Agent/Editor Spectacular Faculty Bios

 In First Name Alphabetical Order:


Alexandra Hightower

Senior Editor, LYBR/Hachette Group

An Atlanta native, Alexandra took a circuitous route to publishing. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in neuroscience, and then, realizing her passion lay closer to books, she pursued a Master’s degree in Publishing, Print and Digital Media from New York University. Currently, she is a Senior Editor at Little Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group) and is actively acquiring picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles.

Alexandra will be critiquing MG and YA.


Alexandra Weiss

Agent, Azantian Literary Agency

Alexandra Weiss (but please call her Alex) joined the world of publishing in 2016, as an associate agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. In 2021, she joined Azantian Literary Agency where she represents fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. She’s dedicated to representing marginalized creators and diverse stories and is always seeking to represent BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, genderfluid, neurodiverse, and disabled voices for all ages and genres. She holds a BFA in creative writing and publishing from Columbia College Chicago and has nearly a decade of experience in freelance writing and copyediting. In her rare spare time, she likes to bake up a storm, snuggle her cat, and play video games.

Alex will be critiquing PB, MG, YA, and GN.


Alice Jerman

Senior Editor, HarperCollins

Alice is a senior editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books. She acquires and edits commercial YA and MG, some of her authors are New York Times bestselling author Victoria Aveyard, Ciannon Smart, June CL Tan, Hanna Alkaf, and Erica Waters. She lives in Queens and when she’s not editing, she loves doing deep dives into obscure historical topics, jogging in her local parks, and going for long drives.

Genres she prefers to work on: YA: fantasy, romance, supernatural/paranormal, magic, horror, and historical. MG: fantasy, contemporary, magic.


Anjanette Barr

Associate Agent, Dunham Literary

Anjanette Barr is an Associate Literary Agent at Dunham Literary, Inc. She has been working in various branches of the writing and publishing world for over a decade, and being an agent is the perfect way to synthesize her interests and talents. Anjanette lives in beautiful Juneau Alaska with her family of six. She represents authors across all age categories and most genres, and her wishlist can be found at and

Anjanette will be critiquing PB, MG, YA, and GN.


Bethany Fulk Hendrix

Associate Literary Agent, Holloway Literary + Media

Bethany is an Associate Literary Agent at Holloway Literary. Prior to being promoted to her current position, she has been with the agency as an intern and then as an assistant for the past two years. She graduated from Davis and Elkins College cum laude in 2017 with a BA in English. Following graduation, Bethany worked as a public relations assistant and as an editorial assistant. Before joining Holloway Literary, Bethany interned with North Star Editions and Foundry Literary and Media. Bethany now lives in West Virginia with her husband and enjoys spending her time writing and reading.

Bethany will be critiquing MG and YA.


Bridget Smith

Agent, JABberwocky Literary Agency

Bridget Smith joined JABberwocky as an agent in May 2019. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Brown University with a BA in anthropology in 2010. After graduation, she interned at Don Congdon Associates, worked at a secondhand bookstore, and read submissions for In 2011, she started as an assistant at Dunham Literary, and she remained there as an agent for nearly eight years. In her spare time, she runs, plays Irish fiddle, and co-hosts the podcast Shipping & Handling with Jennifer Udden.

Bridget will be critiquing MG and YA.


Christa Heschke

Agent, McIntosh & Otis

CHRISTA HESCHKE graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively acquiring for all age groups in children’s.

Christa will be critiquing PB, MG, YA, and GN


Courtney Stevenson

Associate Editor, HarperCollings

Courtney Stevenson joined HarperCollins in 2016. In her time assisting Rosemary Brosnan, Courtney has helped with The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia, I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day, and many repackaged editions of titles on the team’s rich backlist; she currently also assists Jennifer Ung. Courtney is focused on middle grade and YA books, with a particular interest in historical stories, clever humor, family dynamics, the occasional pop nonfiction, and writing that pulls her along to the next page. Some recent titles on her list include Money Out Loud: All the Financial Stuff No One Taught Us by Berna Anat; That’s What Friends Do by Cathleen Barnhart; and All Kinds of Other by James Sie.

Courtney will be critiquing MG and YA.


Della Farrell

Associate Editor, Holiday House

Della Farrell is an associate editor at Holiday House where she edits graphic novels, MG and YA fiction, and nonfiction for all ages. Before joining Holiday House in 2018, she assigned nonfiction reviews at School Library Journal. She is deeply passionate about nonfiction for young readers, especially projects on labor history and nature/environmental topics. For fiction, she loves voice-driven stories that feature working-class characters. Some of her recent titles include Breaking the Mold by Dana Alison Levy, The Forest in the Sea by Anita Sanchez, and Constellations by Kate Glasheen.

Della will be critiquing PB, MG, YA, and GN, both fiction and nonfiction.


Elizabeth Stranahan

Associate Editor, Penguin Random House

Elizabeth Stranahan is an Associate Editor at Random House BFYR where she has the pleasure of editing award-winning authors like Elle McNicoll, Kate Messner, Bill Doyle, and Alexa Donne among others. She is actively acquiring picture books, MG, and YA titles. In the MG and YA space, she is always on the hunt for stories that straddle the commercial and literary line. She loves character-driven narratives that are filled with rapid banter, challenge readers to life’s big questions, and have a fresh hook. For picture books, she hopes to see larger-than-life characters that hold great kid appeal and series potential, as well as stories that celebrate families and communities that champion children. When not tending to her email inbox, Elizabeth can often be found catching up on the latest gymnastics competition, quilting, and rewatching Derry Girls—occasionally at the same time.

Elizabeth will be critiquing PB, MG, and YA, both fiction and nonfiction.


Grace Elizabeth Kendall

Senior Editor, FSG BYR/Macmillan

Grace Elizabeth Kendall, Senior Editor, FSG Books for Young Readers/Macmillan. Grace works on a range of projects from picture books to YA novels, fiction and nonfiction. She publishes exciting projects from debut authors, seasoned veterans, and award-winners, including Caldecott Honor-winning A PLACE INSIDE OF ME by Zetta Elliott, and illustrated by Noa Denmon; YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR by Mitali Perkins, which was a Walter Honor Book, South Asia Book Award Winner, and a National Book Award Nominee; ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE by George M. Johnson, a groundbreaking Indie and New York Times Bestseller about growing up Black and queer in New Jersey ; and BETTY BEFORE X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Newbery Honoree Renée Watson. Grace also publishes ongoing series, like the Jasmine Toguchi chapter books by Debbi Michiko Florence and Elizabet Vukovic. And she has a special love for fantasy that questions power structures, as in BLACK WINGS BEATING by Alex London and THE BONELESS MERCIES by April Genevieve Tucholke, both of which received several starred reviews. @GraceKendallLit

Grace will be critiquing PB and MG.


Katie Heit

Editor, Scholastic

Katie Heit is a senior editor Scholastic working on picture books and early readers. She primarily edits nonfiction, with select fiction titles. She works with many nonfiction authors, including Charles R. Smith Jr., Dean Robbins, Adriana Hernández Bergstrom, Sandra Markle, and Nell Cross Beckerman. She is drawn to books that approach nonfiction in a kid-friendly way, and is especially on the lookout for nature and STEAM topics.

Katie will be critiquing PBs (fiction and nonfiction). 


Sara Megibow

Agent, KT Literary

Sara Megibow (she/her) is the Vice President and Senior Literary Agent of kt literary out of Highlands Ranch, CO. She has worked in publishing since 2006 and represents New York Times bestselling authors including Casey McQuiston, Rebecca Roanhorse, Margaret Rogerson and Jaleigh Johnson. Sara specializes in launching debut authors and working on long-term career development and profit strategy with them. She is a graduate of Northwestern University with degrees in Women’s Studies, Gender Studies and American History. Always LGBTQIA+ Friendly!

Sara will be critiquing MG and YA.


Talia Benamy

Editor, Penguin Random House

Talia Benamy, editor at Philomel Books, has been with the Penguin Young Readers imprint since 2013. She is the editor of books including the She Persisted chapter book series, based on the bestselling picture books by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger; National Book Award long-listed title The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum; Cramm This Book: So You Know WTF Is Going On in the World Today by Olivia Seltzer, founder of The Cramm; You Can Be ABCs, based on the viral video sensation by Robert Samuel White II and Robert Samuel White III, and illustrated Robert Paul Jr.; and the Airi Sano, Prankmaster General series by Zoe Tokushige and Jennifer Naalchigar. Talia sees books as having the amazing power to shape the way kids see the world around them, their role in it, and their ability to impact it, and as part of Philomel’s mission to publish books with inspiring, empowering messages for young readers, and she looks for manuscripts that have the potential to do just that. Talia lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Talia will be critiquing PB, MG, and YA for pitches and queries, but only PBs for manuscripts. Nonfiction is okay.