WNBA Wednesday: Query Roulette Recap

Query Roulette 2014 Recap by Jessica Napp, Guest Blogger

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Jessica Napp is our new VP of Communications and the Associate Director of Publicity for Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. She focuses on publicizing and marketing lifestyle books ranging from interior design and fashion, to cooking, photography, and pop culture.  Over the years Jessica has held positions at Stewart, Tabori & Chang; Abrams Books; Simon & Schuster; and Little, Brown. She holds a MS degree in Publishing from Pace University and a dual undergraduate degree from Fairfield University. Jessica also is the marketing consultant to Mambo 64, a Latin-fusion restaurant in Tuckahoe, NY and in her spare time, Jessica enjoys attending theater, practicing Pilates, and learning about the culinary arts. She lives in New Jersey with her husband.

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WNBA-NYC’s Query Roulette at the offices of the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

It’s like speed-dating, but instead of looking for a love match, you are looking for a book match. On Thursday, February 27th the WNBA-NYC Chapter hosted its 6th annual Query Roulette, affectionately known by the members as QR. QR is a unique evening where members of WNBA-NYC have the opportunity to meet with top literary agents working in the field today, get real time feed back on their query letters and manuscripts, and advice on how to get a literary agent to notice their work–and ultimately sign them!

Hosted at the offices of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) on Fifth Avenue, nine agents were on hand with a wide breathe of experience ranging from fiction to non-fiction, children’s and YA, and everything in between. The evening’s format is not dissimilar from an evening of speed-dating where agents and potential authors meet for a 10 minute window before the timer buzzes and the next meeting with another agent begins. Chapter President Jane Kinney-Denning welcomed all at the beginning of the evening and wished everyone luck as they began their journey on the road to being a published author.

Agent Joanna Volpe offering her best advice on a query letter.

Agent Joanna Volpe offering her best advice on a query letter.

We were fortunate enough to have with us for the evening Laura Biagi (Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency), Danielle Burby (Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency), Jita Fumich (Folio Literary Management), Sarah Lapolla (Bradford Literary Agency), Monica Odom (Liza Dawson Associates), Jessica Regel (Foundry Literary and Media), Jessica Sinsheimer (Sarah Jane Freymann Agency), Becca Stumpf (Prospect Agency), and Joanna Volpe (New Leaf Literary & Media). Many agents happily reported great conversations and after dispensing their best advice are eager to see some projects from our members.

WNBA-NYC members enjoyed the evening, but most importantly soaked up all of the constructive advice and feedback. Published author/poet Harriet Shenkman spoke with three agents about her latest novel, The Camel Tamer, which examines national and personal identity and the conflicts that arise over a fixed view of who we and who we think others must be. Fellow WNBA-NYC member Linda Rosen was able to pitch her newest novel based on a real-life female winery owner based in PA, who despite the odds of life working against her, became one of the most acclaimed wine makers in the country, but not without high personal stakes and new-found friendships to make it all possible.

WNBA-NYC member Linda Rosen discussing her novel with agent Monica Odom.

WNBA-NYC member Linda Rosen discussing her novel with agent Monica Odom.

Attendees, we would love to hear your comments and do make a mental note to join us next year as this event sells out quickly!

Last, but certainly not least, a big THANK YOU to the AAP for the use of their space and to the WNBA-NYC members who organized the event: Rachel Weiss-Feldman, Roz Resiner, Linda Epstein, and Linda Rosen.

And remember to visit our events page for upcoming events. We have an exciting line up for March: a panel on how to successfully self-publish your own book, in conjunction with our friends at Wix Lounge and the other is in conjunction with New York University and the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House focusing on the “write” relationships needed among agent, author, and editor. http://wnba-nyc.org/events/

All agents were sent home with a special "thank you" gift from their friends at the WNBA-NYC.

All agents were sent home with a special “thank you” gift from their friends at the WNBA-NYC.

About Blog Editor

The Women’s National Book Association was founded in 1917 by female booksellers who weren’t allowed in the men’s organizations. Nearly 100 years later, the WNBA is still supporting women in the book industry through literary events, networking, literacy projects, workshops, open mic nights, book clubs, and many other entertaining programs throughout the season!

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