgins
Young adult, especially emotional/deep issue (even dark) stories (no historical, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi or middle-grade, please), such as Jandy Nelson and Courtney Summers
Psychological, character-driven women’s suspense/thrillers, such as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Mary Kubica
Southern fiction, such as Elaine Hussey
Nonfiction, particularly memoir, true crime, and select health and self-help books (such as professional/career development)
Jonker says she is interested in:
In thrillers, I look for strongly written female leads who don't fall prey to cliché. I want genuinely spine-tingling, keep-you-up-all-night books with well-crafted plots. I love anything with a Southern Gothic flavor and anything with a strong sense of place.
In women's fiction, I look for nuanced portrayals of female friendship and family dynamics. I particularly want to see books about women whose stories haven't been told yet, including thoughtful treatments of characters with marginalized identities.
Finally, I'd love to see nonfiction that focuses on odd or obscure subcultures, or on untold stories from history.
The five-day academy is priced at $695 with private residence hall rooms starting at $35 per night. Class sizes are limited, and the registration deadline is May 10. For more information or to register, call the Office of Extended Studies at (806) 651-2037 or visit wtamu.edu/wtwa.