Jennifer Alton

Jennifer Alton is an editor at Counterpoint Press, where her projects have included books by Sands Hall, Nell Irvin Painter, Alton Logan with Berl Falbaum, and Ismail Kadare. She holds an MFA from San Francisco State University, where she was Assistant Fiction Editor of Fourteen Hillsco-curator of the Velvet Revolution Reading Series, and taught undergraduate creative writing. A returned Peace Corps volunteer, (Ukraine 2011-2013) she lives in the Bay Area. She will be joining us as a Special Guest.

Photo credit: Philip Harris

Reagan Arthur

Reagan Arthur grew up in Los Angeles, and moved to New York in 1989 to work in publishing. After more than 10 years at St. Martin’s Press and Picador, she moved to Little, Brown, where she is now Publisher. Writers she has edited include Megan Abbott, Sherman Alexie, Kate Atkinson, Joshua Ferris, Elin Hilderbrand, Ian Rankin, George Pelecanos, Tina Fey, Nina Stibbe, and Doree Shafrir. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her family.


Michael V. Carlisle

Michael Carlisle, a founder of InkWell Management, has been involved with the Community of Writers for many years. His fiction and nonfiction client list includes prize-winning as well as debut authors. A former director of the Association of Author’s Representatives, a not-for-profit organization of independent literary and dramatic agents, Michael is an active member of PEN. He directs the Nonfiction Program of the Community of Writers and serves on the Board of Directors.

Lucy Carson

Lucy Carson joined The Friedrich Agency in early 2008, where she now has her own list of New York Times bestselling authors in addition to managing all film and television rights for the agency. During her ten years with The Friedrich Agency, Lucy has worked with such authors as Sue Grafton, Karen Joy Fowler, Ruth Ozeki, Terry McMillan, Jane Smiley, and Elizabeth Strout on the adult side, and children’s authors Judy Blundell, Laura Geringer, Jessica Khoury, William Ritter and Josh Sundquist. Her list is focused on fiction and narrative non-fiction for both adults and teens.

Joy Harris

Joy Harris established her own literary agency in 1990. She works primarily with literary fiction, strongly-written commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction across a broad range of topics, memoir and biography, and is drawn to a clear, original voice, an engaging point of view, and strong characters. She takes great pleasure in finding new literary voices, and over the course of her career has had the joy of representing many bestselling and acclaimed authors from the time of their first published work.

Joy Johannessen

Joy Johannessen has been an editor at Chelsea House, Grove Press, and Oxford University Press, a senior editor at HarperCollins Publishers, and the executive editor of Delphinium Books. She has worked with hundreds of writers, among them Rabih Alameddine, Dorothy Allison, Amy Bloom, Harold Bloom, Michael Cunningham, Larry Kramer, Ursula Le Guin, Arthur Miller, Ralph Nader, and Héctor Tobar. She is the co-editor, with Roxanne Coady, of The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them. She currently freelances.

Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones

Calvert D. Morgan

Calvert Morgan is an executive editor at Riverhead Books. He has worked with authors including Jess Walter, Roxane Gay, Eula Biss, Lidia Yuknavitch, Tom Piazza, Rick Bragg, Edward Carey, and Stanley Crouch. Previously with HarperCollins and St. Martin’s Press, he also serves as board chair of the Center for Fiction, the only organization in the country devoted exclusively to the promotion of fiction.

Photo credit: Cassie Jones Morgan

BJ Robbins

BJ Robbins established her Los Angeles-based agency in 1992 after a multi-faceted career in book publishing in New York, first in publicity at Simon & Schuster and later as Marketing Director and then Senior Editor at Harcourt. Her agency focuses primarily on literary fiction and general nonfiction, with a particular interest in narrative history, memoir, biography, pop culture, popular science, medicine and health. Clients include award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors such as J. Maarten Troost (The Sex Lives of Cannibals), James Donovan (A Terrible Glory), Max Byrd (The Paris Deadline), Nafisa Haji (The Writing on My Forehead), Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels, Mapping the Interior), Deanne Stillman (Blood Brothers), Mary Volmer (Reliance, Illinois) and the late James D. Houston (Snow Mountain Passage).

Geoff Shandler

Geoff Shandler is an Editorial Director and Vice President at HarperCollins, where he oversees the Custom House imprint within William Morrow. He began his publishing career in 1993 as an Editorial Assistant at Random House. Among the many authors he has edited since then are Jonathan Safran Foer, Malcolm Gladwell, John le Carré, Luis Alberto Urrea, Robert Wright, Sarah Perry, James Bradley, Robert Dallek, David Mamet, Mary Gabriel, Bob Spitz, Ben Bradlee, Jr. and Karina Longworth.

Andrew Tonkovich

Andrew Tonkovich edits the West Coast literary journal Santa Monica Review and hosts “Bibliocracy,” a weekly books show on Pacifica Radio KPFK in Southern California. His most recent essays, short stories and reviews appear in the OC Weekly, Los Angeles Review of Books, Orange Coast Review, Faultline, ZYZZYVA and Ecotone. He is the co-editor, with Lisa Alvarez, of the first-ever literary anthology of writing from and about Orange County, California. Published by Heyday, Orange County: A Literary Field Guide includes contributions from writers who have taught in or attended the Community of Writers poetry and fiction workshops, including founder Oakley Hall.

Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones


Oscar Villalon

Oscar Villalon is the managing editor of ZYZZYVA. His reviews, essays, and interviews have been published in VQR, Zocalo, The Believer, Lit Hub, The Daily Beast, and many other publications. A former board member of the National Book Critics Circle, and past book editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, he lives with his wife and son in San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Mary Ladd