Speed dating with publishers & agents – part 1

This was the first of two panel discussions where publishers were pitching to the conference about ‘why you should go on a date with me’.  Some got the concept better than others, but it was a lot of fun.

First panel consisted of:

  • Clare Foster – Curtis Brown Australia (agents)
  • Joel Naoum – Momentum
  • Larissa Edwards – Simon & Schuster
  • Haylee Kerans – Harlequin Australia
  • Anna Valdinger – Harper Collins / Avon

Clare Foster – Curtis Brown Australia

  • oldest Australian agents
  • a blue ‘fainting couch’ in the Victorian office
  • miss most of this pitch.  sorry!

Joel Naoum – Momentum

  • Australian only digital imprint, part of Pan MacMillan
  • 80 titles in the past 10 months
  • Hot Down Under launching in November – 13 erotic shorts
  • unsolicited submissions every Monday
  • guidelines on website – please follow
  • general digital publisher, looking for anything

Larissa Edwards – Simon & Schuster

  • experience as a book shop owner, book seller, book publisher
  • book world in state of flux
  • looking for anything – commercial woman’s fiction
  • any form, print and digital
  • send paper submissions to head office at Cammeray addressed to Larissa

Haylee Kerans – Harlequin Australia

  • just launched Harlequin Escape – not inundated with manuscripts
  • small responsive team
  • hot – have you seen their covers
  • dedicated space in discount stores (Big W, Kmart etc)

Anna Valdinger – Harper Collins / Avon

  • experience with manuscript development
  • 2nd biggest romance publisher ‘they try harder’
  • big in the US but can expand in the Australian writers market
  • can’t promise to be monogamous, but hope everyone will have a good time
  • accepting unsolicited submissions but could be very slow – a few chapters and a synopsis



  • Multiple submissions are fine (be as slutty as you like)
  • It will take people a long time to get back to you, it is unfortunate but a reality now
  • Many publishers have overseas officers for international distribution rights
  • ePublishers usually do world wide rights simultaneously

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