Meet Our Literary Agents

The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference features two opportunities to meet our literary agents. Writers can attend Unveiling the Mystery, where they have the opportunity to ask general industry questions of a panel of professionalsagents who know the secret to success. Or, come for Close Encounters of the Literary Kind, one-on-one meetings with literary agents that allow writers to ask questions specific to their project and talk about what really matters—their books!


Close Encounters of the Literary Kind

This is a remarkable opportunity for you to meet one-on-one with one of our literary agents for fifteen minutes to discuss your book ideas. Since our inception 10 years ago, our literary agents have secured major publishing contracts for dozens. Whether your ideas have been rendered into a formal proposal or are in the conception stage, you’ll find these sessions valuable. If your idea is well formed, we recommend you bring a one page synopsis of your book proposal to the session. A second session may be purchased upon request to Jo Ann Livingston, our writing contest coordinator. Jo Ann arranges appointment times for all conferees. You can view her contact information below.

The cost of each session is $50.


What to bring to the Close Encounters session

If writers are interested in participating, each should come prepared to verbally pitch his or her book project and bring supporting material.

  • One page biography, which should include why you are the best person to write the book
  • One to two page synopsis of your book idea. Our agents will give you an honest assessment, and offer suggestions for shaping your story into a proposal.

Unveiling the Mystery: Writing, Editing, and Publishing for the Literary Market

Writing a book and building a career in literary nonfiction publishing requires an understanding of the larger literary world – a Byzantine and mysterious world to most of us. What sort of ideas grab a nonfiction book editor’s attention? How do you shape that idea into a book proposal? Do you really need a literary agent to help you prepare and sell the proposal, or can you do it on your own? And if you need them, how do you get them interested in your book idea? A panel consisting of a book editor and several literary agents will address these questions and answer your own. Want to build a career in literary publishing? Your journey begins here.

This agent panel session is included in the price of your conference registration; it will be the first session on Saturday morning.




The Mayborn Conference will notify writers in advance by e-mail of the time and location for the consultation at the Hilton hotel. You will be reminded of your assigned time when you check-in at registration. Sign-up is available through online registration.

Jo Ann Livingston
Writing Contest Coordinator


Check out our Literary Agents and longtime Mayborn supporters:

Farley Chase Farley Chase has worked at The New Yorker,  New Press and later worked as an editor at Talk Miramax Books. He spent eight years as a literary agent at the Waxman Literary Agency, and founded Chase Literary Agency in 2012. 

Jim Hornfischer is both a World War II historian, a leading literary agent and president of Hornfischer Literary Management.

David R. Patterson is an agent with Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency in New York City.

BJ Robbins opened her Los Angeles-based literary agency in 1992 after a multifaceted career in book publishing, first at Simon & Schuster and later at Harcourt, where she was Marketing Director and Senior Editor.