Push to Publish 2019

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DATE: Saturday, October 12, 9am-5pm

LOCATION: Rosemont College, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont, PA 19010

(click here for campus map)

Whether you are an established writer or just getting started, this one-day workshop will provide valuable resources you can use to get your work in print and online. Highlights include:

  • Speed date with the editors and agents: Meet editors and agents who will review and offer feedback on your work (bring up to 5 pages of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction to review and discuss)
  • Learn how to increase your chances of getting published
  • Discuss the latest writing trends with professionals in the community
  • Get great marketing and networking tips to break into the competitive world of publishing

Contact: For Push to Publish questions, email push2publish@gmail.com.

Click Here To Register



Click here for bios of agents and editors. We will be adding more as they are confirmed. 

9:00-10:00 Registration and Breakfast 

Attendees will sign up for their speed dates at registration. Open speed date sessions will run in the morning. Appointments will be available the day of the event on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Note: Please see registration information below for details on pre-reserving an afternoon agent appointment.) Due to high demand, we limit one agent meeting per attendee. Attendees are free to sign up for additional appointments with agents, after initial sign-ups, as available.

10:00-11:00 Keynote Speaker 

Susan Muaddi Darraj is an Associate Professor of English at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland. A 2018 USA Ford Fellow, Susan is also a Lecturer in the Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Writing program and a faculty member in Fairfield University’s MFA program. In 2014, her short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named the winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. She was awarded a Ford Fellowship by USA Artists in 2018. In January 2020, Capstone Books will launch her debut children’s chapter book series, Farah Rocks, about a smart, brave Palestinian American girl named Farah Hajjar.

11:15-12:30 Speed Dating with Editors & Agents 

Editors and agents will meet with attendees in 10-minute sessions.

12:30-1:15 Lunch & Networking

1:15-2:15 Breakout Session I: Panels & Classes


1:30-2:30 Speed Dating With Agents (PRE-RESERVED APPOINTMENTS) 

Agents will meet with attendees who pre-reserved appointments in 10-minute sessions.

2:30-3:30 Breakout Session II: Panels & Classes


3:45-5:00 Breakout Session III: Meet the Agents

Agents share their tips for finding the right agent and selling your work. This interactive panel will include plenty of time for Q&A so you can get an insider’s perspectives on the publishing market today.

5:00-6:00 Happy Hour & Networking 

Meet new friends and share lessons learned!



Fee: $125 (Students, Seniors $95) includes Breakfast, Lunch, and one Speed-date Pass. Additional Speed-date passes can be purchased for $5 each. (No more than 3 total recommended.) (50% off for Rosemont students, faculty, and alumni — must provide valid proof of affiliation at registration)

Travel: For driving directions, click here. For transportation directions, click here. If you are taking public transportation, see SEPTA’s schedule for the Paoli/Thorndale rail line to the Rosemont station. Rosemont’s campus is a 5-10 minute walk from the station. Directions from Rosemont station: head right and when you reach the first corner, cross the street and head left. Keep heading down the street; it will curve and you will see the Rosemont Campus at your left.

Parking: You may park in ANY lot on the Rosemont Campus for free. You do not need to worry about the signs about permits. See the campus map for lot locations.

Pre-reserve an Agent: Attendees may pre-register for a guaranteed agent meeting in an afternoon time slot for a $25 fee (limit one meeting/attendee). Attendees MUST register for the Push to Publish conference to reserve an agent. It will count as use of your Speed-date Pass included with your registration. Click here to see available agents and meeting times.

Speed Date: Attendees will sign up for agent and editor meetings in the morning the day of the conference (first-come, first-serve). Those who have NOT pre-reserved an afternoon agent meeting will have the opportunity to sign up with an agent first (limit one agent meeting/attendee). All attendees are free to sign up for additional appointments with agents, after initial sign-ups, as available.

*We strongly recommend that attendees meeting with an agent have a completed or nearly completed manuscript. For those wishing to get feedback on their work, in-progress or completed, we recommend you meet with an editor.

Click Here To Register



Master Class with Susan Muaddi Darraj: “Voice” is often what makes or breaks a work of fiction, but few writers know what the term means. Through an analysis of several samples as well as writing exercises and prompts, participants will work on understanding and evoking their own distinct voices. Click here for more information. 

Where: Rosemont College, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont, PA 19010; Kaul Forum (click here for campus map).

Travel & Parking: For driving directions, click here. For transportation directions, click here.  You may park in the lot by Kaul for free (see campus map).

When: Friday, October 11, 11-4, 2019

Fee: $95 (Students, Seniors $85) includes Lunch. (50% off for Rosemont students, faculty, and alumni — must provide valid proof of affiliation at registration)

Click Here To Register


Click here for bios of agents and editors. We will be adding more as they are confirmed.


Agents – Speed Date

Jordy Albert

Jordy Albert

Jordy Albert is a Literary Agent and co-founder of The Booker Albert Literary Agency. She holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with Marisa Corvisiero during her time at the L. Perkins Agency and the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

SEEKING: Jordy is looking for young adult contemporary, sci-fi, and fantasy (romance is a plus). She’s also looking for smart, sexy contemporary and historical romance (Jordy definitely has a soft spot for a fantastic Regency). She’s drawn to strong, intelligent characters (snarky, but still likable). Please note that while it isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, she tends to shy away from novels with trigger topics, such as suicide and any type of abuse.

Maile Beal

Maile BealMaile is an agent with the Carol Mann Agency. Maile grew up in Kailua, Hawai’i before moving to the East Coast to earn her B.A. in English from Drexel University. A city girl at heart, the only thing she misses about her hometown is her dog, Simba. Maile began her publishing career as an intern with the Carol Mann Agency before joining the team as subrights manager and assistant to Myrsini Stephanides in 2017. Now, she is excited to be filling her own list with projects she’s passionate about. Maile currently lives in Philadelphia and commutes to New York – all the more time to read! She usually spends her free time binging her favorite TV shows and annoying her cat, Mae. You can follow Maile on Instagram and Twitter.

SEEKING: I’m interested in both fiction and non-fiction that amplifies underrepresented voices and untold stories. In fiction, I’m looking for voice-driven, commercial adult and YA as well as suspenseful, psychological thrillers. In non-fiction, I’m looking for everything from fun and humorous illustrated books to journalistic investigations of important and timely social issues.  I’m particularly interested in intersectional feminism, pop-culture and entertainment, true crime, and lifestyle and cookbooks with a fresh hook.  I am not looking for fantasy/sci-fi or prescriptive health/fitness books right now.

Heather Carr

Heather CarrHeather Carr is an associate agent at The Friedrich Agency. Originally from outside of Portland, OR, she received a B.A. in English from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, and ended her eastbound journey by settling in Brooklyn, NY with her 18-year-old cat. She spent her first few years in publishing at Trident Media Group before joining The Friedrich Agency in March 2018.

SEEKING: Heather is looking for voice-driven narrative nonfiction, especially relating to science, the environment, niche histories, and cultural criticism. She’s also seeking literary and high-concept commercial fiction including that which dabbles in the surreal and suspenseful, particularly about complex women and female friendship. In all writing, she’s on the hunt for a singular voice and new perspectives. She does not represent any work for children or young adults.

Sharon Chudnow

Sharon ChudnowSharon Chudnow moved from California to New York with her heart set on working in publishing and seeing a proper snowfall. After studying English and fine arts & design at Hofstra University, she spent time as an intern at New Leaf Literary and an assistant at Janklow & Nesbit Associates before joining InkWell Management. She spends her free time training for ballroom dance competitions, traveling great lengths for good food and fantasizing about getting a small dog. You can follow her on Twitter.

SEEKING: Sharon is drawn to the full gamut of children’s literature from picture books to YA, with special interest in science fiction & fantasy, contemporary fiction and the occasional creative nonfiction. She especially loves seeing stories about sibling relationships, multicultural identity, food, slice of life LGBTQ+, niche/specialty hobbies, and other cultures & their histories.

Caitlin McDonald

Caitlin MacDonaldCaitlin McDonald joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2015, and was previously at Sterling Lord Literistic. Caitlin grew up overseas and has a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

SEEKING: She represents adult and young adult science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and related subgenres, as well as contemporary fiction about geeky characters. She is particularly looking for stories with diverse casts and fresh takes on popular tropes or important topics of today’s world; genre-bending and crossover works; complex female leads and female-focused relationships; and any kind of heist. She also handles a small amount of nonfiction in geeky areas, with a focus on food, feminist theory/women’s issues, and pop culture.

Kelly Peterson

Kelly PetersonKelly Peterson is a West Chester University graduate with a B.S.Ed in English and Literature. She worked as a Junior Literary Agent for two years before moving to Rees Literary Agency, continuing to champion her authors and the manuscripts she loves.

SEEKING: Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies.

Jade Wong-Baxter

Jade Wong-Baxter

JADE WONG-BAXTER – junior agent and foreign rights associate – got her start in publishing at Writers House, W. W. Norton, and Folio Literary Management. A graduate of Vassar College, she joined Massie & McQuilkin in 2017.

SEEKING: She’s looking for adult literary/upmarket fiction and narrative nonfiction, with an emphasis on narratives by and about people of color, as well as the perspectives of marginalized identities.

Maximilian Ximenez

Maximilian XimenezMaximilian Ximenez grew up within the New York publishing industry. Prior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, he worked at Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the popular Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo video game franchises. He is a strong believer in publishing and narrative as a central pillar of franchise and transmedia development. Maximilian’s clients include two-time New York Times bestselling graphic novel author, Micky Neilson, and Lucien Soulban, lead writer of the BAFTA award winning video game Far Cry 3.

SEEKING: Maximilian is actively pursuing clients for both fiction and nonfiction works. In fiction, he is actively pursuing science fiction, fantasy, horror and thrillers, particularly cyberpunk and neo-noir as well as books with a uniquely deconstructive bent. For nonfiction, Maximilian is seeking popular science, true crime and books pertaining to arts and trends in developing fields and cultures.

Editors – Speed Date

Kelly Andrews

Kelly AndrewsKelly Lorraine Andrews is the editor-in-chief of Pretty Owl Poetry. She is the author of five chapbooks, most recently “Sonnets in Which the Speaker Is on Display” (Stranded Oak Press, 2019). She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh. Additional information can be found at kellyandrewspoetry.com.


Courtney Bambrick

Courtney BambrickCOURTNEY K. BAMBRICK is poetry editor of the regional literary magazine Philadelphia Stories. Her poetry has appeared online or in print in Apiary, Certain Circuits, Dirty Napkin, Philadelphia Poets, Mad Poets Review, and Schuylkill Valley Journal. She performed as part of the 2016 Welcome to Boog City Festival. Her chapbook Rape Baby was a runner up in the 2013 Pavement Saw chapbook competition and most of it was published as “Caring for Your Rape” in the Body Map series at The Fanzine, curated by Sarah Rose Etter. Courtney has taught composition, creative writing, and literature at a number of colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. In addition to poetry, Courtney has written and directed adaptations of plays and musicals for young people. She coordinates the Children’s Arts Program at Old Academy Players in Philadelphia. She lives outside the city with poet, painter, and musician, Peter Baroth.


Feliza Casano

Feliza CasanoFeliza Casano (MA Publishing ’15) is the marketing and publicity director at Lanternfish Press, an independent publisher located in Philadelphia. She specializes in speculative fiction, and her essays and reviews have appeared in The Portalist, The Mary Sue, and Unbound Worlds. Previous titles she helped acquire for Lanternfish Press include The Quelling by Barbara Barrow (September 2018), One Bronze Knuckle by Kenneth Hunter Gordon (March 2019), the reprint edition of Carmilla edited by Carmen Maria Machado (April 2019), and the upcoming novel Witches’ Dance by Erin Eileen Almond (October 2019). She’s especially interested in speculative fiction with well-crafted settings.

Lanternfish Press’s fall open submissions period is September 15-October 31 in 2019. We are open to submissions of novels and novellas with a speculative or gothic element and creative nonfiction focusing on cross-cultural boundaries. We are particularly looking for stories that draw on non-Western mythologies and traditions of the fantastic, Gothic fiction that’s more carnivalesque than depressing, and novella-length fictional encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other oddities.


Rick Chillot

Rick ChillotRick Chillot is an editor at Quirk Books, a small, independent publisher located in Philadelphia, PA. In his 25+ year publishing career, he’s been a writer, editor, and content planner for magazines, books, newspapers, web sites, newsletters, specialty publications, and other formats. Titles he’s worked on at Quirk include the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series, the Find Momo collection of photo books, and the graphic novels Manfried the Man, Giraffes on Horseback Salad, and We are Here Forever. Quirk Books favors fiction and nonfiction that supports an interesting design, intersects with pop culture, and offers a new angle on seemingly familiar subjects. Whatever the genre, we want ideas we haven’t seen before, and authors with enough command of their craft to make their weirdest stories entertaining and accessible to readers hungry for something different.

Rick is interested in fiction and non-fiction for adults that has one foot in the familiar and one foot in the strange, and that speaks to fans of sci-fi, comics and superheroes, fantasy, horror, comedy, and unexplored aspects of pop culture history. Offbeat gift book and humor pitches: yes. Zombies, poetry, or parodies of existing books: no thanks. Graphic novel pitches and unusual formats welcome, if the idea is sound and the quality level is high.


Chris Fenwick

Chris FenwickChris Fenwick is a writer, editor, marketer, and ecommerce professional. Initially, a foundational leader at Sunbury Press (2005-2009), she has returned this year as the Director of Fiction Imprints. Chris spent the last decade as Strategy Director in both for-profit and non-profit businesses. Her first novel, the 100th human, published in 2006 remains one of Sunbury Press’ all-time bestsellers. The first novel of her new four-book fantasy series, State Changers will be released this summer. She lives on a farm in rural Pennsylvania with her family and a multitude of animals.

SUBMISSIONS: Sunbury Press is always seeking new titles to publish including: history, historical fiction, police procedurals, crime thrillers, horror, steam punk, young adult, current events, science, reference, art history, ANY local/regional history, humor, spiritual/metaphysical, self-help, professional, memoirs, etc. If we didn’t mention your category — try us anyway!


Valerie Fox

Valerie Fox

Valerie Fox is a contributing editor at Texture Press, a small press active since 1989 out of Norman, Oklahoma. She is a poet and flash fiction writer whose books include Insomniatic, The Rorschach Factory, The Glass Book, and Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets (Second Edition), co-written with Lynn Levin. Much involved in collaboration, Fox has published many poems and stories co-written with Arlene Ang, and also published Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon, which is a compilation with Ang. She’s taught at numerous institutions, including Peirce College (in Philadelphia) and Sofia University (in Tokyo). She currently teaches writing at Drexel University.

Texture Press is the English language publisher of notable Slovenian author, Evald Flisar. TP publications include chapbooks, monographs, and full-length collections of poetry, plays, short fiction, and essays. Texture is interested in practical, education-related topics, as well. For several years, Fox has been helping Texture Press founder Susan Smith Nash develop literary and anthology projects.


Ayesha Hamid

Ayesha HamidAyesha F. Hamid is the editor-in-chief at The City Key. She is a Philadelphia-based poet and creative nonfiction writer, published in Blue Bonnet ReviewPhilly Flash Inferno, and the Rathalla Review. Her memoir, The Borderland Between Worlds, will be published by Auctus Publishers in 2020. Ayesha holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Publishing from Rosemont College, and an M.A. in Sociology from Brooklyn College. Aside from writing, Ayesha also loves travel and photography.


Alison Hicks

Alison-HicksAlison Hicks is the founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops. She is also the author of poetry collections You Who Took the Boat Out and Kiss, a chapbook Falling Dreams, a novella, Love: A Story of Images, and an anthology, Prompted. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Green Hills Literary Lantern, and has appeared in Eclipse, Fifth Wednesday, Gargoyle, Louisville Review, Passager, Permafrost, Poet Lore, and Whiskey Island, among other journals. Awards include the 2011 Philadelphia City Paper Poetry Prize and two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships. She will be happy to read literary or mainstream fiction, nonfiction and poetry. 


Jennifer Kasius

Jennifer KasiusJennifer is the Editorial Director of Running Press, a place she has been happy to call “home” for the last 15 years.  She has acquired several New York Times bestsellers including the #1 bestsellers You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, The Sneaky Chef  by Missy Chase Lapine, and Fabulicious! by Teresa Giudice. Some of her newest projects are Buddha’s Diet by Tara Cottrell and Dan Zigmond, Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federle, Vern Yip’s Design Wise, Liz Climo’s Lobster is the Best Medicine,  and Asha Gomez’s My Two Souths, which was one of the New York Times’ “Best Cookbooks of the Year” for 2016.  Before joining Running Press, she worked as an editor at Crown/Three Rivers Press, as well as the Dutton/Plume imprints.

Jennifer really loves offbeat and edgy voices, as well as books that have meaningful messages lurking beneath their fun packages. She is particularly drawn to the “quirky self-help” genre, but also like to acquire in the areas of lifestyle, memoir, pop-culture, and cooking.


Rachel Kolman

Rachel KolmanRachel Kolman is the managing editor of the Rathalla Review, a literary journal at Rosemont College. She is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia, PA, and an MFA candidate at Rosemont. She received her first MFA in fiction from the University of Central Florida, and has returned to Rosemont to focus on nonfiction. She also teaches in the First Year Writing Program at Drexel University. Her writing online can be found in Bustle, Good Housekeeping, Elle, Cosmo, Bodega Magazine, WhiskeyPaper, and others.


Gabriel Nathan

Gabriel NathanGabe is the Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries, an online mental health publication that tells stories of mental health, empowerment, and change. He is an author, editor, actor, playwright, director, and a lover of commas. For five years, he worked at Montgomery County Emergency Service, Inc. (MCES), a non-profit crisis psychiatric hospital in the capacity of Allied Therapist and, later, as Development Specialist. At MCES, he created innovative programs such as a psychiatric visiting nurse program, a suicide prevention collaboration with SEPTA, and an Inpatient Concert Series that brought professional performing artists to entertain the patients and enrich their inpatient experience. While at MCES, Gabe also produced and directed a full-scale production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with the staff of the hospital, as an exercise in teamwork, empathy-building, and creative expression. Gabe serves on the Board of Directors of the Thornton Wilder Society and is Editor of its newsletter. He lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife, twins and a basset hound named Tennessee.

OC87 Recovery Diaries offers an honorarium of $250 for accepted submissions. Please review the submissions guidelines before submitting.


Trish Rodriguez

Trish RodriguezTrish Rodriguez is the fiction editor for Philadelphia Stories. Trish lives, reads, and writes in Media, PA. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College where she teaches in the Rosemont Writers’ Studio. Her writing has been published in Awakened Voices and Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine. She has served as managing editor for Rathalla Review and is also the prose editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine.


Tara Tomczyk

Tara TomczykTara Tomczyk is editor in chief at Blydyn Square Books, headquartered in Lansdale, PA and Kenilworth, NJ. She has been a professional editor for over 21 years. She began her career at Enslow Publishers in New Jersey, where she specialized in editing nonfiction books for the young adult market, working primarily as a history, social studies, and biography editor. She then moved to McGraw-Hill, where she developed textbooks and other educational materials. She has also worked for Chelsea House Publishers/Facts on File, where she served as the executive editor in charge of science titles. In 2005, she started her own editorial services company. She eventually narrowed her focus to book publishing and helped launch Blydyn Square Books in 2015.

Blydyn Square Books specializes in literary fiction, but will consider any title that fits its company motto: Books That Make You Think. Tara’s favorite part of her job is discovering talented new writers—especially people who have never been published before—and working with them over the years to develop their writing. She will consider anything other than poetry and children’s books, with a main focus on literary and contemporary fiction.


John Wall Barger

John Wall BargerJohn Wall Barger is an editor for Painted Bride Quarterly. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Rattle, The Cincinnati Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Best of the Best Canadian Poetry. His fourth collection of poems is The Mean Game (Palimpsest, 2019). He lives in West Philadelphia.