The list of judges to-date for the 2013 IRDA’s follow below. If you don’t know who they are–or aren’t familiar with the companies they work for–we encourage you to Google them. They’re that impressive.
Also, please note that we are not just compiling names on a page. Every one of the people listed have agreed to read–and judge–submitted books. Why? For the simple reason that they’re interested in finding talented writers who might otherwise be overlooked. Maybe it’s you.
THE JUDGES TO-DATE
Elizabeth Keenan, Penguin Group USA
Elizabeth Keenan has been in book publishing for thirteen years first at Free Press/Simon and Schuster and then Penguin Group USA. She is currently the publicity director for two imprints at Penguin; Hudson Street Press and Plume books. During her career she has worked with many wonderful and bestselling novelists including Larry Brown, David Benioff, Jane Green, Lev Grossman, Elizabeth Brundage, and many others.
Liz is also a published writer whose work has appeared in a regular column for three years from 2002-2005 in the NY Inquirer and in an anthology in ‘Living on the Edge of The World’ (Touchstone-Fireside).
Liz is workshop leader for NY Writers Coalition where she has led weekly writer’s workshops, most recently for a group of formerly incarcerated women in a drug & alcohol treatment center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NY.
Emily Graff, Simon & Schuster
Emily joined Simon & Schuster in April 2012. She previously worked as an editorial assistant at The Penguin Press and focused on non-fiction titles, including books in American history, biography, and current affairs. Emily is a graduate of Harvard College, where she majored in History and Literature and served as senior editor of Fifteen Minutes, The Harvard Crimson’s weekend magazine. She is interested in commercial and literary fiction, as well as memoir and narrative nonfiction.
Megan Reid, Simon & Schuster
Megan Reid joined Touchstone’s editorial team in 2011, after receiving her Master’s degree in English from The Ohio State University and interning for Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. Her upcoming projects include Lori Armstrong’s MERCILESS, and several of Touchstone’s backlist reissues, including BEN HOGAN’S FIVE LESSONS and LACE. She has recently taken a position as Assistant Editor at Emily Bestler Books, a division of Atria Publishing Group at S&S.
Megan is primarily interested in women’s and historical fiction—especially books with a sci-fi/fantasy or romantic twist—and nonfiction focusing on lifestyle, travel, and culture.
Dan Kirschen, ICM
Dan Kirschen began at International Creative Management in 2010 and has been actively building a client list which focuses primarily on literary fiction, science fiction, narrative non-fiction, essays, memoir, pop culture and its opposite (something like ‘alternative living’). In addition to his literary strivings, he plays drums in a band called The Henry Millers, a fitting moniker for his two passions, though he had nothing to do with its naming. He holds a degree in Philosophy summa cum laude from The College of William and Mary.
Nicole Tourtelot, Kuhn Projects
Nicole Tourtelot is an Associate Agent at Kuhn Projects. She has also worked at ICM and at Esquire as a research assistant and fiction reader. Nicole graduated from Columbia with a BA in English.
Thane Economou, 20th Century Fox
Thane Economou works in development at Tannerie Run Productions at 20th Century Fox. Prior to that he worked at Lucas Film and National Lampoon.
Sandra (Sandy) Poirier-Diaz, Smith Publicity
Sandy is the president of Smith Publicity, Inc., a book promotion company dedicated to helping authors create awareness about their books through media coverage.
Smith Publicity has promoted more than 1,500 authors/publishers since 1997—from first time, self-published projects to New York Times best selling titles. Sandy has overseen the direction of more than 1,200 book publicity campaigns with tens of thousands of media placements in television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online outlets worldwide. Daily, she works with authors on strategies to create media attention for their titles. Sandy participates and speaks at book events around the world.
Sandy has over 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, and public relations fields. During her career, she has lead, designed and executed thousands of print ads, public relations strategies, direct mail campaigns, and videos for start-up businesses, Fortune 500 companies, individuals, authors/publishers, and non-profit organizations. Highlights of her publicity successes include placing clients on the Today Show, Parade Magazine (cover), Wall Street Journal, Forbes, SELF Magazine and CNN.
She previously worked as Manager of Marketing Services for Thomson & Thomson, of the Thomson Reuters Corporation, where she planned and implemented over 400 marketing, PR, and image development programs. Sandy also worked for Advanced Computer Graphics in Boston, MA, servicing clients such as Reebok, researched and wrote articles for the National Association of Desktop Publishers, and worked for Ocean Spray Cranberries of Plymouth, MA. She has extensive experience in graphic design and website content development.
Sandy earned a Bachelor of Science in Art, and a Master of Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston.
Jessica Glenn, MindBuck Media
Publicist and Owner of MindBuck Media, Jessica builds and executes successful public relations and publicity campaigns for book releases and authors. She works with publishers including AmazonEncore, CBAY, Ink and Paper, Dame Rocket Press, Absey and Co. and more.
Karen Schechner, Senior Indie Editor, Kirkus Reviews
Karen Schechner is the senior Indie editor at Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus Indie curates self-published titles to help consumers and industry influencers (publishers, agents, film producers, librarians, booksellers) discover books they may otherwise never find. In her pre-Kirkus days, she was the senior editor at the American Booksellers Association, where she worked with indie booksellers for nearly a decade. She’s also has long volunteered as the senior editor of Lambda Literary, the leading LGBT literary magazine.