How to Navigate the Book Publishing Industry Mentorship Workshops: June 22 – 25, 2021

Since hosting our first writers’ conference in 2011, one of Slice’s core contributions to the literary community has been to help emerging writers navigate the book publishing industry. This year, we’re thrilled to continue in that tradition by offering mentorship sessions with industry-leading authors and agents about the business side of publishing.

The publishing process can feel frustrating and mysterious at times. Writers may spend years honing their craft only to realize, once they start pitching literary magazines, agents, and book editors, that the business side of writing requires a set of knowledge that stretches beyond craft. These sessions are a rare opportunity for writers to connect directly with publishing professionals and gather wisdom on the best next steps to build their careers as published authors. 

Enrollment will be limited to up to five writers per session so that everyone has time to ask questions and engage in conversation in a supportive environment. 

When: Sessions available online each day from 10:00am to 11:30am*; 12:00pm to 1:30pm; and 6:00pm to 7:30pm EDT.

Cost: $200 per session (students receive a $50 discount)

Enrollment Confirmation: All applications must be reviewed and accepted by our editorial committee before enrollment is confirmed. Applications are reviewed to ensure that our programming aligns with what you hope to learn about writing and publishing. We also want to be sure that each attendee is dedicated to a long-term writing project, even if it’s in its early stages. You will receive an email confirming your enrollment after your application has been reviewed. In the event that an application is not approved, any payments that have been made will be refunded.

Scholarships for NYC Students: Slice is thrilled to be the recipient of a grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs that will fund scholarships for NYC-based students to attend up to two mentorship session for free. To apply for a scholarship, use coupon code NYCSTUDENT when you apply. Note that scholarships are only available to NYC-based students who are actively enrolled in a school program. 

$50 Student Discount: All students qualify for a $50 discount. Use coupon code STUDENT when you apply.

The full schedule and application forms are below. 

*Sessions with Danya Kukafka are from 11:00am to 12:30pm.

Workshop Schedule for Tuesday, June 22

You Don’t Have to Starve to be an Artist: Reliable Ways to Earn Income as Creatives Outside of Your Book Work, with Danya Kukafka of Aevitas Creative Management,11am to 12:30pm EDT

Danya Kukafka is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized study, and the author of the novels Notes on an Execution and Girl in Snow. She began her publishing career at Riverhead Books as an acquiring assistant editor, where she worked with authors like Meg Wolitzer, Paula Hawkins, Lauren Groff, Brit Bennett, Emma Straub, Gabriel Tallent, Helen Oyeyemi, Maile Meloy, Sigrid Nunez, and many, many more. Released in 2017, her debut novel Girl in Snow was a national bestseller. Her next novel, Notes on an Execution, will be published in January of 2022.

She is interested in literary fiction with particularly propulsive storylines. She is seeking literary suspense, sophisticated thrillers, speculative fiction, and experimental fiction—she also loves true crime that feels attuned to today’s cultural conversations, as well as upmarket literary fiction you can read in one gulp.

Apply for You Don’t Have to Starve to be an Artist, June 22, 11am

 

From Query Letters to Pitch Meetings: How to Make a Great First Impression with an Agent, with Jacqueline Ko of The Wylie Agency, 1:00pm to 2:30pm EDT

Jacqueline Ko is a literary agent at The Wylie Agency, where she has worked since 2007, representing literary fiction as well as history, journalism, cultural criticism, science, humor, poetry, narrative nonfiction, and graphic/illustrated work. She holds a BA in English from Yale. The Wylie Agency has operated for over thirty-five years out of offices in New York and London: wylieagency.com.

Apply for From Query Letters to Pitch Meetings, June 22, 1pm

 

From Query Letters to Pitch Meetings: How to Make a Great First Impression with an Agent, with Sarah Bowlin of Aevitas Creative Management, 6:00pm to 7:30pm EDT

 Sarah Bowlin joined Aevitas Creative Management as an agent in 2017. Before becoming an agent, she spent a decade as an editor of literary fiction and nonfiction, first at Riverhead Books and most recently at Henry Holt & Company. She has edited many acclaimed writers including Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Sheila Heti, Salvatore Scibona, Helen Phillips, Ramona Ausubel, Rachel Khong, and Julie Buntin. As an agent, she represents literary fiction and nonfiction writers including Vanessa Veselka, Aysegul Savas, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Halimah Marcus, Lynn Steger Strong, Andrew Palmer, Gene Kwak, Ashley Nelson Levy, Jasmin Hakes, R.K. Russell, Sabrina Orah Mark, Shane Jones, Elisa Albert and Kevin Nguyen, among others. She is interested in bold voices—specifically stories of strong or difficult women and unexpected narratives of place, identity, and the shifting ways we see ourselves and each other. Originally from the South, she now lives in Los Angeles.

Apply for From Query Letters to Pitch Meetings, June 22, 6pm

 

Workshop Schedule for Wednesday, June 23

From Query Letters to Pitch Meetings: How to Make a Great First Impression with an Agent, with Soumeya Roberts of Hannigan Getzler Literary, 10:00am to 11:30am EDT

 Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts joined HG Literary in 2017 after agenting at Writers House and the Susan Golomb Literary Agency, where she was also Foreign Rights Director. Prior to representing authors as a literary agent, Soumeya was a book scout at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. At HG Literary, she represents literary novels and collections, upmarket fiction, and non-fiction, both narrative and prescriptive. Though she is primarily seeking Adult genres, she also represents select, realistic middle-grade and YA. Soumeya is also the Vice President of Foreign Rights and handles international translation licensing on the agency’s behalf. She is a member of the Association of American Literary Agents (AALA) and serves on their International Rights Committee. She is also a member of the Women’s Media Group and the Center for Fiction’s debut fiction prize committee. Originally from the California Bay Area, Soumeya began her career in the editorial department of an independent publisher in San Francisco, and is still drawn to the editorial process and the independent West Coast spirit. She now lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Apply for From Query Letters to Pitch Meetings, June 23, 10am

 

When the Rejection Letters Land: On Staying Resilient & Knowing When to Pivot if Editors and Agents Aren’t Connecting with Your Work, with Renee Zuckerbrot of Massie & McQuilkin, 12:00pm to 1:30pm EDT

 Renée Zuckerbrot worked as an editor at Doubleday before becoming a literary agent. Her writers include Kelly Link, Dan Chaon, Shawn Vestal, Polly Rosenwaike, Karin Tidbeck, and M.O. Walsh, and emerging writers Jonathan Escoffery, Uche Okonkwo, and ‘ Pemi Aguda, among others. Her writers have won or been nominated for a number of awards including the MacArthur Fellowship, National Book Award, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, B&N Discover Great New Writers Award, the Story Prize, and the PEN/O. Henry Prize.

Interests: voice-driven literary and book club fiction (I have a particular fondness for short story collections), popular science, history, and narrative nonfiction.

Apply for When the Rejection Letters Land, June 23, 12pm

 

How to Build Your Platform While Waiting to Publish Your Debut Novel, with Annie Hwang of Pande Literary, 6:00pm to 7:30pm EDT

 Before joining Ayesha Pande Literary, Annie began her career at Folio Literary Management where she had the pleasure of working with debut and seasoned authors alike. As a former journalist, Annie possesses a keen editorial eye which she brings to her approach to agenting, taking an active role in the careers of her clients. Annie represents voice-driven literary fiction and select nonfiction. In particular, she gravitates toward subversive and irreverent literary fiction and impactful mission-driven narrative nonfiction that grapples with the complexities of our world. A fierce champion of underrepresented voices, Annie is always on the hunt for gifted storytelling that stretches its genre to new heights.

Apply for How to Build Your Platform, June 23, 6pm

 

Workshop Schedule for Thursday, June 24

When the Rejection Letters Land: On Staying Resilient & Knowing When to Pivot if Editors and Agents Aren’t Connecting with Your Work, with Sonali Chanchani of Folio Literary Management, 10:00am to 11:30am EDT

 Sonali Chanchani is an agent at Folio Literary Management, where she represents character-driven literary fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, and narrative nonfiction. In fiction, she’s particularly interested in smart, funny novels about identity and coming of age; braided narratives of friendship and family; nuanced psychological suspense; and elevated crime fiction. In nonfiction, she’s looking for reported narratives that speak to larger social, cultural, and political issues. Sonali earned her degree in English and Narrative Studies from the University of Southern California, and began her career in publishing at Kaya, an independent press dedicated to publishing authors from the Asian diaspora. A fierce advocate of authors from marginalized communities, she’s keen to represent a diversity of voices.

Apply for When the Rejection Letters Land, June 24, 10am

 

When the Rejection Letters Land: On Staying Resilient & Knowing When to Pivot if Editors and Agents Aren’t Connecting with Your Work, with Kirby Kim of Janklow & Nesbit, 12:00pm to 1:30pm EDT

 A native of Los Angeles, California, Kirby has worked for Charlotte Sheedy Literary, Vigliano Associates, WME, and Janklow & Nesbit.

Kirby represents literary fiction, thrillers, speculative fiction, young adult, and upmarket commercial fiction. He also represents a range of nonfiction working with leaders and journalists in the areas of science, culture, entertainment, business, and current affairs.

Some of his clients include award winning authors Ted Chiang, James A. McLaughlin, Gina Apostol, and Matt Bell; rapper/activist Common, Bloomberg Businessweek journalist Lauren Etter, and director Ron Shelton.

Kirby is currently a board member of the Asian American Writers Workshop. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and two kids.

Apply for When the Rejection Letters Land, June 24, 12pm

 

From Query Letters to Pitch Meetings: How to Make a Great First Impression with an Agent, with Cherise Fisher of The Wendy Sherman Agency, 6:00pm to 7:30pm EDT

 Cherise Fisher began her career in publishing more than 25 years ago, a month after graduating from Yale University. Over the course of her career as an acquiring editor at Simon & Schuster and the Editor in Chief of Plume (an imprint of Penguin Random House), she has edited and published several national bestselling and award winning authors, including George Lopez, Nelson George, Victoria Christopher Murray, BilWright, and Tony Parsons.

As an agent, she is interested in working with novelists who have several compulsively readable yarns in their head (both historical and contemporary), memoirists who showcase the diversity of human experience, and non-fiction writers who seek to provoke, inspire, and educate. Her intention is that all the books she helps bring into the world are relevant, enduring, and help readers maximize their life.

Apply for From Query Letters to Pitch Meetings, June 24, 6pm

 

Workshop Schedule for Friday, June 25

How to Build Your Platform While Waiting to Publish Your Debut Novel, with with Danya Kukafka of Aevitas Creative Management, 11am to 12:30pm EDT

Danya Kukafka is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized study, and the author of the novels Notes on an Execution and Girl in Snow. She began her publishing career at Riverhead Books as an acquiring assistant editor, where she worked with authors like Meg Wolitzer, Paula Hawkins, Lauren Groff, Brit Bennett, Emma Straub, Gabriel Tallent, Helen Oyeyemi, Maile Meloy, Sigrid Nunez, and many, many more. Released in 2017, her debut novel Girl in Snow was a national bestseller. Her next novel, Notes on an Execution, will be published in January of 2022.

She is interested in literary fiction with particularly propulsive storylines. She is seeking literary suspense, sophisticated thrillers, speculative fiction, and experimental fiction—she also loves true crime that feels attuned to today’s cultural conversations, as well as upmarket literary fiction you can read in one gulp.

Apply for How to Build Your Platform, June 25, 11am

 

MFA, What Next?: How to Leverage Your Degree into a Next-Level Career with Paul Florez and Randy Winston of SLICE magazine, 1:00pm to 2:30pm EDT

 Paul Florez is a writer living in the New York City area and is Head Auctioneer at HUNT Auctioneers. He has held positions at Marvel Comics, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins. His writing has appeared in HuffPost, The Advocate, Slice Magazine, HelloGiggles, Queerty, Gay.com, Marvel Pulse Newsletter, Burrow Press, The Liar’s League, Dead Rabbits, and Wizard Magazine. He is the host of a weekly podcast called Power of XPaul received his MFA in fiction from The New School, BA in English Writing from Florida State University, and is a graduate of World Wide College of Auctioneering. He is currently working on his memoir, Flaco. In his spare time, he enjoys fencing and yoga.

 Randy Winston is the Fiction Editor at Slice Literary Magazine and creator of Milkshake Scholar, a milkshake interview series on Instagram. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction 2016) from The New School. He has been published in Medium, Brooklyn Magazine, Slice Literary Magazine, and elsewhere.

 

Apply for MFA, What Next?, June 25, 1pm

 

How to Build Your Platform While Waiting to Publish Your Debut Novel, with Noah Ballard of Verve Talent & Literary Agency, 6:00pm to 7:30pm EDT

 Noah Ballard is a literary agent at Verve Talent & Literary, an agency based in New York and Los Angeles. He represents fiction and non-fiction in both the adult and children’s markets. He began his career at Emma Sweeney Agency before spending seven years at Curtis Brown. A New Jersey native, Noah studied at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and now lives in Brooklyn.

Apply for How to Build Your Platform, June 25, 6pm