Pitch Sessions

Sarah PeedSARAH PEED – Random House, Associate Editor

I’ll be taking pitches for novels and novellas, and they should be fully completed. No short story collections or screenplays, please!

I’m looking for science fiction, fantasy, and suspense. Stories that are more character-driven and have a strong voice are very appealing. I’m also looking for fast-paced pieces with enough action to keep the reader engaged and enthralled. Witty, dry, and/or dark humor is also appreciated! I’m not looking for YA, graphic novels, short story collections, screenplays, splatterpunk, or erotica.

Sarah Peed is an Associate Editor at Del Rey Spectra and Hydra, two of the science fiction/fantasy/horror imprints under Penguin Random House. She ended up there after a series of internships at literary presses, newspapers, and higher education publishers. When she realized she could utilize years of reading SFF and playing video games by becoming an SFF editor, she jumped at the chance; she’s been with PRH since 2012.

Sarah is looking for fast-paced, character-driven science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She wants something with realistic, relatable characters in thrilling situations, preferably with a dash of scifi or fantasy. She tends toward pieces with a strong voice and a dry wit, and she blames The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Good Omens for that. Sarah is sadly not the best fit for middle grade, YA, splatterpunk, or erotica.

authorphotoGREG HERREN – Bold Strokes Books, Acquisitions Editor

Bold Strokes Books is looking for novel-length manuscripts of interest to the LGBTQ community that will also have crossover appeal into the mainstream market. We’ve been publishing science fiction, fantasy and horror now for almost six years, and are also looking for the same types of books that will be of interest for both the young adult and the ‘new’ adult markets. We are not afraid of LGBTQ erotic content in our books for adults, but it cannot be cliched or simply added for the sake of the scene itself’; we have to come away from the scene with either the story moving forward or having learned something new about the characters. Do you have a queer twist on the zombie apocalypse? A romantic ghost story with queer characters and themes? We are looking for fresh new voices and exciting new takes on what speculative fiction means.

Greg Herren is the award-winning author of over thirty novels and has edited over five hundred more since he started working as an editor with Bella Books back in 2002. He now works as a freelance editor, and also joined Bold Strokes Books as an acquisitions editor in 2009.

Amazing Photo Courtesy of Rena Mason

CHERRY WEINER – Cherry Weiner Literary Agency

I will take pitches on novels only. Any genre. I would PREFER to hear about completed manuscripts, but will talk to those who have works near completion.

I started out by handling science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I now handle all genres. Among the *all genres* I handle a good number of fairly well-known authors in the field of Horror, Romance, Mystery, Westerns, Native American novels and Historical novels covering all the various genres. Only once in a while has non-fiction crept into the mix but no poetry, no Children’s fiction and almost no Young Adult works. If there is Y.A., then it is science fiction, fantasy or horror, and only by the authors I already handle in adult fiction. 

Since all the genres have sub categories… I work in all the sub genres within the main category.

Though I work with all lengths, I do prefer novels of 85,000 – 100,000 words, something I can sink my teeth into and keep the pages turning.

Cherry grew up in Australia, lived in Europe for three and a half years and moved to American when she married her husband Jack.  She has been agenting since 1977, when she was fired by her boss the well-known Robert P. Mills.

Mills’ famous clients (she will not any drop further names, but might tell you about it, if you ask her), took two years to convince her to open her own agency.  They did this by inundating her with new authors and their manuscripts.

JENNIFER BARNES – Editor, Raw Dog Screaming Press

RDSP’s mandate is to publish unclassifiable fiction that crosses genres which other publishers won’t take on. We are looking for dark novels with a maximum word count of 90,000 that explore new territory either through form and approach or content. We are particularly interested in perspectives outside the mainstream (female, people of color, LGBT). We are not interested in standard tropes (serial killers, zombies, vampires etc.) unless they are used to break new ground. We appreciate stylistic writing that matches the content and value quality. Right now we’re only interested in completed novels.

Jennifer Barnes is co-founder of Raw Dog Screaming Press which has been publishing, “fiction that foams at the mouth,” for 13 years. She has an English degree from the University of Maryland, is an accomplished graphic designer and loves reading while sipping tea.

Guest of Honor Ryan Turek (Director of Development, Blumhouse Productions)
Guest of Honor Ryan Turek (Director of Development, Blumhouse Productions)

RYAN TUREK  Director of Development, Blumhouse Productions 

Ryan is now the director of development at Blumhouse Productions – the company behind films like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, INSIDIOUS, THE PURGE and THE GIFT. He is on the lookout for strong, scary stories that can be achieved on a budget of $5 million or less. High concept supernatural tales, psychological thrillers, reinventions of the slasher genre (minus the laughs), hell, reinventions of any horror sub-genre…Ryan is always eager to hear about a cool project or read a great story or script. Just leave the comedy at home. He wants something terrifying and is open to hearing about books or short stories that can be optioned as well as screenplays.

Ryan Turek is a long-standing member of the horror community and was the managing editor of ShockTillYouDrop.com, co-founder of DreadCentral.com and a former contributor of Fangoria and Rue Morgue magazines. In 2010, he wrote and directed the documentary on the Scream franchise, Still Screaming: The Ultimate Scary Movie Retrospective. Ryan co-hosted/created the popular Dead Right Horror Trivia Night and the weekly podcast, The BloodCast. Through a partnership struck between The Orchard and ShockTillYouDrop.com in 2013, Ryan was allowed to wear his “acquisitions” cap by finding and helping horror films land wide distribution. Movies include: MISSIONARY, THE CANAL and PRESERVATION.

KJonez416Kate Jonez – Chief Editor at Omnium Gatherum

Kate is looking for novels (50k words or more) or novellas (17,500 – 50k words) that are complete. She is also interested in series if the first book is complete. Omnium Gatherum publishes stories that twist the conventions of horror, fantasy or weird fiction in new and interesting ways. Stories with settings other than the US and UK, characters not often featured in fantasy/horror/weird fiction and supernatural beings other than werewolves, vampires and zombies have the best chance of acceptance. If your story is too quirky, odd or disturbing to share with the folks at your day job, Omnium Gatherum might be the publisher for you. Adult fiction with a strong voice and sense of place is preferred. YA of interest to adult reader may be considered. http://omniumgatherumbook.com

Kate is not looking for collections or anthologies at this time.

Omnium Gatherum publishes horror, dark fantasy and weird fiction. In the 5 years the press has been in operation, several titles have been nominated for awards. This year John Claude Smith’s, Riding the Centipede, and Ian Welke’s, End Times at Ridgemont High, are shortlisted for a Bram Stoker Award®.

monicaskuebler-headshotMonica S. Kuebler – Managing Editor, Rue Morgue Magazine

Monica will be accepting feature article/cover story pitches for Rue Morgue magazine at StokerCon. However, writers interested in being location correspondents and reviewers are also welcome. Rue Morgue is a print publication with a two-month lead time; we prefer to time coverage to month of release, so please keep that in mind when preparing your pitches. Pitches should detailed but succinct. They should include a rundown of what you’d like to cover (be it a film, book, video game, artist, cultural event/movement, etc.), who you would be interviewing for the piece (and whether you can attain the interview yourself or require our assistance), how long in word/page count you envision it, and whether it would have any sidebar articles or reviews to go with it. Lastly Rue Morgue is a horror mag, so please don’t pitch fantasy or sci-fi articles unless there is a strong horror element. Also, we don’t publish fiction, so none of that either, please. See you in Vegas!

Monica is the managing editor of Rue Morgue magazine, where she primarily handles editorial coverage about horror literature and non-fiction, and video games. Outside of her duties at Rue Morgue, where she’s wrangled words for the last thirteen years, she’s the author of the Blood Magic Saga, a young adult online vampire serial that first hit the weird wide web back in 2012 (and will be published in paperback later this year), and Rue Morgue Library Vol. 3: Weird Stats & Morbid Facts. She’s also the co-author of the 2002 poetry collection Some Words Spoken (with Cynthia Gould). For fifteen years, she ran and curated releases for acclaimed micro-press Burning Effigy, which closed its doors in spring of 2014. For more about Monica, visit monicaskuebler.com.

Rob and ChristineROB COHEN and CHRISTINE ROTH, Producers/Publishers Rothco Press/Co-Conspiracy Entertainment

They are looking for fiction and non-fiction books for the mainstream market with the potential to be optioned for TV or film. They are open to any genre, but nothing too overly extreme or bizarro.

Co-Conspiracy is a boutique film and television production company specializing in widely entertaining unscripted television development. We believe in creating great television by: finding amazing talent, creating and developing exclusive domestic and international formats and developing unique opportunities and project packages for our partners.

Rob and Christine have worked with Robert Rodriguez, John Fogelman, and Chris Patwa to create the El Rey Network, fostered and developed projects for Mark Burnett Productions including The Bible, Expedition Impossible, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Battlebots, and Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual. Their other credits include My Cat From Hell, Scream Queens, Punk’d, Beauty and the Geek, and publishing Caffeine Magazine.

So why start Rothco Press? The way they see it, it’s about selectivity and spotting trends.  Rob and Christine use their producers’ savvy to discover great works and timely stories, and connect with authors whose books, whether new, self-published, or out-of-print, not only interested them but have film and TV potential.

Rothco’s ambitious publication schedule includes new and reissued novels from best-selling author and cult hero Frank Lauria, best-selling comic romances from Jennifer Wiza (formerly Jennifer O’Connell), and originals from J.R. Mattison, Elizabyth Burtis and Criminal Minds technical advisor Jim Clemente. With new and upcoming works from Sam W. Anderson, Chesya Burke, Shane McKenzie, and David J. Schow.

http://co-conspiracy.tv/  http://rothcopress.com/

TE cr 2 PRODUCERTony Eldridge, Producer – Lonetree Entertainment

Tony Eldridge and his company Lonetree Entertainment develop and produce material for the feature film, broadcast television and cable markets.

He is looking for material with franchise potential. Can be a screenplay, book series or graphic novel with horror, suspense horror or erotic thriller elements.

Must be character driven with easily castable lead roles.

Not looking for material about Zombie’s Werewolves or Vampires.

His current slate includes “The Equalizer” and its sequel “The Equalizer 2”with Denzel Washington for Sony Pictures, “The War Magician” with Benedict Cumberbatch for Studio Canal and “The Black Stiletto” with Mila Kunis for ABC Studios. He is also developing screenplays for Jonathan Maberry’s “Joe Ledger” series and Heather Graham’s “Krewe of Hunters” series.

If you’d like some great advice on how to pitch click HERE.