KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Lois Lowry, author of The Giver, at her home in Cambridge, MA

LOIS LOWRY

Lois Lowry is the author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the New York Times bestselling “Giver” Quartet and popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader's Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, “Number the Stars” and “The Giver”. Her first novel, “A Summer to Die”, was awarded the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award. Ms. Lowry lives in Maine.

Abramson, Traci Hunter

TRACI ABRAMSON

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas as well as the skills needed to survive her children’s teenage years. She loves to travel and recently retired after 26 years of coaching her local high school swim team. She has written more than thirty best-selling novels and is a seven-time Whitney Award winner, including 2017 and 2019 Best Novel of the Year.

AGENTS AND EDITORS

Hedrick-Armstrong, Cathie - Agent

CATHIE HEDRICK-ARMSTRONG

Literary Agent - The Purcell Agency

Cathie Hedrick-Armstrong is an Oklahoma native transplanted in Minnesota for nearly 30 years. A proud alumnus of The University of Oklahoma, she holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in History and is a rabid fan of OU Sooners Football.

A prolific reader of many genres, Cathie represents Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary and Historical Romance, Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Mysteries, and Thrillers. She deliberately keeps her client list small to give her authors the attention each deserves while still allowing herself time for her own writing career as an author of issue-driven young adult and women’s fiction. Cathie looks for manuscripts that catch her attention within the first few pages. If you can evoke an emotional reaction in the opening pages—make her laugh out loud, cause her pulse to race, make her cry—you’ve got a winner.

Cathie is never interested in Science Fiction or High Fantasy in any genre; however, fantasy grounded in the real world is usually a good fit if they contain paranormal aspects in the vein of Victoria Laurie’s Abby Cooper Psychic Eye or Ghost Hunter series, Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries series, Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series, or Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse or Harper Connelly series.

The information on the MSWL website is current, but she’s especially looking for YA Paranormal in the vein of Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connelly Series.

Quressa Headshot

QURESSA ROBINSON

Literary Agent - Nelson Literary Agency

Quressa Robinson joined Folio Literary Management in 2022 after working at previous agencies, including the Nelson Literary Agency, and as an editor for five years. She is originally from San Francisco but has been living in New York City for over a decade. As a New York based agent, she is eager to build her MG, YA, and Adult lists. Quressa is also a member of the 2017-2020 WNDB Walter Grant Committee and holds an MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction from Columbia University. In 2020, she was named a Publisher's Weekly Star Watch finalist. In 2021 she was named an influential gatekeeper in Book and Film Globe’s inaugural Publishing Power 30 list alongside phenoms like Reece Witherspoon, Celeste Ng, and Lisa Lucas.

Her MSWL can be found here.

Castillo, Melanie - Agent_Faculty

MELANIE FIGUEROA

Literary Agent - Root Literary

Melanie Figueroa is a literary agent at Root Literary. She represents middle grade, YA, and adult fiction along with select nonfiction and picture book titles. What she loves most about the job is the balance of creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. After graduating with a masters in writing and book publishing from Portland State University, she worked as an in-house editorial project manager and then as a freelance editor for several years before joining the agency in 2018. Melanie was born and raised in Southern California in a multicultural, blended family, so she has a soft spot for books that shine a spotlight on the nuances of relationships and identity. She currently lives in Southern California and can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @wellmelsbells.

She recently updated her MSWL on her website.

Lakosil, Natalie - Agent_Faculty

NATALIE LAKOSIL

Literary Agent - Irene Goodman Agency

Natalie Lakosil began her career as a literary agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and Bradford Literary Agency before joining the Irene Goodman Agency in 2021. An honors graduate of the University of San Diego, California, Natalie holds a B.A. in Literature/Writing. For over a dozen years she has championed and helped to build the careers of numerous award-winning, critically acclaimed and bestselling authors. Natalie represents adult nonfiction, adult cozy mystery/crime, female-driven thrillers, upmarket women’s/general fiction, illustrators, and all ages (picture book, chapter book, MG, YA) of children’s literature, both fiction and nonfiction. Read more on her website: www.adventuresinagentland.com

Her MSWL can be found here.

Stephen-Barrs-Head-1

STEPHEN BARR

Literary Agent - Writer's House

Stephen Barr is a senior literary agent at Writer's House, where he started out as an intern in the winter of 2008 after graduating from UCLA with a degree in something. He represents a broad stripe of authors across all genres, with a steady hankering for audacious YA, intricate picture books, mysteries that handcuff humor and tragedy to the same radiator, world-bending middle grade, and really any fiction that tackles heavy themes with a light touch. He's also the author of The Upside Down Hat, illustrated by Gracey Zhang, and the owner of a drum kit he built in his basement that he's hoping the other people in his apartment building will somehow not notice. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, son, daughter, and books.

His MSWL can be found here.

Mangum, Lisa - Editor_Faculty

LISA MANGUM

Editor - Shadow Mountain

Lisa Mangum has worked in publishing since 1997. She has been the Managing Editor for Shadow Mountain since 2014 and has worked with several New York Times best-selling authors. While fiction is her first love, she also has experience working with nonfiction projects.

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

Her MSWL: Historical fiction, Women's fiction, Historical romance, Contemporary middle grade, Contemporary young adult, Cookbooks

Millburn, Samantha - Editor

SAMANTHA MILLBURN

Editor - Covenant Communications

Samantha Millburn is the managing editor of Covenant Communications. She’s been reading books in every spare moment she has since elementary school, so why not make a career of it? She collaborates with extremely talented writers and is proud of every story they create together and the many awards her authors have won over the years. She currently lives in Rigby, Idaho, with her husband, Matthew, and their five beautiful children. Besides reading, Samantha enjoys watching and playing sports, cooking, and being with family.

Covenant’s Wish List:
Contemporary Christian Romance (not necessarily LDS based; just Christian based)
Historical Romance (not LDS based)
Suspense (not LDS based)
Romantic Suspense (not LDS based)
Christmas Booklet
LDS Event Books (baptism, temple endowment, Easter, Father’s Day)
LDS Doctrine

We do not want to see memoirs, poetry, family histories, or personal journals.