Christopher Stollar is an award-winning author, accredited public relations professional, and former reporter with a master’s degree in journalism who works full time in marketing at a Fortune 100 company. Stollar’s debut novel, The Black Lens, won Grand Prize in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards. It also became a Finalist in the Indie Book Awards and a Semifinalist in the Book Pipeline Competition. His new novel, Real Girl, placed as a Top 25 Finalist in the 2020 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition and is currently being pitched to publishers by senior agent Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary. Learn more at https://christopherstollar.com/. You can also find Stollar on social media at https://www.facebook.com/blacklensnovel/ and https://twitter.com/ChrisStollar.
Eric Smith is a literary agent and Young Adult author living in Philadelphia. An agent with P.S. Literary, he’s worked on award-winning and New York Times bestselling books. As an author, his books include Don’t Read the Comments (a YALSA Best Book for Young Readers selection) and the forthcoming You Can Go Your Own Way and Battle of the Bands (with Lauren Gibaldi). You can check out his roster of authors and interests at www.ericsmithrocks.com.
Favorite Writing Tip: Elmore Leonard’s brilliant “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” I always rework that into “Skip the boring parts.” It’s so easy to implement, too: If you find yourself struggling, if writing a scene feels like lifting a heavy object over your head, ask yourself if you’re bored, if you’re writing it just because you think you have to. If the answer is yes, skip it.
Jeff Somers began writing by court order as an attempt to steer his creative impulses away from engineering genetic grotesqueries. His feeble memory makes every day a joyous adventure of discovery and adventure even as it destroys personal relationships, and his weakness for adorable furry creatures leaves him with many cats. He has published nine novels, including the Avery Cates Series of noir-science fiction novels from Orbit Books (www.avery-cates.com), the darkly hilarious crime novel Chum from Tyrus Books, and most recently tales of blood magic and short cons in the Ustari Cycle, including the novel We Are Not Good People and the novellas Fixer, The Stringer, Last Best Day, and The Boom Bands from Pocket Gallery (www.wearenotgoodpeople.com).
He has published over forty short stories, including “Ringing the Changes,” which was selected for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories 2006, “Sift, Almost Invisible, Through,” which appeared in the anthology Crimes by Moonlight edited by Charlaine Harris, “Three Cups of Tea,” which appeared in the anthology Hanzai Japan, “The Company I Keep,” which appeared in the anthology Life Is Short and Then You Die edited by Kelley Armstrong, and “Zilla, 2015,” published by the Lascaux Review. He also writes about books for BookBub and about the craft of writing for Writer’s Digest, which published his book on the craft of writing Writing Without Rules in 2018. He lives in Hoboken with his wife, The Duchess, and their cats. He considers pants to always be optional.
Follow him on Twitter @jeffreysomers.
Andrea Hurst Literary Management
Author Jeff Somers discusses the role of agents in an author’s life: offering sage career advice, buying him drinks, telling him how smart he is, bailing him out of jail, telling him his writing is brilliant, helping him choose projects, mailing him checks, all while tormenting him on a near-daily basis. He’ll answer questions like ‛How terrifying is it when your agent invites you for cocktails out of the blue?’ and ‛Do you ever do the math on just how little money your agent earns from your work?’ and ‛Are you trying to blink a plea for assistance using Morse Code right now but you never actually learned Morse Code so you have no idea what you’re saying?’
Meanwhile, Jeff’s agent, Janet Reid will laugh merrily as he blinks out those pleas for help. She will reveal for the first time ever what feats of strength and magic rituals Jeff had to perform to secure representation. What she does when Jeff digs in his heels about plot twists, contract language, or wearing pants to this writing conference. You’ll get insight into her perverse pleasure in tormenting Jeff about publicity, promotion, and living in New Jersey. And why the highest form of praise is being a character who gets killed not once but twice.