The following small presses will be at WFWA Chicago to take pitches.


Please email [email protected] with your pitch requests. There are waitlists for agent spots.



10-minute pitch: $49

Each press is offering a total of 22 pitches.


Rhonda Penders – Wild Rose Press

Rhonda Penders is Editor-in-Chief of The Wild Rose Press. She and her business partner, RJ Morris, opened their publishing house in 2006. TWRP, as it is affectionately nicknamed, is a traditional royalty paying publisher.

Accepting both agented and un-agented submissions in all genres of adult and YA fiction, The Wild Rose Press seeks women’s fiction and romance titles in particular. In women’s fiction, individuals in transition from one phase of life to another, those undertaking a journey or a challenge, and stories about overcoming obstacles ar attractive themes for our press. Second-chance-at-romance is also a popular sub-genre for women’s fiction titles we publish. Generally speaking, we are looking for unique stories that engage both the reader’s mind and heart. While these may follow a well worn trope, we are particularly drawn to those with a refreshing approach.

In addition to being a home for traditionally published authors around the world, The Wild Rose Press also understands that there is a need for some authors who wish to self-publish. The Write Advice division offers a variety of services to assist authors who wish to self publish:

Authors, editors, and publishers are integral members of the same team. A good relationship, solid communication, and professionalism on all fronts are what it takes to bring a good product to market.  Rhonda loves meeting writers and hearing about their lives and their books. The people connection is what she values most.
Follow TWRP on Facebook at / Twitter -- @wildrosepress / Instagram – Thewildrosepress

Alexandria Brown – Rising Action Publishing Collective

Alex has ten years of experience in marketing and creative writing. Alex has a Bachelor’s in Communications with a major in Public Relations, a Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, and is a Creative Writing Ph.D. Candidate currently at the University of Gloucestershire. She has two traditionally published nonfiction books. She’s a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Alex’s primary role is acquisitions and marketing as well as working with sub-agents on subsidiary rights.

While Alex will accept books from most fiction genres, she has examples of different things she’s looking for in her top genres. She is interested in: RomanticComedies/Book Club Fiction(think The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary or The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli). She also is seeking Thrillers/Mysteries/Horror that delves from usual tropes and has an ending that will leave the reader gobsmacked. She is also interested in nonfiction true crime stories. Alex looks for main characters that are under-represented in fiction such as, but not limited to, plus-sized, LGBTQAI+, and/or persons of colour. For her full MSWL, click here.


Susan Brooks, Literary Wanderlust

Susan Brooks has loved books since she first got her toddler hands on Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman. She has a master’s degree in publishing from The George Washington University and decades of publishing experience. Currently, she is Editor-in-Chief at Literary Wanderlust, an independent traditional publisher located in Denver, Colorado. She is looking to acquire women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, urban fantasy, and romance. She loves anything paranormal and especially enjoys ghost stories. For women's fiction, she wants to be surprised by well-developed, deeply flawed characters determined to solve their immediate and long-term problems in spite of life’s challenges. 

She is open to any well-written, well-structured story, however, and loves humor on all levels. And cats. She loves cats.

In her decades of work with several independent presses, Susan has especially enjoyed working with new authors. Her favorite thing to do is help writers make their good books into great ones.



Ten16 Press

Ten16 Press offers WFWA conference-goers two for the price of one with a ten-minute pitch session to both Jenna Zerbel and Jen Bruemmer. Ten16 Press is an indie publisher offering both traditional and hybrid contracts depending on content, existing author readership, niche, and potential reach.

The team is actively seeking women’s fiction and contemporary rom-coms, in the vein of In Five Years by Rebecca Serle or anything by Emily Henry. The funnier, the better! Jenna and Jen are also avid readers of fantasy and YA/NA fiction. They would love to find something with the captivating imagery of The Night Circus and an unforgettable cast of characters like A Court of Thorns and Roses. Across all genres, some of their favorite tropes and story elements include: women-led stories, whimsical world-building, #OwnVoices characters, slow-burn romance, mystery elements, found family, satisfying and intense character arcs, shocking but foreshadowed twists, and female friendship.

Jenna Zerbel lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course (2022) and the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse (2019). She is a pop culture enthusiast, feminist, and advocate of the Oxford comma. She has been an editor as well as the submissions manager at Ten16 Press for four years.

Jen Bruemmer is a publishing assistant and editor at Ten16 Press in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Armed with an Honor’s BA from UW–Milwaukee in Psychology and a Certificate of Ethics, she originally began her career in clinical research. Eventually, she decided to take the leap into something she was much more excited about—the book industry. With a passion for improving flow and broadening word choice, Jen enjoys editing a wide variety of manuscripts.

Check out their website at and follow @ten16press on Instagram!