From my PhD days (and from coaching circus to pay my way through undergrad!), I have a teaching background, and I love to collaborate and share what I know. For health reasons, like many disabled and chronically ill professionals, I am unable to travel to out of town events at this time, and need to remain masked for in-person appearances.
Below are some events I have participated in over the course of my time in publishing so far!
- New Jersey Romance Writers PYHIAB Contest 2020
- Keynote speaker for the Alaska Writers’ Guild Conference 2021
- Disability, Mental Health, and Resilience in Publishing at Sheridan College in February 2021
- Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador AGM November 2021
- Children’s Book Council Virtual Ed Talks: Disability and Neurodiversity
- Diaspora Dialogues TOK Toronto virtual celebration 2022: The Business of Publishing with Leigh Nash
- Special Guest for Can*Con Virtual Conference 2022
- Meet the Agents with Author Success
- Wild Writers Festival Publishing Panel, presented by the New Quarterly: Things They Don’t Tell You
- #AskAgent Webinar for MoodPitch 2022
- Reviewer for the Periplus Collective mentorship program, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
- SmoochPit 2023 Showcase
- How to Get Published panel with the Region of Waterloo Libraries
- Moderator of the panel on Queer Joy with the FOLD 2023
- Tips for preparing for traditional publishing, on the Editors Canada blog
- …and I can always be found and booked as part of the Manuscript Academy faculty!
One Foot in Each World
On February 10, 2021, the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto hosted a virtual roundtable on creative writing and scholarship via Zoom. The event featured Alexandra Jocic, Dr. Katya Pechenkina, and Dr. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon. It was moderated by Professor Janet Poole.
Agent Fit and How NOT to Get an Agent on Writing the Wrong Way
Over the years, Jonathan has been asked many questions about agents, and so on this episode, he welcomes Emmy Nordstrom Higdon, a literary agent with Westwood Creative Artists. They talk about what Nordstrom Higdon looks for in new clients/submissions, the current state of the publishing industry, and Higdon’s completely rational fear of zombies.
On the second episode, Jonathan welcomes back literary agent Emmy Nordstrom Higdon to discuss the role of an agent in the publishing process, and what NOT to do when you’re trying to get an agent for yourself.
Query Critiques on TSNOTYAW
On the Books with Hooks segment, Emmy Nordstrom Higdon joined author and podcast host Bianca Marais to provide query critiques. In the first episode, Bianca and Emmy discuss authorial voice; jumping right into where the action is; how using appropriate comps can help cut down on a query’s word count; including sample pages for more than one POV; and carefully choosing your story’s timeline/setting. In the second episode, Emmy unpacks starting with action to get a good sense of voice and character; how the story needs to be front and center with opening pages before digging into issues; starting with something dramatic and compelling; showing the MC out of their depth with internal and external conflict; and dramatizing epistolary parts of a novel.
Supply Chain on Writers Drinking Coffee
Emmy Nordstrom Higdon joins us to talk about the publishing biz, especially challenges of the current global supply chain. If you ever wondered what Dostoevsky and Charmin have in common, Emmy happily explains the connection between wood pulp, garbage, shipping, and trans-oceanic trade. No country is an island of self-sufficiency, so come learn interconnectedness of all things required to get a new book into your hands or eReader.
Finding the Right Agent for You on the Brockton Writers Series
The Brockton Writers Series (BWS) is a bi-monthly literary reading series founded in the west-end Toronto neighbourhood of Brockton in November 2009. The vision for the series is to host writers who reflect Canadian literature and Canadian diversity. This event features Grace Lau, Brad Fraser, Rebecca Salazar, James Lee Lord Parker and guest speaker emmy who gave us pointers on Finding the Right Literary Agent for You.
Predicting the Market, A Love for Weird Stories, and How to Lift Up Diverse Books on Lit Match
Abigail K. Perry sits down with Emmy Nordstrom Higdon to discuss their career shift from bookseller to literary agent – and why both taught them how to predict the market. They also share their love for books by underrepresented authors in traditional publishing.
emmy loves weird books and wants more of those in their inbox. They also talk about FOLD and why the focus of the event is literary diversity. Finally, they share the two main questions they ask authors who they are interested in representing, and what they consider when they put a book out on submission.
Live Coffee Break Q&A on the Manuscript Academy Podcast
- How agenting is a style choice
- Why writers should have more confidence
- How even the IRS probably can’t figure out royalty statements
- How to reverse-engineer your search for agents from editor data
- How the people you naturally like are the ones you’re going to work with, so there’s no point in forcing it
- What in the world agents really want in a synopsis
- Why murder is their comfort read
- A fantastic explanation of how a book earns out its advance
Writing Diversity into Your Story on the Writerly Lifestyle Podcast
You want to write books that represent the diversity of the world around you. But you’re just not sure how. You want to be respectful of other cultures but you’re afraid of how your portrayal might come off to readers. Maybe you even shy away from diversity in your manuscript because you don’t want it to unintentionally insult anyone.
Does this sound like you? So how will you know if the diversity you’re building into your story is appropriate, accurate, and respectful? Emmy shares some ways to ensure you’re on the right track.
#AskAgent on the Badass Writers Podcast
Kat chats with Westwood Creative Artists literary agent Emmy Nordstrom Higdon about how and why they got involved in agenting, what’s grabbing their attention right now, how to navigate the ever-changing landscape of publishing, what they like to see in a query letter, grammar in query letters and sample pages, their desert island books (see below for titles/authors), choosing between agents at the same agency, re-querying rewritten manuscripts (and how to do it right), if WattPad or Kindle Vella counts as a debut, what makes them pass on a full manuscript, pet peeves about queries, anonymous authors, and pen names.
I Gamble Every Day, I’m In Publishing on Super Pulp Science
Gregory and Justin welcome literary agent Emmy Nordstrom Higdon to talk about the never-ending stream of manuscripts they have to read and say “no” to in their day-to-day, and how much of the publishing world is about taking a chance. (Recorded December 2021)