Nancy Sondel's Pacific Coast Children's Writers Workshop
16th Annual    September 28-30, 2018    Master Class to Masterpiece
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2015 FACULTY: Bios & Kudos


Executive Editor

HarperCollins Children’s Books

Kristen PettitHaving worked in publishing for twenty years, Kristen is interested in a wide range of middle-grade and YA fiction—from contemporary and fantasy, to character-driven historical and multicultural, to re-imagined folk tales, and more. She'd "love" to participate in our workshop and find new talent.

Kristen’s track record is impressive. She worked for ten years with R.L. Stine on his bestselling Goosebumps and Fear Street series. She acquired and edited Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. Kristen’s upcoming titles include a fantasy by five-time New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr, and Emmy and Oliver by YA favorite Robin Benway. Recent sales include the three-book Hunted by Meagan Spooner, New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars. Kristen's current bestseller is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. The engaging list rolls on.

Kristen is especially interested in story structure, as found in the acclaimed Story by Robert McKee, and Save the Cat (with beat sheet) by Blake Snyder. She’ll explore some of these riches in depth at our upcoming workshop.

  “As my first experience working with an editor, Kristen set a very high bar. Not only is she a brilliant editor, she made me feel comfortable and confident while sending me back into my manuscript. It was all about making what I wanted to say clearer and more powerful.” — Jay Asher, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why


Senior Agent

Writers House

Stephen BarrArmed with an English degree from UCLA, Stephen brings a keen editorial eye to his clients’ manuscripts. His list runs the gamut of middle-grade and YA genres; his interests are refreshingly omnivorous.

During Stephen’s seven years at Writers House (one of the largest literary agencies in the world), he has worked with authors such as John Corey Whaley, the Printz Award-winning author of Where Things Come Back and National Book Award finalist for Noggin; additionally, with Maggie Thrash, staff writer for Rookie Mag and author of the forthcoming Honor Girl

Stephen’s main objective as a reader (both recreationally and professionally) is to get to know a character “really, really well.” He is drawn to our whole-novel seminar “because I have the time and space to get to know these writers really well, too.”

  “Stephen Barr created me from dust. He knows exactly what to do, and has the clearest vision of anyone I've ever met. You can give him the weirdest, most confused piece of writing, and he'll immediately see where you're trying to go, and hand you a roadmap of how to get there. He is the best, and will push you to also be the best.” — Maggie Thrash, author of Honor Girl, YA graphic novel (Candlewick Press)

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