Pitch Sessions

Stoker Con 2018 is proud to present the opportunity for authors to pitch their projects to agents and editors interested in a wide variety of work! We recommend you follow Stoker Con 2018 on Twitter (@StokerCon) and like us on Facebook to receive updates about pitch sessions and notification when they open to requests.

PITCH SESSION SIGN-UPS

StokerCon 2018 pitch session signups will begin on Monday, February 5th, and noon Eastern.

At that time, send an email to gonnhirr3382@gmail.com.

The subject line should read: Pitch Session Request.

In the body of the email, include the top three people to whom you would like to pitch your idea. You are strongly encouraged to include three choices. The pitch sessions will be held on Saturday, March 3rd from 2 pm to 4 pm in the Ballroom. Please check your schedule for conflicts during these times (readings, panel participation, Horror University classes, other programs) and include any time conflict in the email. We will make every effort to accommodate conflicts, but we cannot guarantee you won’t end up with a slot that conflicts with another obligation.

Each email will have a time stamp. Once several days have passed to allow everyone an opportunity to make a request, slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The top pick from each request will be assigned, if available. If the top pick isn’t available, the second pick will be assigned. If neither the top nor the second pick are available, the third pick will be assigned. Once one pick from each request has been filled, the process starts over again, until all the pitch slots have been filled. You will receive an email notifying you of your pitch times and your pitch takers.

NOTE: any emails received before noon on February 5th will be deleted without being read.

Pitch Session Do’s and Don’ts

Do: read each pitch takers bio and what genres they do and do not represent or publish, all available further down this page. Then decide which people are best suited for your pitch.

Do: attend the pitch session panel on Saturday, March 3rd from 1 pm to 1:45 pm. You will hear important information about the pitch sessions and get a chance to ask our pitch takers questions.

Do: practice your pitch. You have five minutes to pitch your idea, and the time goes by fast.

Don’t: list only one person to whom you would like to pitch. Doing so dramatically reduces your chances of obtaining a pitch slot.

Don’t: pitch something a pitch taker does not represent/publish. Even if your YA paranormal romance is the best ever written and anyone who hears it would absolutely love the idea, if the pitch taker does not deal with YA paranormal romance, you are wasting your time and the pitch takers time. This is probably the biggest don’t, and it happens every year.

Don’t: sit with your pitch taker after your time is up, trying to get those extra few minutes. We have two hours to fit in seventy-two pitches. Please be courteous of the others waiting for their chance at fame and fortune.

Good luck, and we will see you in Providence!

What Is a Pitch Session?

During a pitch session you will have about ten minutes to pitch your work, that is describe it to an agent or editor in a way that catches their interest in possibly representing or publishing it. You’ll need to know your work and the most important elements of it forward and backward. You’ll want to boil it down to a concise one- or two-sentence description and be prepared to answer questions. For information on preparing for a pitch session, we recommend this page of advice for pitching your work from Stoker Con 2016.

How Do Pitch Sessions Work?

When Stoker Con 2018 opens to requests, you will be asked to e-mail your top three choices to our Pitch Session coordinator, Brian Matthews. There are a limited number of pitch sessions for each agent and editor and in total. They will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis in the order requests are received. It’s important to include at least three choices in order of preference to improve your chance of receiving a pitch session if your first choice fills up. Do not e-mail us now. Any requests for pitch sessions received before we open will be deleted.

What to Expect at Stoker Con Pitch Sessions

Pitch sessions are scheduled for Saturday, March 3. Prior to the pitch sessions, the agents and editors taking pitches will appear on a panel to discuss what they’re looking for, what they expect from your pitch, and how they’ll want you to follow up if they’re interested in your work. Pitch sessions will follow with all sessions occurring in a two-hour window. You will be assigned a time and must be present at least ten minutes in advance to guarantee your place.

What If You Don’t Get a Pitch Session with Your Top Choices?

Demand is often high for pitch sessions. It’s possible you may not be scheduled with your top choices. Don’t despair! Most of the agents and editors attending Stoker Con are willing to chat with you at other times during the convention as long as you approach them in a polite, professional, and respectful manner and don’t take up too much of their time. Be considerate and don’t make demands. Maybe even buy them a drink at the bar.

Who Is Taking Pitches?

Our pitch line-up this year is a fantastic roster of eight agents and editors. Their bios are listed below. We strongly recommend you study this information and consider who are the best matches for your project. There’s no point pitching your YA novel to an agent or editor who doesn’t work with YA fiction or your novel to a non-fiction editor. Think carefully about where to take your work. Matching a project with the right agent or editor greatly improves your chances of gaining their interest and support.

OUR PITCH LINE-UP

Rick Chillot, Editor, Quirk Books

Rick Chillot is an editor at Quirk Books, a small, independent publisher located in Philadelphia, PA. In his 25+ year publishing career, he’s been a writer, editor, and content planner for magazines, books, newspapers, web sites, newsletters, specialty publications, and other formats. Titles he’s worked on at Quirk include the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series, the Nick and Telsa series of middle-grade novels, The League of Regrettable Superheroes, and Paperbacks from Hell. Quirk is interested in fiction that supports an interesting design (Horrorstore, our haunted house story set in a big-box furniture store, is formatted like an IKEA catalog); fiction that intersects with pop culture (Geekarella tells the Cinderella story at a science fiction convention); fiction that reinvents familiar tropes (The Last Policeman is a mystery novel set during the end of the world). Whatever the genre, we want ideas we haven’t seen before (no more zombie books, please), and authors with enough command of their craft to make their weirdest stories entertaining and accessible to readers hungry for something different.

 

Don D’Auria, Executive Editor, Flame Tree Press

For fifteen years, Don D’Auria directed Leisure Books’ horror line, which Rue Morgue magazine called “the champion of paperback horror.”  Don went on to launch and direct for six years Samhain Publishing’s horror line, described by Famous Monsters as “one of the premiere lines in the genre.”  During his career, he has been fortunate to work with some of the leading talents in the field, including Ramsey Campbell, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Edward Lee, Jonathan Janz, John Everson, Brian Keene, Graham Masterton, Thomas Tessier, Douglas Clegg, Hugh B. Cave, and William F. Nolan. He is the recipient of an International Horror Guild Award for his contributions to the genre. Don D’Auria is Executive Editor at Flame Tree Press, editing horror, science-fiction, crime and fantasy. He is looking for novels in those genres between 70,000 and 120,000 words in length. He is not looking for non-fiction, YA, novellas, or short stories.

 

Kate Jonez, Chief Editor, Omnium Gatherum

Kate Jonez is chief editor at Omnium Gatherum. She has twice been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and once for the Shirley Jackson. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Best Horror of the Year Vol. 8, Black Static, Pseudopod, Gamut, and Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton. Omnium Gatherum is a Bram Stoker Award (R) winning small press specializing in dark fantasy, weird fiction and horror. We are looking for novels and especially novel or novella series with a speculative element. We are not looking for stand-alone novellas, poetry, collections or anthologies at this time. Original concepts with well-drawn characters are most likely to capture our interest.

 

Pete Kahle, Publisher, Bloodshot Books

Pete Kahle is the author of the award-winning sci-fi/horror epic The Specimen. In April 2015, he founded Bloodshot Books, a small press dedicated to cross-genre fiction that mixes the best of horror, science fiction, mystery and thrillers. Tom Deady, James Newman, Stephen Laws, and Mark Morris are just some of the authors who have joined the Bloodshot Books family. Currently, Pete is especially interested in pitches for the following sub-genres of horror: alien, sci-fi/creature, coming-of-age, epic apocalypse, splatterpunk (as long as there is a significant plot. No torture for torture’s sake) and anything cross-genre. For now, he is not interested in Dark Fantasy, Erotica, YA, or anything with zombies/vampires/werewolves (unless the creature concept is truly unique).

 

Jess Landry, Editor, JournalStone Publishing

Jess Landry has been running around behind-the-scenes at JournalStone Publishing for the past two years, working alongside its president, Christopher C. Payne, to bring readers diverse stories from diverse authors. Overseeing both JournalStone and its latest imprint, Trepidatio Publishing, Jess acquires new titles, edits manuscripts, coordinates cover artwork, and tackles any other task that needs doing. Jess is open to mostly all subgenres of horror, particularly gothic, science fiction, and weird — and she especially loves reading about diverse protagonists. She is not looking for YA or romantic fiction at this time.

 

John McIlveen, Haverhill House Publishing

John McIlveen is owner/editor at Haverhill House Publishing, a small publishing house in Haverhill MA. HH is the mothership for imprints Twisted Publishing (horror), Mystical Words, YAP (young adult), and YAP jr. (children). He is the author of the Stoker nominated and award-winning novel HANNAHWHERE, and the story collections INFLICTIONS and JERKS. A father to five daughters, he lives in Haverhill, MA with his wife Roberta Colasanti. Haverhill House seeks unique voices writing in many genres. Most submissions we’ve received have been from men. We would like to see more submissions from women and more diverse writers. Helpful hint: Some of John’s favorite authors include John Irving, Margaret Atwood, Dennis Lehane, Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwan, Lionel Shriver, Jonathan Carroll, Toni Morrison, Kit Reed, Chuck Palahniuk, Harry Crews, and of course, Stephen King. We do not want erotica, historical romance, urban fantasy, sci-fi, S&S, splatter, gore, or tropes that are beaten to death.

 

Lee Murray, Editor, Omnium Gatherum

Lee Murray is a multi-award-winning writer and editor of fantasy, science fiction, and horror (Sir Julius Vogel, Australian Shadows). Her titles include the military thriller Into the Mist (Cohesion), and Hounds of the Underworld (Raw Dog Screaming Press) a supernatural crime-noir co-written with Dan Rabarts. She lives with her family in New Zealand, where she conjures up stories from an office with a view of a cow paddock. Omnium Gatherum is an award-winning press which specializes in dark fantasy, weird fiction and horror. I’m looking for fresh voices, original concepts, and innovative approaches to universal themes. In general, I have a slight preference for stories which are grounded in reality, but I’m not averse to the occasional sword and sandal or well-executed ghost story. Mostly, I’m looking for writing that leaps off the page with engaging characters and plots that have me losing sleep. No zombie tales please, but both standalone or works with series potential are welcome.

 

Alec Shane, Agent, Writer’s House Literary Agency

Alec Shane majored in English at Brown University, a degree he put to immediate use by moving to Los Angeles after graduation to become a professional stunt man. Realizing that he prefers books to breakaway glass, he moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career in publishing. Alec quickly found a home at Writers House Literary Agency and is now aggressively building his own list of authors. On the nonfiction side, Alec would love to see humor, biography, history (particularly military history), true crime, “guy” reads, and all things sports. In fiction, Alec is looking for mystery, thrillers (though he’s experiencing terrorist fatigue at the moment), suspense, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, and middle grade and young adult fiction. He doesn’t want Romance, straight sci-fi, high fantasy, picture books, self-help, women’s fiction, food, or travel memoir.

 

Cherry Weiner, Agent, Cherry Weiner Literary Agency

Cherry Weiner grew up in Australia, lived in Europe for three and a half years and moved to American when she married her husband Jack.  She has been agenting since 1977, when she was fired by her boss the well-known Robert P. Mills. Mills’ famous clients (she will not drop any further names, but might tell you about it, if you ask her), took two years to convince her to open her own agency. They did this by inundating her with new authors and their manuscripts. She started out by handling science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She now handles all genres of fiction. She handles a good number of fairly well-known authors in the field of Horror, Romance, Mystery, Westerns, Native American novels and Historical novels covering all the various genres each category can break out into. Only once in a very special situation has non-fiction crept into the mix but no poetry, no children’s fiction and no Young Adult works. If she handles any Y.A., it’s science fiction, fantasy or horror, and only by the authors she already handles in adult fiction.