An Interview with Literary Agent Jenni Ferrari-Adler
by Greg Stewart
If Jenni Ferrari-Adler, literary agent at Union Literary, could give emerging writers one piece of homework, it would be to read read read and write write write. She advises new talent to be aware of the conversation they’re entering into with their work. Ferrari-Adler represents authors from many genres, from fiction to cookbooks, and a good deal in between. In our latest interview in the Encounters in Publishing series, Ferrari-Adler shares some great tips for perfecting your query letter and networking in person, and more. You can find her, and maybe put some of her advice to work, at the SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference in September.
A Sneak Peek at the 2018 SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference: An Interview with Literary Agent DongWon Song
Literary agent DongWon Song believes the future of publishing will be messy, but we aren’t doomed. Song works at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Previously, he worked as an editor at Orbit Books. So he’s been on both sides of the fence. Throw in stints as a product manager for ebook startup Zola Books and an adjunct professor at the University of Portland and, as you’ll see in this latest interview in the Encounters in Publishing series, Song has a unique perspective on the industry. Survival, according to Song, is a matter of being smart, nimble, and adaptable. It doesn’t hurt to have a hobby, either (he’s a passionate woodworker). Learn more about Song’s views here, and don’t miss him at this year’s SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference (early bird registration just opened).
An Interview with Executive Editor Anna deVries
by Greg Stewart
For the latest interview in our Encounters in Publishing series, Anna deVries gave us a look into the day-to-day life of a book editor. In her role at Picador as Executive Editor, she enjoys the freedom to search for great books. Anna’s position requires that she has a hand in all parts of book production, from buying the manuscript to getting it into shape, to seeing the book designed, produced, marketed, and distributed. She offers great insight for anyone considering a job in publishing. She also discusses diversity in the publishing industry, looking at how this issue has been dealt with and what should happen in the future.
An Interview with YA Author and HarperCollins Publicist Martin Wilson
by Paul Florez-Taylor
Author Martin Wilson isn’t afraid to tackle heavy themes in his sophomore novel, We Now Return to Regular Life. Inspired by harrowing real-life stories like Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart, the novel follows the story of a young boy named Sam returning home following his abduction years prior. However, returning home isn’t the happy ending to Sam’s story. It’s only the beginning. What follows is a gut-wrenching unraveling of secrets and regrets that shake Sam’s family and friends to their very core.
I’ve known Martin since I began working with him at HarperCollins back in 2015, and I’ve always admired his tenacious attitude when it comes to balancing his responsibilities as a publicist and a writer.
Martin and I sat down on our lunch to discuss the misconceptions that come with writing a second novel, judging a book by its cover, and that icky feeling that comes when your computer is hacked.
An Interview with Publishing Manager Porscha Burke
by Greg Stewart
Porscha Burke is a Publishing Manager at the Random House Publishing Group. Throughout her career in book publishing she has worked with award-winning and bestselling authors including Maya Angelou and the former Chief of Police in Dallas David Brown. In this interview, Porscha provides insight into the intersection of her life as a Queens native and her role of writing about hip hop and working with seminal African American voices. She grew up in a thriving arts and culture scene, and then broke into the book industry as an assistant to Random House Publishing Group president and publisher Gina Centrello. Recently, Porscha finished an MFA in nonfiction from Goucher College, and now teaches there as an adjunct professor. She has also taken part in the SLICE’s annual writers’ conference. Porscha discusses how editors function behind-the-scenes at Penguin Random House, the role of books in the world of hip hop, and much more.
#SLWC17: Meet the Speakers: An Interview with Literary Agent Saba Sulaiman
by Maria Gagliano
As a writer, it can be nerve-racking to imagine a team of editors talking about your work behind closed doors. You get to hear their final decision, but you’re rarely in the loop on their discussion about what they think of your work. Literary agents often get a detailed account of the conversation if they have a good rapport with the editors, but even they may not get the full story.
We chatted with agent Saba Sulaiman about the mysterious process of submitting work to editors. She also shares powerful insight on what writers can do before editors see their work. We’ll hear more from Saba at the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference in Brooklyn on September 9, when she joins us for our panel, “What We Really Talk About in Editorial Meetings.” Conference attendees can also sign up to pitch their work to Saba in person at a one-on-one meeting.
You’re moderating our panel, “What We Really Talk About in Editorial Meetings.” As an agent, how privy are you to what goes on in those decision-making meetings? And how much do you then share with your clients?