What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'agent')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<August 2014>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     0102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: agent, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 333
1. Agent Looking to Build List

Leon Husock – Associate Agent at L. Perkins Agency.

leonlperkinsPrior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, Leon was an associate agent at Anderson Literary Management. He has a BA in Literature from Bard College and attended the Columbia Publishing Course.

Leon is actively building his client list.

He has a particular interest in science fiction & fantasy, young adult and middle-grade novels filled with strong characters and original premises, but keeps an open mind for anything that catches his eye. 

He is also looking for historical fiction set in the 20th century, particularly the 1980s or earlier.

He is not interested in non-fiction at this time.

Email: leon@lperkinsagency.com

Follow him on Twitter: @leonhusock

How to submit:

Please email a query letter containing the following:

  • brief synopsis
  • Your bio
  • The first five pages from your novel or book proposal in the body of your email.

Please keep in mind:

  • Attachments will not be opened unless specifically requested.
  • We only accept email queries. We do not accept queries by snail mail, phone or social media. All snail mail queries will be discarded unopened.
  • Please only query one agent at this agency. They will only consider one manuscript from one writer at a time to one agent at a time. If you have written more than one manuscript, choose the one you think is the most promising and pitch that. Do not pitch them all.
  • We have a strict NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS policy within the agency, so please be sure to only submit to one of us. (Though simultaneous submissions to other agencies are expected.) We work together closely, often passing projects along to other members of the team.

Send to leon [at] lperkinsagency.com.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to sumit, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Agent looking for MG and YA, Agent Looking to Build List, L Perkins Agency, Leon Husock, Sci-fi and fantasy and historical

0 Comments on Agent Looking to Build List as of 8/19/2014 12:49:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Free Fall Friday Plus Alert

Writer Scam Alert!

The SCBWI put out this alert with writers. Didn’t want you to miss it:

Agents have been writing to us about a new type of “scam” they are seeing: agent middleman services. These are companies that, for a fee, will query agents for you. Agents overwhelming ignore queries from these companies. If you are having trouble getting an agent to represent you, your best plan of attack is to work on your manuscript and research the field. Join a critique group, attend an SCBWI event and make sure you are querying the right agents by searching though the agent directory in The Book. Paying a third party to query for you is not a fast track, it is just a waste of your money. How Not to Seek a Literary Agent: The Perils of “Middleman” Services

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

I know I’ve written about this before. But I’m seeing an increasing number of these kinds of “services,” and they are all worthless.

What am I talking about? Agent middleman services–services that, for a fee, purport to contact agents on your behalf with the aim of snagging representation and, hopefully, a publishing contract.

A particularly egregious example: Bookmarq.net’s Finding a Publisher service. (All errors courtesy of the original.)

Worth reading the full article. Here’s the link:

http://www.victoriastrauss.com/2014/08/12/how-not-to-seek-a-literary-agent-the-perils-of-middleman-services/

_________________________________________________________________________

Agent Holly McGhee is our Guest Critiquer for August. Holly McGhee opened Pippin Properties in 1998, after being an executive editor at HarperCollins and has built one of the most prestigious Literary Agencies in the Children’s Book Industry.

Holly says, “At Pippin we embrace every artistic endeavor, from picture books to middle-grade novels, nonfiction, young adult, graphic novels. We don’t follow trends—we encourage our clients to follow their hearts. Our philosophy, the world owes you nothing, you owe the world your best work, hasn’t changed, but as an agency we have evolved to keep pace with our clients.”

Among Holly’s celebrated clients are Kate DiCamillo, David Small, Doreen Cronin, Jandy Nelson, Kathi Appelt, Harry Bliss, Peter H. Reynolds, Sujean Rim, Jon Agee, and Holly’s very own big sister, Alison McGhee. Holly lives with her husband and three children fifteen miles west of the Lincoln Tunnel, and she also writes under the pen name Hallie Durand.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in August:

Please “August First Page Critique” in the subject line. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Please attach your first page submission using one inch margins and 12 point font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail and then also attach it in a Word document to the email.

DEADLINE: August 21st.

RESULTS: August 29th.

Use inch margins – double space your text – 12 pt. New Times Roman font – no more than 23 lines – paste into body of the email

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the August’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, need to know, writing Tagged: Agent Holly McGhee, Agent Middleman Services, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Pippin Properties, Victoria Strauss, Writer Alert

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday Plus Alert, last added: 8/15/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
3. Agent Looking for Clients

Alexander SlaterAlexander Slater from the Trident Media Group is looking to build his client list.

When asked how he became an agent at Trident, concentrating in the expanding children’s, middle grade and young adult businesses, Alex simply replies, “It was only natural.” While karma is not an established business concept,  it is clear that Alex’s career arc led him in this happy direction.

Start with Alex’s love of fiction, and in particular the stories that captivate the minds and imaginations of young people, from those so young that books are read to them, to young adults who get captivated by creative fiction. “I love to let myself go, and become the reader, whether the story is directed at a ten-year-old or a teenager,” says Alex.

Next is Alex’s experience at Trident, where he has been since 2010. He became a very successful agent representing the company’s children, middle grade and young adult authors in many licensing arrangements in the global marketplace for translation and in the English language in the U.K., having placed books with publishers in dozens of countries. Alex was Trident’s representative at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy, as well as the broader-based London and Frankfurt book fairs. His experience in representing fiction in these areas showed him what elements in stories work well, and how to maximize the value of what an author has created.

He is now building his list domestically at Trident, while keeping his focus on these areas.  As a Foreign Rights Agent, he sold international rights for authors such as R.J. Palacio, Louis Sachar, Jessica Sorensen, L.J. Smith, Rebecca Donovan, and many others.

Alex’s plan is to, “Look for stories that will rise above the rest with characters that will be remembered well past childhood, with the potential to cross over to other media and formats,” such as programming, games, motion pictures and merchandise. “Trident is the leader on taking advantage of the latest opportunities presented by changing technology,” says Alex, and, “I will be there to help make the latest innovations happen for my authors.”

“I believe that the most successful writers have a bit of the dreamer in them.” And Alex passionately believes that he can help turn their dreams into reality.

What Alexander is looking for: Alexander is interested in children’s, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction, from new and established authors.  As he says, “I’m looking for projects that will rise above the rest…characters you’ll remember well past childhood…books that translate well to film because within them contain incredible stories, not because they’re the latest trend.”  He particularly loves authors like Frank Portman, Jim Shepard, Jenny Han, and Rainbow Rowell.

How to submit: Send a query letter, pasted in the body of the email, to aslater [at] TridentMediaGroup.com. Your query should include only a paragraph about yourself, a brief plot pitch, and your contact information. Please do not send a manuscript or proposal until you have been requested to do so.

Follow him on Twitter: @abuckslater.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Alexander Slater, Trident Literary

2 Comments on Agent Looking for Clients, last added: 8/14/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
4. Agent Talk: 7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With

carly-watters-p-s-literary-agencyA few weeks ago, Agent Carly Watters on her blog talked about after you write a great manuscript, how does an agent decide to work with someone after that? She has seven tips.

7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With by Carly Watters:

1. Open to revisions

Right away, I know if an author is going to be a fit for me based on how they react to revision ideas. Agents are looking for writers that are open to feedback and collaboration. If I gave you an R&R did you connect with my notes? Did you ask questions that take my notes from suggestions to big picture changes that make the novel better?

2. Always wants to get better

A line I like to use is “trust your future self.” What that means to me is if you can write good novel, you can write many more. Getting defensive about your novel means you are holding on to it when really you should be willing to let it go and work on the next. Agents are looking to represent authors for the long term, so what we need is the faith that you want to be the best writer, every time you write a new book. We know there will be ups and downs, but it’s that drive to succeed that will separate many writers from the ones that don’t make it.

3. Treats assistants and senior industry members alike

From time to time we get people who respond to our query letter auto-response with condescending and mean emails. It doesn’t matter who is on the other end of those emails, our principal agent or our assistant, you have to be friendly to everyone–not just the people who influence your career. Those mean emails just reinforce our decision to pass without a second thought.

4. Asks questions

I love it when authors want to know more about the process. Don’t be shy about wanting to know how the business works. Whether it’s a Twitter #askagent session or when you’re on ‘The Call’ with an agent, make sure you ask the important questions that help your understanding.

5. Trusts us

The number one way to work with an agent for a long period of time is trust. I know this isn’t built over night, but you have to trust your agent to have your best interests at heart. This is one of the most important long-term author/agent relationship requirements. Only query agents that you see yourself working with and that you already trust (whether it’s a referral, their taste or client list).

6. Communication

This is part of trust, but authors have to be up-front with agents. Did you self publish before? Have you had an agent before? Can you share your sales numbers from your previous book? It’s the little things that add up when it comes to communication. We need to know everything if we’re going to represent you well.

7. Professional on social media

As easy as it is for authors to Google agents to see if we might be a fit for you, when we fall in love with a query or manuscript the first thing we do is Google you back. What agents love to see on social media is a personality (not just link blasts). You don’t have to have a ton of followers (but points if you do!) to get our attention. It’s all about the balance between promotion and personality. We love it when authors are part of writing communities and support other authors. That means, when the time comes, those other published writers will support you too.

You should check out Carly’s Blog: http://carlywatters.com/blog/

PS Literary is looking for an intern. Carly has information about working remotely for them. If you have any aspirations to become a literary Agent, this would be something to consider.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, Agent, article, authors and illustrators, list, opportunity, Social Media, Tips Tagged: 7 Ways to Make Yourself an Easy Author to Work with, Carly Watters

3 Comments on Agent Talk: 7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With, last added: 8/10/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
5. Free Fall Friday – Holly McGhee

Holly_McGheeI am very happy to announce that Agent Holly McGhee has agreed to be our Guest Critiquer for August. Holly McGhee opened Pippin Properties in 1998, after being an executive editor at HarperCollins and has built one of the most prestigious Literary Agencies in the Children’s Book Industry.

Holly says, “At Pippin we embrace every artistic endeavor, from picture books to middle-grade novels, nonfiction, young adult, graphic novels. We don’t follow trends—we encourage our clients to follow their hearts. Our philosophy, the world owes you nothing, you owe the world your best work, hasn’t changed, but as an agency we have evolved to keep pace with our clients.”

Among Holly’s celebrated clients are Kate DiCamillo, David Small, Doreen Cronin, Jandy Nelson, Kathi Appelt, Harry Bliss, Peter H. Reynolds, Sujean Rim, Jon Agee, and Holly’s very own big sister, Alison McGhee. Holly lives with her husband and three children fifteen miles west of the Lincoln Tunnel, and she also writes under the pen name Hallie Durand.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in August:

Please “August First Page Critique” in the subject line. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Please attach your first page submission using one inch margins and 12 point font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail and then also attach it in a Word document to the email.

DEADLINE: August 21st.

RESULTS: August 29th.

Use inch margins – double space your text – 12 pt. New Times Roman font – no more than 23 lines – paste into body of the email

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the August’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Publishers and Agencies, submissions Tagged: First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties

1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Holly McGhee, last added: 8/11/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. Free Fall Friday – Results – Jenny Bent

patricia Pinsk summer_pinsk_02
This Goldilocks illustration was sent in by Patricia Pinsk. It was done as a paper collage with ink, watercolour, digital textures. Her work includes multi-media drawing, illustration, photography, glass-work, sculpture as well as Web-based graphics for the corporate world. Website: http://www.patriciapinsk.com Twitter: @PatriciaPinsk

Below are the first page critiques done by literary agent, Jenny Bent. We can all learn a lot from what Jenny had to say.

Deena Graves – TERRAZA – Young Adult

Pizza sauce, garlic, and beer did not mix. Not when all three meshed, creating a gag-inducing stench in the faded black fibers of my Perky Pepper T-shirt. Dixie would shoot me dead for sure. The last time I came home from the pizza shop smelling like a garbage disposal, she threatened to hose me down in the front yard before I’d “ever step one soiled foot” into her home.

Shrugging into my fleece jacket, I ignored the stink of my shirt and shoved my dark-framed glasses back up my nose. I scowled down at my beat-up Mongoose and the flat tire forcing me to walk my happy ass home.

“Hey, Luc!” a voice called from behind. I kept walking, stealing a quick glance over my shoulder. Max jogged toward me, holding up the sides of his pants. I snorted. If he didn’t wear them so low, maybe the stupid things would stay up.

“Wait up, man,” he panted, pulling up beside me. “You know bikes were designed to be ridden, right?” Max eyed my flat and sucked in a breath. “Oh.”

“Yeah.” I tossed him the souvenir I’d found wedged in the rubber tread. “And they ride better when the tires aren’t shredded.”

He inspected the chunk of weird black glass about the size of a half-dollar, tossing it from hand to hand. It weighed next to nothing, and no thicker than my pinkie, but its wicked, chiseled edge had almost cut my finger trying to dislodge it. “This was in your tire?”

I nodded. “I bet it was Manager Mike, the douche nugget.” I scowled out at the dark, Edison Square of squat, brick buildings. The stretch of small-town antique shops, specialty clothing stores, and trendy eateries had long since closed for the night. A brisk October wind cut through my fleece jacket.

HERE IS JENNY BENT:

Terraza

Lively voice which is great, I’m seeing too many flat voices in YA contempt these days. Not sure the voice is always completely authentic– “gag-inducing stench” doesn’t feel to me something like a teenaged boy would say. I did like the voice overall however. And line by line the writing is strong here.

I would like to see this author push themselves a little more to write a really “wow” first page. The skill level is there. But I am not sure from reading this that the book is beginning at the right point. I like the hint of mystery that someone sabotaged his bike. But the writer is starting with a conversation, which can be a tricky way to start a book, particularly when the conversation is not necessarily a very interesting or illuminating one.

I would try instead to either start in a place that is a bigger moment for the character or a place with perhaps more emotion for the character.

Alternatively, the author could perhaps have the character show/feel a little more here. What is his mental state as the story opens? We don’t know, beyond annoyed, and I’d like a little more on that. What is his general frame of mind as the story opens? What is he thinking about as he leaves work, is there anything significant on his mind? How does he feel about his friend Max beyond the thought about his pants, I can’t tell. If the author gave us more access to thoughts/feelings, we could get a better sense of him right away. Also, perhaps these two could banter a little more and we could get a sense of their personalities and relationship that way. Right now their conversation isn’t that interesting. It’s there to convey information about the bike, some of which we know already (there’s a flat tire) but it should serve more purpose than that–it should also illuminate character and it should also entertain. And is there a different way he could react to the flat tire? Something funny or unusual that would really intrigue the reader?

And finally, I would love the author push him/herself a little more with the opening line. The opening line to a book should be the best sentence the author has ever written. It doesn’t have to be necessarily super action-packed or dramatic, but it should instantly intrigue, or amuse, or create thought. I fear that this one is a bit of a throw-away.

__________________________________________________________

Helen Landalf – CLEO – YA novel 

The minute I slither into my sequined tank, Joan starts to disappear. I yank it down to show a little cleavage, slide on my black lace over-the-elbow gloves, and she fades even more. Then I squeeze into a pair of velvet leggings that hug her queen-size thighs, top them off with a flirty skirt, and step into my red stilettos. She’s almost gone.

“Joan,” comes Mom’s voice from outside the bedroom door. “Are you in there, honey?”

Elizabeth Taylor, in her Cleopatra gown and headdress, gazes down at me from the poster above my dresser. Ignore her, she seems to say. You’ve got work to do.

I glance at my phone, but there’s no text from Matt. Grabbing the bottle of foundation, I slather the cold, sweet-smelling liquid along my skin. The little potholes left over from Joan’s acne outbreak back in middle school? Gone. Next comes blush, the soft brush whispering glitter and bone structure onto Joan’s chipmunk cheeks, followed by eyeliner that sweeps into a dramatic V at my temples, adding flair and width to Joan’s squinty eyes. I glance up at the poster again and paint it thick and black, just like Liz’s.

The doorknob wiggles. “Joan?” Mom says.

“Be out in a sec.” I fluff my limp brown hair to create the illusion of fullness and then dim the lights on my makeup mirror. Leaning forward, I suck in my cheeks and survey my work. Not bad. All I need now is a dab of lipstick, and my transformation will be complete.

Just as I’m snatching up the tube of Burgundy Plum, the Lady Gaga ringtone blares from my phone.

“Hi, Matt,” I say. “Hang on, I’m coming.”

HERE IS JENNY BENT:

CLEO:

This is another one with strong writing that could have a stronger opening line. For inspiration, here’s a link to 20 great opening lines in YA fiction:

http://www.epicreads.com/blog/20-amazing-opening-lines-in-ya/

I like the concept here that we are watching someone’s transformation. And there is a great use of physical detail here. But again, as with the last critique, there’s not enough information about this character’s state of mind as this is happening. I want to know more about her and I’m not getting anything about her personality from this–all I’m getting is physical characteristics and perhaps that she is pretty hard on herself about the way she looks.

I love the part where the poster of Elizabeth Taylor seems to talk to her, that gives this a little edge that it really needs. But let me learn more even about this character from her inner thoughts or her dialogue, make every line really work. Maybe she could say something funnier or more interesting to Matt? To her mom? Think something interesting while she is doing this that lets me know something about her or her state of mind while she is doing this? Why does she need to transform? What about transforming makes her feel strong or special? Why does she love Elizabeth Taylor?

I think adding this level of detail and characterization, as well as working on the opening lines, will give this already strong first page some extra added oomph. Remember that you never have much time to hook the reader and focus on making this character as vivid and lively as possible.

_________________________________________________________

Mieke Zamora-Mackay               SHADOW                                     Young Adult

The hall is buzzing. Not the usual humdrum of the first hour of school. It’s a serious buzzing. Whispers about someone. Murmurs about something that’s happened.

In the woods…

Junkie…

Huffing…

Dead…

These are the words that float above the din.   No one looks my way, but there’s enough space for me to walk through the sea of bodies. I’m used to it. Everyone always walks around me, like I’m encased in some bubble. Protecting their personal space, they’re probably afraid that if they brush up against me, I’ll know everything they keep hidden inside. See into their dark hearts and thoughts, their misdeeds, acts of violence and carnal desires. It comes with being the daughter of a self-proclaimed medium; the local town kook.

The truth is, I don’t know any of their secrets. I don’t see anything they have to hide. Instead, I see spirits, ghosts – lost souls.

I see the part of every person that has left their physical body. Usually, they’re just trying to find their way home, or revisiting a part of their life they wish to say goodbye to. Some just really don’t know what’s happened to them.

I reckon that’s how the fresh one walking in my direction is feeling.

I keep my eyes down low. I don’t want him to catch me looking. He’ll know instantly that I can see him, and that won’t do. Lost spirits are never up to any good. The fact that they don’t have a clue about what’s happened to them in the first place is an indication of that. And this one’s got trouble written all over him.

HERE IS JENNY BENT:

SHADOW

I like this one a lot! The voice is strong, the first line is good and the opening page shows us a lot of information about this person and their place in the world of the school without “telling” us too much. There’s a real attitude to the writing, which I like. I also like that the author sets up the character and tells us about who she is in an interesting way and then starts right into the action. It’s great that she sees this particular dead person and immediately forms an opinion about him that is intriguing to the reader. I want to read more because I want to know more about this ghost and why he’s trouble and what will happen between these two. I also like that the writer starts at a moment of interest in the action–the school is buzzing about something–what is it? And then he/she gives us a lot of information about the character by telling us that she’s an outcast–everyone is buzzing about something, but she wouldn’t know because no one tells her anything. This is a more interesting way of showing us something about her rather than simply telling us that she’s an outcast. There are plenty of question marks to keep us reading but enough information is provided that we don’t feel confused, which is an essential balance.

If the writer wanted to go a little further, she could give us a little more info about the particular state of mind that this character is in as the book opens, or how she feels about the fact that she is an outcast, but overall this is a very strong opening page indeed.

_________________________________________________________

Peter McCleery       THE STAND-IN           Contemporary Middle Grade

Middle-school is a lot like prison. There is a precise routine and schedule overseen by an all-powerful warden (the principal). There are authority figures who roam the halls and enforce strict rules (guards/teachers). You are allotted a certain time and place to eat grub. There’s a Supermax cell block for repeat offenders (detention). There’s even a rec yard and communal showers. And, of course, there is a very specific hierarchy of cliques and social groups among the inmates. You better know who you can trust and who you can’t.

In my line of work, I can’t trust anyone. If this were prison instead of Glenview Middle School I’d be called a Fixer. The guy who runs the black market. I like to think of myself as a businessman. Or entrepreneur, if you want to be fancy about it. I sell things to the inmate-students that make their 3-year stint here a bit more comfortable. At a fair price, of course. In prison, a fixer deals in cigarettes and shivs. Here, I deal in contraband junk food and fake doctor notes. Now, some of these things may or may not be “appropriate” or “legal” per se, but they do fill a need. I provide a valuable service. There is supply. There is demand. And there’s good, ol’ Digby Fisher in between making a little money. Is that so wrong?

The answer is no, by the way.

Shortly after my mom and I moved to Glenview (which should just be called The Affluent Town of Glenview because that’s always how they describe it the newspaper.) I knew I had a good thing. These kids get more allowance money than my mom gets in her paycheck. One day the vending machine went out of order (I had nothing to do with it, I swear! Just a lucky coincidence.) It just so happened that my mom was doing a Costco run that day. I added a few items to the shopping list. Snack-size Doritos, gum, M&Ms. The next day I sat next to the broken vending machine with a backpack full of snacks and sold out before third period. I provided a needed service. In many ways I was a hero. After maintenance fixed the machine

HERE IS JENNY BENT:

THE STAND-IN

I love the idea of this one and this is a good first page in that it has tons of voice and sets up an interesting, resourceful character that the reader will want to spend time with. However, to my ear, the voice was a little older than middle-grade at times, slotting into that awkward 14/15 year old territory, and in the second paragraph maybe even more 16. Examples of places I would loosen the voice are, “precise routine and schedule overseen ” and “a very specific hierarchy of cliques and social groups” – phrases like this feel a little formal for the target market. The age issue might just be because of Digby’s very in-depth knowledge of how a prison runs, even down to knowing the word shiv. It left me wondering whether he knew someone in prison or just watched a lot of old movies. The opening has a journal feel to it, but I would lose the direct talking to the reader halfway down as this can pull you out of the story. I liked some of the examples of the things Digby can source, like doctor’s notes, and the story about how this ‘job’ started was short enough not to feel like too much up front backstory, although I’d hope the present day plot starts on the next page, with the inciting incident following shortly after.
________________________________________________________________

Thank you Jenny for sharing your time and expertise with us. Your advice is invaluable.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, demystify, inspiration, Middle Grade Novels, Process, revisions, Young Adult Novel Tagged: First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday - Results, Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency

4 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Results – Jenny Bent, last added: 8/2/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
7. Agent Looking for Clients

MarykAgent Mary Krienke: Mary joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2006 after receiving her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She now lives in Brooklyn.

Mary works with Sterling Lord and represents literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and realistic YA that pays close attention to craft and voice. She is especially drawn to new and emerging writers who seek to push boundaries of form and content, and she responds most strongly to writing that reaches great emotional and psychological depths. She is equally interested in work that illuminates through humor or by playing with genre. Her other interests include psychology, art, and design.

How to submit: You can email Mary with your submissions. For fiction, please send a synopsis and the first three chapters or a 50 page sample. If submitting non-fiction, send a detailed proposal.

Queries should be sent to info @ sll.com with “Attn: Mary Krienke” in the email subject line. Cover letters should be in the body of the email but send the actual submission as a Word document attachment.

You can find Mary on Twitter: @MaryKrienke.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Mary Krienke, Sterling Lord Literistic

0 Comments on Agent Looking for Clients as of 7/31/2014 3:56:00 AM
Add a Comment
8. The Future of the Independent Book Store

One of the questions I asked Editors and Agents was about the Indy Book Stores. Over the last year, I’ve heard so many writers and illustrators voice their concern about the stores future. We’ve seen some of our favorite book stores shut their doors and every publishing professional knows how lost we would be without them out there to help promote our books, so I had to ask.

First slide responses from editors:
indyeditors
Second slide shows agent responses.
indyagents

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Book Stores, Editors, Publishing Industry, stats Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, Agent Responses, Editor Responses, From State of the Market Report, Future of Indy Book Stores

3 Comments on The Future of the Independent Book Store, last added: 7/27/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
9. Price Drop – Revise Your Novel in a Month

jillandmarthaSince, agent Jill Corcoran is such a good marketer, I am sure most of you already know about the video series that author of the PLOT WHISPERER, Martha Alderson and literary agent Jill Corcoran released three months ago.

You can watch the first video in the series for free, which I did last week. It was very good and since I watched it, I’ve been wondering how I could come up with the money to rent the rest of the series.

Today, Martha and Jill lowered the price to $75.00 to rent the 8 part series for a whole year, so now I can afford to buy the series and learn from what they have put together.

If you are a picture book writer, they even have something for you. You can pre-order: How to Write & Sell A Picture Book- Pre-Order and SAVE $25 https://vimeo.com/ondemand/writesellpicturebook

Here is the information for the Revising Your Novel in a Month: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/reviseyournovelinamonth

In this 8 Video (5.5 hours) Series, Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson and Literary Agent Jill Corcoran provide step-by-step instruction on how to revise your
• Concept
• Structure and design
• Tension and conflict
• Character growth and transformation
• Pacing
• Cause and effect
• Meaning
• Hook
• Polish
• Prose
in preparation for a major rewrite of your novel.

To complete the course in a month, watch two videos a week. Or, work at your own pace and take more or less time on the step-by-step exercises. You decide your revision pace as you explore and complete each video exercise based on your own individual needs in preparation for a major rewrite.
• 8 videos (available for viewing as many times as you would like for 1 year)
• 30 writing exercises- one for each day of the Revise Your Novel Month

apathtopublishing.com/for-those-who-purchased-aptp-videos/

PlotWriMo: REVISE YOUR NOVEL IN A MONTH
I. TRAILER
a. Introduction
II. OVERALL STORY LEVEL
a. Video #1: HOW TO REVISE + CONCEPT & CHARACTERS
• Welcome
• How to Approach Revision
• Organization
• Concept
• Characters
• Story Titles
III. PLOT AND STRUCTURE LEVEL
a. Video #2: TRANSFORMATION + GOALS
• Review
• Layers of Plot
• Transformation / Change
• Goals
b. Video #3: CONCEPT + ENERGETIC MARKERS
• Review
• Concept
• Energetic Markers
• Plot Planner
IV. SCENE LEVEL
a. Video #4: SCENES AND THEMES
• Review
• Scene and Summary
• Themes
• Character Motivation
• Antagonist
b. Video #5: CLIMAX
• Review
• Preparation
• Anticipation
• Event
• Reaction
• 3 Major Plot Lines
• Antagonist Crisis
c. Video #6: BEGINNING & END
• Review
• Beginning
• Traits, Skills, Knowledge, Beliefs
• Cause and Effect
• Antagonists
V. WORD LEVEL
a. Video #7: MANUSCRIPT VOICE + CHARACTER & ACTION
• Voice
• Transformational Journey
• Backstory Wound
• Subplots and Theme
• Crisis

b. Video #8: FIRST PAGES + FINAL TEST
• Every Word Perfect
• Sentence structure
• Dialog
• Prepare for Rewrite
• Rewrite
• Concept
• Structure and design
• Tension and conflict
• Character growth and transformation
• Pacing
• Cause and effect
• Meaning
• Hook
• Polish
• Prose
To complete the course in a month, watch two videos a week. Or, work at your own pace and take more or less time on the step-by-step exercises. You decide your revision pace as you explore and complete each video exercise based on your own individual needs in preparation for a major rewrite.
• 8 Instructional videos (available for viewing as many times as you would like for 1 year)
• 30 writing exercises- one for each day of the Revise Your Novel Month
Who will benefit from PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month:
• Writers seeking to write a great novel
• Writers with a draft of a novel and uncertain how to proceed
• Writers with story problems
• Writers who feel blocked
• Writers who wish to move from where they are to where you wish to be
• Writers committed to improving your craft
• Writers interested in digging deeper into your story
• Writers needing help organizing for a major rewrite

Dolly D. Napal watched the series and said, “Don’t let the title fool you. This is not only a revision course. It’s a fully comprehensive writing course for PB, MG, YA, and Adult writers, at any point in their career.”

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, Agent, Author, opportunity, Process, reference, revisions, video Tagged: Jill Corcoran, Martha Alderson, Novel Revsion Video series, Plot Whisperer

3 Comments on Price Drop – Revise Your Novel in a Month, last added: 7/25/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
10. The Role of an Agent

Having an agent does not guarantee a book sale. 

http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2014/06/understanding-role-of-agent.html

0 Comments on The Role of an Agent as of 7/17/2014 3:29:00 PM
Add a Comment
11. TRENDS: Editor and Agent Market Survey Answers

artshow colleenscbwi entry 2_6
The Artist Showcase from the NJSCBWI Conference continues with this wonderful illustration of the sand and the surf in Cape May, NJ by illustrator Colleen Rowan Kosinski. Colleen is an author/illustrator that has worked as a fine artist for over fifteen years and has artwork hanging in homes across the country. She is a member of the SCBWI and, along with writing and illustrating picture books, she writes MG and YA novels. She is a graduate of Rutgers University. Website: www.colleenrowankosinski.com

MY STATE OF THE MARKET REPORT and AGENT/EDITOR SURVEY CONTINUES BELOW:

agent trends
editors trending

Check back tomorrow for more from answers to question asked in the 2014 State of the Market Report I gave at the NJSCBWI Conference the other week.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Conferences and Workshops, Editors, need to know, Publishing Industry Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, 2014 State of the Market Report, Colleen Rowan Kosinski, kathy temean, Presentation

2 Comments on TRENDS: Editor and Agent Market Survey Answers, last added: 7/14/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
12. Genres: Trends From Editors/Agents Survey

artshowAngela Padron NJ SCBWI art show FINAL

The NJSCBWI Art Show Continues: I think you will enjoy this cute little sea monster in this illustration by Angela Padron. Angela was born and raised in Freehold, NJ but moved to Florida in 2002. For over 15 years, Angela taught bilingual, ESL, Spanish, and Art in public schools before becoming a freelance writer and illustrator. Now she writes and illustrates children’s books, including board books, picture books, chapter books, and middle grade novels.

Below is the slide I made up after tallying the answers to the survey I sent to a total of 38 editors and agents. I asked each whether they thought the genres below where increasing, decreasing, or staying the same and if they expected this to continue for the next year.

GenreTrends

Check back tomorrow for more details.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Conferences and Workshops, Editors, inspiration, need to know, Publishing Industry Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, Angela Padron, State of the Market Report

5 Comments on Genres: Trends From Editors/Agents Survey, last added: 7/14/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
13. Free Fall Friday: July – Jenny Bent & More

HAPPY 4TH!

artshowclairLousyDay

This wonderful illustration is by Claire Lordon, who exhibited her work at the New Jersey SCBWI Art Show. If you would like to see more of Claire’s art here is her website: www.clairelordon.com

jenny_bentIt is my pleasure to let you know that Jenny Bent has agreed to be our critique our first pages in July. Each month four first pages are picked for critique.

See Bottom of Post for submission Guidelines.

Jenny represents literary and commercial adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction. She also represents nonfiction in the areas of memoir, humor and select narrative nonfiction.

In 2003 Jenny joined Trident Media Group, where she was promoted to Vice President before leaving to found the Bent Agency in 2009. She lives in Brooklyn in an apartment full of books and while there are not quite so many lazy reading afternoons, she manages to fit one in now and then.

My list is varied and includes commercial and literary fiction as well as memoir and select humor titles. In adult fiction, I particularly enjoy women’s fiction and crime/suspense. I also love novels—for grown-ups or children—that have an element of magic or fantasy to them or that take me into a strange and new world, whether real or imaginary. All of the books that I represent speak to the heart in some way: they are linked by genuine emotion, inspiration and great writing and story telling. I love books that make me laugh, make me cry, or ideally do both.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Thought the writers on the West Coast might be interested in this Writer’s Retreat.

It certainly had two great industry professionals on the faculty with:

Editor Melanie Cecka is Associate Publishing Director at Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Agent Scott Treimel heads the full service S©ott Treimel NY Agency, established 1995. The agency represents exclusively children’s books and it give the attendees a chance for a full novel critique.

FEES: Basic seminar is $769 (Early Bird, extended to July 5th); adults’ critiques are additional (15 to 30 pages, or full novel; all $3 per page). Basic fee includes Thursday through Saturday nights’ beachfront, double-occupancy lodging and most meals.

WHOLE-NOVEL SEMINAR & RETREAT

12th Annual Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop:

October 17-19, 2014 Coastal Santa Cruz, CA.

http://www.childrenswritersworkshop.com/

______________________________________________________________________________________

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in July:

Please “July First Page Critique” in the subject line. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Please attach your first page submission using one inch margins and 12 point font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail and then also attach it in a Word document to the email.

DEADLINE: July 24th.

RESULTS: August 1st.

Use inch margins – double space your text – 12 pt. New Times Roman font – no more than 23 lines – paste into body of the email

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the July’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Agent, Conferences and Workshops, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Claire Lordon, First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday, West Coast Writer's Retreat

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday: July – Jenny Bent & More, last added: 7/4/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
14. Passionate or Practical? Writing To Market Children's Books {and Poetry Friday!}

.
Howdy, Campers!

Woo-woo!  The winner of Joan Bransfield Graham's new book, The Poem that Will Not End is Rosi Hollenbeck, who happens to be the SCBWI critique group coordinator for Northern and Central California. Congratulations, Rosi!  You'll find Joan's Wednesday Writing Workout here and my interview with her here.

Today we conclude our series on Writing What We Want to Write versus Writing What is Marketable (or, as I like to call it, WWWWWWWM). Each of us is taking turns thinking aloud about Marion Dane Bauer's terrific post, The Creative Mind, in which she writes convincingly about WWWWWWWM.

It's also Poetry Friday at Buffy's AND it's the start of TeachingAuthors' Summer Blogging Break--woo-woo!

http://buffysilverman.com/blog/
Thanks, for hosting PF, Buffy!

First, let's review what TeachingAuthors have been saying so far this round:

JoAnn began the conversation by sharing her monarch haiku project and the new direction in which she's taking it; Carmela talked about how hard it is to work so long on beloved projects that don't sell...but finds redemption; Laura writes that it's a matter of prioritizing, e-publishing, sharing poetry love and more: and writing coach/writers' booster Esther sees the light, rewrites, submits like the devil, and stays optimistic. Her post has helped me stay optimistic, too.  In fact each of these posts has.

So...wow. I've been mulling over how to talk to you about this one.  It's potent. And personal.

Just like each of my blogmates, I've sent out countless manuscripts that have bounced back again and again and again and again.  *Sigh.*  I'd be a great boomerang maker.


For example, Girl Coming in for a Landing--a Novel in Poems (Knopf) took me ten years to sell. Then it won two major awards. Editors who rejected it said, "Teens don't read.  And if they do read, they don't read poetry."  As Esther reminds us: "Times change; markets change; publishers' needs change; editorial staffs change." Oy--is that ever true.

More recently, I finally found a way to fictionalize the story of the flood which destroyed my family's farm and how we rebuilt afterwards.  I'd been taking this picture book manuscript out, rewriting it, and putting it back in my bottom drawer for years.  Last year I was invited to join a dynamite critique group; I took a risk and showed them my story. At this Magic Table I learned what my story was missing and how to strengthen it.
This is what happens at our Magic Table. Sort of.
I was elated.  I sent it to my fabulous agent.  She told me that picture books these days must be short. VERY short.  Picture books used to be for ages 3-8 and could be as long as 1500 words.  These days, editors want picture books for ages 3-5.  After 650 words, editors roll their eyes, my agent told me.

I told the Magic Table this.  They helped me shorten it.  I sent it flying out my door again.

Editors said that it was too regional. I went back to the Magic Table. They said, What about all the floods around the country? What about your themes of resilience, problem solving, weather, storms, climate change and life cycles for heaven's sake? You've just got to help them see this.  You'd got to help your agent sell it.

SO...I hired a curriculum specialist...and resubmitted the story complete with Supplementary Materials including Themes, Common Core-related English Language Arts activities, Science-related activities, and a Glossary.

(Huh! Take That, I say with all those Capital Letters!)

And it's still not selling.

And yet...I believe in the Power of the Table. I do. I love this writing biz. I do. And I love my gang around that table. So what else can I do but believe? I keep on keeping on.

I wrote a poem recently to our group, to our leader, to the Magic Table. It was reverent, in awe of the smarts and wizardry at the Table.

But today I changed the poem. Maybe it's not a Magic Table after all. Here's the revised version:

AROUND THIS TABLE
by April Halprin Wayland

It's magic, you know.
Impossible feats of metaphor.
Six of us around this rosewood table,
savoring tea.

Spilling over our pages,
foreshadowing, fortune telling,
drawing stories
out of the shadows of these drapes.

The illusion of allusion.
A prophecy of sorcery.
The tinkling of full moon necklaces.
Shamans jingling bracelets
dangling from our sleight of hands.

But…are we clairvoyant?
Are we soothsayers, 
sorceresses, sorcerers?
Maybe it's all just make believe.

Believe.


poem copyright © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.
I am boldly stealing the following EXACT WORDING (and formatting) from today's Poetry Friday host, Buffy Silverman because it's 12:15 am here in California...and because it applies to Buffy, to me, and to many other poets in the kidlitosphere you may know (thank you, Buffy!):
In other poetry news, I recently submitted a poem to a children’s poetry anthology being prepared by Carol-Ann Hoyte on food and agriculture, and was happy to learn this week that the poem was accepted.  I’m in good company with many other Poetry Friday folks–look for the anthology in October of this year.

TeachingAuthors will be taking our annual blogging break--we'll be back Monday, July 13th.  See you then!
Four TeachingAuthors on summer break.

Written by April Halprin Wayland who thanks you for reading all the way to the end.

0 Comments on Passionate or Practical? Writing To Market Children's Books {and Poetry Friday!} as of 6/27/2014 6:51:00 AM
Add a Comment
15. Free Fall Friday – Sarah LaPolla

sharonJune illokathy temean art

This fun illustration was sent in from illustrator Sharon Lane Holm. Sharon is an illustrator/author who has over 20 years of experience in children’s book publishing. She has also written and illustrated 2  apps. available on Itunes, “Kids Counting Kitties 1-10, and Kids Counting Kitties 10-1″; available in English and Spanish.

Carolyn Chambers Clark, SECRETS, YA Coming of Age

Logan Spenser roars his convertible across the school parking lot and idles alongside my half-open window. His black leather jacket shines in the morning sun, setting off his chiseled jaw and the beauty of his mocha skin. I’ve seen him in the halls without the reflective sunglasses he’s wearing now. Something buried deep in his eyes tells me he’s been through some rough stuff himself.

He points his finger at me. “Raz Rinaldi! Thief.”

Chelsea gawks at me from the driver’s seat as if to say answer him, Her yellow sunglasses make her pale face look even more like vanilla pudding, while her blonde hair lies in perfect order against the shoulders of her expensive sweater.
“Thief? You’re calling me a thief?” My words tumble out and I want to duck my head, but force myself to pull back my shoulders and glare at him.

He doesn’t answer me, just laughs and zooms off.

My face gets hotter while I tick through my actions of the last week and find the worst thing I’ve done is “forget” to do the dishes my stepmother left in the sink. “What’s he talking about?”
Chelsea, AKA Speed Demon of Ash City High, and the closest thing I have to a friend, shrugs and laughs. “It’s destiny. The hottest guy in school knows your name.”

I love Chelsea, but she gets everything wrong. “I’m not looking for a hot guy. I have to keep my grades up. You know that.”
Chelsea laughs. “You are one boring chick. I can’t think of one reason why I like you.”

HERE’S SARAH:

Carolyn Chambers Clark, SECRETS:

A clear strength to the writing here is the dialogue, which feels realistic and not forced. We don’t yet know these characters, but I felt like I had a good sense of who they are on the page. However, I felt the writing was expository at times. For instance, “Something buried deep in his eyes tells me he’s been through some rough stuff himself” felt like leading the reader in a very specific direction. I’d much rather get to know Logan as the story progressed before I saw the narrator jump to this conclusion. Similarly, the description of Logan in the first paragraph didn’t feel authentic to a teen voice, which surprised me given the way the teens actually speak in dialogue. Shining leather jackets, chiseled jaw, and roaring convertibles gave the impression of the 1950s and, to me, the adjectives used in this paragraph felt dated, or at least from an older perspective, as well. I appreciated how quickly the love interest – and possible conflict – was introduced right on page 1, and I’m interested in Raz’s friendship with Chelsea. Though, when Logan calls Raz a “thief” I expected more context. Is this a joke they share? Why is Chelsea so shocked he knows Raz’s name if they seem to have a natural banter with each other? We move on to Chelsea and Raz driving away before we get a chance to learn more about Logan, even though the novel opens with him.

____________________________________________________

MARK OF THE SIFTER by Laura Rueckert - YA Contemporary Fantasy

Deep in my chest, I could feel it: the girl was asleep. The itch to jump into her dream almost overpowered me, but I lingered in the arched entrance hall of Rainthorpe Manor, the mansion we’d used as home base on Earth the last twenty years. A new recruit had died this morning, and Beatrice would bring her by any moment to meet me. Not even the peaceful glisten of snow through the leaded windows could curb my urge to depart, and I leaned around the corner to check the grandfather clock again.

Beatrice and an older woman with brown, wind-toughened skin materialized in front of me. I nodded to both of them.

“This is the Head Sifter, Seth,” Bee said, gesturing in my direction.

The new Sifter’s eyes flicked to Bee and back to me.

“Welcome.” I didn’t ask her name. The details of her former life had been included in her contract.

Her voice wavered as she asked, “Are you the one shielding it?”

I gave a short nod, and her hard face looked like it might crack. “Thank you. It was horrible.”

Bee caught my eye and raised a finger to show she understood my impatience. “I’ll introduce you to your partner,” she said, drawing the woman from the hall. “And we’ll go over some of your duties.”

“Thank you!” the woman called over her shoulder, but I was already fading out, diving into the dream world of the destroyer.

It was time to find the problem. Stealing, cheating, taunting—despite our normal methods, none under my command were having any luck with the girl who was supposed to annihilate my team of Sifters.

HERE’S SARAH:

Laura Rueckert, MARK OF THE SIFTER

I really liked the voice here. It’s calm without being passive, and I feel like Seth is a narrator I can trust. I wondered, though, about the genre, which is labeled as “contemporary fantasy.” To me this read much more like sci-fi, in both tone and in what was being said. The mention of “home base on Earth” and being part of a mysterious group of “recruits” that jump into dreams have an Inception-like science fiction concept. The idea of dream-jumping is an interesting premise, and I like how this opens with Seth’s desire to jump into this sleeping girl’s mind. It tells me a lot about him as a character with very few details. Though, overall, I was left with more questions about this concept than intrigue. Who is the sleeping girl and why is she not mentioned when Beatrice enters the scene? Is Seth no longer with her at that point? I also wanted the phrase “dream world of the destroyer” explained a bit more. Is “the destroyer” a person? A threat? Why is Seth involved? Without context, it’s hard to get immersed in the world, and in sci-fi – and fantasy – that is the key element in attracting a reader on the first page. I needed to know what a Sifter was in order to know who our main character was, and also know enough about his world to want to learn more.

____________________________________________________

JUST GO AHEAD by Valerie McCammon, Picture Book

My annoying big brother, Patrick Robert, doesn’t think I can do anything right.
I’ll show him.

I tell him I’m going to swing as high as the sun.

“You just go ahead and do that, Nick.”

I pump and I push, flying higher and higher. I’m Astronaut Nick zooming across the Milky Way.

“Fire the rocket boosters.”

I gain speed as I dodge whizzing asteroids.

Clunk! One hits me in the head. [Illo note: acorn falls]

Patrick laughs and walks away.

I tell him I am going to sail across the ocean to rescue the tribal princess.

“You just go ahead and do that.”

I ready my ship. I hoist anchor, and Captain Nick shoves off.

“To the Skeleton Coast.”

The sail billows in the wind as I shout orders to the crew. [Illo note: Swab that deck, sailor. Batten down the hatches, mates. Report to the brig, cadet.]

Uh-oh. Pirates are boarding. [Illo note: dogs jump in]

As the hull fills with water, one last command: “Abandon ship.”

I lunge for shore as Patrick moors the sinking vessel. He sighs as he also rescues the crew.

I remain confident. I tell Patrick I am sure I can find hidden treasure.

“You just go ahead and do that.”

I don my pith helmet and claw through the attic jungle. Patrick trails me from a safe distance.

Hiss! An anaconda, poised to strike. [Illo note: coiled up garden hose]

HERE’S SARAH:

Valerie McCammon, JUST GO AHEAD

As a picture book concept, I thought this was really fun. I love the idea of a younger brother trying to get the attention of his older brother, and the escalations of each attempt. Though, the illustrator notes left little interpretation for the scene. It’s important to use descriptive language in picture books, but the illustrator should be able to add to that vision with their own. Another thing I liked about this book was that Nick’s first attempt at “swinging as high as the sun” was a realistic thing he’d be doing at a playground, and that in his mind it went to a completely fantastical place. But, the next declaration is to “sale across the ocean to rescue the tribal princess.” This, to me, was the fantastical thing in his head, but didn’t fit the pattern you set up of “real thing vs. imagination.” What also confused me a little bit was the opening line, “… doesn’t think I can do anything right.” None of the scenes that follow really demonstrated him trying to do anything “right” so much as trying to prove he can do something amazing. The phrasing there didn’t really set up what the story was going to be about. That said, I think this is a strong concept overall and can be very fun with a few tweaks for consistency.

_______________________________________________________

The Outlands, a middle grade novel by Julie Artz

The first rule the village elders teach us in Graz? Curiosity kills. It’s the first lesson, the last lesson, and just about every lesson in between from what I can tell. They only let up for a sprinkling of history and a dash of survival. I should know. I’m in year seven of this, the final year before apprenticeships start.

So I’m not surprised to see Curiosity Kills written in tidy script on the whiteboard when I walk into class. I slide my bag under my desk and power on the tablet that’s bolted to the desktop. My fingers trace the graffiti on the wooden surface before swiping at the screen and picking up where yesterday’s notes left off.

Paper is scarce so we type everything. It’s a good thing, too, because my chicken-scratches wouldn’t pass muster with my teacher, Ms. Imma. She’s standing at the front of the class now in a dress as neat and precise as her handwriting on the board. The wooden shutters of our tiny schoolroom are opened wide, hoping to capture enough breeze to keep us from roasting. Or falling asleep.

I tap some of her words with a few added “blah, blah, blahs” into my tablet and glance over at Lisbeth, who types like a bird skimming the surface of the creek at a mayfly hatch. Zip. Zip. Zip. She notes every single word, and probably studies them every night before her bedtime prayers. It makes sense, really, because Ms. Imma is her mother.

Lisbeth is the only one of the year sevens who seems happy with the plan the elders have for her. My best friend, Nico, fidgeting at the desk in front of mine, will dig wells with his father, Aitor. Pablo will tend goats. Both jobs involve hard work and a strict master. Lisbeth will become a teacher. She’ll be perfect after years of practice nagging the three of us.

Then there’s me. Unlike the others, I can’t follow in my father’s footsteps. He’s already got an apprentice. My brother Rim. I feel my ears getting hot just picturing the glee on Rim’s face.

HERE’S SARAH:

Julie Artz, THE OUTLANDS

I loved the opening line of this, and the opening paragraph overall is strong as well. It sets up an interesting premise and I was curious to read further to find out just why curiosity kills and what, exactly, this apprenticeship was all about. I liked the voice, but did have a few concerns about word choice. For example, “chicken scratch” felt like an old-fashioned phrase that a MG-aged character wouldn’t refer to himself. I also didn’t know whether a “bird skimming the surface of the creek at a mayfly hatch” was supposed to mean very quick or very carefully. This, of course, might be regional, but the phrasing of it also felt like the voice of someone much older. I couldn’t picture a young person speaking that way, particularly with the use of simile and metaphor. It didn’t feel true to the voice we opened with. I also wasn’t sure if this was a futuristic world. Paper is scarce, but they don’t seem to be typing on anything that doesn’t already exist. The jobs that are described for the other Year Sevens feel very rural, but without any futuristic advancements that may exist. It made me wonder if it isn’t futuristic, why is paper scarce and why does curiosity kill? I think the world could be better developed here. I also didn’t see the narrator very much after that opening paragraph. I was curious why the story itself begins here and where the plot of the novel is set into motion.

_____________________________________________________

Thank you Sarah for sharing your time and expertise with us. We can all learn a lot from reading and first page and hearing what an editor or agent thinks.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, Agent, Process, Writing Tips Tagged: Bradford Literary Agency, First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday - Results, Kids Counting Kitties, Sarah LaPolla, Sharon Lane Holm

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Sarah LaPolla as of 6/27/2014 12:25:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. Agent Survey Question: Some Answers

Again I don’t have time to work on a separate post for todays blog, so here is a slide with some of answers to a question I asked in the Agent Survey I conducted with 18 agents in the industry. No, I can’t share who said what.
query slide

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, need to know, Publishing Industry, submissions Tagged: Agent Queries, Agent Survey, Amount received in the last year, Slide Show, State of the Market Report

9 Comments on Agent Survey Question: Some Answers, last added: 6/26/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
17. Free Fall Friday – Pen Awards

amesmallIMG_20110605_083124Have to give a shout out to my friend Ame Dykman who made the 2014 Pen Literary Awards short list. Best of Luck!

2014 PEN LITERARY AWARDS

PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000): To a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2013.

Judges: Mac Barnett, Ted Lewin, and Elizabeth Winthrop

Shortlist:

Train (Orchard Books), Elisha Cooper
Tea Party Rules (Viking), Ame Dyckman
The King of Little Things (Peachtree Publishers), Bil Lepp
Crabtree (McSweeney’s McMullens), Jon & Tucker Nichols

- See more at: http://www.pen.org/press-release/2014/06/17/shortlists-announced-2014-pen-literary-awards#sthash.07UYoF42.dpuf

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR JUNE’S FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES BY SARAH LAPOLLA AGENT AT BRADFORD LITERARY.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, awards, Kudos, Picture Book, Publishing Industry Tagged: Ame Dyckman, Pen Literary Awards, Steven Kroll, Tea Party Rules

6 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Pen Awards, last added: 6/20/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
18. Sheldon Fogelman Agency

Sean McCarthy left the Sheldon Fogelman Agency at the end of last year to start his own agency. There are two opportunities to get your foot in the door with an agent. You should consider querying one of them.

Sheldonfolglemanbg1_2500

Janie Hauber 2013small

Janine Le joined the agency after graduating from Bucknell Unversity with honors in English (Creative Writing) and completing NYU’s program at its Summer Publishing Institute. She enjoys working with the agency’s clients as an assistant agent and as the agency’s foreign rights manager. Janine has licensed translation rights in over 20 languages and has represented the agency and its clients annually at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Janine is building her list of clients and is open to picture books through YA. She is most drawn to stories with a strong emotional core that influence the way readers view the world, themselves, and the people around them. She is also fond of complex characters and relationships, unique cultural perspectives, and stories with a touch of humor, romance, or both.

sternpiccroppedWithout realizing it, Amy Stern spent most of her life preparing to be a literary agent. After receiving degrees in creative writing and English at Bryn Mawr College, she earned masters degrees in children’s literature and library science at Simmons College, while working as a librarian and a bookseller. In addition to her job as Assistant Agent at the agency, Amy has mentored writing students at Simmons’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, and taught a graduate course there on science fiction and fantasy in children’s and young adult lit. Her favorite novel topics include summer camp, giftedness, mental health issues, queerness, and reality television, but more than anything, she likes sympathetic characters in a good story. She often stays up all night reading the newest YA novels while claiming it’s “for work.”

SUBMISSIONS POLICY

Sheldon Fogelman Agency, Inc. specializes in children’s books of all genres, from picture books through young adult literature. The agency represents both authors and illustrators.

We always welcome submissions, and look forward to adding new people to our client list each year. However, we receive thousands of submissions each year, and are very selective in offering representation. We consider each submission carefully, and do our best to respond quickly; however, please be aware that it takes time to read and consider each manuscript. It may take us up to six weeks to consider an initial query, and if we request more work, the process can take even longer. Please note that we do not charge a reading fee.

If you are interested in submitting, please adhere to the following guidelines:

    • Send a single page cover letter that includes a brief synopsis of your work, your publication history, and how you were referred to us, if at all. (If you are querying electronically, please paste the body of this cover letter into the email.) If you are querying several other agencies simultaneously, we ask that you mention this in your query letter.
    • If you are a novelist, you may include the first three (3) chapters of the work and a synopsis. Please do not submit the entire work or include chapters from more than one work unless specifically requested.
    • If you are a picture book writer, you may include two (2) manuscripts. Please do not submit any additional manuscripts unless specifically requested. If you are not an illustrator, it is not necessary to include images in your submission.
    • If you are an illustrator, please include information regarding website portfolio links, if applicable. Otherwise, send a limited sampling of copies of your work. Please do not send original artwork under any circumstance. We do not take responsibility for damage or loss of any original artwork that may be erroneously sent to us.
    • If you would like to send your work to a specific agent, address your query to that agent. Otherwise, simply put your work to the attention of the submissions coordinator. Please note, however, that a submission to one agent in our office is considered a submission to all.
    • If you are submitting by mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with all submissions. Please be sure to include an envelope of sufficient size with proper postage to accommodate any work you would like returned; mail submissions without an appropriate SASE may not be replied to, and due to space constraints, your work may be disposed of. All hard copy submissions should be sent to the following address:
       

Sheldon Fogelman Agency
10 East 40th Street, Suite 3205
New York, NY 10016

  • If you are submitting electronically, make sure that all text attachments are accessible via Microsoft Word (.rtf and .doc preferred). We prefer illustrations in .jpg or .pdf format, and all files sent should not total more than 5 MB combined. All electronic submissions should be sent to submissions@sheldonfogelmanagency.com. While every submission will be read and considered, please understand that due to time constraints, we can only reply if we are interested in seeing more of your work.
    • If additional work is requested following the cover letter, we prefer exclusive consideration of the requested work for at least one (1) month.

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, picture books, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Agent Sean McCarthy, Sheldon Fogelman Agency

    4 Comments on Sheldon Fogelman Agency, last added: 6/20/2014
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    19. Free Fall Friday – Quinlan Lee

    quinlan

    I want to thank Agent Quinlan Lee at Adams Literary for taking the time out of her busy schedule to critique four first pages that were submitted. It really helps all of us to read what was submitted and what an industry professional thinks.

    Quinlan is a published author of numerous books for young readers and more than 15 years of business and project management expertise. She has been a part of the Adams Literary team since 2008, representing clients in all genres from picture books to YA. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a founding board member of the Charlotte Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA).

    Carol Foote                                          TROUBLE DOG                                         PB

    Pepin never meant to be trouble. He just liked to play – romping, sniffing, nosing, digging … toppling, grabbing, leaping, crashing…

    So Pepin was always in trouble. And his foster family, who was trying to find him a good, forever home, wasn’t having any luck.

    When the first visitors came to consider adopting Pepin as their pet…

    Pepin was scrabbling at the kitchen wall. Mouse! I smell mouse! He made a small hole and thrust his nose inside.

    “No, Pepin!” Father shouted.

    Pepin pushed harder and made the hole bigger. Mouse! He wants to play!

    “Out of the kitchen!”

    Shaking their heads, the family left. “We can’t have a dog like that,” the man said.

    When the next family visited, their little boy roared his T-Rex through the air.

    He wants to play! Pepin took one leap and – WHAM! [ART: boy is on the floor wailing.]

    “No, Pepin!” Mother grabbed the dinosaur in Pepin’s mouth.

    She wants to play! Pepin pu-u-u-lled as hard as he could, and – BAM!

    Mother rubbed her elbow. “Outside! Now!”

    Shaking their heads, the family left. “We can’t have a dog like that,” the boy said.

    When a couple visited, Pepin was in the yard. He sniffed the air. Mmmmm! People food! Pepin nosed the lid off the trashcan and leaned in. The can tipped, tipped, tipped and – CRASH!

    Pepin shook the bag. RRR-RIP! [ART: various kinds of garbage spill out, including diapers] Here’s something to play with!

    “No, Pepin,” Mother yelled.

    Shaking their heads, the family left. “We can’t have a dog like that,” the woman said.

    Here is what Quinlan had to say:

    Trouble Dog

    I liked the set-up in the opening with a dog who didn’t want to be trouble but whose puppy behavior put him spot-in the middle of it. There were nice fun action words to draw the reader in. I’d love to see a few more of those later in the manuscript. I’m a little concerned that the overall concept of the book—a puppy being fostered, looking for a forever home—might be a little complex for the youngest PB readers.

    Also, don’t be afraid to let the illustrations do some of the storytelling. For example, instead of writing “He made a small hole and thrust his nose inside,” just write “Mouse! I smell a mouse!” and let the illustrator go to town bringing Pepin’s character and enthusiasm to life and showing the readers how he reacts to the idea of a mouse in the kitchen.

    I liked the repetition of “We can’t have a dog like that.” But you could punch it more by taking away the shaking your head line. Again the illustrations could show that. It would be fun if you played with the line so it brings it back to the Trouble Dog line, such as “We can’t have a dog like that. That dog is trouble!”

    They key to whether this story works or not will be the ending. We already have over 260 words, so the clock is ticking. If there is fun and funny resolution that shows that Pepin really isn’t trouble and that he finds the perfect home (or his foster family decides to keep him) then it will make the destination worth the journey.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    B. A. Rieth                                 Title: MS AMERICA                                    YA

    I forgot to breathe the first time I saw Noah Vale. Dressed in khakis and a white button down shirt, he dribbled a basketball in the driveway across the street from our house. He wore a tie. “Will you look at that,” Dad said. “I think we have new neighbors.”

    Believe me, I was looking. Noah moved like a dancer, long and sure and strong. Cutting left, then right, he guarded the ball against some phantom opponent and pulled at something real in me. I couldn’t keep my sighs off him. “Humph,” Dad said.

    I knew what he was thinking. With all his years in the real estate business, how could he have missed the clues of a home about to change hands? The white picket fence freshly painted, the gutter that had drooped for years, now straight as a balance beam. I thought of Mom, her phone calls stretching across time zones. We had missed clues before, Dad and I.

    We stood side by side in front of our big picture window. It was Sunday. Early. Almost 10:45. Dad sipped coffee from his favorite mug, bathrobe opened, pajamas rumpled. I pushed up my glasses and smoothed the sleep from my hair. I’d heard about Noah and his family last evening, from our next door neighbor, Mrs. Kurowski. “They have a boy your age,” she’d said across our backyard fence as I stuffed a bag full of Chinese take-out containers into our garbage can. “A nice boy. Cute. That’s the word girls use these days, isn’t it, dear?”

    Rumor, I’d thought. Wishful thinking. Not anything I was willing to believe until I saw it with my own eyes. Mrs. Kurowski had been wrong before. Years ago she’d told me the Savoys were in the movie business. The day they moved in I’d stood at the curb, autograph book ready, as their moving van lumbered into the neighborhood. Not the one they had hired. The one they owned. Savoy Family Movers.

    But this time Mrs. K had gotten it right. Cute was the word. I fought the urge to pirouette. Me, with two left feet and a tongue always ready to trip me up.

    Here is what Quinlan had to say:

    Ms. America

    This has a nice opening. I was pulled into this girl’s voice right away with “I forgot to breathe the first time I saw Noah Vale.” Also the way she told the readers that her mother was gone was quick, deep and cut straight to the heart: “I thought of Mom, her phone calls stretching across time zones. We had missed clues before, Dad and I.” That is a perfect example of spare, strong writing. Similarly, saying “It was Sunday. Early. 10:45.” and even talking about her throwing away the take-out containers was nicely done. The author’s given us a great snapshot of their lives without telling us or over explaining.

    I also liked the humor in the story of the neighbor and the “movie company” and the girl’s reaction of “I fought the urge to pirouette. Me, with two left feet and a tongue always ready to trip me up.” Again, it gives us an idea of who this girl is—self-depreciating and funny, not too bitter—and it made me want to know her more. I’d keep reading for sure, even just to learn her name and see her meet this breath-taking boy.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    LIKE VANESSA by T. Charles                                                                        MG

    The soil is bad for certain kinds of flowers. Certain seeds it will not nurture…but it doesn’t matter. It’s too late. At least on the edge of my town, among the garbage and the sunflowers of my town, it’s much, much, much too late.

    Focusing in class isn’t even an option. Every word of The Bluest Eye haunts me. I’m convinced Toni Morrison has stalked my life for the last thirteen years and renamed the main character Pecola. She is my long-lost twin. Black like me. Screaming for the ugliness to escape. For people to see her for what she is on the inside. Beautiful. Like Miss America. Like Vanessa Williams. Like me?

    I wonder if Ms. Morrison’s ever been to Newark, New Jersey. Cause there ain’t nothing but garbage here, too. Garbage on the streets. In those pipes the meth heads sprinkle through the alleys. In the elevators that carry me to the eighth floor of my apartment in the Grafton Hill Projects. Except there ain’t no sunflowers in my ‘hood. Just them fake, plastic, dollar-store-looking ones Pop Pop puts on the windowsill.

    It’s sixth period Chorus, and I’m not the only one ignoring the teacher. The scattered noises of gossip and hip hop rhymes battle it out against the melody Mrs. Walton is playing on the piano. Clearly, the students are winning. My seat is wedged in the furthest corner of our dungeon-like music room. I am invisible. The darkness of the walls blends into my dark clothes and even darker skin. I sink into my chair, placing The Bluest Eye under my seat, and reach for my next read, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Pop Pop says he got it special for me because I’m his little songbird.I turn to the first page, ready to lose myself in Maya Angelou’s words. Anything to escape this jungle called school.

    Here is what Quinlan had to say:

    Like Vanessa

                The writing in the opening paragraph is strong, but it is little abstract, and so it took me the rest of the page to get my bearings. Perhaps starting the story with the third paragraph so we know that we’re in chorus class and it’s chaotic and our protagonist is using THE BLUEST EYE to tune it all out. Then going into wondering it Ms. Morrison has ever been to New Jersey (which places the reader even more concretely in a time and place) and then going into the first paragraph’s ideas about how she connects to Morrison’s work would help the reader connect more easily.

    The picture of Newark is haunting and the use of “Pop Pop” starts to hint at the girl’s world and who we will meet in her story. The references to Vanessa Williams threw me a bit, especially in connection with all the Morrison and Angelou references. I’m assuming they are important to the story because of the title, but if not then I’d say to drop them. Not many young readers today will make the immediate connection to who Williams is and her importance to the girl. Overall the voice is very strong, and I would read more.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bebe Willoughby         PERMISSION TO LOVE             YA  

    A screeching noise sounded within the cabin. The airplane turned, then dropped sharply.

    We were on our way to Athens, but we were circling a different airport. The sign came on that told us to return to our seats and fasten our seat belts

    “Something’s wrong.” the guy beside me said. Neither of us had slept. We’d talked all night.

    A hushed sound came from the passengers. “What’s happening?” I asked.

    “There’s a small mechanical problem. The pilots are fixing it,” a flight attendant said.

    Panic rushed in. The noise continued, sounding like the brakes on a bike coming to a sudden stop.

    “This is your Captain speaking. Due to mechanical difficulties, there’s going to be an

    emergency landing. Everyone should pay close attention to the flight attendants as they review the emergency landing procedures.”

    “Tighten your seat belts, and put your head down between your legs.” It was the last

    We were going to crash, I thought. The flight attendants took the seats in back.

    A woman across from us started to cry. Another woman took out her rosary beads.

    “What’s your name?” I asked the guy I’d been talking to so long. Suddenly it was

    important that I know.

    “Miles. And yours?”

    “Jade.”

    Here is what Quinlan had to say:

    Permission to Love

                I had some difficulty with tone of this one. The action of the story is gripping—the plane is going down!—but the description and writing is clinical and detached. I want to feel the danger and the fear of the main character. The dialogue is very calm and unemotional, even though we’re told that “Panic is rushing in!” Where is the tension? If I was thinking, “We’re going to crash.” My inner thoughts would be spinning. Show us that!

    I liked the line, “We’d talked all night”, but I wanted more. How had they talked? Just to pass the time? Because she was attracted to him? Had people shushed them but they just couldn’t stop talking? Was it soft talk once the lights were turned down low, while they held hands under a blanket? Or was it boring talk about celebrities and subjects they like in school? You don’t need to go into lots of detail here. But just a sentence or two more will show us more about Jade and make us more emotionally connected and worried about her dying in a fiery crash.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Thanks again Quinlan. Good job!

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Advice, Agent, revisions Tagged: Adams Literary, BeBe Willoughby, Bette Anne Rieth, Carol Foote, First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday - Results, Quinlan Lee, Tami Charles

    1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Quinlan Lee, last added: 5/30/2014
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    20. Agent Looking for New Clients

    ReneeHeadshotvivid-sq-300x300kt literary is a full-service literary agency operating out of Highlands Ranch, in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where every major publishing house is merely an email or phone call away. We believe in the power of new technology to connect writers to readers, and authors to editors. We bring over a decade of experience in the New York publishing scene, an extensive list of contacts, and a lifetime love of reading to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

    Renee Nyen: Several years in the editorial department at Random House’s Colorado division provided Renee with the opportunity to work with bestselling and debut authors alike. After leaving Random House, she came to KT Literary in early 2013. Drawing on her editorial experience, she loves digging into manuscripts and helping the author shape the best story possible. Though this is great for her profession, it tends to frustrate people watching movies with her. You can follow her on twitter @Renee_Nyen.

    She is interested in: Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. “I’m always interested in YA historical fiction, mystery, sci-fi, and thrillers, but genre is not as important to me as strong prose and compelling characters.”

    Submission Guidelines: Please submit a query letter with the first three pages of your manuscript pasted in the email to queries (at) ktliterary.com.

    With a penchant for depressing hipster music and an abiding love for a good adventure story, Renee is always looking for book recommendations. Even if that means creeping on people reading in public. Which she does frequently.

    She makes her home in Colorado with her husband, their young daughter, and their hygienically-challenged basset hound.

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Agent Renee Nyen, kt literary, Middle grade Books, Young Adult Books

    5 Comments on Agent Looking for New Clients, last added: 6/4/2014
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    21. Heather Alexander Joins Pippin Properties

    pippincropped

    Heather AlexanderI was so excited when I read about Heather Alexander becoming an agent at Pippin Properties with Holly McGhee this morning. Over the years that I ran the New Jersey SCBWI, I got to know Heather and she is the whole package. She is as nice as she looks and is very savvy on everything in the children’s publishing industry. Everyone who meets her is impressed and loves her. I know everyone will wish her a long and successful career with Holly and the other agents at Pippin. WONDERFUL NEWS! I know she will make a great agent.

     

    Here is Holly’s Announcement:

     

    HEATHER ALEXANDER TO JOIN PIPPIN PROPERTIES AS LITERARY AGENT

     

    Prior to joining Pippin, Heather spent six years in editorial at Dial, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. The authors she worked with include Batchelder Award winner Anne C. Voorhoeve, Jeanne Ryan, and debut authors Scott McCormick, Kim Reeder, and Jenny Martin. She worked with illustrators Lincoln Agnew, Stephanie Graegin, Henry Cole, Sophie Blackall, and R.H. Lazzell among others.

    Heather is looking for new talent from a broad range of children’s book authors and illustrators, from picture books through young adult, including graphic novels. She’s most interested in unique characters, strong voices, and quirky humor.

    And of course, don’t forget Elena (Mechlin) Giovinazzo round out the dynamic trio, making Pippin a great place to land.

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, News, opportunity, Publishers and Agencies, Publishing Industry Tagged: Heather Alexander, Holly McGhee, New Agent at Pippin Properties, Pippin Properties

    1 Comments on Heather Alexander Joins Pippin Properties, last added: 6/6/2014
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    22. Free Fall Friday – June’s Guest Critiquer & Book Give-A-Way Winners

    CALL FOR SUMMER ILLUSTRATIONS!

    This month we had three give-a-way books:

    A picture book titled S IS FOR SEAGLASS written by Poet Richard Michelson and illustrator Doris Ettlinger
    A Young Adult novel titled, PANDEMIC written by Yvonne Ventresca
    A Young Adult thriller titled, KILLER INSTINCT written by S.E. Green

    Here are the three winners:

    Nancy Furstinger
    Heather Ayris Burnell
    Karen Lee Hallam

    If you are a winner, please email me your name and address and list the three books in order of preference. Number one being your first choice. First come first serve.

    Sarah LaPolla from the Bradford Literary Agency is our Guest Critiquer for June. If you are attending the NJSCBWI Conference make sure you look for her. She is on the faculty.

    See Submission Guidelines at the bottom of this post.

    Sarah-Bradford-Lit-photoSarah LaPolla joined Bradford Literary Agency in May 2013. Prior to joining forces with Laura and Natalie, Sarah worked for five years in the foreign rights department at Curtis Brown, Ltd., and became an associate agent there in 2010. She received her MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from The New School in 2008 and has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Ithaca College.

    Sarah represents YA and adult fiction. On the adult side, she is looking for literary fiction, science fiction, magical realism, dark/psychological mystery, and upmarket commercial and/or women’s fiction. For YA, she is interested in contemporary/realistic fiction that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of adolescence. YA sci-fi, horror, mystery, and magical realism are also welcome; and she would love to find a modern Judy Blume for the MG market. No matter what genre, Sarah is drawn to layered/strong characters, engaging narrators, and a story that’s impossible to put down.

    Sarah is not looking for: picture books/children’s, inspirational/spiritual novels, romance, or erotica

    Blog: http://glasscasesblog.blogspot.com/

    Twitter: @sarahlapolla

    Grabbing Sarah’s attention:

    There are two things I’ve been searching for in my submissions and am having a hard time finding lately. The first is the element of surprise. I’m not talking about a shocking plot twist, necessarily. Or at least I’m not just talking about that. I need to be surprised by what I’m reading. That could mean a plot twist I didn’t see coming, but it can also mean a number of things. Am I feeling a range of emotions I didn’t expect to experience? Has the main
    character grown and changed in a way they didn’t seem capable of at the beginning of the novel? Did the writing itself surprise me in its style, quality, or form? I like knowing what type of novel I’m getting into when I request a submission, but the last thing I want that manuscript to be is predictable.

    The other thing I’m not seeing as much of lately are strong male characters. We talk a lot about what makes a female character “strong.” I, for one, talk about it a lot. But, the boys in YA are being forgotten. I see too many perfect boyfriends, perfectly imperfect bad boys, “nice guy” best friends, and sassy gay friends. Maybe it’s because I read a lot of submissions with female main characters, and boys are generally cast as friend, enemy, or love interest to the main character. That’s all well and good, but that doesn’t mean they have to be one-dimensional. Whether it’s a male or female character, I need them to be strong… meaning, they should be able to stand on their own and have just as many complexities as humans in real life.

    Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in June:

    Please put “June First Page Critique” in the subject line. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

    Besides pasting it into the body of the email, please attach your first page submission in a Word doc using one inch margins and 12 point font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines and e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. So it should be cut and pasted into the body of the e-mail and then also attached as a Word document to the email.

    DEADLINE: June 19th.

    RESULTS: June 27th.

    Use inch margins – double space your text – 12 pt. New Times Roman font – no more than 23 lines – paste into body of the email and attach.

    CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Still need illustrations for summer. Would love to show off your illustrations during one of my daily posts. So please submit your illustrations: To kathy (dot) temean (at) gmail (dot) com. Illustrations must be at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about you that I can use. Put Summer Illustration in the subject area. Thanks!

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Agent, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Bradford Literary, Call for Illustrations, Doris Ettlinger, First Page Critiques, S.E. Green, Sarah LaPolla, Yvonne Ventresca

    3 Comments on Free Fall Friday – June’s Guest Critiquer & Book Give-A-Way Winners, last added: 6/7/2014
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    23. take the “am I ready for an agent?” quiz

    Photo by Vicky Lorencen

    Photo by Vicky Lorencen


    You’ve seen those wedding dress shows, right? A bride-to-be goes on a chiffon frenzied quest for the perfect gown while a group of her BFFs sit semi-circled in the salon, waiting to boo-hoo or just boo over her selection. Once in a while, though, the hunter is simply a bride-wanna-be who is willing to throw gobs of moola at a dress, despite her groomlessness. To me, that seems sad, desperate, and at the very least, poorly timed.

    When it comes to writers in search of an agent, sometimes it’s really not that different. There’s a time to focus solely on craft, to learning about the industry, reading and networking. But, if this has not yet resulted in a solid, polished product to sell, why would you spend time looking for an agent to represent you?

    Let’s say, however, maybe you’re like me, and you’ve been polishing, learning and preparing for quite a spell and you’re wondering if seeking an agent would be a wise next step.Take this quiz to help you decide if you’re agent-ready:

    True or False?

    ____I have at least one thoroughly polished, market-ready manuscript and more in progress.

    ____I am an active member of a professional organization for writers, such as SCBWI, and follow industry-related blogs, tweets and newsletters to stay current.

    ____I have a good understanding of the inner-workings of the children’s publishing industry (e.g., the role of publishers, editors, agents, reviewers and authors, the editorial and submission process, how a manuscript becomes a published book, etc.).

    ____I have sold articles or stories to respected children’s magazines, such as Highlights for Children and/or perhaps even come close to selling a book to a traditional publisher on my own.

    ____I am actively building a platform via my own web site or blog, as well as social media.

    ____I am a member of a critique group and/or have a critique partner and/or have received professional critiques from agents or editors.

    ____I have gone from receiving unsigned form rejection letters to more of the “champagne” variety (personalized notes or letters offering a specific explanation as to why the editor chose to pass on my submission or perhaps offering constructive feedback or an invitation to submit more in the future).

    ____I understand the role and benefits of an agent, as well as my role as a client.

    ____I have compiled a list of the qualities and qualifications I am seeking in an agent.

    ____I have done marketing research to determine where my book fits in the current market and what makes it stand out from similar works. I can explain this in my “elevator pitch” (and I know what an elevator pitch is!)

    ____I am prepared and enthusiastic to shift from solo writer mode into the role of a professional with a business partner (an agent) so that I can pursue all aspects of a writing career.

    ____I understand agents, while amazing, do not possess supernatural powers and cannot be expected to read minds, make me stinking rich or fulfill every literary success fantasy I can conjure.

    How’d you do?

    If you answered with 10 or more “True” responses, consider seeking a literary agent to represent you.

    If you answered with 6 to 9 “True” responses, you’re getting closer!

    If you answered with 5 or fewer “True” responses, that’s okay. Keep writing, seeking feedback, and using this list as a guide to help prepare yourself to become agent material.

    Photo by Vicky Lorencen

    Photo by Vicky Lorencen

    All things are ready, if our mind be so. ~ William Shakespeare, Henry V


    Add a Comment
    24. Agent Looking For Writers

    Madeleine_clark_literary_agent

    Madeleine Clark: After working for several years in the editorial department at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Madeleine Clark joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2011. Madeleine was born in London, but raised in Virginia. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill., Madeleine is an unabashed anglophile, so some of England has rubbed off on her. She lives in Brooklyn.

    Interested in: Madeleine is interested in commercial and literary fiction as well as narrative nonfiction. She is drawn to realistic YA, literary thrillers, novels that can believably introduce a bit of fantasy/sci-fi, and books that draw heavily from their environment whether that is geographical or cultural.

    How to submit: If you have a manuscript that seems to fit what Madeleine is looking for, you can email her at: info (at) sll.com with “Attn: Madeleine Clark” in the e-mail subject line. For fiction, please send a synopsis and the first three chapters or a 50 page sample. For nonfiction, send a detailed proposal. Cover letters should be in the body of the email but send the actual submission as a Word document attachment.

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Agent, opportunity, Places to sumit, Young Adult Novel Tagged: contemporary/realistic fiction, fantasy, Madeleine Clark, Sci-fi, Sterling Lord Literistic

    0 Comments on Agent Looking For Writers as of 1/1/1900
    Add a Comment
    25. Avalon Full Manuscript Writer’s Retreat

    Each fall I put on a Writer’s Retreat in Avalon, NJ. The nice thing about this retreat is that it consists of a small group of advanced children’s writers with two children’s publishing agents, plus everyone receives:

    1. A full manuscript critique from one of the agents

    2. A full manuscript group critique

    3. A 30-50 page critique with the other agent

    4. A first page session with agents,

    5. Additional fun group activities, plus lots of time with the agents.

    I have two available spots, if you are interested.

    There are Two Retreat Sessions – Each with two groups of five -  All agents are interested in MG and YA. Here are the main details.

    Place: An upscale house with 8 bedrooms, 7.5 baths, heated pool, and elevator in Avalon, NJ

    Cost: $795 – $910 according to room. Cost includes room, food, and critiques.

    First Session Dates: Arriving noon on September 21st – departing by 10 am on September 24th.

    carly-watters-p-s-literary-agencyAgent Carly Watters from PS Literary

    Carly is actively looking for new Middle Grade and Young Adult clients. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career.

    Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial fiction, literary thrillers, upmarket non fiction, and all genres of YA. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

    She has sold 5 books 2-YA(both two book deals), 1-MG(two book deal), and 2-nonfiction in the past year. They were all very nice deals. Visit http://www.carlywatters.com for a more extensive list of books sold.

    Sarah-Bradford-Lit-photoAgent Sarah LaPolla from Bradford Literary

    Sarah represents YA and adult fiction. On the adult side, she is looking for literary fiction, science fiction, magical realism, dark/psychological mystery, and upmarket commercial and/or women’s fiction. For YA, she is interested in contemporary/realistic fiction that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of adolescence. YA sci-fi, horror, mystery, and magical realism are also welcome; and she would love to find a modern Judy Blume for the MG market. No matter what genre, Sarah is drawn to layered/strong characters, engaging narrators, and a story that’s impossible to put down.

    Sarah has sold 4 books in the last six month 3 YA and 1 MG, which was a two book deal

    Second Session Dates: Arriving noon on September 25th – departing by September 28th by 10 am.

    ammi-joan-paquette-150Agent Ammi-Joan Paquette from Erin Murphy Literary

    Amy specializes in children’s publishing. She has sold 12 MG’s and 4 YA’s and numerous picture books in the last year.

    She also is a published author and her new book, PETEY AND PRU AND THE HULLABALOO was on the Kirkus Review 2014 Nominated books.

    Heather AlexanderAgent Heather Alexander from Pippin Properties

    Heather who was an editor at Dial just started with Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties and of course is looking for clients.

    Heather is looking for new talent from a broad range of children’s book authors and illustrators, from picture books through young adult, including graphic novels. She’s most interested in unique characters, strong voices, and quirky humor.

    Each year I open a few spots to new writers. If you are interested in joining us, please email me if you want one of the open spots. I will need to know what you will submit – MG, YA, NA, genre such as sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, romance, thrillers, mystery, etc. The first five pages and a synopsis (if you have not written a synopsis, then just write something up about the story).

    Please email me with a little blurb about you, two pages and a synopsis, plus what you are writing. Example: MG Contemporary Time travel book – 40,000 words – 160 pages. If you are interested in joining the group. Click here to see pictures from last year: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/recap-of-avalon-writers-retreat/

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, Events, opportunity, revisions, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Carly Watters, Heather Alexander, Sarah LaPolla

    4 Comments on Avalon Full Manuscript Writer’s Retreat, last added: 6/19/2014
    Display Comments Add a Comment

    View Next 25 Posts