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Literary Pub Crawl
Call For Submission
in collaboration with The South Asia Institute,
Columbia University and India Abroad
NOVEMBER 7-9, 2014

Session 4A.
Learning the Ropes of the Industry: Publishers & Literary Agents
Moderated by Susan Shapiro
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Christopher Heiser
C.P. Heiser is the publisher of the Los Angeles-based Unnamed Press and Executive Director of its sister nonprofit Phoneme Media. He was deeply involved with helping start up the Los Angeles Review of Books, where he headed various aspects of marketing, communications, and development, and where he remains as an editor-at-large. Before moving to Los Angeles, he worked at The New Press and Wiley, and received an M.A. in Comparative Literature from NYU.

Amrita Chowdhury
Amrita Chowdhury is the Country Head & Publisher of Harlequin India. She is also the author of Faking It (Hachette), an art crime thriller, and soon-to-release book Breach (Hachette), a cyber thriller, and frequently writes on lifestyle and marketing/branding issues for magazines and business newspapers. Prior to joining publishing, Amrita served as Associate Director-Education for Harvard Business School India Research Center. She has done Board Advisory and Strategy Consulting with Oppeus in Australia and AT Kearney in the US. She holds 7 US patents for semiconductor fabrication for work done at Applied Materials in California. She holds a B. Tech from IIT Kanpur, MS from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon- Tepper Business School.

Ayesha Pande
Ayesha Pande has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. Before launching her boutique agency, Ayesha was a senior editor at Farrar Straus & Giroux. She has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Crown Publishers. She is a member of AAR (Association of Author’s Representatives), PEN, the Asian American Writer’s Workshop, and sits on the advisory board of the German Book Office. She has attended numerous writing conferences including Muse and the Marketplace, Aspen Summer Words, Ake Arts Festival in Nigeria and the Miami Writer’s Institute. She has taught college level courses in editing. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University. Among her clients are the international bestselling author of Secret Daughter (Morrow), Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl (FSG), Preeta Samarasan, author of Evening is the Whole Day (Houghton Mifflin) and Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, authors of Salaam Love (Beacon).

Amber Qureshi
AMBER QURESHI has been Executive Editor and Associate Publisher at Seven Stories Press, acquiring literary fiction and narrative, progressive nonfiction. She was a 2007 Editorial Fellow at the Jerusalem Book Fair and is on the American board for the Fair now, has represented her list at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the IFOA Harbourfront Toronto Writers' Festival, the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival, the Adelaide Writers' Festival, the Sharjah International Book Fair, the Jaipur Literary Festival, and the Salon du Livres in Paris, and has taught at writers' conferences at the New School in New York City, in Asheville, North Carolina, and in Aspen, Colorado.  She acquired and edited THE WHITE TIGER by Aravind Adiga, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008. Previously at Free Press/Simon and Schuster, her first acquisition there, SONGS FOR THE BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER by Peter Manseau, won the 2009 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction; her next acquisition, HEART LIKE WATER by Joshua Clark, was nominated for a 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award; one of her last acquisitions there, THEMADONNAS OF ECHO PARK by Brando Skyhorse, has just won the PEN/Hemingway and Sue Kaufman Awards.  At Picador, she acquired the Orange and Whitbreadaward-winning novel SMALL ISLAND by Andrea Levy, the NBCC award-winning VOICES FROM CHERNOBYL, THE SEAS by Samantha Hunt and three books by acclaimed Japanese writer Yoko Ogawa.  As Executive Editor at Viking/Penguin, she acquired Adam Mansbach's forthcoming graffiti novel RAGE IS BACK, among other groundbreaking titles.  She worked in Editorial at Alfred A. Knopf forseveral years; before that, she worked at a translation house in Tokyo, also for a number of years. Fluent in French and Japanese, she studied Pure Mathematics/Algebraic Topology as an undergraduate and as a Monbusho Scholar in the Graduate School of Chiba University, Japan. In these capacities, she has worked with such authors as Haruki Murakami, Jay McInerney,Michel Houellebecq, Jim Shepard, Matt Mason, Michel Foucault, Adam Mansbach, Virginia Postrel, Ian Thomson, Stephen Elliott, Emily Gould, Daniel Bergner, Robin Robertson, Matt Haig, and Leslie Jamison.

Parul Sehgal
Parul Sehgal is an editor at The New York Times Book Review. She was previously the books editor at and a senior editor atPublishers Weekly. Her work has appeared in Bookforum,, Tin House, Slate and The Literary Review among other publications. She is the recipient of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. She has taught at Columbia University and has spoken at the New School, NYU, Harvard University and Book Expo America. She is a regular contributor to NPR and NY1’s The Book Reader.

Vicky Bijur
Vicky Bijur runs the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency, which she started in 1988. Vicky has served as president of the AAR (Association of Authors’ Representatives) and is currently chair of its Ethics Committee. She represents both fiction and nonfiction. Among her clients are NY Times bestseller Laura Lippman, whose novel EVERY SECRET THING was filmed with Dakota Fanning, Diane Lane, and Elizabeth Banks; NY Times bestseller Lisa Genova, author of STILL ALICE, now a film with Julianne Moore; James Sallis, whose novella DRIVE was the basis of the Ryan Gosling/Carey Mulligan film; Steven Greenhouse, NY Times labor reporter, now writing his second book for Knopf; food blogger Kenji Alt, whose FOOD LAB: BETTER HOME COOKING THROUGH SCIENCE will be published by Norton in 2015;  NY Times bestseller Larry Gonick, author/cartoonist of THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE; and Sujata Massey, author of THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY. Vicky also represents THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY: A LIFE OF THE INDIAN GENIUS RAMANUJAN by Robert Kanigel, just filmed with Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons.  

Priya Doraswamy
Priya Doraswamy founded Lotus Lane Literary in New Jersey in May, 2013. She has been an agent for a little over five years and has sold books globally. Priya represents bestselling and award winning adult fiction and non-fiction authors. Prior to her agency career, Priya was a Deputy Attorney General, with the State of New Jersey, prosecuting securities fraud. Priya was born and raised in Bangalore and relocated to the NY area twenty four years ago, but travels to India every year for work and pleasure.

Beena Kamlani
Beena Kamlani’s fiction has been published in many magazines and anthologies and won a Pushcart Prize in 2009. She is also senior editor at Viking Penguin, where she worked closely with Saul Bellow until his death in 2005, and Robert Fagles on his translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and Virgil’s Aeneid. She taught book editing at New York University for eighteen years, and was presented the university’s award for teaching excellence in 2002. She now teaches editing for writers and editors at Hunter College.

Born in India and educated in England, she has a B.A. (Hons.) and an M.A. in English and American Literature, and European Literature Since 1850.

Susan Shapiro
Susan Shapiro, an award-winning journalism professor, has written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, The Nation and Salon. She's author of 9 books including Lighting Up, Only as Good as Your Word and Five Men Who Broke My Heart. The Bosnia List, a coauthored memoir, was recently published by Penguin Books. She teaches popular "instant gratification takes too long" classes at The New School, NYU, and in private workshops where she's helped 80 students sell books in the last decade. Follow her on Twitter at @susanshapironet or reach her at her website
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