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1. PiBoIdMo 2013: Meet the Agents

I call the agents who participate in PiBoIdMo “agent prizes”, but let me make one thing clear: you do not get to bring them home with you.

Oh, sure, I know how you’d love to cuddle up with an agent, dress them in adorable footie pajamas and read them bedtime stories, but alas, they are remaining in their respective homes. For now. Who knows? If they really LOVE your ideas, maybe they’d like to snuggle beside you? But I digress…

At the conclusion of PiBoIdMo, on December 1st, I will post the “PiBo Pledge”. Leave a comment on the pledge post if you have completed the challenge with at least 30 ideas. You do not have to submit those ideas to prove that you have them. You’re on the honor system. It’s OK, I trust you.

grandpoobahfredIf you have “signed” the pledge by commenting AND you had also registered, then you are eligible for an “agent prize”—a.k.a. THE GRAND POOBAH OF PRIZES. You will get your 5 best ideas evaluated by a kidlit agent. They’ll tell you which ideas might be the best ones to pursue as manuscripts. (Or not.)

Don’t worry–you’ll get a few days to pick your 5 best ideas and flesh them out before sending to your assigned agent.

This year we have EIGHT EXCELLENT AGENTS participating! This means there are EIGHT GRAND PRIZES! I hope to add more, but these are who we have thus far.

Now…let me introduce you…let me make you smile… (wait, that’s let me entertain you…oopsie…but I bet you’re smiling anyway)…

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Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency (EMLA)

joanagentJoan is a Senior Agent with EMLA, working from her home office in Massachusetts as the “East Coast branch” of the agency. She represents all forms of children’s and young adult literature, but is most excited by a strong lyrical voice, tight plotting with surprising twists and turns, and stories told with heart and resonance that will stand the test of time.

An EMLA client herself, Joan is also the author of numerous books for children, most recently the picture books Ghost in the House (Candlewick, 2013) and Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo (Clarion, 2013), and the novels Paradox (Random House, 2013) and Rules for Ghosting (Walker, 2013). When she is not on the phone, answering email, or writing, you will most likely find Joan curled up with a book. Or baking something delicious. Or talking about something delicious she’s baked. Really, after books and food, what else is there worth saying?

You can read more about Joan’s writing and agenting process here.

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Tricia Lawrence, Erin Murphy Literary Agency (EMLA)

trishagentTricia is the “Pacific Northwest branch” of EMLA—born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 18 years of working as a developmental and production-based editor (from kids book to college textbooks, but mostly college textbooks), she joined the EMLA team in March 2011 as a social media strategist.

As associate agent, Tricia represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won’t let go.

Tricia loves hiking, camping out in the woods, and collecting rocks. She loves BBC America and anything British. She has way too many books and not enough bookshelves. You can find Tricia’s writing about blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and other social media topics (for authors and the publishing industry at large) here and here.

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Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency

mariettaagentMarietta has experienced children’s books from every angle—teaching, marketing, publishing & bookselling. She thrives on working with authors who make readers feel their characters’ emotions and illustrators who add a different dimension to the story. She is also book curator at an independent toy store/bookstore. Read a recent publishing industry piece by Marietta here.

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Danielle Smith, Foreword Literary

daniellemsmithDanielle Smith began her agent career at Foreword Literary Agents in 2013 where she represents picture books and middle grade authors and illustrators. Her enthusiasm for children’s literature began as a young child, but grew exponentially when her own two children were born and shortly thereafter she began reviewing books at her top rated children’s book review site There’s A Book. For more than five years she’s been involved professionally with books through print and online publications such as Women’s World and Parenting Magazine, as a member of the judging panel for The Cybils awards for fiction picture books, as well as locally by serving on the board of The Central Coast Writer’s Conference.

Danielle is also a writer, represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg for her middle grade novel The Protectorate. She’s a member of SCBWI and can frequently be found on Twitter talking about anything from children’s books to the BBC’s Sherlock to her own parenting woes & joys.

Read more about Danielle here.

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Mira Reisberg, Hummingbird Literary

miraagentMira Reisberg came to launch Hummingbird Literary following a 25-year history in the field of children’s literature working as an award-winning illustrator, a writer, editor, art director, designer, a children’s literature and art education professor, and a teacher/mentor to many now successful children’s book creatives.

Her mission is to successfully represent all age-levels to create wonderful books that bring meaning and/or joy to children’s and young adult lives. Hummingbird Literary will have a limited number of clients so that Mira and her team can focus on building long-term careers and fruitful relationships.

Learn more about Mira and Hummingbird here.

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Susan Hawk, The Bent Agency

susanhawkSusan Hawk represents authors who write for children of all ages, babies to teenage.

Susan comes to TBA from Children’s Book Marketing, where she worked for over 15 years, most recently as the Marketing Director at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and previous to that as the Library Marketing Director at Penguin Young Readers Group. She’s also worked as a children’s librarian and a bookseller.

Susan handles books for children exclusively: picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA, fiction and non-fiction. She wants a book to stay with her long after she finishes reading, and she’s looking for powerful, original writing. She’s open to mystery, scifi, humor, boy books, historical, contemporary (really any genre). Her favorite projects live at the intersection of literary and commercial. In non-fiction she’s looking for books that relate to kid’s daily lives and their concerns with the world. In picture books, she’s looking particularly for author-illustrators, succinct but expressive texts, and characters as indelible as her childhood favorites Ferdinand, Madeline and George and Martha.

Read more about Susan here.

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Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary

lorikilkellyLori Kilkelly is an agent with Rodeen Literary Management, founded by Paul Rodeen, formerly of Sterling Lord Literistic, in 2009. After working in sales for a number of years, Lori decided to follow her passion for books. She attended the Denver Publishing Institute, subsequently joining the agency as an intern in early 2010. Ascending the ranks from intern and reader to assistant, she worked with current and potential clients as well as editors and publishers. In early 2012 Lori took on the role of Social Media Manager, creating and maintaining the Rodeen Literary Facebook page as well as Twitter and Pinterest accounts, to provide promotional opportunities for RLM clients as well as keep interested parties informed about books, news and events involving RLM. In December 2012 she began representing her first client, Toni Yuly, and has subsequently taken on an additional four clients. She represents authors as well as illustrators and is actively seeking talented Middle Grade and Young Adult writers.

Please visit here for more on Lori and Rodeen Literary.

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Sean McCarthy, McCarthy Literary

mccarthy small headshotSean McCarthy began his publishing career as an editorial intern at Overlook Press and then moved over to the Sheldon Fogelman Agency. He worked as the submissions coordinator and permissions manager before becoming a full-time literary agent. Sean graduated from Macalester College with a degree in English-Creative Writing, and is grateful that he no longer has to spend his winters in Minnesota.

He is drawn to flawed, multifaceted characters with devastatingly concise writing in YA, and boy-friendly mysteries or adventures in MG. In picture books, he looks more for unforgettable characters, off-beat humor, and especially clever endings. He is not currently interested in high fantasy, message-driven stories, or query letters that pose too many questions.

You can visit Sean here and follow him on Twitter here for his thoughts on publishing news, the inevitable hipsterfication of Astoria, and the Mets’ starting lineup.

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Yay! So those are our agents, folks.

Now I should end on a humorous note, but you know, running PiBoIdMo just wipes the witty right outta me sometimes.

Maybe…yabba dabba do?


10 Comments on PiBoIdMo 2013: Meet the Agents, last added: 11/19/2013
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2. Humor Writing Intensive – June 3rd

Agent Marietta Zacker has agreed to join Audrey Vernick and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich for the Humor Intensive Workshop taking place at the New Jersey Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators Conference June 3rd – June 5th. 

This is a four-hour interactive hands-on session intensive workshop for those who want to develop their craft and understand the nuances of writing humor for kids.

Using a balance of lecture, discussion, exercise, and feedback, we’ll develop a toolbox of humor-writing techniques. We’ll look at old-school rules and structural methods and the myriad ways humor writers break those rules. From idea generation all the way through revision, we’ll talk about how to develop a sort-of-funny idea into a laugh-out-loud manuscript.

You’ll leave with concrete plans for injecting humor into your work and ideas for new stories ripe with humor potential. And stomach muscles that may ache a bit from laughing just a little too hard.

What Marietta brings to the table:

Marietta will sit in on the Intensive and comment on what the attendees write during the session. Attendance is small, which will allow Marietta to review the first 3 pages of a work-in-progress with the attendees and go over it with them during the workshop.

If you have not signed up for this Intensive Session, you might want to consider registering.

Audrey Vernick:  www.audreyvernick.com

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich:  ww.olugbemisola.com

Marietta Zacker: www.nancygallt.com

Hope to see you there.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Author, children writing, demystify, How to, writing excercise, Writing Tips Tagged: Audrey Vernick, Humor Writing Intensive Workshop, Marietta Zacker, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich </p
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3. Mardi Gras Wed!/Marketing to Indie Bookstores

Mardi Gras Updates

The winner of Tuesday's Daily Prize Drawing is ...

Kristi from Sisters in Scribe

You win a free package of Carolyn Howard-Johnson's ebooks: The Frugal Editor and The Frugal Promoter.

Please email me your email address so I can hook you up with Carolyn. Congratulations and thanks so much for following me and participating this week!
For rules and schedule, go here.

Marketing to Indies (Marietta Zacker
, Nancy Gallt Literary Agent and Indie Bookstore Owner)


Don't forget to Follow me and comment on this post for a chance to win today's Daily Prize! Today's prize includes a query OR/one chapter critique from Marietta along with a follow up phone call to discuss!!! Good luck!

Hi Marietta. Thanks for celebrating Mardi Gras with us this week!

Hi Shelli, thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to share a little bit about myself while adding to the conversation about marketing and children’s books.

FYI: Marietta is pronounced (Ma-Ree-Eh-

48 Comments on Mardi Gras Wed!/Marketing to Indie Bookstores, last added: 2/19/2010
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4.

My SCBWI Summer Conference Tweets Transcript (#SCBWI09)...

Stealing an idea from Lee Wind (who says in Hollywood, it's referred to as "liberating" an idea), I've collected all the tweets I posted from the time I left the house for the SCBWI Summer Conference until I got home--when I wasn't blogging, I was tweeting. (I may have corrected a few misspellings and boo-boos.) Click here to find all the #SCBWI09 posts and see what everyone at the event was saying.
  • The last thing I want to do first thing in the morning: clean up cat barf. Guess what I just did?
  • My (awesome) brother just picked me up for the airport. I know, I'm surprised as you are that I got up this early.
  • Worst CVG security line ever! Walked straight on to my (exit row) seat when I got to the gate.
  • A guy in the back of my plane had a seizure. First time I've been on flight where they paged for a doc. Nice delay in CVG. Just left LAX!
  • Why are LA cabs always uncomfortably hot?
  • The cabbie has hockey playing curious George hanging from his rear view mirror which makes me like him better. Wish he would get off phone
  • At faculty dinner sitting with @EllenHopkinsYA, @Suzanne_Young, David Diaz and others. The bartenders make fab cosmos.
  • David Diaz kicked our butts at Hannah Montana Uno #SCBWI09
  • Ahh. King size hotel bed. Goodnight, tweeps. Lots of tweets and blogging tomorrow! #SCBWI09
  • #scbwi09 SCBWI TEAM BLOG @PaulaYoo; @leewind; @cuppajolie; @jeaimetem; @suzanne_young #followfriday
  • Breakfast with Team Blog in The Breeze. Everyone is playing with devices. We start conference coverage in an hour. #SCBWI09
  • Just went last in the faculty word parade. My word: blog! #SCBWI09
  • Sherman Alexie has the room laughing. #SCBWI09
  • Sherman Alexie can go seamlessly from tragedy to comedy. #SCBWI09
  • Sherman Alexie has perhaps the best story ever about how books helped him get through childhood. #SCBWI09
  • Sherman Alexie: "I'm rich but I still have class issues." #SCBWI09
  • Sherman just dropped a very appropriate F-bomb. #SCBWI09
  • Sherman: "The book is safe. The book is where I can hide." #SCBWI09
  • Sherman: "It's easy to hand a book to a kid that's about that kid." The challenge is to engage a kid in a book that isn't. #SCBWI09
  • It's super cold in the conference ballroom but David Wiesner's beautiful images will warm me up. #SCBWI09
  • David Wiesner is showing clips from The Shining in relation to his process. Makes sense in person. #SCBWI09
  • David Wiesner loves him some movies. Now he's discussing 2001: A Space Odyssey. #SCBWI09
  • But really, is it any surprise movies inspire Wienser? Look at his books if you're not sure. #SCBWI09
  • Lobby court restaurant is trying to starve me and make me late.
  • Lin Oliver is telling contest winner jokes. There are some witty peeps here. Oh--door prizes! #SCBWI09
  • Editor panel going on. I love listening to editors discuss books they're passionate about. #SCBWI09
  • Ari Lewin from Hyperion: bookstores love series. Stand alone connected stories, even better. # SCBWI09
  • RT @gregpincus: #scbwi09 Tweetup tonight at 9 in the lobby bar area. Come say "hi" or something longer than 140 characters!
  • Agent Marietta Zacker is reading the first paragraph from an unpublished novel she says "gives her shivers" every time she reads it #SCBWI09
  • Marietta Zacker said she recently counted how many manuscripts her agency receives daily. Answer: 10. #SCBWI09
  • Check out the secret stuff behind the book jacket of Frank Portman's latest novel, Andromeda Klein
  • Just rode the elevator with a guy who bathed in cologne. I can still smell it. #SCBWI09
  • Karen Cushman just took the stage. I love her books. #SCBWI09
  • Someone's phone just rang. Karen Cushman: "Sounds like the ice cream man is here." #SCBWI09
  • Cushman: Writing is like exercise. I wanted to do it, planned to do it, but never got around to doing it. Until she was in her 50s. #SCBWI09
  • Karen Cushman quoting a poet: Write what you know. This should leave you with a lot of free time. #SCBWI09
  • Karen Cushman: I figured I could say 'shitty first drafts' since Sherman said 'f*** you' yesterday. (Big laughs.) #SCBWI09
  • Karen Cushman: Tell the truth--the emotional truth, the truth of your passion, the truth revealed from you research. #SCBWI09
  • Karen Cushman: publication isn't the only reason to write. Let go of the outcome. #SCBWI09
  • Karen Cushman: Like Flannery O'Connor, I write what I can. #SCBWI09
  • Holly Black is leading an active discussion on critique groups. Blog posts soon. (No wifi in Brentwood room.) #SCBWI09
  • Holly Black always wears cool shoes. #SCBWI09
  • Holly Black just had the people in her session write something, swap with a partner, and tell each other what's good about it. #SCBWI09
  • Ellen Hopkins: "The $8000 advance I got for Crank was not life changing." #SCBWI09
  • Ellen Hopkins: There were dark phases in my life. I got through them. I worked them into my writing. #SCBWI09
  • Ellen Hopkins is making me cry. I wish you were all here listening to her story. #SCBWI09
  • Ellen Hopkin's Crank sold on 75 pages. #SCBWI09
  • It took 2 1/2 years for Crank to hit the NY Times bestseller list. #SCBWI09
  • Ellen Hopkins: Learn the rules before you break them. #SCBWI09
  • Courtney Bongiolatti (S&S); "Literal hell or metaphorical? Because that would be important for the synopsis." #SCBWI09
  • #SCBWI09 Conference F-Bomb Count--number of keynote speakers who have have dropped the f-bomb so far: 4. (I'll update you as f-bombs happen)
  • Wendy Loggia (Delacorte) googles writers before she takes them on. So watch what you say in the blogosphere, tweeps. #SCBWI09
  • Wendy Loggia: Contrary to popular belief, we do not take pleasure in crushing writers' dreams. (She's given a great session). #SCBWI09
  • Our sundae came with an extra gravy boat of fudge.
  • Doing last minute presentation prep for my breakout session Practical Online Promotion. #SCBWI09
  • Holly Black: Fantasy has real stuff to say about our own world and real things to say about us. #SCBWI09
  • Holly: We have to believe in the fantastical when we read it. World building is one of most difficult things for fantasy writers. #SCBWI09
  • Holly Black: In many ways fantasy resembles historical fiction. #SCBWI09
  • Holly Black's crazy theory: fantasy plotting is slightly different than non-fantasy plotting
  • Holly Black: When I started, I wrote a lot of scenes with elves sitting around drinking coffee and experiencing ennui. #SCBWI09
  • I'm talking about twitter
  • Just left the Golden Kite Luncheon. Getting ready to blog Marla Frazee's session, How Your Words Inspire Me to Draw Pictures #SCBWI09
  • Marla Frazee: I [illustrate] one page at a time and I do them in order. Because I'm a Capricorn. #SCBWI09
  • Elizabeth Law: Egmont's profits go to children's charities. They are technically an not-for-profit publisher. #SCBWI09
  • Elizabeth Law: Writers need to know what the hook is for their books. Elevator pitches aren't two minutes long. #SCBWI09
  • Elizabeth Law: She thinks agents are important and advises writers to find one. "I rely on agents to weed things out for me." #SCBWI09
  • Elizabeth Law: "Winslow the Whale spouted emotions through his blow hole." (Posted because it's just as funny out of context.) #SCBWI09
  • Elizabeth Law on social networking: Join networks, make comments, make friends, don't be embarrassed to talk about your work. #SCBWI09
  • Elizabeth Law: "If anyone does introduce me to my future husband, there's a contract for you at Egmont." #SCBWI09
  • @mbrockenbrough That was one excellent banana.
  • @chavelaque Thanks! And thank you for contributing. (Everyone be sure to read Cheryl's great piece on revision in the 2010 CWIM.)
  • I'm having my final breakfast at The Breeze at the Century Plaza. (I recommend the oatmeal.)
  • On my way to my least favorite airport LAX. (It is no CVG.)
  • My cab driver's name is Igor. That's kinda cool. I've never met an Igor. (He's a very good driver.)
  • Just drove past a Live Nudes place right next to Carl's Jr. I'm so not in the Nati.
  • I'm standing in the line to get to the next place I will stand in line. LAX: you are living up to my expectations.
  • Number of times 20-something dude in security line said 'dude' in his 5-minute phone call: 13. (I counted.) Dude. His Vegas trip ROCKED!
  • I'd forgotten all about humidity until it smacked me in the face outside the airport.
  • Back in the Nati and stuck in LA-style traffic. But someone's here to help.

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5. Agent Panel : Marietta Zacker continued


Lin Oliver has started asking the agents questions. Lin says, "Tell Nancy [Gallt] we are all expecting a website."

Marietta echoed all the other agents' answers to Lin's first question and adds what she has noticed as a change in business thanks to the economic slump:
Conversations with editors are really deep... They are working so hard, not taking anything for granted, they are really looking deep into their souls to figure out what they are looking to acquire.
Lin's next question concerns what the agents feel their roles are as agents -- lots of editing? Hands off?

For Marietta it really depends, there are some manuscripts -- it's not that they are ready to go, but it's that the MS needs someone in an editorial department to work on it. Marietta is not afraid to work on/edit manuscripts.

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6. Marietta Zacker, continued

What kind of manuscripts does she want? The good ones.

Before you submit a manuscript, she says, you have to answer the very difficult question, who will share my passion. She wants authors who are exceptional at their craft and write with passion.

These days, it's harder and harder to get published without and agent, generally. "It's a definite team effort" between agents and editors. Editors and agents don't have secret, "we simply speak to each other" and agents pass on their authors' passion onto the editors.

Specifics about the industry: It's tough out there, but for different reasons than it was tough last year. Editors have less time, there is fewer staff, there's less money. But from her perspective, that's not what she thinks writers should concentrate on.

POSTED BY ALICE POPE

1 Comments on Marietta Zacker, continued, last added: 8/7/2009
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7. Marietta Zacker, continued

Marietta came to the US from Puerto Rico when she was a little girl, and couldn't speak a word of English. Books became very important to her, and she ended up teaching. And she found that when a book hit home, it changed lives.

You can't set out to, for example, write the next "Sherman Alexie" novel, or jump on the vampire wagon. Instead you must go with your passion.

She's written, submitted and received rejections letters, and she things she only submitted material so she could get rejections--she wanted to know what it felt like.

POSTED BY ALICE POPE

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8. Marietta Zacker: A Look at the Publishing Insdustry from the Perspective of an Agent

Marietta Zacker is doing her very first SCBWI Summer Conference gig in the main ballroom. She's an agent at Nancy Gallt Literary Agency.

She's sais she's our resident "passionista." She's telling the story of an author who called her agency one day and so impressed her with his passion that she requested his manuscript.

Shes' got the crowd introducting themselves to one another. Now she's introducting herself to us.



POSTED BY ALICE POPE

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