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This free virtual event is exclusively open to Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) who live in Queens. 

Do you have a polished manuscript you've revised and revised (and revised again)? Frustrated with the (overwhelmingly white) gatekeepers of the publishing industry? Whether you are ready to begin your search for an agent and/or editor, or you've already been querying for a while, be sure to join Newtown Literary this December 12th:


PUBLISHING ROUNDTABLE: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Moderated by the award-winning Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers

Literary agents and editors with experience at renowned agencies and publishing houses will discuss the dos and don'ts for pitching your project, what unique challenges writers of color face, the current state of the industry during the pandemic, efforts to make publishing more inclusive, and what each of them are personally looking to represent/acquire.

PITCH EVENT for select BIPOC WRITERS: 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 

Submit your query letter for an opportunity to meet individually with one of our panelists to pitch your manuscript (fiction) or proposal (non-fiction). You must attend roundtable in order to pitch the agent or editor of your choice. (Disclaimer: editors and agents are under no obligation to work with you beyond the event other than providing feedback on how to strengthen your query or proposal--but if they connect with your work, they may request to see more. So bring your best!)

*Query letters must be submitted by Friday, December 4th to be considered for a spot with panelists. Selected writers will receive confirmation of their time slots by Wednesday, December 9th.

Panelists and Pitch Event participants include:

Daniel Vazquez 

Daniel Vazquez, Associate Editor at Astra House

Daniel Vazquez is from Queens, NY. He is an Associate Editor at Astra House, an imprint of Astra Publishing House, where he’s focused on acquiring genre-bending literary fiction and narrative nonfiction representing strong, underrepresented voices and bold, progressive ideas. Previously, he worked in editorial at MCD / FSG and at HarperCollins and in publicity & marketing at The New Press. He is a graduate of the Publishing Certificate Program at City College.


Vivian Lee 

Vivian Lee, Freelance Editor

Vivian Lee is a writer and editor. Her booklist includes Matthew Salesses' The Hundred-Year Flood, Viet Dinh's After Disasters (PEN/Faulkner Finalist), Naima Coster's Halsey Street (Kirkus Prize Finalist), and Harold Schechter's Hell's Princess (A Washington Post Bestseller).

She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in Literary Journalism and from the New School University in New York with a MFA in Creative Writing (Non-Fiction). She is a 2018 PW Rising Star Honoree. Originally from Los Angeles, she now resides in Queens. 


Katie Kotchman 

Katie Kotchman, Literary Agent at Don Congdon

Katie began her career at Denise Marcil Literary Agency in 2005 and joined Don Congdon Associates as an agent in 2008. In non-fiction, she specializes in business (all areas), narrative non-fiction (particularly popular science, pop culture, memoir, and social/cultural issues), and self-help that focuses on success, motivation, and psychology. Katie is actively seeking new nonfiction clients with built-in platforms from whom she can learn something new. In fiction, she’s interested in representing women’s fiction and literary fiction. In all areas, she’s particularly interested in characters who struggle with dualities of nature and/or culture, as the topics of cognitive dissonance and those who straddle two different worlds fascinate her. She has soft spots for the Midwest, family secrets, and a good underdog story. 


Cherise Fisher 

Cherise Fisher, Literary Agent at Wendy Sherman Associates

Over the course of her twenty-five year career as an acquiring editor at Simon & Schuster and the Editor in Chief of Plume (an imprint of Penguin Random House), Cherise Fisher has edited and published several national bestselling and award winning authors, including George Lopez, Nelson George, Victoria Christopher Murray, Bil Wright, Sadeqa Johnson, and Tony Parsons.

As an agent, Cherise Fisher is interested in working with novelists who have several compulsively readable yarns in their head and are committed to perfecting their craft as storytellers. She will advocate for memoirs that uncover the diversity of human experience, and take on non-fiction writers who are experts on a variety of topics such as personal development, health and sexuality, racial identity, spirituality, African American history, and pop culture. Her intention is that all the books she helps bring into the world are relevant, enduring, and help readers maximize joy and productivity in their lives.


Lisa Ko 


Moderated by Lisa Ko, novelist:

Lisa Ko's first novel, The Leavers, was a 2017 National Book Award for Fiction finalist, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, The Believer, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City.


Cost: FREE (see below)

When: Saturday, December 12th, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

Where: Entire event to be held online; individual pitch sessions will be held as breakout rooms. Virtual log-in information will be sent to attendees the morning of the event, on Saturday, December 12th.


Please reach out to christine@newtownliterary.org with any questions in the meantime.


This event is made possible, in part, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.