Connecting Latinas All Over the World through Literature

1-on-1 Writer Sessions with Editors and Agents

1-on-1 Writer Sessions with Editors and Agents

For an additional fee of $30, you will have the opportunity to meet with an agent or editor for fifteen minutes. During the one-on-one session, the agent or editor will provide verbal (but not written) feedback on your writing and its potential in the current publishing landscape.

Registration: To register for a one-on-one session, please e-mail Nora Comstock at

Choose the right agent or editor! Read the bios of the agents and editors who are available for one-on-one sessions, visit their agency’s or publisher’s web sites, and Google their names to get a sense of what they do — and what they don’t do. For example, if you have written a children’s book, you may want to avoid meeting with an agent/editor who handles only books for adults.

Click on a name to see editor/agent bios:

*All slots are full. Appointments no longer available.

In order to prepare for your one-on-one session, please do the following:

1.) Submit a manuscript:

ALL submissions must include a query letter.

Writers are encouraged to submit up to the first five (5) pages of their work by Monday, September 15, 2014, at midnight. No submissions will be accepted after this date. Please note that if your work is not yet a completed manuscript, you may submit an idea or a sample of your work of up to five (5) pages.

For board books and picture books, writers should include a query letter and the full manuscript. Author/illustrators, they should bring samples of their work to the meetings.

All submissions received by the deadline will be forwarded to the selected agents and editors for their review; submissions received after the deadline will not be forwarded. Manuscripts must include a query letter. In addition, please format submission pages so they are double-spaced, preferably in Times New Roman, 12 point font, and are either a doc or pdf file.

You also may set up a one-on-one with an agent or editor without having submitted any materials beforehand. This will allow only conversation, as the agent/editor will not have seen a sample of your

2.) Have realistic expectations! The goal of the session is to receive an honest assessment of your writing. While it is possible that you may secure representation of an agent and land a book deal on the spot, be prepared for the possibility that you may have some work to do before you can reasonably expect publication.

3.) Bring a list of questions. The fifteen minutes will go by faster than you think, and organizing your thoughts beforehand will help make the most of your time.

Below are the participating editors and agents for the 2014 Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference:

Joanna CardenasJoanna Cárdenas

Joanna Cárdenas is an assistant editor at Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

She acquires and edits books for all ages, but she has a soft spot for picture books, chapter books, and middle-grade novels. Among other projects, Joanna edited The Saturday Boy by David Fleming, Brave Chicken Little by Robert Byrd, and ’Twas Nochebuena written by Roseanne Greenfield and illustrated by Sara Palacios. She has also worked on books by Molly Idle, Anna Dewdney, Doreen Cronin, and Sally Warner. Joanna hails from San Diego, California, where she attended UCSD, interned at Writers House, and worked as a bookseller.

Follow Joanna on Twitter @joannananamc, and learn more about Viking Children’s Books by visiting

Seeking: Humorous, clever, and unexpected picture books, especially texts that weave English and Spanish; literary and voice-driven middle grade with tons of heart; and smart, empowering YA.

Not Seeking: Romance or high fantasy.

Pablo De La Vega | Indent Literary AgencyPablo de la Vega

Pablo joined Indent Literary Agency in 2011. He had previously worked at the Guadalajara International Book Fair for eight years, where he was in charge of the Rights Center and several programs for book industry professionals. He has a B.A. in Law and a Master’s in Cultural Management from the University of Rome. A consummate reader, Pablo has a weakness for children’s books — especially those that cross the borders of conventionalism.

For more information visit

Seeking: Middle grade and young adult literary fiction, and picture
books. Submissions in English, Spanish, and Portuguese are accepted.

Not Seeking: poetry, self-help, and dystopias.

Adriana Dominguez

Adriana Dominguez is a literary agent with nearly 15 years of experience in publishing, most recently as Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she managed the children’s division of the Latino imprint, Rayo. Prior to that, she was Children’s Reviews Editor at Criticas magazine, published by Library Journal. She has performed editorial work for many children’s and adult publishers, both on a full time basis and as a freelance consultant, on English and Spanish language books. She is also a professional translator, and has worked on a number of translations of best-selling children’s books. Adriana joined Full Circle Literary in 2009, and is based on the East Coast.

Seeking: Children’s picture books, middle grade novels, and (literary) young adult novels. On the adult side, she is looking for literary and women’s fiction, and in the area of non-fiction, for multicultural, pop culture, how-to, and titles geared toward women of all ages written by authors with rock-solid platforms.

Not Seeking: Romance, science fiction, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, dystopian or paranormal submissions.

Mercedes Fernandez | Kensington PublishingMercedes Fernandez

Mercedes Fernandez is an assistant editor at Kensington Publishing, where she acquires commercial women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, multicultural fiction, and contemporary romance. A native New Yorker, Mercedes loves bad reality television shows, lattes, and cupcakes. Follow Mercedes on Twitter @EditorMercedes.

For more information visit

Seeking: Contemporary commercial women’s fiction (including multicultural), urban literature, mysteries (including cozy), and contemporary romance (including Latina, African American, and multicultural) for both print and digital.

Not Seeking: Short stories, poetry, children’s books, non-fiction, and
self-help projects.

Dawn Michelle HardyDawn Michelle Hardy

Dawn Michelle Hardy has been called a “literary lobbyist” by Ebony magazine for her ability to help authors reach their readership using strategic promotions, win awards and garner national and local media attention.

She began her career in publishing in 2002, first as a assistant to a self-published turned New York Times Bestselling author, then as an award-winning publicist and author consultant and now as an associate agent with Serendipity Literary Agency led by Regina Brooks.

While actively building her client list, she likes memoirists who can capture a larger narrative through their personal story and strong hook, best-in-class professionals in a variety of fields, the relatively unknown that has unique and incomparable life experiences, and the music, sports and pop culture enthusiasts with a ‘hip’ idea from an untold vantage point.

For more information visit

Seeking: Non-fiction acquisitions for platform driven general interest narratives that can spark debate and heavy conversation. She welcomes the process of collaborating with editors and authors on topics in the area of sports, pop culture, blog and trend, music, lifestyle and social science.

Toni Kirkpatrick

Toni Kirkpatrick is an editor at Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, where she began her publishing career over 9 years ago. She manages two mystery writing competitions and enjoys working with debut and established authors.

Under the name Toni Margarita Plummer she is the author of the story collection The Bolero of Andi Rowe and a contributor to the anthology Wise Latinas. Toni serves on the board of Kweli Journal, an online literary journal for diverse voices.

For more information visit the Thomas Dunne website.

Seeking: Mysteries, thrillers, literary and commercial fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, multicultural fiction, young adult, very selective narrative nonfiction.

Not Seeking: Romance, science fiction, fantasy, poetry, short stories, children’s.

Nancy Mercado

Nancy Mercado began her career in the Scholastic Book Clubs, where she worked for several years, which led her to Dial Books for Young Readers, where she worked as an editor and a senior editor for several more years, which led to her Roaring Brook Press where she was an executive editor at Roaring Brook Press. Now back at her old stomping grounds, Nancy is currently the editorial director at Scholastic Press. She mostly gravitates towards contemporary, realistic middle-grade and young-adult novels, with an occasional picture book, non-fiction project and graphic novel thrown into the mix for good measure.

Nancy’s had the good fortune of editing such books as the Charlie Joe Jackson series by Tommy Greenwald, the Birthmarked trilogy by Caragh O’Brien, I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora, Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci and Nate Powell, Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook by Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer, Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis, and many, many others. When not editing, Nancy is exploring the Brooklyn playground scene with her husband and two young children and spending way too much time on Twitter — follow Nancy @nanmercado.

For more information, about the books Nancy has edited, visit her web page on Goodreads.

Seeking: Exceptional middle grade and young adult fiction, particularly humorous, contemporary, and/or realistic novels.

Not Seeking: Picture books.

Andrea Montejo 

A native of Colombia, Andrea Montejo graduated from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. She started her career in publishing at Harper Collins in New York, where she was one of the founding editors of Rayo, the company’s Latino and Spanish-language imprint. Responsible for the publication of over 30 titles a year, she focused on bringing authors from Spain and Latin America to the United States. In 2007, Andrea started the Indent Literary Agency, where she represents Latino and Latin American authors for the U.S. market and throughout the world.

For more information, visit

Seeking: In either English or Spanish – literary and commercial fiction, narrative non-fiction, including memoirs, current events, biographies, international literature.

Not Seeking: Poetry, science fiction, fantasy, romance, self-help.

Lukas Ortiz 

Especialista en ficción comercial, literaria y delincuencia, así como temas de no ficción como política, deportes, y obras de interés sociológico. Busca ampliar sus horizontes y aprender más sobre el mercado de lengua española en las Américas.

Specializes in commercial, literary and crime fiction, as well as nonfiction subjects of politics, sports, and works of sociological interest. They are looking to expand their horizons and learn more about the Spanish language market in Latin America.

A native of Colombia, Lukas graduated from the University of Stony Brook, where he studied Sociology and Literature. For the last fourteen years, he has worked closely with Philip Spitzer on author development and management. At the Spitzer Agency, he is currently the foreign rights director, and an acquiring literary agent.

He is interested in fiction with a distinct narrative voice and memorable characters. He loves novels with an eccentric edge, and is drawn to original stories. In non-fiction, Lukas is interested in cultural studies, sociology, business, history, politics, current affairs, sports and memoir. He looks for driven narratives and sharp storytelling, with themes that transcend their primary audience. In
addition, he is actively looking to work with more Latino and Latin American authors for the U.S. market.

Lukas is an associate member of the Association of Author’s Representatives, and the Mystery Writers of America. He is also an active supporter of PEN American Center, which defends writer’s rights and promotes literacy around the world. He shares his birthday with Winston Churchill (“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”) and with Mark Twain (“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”)

For more information, visit

Seeking: Sports, social history, narrative non-fiction, and well-written literary and crime fiction.

Not Seeking: Fantasy, horror, or science fiction; illustrated children’s; self-help; although he loves poetry, it is very difficult to sell.

Jeff Ourvan 

Jeff Ourvan, an attorney, published author and writing instructor, is a literary agent with the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. His interests are varied: he represents historical narrative nonfiction, biographies, science, sports and cookbooks, as well as children’s/young adult fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers and literary fiction.

Prior to his career as an agent, Jeff was a litigator for many years at two large New York-based corporate law firms and a communications consultant working in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Jeff’s most recent work, The Star Spangled Buddhist, was published by Skyhorse in June 2013. He is also the founder of The WriteWorkshopNYC, a writing workshop in Manhattan.

For more information, visit and

Seeking: Non-fiction, especially memoirs, histories, biographies, international current events, finance, science and sports; fiction, particularly in the young adult and thriller categories.

Stacy Whitman

Stacy Whitman is the publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books that publishes fantasy, science fiction, and mystery for children and young adults with a particular emphasis on diversity. She holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College.

For more information, visit and the Lee & Low Books website.

Seeking: Middle grade and young adult science fiction, fantasy, and mystery—these books should star main characters of color.

Not Seeking: Picture books, realism (except genre mystery), books without diversity.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Pinterest