2020 Literary Agents
Elizabeth Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates and Craig Popelars of Tin House Books will hear five-minute pitches. Learn more about the genres they're looking for and familiarize yourself with the process of pitching in the information below.
Michelle Brower — Aevitas
Michelle Brower has represented National Book Award finalist Erika L. Sánchez, the New York Times bestseller The House Girl by Tara Conklin; bestselling historical fiction author Hazel Gaynor; the Barnes & Noble Discover Pick The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler; and After Disasters by Viet Dinh, which was named a finalist for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Prize.
After graduating from New York University with a MA degree in literature, Brower began her career in agenting at Wendy Sherman Associates. Before joining Aevitas, she was a Senior Vice President at Folio Literary Management.
Brower represents fiction and narrative nonfiction. Her interests include book club fiction (a commercial concept with a literary execution), literary fiction (including with an element of genre), and smart women’s fiction. She also represents select young adult, middle grade, and memoir projects. Some of her favorite non-client writers are Emily St. John Mandel, Maggie Shipstead, Tana French, and Barbara Kingsolver. She splits her time between New York and Seattle.
Elizabeth Kracht joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in 2010 to broaden her perspective on the publishing industry. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer.
Elizabeth's career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her "vein of gold" in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors to build their careers.
Elizabeth's eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice, and is thematically layered. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by multicultural themes and characters and is drawn toward strong settings.
In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women's, thrillers, mysteries, historical, and crossover YA. In nonfiction, she is interested in high concept, health, science, environment, prescriptive, investigative, true crime, voice- or adventure-driven memoir, sexuality, spirituality, and animal/pet stories.
A thirty-year veteran of book publishing, Craig Popelars serves as publisher of Tin House Books. Prior to joining Tin House in 2019, Craig served as associate publisher and director of marketing of Algonquin Books. During his twenty-five years at Algonquin, Craig helped launched numerous bestsellers including Water for Elephants, An American Marriage, and The Drunken Botanist, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, while also publishing critically acclaimed works by Julia Alvarez, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jonathan Evison, Richard Louv, and Lee Smith. He serves as Chair of Appalachian State University’s library board (his alma mater), and also on the board of Shelf Awareness. A craft beer snob, avid mountain biker, trail runner, and occasional alpinist, Craig resides in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughter.
Preparing For Your Pitch Session
- You must pre-register for pitch sessions by June 12. There will be no sign-ups during the conference.
- Register early! The number of sessions is limited. Pitch times will be randomly assigned, and you will receive the exact time of your scheduled pitch session(s) when you check in at the conference.
- Pitch sessions will be 5 minutes in duration.
- You have the option to pitch each agent once only (on a space available basis). Please only register to pitch agents and editors who are seeking manuscripts in your genre.
- Please read the following Guide to Pitching before signing up. We hope the information will answer your questions and assist you in your preparation. Your best shot at a good session is preparedness.
Guide to Pitching
Dos and Don’ts
- Be natural—you know your material better than anyone else.
- Make eye contact; be excited.
- Don’t memorize your pitch. Just tell agents about it.
- Know the facts about your own material—word count, genre, and target audience.
- Don’t give out business cards, copies of your bio or manuscript, but have them on hand if asked.
- Read attending agents' blogs and websites. You’ll learn about them and gain an understanding of what they do and do not want to see. As a result, you’ll be more confident.
- Be able to answer the question, “Which books would your book sit next to on the shelf?”
- Practice ahead of time—you’ll be more confident.
- Don’t use clichés, and don’t recap the plot.
- Let the agent know why s/he would like to read the work and why readers will be deeply engaged.
- Mention if the work has been professionally edited.
- Let the agent know if you have been previously published.
- Be aware of personal hygiene—don’t smoke before a meeting or wear strong fragrances.
- Be cognizant of personal space.