WriteNOW! 2023 Friday Faculty


What is a pitch?

A literary pitch is a brief and captivating presentation of a book or story idea to agents, publishers, or readers. It aims to generate interest by providing a concise overview of the work’s genre, setting, characters, and conflict. A successful pitch grabs attention with a hook, conveys the unique aspects of the story, and leaves the audience wanting more. It should also demonstrate market potential and understanding of the target audience. The key is to be clear, passionate, and confident while highlighting what sets your work apart from everyone else’s. Practice and refine your pitch to make it engaging and memorable.

What is a PitchNOW! Session

PitchNOW! is a one-on-one session with an industry agent. You will have 10 minutes to pitch your novel, and you may get feedback from the agent, or they may ask you to submit your manuscript. To prepare: practice, practice, practice!


PitchNOW! Faculty

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Adam Chromy

Adam Chromy

After receiving a degree from N.Y.U.’s Stern School of Business and spending a decade as a sales and marketing specialist for technology startups, Adam Chromy decided to blend his love of narrative with his entrepreneurial spirit. The result was Artists and Artisans, where for ten years he represented authors with a professional rigor seldom seen in the book business. After hundreds of published books and dozens of bestsellers, Adam relaunched his company as Movable Type Management to better serve clients with his unique value-based storytelling approach and offer the higher visibility afforded by film and television adaptations of their work.

Adam Chromy is seeking a wide range of adult, commercial fiction and nonfiction including: thrillers and mysteries; book club and beach reads; and narrative nonfiction and memoir to name a few of his favorite genres. He’s especially interested in projects that lend themselves to film/tv adaptation.

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Cole Lanahan

Cole Lanahan

As an agent, Cole Lanahan possesses many skills to offer her authors. Aside from being a published author of eight novels, Cole holds a degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State. Her past experiences include lobbying the United States Congress for better mental health initiatives, leading a multimillion-dollar mental health nonprofit, creating strategic corporate partnerships, and implementing large-scale marketing campaigns.

Cole is actively looking for all genres of YA, all genres of adult romance, psychological suspense in the vein of The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, and thrillers in the vein of Verity by Colleen Hoover and I’m thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. In nonfiction, she is looking for humor, business, self-help, lifestyle, and arts and crafts books.

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Melissa Rechter

Melissa Rechter

Melissa Rechter is an editor at Crooked Lane Books and Alcove Press. She joined in 2019 and has had the pleasure of working with ITW nominees, New York Times, and USA Today bestselling authors, as well as a myriad of talented writers.

For Crooked Lane, Melissa is looking for cozy mysteries, domestic suspense and psychological thrillers, horror, and historical mysteries with a feminist bent (from the ’20s, Victorian era, and late Regency). She’d love to find the next Cassandra Khaw, T. Kingfisher, Lucy Foley, Alyssa Cole, or Jennifer Hillier. She loves books that deal with cults, complicated family dynamics, twisted female friendships, poisonous plants, small-town secrets, and locked-room mysteries.

For Alcove Press, Melissa is interested in book club fiction that sparks conversation, rom-coms, historical fiction, and speculative fiction. She’d love to see more magical realism in the vein of Isabel Allende and Alix E. Harrow. She’d love to find anything in the vein of Practical Magic and The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches. She’s also looking for novels that center around found families and overcoming generational trauma.

What is an EditNOW! session?

EditNOW! is an asynchronous (offline) assessment/developmental edit of the first three chapters, approximately 25-30 pages, of your manuscript by a professional editor. Your registration is a placeholder. After registration, you will receive instructions on where and how to submit your manuscript. The editor will return it, with comments and suggestions, by mid-October.

Submitted manuscripts do not have to be complete, but should follow these guidelines:

    • Times New Roman, 12 pt, double spaced as an attached Word doc
    • 25-30 pages or the closest natural break (scene or chapter)
    • Include a genre description
    • Include the word count
    • Optional (but helpful): Include a 2-3 paragraph synopsis or a query letter

EditNOW! Faculty

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Jay Hartman

Jay Hartman is the founder of The Jay Hartman Agency. Jay previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of Untreed Reads, which he founded in 2008 as a way to promote ebooks, with an emphasis on independent authors and publishers. He has been writing about the ebook industry for 15 years, and was previously the Content Editor for KnowBetter.com, one of the Internet’s oldest sites reporting on ebooks and epublishing. He currently serves on the Independent Book Publisher Association’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Early in his career he was an on-air journalist for WVFS radio in Florida, and writer for the Florida Flambeau newspaper. In his 13 years as Editor-in-Chief at Untreed Reads, Jay edited over 200 manuscripts. The Jay Hartman Agency


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Anna Michels

Anna Michels, Editor
Editorial Director: Poisoned Pen Press (Sourcebooks): Anna Michels has been at Sourcebooks for over a decade and is Editorial Director of Sourcebooks and Poisoned Pen Press, overseeing the nonfiction and mystery imprints. She worked as an historical interpreter, Norwegian tutor, farmhand, and waitress before building a career in the publishing industry.

Some of her favorite authors that she didn’t publish include Nevada Barr, Tana French, William Kent Krueger, Gretchen Rubin, and Daniel Pink. She is always on the lookout for savvy authors with a clear understanding of the audience they are writing for, a story she has never heard before, and unparalleled writing.

Anna is looking for Nonfiction: A wide variety of prescriptive and narrative nonfiction across categories. Smart, practical nonfiction with a unique, commercial hook and prescriptive elements in self-help, parenting, psychology, health and wellness, and more—particularly books that champion marginalized voices and that will change hearts and minds. On the narrative side: history, true crime, compelling deep dives into fascinating topics, and memoir by writers who connect the events of their lives to readers through incredible storytelling. I have a personal weakness for travel books and outdoors-related content.

Anna is looking for Fiction: Crime fiction (everything from cozies to thrillers), including crossover literary (think Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger) and anything that fans of Tana French, Louise Penny, or Laura Lippman would devour.


Marketing Workshop!

Your Author Website: Mistakes You’re Making and How to Fix Them
Publishing industry expert Jane Friedman will offer advice in this 90-minute workshop to fix your author website mistakes. Whether your site is one day or ten years old:

    • You want to make sure the resources that you’ve put into it will pay off with more readers, more sales, and more opportunities for your career.
    • Learn the biggest mistakes that authors make that can affect the site’s usefulness and impact.
    • Discover the best practices for design and content—the most important areas to focus on.
    • Plus gain valuable online strategies to help grow your career.

Marketing Workshop! Faculty

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Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman has spent nearly 25 years working in the book publishing industry, with a focus on author education and trend reporting. She is the editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2023. Her latest book is The Business Of Being A Writer (University of Chicago Press), which received a starred review from Library Journal. In addition to serving on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund, she works with organizations such as The Authors Guild to bring transparency to the business of publishing.

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