Wednesday, March 27, 2019

PBParty 2019 Agent Round!

Once again I really enjoyed this contest. There were a few more challenges this year with the number of entries, my cold, and a new puppy, but I think it turned out better than ever before.

As always the entries blew all three of us away. They are beyond adorable, heart touching, hilarious, sweet and informative. And Picture Book authors are by far the kindest and most polite people! I don't know about Mindy and Sharon, but I felt like I was in the middle of a group love hug on twitter all week.

Commenting on entries is for agents only. If you'd like to cheer or rave about a favorite, please hop over to twitter at the hashtag #PBParty. The party continues there as we celebrate and support our fellow writers.

We are thrilled to have an illustrator's showcase this year. This is entirely thanks to Mindy--her idea and she put in the hard work to make it happen. I hope the agents love it. 

Again the entries will be seen on my website instead of my blog.

Here is the link to the 25 entries and our illustration showcase.

Notice once you get there, there is a link to the left in the sidebar (Picture Book Party Spring 2019) which will take you back to the entry start at any time.

Any entry with artwork will have (A) in the title to make them easier for the agents to find.  

Thanks to everyone who entered. Stay tuned to the blog or sign up for my newsletter for future contests. 

Note: I know of one entry that wished to be taken down after the agent round. I will also be taking down the illustration showcase. If you want your entry taken down after the agent round, please email us. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Picture Book Party Finalists for 2019

Can I just say how amazed and a little overwhelmed we were to go from 300+ entries of last year to 800+ entries this year. Incredible! Thanks for making this happen. Of course the numbers took us right down to the wire before the agent showcase.

Mindy, Sharon and I tried to give this much thought and pick a good variety of entries. We kept an eye out for diversity, but also for unique concepts or interesting methods. We found entries that made us laugh and those that made us cry. You, the writers, are amazing!

Even more so this year there were way more fantastic entries than there are spots. We had so much trouble narrowing down the field. In fact, we were making the last picks moments before this post went live.

Before the reveal, I just want to remind everyone that contests are for fun and meeting other writers, building contacts. In no way are they a reflection on a story. There are only 20 or so  picks out of 820 entries. Maybe people have entered contests and gotten no love, only to get an agent from the query slush--like me. For one thing, we are limited to the number of picks we can showcase, while an agent is not. So keep querying, keep writing those adorable picture and chapter books.

It's very tough. I know the disappointment. Hugs. Use it to keep going.

Please if your title is on the list, watch my blog early on Wednesday and check your entry for typos or formatting problems. Let me know as soon as possible what needs fixed in this post or on twitter. 

So here are the 25 picks, listed in no particular order and color coded like a rainbow just for fun.

The Little Pink Robot

Detective Jelly Donut Investigates: Vegetables Gone Bad
Jessie's Journey
Ten Just Wants to Have Fun
Strong Hands: The Story of Young Potter Maria Povika Martinez
A Flood of Kindness
Delphine Denise and the Best Mardi Gras Ever
Bro vs. Peas... How to Feed a Sister
Down My Snowy Street
I Voted!
Bert and Wert: We Do the Dirty Work
The Three Little Pigs Need Your Help
Ruth Bixer, Problem Fixer
Mako Brown and the Ghoul Dragons
The Robot that Could: The True Story of Mars Opportunity Rover
Keep on Truckin': The Story of the Red Ball Express
Flap Your Hands
Bad Pizza
Pauli's Key: How One Woman and Her Typewriter Changed the World
Including Alice: The Story of Alice Johnson and the First Soap Box Derby
A Flag Full of Suns
The Princess and the Key
Minha's Mission

It's not over! There's more!
Because we had so many agents interested in illustrations this year, we are doing something about that. There will be a special entry of just illustrations--each one labelled with a number. Agents can request by number which artist they would like to see more of. If you submitted an illustration, check for your artwork there tomorrow morning. (If I have time I'll get a list added to this post.)  

Congrats to the finalists! Hugs to those who will be watching! See you Wednesday for the agent round. It does last three days. Nobody is promised requests, but our fingers are crossed. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Picture Book Party Submission Day and Party Topics!


Submission Day!!!! (4:00 pm EST)

excited new year GIF

The agent round will be March 27th- 29th. See the list of agents and editors here

Now for a quick review of the rules. I urge you to read ALL of this post so you don't make an easy mistake.

Please be a follower of this blog. You can click the "Follow" button in the right sidebar. Or if that is stubborn and won't work, you can subscribe to my newsletter or follow @Michelle4Laughs and @MindyAlyseWeiss on twitter. I imagine we will be tweeting hints as well as partying!

You may send two entries for different manuscripts in separate emails. That's two and only two, whether you have multiple pen names or multiple email addresses. Please be honest and not send more. Only one entry will be chosen per person. If you send two, still only one will be picked. Any attempt to cheat will result in entries thrown out (and sadly it has happened in the past.) 

You will receive a confirmation email for the first submission. Usually nothing will go out for the second submission. That's perfectly normal. Do not expect to get a confirmation email for your second submission. Yahoo just doesn't work that way. Have confidence that if the first got through, the second did also. 

On March 19 (today) at 4:00 pm EST the submission window opens. Do not send early or your entry will be deleted. You may resend at the correct time if this happens. We are recycling an email address as I already have too many. Please send your entry to SunversusSnow at yahoo dot com

You should receive a confirmation email. If you do not get a receipt for you FIRST submission, please contact me or Mindy on twitter before resending. (Please don't ask about second submissions. See above.) We want to get a good count of entries and duplicates make that harder. The window will stay open one hour until 5 pm EST. 

This contest is only for finished and polished manuscripts. It has to be ready to go out to agents.

The Format:

Subject Line of your Email: PBParty: Title

Example:  PBParty: Hot Tub Santa

Inside the email please bold where bolded in my example. Single space with spaces between paragraphs. No indents unless required by your style choice. Use Times New Roman or equivalent font and the size should be 12. 

(Here's a trick to keep your paragraph spacing: copy and paste your entry into your email and then put in the line spaces. They seem to get lost when you copy and paste. It may look right but sending scrambles the spacing.)

Name: Sharon Chriscoe
Twitter Handle: @extracleansanta (optional)

Genre: (Here please tell us what type of picture book this is) Example: Board Book, Bedtime Rhyme, Nonfiction, Biography, etc. or List Chapter Book If this is OWNVOICES, please say so here!
Word Count: xxx (round to nearest ten, hundred for chapter books)


Your entire query letter here. Include your comps, bio, greeting. Please be sure to note diversity and ownvoices in the query as well. (You may use whatever you want for a greeting. Dear Agent. Dear Michelle, Mindy, and Sharon.) You do not need to leave a closing--name and personal information will be removed. 

Here is your chance to make your entry shine and make the agent fall in love with your words. 

First 50 Words:

Include your first 50 words for a picture book, 100 words for chapter books. Do not stop in the middle of a sentence. You may go over by one or two words to finish a sentence but not more than five. Single space and put spaces in between paragraphs. You may center or tab if appropriate.

For short picture books, less than 50 words may be submitted. Any count under 50 is allowed.

Art notes do count toward the 50 words.

Also I will delete parts of entries after the contest ends, if requested. For those writers uncomfortable with their work being out there for all to see.  

Bonus: You may attach one illustration to your email to show an example of your artwork. If you don't have artwork, don't worry, that's okay too. We do have something special planned for illustrations this year. It's a surprise. 

Messed up formatting won't hurt you, but forgetting to include some part of the entry will. Double check before sending.

Now for the twitter party fun! Visit daily under the hashtag #PBParty to meet and greet and scout out slush hints. Here are the suggested topics for each day to get you going, but feel free to start your own on twitter. Just remember to be kind and be inclusive. 

book GIF

Tuesday, March 19th  PM: Tell us what genre you submitted and what other genres you write. All day: Great parties require great food! What’s your main character’s favorite dish or sweet treat? Even if it isn’t in your book--this can help you know your character better. Dig deep and share!  

Wednesday, March 20th  AM: Do you listen to music when your write? Have word count goals? Set aside BIC time (behiney in chair)? Share your daily writing routine. PM: Which authors and illustrators have influenced your manuscripts the most? Tag the authors to make others aware of these amazing books.

Thursday, March 21st     AM: How do you handle writer's block? How many drafts do you write before you consider a project finished? PM: Share your best tips and resources for writing picture books. What were you surprised to learn about the process?

Friday, March 22nd AM: Animal, vegetable, mineral. Tell us if your MC is human, animal or something else. All Day: Share you favorite picture book and chapter books, current and from childhood. Give us a list so all the genres are included: bedtime, rhyming, STEM, lyrical, humorous, nonfiction, bio, early readers, etc. Watch for our agents sharing theirs as well on the hashtag.

Saturday, March 23rd AM: Share a favorite line from a story you wrote. PM: How have contests helped you or your CPs?

Sunday, March 24th  AM: What picture book character would you like for a best friend?  PM: 
What are your top tips for getting that word count down and making your manuscript sing?

Monday, March 25th     AM: Are you the type to have a book spring into your head, write it down quickly and then take a long time editing your words?....or, do you spend a long time meticulously planning and drafting?  PM:Who has helped you through the writing and querying process? Time to share your thanks and spread the gratitude. 

Tuesday, March 26th All day: What do you do to take the sting out of rejection? 

Mindy, Sharon, and I are not sure when the picks will be announced, but it should be around Saturday. We are so excited for the fun to start. As you've probably noticed we have a great group of agents and editors. The most agents we've ever signed up for a PB contest.

If you're not on twitter, Mindy will be posting tips and hints on her facebook page

Time to have fun!

happy birthday good job GIF

Good luck everyone!  

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Frequently Asked Picture Party Contest Questions

We get a lot of questions. Here's a selection of the ones I see the most. They are in no particular order. 

When do I post my pitch?

You don't. This isn't an online twitter pitch event. Picture Book Party requires a query and your first fifty words. Entries are sent to us by email. See our announcement post for more details. Selected finalists will be posted into an agent showcase on my blog during specific dates. Agents and editors will then make requests. You decide whether to send the requests so research our agents and editors. Writers can watch my blog for a list of those finalists selected before the showcase.

But it's called Picture Book Party. Where the party?

The party is on twitter under #PBParty. But it isn't a pitching party. It's more of a get to know you party. We have daily topics to tweet about and get to know other writers and make friends. Maybe agents will be stopping by. It's a place to hang out and have fun while the hosts read the entries. 

Do I have to limit myself to 50 words; Can I go over or under? What if I have a chapter book?

You may post less than 50 words. You may go over by two or three words to finish a sentence only. Entries can't be more than 55 words. Chapters books may include 100 words. Single spaced. Space between paragraphs. 12 point font. Times New Roman or equivalent. 

Do art notes count toward the 50 words?


Can I send more than one entry?

Yes, you can. Each person may send two different manuscripts in two separate emails. Do not send more than two. Pick your two favorites, the ones that are the most polished, the ones that are the most original, the ones you've queried the least--in other words, you decide. Only one entry will be picked per person. You do not have to send two. You can send one.

Can I send an illustration?

Yes! We encourage you to do so. You may attach one illustration per entry to your entry email. We have something special planned for illustrations this year.

I just learned about PB Party and missed the window. Can I send my entry late?

No. We stay open one hour and that's it. We have a feeling there will be a ton of entries this year. It wouldn't not be fair to those who followed the rules.

If you send early you will also be deleted, but you can resend at the proper time. 4:00 pm EST on March 19th.

My formatting messed up. Am I disqualified?

No. We will read even with wonky formatting. Now if you forgot your 50 words or sent a pitch instead of a query, you will probably not be selected. And we have too many entries to allow redos. Please send the correct info the first time. Check and double check your entry.

Will my name and twitter handle be up for everyone to see?

No. If selected, we will not include your name or twitter handle on the blog. That info is private for us only. Note: We do nothing with your info. Not add you to our newsletters or give your info to anyone.  

Do I have to be on twitter to enter?

No. I do suggest it as great place to learn and where we will be tweeting out hints and tips. Also a great community to make friends because you need friends in this industry.

I didn't get a confirmation email when I sent in my entry. Should I resend?

Big no. Check your spam folder. Then contact Mindy @MindyAlyseWeiss or myself @Michelle4Laughs on twitter with the title of your ms. We will check for you. We'd rather not read duplicate entries. Most of the time the entries are there. If you aren't on twitter then reply to the Submission day post with your title and name. 

I got a confirmation on my first entry but not on my second. Resend it?

Big no. Our vacation reminder/confirmation email will only go out once in most cases. If the first went through than the second one did.  

What greeting do I use in my query?

Whatever you want. Dear Michelle, Mindy, and Sharon. Hi gals. Dear Agents. Have fun with it. 

Should I include a closing?

You can include thanks, but no need to put your name, address, personal info. Those will be stripped out if posted to the showcase. If you want to include links to your illustrations or other identifying info in your query bio, that is up to you. We will assume you want us to leave any info in your bio. 

Those are some frequent questions off the top of my head. Feel free to post others in the comments. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Getting the Call and a Giveaway with Scott Wilson

The first book I wrote was a hot garbage fire. Being the inexperienced writer that I was, of course I thought it was amazing.

When I sent out the manuscript to agents, I expected daisies and fireworks and sparkling songs of praise. Instead, I got silence. The only replies were form rejections, except for one agent whose wise words I will never forget: "200,000 words is way too long for a debut young adult novel."

Deterred but not defeated, I wrote another book. And then another. Both of them drummed up the same level of tumbleweed interest, so I started going to local writing groups in Boston and New Hampshire. I'd never had my writing critiqued by anyone except my wife and my mom before then, which looking back was a big part of the problem. Having my work sliced open and gutted was about as painful as if it'd happened to my own stomach, but absolutely necessary and a learning experience like no other.

With new determination, I wrote another book. And then another. Still more silence accompanied by the occasional loud rejection—loud because of my groans and grumbles of frustration that my wife had to put up with. 

I started a job writing articles online, translating Japanese entertainment news for a Western audience. I also started running one of the writing groups I'd attended as a member, with writers now looking to me for feedback and guidance even though I was in the same boat as them: a cracked, ceramic bathtub lodged in a giant wad of river muck.

It was at that point I'd finally had enough. The thought of pouring the next months of my life into a book that would likely end up with a resounding "meh" was too depressing to bear. So instead, I reverse-engineered the process. Rather than writing a book first and then sending it out to agents, I tried the opposite: create an irresistible query letter and synopsis first, then write the book to live up to it.

Doing things this way, I learned a lot. After my first query draft, I immediately saw there were no stakes in my story, so I threw some in. (Let's put the artificial moon in the sky on an impact course toward Earth!) It was also lacking some exciting details, so I threw some in too. (Hey, let's slap a giant glowing red X on that artificial moon while we're at it!) And best of all, I didn't even have to worry about editing my manuscript, because there was no manuscript yet.

I passed my query and synopsis around to anyone unfortunate enough to look in my direction. With their advice and newfound wind in my bathtub-boat sails, I wrote the opening chapter to the book. Then I wrote it again. And again. And again. Sometimes the sixth time is the charm!

It was during that time I moved to Japan with my wife, and I wrote the book for the next months in the middle of the night, still working American hours for my online job. By the time October rolled around, I was two chapters away from finishing the first draft.

But that was also when I heard about a contest online: Nightmare on Query Street. Tons of agents would be taking a look at queries/synopses hand-picked by Michelle Hauck and others, and it was open to anyone to submit.

Even though I was two chapters from the end, I figured I might as well try my luck, thinking I wouldn't make it past the first round anyway. Maybe, if I was lucky, I'd get some feedback on just my query and synopsis. 

But then Michelle chose Metl, my book, as one of the fifteen to make her cut. I couldn't believe it. Someone finally acknowledged my work… and they weren't even related to me!

Four agents requested to see more. Four. That was four-times-infinity more agents than had ever requested to see my manuscript before.

Three of the agents eventually decided to pass, but one of them, Mark Gottlieb, offered representation. I told him I needed some time to finish the last two chapters, which he was fine with. I'd suddenly gone from slouching out the last bit of the manuscript to typing away at breakneck pace for a deadline. And I loved it.

For the six years leading up to that moment, I'd always seen getting an agent as the endgame. The point when I could finally relax. But again, my inexperience showed. That was only the beginning. Then came sending out the manuscript to editors, reviewing offers, checking over contracts, the editing process, suddenly having a new deadline for the sequel dropped into my lap. And I still have a lot more to learn.

I don't want to say the same thing that everyone says: "never give up and follow your dreams." Yeah, persevering and doing the work is important, but I think what's even more important is not being afraid of trying new strategies. If your query letters suck, then start your next book by writing the query letter first. If a contest comes around and you're not even done with your manuscript, try entering anyway and see what happens.

Worst comes to worst, you'll still be the at the same place you are now, but with a bit more knowledge. And best comes to best, maybe your own bathtub boat may finally get dislodged from the river gunk.

Now onto the raging rapids and piranhas!

You can check out Metl: The ANGEL Weapon here on Amazon

About the book: 

When technology is outlawed, the future looks a lot like the past.

Thirteen-year-old Caden Aire spends his days working in the fields and his nights sleeping in a horse stable, all under the watch of Metl -- Earth's mysterious and artificial second moon, a looming relic of humanity's lost era.

But Caden's simple life changes when one night, a fiery red X suddenly appears on Metl's surface, and the same red Xs start glowing on his palms.

Now Caden must find the only person who knows what's happening to him, but he doesn't have much time. Metl has started on an impact course with Earth, and to stop it, Caden will have to face both the unsettling truth about his world ... and about himself.

Giveaway:  Comment below with your favorite type of technology you would miss most if technology was outlawed. Random winner will receive an ebook copy of Metl. 

Scott Wilson works as a translator and editor for the Japanese news-entertainment website SoraNews24. He runs ScottWritesStuff, a creative writing livestream on Twitch, and in his free time can be found playing video games and Magic: The Gathering with friends. Metl: The ANGEL Weapon is his first novel. He lives in the Japanese countryside with his wife.

Friday, March 1, 2019

2019 Picture Book Party Agents and Editors

Introducing the agents and editors for the 2019 Picture Book Party! 

To see how to format your entry, check out this post. Submission is Tuesday, March 19th at 4:00 pm EST! The window will remain open for one hour. You may send two separate email entries. We can't wait to read them! 

Remember we recommend researching each agent to determine if they would be a good fit for you in the event that you are chosen and receive a request. Note: Listed agents have agreed to take part in the contest, but that doesn't mean they will make requests or that life won't happen and prevent them from appearing. Everyone will do their best.

Check out last year's entries here

Here are the talented agents and editors. Please thank their kindness by following them on twitter. I forgot to add that we also have a ninja editor who may request but wishes to stay anonymous. 

Clelia Gore of Martin Literary Management

It was when Clelia first read Charlotte’s Web in the first grade that she got hooked by the magic of books. Her love of children’s books carried through adulthood and she is delighted to dedicate her life to bringing quality books and stories to young (and whimsical adult!) readers. 

Clelia is originally from the suburbs of New York City. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Boston College. She received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law and practiced law as a corporate litigator in New York City. 

In 2011, she decided to dedicate her career to books and reentered graduate school at Emerson College, where she received a master’s degree in Publishing and Writing. While she was studying publishing and taking creative writing courses at Emerson, Clelia gained firsthand experience in the publishing industry working in the children’s book division at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and in academic books at Oxford University Press.  She also taught academic writing and research courses to freshman students as a graduate student faculty member at Emerson College. 

Clelia attends writing and publishing conferences. She also sits on the board of directors for Poetry Northwest magazine. In 2017, she was named one of Publisher’s Weekly Star Watch honorees.

Clelia acquires picture book, middle grade and young adult books. She is particularly interested in developing her nonfiction clientele. With apologies, Clelia is no longer accepting new adult fiction queries at this time.

To find out more about Clelia, check out her blog at She also tweets tips, news and musings related to writing and publishing at @MadmoiselleClel.

Tracy Marchini of Bookends Literary

After four years as a Literary Agents Assistant at Curtis Brown, Tracy Marchini left to pursue her own editorial business and to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. With ten years of experience either at an agency or working as a freelance children's editor, she joined BookEnds in June of 2016 and is excited to grow her list of both award-winning and debut authors and illustrators.

Growing up, Tracy made it a personal goal to read every Nancy Drew Case Files in her school’s library and still has a soft spot for a good girl detective story. As an adult, she loves the sense of possibility in children’s and young adult literature – and can still empathize with the soul-crushing feeling that is mandatory gym class.

As a children's author, her picture book debut Chicken Wants A Nap (Creative Editions) was called "A surprising gem" in a starred Kirkus review.

You can follow Tracy on Twitter at @TracyMarchini, or learn more about how to submit to her on our submissions page.

Tracy is looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, graphic novels and non-fiction. She is also looking for picture book illustrators and author-illustrators.

She is not a good fit for YA horror, true crime, hard sci-fi, or high fantasy. At this time, she is not looking for board books or early chapter books.

Leslie joined Dunham Literary in June 2016. Previously, she was an intern for The Bent Agency.

A former librarian with over 20 years’ experience in special, public, and school libraries, Leslie has cataloged rocket launch videos and Lego rocket ship models, presented SEC documents and story times, and negotiated with organizations from Lexis-Nexis to the PTA. Her experience as a librarian has given her a distinct perspective on publishing and readers. A writer herself, Leslie is very familiar with querying from both sides of the desk.

Leslie graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in English and has a Master’s of Library and Information Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
She is available to speak at conferences.

You can follow her on Twitter @leslie_zampetti.

For children’s books, Leslie seeks middle grade and young adult novels, especially mystery and contemporary. Historical fiction set in the recent past, novels in verse, and off-the-beaten path romances are on her wish list. For picture books, Leslie wants unusual true tales, biographies of unsung heroes and heroines, or stories that show everyday diversity to mirror under-represented readers and open windows to others. She is drawn to books about Florida, baseball, and kids with book smarts and big hearts.

For adult fiction, Leslie is interested in literary mysteries, upmarket romance and women’s fiction, and historical fiction from lesser-known eras and places. For nonfiction, Leslie finds narrative nonfiction that straddles the boundaries between crime, memoir, and literature especially appealing. An armchair adventurer, Leslie enjoys experiencing wild places and extreme challenges from the comfort of her chair.

Emma Sector of Prospect Agency

Reading has always been a certain kind of magic for me. As a kid, I was sure I could make things move with my mind like Matilda and I waited patiently for my Hogwarts letter to arrive when I turned eleven. As an adult, I've shifted my magical studies a bit. Now I help these wonderful things we call books come into the world, and it's almost as amazing as moving things with my mind.
I majored in English at the University of Vermont and moved to New York City just a week after I graduated for my first job in publishing, an internship in Hachette's advertising and promotions department. When the summer was over, I knew I had found my people. I worked for Simon & Schuster's Children's Division for the next six years, first in marketing and later in editorial. Then I moved west to California in 2017 where I was a freelance editor while working as a publicist for an independent bookstore.
Now, as a children's book agent with Prospect, I use all my past publishing experiences to help new authors and illustrators develop their work and find their editorial match.
I'm open to middle-grade and YA of all types, but I'm especially drawn to fantasy adventure, magical realism, and historical fiction. I love picture books with big ideas and few words and chapter books with quirky, vibrant characters.

Since interning at BookEnds as an undergrad in the summer of 2015, James has (basically) never left. He's just continuously level-up-ed inside of BookEnds. Now he is the Literary Assistant and Social Media Manager for the team.

James is a Staten Island native, and just recently graduated with his Master's Degree in English from the College of Staten Island. He’s been a reader since his mom gave him the first A Series of Unfortunate Events book, and ordered the sequels regularly through Scholastic book orders. When he’s not reading/working, James can usually be found watching an unhealthy amount of sitcoms.

James is seeking submissions in adult literary and upmarket fiction, mystery, thrillers, and suspense including, but not limited to, psychological and domestic suspense/thrillers, literary and upmarket thrillers, and historical mystery. He is also accepting submissions in all sub-genres of Young Adult fiction, and is actively looking for Picture Books. James is actively looking for #ownvoices and diverse characters and stories in all genres.He’s eager to find an adult fiction with the same feel as Station Eleven, The Road or The Book of M. He loves all things dark and creepy in adult fiction, and all things funny and silly in picture books.

Some of James’ favorite authors include Celeste Ng, Edwidge Danticat, Jesmyn Ward, and Tana French on the adult side; Jason Reynolds and Sabaa Tahir in YA; and picture book authors like Jason Carter Eaton, author/illustrator Elise Parsley, and our very own Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie.

Follow him on twitter at!

Adria Goetz is a Literary Manager, currently accepting queries for picture books, middle grade, young adult, as well as lifestyle books, quirky gift books, graphic novels, cookbooks, adult nonfiction, Christian Living, and devotionals. She represents books both for the general market, and the Christian market. 

Adria is a 2016 graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, a six-week intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. She is also a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle with a B.A. in English with a creative writing emphasis. Adria worked for the Pierce County Library System for two years. Prior to becoming a Literary Manager, Adria fostered her knack for developing creative work during her three years as an intern and assistant at Martin Literary & Media Management with Sharlene Martin and Clelia Gore. 

Adria is specifically looking for:
  • Young Adult: Adria loves anything from slice-of-life contemporary realistic stories to fantasy stories with richly built worlds. She trends toward the speculative side, or books with just a dash of magic. Please send her anything creepy, as she is known to be a true crime junkie who has read nearly every Wikipedia page on every known serial killer. Right now she is specifically looking for a sweet YA romance in the vein of When Dimple Met Rishi, a funny, voicey contemporary realistic YA in the vein of Robyn Schneider’s work, a lush, atmospheric mystery in the vein of Truly Devious, a thriller in the vein of One of Us is Lying, and magical realism in the vein of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Above all else, Adria loves an atmospheric setting-driven book where the author draws the reader into the rich world they’ve built—whether that world is the bakery down the street, or an island in the sky. It’s also important that the cast of characters reflects the beautifully diverse world we live in.
  • Middle grade: In middle grade fiction, Adria mostly wants to embark upon a fantastical adventure. She’d also love a summer camp story, an epistolary novel, mystery, and historical fiction.
  • Picture books: She’s looking for anything from a fun, poppy, commercial picture book (Dragons Love Tacos), or a dazzling lyrical picture book biography about a lesser known person from history (The Noisy Paintbox). Some of her favorite recent picture books have been The Night Gardener and virtually anything else created by Eric and Terri Fan, Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats, and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Adria lives in an old Victorian home in the Seattle area with her husband Alex and their two darling kittens, Maple and Mulberry.

To learn more about Adria and what she is (and isn’t) looking for, check out her wish list.
She tweets at @AdriaMGoetz

Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group

“There’s no greater professional joy than championing a book that you believe in and watching the world delight in it.”
After earning her Bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania, Alyssa fulfilled a childhood dream that she professed on a home video at the age of six: move to New York and work with books. In 1999, Alyssa began her career in editorial at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Here she found “kindred spirits” who loved Anne of Green Gables as much as she did and a kids book space that was rapidly growing. In late 2006 Alyssa (and her inner-entrepreneur) headed to Trident to expand the firm’s children’s book business.
Over twelve years, hundreds of deals and numerous bestsellers and award-winners later, Alyssa still delights in nurturing her books at every stage. From editing and idea-honing to collaborating with marketing, foreign, dramatic, merchandising, and audio partners, Alyssa works hard to ensure longevity for her authors’ work.
Actively seeking new clients, Alyssa represents all forms of literature and illustration for children and young adults.
Alyssa’s primary focus for new projects is middle grade. She is fond of both fiction and nonfiction: from illustrated and graphic novels and memoirs to series with the interactive spirit of a trivia game. A lover of underdogs, school stories, humor, heart, mysteries, and regional and ethnic flavors, Alyssa looks to spice up the cannon with projects that break new ground. She also enjoys select young adult projects, especially when they champion social justice or have an intriguing family or romantic dynamic. And with picture books, rollicking read-alouds and fascinating biographies are always intriguing.
Follow her on twitter at @AgentHenkin.

Mary Cummings represents fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry for children and teens, from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels, including contemporary and historical, humor, mystery, fantasy, and multi-cultural. She is particularly seeking middle grade novels as well as picture books with strong story arcs, a spunky central character, and warmth, humor, or quirky charm. In literary nonfiction, her areas of interest include picture book biographies as well as lyrically written science, nature, mindfulness, and social awareness issues. (Read more about Mary here.)
Cummings served for fourteen years as education director at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where she organized an annual festival of children’s literature and selected judges for the prestigious McKnight Award in Children’s Literature. She represents both career writers and newcomers.

Susan Hawk has worked in children’s books for over twenty-five years. She comes to Upstart Crow from the Bent Agency, and her clients include Alison Oliver, illustrator of the bestselling Baby Lit board books and the forthcoming picture book Moon; Ruth Spiro, author of the Baby Loves Science board book series; Marcie Colleen, author of the Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series and the forthcoming picture books Love, Triangle and Penguinaut!; Lisa Tyre, whose debut middle-grade novel, Last in a Long Line of Rebels, was a BEA Buzz Book title; Sarah Lariviere, whose middle-grade novel The Bad Kid is an 2017 Edgar Award Nominee; and Rachael Allen, author of the YA novels 17 First KissesThe Revenge Playbook and the forthcoming A Taxonomy of Love.
Before agenting, Susan worked in the Children’s Marketing departments of Penguin Books for Young Readers, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and North-South Books, where she managed campaigns for many books and authors including Eric Carle, Mary E Pearson, Richard Peck and Joan Bauer. She’s also been a children’s librarian and bookseller, and spent some time in Dutton Editorial, acquiring select picture book and YA projects for that list.
Susan represents books for children and teens only: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult, along with some non-fiction for children and teens too.  She’s committed to building a diverse list of books and authors, and welcomes submissions in this area.
She’s looking for books that grab her by the heart and don’t let go! Complex, layered, flawed, and lively characters are irresistible to her. She loves writing that acknowledges and explores the way humans can hold opposing feelings—sometimes lots of them—all at one time.
Plot is equally important. She wants to be drawn deeply into your story, and even if it isn’t an adventure, she wants to feel like she’s on the edge of her seat, waiting to see what will happen next.  Humor is key—she likes wry, witty humor (not so much gross-out humor). Even if your book isn’t meant to be a knee-slapper, a bit of something funny is very welcome. She wants writing that’s sharp, focused, thoughtful and inventive. She’s a sucker for bittersweet and soulful.  Literary or commercial, high concept or character-driven, she wants to be surprised by your book.
She’s omnivorous when it comes to genre and loves reading mystery, fantasy, scifi, humor, boy books, historical, contemporary — you name it.
In picture books, she’s currently looking only for author-illustrators and is drawn to work that’s vibrant and emotional, indelible characters, and succinct, expressive texts that tell a real story.  The non-fiction she represents relates to kid’s daily lives and their concerns with the world.
Follow her on twitter @SusanHawk.

I started at Writers House as an intern for Brianne Johnson and was quickly pulled from the program to begin working for Senior Vice President, Merrilee Heifetz. Later, I covered senior agent, Stephen Barr's, paternity leave and began working as an assistant to senior agents Brianne Johnson and Rebecca Sherman. I have also worked as a bookseller in both the adult and children’s markets, as well as on the house side of the publishing business in publicity. In 2015, I graduated from New York University with my Masters of Science in Publishing: Digital and Print Media, with a specialization in Media Content Development.

I am actively growing my picture book, middle grade, young adult, and adult lists.

She is looking for picture book author-illustrators, a wide range of middle grade and YA, and more speculative-leaning or genre-bent upmarket adult works. I’m committed to working with writers from diverse backgrounds and am looking to put forth a list of outstanding creators who will be able to provide windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors (thank you, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop) into all kinds of experiences. I’m particularly looking for own-voices stories about historically underrepresented characters, identities, and cultures.

No matter the genre or age-range, I crave a distinctive voice and strong thematic point behind the work—I want to run screaming to my friends and family about your book because there is so much to discuss. I love character-driven stories that revolve around BIG topics (discussing things like mortality or grief in a new and hopefully somewhat uplifting way is always an instant lightbulb!). One might say that I have a great affinity for what used to be known as ‘issue books,’ however, I would argue that I’d like to represent authors and stories that stand for more than just a good yarn; I’d like to represent authors who provoke conversations around important and necessary topics in our world today. I don’t just want contemporary versions of these stories, either. Send me your fantasy, your sci-fi, your genre-bender!

Follow her on twitter @AllieLevick.

Christy Tugeau Ewers, has been rooted in the children's literature industry since Chris started the agency in 1994, and she has been surrounded by artists her entire life. Aside from her mother, her brother, Jeremy Tugeau is an exceptional fine art and children's illustrator, represented by his wife, Nicole, at Tugeau 2. Christy's husband, Chris Ewers, is an artist too, as a talented cinematographer and film-maker. 

With a degree in English/Journalism and over a decade of experience in various creative fields, Christy offers a different perspective to the agency, while maintaining the enthusiasm and love that her mother brings to the industry. Aside from writing, her interests include seaside escapes, very hot coffee and pitbulls named Gertie.

And of course, grandchildren/children, Billie & Finnegan, are The CAT Agency's resident experts and critics. Billie has over 5 years of experience in the world, and has formed a deep love of unicorn literature and all things Pink/Purple/anything-licious. Finn boasts a robust background in cars and trucks, with a specific expertise in MR. TIGER GOES WILD. Billie currently enjoys using every crayon in the box, while Finn likes to spend his free time dancing to The Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme). 

Devin Ross of New Leaf Literary

Devin hails from the windiest city in the Midwest where she spent most of her childhood. She earned her B.A. in English from Lawrence University and her Publishing Certificate from the Denver Publishing Institute. She began her publishing career as an author’s assistant, helping authors grow their platforms and meet their deadlines. Her next career move landed her in the Subsidiary Rights department at Crown Publishing Group before she found her home at New Leaf Literary & Media where worked under Joanna Volpe, soaking up every lesson in agenting she could, before becoming and agent herself.

In adult, Devin is looking for peculiar, eccentric, character driven, commercial or upmarket fiction that is conceptually unique. She’s also looking for upbeat women’s fiction or rom-coms. She loves all types of fantasy, and is drawn to stories with magical realism. While she loves science fiction, she is not looking for it at this time. In nonfiction she loves a book that explains complex science to people unlike her *cough* who almost failed junior chem.

In YA she’s looking for commercial fiction; coming of age, plot driven books with strong voices and crossover appeal that break the status quo. She’d love to see more contemporary projects that will make her laugh and cry and leave her with a smile. She is also drawn to fantasy and thrillers that suck you in from the very first page.

Devin grew up wanting to be an artist. She painted to escape, and is looking for books that help her to do the same. She’s looking for anything that throws her into a new world, or that helps her see her own in a different light. Devin loves books that make her feel strongly; bonus points for stories that make her laugh and cry. Finally, she is looking for books that teach her things, whether purposeful or through the telling of a story, it doesn’t matter. She is a lifelong learner and is always looking to expand her horizons.

Devin splits her time between Denver and Manhattan, her adorable puppy and staring longingly at the mountains. Follow her on twitter at @Devyross.

Anna Olswanger has been a literary agent since 2005. She started her career at Liza Dawson Associates in Manhattan, and in 2014 launched her own literary agency, Olswanger Literary LLC, where she represents a wide variety of genres, but is currently focused on illustrated books (picture books and graphic novels). She is a member of the AAR, Association of Authors' Representatives. 

Anna has sold to major publishers, including Bloomsbury, Chronicle, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. 

Her clients' books have won the Newbery Honor, Asian Pacific American Award for Literature Honor, Flora Stieglitz Strauss Award for Nonfiction, Orbis Pictus Honor, PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing, Parents Choice Gold Award, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books, Sibert Award Honor, Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Honor, Sydney Taylor Silver Medal, Boston Globe Horn Book Nonfiction Honor, International Bologna/Ragazzi Nonfiction Honor, CCBC Choices, and been Junior Library Guild Selections and on The New York Times Bestseller list. You can view many of her clients' books on Pinterest. 

Anna enjoys discovering new authors and illustrators, and is looking for “voice,” the sound and rhythm of an author that is hers alone. She has a particular interest in picture books (author-illustrators only) and graphic novels. 

She works hard with authors to get their manuscripts into shape for submission. She finds that most manuscripts need work on plot, so if you're a potential author or illustrator client, be ready to go through many revisions before Anna agrees to send out your manuscript. Her job is to get the story to the point where an editor will make an offer. (And then be prepared to make more revisions for the editor.) 

Follow her on twitter at @AnnaOlswanger.

Rick Margolis of Rising Bear Literary

For nearly 15 years, I worked for School Library Journal, the world’s largest reviewer of books for young readers. As SLJ ’s executive editor, I had the pleasure of interviewing many remarkable children’s book creators, including Kate DiCamillo, Mo Willems, Katherine Paterson, Gene Yang, Rita Williams-Garcia, Markus Zusak, Rebecca Stead, and Jon Klassen. One of the best parts of my job was writing a monthly interview column, “Under Cover,” which highlighted new and promising authors and illustrators (like John Green, Suzanne Collins, and Stephenie Meyer) who went on to have amazing careers. Along the way, I also met many publishers and children’s book editors. Because I’ve read so much and so widely, I have a strong sense of the stories that appeal to them, and I know the literary market well. And for some reason, almost every year I was able to predict the winner of the Caldecott Medal, which honors the year’s best-illustrated book.
Although I loved my stint at SLJ, I was ready for a new challenge. But not just any job would do.
I wanted to find one that felt like my true calling—one that I was wild about—and that could contribute something of value to the world. I also wanted to stay connected to kids’ books—because I love them and because I was once a reading specialist (working with students who struggled to read) and I know firsthand what a profound difference the right book can make in a young person’s life.
To make a long story short, after lots of praying and scores of meetings with some very insightful folks (and a fair amount of snacking), I launched Rising Bear Literary Agency, LLC, specializing in what I most love: picture books, early- and middle-grade fiction, young adult literature, and adult novels with unforgettable teen characters.

Rising Bear aims to help writers and illustrators do their best possible work, to pair them with the perfect publisher, and to see them develop long, rewarding careers. We’re excited to work with people who are passionate about creating exceptional books—and who are ready to change the world, one fabulous title at a time. We offer a full range of services that include foreign, film, and merchandising rights in all forms of media.

ASIA CITRO, M. Ed, is a former classroom science teacher with a Master's in Science Education. She is the author of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for KidsThe Curious Kid's Science Book, and the Zoey and Sassafras chapter book series, among others. She is also the creator of the popular blog Fun at Home with Kids, the owner of (and an editor at) The Innovation Press, and the founder of the Seattle Children's Book Festival. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, The Chicago Tribune, Today, Disney Baby, MSN, King 5 TV, and Highlights, among others.

I love quirky and creative manuscripts that aren't iterations of children's books that currently exist; an ideal manuscript either covers a new subject or uses a new presentation or approach to cover a perennial topic.  Manuscripts that make me laugh are a huge plus.  As a former classroom teacher, I also appreciate having some form of learning tied in and definitely have a penchant for manuscripts that promote STEM skills/learning.  We love diverse characters (and are VERY interested in any #OwnVoices manuscripts) and characters who challenge traditional gender roles.  The Innovation Press is open to all kinds of submissions (board books, picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and graphic novel), so long as the target audience falls in the PreK-5th grade range.

Follow her on twitter at @AsiaCitroAuthor.

Alayne Kay Christian is the content and developmental editor for Blue Whale Press and an award-winning children’s book author. She is the creator and teacher of a picture book writing course, Art of Arc. She shares more or her knowledge and tips for writers through her Writing for Children Webinars. She has been a professional picture book and chapter book critique writer since 2014, and she worked as a 12 X 12 critique ninja for three years. Alayne is a graduate of the Institute for Children’s Literature. In addition, she has spent the last eleven years studying under some of the top names in children’s literature. Alayne’s focus at Blue Whale Press is content editing, creative direction, and working with authors and illustrators to coordinate the path to quality books.

Blue Whale press is looking for unusual characters, strong narrative arc, strong voice, fresh/unique premises, and surprise twists. We are drawn to unique stories that standout from all the rest. We gravitate toward humor, but we would love some stories that tug at the heartstrings, but again, in a unique, standout way. Clever and/or humorous informational fiction that is written with young readers in mind tends to get our attention.

Note from Alayne: Some have asked what we are not interested in, so I will offer that we are not interested in trends. Trends eventually lead to an abundance of similar stories. If you haven’t seen it before, your chances are probably better with us. We aren’t able to produce board books at this time, so manuscripts for the newborn to three age range are not for us. We are not against faith-based stories that give a mild universal message. However, heavy messages about specific beliefs based on specific religions aren’t a good fit for us. We are currently not looking for young adult manuscripts.

I’m excited about the many talented picture book and chapter book writers in our kid lit community, and I look forward to spotting some gems in your entries! Let the party begin!

Blue Whale Website:

I love picture book biographies, sports narratives, and global stories. Additionally, topics and themes surrounding the performing arts as well as social awareness and justice pique my interest. I'm especially looking for debut (or newer talent) authors and author-illustrators with strong writing skills and distinct art styles.

In narrative picture books (fiction and nonfiction), I look for well-developed characters with distinct voices; a strong plot with an earned resolution; and a clever, unexpected, yet satisfying ending. I'm always open to stories that break formula and just work – that have that special something that you can’t quite put your finger on – either in the art or the words. I like both prose and poetry, but I'm typically not a fan of rhyme unless it feels authentic to the tone of the story.

I'm always on the lookout for what hasn't been done yet – stories that haven't been told and voices that haven't been heard.

Follow her on twitter at @WilbursBF_Char.

Hi! I am Callie Metler-Smith. I am the CEO and founder of Clear Fork Media Group in Stamford, Texas. I answer to the following titles: Publisher of Books, Newspaper Chick, Bookstore Owner, Writer, Illustrator, Wife, Mom, and Friend.

I am the illustrator for the Enchanted Snow Globe Chapter Book series written by Melissa Stoller. I have also written two other books: Swensons, Penick, and the TCR and Ben’s West Texas Snow. My third book, How to Babysit a Logan, tells the reader about autism from the perspective of my son Logan’s cat has a release date of April 2019.

When I'm not working on my corner of the Stamford Square, I love spending time with my husband, Philip and two sons, Logan and Ben.

CFP's Mission statement is to publish books that promote creativity, diversity, and books that expand your mind for adults and children. Our adult titles include poetry, non-fiction, and science fiction books. Our children's titles include board books; picture books; chapter books; and young adult.

Follow her on twitter at @CallieMetler.

Ninja Editor Dragonfly  This editor wishes to stay anonymous. Authors will be contacted by us with specific instructions if Ninja Dragonfly makes any requests.