Writer's Seminar in New York

the writer's path in fall

Agent and Editor Biographies


This is a partial listing of agents, editors and freelance editors who have joined us in the past.

 

Kathleen Gilligan, Editor, St. Martin’s Press
Katie Gilligan is an Associate Editor at Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, where she’s worked with a wide variety of authors whose material ranges from commercial women’s fiction to political non-fiction. Recently, she’s published McSweeney’s alumna Diane Vadino (Smart Girls Like Me), T. Lynn Ocean (Southern Fatality), and Sirius Satellite Radio’s Susan Konig (I Wear the Maternity Pants in This Family). Katie has also worked with the New York Times bestselling authors John Hart (King of Lies, Down River), Thomas Oliphant (Praying for Gil Hodges, Utter Incompetents), and Newt Gingrich (Pearl Harbor). A graduate of Smith College with dual degrees in English and Italian Language & Literature, Katie has been with Thomas Dunne Books for 3 years. She is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course.

 

Jerry Gross, Editor, Gerald Gross Associates
A fiction and nonfiction generalist editor for over forty years, Jerry does in-depth, problem-solving editorial critiques. Other editorial services include cutting, restructuring, rewriting, and line editing. He also develops, critiques and edits fiction and nonfiction proposals. His goals are to help the author write to the best of his or her ability, teach writing skills valuable not only for the current manuscript but for those to come, and to make the manuscript as effective and salable as possible. He edits and critiques all areas of mainstream fiction except category romances, westerns, Science Fiction and Fantasy and children’s and Young Adult books, and all areas of nonfiction except finance, sports, religion and inspiration. Jerry edited what has become the standard work on trade book editing in the U.S., Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do. During the SMU Seminar, Jerry will deliver a lecture entitled Understanding the Editorial Mind: How to Have a Happy, Creative Relationship With an Editor.

Rachel Kahan, Editor, Putnam

Rachel Kahan has been a Senior Editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons since 2005. At Putnam she has edited authors such as Kate Mosse, Stuart Woods and Jack Whyte. Current successes include the novels Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin and The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs, both of which have appeared on the New York Times list and sold in over 12 territories. Before coming to Putnam, Ms. Kahan spent eight years at Crown Publishers, where she published non-fiction bestsellers like The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne and Tulipomania by Mike Dash. At Crown, she created and ran a specialized program of historical fiction that published many internationally known authors. She has been a guest lecturer on publishing topics at Columbia University, New York University, and the City College of New York and speaks frequently at writers conferences both in the US and abroad. Born and raised near Washington, D.C., Ms. Kahan holds degrees in English and Spanish literature from the College of William and Mary and did graduate study at Harvard’s Radcliffe Publishing Course.

 

Beena Kamlani, Editor, Viking Press
Senior development editor at Viking Penguin, Beena has worked in book publishing for over two decades, editing many well-known writers, including Saul Bellow. Kamlani's own fiction has appeared in Identity Lessons and Growing Up Ethnic in America (Penguin). Kamlani has received fellowships from Yaddo and Ledig House, and won a Tennessee Williams Scholarship at Sewanee and a fiction grant from the Connecticut Arts Commission. She has also taught editing classes for twelve years at New York University, where she received an award for excellence in teaching. Kamlani lives in New York and is working on completing her first novel. During the SMU Seminar, Beena will deliver a lecture entitled The Publishing World: An Editor's Point of View.

 

Sally Kim, Editor, Shaye Areheart Books
Sally Kim is a senior editor at Shaye Areheart Books, the literary fiction imprint at The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., where her authors include Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects, Edgar nominee), Lisa Unger (Beautiful Lies, New York Times bestseller), Lee Martin (The Bright Forever, Pulitzer Prize finalist), Justin Evans (A Good and Happy Child), and Leah Stewart (The Myth of You and Me). Previously an editor at St. Martin's Press and at HarperCollins, she has worked in book publishing for 12 years. She is on the board of directors for the Asian American Writers' Workshop and is a member of the Women's Media Group. She was a Frankfurt Fellow in 2006, and in 2007, participated in the Visiting International Publishers Program in Sydney, Australia.

 

Miriam Kriss, Agent, Irene Goodman Agency
Miriam Kriss joined the Irene Goodman Literary Agency just as she was finishing her master’s degree in Fine Arts at New York University, and quickly became one of the hottest young agents in town. Going from Michelangelo to Nora Roberts was not as great a leap as it might seem, as Miriam had been obsessively reading commercial fiction since she found a copy of Judith McNaught’s classic Whitney, My Love in a rented lakeside cabin when she was thirteen. A few pages in, not only were some gaps in her Catholic school education filled, but she was hooked. She reads fast: one hundred pages an hour, a novel a day, and well, that adds up to a lot of books a year. Miriam likes to say Irene knows the market because she’s been doing this for over twenty-five years and is savvy as all get out, but Miriam herself knows the market because she is the market. And that knowledge has paid off for both her and her clients in a big way. Sales to major publishers include several six-figure deals for first-time authors, and her client list continues to grow. Her first solo sale, also from a first-time author, hit several bestseller lists in its first week out. She has since had numerous clients appear on the USA Today list, as well as two clients who have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, at one point during the same memorable week. What’s more, now that reading is legitimately “work”, she devours two or three novels and manuscripts a day.
 

Dan Lazar, Senior Agent, Writers House Literary Agency
Dan has been with Writers House for five years, representing fiction, narrative non-fiction, parenting, pop-culture, young adult and middle grade fiction. Some recent books include: Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon (Harper), How to Tell if Your Boyfriend is the Antichrist by Pat Carlin (Quirk) and The Chicken Dance by Jacques Couvillon (Bloomsbury Children's Books). During the SMU Writer’s Seminar, Dan will deliver a lecture entitled The Publishing World: An Agent’s Point of View.

 

Pat LoBrutto, Editor, Pat LoBrutto Editorial Services
Patrick LoBrutto has been an editor, author and anthologist for over 30 years. He has worked in all areas of Fiction and Nonfiction specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, Thrillers, Historical Fiction, Westerns, Military History and Mysteries. He has worked for Ace Books, Doubleday, M. Evans, Random House, Kensington, Stealth Press (an Internet Publisher) and Bantam. He has held the position of Editor, Senior Editor and Editor-in-Chief, working with authors like Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Eric Van Lustbader, Walter Tevis, the Louis L’Amour Estate, the Star Wars novelizations, Don Coldsmith, F. Paul Wilson, Joe R. Lansdale, the Dune Novels of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson and Loren Estleman. He has received the World Fantasy Award for editing. He currently lectures at writer’s conferences and works as an Editorial Consultant and Master Class Instructor for authors, an Acquiring Editor for Tor/Forge and Quill Driver Books/Word Dancer Press and as a scout for the Trident Media Group. He is on the National Advisory Board of the Writer's Hall of Fame of America and the Board of Advisors of Literate Nation Atlanta.


Michael Seidman, Editor, Michael Seidman Editorial Consultations
Called by Publishers Weekly "one of the business’ more wry and quotable editors," has spent more than forty years in the publishing industry; he turned to the editorial side in 1968, after spending time in a literary agency, on the staff of a book review, and as an editorial assistant to Theodore Solotaroff on New American Review. Best known for his work as a mystery editor (PW credited him with "building [at Walker & Company] a line of accessible but intelligent hardcovers that is rare for a publisher of any real size"), he received the first American Mystery Award as Best Book Editor in 1987; he was a nominee for the same award in the Horror Category in 1990. In 1993, the Southwest Mystery and Suspense Convention honored him as Editor of the Year. He has edited books of every kind and in every category, working at several publishing houses including Fawcett/Crest, New American Library, Ace/Charter and TOR. He was the editor in chief of The Mysterious Press and editorial director of Zebra/Pinnacle. Seidman is now a consulting editor with several publishers as well as working with individual writers.

 

Rebecca Strauss, Agent, McIntosh & Otis, Inc.
Prior to joining McIntosh & Otis, Inc., Rebecca worked for Sony Pictures as a book scout and development assistant and at Trident Media Group as a foreign rights assistant. She earned her degree in English Literature from Duke University. She oversees the sale of translation and subsidiary rights for M&O. Rebecca's primary interests are non-fiction, literary and commercial fiction, women's fiction, memoirs, and pop culture.

 

Carrie Thornton, Editor, Crown Publishing
Carrie Thornton is an Editor at The Crown Publishing Group where she acquires for the Crown hardcover imprint and the Three Rivers Press trade paperback imprint. Her areas of interest include narrative nonfiction, popular culture, music, film, humor, travel writing, dating and relationships, quirky nonfiction and trade paperback original fiction. She does not acquire category fiction in the areas of romance, mystery, science fiction, thriller or horror. Some of her recent books include Whatever You Say I Am: The Life and Times of Eminem, How Soon is Never? by Marc Spitz, Esquire Presents: What it Feels like… edited by A.J. Jacobs and The Dictionary of Failed Relationships edited by Meredith Broussard.


Juris Jurjevics, Editor, Publisher, Soho Books

 

Rachel Vater, Agent, Folio Literary Management


Barbara Braun, Ph.D., Agent, Barbara Braun Associates

 

John Baker, Agent, Barbara Braun Associates

 

Becki Heller, Editor, St. Martin’s Press

 

Cameron McClure, Agent, Donald Maass Literary Agency

 

Jessica Mae Pavlas, Trident Media Group

 

Emily Saladino, Writers House

 

Elizabeth Winick, Agent, McIntosh and Otis, Inc.

 

Susan Zeckendorf, Agent, Susan Zeckendorf Associates, Inc.