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Connecting Latinas All Over the World through Literature

2015 Panelists

2015 Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference Panelists

Click on a name below to read more:


Millicent Bennett

Millicent Bennett

Millicent Bennett

Millicent Bennett, Senior Editor, is interested in smart, well-written, and emotionally authentic literary fiction and upmarket commercial fiction, as well as narrative nonfiction including memoir, social and cultural history, science, biography, and women’s issues.

Her Simon & Schuster authors include Will Allison, Susannah Cahalan, Marjorie Celona, Chitra Divakaruni, Jim Gavin, Leslie Jamison, Katie Kitamura, Camilla Lackberg, Eve LaPlante, Philip Lopate, Andrew McCarthy, Scott O’Connor, Anuradha Roy, Liesl Schillinger, Brando Skyhorse, Teddy Wayne, and Elizabeth Winthrop. Prior to joining Simon & Schuster, she worked at Knopf, Ecco, Random House, and Free Press.


Linda Camacho

Linda Camacho

Linda Camacho

Linda Camacho joined Prospect Agency in 2015 after a decade in publishing.

After graduating from Cornell University, Linda interned at Simon & Schuster and Writers House literary agency, and worked at Penguin before happily settling into children’s marketing at Random House before she moving over to the other side. She recently received her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and enjoys reading a variety of genres, ranging from clean and lighthearted contemporary to edgy and dark fantasy.

For more information on her submission guidelines and Linda’s favorite reads, www.prospectagency.com

Follow Linda on Twitter: @LindaRandom

Seeking: MG, YA, and adult fiction across all genres (romance, horror, fantasy, realistic, light sci-fi, graphic novels). She also seeks select literary fiction (preferably with commercial bent). Diversity of all types welcome (ethnicity, disability, sexuality, etc.).

Not seeking: early readers/chapter books, screenplays, poetry, or short stories/novellas


Steve Cannon

Steve Cannon

Steve Cannon

Steve Cannon is an American writer and the founder of the cultural organization “A Gathering of the Tribes”. He penned the novel Groove, Bang, and Jive Around, which author Darius James called in the New York Press “an underground classic of such legendary stature that New York’s black cognoscenti have transformed the work into an urban myth.”

Cannon founded the multi-cultural interdisciplinary arts organization “A Gathering of the Tribes” in his home in the New York City borough of Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood in 1991. The organization publishes a literary magazine and has now presented its fourteenth issue. The collective also hosts a gallery and performance space where numerous exhibitions and concerts have taken place with notable artists and musicians such as the Sun Ra Arkestra, Chavisa Woods, Bob Holman, Ishmael Reed, Billy Bang, Max Blagg, and David Hammons.


Suzan Colon

Suzan Colon

Suzan Colon

Suzan Colón is the author of ten books, including the inspirational memoir Cherries In Winter (Random House) and the novel Beach Glass (Bell Bridge Books). Suzan, a longtime magazine writer, has written for O, the Oprah Magazine; Details; Jane; Good Housekeeping; USA Today’s Hispanic Living Magazine; Latina; Harper’s Bazaar; Seventeen; Rolling Stone; and other publications. Her essays have been included in three Oprah Magazine “best of” hardcover collections.

Suzan wrote three young adult novels based on the hit TV series Smallville, as well as What Would Wonder Woman Do? and Catwoman: The Life and Times of a Feline Fatale, both published by Chronicle Books. She has appeared on The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, and NPR, among others.

In other media, Suzan is a contributor to The Huffington Post and other websites. She recently created Take A Yoga Break, an iTunes app that helps fight the health dangers of sitting, for which she also did the illustrations.

Suzan is a certified Yoga instructor, with additional certificates in Therapeutic Yoga and Yoga for Arthritis. Please visit her website at suzancolon.net, and follow her on Twitter @colonsuzan and on Instagram @suzanacolon.


Anjanette Delgado

Anjanette Delgado

Anjanette Delgado

Anjanette Delgado is a Puerto Rican novelist, journalist, and TV producer. She writes about heartbreak and lives in Miami with her husband, Daniel, and her Mini Daschund, Chloe. Her second novel is The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho was published in 2014 by Kensington Books (English) and Penguin Random House (Spanish) in the U.S. and Mexico.


Nelson A Denis

Nelson A Denis

Nelson A Denis

Nelson A Denis is the author of War Against All Puerto Ricans, a non-fiction book about Puerto Rican history published in April 2015 by Nation Books. He was the editorial director of El Diario/La Prensa, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in New York City, where he wrote over 300 editorials and won the Best Editorial Writing award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Denis served as a New York State Assemblyman (1996-2000) and has written for the New York Daily News, Newsday, and Harvard Political Review. Denis also wrote and directed the feature film Vote For Me!, which premiered in the Tribeca Film Festival. His screenplays have won awards from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).


Shelley Diaz

Shelley Diaz

Shelley Diaz

Shelley Diaz has worked in several areas of children’s publishing, from licensing to book scouting. She was the co-editor of Caridad Ferrer’s So She Dances and Gloria Whelan’s The Disappeared. Currently Senior Editor, Reviews at School Library Journal, Shelley recently completed her MLIS at Queens College and became the editor of the SLJTeen newsletter. At SLJ, she edits book reviews, conducts author interviews, and writes news articles on diversity issues.

A yalit-lover for life, she can be found tweeting about books, TV shows, and movies @sdiaz101. She’s also been known to fiddle around on Tumblr: sdiaz101.tumblr.com


Angela Dominguez

Angela Dominguez

Angela Dominguez

Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and lived in San Francisco. She’s the author and illustrator of picture books such as Let’s Go Hugo!, Santiago Stays, Knit Together, and Maria Had a Little Llama, which received the American Library Association Pura Belpré Illustration Honor. She now writes and creates in her studio in Brooklyn.


Tim Fredrick

Tim Fredrick

Tim Fredrick

Tim Fredrick is the founding editor of Newtown Literary, the literary journal focused on publishing the work of writers and poets from Queens, NY. He is also the author of We Regret to Inform, a collection of short stories exploring how men relate to one another.

More information about the journal can be found at newtownliterary.org and more information about Tim can be found at timfredrick.com.


Elizabeth Gaffney

Elizabeth Gaffney

Elizabeth Gaffney

Elizabeth Gaffney is the author of the novels, When the World Was Young and Metropolis, and the translator of most recently You Can’t See the Elephants by Susan Kreller (forthcoming in October 2015). She is also a teacher of writing at Columbia and New York University, and the editor at large of A Public Space.
For more information, visit her website.


Nikki Garcia

Nikki Garcia

Nikki Garcia

Nikki Garcia is an assistant editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she works on everything from picture books through YA. While open to projects for all ages, she is particularly interested in a voice-driven literary or commercial middle grade and YA, and is not the best match for fantasy or science fiction. The Lola Levine series is her first acquisition, and with her passion for increasing diversity in children¹s books, she is thrilled to bring a spunky biracial bicultural character to young readers.

Born and raised in New York City, Nikki graduated from St. John¹s University, and thankfully didn¹t have to travel very far to make her dreams come true.


Leticia Gomez

Leticia Gomez

Leticia Gomez

Leticia Gomez is a Houston-based publisher, literary agent, acquisition editor and published author. She has worked in the publishing industry since 1993. During this span of time, she has been the co-publisher of a bilingual newspaper, authored and published three books, edited numerous fiction and nonfiction manuscripts written in both English and Spanish that have gone on to publication. She has placed approximately 80 books with independent and mainstream publishers.

As CEO and Founder of Savvy Literary Services–one of the few minority-oriented publishing firms–she has distinguished herself as a literary agent who can communicate effectively with the authors she is representing. Blending her experience as an author, literary agent, publishing consultant and acquisition editor, Leticia is excited to spearhead her own Hispanic book division Café con Leche Books which is an imprint of Virginia-based independent publisher Koehler Books.


Luis Jaramillo

Luis Jaramillo

Luis Jaramillo

Luis Jaramillo is the author of The Doctor’s Wife, winner of the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Contest, Oprah Book of the Week, and one of NPR’s Best Books of 2012. His work has also appeared in Open City, Gamers (Soft Skull Press), Tin House Magazine, H.O.W. Journal, and the Chattahoochee Review, among other publications. He is the director of the Creative Writing Program at The New School, where he teaches fiction and is the co-editor of The Inquisitive Eater: New School Food.


Marcela Landres

Marcela Landres

Marcela Landres

Marcela Landres is the author of the e-book How Editors Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You, and is the Publisher of Latinidad®, an award-winning e-zine which was chosen as one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers by Writer’s Digest Magazine. She helps writers get published by editing their work and by advising them on how to manage their writing careers, including how to find the right agent. She works with writers of all backgrounds in fiction and nonfiction, and specializes in helping Latinos get published.

She was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster where she acquired and edited the bestselling authors Karen Rauch Carter and Dora Levy Mossanen, as well as oversaw the award-winning Spanish language imprint Libros en Español. Marcela is the co-founder of The Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference and has served on the board of Kweli, a literary journal for writers of color, as well as the Brooklyn Literary Council which helps organize the Brooklyn Book Festival.

In addition, she is a member of the Women’s Media Group, Editorial Freelancers Association, and Las Comadres para las Americas. She speaks frequently for organizations such as the New York Round Table Writers’ Conference, Columbia University, and National Hispana Leadership Institute. A graduate of Barnard College, she has been a Peer Panelist for the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture Fund for the Arts, on the Literature Panel for the New York State Council on the Arts, and was a judge for the Beyond Margins Award for PEN and the Latino Book Awards. The media, including The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and Writer’s Digest, often quotes her as a publishing expert.

Raised in the projects of Long Island City, Queens as the daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants, Marcela is one of the few Latina editors in book publishing. She can be reached by visiting her Contact page.


Meg Medina

Meg Medina

Meg Medina

Meg Medina is an award-winning Latino author of picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction. Her work examines how cultures intersect, as seen through the eyes of young people.

Her young adult novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, described by Kirkus as a “nuanced, heart-wrenching and ultimately empowering story about bullying,” earned the 2014 Pura Belpré medal, the 2013 CYBILS fiction award, and the International Latino Book Award 2014, among numerous other distinctions.

Meg is also the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers medal winner for her picture book Tía Isa Wants a Car.
Her other books are: The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, a 2012 Bank Street Best Book and CBI Recommended Read in the UK; and Milagros: Girl from Away.

Her forthcoming books are Mango, Abuela, and Me, a picture book to be released in August 2015, and Burn, Baby, Burn, a young adult novel scheduled for March 2016, both from Candlewick Press.

In March 2014, she was recognized as one of the CNN 10 Visionary Women in America, and in November 2014 she was named one of Latino Stories’ Top Ten Latino Authors to watch.

When she is not writing, Meg works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth, and/or diversity in children’s literature. Visi Meg at www.megmedina.com
Follow Meg on twitter: Meg_Medina or on Facebook


Mireya Navarro

Mireya Navarro

Mireya Navarro

Mireya Navarro, known as “Mia” to her friends, is a writer for the New York Times in New York covering housing and issues of income inequality. Before that assignment, she covered the environment for four years and, prior to that, she was the West Coast style correspondent for the New York Times, based in Los Angeles, covering lifestyle trends and entertainment.

She’s the author of Stepdog from G.P. Putnam’s Sons, as well as Green Wedding.

Mia was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She earned her B.A. in journalism from George Washington University, in Washington D.C., and her Masters in journalism from Columbia University.

She started her career at the San Francisco Examiner, covering the courts, county government and Bay Area politics, and held foreign assignments in Mexico and Nicaragua. In 1989 she joined the New York Times as a staff writer in New York.

In 1994, Mia became Miami bureau chief, a five-year assignment that included reporting trips to Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean. She returned to New York in 1999 and was a member of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for the New York Times series “How Race is Lived in America.” The series was later issued as a book.

After 9/11, Mia was part of the team that wrote Portraits of Grief, the profiles that documented the lives of those killed in the terrorist attacks. She covered Latin culture and sex-and-relationships for the Culture and Metro sections before moving to Los Angeles for Sunday Styles. During that time she wrote Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-friendly Celebration, published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

Mia has taught journalism as an adjunct professor at Columbia University and the City University of New York, and as a visiting faculty member for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in California. She is regularly invited to speak in schools and colleges about her career, and on radio and television about her stories. She also moderates conversations with authors, most recently Junot Diaz, Esmeralda Santiago, and Oscar Hijuelos.

Mia lives in New York City and Montclair, New Jersey with her husband.


Daniel José Older

Daniel José Older

Daniel José Older

Daniel José Older is the author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin’s Roc Books and the Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Scholastic’s Arthur A Levine Books, 2015). His first collection of short stories, Salsa Nocturna and the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, which he co-edited, are available from Crossed Genres Publications.

You can find Daniel’s thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an New York City paramedic and hear his music at ghoststar.net/ and @djolder on twitter and youtube.


Ana Sofía Peláez

Ana Sofía Peláez
Photo credit: Luis Gispert

Ana Sofía Peláez

Ana Sofía Peláez covers the spectrum of Spanish and Latin American cuisine on her blog hungrysofia.com. Since then, the site has been featured by InStyle magazine, Food 52, and the New York Times and was nominated by Saveur as one of the Best Regional Cuisine blogs of 2012.
She has become a regular contributor to the Cooking Channel’s Devour the Blog and The Latin Kitchen. Her first cookbook, The Cuban Table (St. Martin’s Press, 2014), was nominated for a James Beard Award.
Miami born and raised, she is now based in Brooklyn, NY.


Amber Qureshi

Amber Qureshi

Amber Qureshi

Amber Qureshi is an Editor-at-Large at Catapult. She has been an Editorial Fellow at the Jerusalem Book Fair and is on the American board for the Fair now, has represented her list at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the IFOA Harbourfront Toronto Writers’ Festival, the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival, the Adelaide Writers’ Festival, the Sharjah International Book Fair, the Jaipur Literary Festival, the Salon du Livres in Paris, and has taught at writers’ conferences at the New School in New York City, in Asheville, North Carolina, and in Aspen, Colorado.

She acquired and edited The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008, now with 1.5 million copies in print. Previously at Free Press/Simon & Schuster, her first acquisition there, Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter by Peter Manseau, won the National Jewish Book Award; her next acquisition, Heart Like Water by Joshua Clark, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award; one of her last acquisitions there, the bestselling novel The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse, won the PEN/Hemingway and Sue Kaufman Awards. At Picador, she acquired the bestselling, Orange and Whitbread award-winning Small Island by Andrea Levy, the NBCC award-winning Voices from Cernobyl, The Seas by Samantha Hunt and three books by acclaimed Japanese writer Yoko Ogawa, among other books.

As Executive Editor at Viking/Penguin, she acquired Adam Mansbach’s graffiti book Rage is Back, among other groundbreaking titles. She worked in Editorial at Alfred A. Knopf for several years; before that, she worked at a translation house in Tokyo, also for a number of years. Fluent in French and Japanese, she studied Pure Mathematics/Algebraic Topology as an undergraduate and as a Monbusho Scholar in the Graduate School of Chiba University, Japan.

In these capacities, she has worked with such authors as Haruki Murakami, Michel Houellebecq, Jim Shepard, Matt Mason, Michel Foucault, Virginia Postrel, Ian Thomson, Stephen Elliott, Emily Gould, Daniel Bergner, Robin Robertson, Matt Haig, and Leslie Jamison.


Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester is the author of the novel, Chasing the Sun, which was chosen as Latinidad’s Best Debut Book of 2014. Her work has been published in Latina magazine, Writer’s Digest, and NBCLatino.com.

Born in Lima, Peru, she came to the U.S. at age four and grew up in South Florida, where she studied Creative Writing at the University of Miami. A former magazine editor, she now works as a freelance writer in Austin, Texas and is a faculty member of the low-res MFA program at Regis University in Denver, Colorado.
Twitter/Instagram: @NataliaSylv


Phoebe Yeh

Phoebe Yeh

Phoebe Yeh

Phoebe Yeh joined Random House Children’s Books as VP and Publisher of Crown Books for Young Readers where she is publishing children’s books for all ages with a focus on middle-grade fiction and narrative nonfiction. Prior to joining HC in 1996, Yeh was a senior editor at Scholastic Press, where she edited the Magic School Bus books and was an editor of the SeeSaw Book Club.

As Editorial Director at HarperCollins she acquired the New York Times best-sellers Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce and School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. Recent Crown acquisitions include a middle grade anthology with We Need Diverse Books; Wizard’s Dog by Eric Kahn Gale; Dear Martin by debut teen novelist Nic Stone and the teen thriller, Reeve’s End by Kelley Armstrong.


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