Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Agent/Editor Pitch Session

Date(s) - 06/10/2023
10:30 am - 12:00 pm




Your chance to pitch your book to an industry professional!

JUNE 10, 2023, from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific.

Location: on ZOOM

Fees: Fees are non-refundable.

SCBWI members: $65

Non-members: $70


Notes: You must pre-register. Registration closes at 11:59 PM Pacific, May 26, 2023. We will not accept registrations after that date. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and we expect this event to fill quickly.



SCBWIWWA-AgentEditorPitch-2023-facultyMichaela Whatnall
Trisha de Guzman



Briefly, what is the 2023 SCBWI-WWA Agent Editor Pitch Event?

Via Zoom, you will have the chance to speak with an industry professional for five minutes by presenting a pitch of your completed kidlit project.


What is a “live 5-minute pitch”?

Your pitch session is a five-minute period of uninterrupted time with a literary agent or editor. You talk about your book and the agent/editor can ask clarifying questions. You will NOT present the manuscript itself, you will just talk about it. The agent/editors are not obligated to invite you to submit your manuscript (but they may!). Think of this as a 5-minute opportunity to talk about the concepts and motivations of your project directly with an industry professional.

You can think of a pitch as a verbal version of a query letter. You talk to the agent/editor about the basics of your book (title, genre, length), what the book is about, maybe how you came to write it, and then a little about you. The agent will ask questions and make comments.

You can memorize your pitch. Or you can have a free-flowing discussion. Either way we suggest you PREPARE AND PRACTICE your 5-minute pitch in advance.

You will not submit a manuscript. This is a live, verbal, 5-minute pitch session. Your tools are your voice and your glowing personality.


What is the schedule for the event?

10:30 am Group Introduction 

Log into the Zoom event on June 10, 2023, at 10:30AM. (Attendees will receive the link on the day before the event.) As a large group, we will introduce the faculty and explain the details of the event. 

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Pitch Session

You will be sent into a “breakout room.” In that Zoom breakout room will be: the agent or editor you are registered to pitch to; a volunteer with the SCBWI; and the other 9 people who are registered to pitch to that agent or editor. The SCBWI volunteer will call your name at some point during the hour. When your name is called, you will be “spotlighted” and give the agent or editor your 5-minute pitch. When your 5 minutes are up, the SCBWI volunteer will let you know, and your pitch is done. At that point you may leave the meeting. Or you may stay and watch the other pitches.


Can I pitch an incomplete manuscript?

The manuscript that you are pitching should be complete. Most professionals prefer to hear pitches on finished works. It is a “best practice” to only pitch manuscripts that are complete. Please, register for this event ONLY IF your manuscript is finished and ready to send to an agent or editor. This is NOT a manuscript critique session. It is a 5-minute PITCH session.


Can I pitch more than one book?

Please pitch only one book in your 5-minute session. If the book is part of a series, you can mention that. You may mention other titles you’ve created as part of your bio/background. If the agent or editor asks you to describe other books you’ve created, of course you can talk about those titles. We advise that you focus your 5-minute talk on one book only. Five minutes goes by fast.


Can I pitch more than one agent or editor?

Each attendee will pitch to one agent or editor during this event. When you register, you have an opportunity to select an agent or editor. If the agent or editor you prefer is sold out, you may add your name to a waitlist for that particular agent/editor or you may select from other available faculty (but please make sure that faculty member does accept the type of work you plan to pitch).


Does pitching mean I get to submit my manuscript to that agent or editor?

Participants are not guaranteed an invitation to submit your manuscript. The agent or editor may invite you to submit your manuscript, but that is not the object of this pitch session. The object of this session is to give you the opportunity to deliver a verbal pitch to a professional, and receive verbal feedback about it in real time.


How will I know if the agent or editor is interested in a manuscript like mine?

Many editors and agents limit the scope of their work to a few specific genres or subjects. Please read the descriptions below, and follow the links provided, to learn about the interests of the agents and editors who will be at this event. Please ONLY register with an agent or editor who has mentioned the type of book that you are pitching–or has stated that they are open to all genres. If an agent does not list your genre in their wish list, that means the agent or editor does not work with your type of book—and the session will not be productive for either of you.


Who are the professionals hearing pitches at the event?

The industry professionals at this event are below. Please read their information carefully and select the professional whose interests align with your work.

NOTE: When registering, you may only select one agent or editor. 


Alicia Sparrow, Editor at Chicago Review Press

BIO I am Alicia Sparrow, and I am the Acquisitions Editor for three imprints at Chicago Review Press: Lawrence Hill Books, Council Oak Books, and Amberjack Publishing. I’ve been in the book industry since 2013, having worked previously as a bookseller at a Chicago South Side bookstore, in IPG’s Sales department working with the corporate buyers from Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million, as well as holding an editorial position at The University of Chicago Press.


Also Interested in: “BIPOC, Own Voices, and LGBTQIA+ picture books and YA fiction are of *HUGE* interest to me; I have to be very selective with my picture books, but am very open to YA submissions of all kinds and genres.”

NOT ACCEPTING PITCHES ABOUT Picture books about animals

Michaela Whatnall,  Agent with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret ***

Michaela Whatnall’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

SCBWIWWA-AgentEditorPitch-2023-facultyMichaela WhatnallBIO Michaela Whatnall is an agent with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret, where they have worked out of the West Coast office since 2019. They have a degree in English and linguistics from Emory University and completed the Columbia Publishing Course. Michaela represents middle grade and young adult fiction across genres; upmarket adult fiction and fantasy; and select picture books, graphic novels, and narrative nonfiction.




Trisha de Guzman, Editor at Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers ***Trisha de Guzman’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

BIO Trisha de Guzman is an Editor at Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, acquiring and editing picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels. Born in the Philippines, she immigrated to NYC from Manila when she was seven years old. She’s passionate about amplifying BIPOC creators and making kidlit a more inclusive place. In her spare time, she likes to climb rocks, ride bikes, and scout the best boba in the city. Visit her at or on Twitter at @trishadeg.


Also interested in: “I am especially eager for more middle grade fiction!”

NOT ACCEPTING PITCHES ABOUT “I am not the right editor for graphic novels, WW2 narratives, or picture books about animal characters.”


Erinn Pascal, Editor at Andrews McMeel Universal ***Erinn Pascal’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

BIO Erinn Pascal joined Andrews McMeel Universal in 2021. Prior to AMU, she held editorial positions at Scholastic, Disney, and Simon & Schuster. Erinn grew up in Pembroke Pines, FL and graduated with a BFA in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA. At AMU, Erinn manages the kids’ publishing list. She’s most interested in uplifting creators and their authentic visions, from licensed kids’ cookbooks to middle grade graphic novels to activity books to everything in-between. When she’s not editing, Erinn can be found defending the Star Wars prequels; “vegan”-izing family Colombian and Jewish recipes; taking her mini Bernedoodle, Obi, to the dog park; doing Pilates; or browsing the local farmer’s market for fresh veggies (baby cauliflower is her favorite).

WISH LIST    PLEASE NOTE: Attendees are not required to have an agent to pitch to Erinn during this event.

Also interested in: “VERY interested in graphic novels and middle grade nonfiction”

NOT ACCEPTING PITCHES ABOUT “Picture and board books; too young for me!”

Stephen Barr, Senior Literary Agent with Writers House. ***Stephen Barr’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

BIO Stephen Barr is a senior literary agent at Writers House, where he started out as an intern in the winter of 2008 after graduating from UCLA with a degree in something. He represents a broad stripe of authors across all genres, with a steady hankering for audacious YA, intricate picture books, mysteries that handcuff humor and tragedy to the same radiator, world-bending middle grade, fearless reportage, and really any literary or commercial fiction that tackles heavy themes with a light touch. He’s also the author of The Upside Down Hat, illustrated by Gracey Zhang, which was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2022, and the owner of a drum kit he built in his basement that he’s hoping his neighbors will somehow not notice. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife, son, daughter, and books.



Asia Citro, Editor at The Innovation Press ***Asia Citro’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

BIO Asia Citro, M. Ed, is a former classroom science teacher with a Master’s in Science Education. She is the author of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids, The Curious Kid’s Science Book, and the Zoey and Sassafras chapter book series, among others. She is also the creator of the popular blog Fun at Home with Kids, the owner of The Innovation Press, and the founder of the Seattle Children’s Book Festival. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, The Chicago Tribune, Today, Disney Baby, MSN, King 5 TV, and Highlights, among others.



Also interested in: “Anything I haven’t seen before; voices I haven’t heard from before; topics I haven’t seen before.”

NOT ACCEPTING PITCHES ABOUT: Counting, ABC, or holiday themed books.

Julia Johnson, Editor at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s  ***Julia Johnson’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

BIO: Julia Johnson joined the Katherine Tegen Books team, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s in 2021. She started her publishing career as an intern at Writers House, though she had several internships at nonprofits throughout her time in college. Julia works on all children’s books, from picture books through teen. She graduated from the George Washington University with a major in Creative Writing and English. When she’s not reading, she loves going for long walks, spending time with her cat, and finding the best food spots in NYC.


Also interested in: “As of right now, I’m very interested and focused on finding voicey YA novels–in this genre, I am particularly drawn to contemporary rom coms though I am open to other genres as well. And I am also really invested in finding more adoptee stories across all age groups. I was adopted, and I only knew a handful of stories that dealt with these themes of identity when I was growing up, so this is a huge priority for me. As an overarching note, I love voice driven stories; stories that approach a common topic in a nuanced way/ angle I haven’t seen before; and it is very important for me to find diverse stories and work with BIPOC creators/creators from marginalized identities.”

NOT ACCEPTING PITCHES ABOUT “I’m not taking on any chapter books, board books, or graphic novels at this time. In picture books, I’m not the right editor if it’s a holiday based book or a rhyming book. In general, I’m very open to all types of stories as I am actively building my list, so I would love to see stories in genres that I might not normally think of or read as often in my personal life (ex: science fiction or narrative non-fiction).”

Alyssa Mito Pusey, Executive Editor at Charlesbridge ***Alyssa Mito Pusey’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

BIO Alyssa Mito Pusey is an executive editor at Charlesbridge. As a nonfiction specialist, she firmly believes there is nothing as astonishing as real life. Almost any topic can hook her—as long as it’s approached from an unexpected angle. In addition to nonfiction, she edits the occasional fiction title with memorable characters and strong school-and-library hooks. In both nonfiction and fiction, she looks for diversity, innovation, clarity, and voice. Humor is a plus! Alyssa’s titles include HOW TO BUILD A HUMAN by Pamela S. Turner, WHAT’S IN YOUR POCKET? by Heather L. Montgomery, MARIO AND THE HOLE IN THE SKY by Elizabeth Rusch, A BLACK HOLE IS NOT A HOLE by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano, the Baby Loves Science series by Ruth Spiro, and the Storytelling Math series with Grace Lin and other authors.


Also interested in, “I’m always looking for innovative STEM picture books that have both heart and humor!”

NOT ACCEPTING PITCHES ABOUT “I’m not looking for MG and YA fiction at this time.”

Kaitlyn Sanchez, Agent with Bradford Literary Agency ***Kaitlyn Sanchez’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

BIO Kaitlyn Sanchez is a mom, wife, agent with Bradford Literary Agency, and middle school math teacher. She’s also the proud co-creator and co-host of the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest and Kidlit Zombie Week as well as creator and co-host of the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest. In her free time, she loves to play soccer, binge-watch TV shows, and, of course, read. Especially when she’s all cozied up with her husband and daughter reading together. Website:  Twitter: @KaitlynLeann17, Facebook:   Kaitlyn has sold 30 books in her first three years of agenting, some representative titles are Mushroom Rain, Hattie Hates Hugs, Brave Like Mom, Trucker Kid, Old Friends, Whatever Comes Tomorrow, Platanos are Love, Giraffe is Too Tall for This Book, Same Love, Different Hug, Simply Skye, Too Much: An Overwhelming Day. 


Also interested in: “I’m incredibly interested in funny right now, but I’m always a sap for anything heartfelt as well. I’m always looking for anything unique in the picture book through young adult space. On the graphic novel side, I’m particularly looking for author-illustrators or an author-illustrator team. I tend to lean more commercial for graphic novels but would definitely consider more literary-leaning if the art is lovely. Overall, wow me with your story, your voice, and dazzling art, and I’ll be amazed!”

NOT ACCEPTING PITCHES ABOUT “I’m not looking for chapter books, board books, or romance (stories with romance embedded

are totally game, just not pure romance).”


Maria Vicente, Senior Literary Agent and Advisor with P.S. Literary Agency ***Maria Vicente’s group is full, please select a different agent or editor***

BIO Maria Vicente is a Senior Literary Agent and Advisor at P.S. Literary Agency representing innovative and beautifully written (and often illustrated) books for readers of all ages. She connects her clients with the very best publishing partners to bring their stories to readers across the globe. Whether it’s collaborating on early manuscript drafts and proposals, negotiating deal terms and contracts, or planning for long-term success, she advocates for her clients behind-the-scenes every step of the way. In her nine years at P.S. Literary, Maria has launched the careers of many authors and illustrators. She lives in New Brunswick, Canada, reading and selling books from the Atlantic Ocean shore.


Also interested in: “I’m eager to add more novels to my list at the moment,  particularly YA Contemporary and MG Fantasy.”