Karyn Fischer

Holly West, Editor, Feiwei & Friends and Swoon Reads:

Holly is a Senior Editor at Feiwel & Friends and Swoon Reads, imprints of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. She has worked with authors such as Mo O’Hara (My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish); Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14); Tricia Levenseller (Daughter of the Pirate King); Sarah Cannon (Oddity); Dustin Hansen (Game On!); and Aiden Thomas (Cemetery Boys). She edits books for kids and teens of all ages, with a focus on fantasy, sci-fi, and other genre elements, along with a few (mostly tech and video game related) nonfiction titles. In general, she’s drawn to books that feature smart kids and combine magic, technology, and whimsy with snark and heart. She would almost always rather laugh than cry, and likes to describe her job as being a professional fangirl: it allows her to look through all the pop culture shared with her, find stories to fall deeply in love with, nitpick over them obsessively until they are as close to perfect as possible, and then shove them at other people with great enthusiasm.

What she’s looking for:

  • Empathy-building, contemporary middle grade novels
  • Middle grade: all genres; especially interested in high concept/literary styles
  • Historical Romance (Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, etc.)
  • Women’s fiction
  • YA fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Historical nonfiction
  • Inspirational nonfiction
  • Cookbooks
  • Religious content for non-denominal audience


Lynnette Novak

Bridget Smith, Agent, JABberwocky Literary Agency:

Bridget Smith has been an agent at JABberwocky Literary Agency since May 2019. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Brown University with a BA in anthropology in 2010. After graduation, she interned at Don Congdon Associates, worked at a secondhand bookstore, and read submissions for In 2011, she started as an assistant at Dunham Literary, and she remained there as an agent for nearly eight years. In her spare time, she runs, plays Irish fiddle, and co-hosts the publishing podcast Shipping & Handling.


What she’s looking for:

  • Middle grade: all genres; especially interested in high concept/literary styles
  • Young Adult: all genres
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy: character driven plots where world shapes character. No grimdrak or urban fantasy
  • Literary fiction that includes elements of other genres; especially in fiction about women, people of color, or LGTBQ+


Lisa Mangum of Shadow Mountain

Lisa Mangum, Managing Editor, Shadow Mountain:

Lisa Mangum has worked in the publishing industry since 1997. She is currently the Managing Editor for Shadow Mountain Publishing and has worked with several New York Times best-selling authors, including Ally Condie, Brandon Mull, and Jason F. Wright. While fiction is her first love, she also has experience working with nonfiction projects (memoir, educational, cookbooks, etc.) and some children’s picture books.

Lisa is also the author of four national best-selling YA novels (The Hourglass Door trilogy and After Hello) as well as several short stories and novellas. She has edited multiple anthologies and has written a nonfiction book about the craft of writing using the TV show Supernatural. She currently lives in Taylorsville, Utah, with her husband, Tracy.


Instagram: shadowmountainpub

Twitter: @LisaMangum


What she’s looking for:

  • Children and teens of all ages
  • Strong preference for fantasy or other genre elements, humor and snark, along with a few (mostly science, tech, and video game related) non-fiction titles.
Samantha Millburn

Marlene Stringer, Agent, The Stringer Literary Agency:

Marlene Stringer is an agent and owner of The Stringer Literary Agency (and happens to be our keynote’s agent!) She was raised and educated in NYC, and started her publishing career as a proofreader. She eventually became an in-house publisher for a corporate magazine before taking a detour to have her family, move to NJ, and write and edit for local publications. Following a move to Florida, she founded TSLA after eight years with Barbara Bova Literary Agency. She’s a mother of four, she lives in Naples with her husband.


Twitter: @marlenestringer

Instagram: Manuscriptadventures

What she’s looking for:

  • Contemporary and women’s fiction
  • Upmarket
  • Suspense
  • Crime/thriller
  • Fantasy (both contemporary and historical)
  • Romance: looking for stories with intriguing (not quirky), memorable character and journeys that surprise her.


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