Once again, StokerCon™ will offer an opportunity for attendees to pitch their projects directly to publishers, editors, and agents!

What Is a Pitch?

A pitch is a concise, engaging description of your project meant to pique the interest of the person to whom you are pitching your story. Make your pitch short—two or three sentences at most—and be prepared to answer questions.

What Should I Pitch?

Pitch finished projects. Do not pitch ideas. Make sure your work is error-free and ready to submit. If someone shows interest in your work, they will ask you to submit it once StokerCon™ has ended. 

To Whom Should I Pitch?

Choose pitch takers who actually represent your project. If you’ve written a Young Adult Horror novel, make sure the person/people to whom you want to pitch represent/publish YA Horror. This is a critical part of the pitch process—do your homework before you decide to whom you wish to pitch. You have one shot with this person. Make sure it counts.

How Do Pitch Sessions Work?

There are a limited number of pitch sessions for each publisher, editor, or agent assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, in the order the requests are received. When you preregister for a pitch session, list up to three of your preferred pitch takers. This helps your chances to get at least one of your favored choices.

What to Expect at a Virtual StokerCon™ Pitch Session

Pitch Session requests will open to registered attendees April 30th at noon EDT (Eastern Daylight
Time) and close on May 7th at noon EDT. Please email gonnhirr3382@gmail.com with your
top three choices. In the Subject line, put STOKERCON 2021 PITCH SESSION. Any pitch
requests received before the date and time listed above will be discarded, as will any
received after the closing time.

Once you have been assigned a pitch taker, a private video meeting will be set up within our Hopin virtual platform between you and the person to whom you will pitch your project. You will receive an invitation to attend the pitch meeting with the day and time of your pitch. You need to accept the invitation. When your pitch time arrives, you will receive a notification in Hopin that you have a meeting to attend. There is a small bell icon in the upper right corner of the event’s Reception page. This is where you will find your Notifications and it will notify you when the meeting is approaching. Press the Enter Meeting button to enter your pitch session.

Since a large part of the programming will be prerecorded and available on-demand, schedule conflicts should be fewer. However, if you have a conflict you cannot resolve on your own, please contact Pitch Coordinator, Brian Matthews, at gonnhirr3382@gmail.com.

Pitch sessions typically last five to ten minutes, but the person to whom you are pitching is in control of the meeting. When they inform you the pitch is over, please respect their decision. Your pitch taker likely has another pitch scheduled right after yours and needs time to make notes. If you miss your scheduled appointment, we will not be able to reschedule it.

Our 2021 StokerCon™ Pitch Takers!

Jennifer Barnes

Editor, Raw Dog Screaming Press

Jennifer Barnes is managing editor of Raw Dog Screaming Press and has been publishing for more than 15 years. She spent four years as an editor for The Dream People Literary Magazine. Her children’s book, Better Haunted Homes and Gardens, illustrated by Kristen Margiotta, is a seasonal favorite. Jennifer graduated from The University of Maryland with a BA in English and a concentration in poetry. She is also an accomplished graphic designer.

RDSP is looking for dark, speculative novels of 90,000 words or less, as well as book length poetry collections that do not rely heavily on rhyme. Authors desiring a collaborative approach, who want to take an active role in promoting their works, are preferred. We are particularly interested in writers from underrepresented groups with unique perspectives. RDSP publishes works with a literary bent that take new approaches either to form or subject. We are not interested in standard tropes from a traditional perspective.

Leza Cantoral

Editor-in-Chief, CLASH Books

Christoph Paul

Managing Editor, CLASH Books

Leza Cantoral is the Editor in Chief of CLASH Books and Black Telephone Magazine. She is the author of Trash Panda & Cartoons in the Suicide Forest. Find her online on Twitter and IG @lezacantoral and hosting Witch TV, a witchy podcast exploring cults, mind control and strange phenomena on CLASH Books TV on YouTube. She is also the host of Black Telephone TV, a show featuring the contributors of Black Telephone Magazine, which she co-hosts with editor and author Lindsay Lerman (I’m From Nowhere). Leza lives in a haunted bungalow with Christoph Paul (Managing Editor, CLASH Books) in upstate New York and is happy to talk to ghosts whenever they come to visit. 

WITCH TV podcast 
Cynthia Pelayo on Black Telephone TV

Christoph Paul is the singer/bass player for the rock band The Dionysus Effect, managing editor of CLASH Books, and an award-winning author. He wrote his first story at the tender age of six about a pool monster who attacks belly-floppers. You can find him online managing the CLASH Books twitter and hosting Paragraphs & Power Chords, a podcast where writers and musicians share their twin passions.

Find the podcast on CLASH Books TV on YouTube. John Skipp episode of Paragraphs & Power Chords

CLASH Books is an independent, intersectional press based in New Hampshire that publishes powerful and diverse voices in all genres. Leza and Christoph are looking for unique voices, language that stands out, and characters that compel her. In particular, they are interested in stories involving women, POC, and LGBTQ.

Elizabeth Copps

Agent, Copps Literary Services, LLC

For the past decade, Elizabeth has dedicated herself to the care and management of author
careers. Her business philosophy is simple: to foster relationships across the industry that are
equitable, transparent, and long-lasting.

She launched Copps Literary Services in January 2021 and is excited to build upon her list award-winning and eclectic clients—including horror authors Andy Davidson and Philip
Fracassi—from her current home of Denver, Colorado.

She is seeking various subgenres of horror, particularly projects that fall under the umbrella of
smart and unusual psychological, occult, gothic, noir or “weird” horror. She is also interested in
crime/horror crossovers, as well as thrillers and mysteries with dark and spooky elements. She is
very open to projects featuring the speculative and paranormal assuming it is not the entire focus
of the piece. Anything steeped in myth and folklore is right up her alley. 

Specifically, if your work can be comped to: Lauren Beukes, Grady Hendrix, Silvia Garcia-
Moreno, Alma Katsu, Victor LaValle, Mariko Koike, Sarah Gran, Kat Howard, or Carmen Maria
Machado, or Han Kang Elizabeth wants to hear about it.

She is NOT looking for projects with heavy sci-fi or fantasy elements, body horror, anything
post-apocalyptic (cough, no pandemic stories please), or police procedurals.

Don D’Auria 

Executive Editor, Flame Tree Press

For fifteen years, Don D’Auria directed Leisure Books’ horror line, which Rue Morgue magazine called “the champion of paperback horror.” Don went on to launch and direct for six years Samhain Publishing’s horror line, described by Famous Monsters as “one of the premiere lines in the genre.” During his career, he has been fortunate to work with some of the leading talents in the field, including Ramsey Campbell, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Edward Lee, Jonathan Janz, John Everson, Brian Keene, Graham Masterton, Thomas Tessier, Douglas Clegg, Hugh B. Cave, and William F. Nolan. He is the recipient of an International Horror Guild Award for his contributions to the genre. Don D’Auria is Executive Editor at Flame Tree Press, editing horror, science fiction, crime, and fantasy. He is looking for novels in those genres between 70,000 and 120,000 words in length. He is not looking for nonfiction, YA, novellas, or short stories.

Chelsey Emmelhainz

Literary Agent, Copps Literary Services, LLC

Chelsey Emmelhainz joined Copps Literary Services as a literary agent after a decade as an
editor of upmarket adult fiction and nonfiction. She got her start in publishing at HarperCollins
and was most recently a senior editor at Crooked Lane Books where she worked with horror
authors including Damien Angelica Walters, Jo Kaplan, and Melanie Golding. 

Chelsey is most often drawn to horror of the soul: psychological and supernatural horror that
evolves from what we fear most but seems to exist just outside our periphery. She is especially
interested in stories that marry the known and the unknown, taking us from a place of familiarity
to a waking nightmare, and those that approach horror tropes in fresh, terrifying ways or consider
them through a new lens. With a focus on traditionally underrepresented and up-and-coming
voices in the horror space, Chelsey is looking for upmarket projects that sit at the intersection of
horror and suspense, appealing to savvy genre readers and mainstream audiences alike.

If your work is for fans of authors like Shirley Jackson, Paul Tremblay, Alma Katsu, Carmen
Maria-Machado, Tananarive Due, or movies like Midsommer, Hereditary, The Lodge,
Annihilation, The Witch, or Triangle she’d like to hear about it.

Chelsey is not looking for projects featuring sci-fi or fantastical elements (i.e. robots, demons,
zombies, vampires, etc.), monsters (i.e. Bigfoot, chupacabras, etc.), humor, or gratuitous
violence.

Angie Hodapp

Director of Literary Development, Nelson Literary Agency

 Angie holds a BA in English and secondary education and an MA in English and communication development. A graduate of the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver, she has worked in professional writing, editing, and education for more than twenty years. The author of Query Craft and Do You Need a Literary Agent, she loves helping writers hone their skills and learn about the ever-changing world of publishing. When she’s not scootering around Denver, knitting while listening to audiobooks, or drinking coffee, she’s probably writing.

Angie scouts and accepts pitches for the Nelson Literary Agency on behalf of agents Quressa Robinson, Danielle Burby, and Joanna Mackenzie. Quressa just started actively looking for horror in the adult and YA spaces last year. Danielle looks for dark fantasy in the MG and YA spaces. Joanna is looking for the next big psychological horror/thriller, though she just sold in a debut horror author last fall—Katrina Monroe.

Kate Jonez

Editor, Omnium Gatherum

Omnium Gatherum is a Bram Stoker Award (R) winning small press that specializes in horror, dark fantasy and weird fiction. We’re looking for adult or YA novel series or novella series. Characters should have a strong voice and we are always looking for horrors we haven’t seen before. We are most likely to be interested in stories with a contemporary or near future setting. 

Becky LeJeune

Agent, Bond Literary Agency

Bond Literary Agency is a small, full-service literary agency with a select list of clients. Sitting smack dab in the middle of the greater metro Denver area, we work with the large houses in New York and mid-size and small publishers all over the country. The Agency represents BOOKS, not screenplays or theatrical plays.      

Sandra Bond started her agency in Denver (born & raised!) many, many years ago. She and associate agents Becky LeJeune and Patrick Munnelly work with both first-time and previously-published authors, and their clients write adult fiction in various genres, young adult fiction, and many categories of nonfiction. They do not represent traditional romance, poetry, children’s picture books or screenplays.

Becky LeJeune met Sandra Bond at the Denver Publishing Institute when she was a student there in 2007. After DPI, she spent 2 years working as the managing editor for a cookbook imprint, and then 5 years as an acquisitions editor at The History Press before joining Sandra at BLA in 2014.

She is interested in adult and teen general fiction, horror, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and cookbooks.

Kristin Nelson

Agent, Nelson Literary Agency, LLC

Kristin established Nelson Literary Agency, LLC, in 2002 and over the last decade and a half of her career, she has represented over forty-five New York Times bestselling titles and many USA Today bestsellers. One of her client’s books, Bird Box, is a Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock and Trevante Rhodes. Her goal as an agent is simple: she wants every client of hers to make a living solely from writing and 90% of her clients do just that. Those clients include Marie Lu, Stacey Lee, Josh Malerman, Jamie Ford, Hugh Howey, Gail Carriger, J.D. Barker, Richard Chizmar, E.R. Ramzipoor, Ally Carter, Swati Teerdhala, Scott Reintgen.

She is currently looking for literary/commercial novels that tackle timely issues or complicated relationship dynamics, high concept, character-driven novels with one foot squarely in genre, absolutely delightful and emotional engaging novels that can be read over and over again, character-driven novels in the thriller, speculative or science fiction and fantasy realm, historical novels that feature a narrative voice and story that is under-represented in history, young adult novels that pack a serious or a delightful emotional punch.

When she is not busy selling books, Kristin plays tennis, pickle ball, and golf. She also enjoys playing Bridge (where she is the youngest person in her club), and can often be found hiking in the mountains with her husband.

Member: AAR, SFWA, SCBWI. Please visit  www.nelsonagency.com for submission guidelines 

Alec Shane

Agent, Writers House Literary Agency

Alec Shane majored in English at Brown University, a degree he put to immediate use by moving to Los Angeles after graduation to become a professional stunt man. Realizing that he prefers books to breakaway glass, he moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career in publishing. Alec quickly found a home at Writers House Literary Agency and is now aggressively building his own list.

On the nonfiction side, Alec would love to see humor, biography, history (particularly military history), true crime, “guy” reads, and all things sports. In fiction, Alec is looking for mystery, thrillers (though he’s experiencing terrorist fatigue at the moment), suspense, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, and middle grade and young adult fiction.

In the horror genre specifically, Alec would love to learn about monsters, legends, and evils from other cultures; he’s not opposed to the occasional vampire or demon story, but that isn’t his focus right now. He’s also on the lookout for a female serial killer (or just female villains in general), haunted houses, abandoned asylums, and towns harboring secrets. In juvenile horror, if it’s fast-paced and features a group of kids biting off more than they can chew, he’s in.  

He doesn’t want Romance, straight sci-fi, high fantasy, picture books, self-help, women’s fiction, food, or travel memoir.

Cherry Weiner

Agent, Cherry Weiner Literary Agency

Cherry Weiner grew up in Australia, lived in Europe for three and a half years, and moved to America 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 drop any 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. She started out by handling science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She now handles all genres of fiction. She handles 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 each category can break out into. Only once in a very special situation has non-fiction crept into the mix but no poetry, no children’s fiction and no Young Adult works. If she handles any Y.A., it’s science fiction, fantasy, or horror, and only by the authors she already represents in adult fiction.