Industry Professionals

Spring Fling includes pitch sessions (by appointment) with editors and agents, some of whom may also lead workshops or publisher spotlight sessions. Here are the industry pros we’ve lined up for Spring Fling 2020.

Sarah Blumenstock

Associate Editor, Berkley Books

Sarah Blumenstock joined Berkley in 2016. Prior to joining Berkley she sold foreign and domestic rights for Penguin Young Readers. Sarah acquires commercial women’s fiction and romance—both historical and contemporary. Some recent and upcoming titles include The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by New York Times bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman, A Touch of Flame by USA Today bestselling author Jo Goodman, Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore and Faker by Sarah Smith. 

Mary Altman

Senior Editor, Sourcebooks Casablanca

Mary AltmanMary Altman discovered Romance in the 4th grade, when her best friend smuggled a copy of A Knight in Shining Armor to the lunchroom, and she’s been a convert ever since. A giant and unrepentant nerd, Mary spends her free time playing video games, watching Critical Role, and reading about fantastical worlds. She started her post-college life studying law before coming to her senses and settling happily in a decade-long editorial career. She has a passion for travel and lives outside of Chicago with her partner and an overflowing TBR pile.

Mara Delgado Sanchez

Acquiring Editorial Assistant, St. Martin’s Press

Maria Delgado Sanchez Originally from Puerto Rico, Mara Delgado Sánchez spends her time creating and cruising through imaginary worlds, and enjoying the verdant parts of New York City. She holds a BA in English, Literature from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and an MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. She is currently looking for romance in all categories, women’s fiction and YA.

Jessica Watterson

Agent, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Jessica WattersonJessica has been with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency since 2013.

A graduate of the University of California at Irvine, Jessica has immersed herself in books and literature from the time she could first read. While in college, she started an indie review blog that featured author interviews and reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Jessica is always on the hunt for new and diverse projects, and is most interested in all genres of romance. She’s drawn to fun, fresh voices, and character driven stories that keep a reader turning the page needing to know what happens next. Independent heroines are a must, in addition to well realized heroes who aren’t alpha-holes. Some of her favorite authors include: Kristen Ashley, Jennifer Armentrout, Jeaniene Frost, Amy Harmon, and Colleen Hoover. 

She also loves Women’s Fiction that concerns itself with elements of life that can greatly change one’s perspective and outlook on cultures and experiences.

Jessica is also open to select Cozy Mysteries that feature fun and independent heroines that can take what life throws at them with aplomb and a bit of humor. 

On the YA side, she is looking for just about anything that aligns itself with fantasy, contemporary, lgbtq reads, and of course a bit of romance thrown in is never a bad thing in her opinion.

She is also interested in select author illustrated picture books that capture the fun and joy of reading between adults and children.

Check out Jessica’s detailed wish list

Kelli Martin

Agent, Wendy Sherman Associates

Kelli MartinKelli Martin began her book publishing career over twenty years ago. She started at Simon & Schuster and rose up the editorial ladder at HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Amazon Publishing. At Amazon Publishing, Kelli served as the launch editor and public face of Montlake Romance, and Executive Editor at Lake Union. As an editor, Kelli built a list of successful authors and breakout books in romance and commercial fiction. Now, as an agent at Wendy Sherman Associates, Kelli will continue discovering new talent, guiding writers, editing their manuscripts and building a list of beloved books that satisfy publishing houses and readers.

At Wendy Sherman Associates, Kelli is passionate about building the agency’s romance program, focusing on contemporary romance and romantic suspense. In addition, she’s excited to discover new talent in commercial women’s fiction, including suspense fiction, love stories, romantic comedies, family dramas, friendship dramas, beach reads, and women-coming-into-their-own stories.

Erin Hennicke

Film Scout, Franklin & Siegal & Associates

Erin HennickeErin Hennicke started her career in the Subsidiary Rights Department of Viking Penguin before segueing into the film industry as a story editor at Barbra Streisand’s production company, Barwood Films, where she oversaw development and production. In 2000, Erin joined Franklin & Siegal & Associates, the largest literary scouting agency in New York, where for the past nineteen years, she has scouted books & material for Universal Studios, known for their adaptations of The Bourne Identity series by Robert Ludlum, and starring Matt Damon, among others. Since 2014 she has scouted as well for Paramount TV on the series/mini-series side.

Scouting is an exciting and challenging job that allows her to have a foot in both the film and publishing industries and to have daily contact with editors, agents, writers, film & TV executives—all in pursuit of the perfect story for her clients to adapt.

A few of the projects Universal has optioned in recent years have been the New York Magazine article that became American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, directed by Ridley Scott; the Fifty Shades series by E.L. James, and the memoir From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey Stein.  On the TV side, she helped her execs find the upcoming Candace Bushnell nonfiction Is There Still Sex in the City?, as well as Susan Orlean’s latest, The Library Book. In addition to her literary pursuits, Erin is also the co-host of a pop culture/media podcast. She is based in New York City.  

Erin can’t acquire anything directly from authors (her company doesn’t take anything unsolicited or un-agented), but she can help people navigate this world and how to submit to agents. “When I hear pitches at conferences, I can tell the authors how viable their idea is in the current entertainment climate; where they should focus their efforts; and even recommend agents for them to query, if they don’t have one at the moment.”

Interview With Erin