The 2022 A&E Conference will include presentations by notable authors and industry professionals.

KB HeadshotKB Brookins (also known as KB) is a Black/queer/transmasculine poet, essayist, and cultural worker from Fort Worth, Texas. Their writing is published in, Huffington Post, American Poetry Review, Teen Vogue, Poetry Northwest, Autostraddle, and elsewhere. Their poem, “Good Grief”, won the Academy of American Poets 2022 Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize.

KB is the author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022), a chapbook selected by ire’ne lara silva as winner of the Saguaro Poetry Prize. They have received Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominations, along with fellowships from PEN America, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Lambda Literary, and The Watering Hole among others.

KB’s debut full-length poetry collection, Freedom House (Deep Vellum Publishing, 2023) is forthcoming. KB is represented by Annie DeWitt at The Shipman Agency. They live in Austin, TX, where they are working on projects and trying their best. Follow them online at @earthtokb, and subscribe to their sporadic opinions/updates through Out of This World.

KB will be presenting on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. on “Building Your Author Platform.”

“Building Your Author Platform”

Do you know what it takes to build your platform as a writer?

Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve got a book deal and are ready to take your work to the next level, building an author platform is a necessary tool in the business of publishing. Learn about what goes into creating a platform and what having a platform can do for you in this one-hour presentation

KB will be covering:
  • social media
  • website
  • newsletter
  • crafting a bio
  • submissions 101
  • finding the right venues for your work

Beverly “Bev” Chukwu is a Nigerian American writer and producer from Garland, TX. An excerpt of her novel in progress, OF BROKEN THINGS, was published in Vol. 2 of the I Scream Social Anthology, and her scripts have placed in competitions at Austin Film Festival, WeScreenplay, and the Sundance Development Track. Her screenplay PRINCE OF LAVENDALE STREET was a Feature Winner in the BlueCat Screenplay Competition and a 2021 HUMANITAS College Drama Fellowship finalist.

Bev recently graduated with an MFA from UT Austin’s James A. Michener Center for Writers, where she studied screenwriting and fiction. She writes character-driven, fantastical stories about niche communities, groupthink, and mental health among people of the Black diaspora.

Bev will be presenting on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. on “The Novelist’s Toolkit: Lessons from Screenwriting.”

“The Novelist’s Toolkit: Lessons from Screenwriting”

As a novel writer, at some point in time, you’ve probably been given the advice to read the work of other contemporary and classic writers in your field. Have you considered incorporating a more interdisciplinary approach to your writing process? The trends that affect one medium of art are like to affect another. Screenwriter, novelist, and overall multi-hyphenate artist, Bev Chukwu, puts a detailed lens on elements of screenwriting that can take your novel-in-progress to the next level for today’s consumer market.

Janna Marlies Maron is a professional editor with nearly 20 years of experience helping writers to complete their projects and produce the best work possible. Her experience includes time as a magazine editor, college professor, agency editorial director, and content director for a popular internet brand. She has worked on a number of book projects from self-published Amazon bestsellers to traditionally published New York Times bestsellers. She’s also the founding editor and publisher of Under the Gum Tree, a literary arts magazine publishing creative nonfiction and visual art, and the principal editor and creator of More to the Story, a company serving women writing nonfiction books through coaching, community, and critique.

Janna will be presenting on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on “Just Tell Me What to Do: Nonfiction Developmental Editing (and Why Most Writers Need It).”

“Just Tell Me What to Do: Nonfiction Developmental Editing (and Why Most Writers Need It)”

Sometimes writers need an objective, outside voice to give them clarity on their nonfiction book idea or manuscript. To tell them exactly what they need to do. Developmental editing is so much more than marked up pages, moving sentences around, changing words, correcting grammar and punctuation. A developmental editor can give you a birds-eye view of your project, and help you see how it all fits together. The collaboration between a writer and developmental editor can happen before you even start working on your draft, and the sooner you work with one, the sooner you’ll have your best possible draft ready to go for next steps. In this session you’ll learn what developmental editing is (and what it isn’t), why a genre-specific editor is best for nonfiction writers, what to expect from a developmental editor, why most writers need one, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of a manuscript-in-progress.

Stefanie Molina is an agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency. She is primarily looking for BIPOC stories across all age groups, especially contemporary fantasy, romcom, mysteries, and thrillers. She loves stories that incorporate food, animals/the outdoors, sports, and intergenerational relationships. Outside of agenting, she enjoys hiking, swimming, baking, and playing the piano. Her favorite place in the world is Yosemite National Park! You can find her on Twitter @fiction_tech.

Stefanie will be presenting on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on “What Authors Need to Know About Sensitivity Readers.”

“What Authors Need to Know About Sensitivity Readers”

Sensitivity reader and Ladderbird Literary Agent Stefanie Molina will talk about what sensitivity reading is and isn’t and why it’s important. She will discuss common concerns about sensitivity reading and invite the listener to consider how sensitivity reading does and does not contribute to solving publishing’s diversity problem. Ultimately, this presentation will help you answer the question: Should you hire a sensitivity reader?

Anna Sproul-Latimer, founding partner and president of Neon Literary, has over the course of her many years in book publishing sold multiple New York Times bestsellers, major book-to-film deals, and foreign translations in more than 50 languages. She represents all types of adult nonfiction–from memoir and history to pop culture, science, and parenting–as well as select literary fiction.

Anna will be presenting on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. “The Elements of a Great Nonfiction Proposal.”

“The Elements of a Great Nonfiction Proposal”

Are you a nonfiction author in search of a literary agent and/or book deal? Optimizing your chances of success isn’t a matter of knowing the right gimmicks or even charming the right people; it’s all about submitting a high-quality book proposal from the get-go. If your proposal demonstrates deep publishing savvy as well as an innate understanding of who your audience is and how your book will transform their lives, you will be way, way ahead of the vast majority of submissions in any agent’s inbox. And in this class, Sproul-Latimer will show you how to get there.
We’ll begin the class by walking  through the elements of a successful book proposal: what sections and information they generally include; why every nonfiction book needs an argument–yes, even memoirs–and what a great argument looks like; the difference between a book topic and a book idea; the meaning and importance of author platform; what comparative titles are, and why most authors misunderstand their purpose; and how to write an author bio that comes across as pitchy but unobnoxious.
Sproul-Latimer will also be happy to answer questions from an agent’s point of view.