Wilkes University

Outside Readers and Consultants

Industry feedback is an incredible benefit to aspiring writers. That's why at Wilkes, each creative thesis is read and evaluated by an agent, editor, publisher or producer in the field. 

Our outside readers will provide detailed notes about your work and review their feedback during a one-on-one meeting. While this list constantly changes, the following professionals regularly participate:

 

Ibrahim Ahmad is the editorial director at Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent publishing company, where he has worked in various capacities since 2000. He leads frequent writers workshops, teaches at the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program and Literary Publishing M.A. Program, and is the cofounder of Brooklyn Wordsmiths, an editorial and consulting program. In 2015, he was named one of four finalists for the inaugural Star Watch prize by Publishers Weekly, awarded to "young industry professionals who have distinguished themselves as future leaders of the industry."

Albert LaFarge, Ph.D., founded the Albert LaFarge Literary Agency in Boston in 2003. He earlier worked as a book editor at Random House, Henry Holt, and Harcourt, and as deputy editor of DoubleTake magazine. He is the editor of The Essential William H. Whyte (Fordham University Press, 2000) and, with Robert Coles, Minding the Store: Great Writing About Business, From Tolstoy to Now (New Press, 2008). He has taught writing, editing, and publishing at Harvard College, Harvard Extension, and Boston University, and is currently a lecturer in the Department of Liberal Arts at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Michael Mailer has been working extensively in the independent film business since graduating from Harvard University in 1987. He co-wrote and produced his first feature film, A Fool And His Money, starring Sandra Bullock and George Plimpton, in 1988. Since then, Mailer has produced over 25 features. His films include the critically acclaimed Two Girls and a Guy, starring Robert Downey Jr., Heather Graham, and Natasha Gregson Wagner (20th Century Fox, 1998); Black and White, starring Ben Stiller, Brooke Shields, Elijah Wood, and Mike Tyson (Sony Pictures, 1999); and Empire, starring John Leguizamo, Denise Richards, and Peter Sarsgaard (Universal Pictures, 2002). Mailer also found success in films like Lost Junction with Neve Campbell (MGM, 2000); The Last Producer with Burt Reynolds, Lauren Holly, and Benjamin Bratt (Artisan, 2002); and Harvard Man, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joey Lauren Adams, and Adrien Grenier (Blockbuster, 2002). In 2003, Mailer produced Devour, starring Hollywood up-and-comers Jensen Ackles, Shannon Sossamon, and Dominique Swain (Columbia Tri-Star, 2004); and Loverboy with all-star cast Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei, Oliver Platt, Sandra Bullock, Campbell Scott, and Matt Dillon (Millennium, 2004). The film made its debut at Sundance 2005 and was later released theatrically by Think Films. Michael Mailer Films was established in 2004 to focus on both independent, character-driven films and larger, concept-oriented pictures. Among MMF's productions are the romantic comedies Kettle of Fish, starring Matthew Modine and Gina Gershon; and The Golden Boys, starring David Carradine, Rip Torn, and Bruce Dern. Additionally, Mailer produced two films under his own banner that were released through Sony: The mixed martial arts-urban western Blood and Bone and a remake of Hitchcock's The Lodger. Mailer's The Ledge, starring Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard, and Charlie Hunnam, debuted in U.S. Drramatic competition at Sundance 2011 and was released by IFC. Mailer productions in recent years include: Seduced and Abandoned, starring Alec Baldwin, which screened out of competition at the 2013 Festival de Cannes; A Little Game, starring Olympia Dukakis, F. Murray Abraham, and Janeane Garofalo; Friends and Romans, starring Michael Rispoli, Annabella Sciorra, and Tony Sirico; Lost in Florence with Brett Dalton and Stana Katic; and Showing Roots, starring Maggie Grace, Uzo Aduba, Elizabeth McGovern, and Adam Brody. Mailer's latest film is also his directorial debut: Blind, starring Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore, and Dylan McDermott.

Robert May, an advisory board member and founder of SenArt Films, is a producer of independent films whose projects have collectively garnered over 40 awards including the Oscar®, Bafta, Independent Spirit Awards and Human Rights Award to name a few. May produced The Station Agent, directed by then first time director Tom McCarthy, which starred Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale, The Fog of War (Errol Morris), Stevie (Steve James), The War Tapes (Deborah Scranton), and Bonneville (Chris Rowley) starring Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates. Recently May released his directorial debut, the documentary Kids for Cash, a film about greed, corruption and kids. Quotes like "Riveting," "Shocking," and "Gifted Storyteller" from the likes of The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety have been used to describe the film. May's projects have been distributed by Miramax, Sony, Lions Gate, 20th Century Fox, and Comcast/Universal. May is currently in active development on a number of projects and is in production on an adventure film – The Last Expedition.

Entertainment Lawyer, producer, playwright. M. Kilburg Reedy is a member of the law firm Feldman, Golinski, Reedy + Ben-Zvi, PLLC, where her practice spans all aspects of general entertainment law and intellectual property, with a focus on theater and film contracts and financing, and also includes publishing, television, copyright, trademark, and music. Previously associated with the law firms of Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz and Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, her practice as an entertainment lawyer for over 20 years has included work on major productions on Broadway and Off-Broadway. An award-winning theatrical producer, Kilburg's productions include: Come From Away, nominated for seven Tony awards in 2017, and previous productions Nevermore – The Imaginary Life And Mysterious Death Of Edgar Allan Poe (New World Stages 2015), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, New York Critics Circle Award for Best Play), Peter and the Starcatcher (nine Tony nominations and five wins), and The Pee-Wee Herman Show. Kilburg's plays have been produced throughout the U.S. and internationally, and have been published by Samuel French (Second Lady and Other Ladies; Spin: A Musical Myth).
Molly Reese is an associate agent at Thompson Literary Agency, where she looks for narrative nonfiction, memoir, cookbooks, and literary fiction. She graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU where she studied French, Italian, and literary translation.
Melissa Sarver White is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management. She represents literary and commercial adult fiction, YA fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, cookbooks and food writing, and business books. A graduate of Boston University, Melissa was previously an agent at The Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency.
Johnny Temple, a Wilkes University Creative Writing Program advisory board member, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction. He won the 2013 Ellery Queen Award and the American Association of Publishers' 2005 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing. Temple is the editor of the anthology USA Noir, which was selected as a New York Times Editors' Choice and includes stories from Dennis Lehane, Jonathan Safran Foer, Joyce Carol Oates, and others. Temple has taught courses on the publishing business at Wilkes University, Wesleyan University, and Pratt Institute; and is the Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, which works with Brooklyn's borough president to plan the annual Brooklyn Book Festival. He also plays bass guitar in the band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively across the globe and released numerous albums on independent and major record companies. He has contributed articles and political essays to various publications, including: The Nation, Publishers Weekly, AlterNet, Poets & Writers, and BookForum.
Meg Thompson is the co-director of Einstein Thompson Agency, (formerly LJK Literary Management). She started in publishing in 2002 working for President Bill Clinton in his Harlem office as a researcher and fact checker on his memoirs, My Life. Meg worked for President Clinton for two years and then assisted him on his worldwide book tour once his memoirs were completed and published. She then went to work for Charlie Rose as a writer and researcher at his legendary PBS show before joining LJK Literary Management, LLC, first as Larry Kirshbaum's editorial assistant and then quickly moving on to handle clients of her own, becoming a senior agent in just two years, and taking over the company with her partner, Susanna Einstein, in 2011. She is interested in memoir, narrative non-fiction, pop science and psychology, health, new media projects, cookbooks, and books on popular culture and humor. Her clients now include: Chief of Neurosurgery at Emerson Hospital Dr. Robert Cantu, PBS Parents correspondent and food blogger Alice Currah, NY Times bestseller Ken Denmead (author of the GeekDad books), NY Times reporter Chris Dixon, blogger Kelle Hampton, Scientific American reporter Katherine Harmon, NY Times essayist Tim Kreider, style blogger Marisa Lynch, NY Times bestseller Jeremy Rifkin, Anita Hill, and MacArthur "Genius Award" winner Dr. Peter Pronovost.
Chris Tomasino has been agenting since 1975, when she joined RLR Associates, Ltd and developed their literary division. Her clients have ranged from Civil War historian and novelist Shelby Foote to former baseball manager and now MLB executive Joe Torre, from talented international book packagers Labyrinth Publishing and Carroll & Brown to diverse corporate clients Angel Records and The PGA. She is as comfortable with commercial fiction as she is with highly produced full color books; with the unconventional and best-selling Anti-Coloring Books as she is with translating the content of the world's foremost online wedding resource, The Knot, and its offspring The Nest and The Bump, into best-selling book franchises. She shepherded Sarah Ban Breathnach's ground-breaking Simple Abundance (Two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list) and its spin-offs through the publishing process. Ever ahead of the trends, she was in on the boon in young adult fiction series in the 1970s and 1980s, the cookbook and lifestyle rage in the 1980s and 2000s, and the blossoming of spirituality and esoterica in the 1980s and 1990s. Having started her own boutique-sized agency in 2000, she is best known for representing popular non-fiction titles. She specializes in memoir, self-help, lifestyle, health, women's issues, and spirituality, especially those books exploring the newest concepts in wellness and social science through careful thought and scholarship. Even though non-fiction is a surer sale in today's publishing marketplace, Chris loves fiction and is always on the lookout for the novel that will envelope, entertain, and enrich. In June, she joined the Advisory Board of the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program.
Veronica Windholz is a freelance manuscript editor of fiction and nonfiction, having worked in the New York City publishing business for more than 40 years. At both Random House and Viking/Penguin and as a freelancer, she has edited very well known authors and debut authors alike, among them Norman Mailer; E. L. Doctorow; Mary Oliver; Salman Rushdie; Jeffrey Toobin; Peter Sís; Sherry Turkle; Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; and Curtis Sittenfeld. Her seminar on self-editing and manuscript preparation ("When Is a Writer's Work Done?") is a staple at the Wilkes residencies.
 


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