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Gateway to Publishing Conference & Convention

June 15 - 17, 2018 

A Writer's Conference and Reader's Convention

Affiliated Organization
speaking at 
Gateway Con

St. Louis Press Club

St. Louis Publishers Association

Sisters in Crime 
Greater St. Louis Chapter 

Missouri Romance Writers of America

Saturday Writers

Find out more about Gateway Con by clicking on the PDF below

Speakers Appearing at 

Gateway to Publishing Conference and Convention


The Speakers for Gateway Co 2018 will be posted soon, so check back for the ever-growing list of industry professionals who will be a part of the event. 

Until then, we will leave the speakers from Gateway Con 2017 up so you can see what it is we do. 

Below are the speakers for Gateway Con 2017 – Thank you to each of them for making this event spectacular! 


Literary Agents and Publishers 

Claire Applewhite - Publisher 
Smoking Gun Publishing 

Claire Applewhite is a graduate of St. Louis University.She has served as President of the Missouri Writers Guild, as a board member of the Midwest Chapter, Mystery Writers of America, the St. Louis Metropolitan Press Club, St. Louis Writers Guild and Sisters in Crime, and is a member of the Ozark Writers League and Mystery Writers of America. An award winning mystery and suspense author, Claire is an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. 

Margaret Bail - Literary Agent at 
Fuse Literary

Margaret Bail has a BA in English and an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. With years of experience editing manuscripts, as well as teaching university-level English and writing, she looks forward to working closely with new and established authors to help develop their voice and craft.

Her lifelong love of stories and storytelling has her looking for books that transport her into the heart of the story, so much so that she’ll forget where she is and lose track of time while she reads.

Margaret is interested in adult fiction in the genres of romance (no Christian or inspirational, please), science fiction (soft sci-fi rather than hard), mystery, thrillers, action adventure, historical fiction (not a fan of WWII era), and fantasy. In nonfiction, Margaret is interested in memoirs with a unique hook, and cookbooks with a strong platform.

Fiction genres Margaret is NOT interested in: YA, MG, children’s books; steampunk, Christian/religious literature, chick lit, women’s fiction, literary, poetry, screenplays. 

Jennifer Geist - Brick Mantel Books and Open Books Press

Jennifer Geist is the publisher at Pen & Publish, Inc., and its imprints: Brick Mantel Books, Open Books Press, and Transformation Media Books. With experience in editing, book compositing, photography, graphic and web design, marketing, writing, and more, she manages every book from acquisitions to publication and beyond. Geist received her bachelor’s degree in creative writing with a focus in small press publishing through Southeast Missouri State University. She has worked with numerous small presses and her stories and photos are published in a variety of literary magazines.  

Stephanie Hansen - Literary Agent at 
Metamorphosis Literary Agency 

Stephanie received her Master’s in 2008 and she’s currently beefing it up with a Creative Writing Specialization. She represents predominately YA SF/F but has a secret addiction for thrillers. While these are her favorite, she handles everything from children’s picture books to adult mystery. Previously an editor for Mind’s Eye Literary Magazine she joined Metamorphosis July 2016. She is actively looking for new authors. @hansenwriter

Kathleen Ortiz - Literary Agent at 
New Leaf Literary 
As the Director of Foreign Rights at New Leaf, Kathleen regularly attends book trade shows around the world to sell titles to translation publishers and looks for new medium opportunities for our clients’ books. She is also a Literary Agent actively seeking to sign more authors and illustrators, specifically fresh, new voices in YA and animator/illustrator talent. In YA she gravitates more toward beautiful and exceptional world building as well as contemporary stories whose main characters stay with the reader far beyond the pages. She would love to see a beautifully written YA set within other cultures and experiences. On the illustration side, she loves animator/illustrators and their unique way of storytelling. Kathleen is not currently seeking middle grade, screenplays, or adult projects not listed above.

Kathleen is looking for non-fiction projects. 
Justin Wells 
Corvisiero Literary Agency

Justin started his journey six years ago when he started his blog which grew far beyond what he had originally thought it ever would. If you had asked him then, he would have never imagined just how much his journey would impact his future. Being a literary agent is something that Justin has fallen in love with, and is eager to continue for years to come.


Justin is going into his Senior year of college, and will be graduating with a B.S. in Mass Communications with a focus in Public Relations. He loves being able to utilize his skills in public relations to assist the agency, and his own clients through his work as a literary agent.


Justin loves every aspect of the agent lifestyle. He loves learning new things everyday, and being able to grow as an agent. Be it searching for that next amazing manuscript and client, helping current clients, or doing regular tasks throughout the agency. He loves all of it, and looks forward waking up everyday and wondering what new adventure could be awaiting him in his query box.


When it comes to reading, he is very open. His main focus is young adult, middle grade, and new adult, though he has been known to branch out and explore other books that catch his eye.

Literary Agents that will be part of the Remote Pitching Opportunities. 
These agents will be taking a limited number of pitches via the web at the conference. Only available to conference attendees. 

Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary 
Bob Shuman, Dunham Literary
Dorothy Spencer, Dorothy Spencer Literary Agency 
Gateway Con will feature several literary agents and publishers. We'll be announcing the rest soon as soon as we firm the details. Gateway Con will feature pitches both in-person and via the web. (for conference attendees only) 
Registered attendees will be contacted by conference officials before the event to set up pitch sessions. Pitch sessions are included in the conference fee. SLWG will be requesting the attendees choices and will fill the slots based on the order of registration. Sign up now to ensure you get a spot with your preferred literary agent or publisher. 
One note, there are a limited number of remote pitches. 

All attendees wanting to pitch to literary agents or publishers must attend the event. All pitches will be given in person at the conference. 
Eileen Dreyer - New York Times Bestselling Author 

New York Times bestselling, award-winning  author Eileen Dreyer, known as Kathleen Korbel to her Silhouette readers, has published 31 romance novels in most of the sub-genres, 8 medical-forensic suspenses, and 7 short stories.

Dreyer won her first publishing award in 1987, being named the best new Contemporary Romance Author by RT Bookclub. Since that time she has also garnered not only five other writing awards from RT, but five RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, which secures her only the fourth place in the Romance Writers of America prestigious Hall of Fame. Since extending her reach to suspense, she has also garnered a coveted Anthony Award nomination.

A frequent speaker at conferences, Eileen is also an addicted traveler, having sung in some of the best Irish pubs in the world, and admits she sees research as a handy way to salve her insatiable curiosity. She counts film producers, police detectives and Olympic athletes as some of her sources and friends. She’s also trained in forensic nursing and death investigation, which she figures could come in handy if this writing thing doesn’t pan out.
Angie Fox - New York Times Bestselling Author

New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox writes sweet, fun, action-packed mysteries. Her characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, Angie is afraid of basements, bees, and going up stairs when it is dark behind her. Let’s face it. Angie wouldn’t last five minutes in one of her books.

Angie is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She lives in St. Louis with her football-addicted husband, two kids, and Moxie the dog.
Cynthia Graham - Award Winning Author and a 
Brick Mantel Books Author

Cynthia A. Graham has won several writing awards, including a 2015 Midwest Book award for Mystery and the 2016 Gold IPPY from Independent Publishers magazine in the Mystery/Cozy/Noir category (Blank Slate Press) for her debut novel Beneath Still Waters. Her short stories have appeared in both university and national literary publications. She attained a B.A. in Englishfrom the Pierre Laclede Honors College at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Cynthia is a proud member of the St. Louis Writers' Guild, The Missouri Writers' Guild, the Historical Novel Society, and Sisters In Crime. She is the author of three novels: Beneath Still Waters (Blank Slate Press),  Behind Every Door (Blank Slate Press), and the forthcoming Beulah's House of Prayer (Brick Mantel Books) .


Her books are available at, Barnes and Noble, or your local independent bookstore.
Ann Leckie - Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke 
Award Winning Author 

Ann Leckie is the author of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award winning novel Ancillary Justice. She has also published short stories in Subterranean MagazineStrange Horizons, and Realms of Fantasy. Her story “Hesperia and Glory” was reprinted in Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2007 Edition edited by Rich Horton.

Ann has worked as a waitress, a receptionist, a rodman on a land-surveying crew, and a recording engineer. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Literary Organizations 
Giving Workshops at Gateway Con
St. Louis Writers Guild won't be the only literary organization at Gateway Con. With so many groups dedicated to the written word in the city, we are honored to showcase them through great workshops for conference attendees. 
St. Louis Press Club
St. Louis Publishers Association 
Missouri Chapter of Romance Writers of America
Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime 
Saturday Writers

Writer Panelists
Beyond the Workshops and Master Classes, the Gateway Con Writer's Conference will feature three days of panels on a variety of topics. 

We'll have the complete list of panelists closer to the conference. 
More speakers, literary agents, and publishers will be announced soon!