#SLWC17: Meet The Speakers – An Interview With Ayesha Pande Literary Agent Anjali Singh
by Maria Gagliano
Anjali Singh has built her publishing career around championing underrepresented voices. Nearly two decades ago, at her first job as an editor, she pitched the idea of publishing a graphic novel by a debut Iranian author to her new bosses at Random House. More than one million copies later, that book, Persepolis, is one of the most important graphic novels ever published. These days, Anjali is a literary agent and her dedication to advocating for unheard voices only burns brighter.
We chatted with Anjali about her new(ish) role as an agent: how she likes to connect with new writers, her infinite patience when it comes to waiting for an author to finish a manuscript, and how she’s seen diversity in the industry evolve—or not—since she entered the book world.
We’ll hear more from Anjali at the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference on September 10 in Brooklyn, when she joins a team of agents on our panel “Making a Case for Fiction.” Conference attendees can also sign up to pitch their work to Anjali in person at a one-on-one meeting.
Pitching agents can be a discouraging journey for emerging writers. How do you tend to connect with debut authors?
#SLWC17: Meet the Speakers – An Interview with Aevitas Creative Management Agent Sarah Bowlin
by Maria Gagliano
Longtime book editor Sarah Bowlin made two epic changes this year: She moved from New York City to Los Angeles after more than a decade cramming her book collection into NYC-sized apartments. She also made the switch from working as an editor (first at Penguin and most recently at Henry Holt & Co.) to becoming an agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Broadly speaking, her work is the same—she is looking for talented debut authors so she can help launch their careers. The similarities end, and somewhat continue, there. We chatted with Sarah about her big changes, her big love for working with writers, and what she’s looking for as she builds her new list as an agent.
Sarah will share her insights on the delicate art of editing on the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference panel “Revise This, But Don’t Lose Your Voice,” on Sunday, September 10th in downtown Brooklyn. Conference attendees can also sign up to pitch their work to Sarah in person at a one-on-one meeting.
You just made the leap to becoming an agent after spending a decade as a book editor at Penguin and Henry Holt. What excites you most about the change?
#SLWC17: Meet the Speakers – An Interview with Folio Literary Management Agent Jeff Kleinman
by Maria Gagliano
The 7th annual Slice Literary Writers’ Conference in downtown Brooklyn is four months away, and to kick off the countdown, we’re chatting with some of the agents, editors, authors, and book pros who help make our community such a supportive environment. To start, we spoke with literary agent Jeff Kleinman about how he feels the book world has changed in recent years—and how it’s stayed the same—especially for emerging writers. Jeff will moderate the SLWC panel Welcome to the 2017 Book World on Sunday, September 10. Conference attendees can also sign up to pitch their work to Jeff in person at a one-on-one meeting.
So much has changed in the book industry in the last ten years. How have some of the biggest changes you’ve seen influenced the way emerging authors break into the industry?
Authors In Conversation
A Multilingual Most Exquisite Corpse Story | Co-Hosted by Slice & Words Without Borders at the PEN World Voices LitCrawl
by Filip Springer, Francisco Cantú, Abdourahman Waberi, and Karolina Ramqvist
Translated by Sean Gasper Bye, Francisco Cantú, José Garcia, David and Nicole Ball, and Saskia Vogel
Readers Sean Gasper Bye, Filip Springer, Francisco Cantú, José Garcia, Karolina Ramqvist, Corinna Barsan, Abdourahman Waberi, and Karen Phillips at Lit Crawl 2017. Photo by Savannah Whiting.
For the Lit Crawl portion of this year’s PEN World Voices Festival, Slice Literary and Words Without Borders partnered to present a multilingual exquisite corpse, a story written by four international writers—Filip Springer, Francisco Cantú, Abdourahman Waberi, and Karolina Ramqvist—and translated by Sean Gasper Bye, José Garcia, David and Nicole Ball, and Saskia Vogel.
Literal Magic: An Interview with Poet Kaveh Akbar
by Christopher Locke
Poet Kaveh Akbar understands what’s at stake: as a recovering alcoholic/addict, he knows his current reality as one of today’s most exciting voices in contemporary American poetry could just as easily not have been. Life is about choices. Simple as that. And Kaveh decided, no, he knew, in order to start living he had to choose to abandon those things which subtracted from life. And he knew moving forward he could only live one way: honestly. This truth is evident in the astounding poems which make up his first chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic. Searing and painful, hypnotic and surreal, his poems also find room for the sensual and the abundant; Kaveh praises living both as a spiritual being and a physical one. But the wolf is always present, and he knows that too. I spoke to Kaveh by phone on a dreary day in February from my office in upstate New York. But Kaveh’s genuine kindness, his thoughtful intelligence, and his love of language and of living—really, of magic—made everything a bit brighter that day.