Victoria started her career as an editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, moving later to Putnam. In 2001 she set up Bloomsbury USA’s children’s division, starting with three people (and a dog). Bloomsbury grew quickly, soon hitting the bestseller lists and acquiring major awards, publishing such authors as Shannon Hale, Nikki Grimes, Renee Watson, E. D. Baker and many other beloved creators. In 2013 Victoria opened her own agency, Wells Arms Literary, where she represents authors and illustrators for the full range of children’s books, from board books to young adult, as well as some non-fiction. In 2018 Wells Arms Literary joined in association with Hannigan Getzler.
Looking for: I am not looking to grow my list of clients. I will, however, look at what comes in and if I think we might be able to work together I will be in touch. I especially enjoy contemporary young adult fiction, middle grade with magical realism elements, and picture book texts that are fun to read aloud, but leave a sweet and profound aftertaste. Everyone has good ideas; I like to see writers who can put those ideas into their own brilliant words and illustrators who can write their own stories too.
I'm a literary agent with Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. My sales include picture books, chapter books and novels by George Shannon, Ariel Bernstein, Angela Dalton, Elizabeth Verdick, Loretta Ellsworth, Karen Briner, Hannah Voskuil, David Cundy, Joy Keller, Ariel Horn, Susan Haas, Lois Barr, Dawn Young, Nick Dyer, Melissa Martin, John Elkins and others.
Houses I've sold to range from Viking and Knopf to HarperCollins, Random House, Philomel, Wiseman/S & S and many more.
Top of my list for picture books: Love themes. This could be new baby, child and an other (pet, sibling, parent, etc.) or love for the full world and nature. My tastes are pretty broad. I particularly like warmth. Also good are humor, adventure, and quirky charm. Kindness is important to me. I like adorable and cute. I like sad and satisfying. I like gorgeous and lyrical. I like wondrous. I really like love (see above, re. picture book top want). I like energetic and unconventional. I like serious and poignant. (I know. As I say: my tastes are pretty broad).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!). Upon further consideration, I'm not looking for 'issue books’ per se, rather 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!
Christy Ewers, has been rooted in the children's literature industry since her mother, Chris, started the agency in 1994, and joined as an agent in 2013. Although Christy is not an artist herself, art has been a huge part of her life and career, even before joining the agency. 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. She works closely with the entire “family” of artists, spearheading the promotion and deals for CAT Agency illustrators, as well as working alongside the authors in the group to help craft their stories and hone their writing for young readers.
Aside from writing, her interests include running long distances, seaside escapes, very hot coffee and pitbulls. Christy is - hilariously enough - a dog person.
Her husband, Chris Ewers, is an artist, too, as a talented cinematographer and film-maker (www.christopherewers.com). They have 2 little ones, Billie & Finnegan, who are The CAT Agency's resident experts and critics. Billie has over 7 years of experience in the world, and is a fan of everything and anything “unicorn”. At age 4, Finn boasts incredible knowledge of CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR, which he can now practically recite. Billie currently enjoys using every marker in the box, while Finn uses the color red. And only the color red.
I began my publishing career in the editorial department of HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books in New York City. In the past decade, I have also held positions in the marketing department at a small publishing house, in a library, and as a bookseller at one of the nation’s best independent bookstores. What I love about agenting is being the author’s number one cheerleader through all these parts of the publication process!
I am seeking young adult and middle grade fiction with a special interest in contemporary and fantasy-with-a-twist. I look for engaging voices, commercial hooks, and immersive worlds. My YA tastes are pretty commercial whereas my middle grade tastes can skew more literary and I’m especially interested in middle grade that might lend itself to illustration.
For picture books and graphic novels, I am especially seeking authors-illustrators (although I am open to both solo authors and illustrators) who bring a unique vision. My tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I am interested in art in all mediums, but especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective. I am not the right fit for “issue” books, rhyming texts, or overly sentimental stories.
In nonfiction for children and young adults, I am seeking biographies, histories, and explorations of STEM elements, especially projects with an age-appropriate hook and series potential.
In every category, I am seeking voices that have previously been underrepresented and stories that have been overlooked.
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.
Abigail is passionate about stories for young people, especially those that are hilarious, poetic, quietly heartbreaking, and/or swoon-worthy, and she cares about voice, above all. She gravitates towards picture books that feel entirely original, chapter books with big personalities, and novels about unforgettable teens falling in love. She is committed to advocating for the work of marginalized authors and artists, and she’s actively looking for stories that allow young readers to recognize themselves in the books they love. She is also looking for select adult projects, including narrative nonfiction (especially if it explores pop culture, healthcare, or higher education) and rom-com-y commercial fiction.
Abigail joined the Greenburger team in 2017 after interning at Writers House. Formerly an assistant to Brenda Bowen, she now assists Faith Hamlin with her extraordinary and eclectic list of clients. Abigail graduated with a degree in English Literature from Swarthmore College and worked in healthcare before pursuing her passion for books.
Abigail is searching for thoughtful and clever writing that never underestimates the subject or the reader, and she cares about voice, above all. She is committed to advocating for the work of marginalized authors and artists, and she’s actively looking for stories that allow young readers to recognize themselves in the books they love.
Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent.
Although Lynnette was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends.
In adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy).
In young adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary.
In middle grade fiction: fantasy, sci-fi, action/adventure, mystery, contemporary, horror, and humor.
In children’s fiction: picture books (non-rhyming preferred).
In the spring of 2018, Melissa joined ALA as an intern and a year later she moved to an Associate Agent role and began developing her own client list.
She holds a degree in Marketing, as well as a background in elementary literature education–both assets that will benefit our clients, old and new.
Melissa has been working as a writer for years, with publishing credits in The Washington Post, Focus on the Family, Florida Today, Space Coast Parent, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and many more. She had a children’s fiction serial run in an online magazine for over a year, is a current staff columnist, and coaches writers on a part-time basis.
To build her client list, Melissa is focusing on children’s book authors—picture books through young adult. She’s drawn to witty wording and whimsical design for picture books, humor and quick pacing for chapter books, charming mysteries or magic in middle grade, and fresh, character-driven stories in young adult. She’s not the best fit for horror, high fantasy, or graphic violence of any kind.
I’m looking for picture books that are so heartfelt they get me choked up or are so funny they make me laugh-cry. (Either way, bring me to tears, I guess?) Non-fiction in picture books is awesome too. I love chapter books with quick pacing, a great hook, and a well-researched world. In middle grade, I adore magic, humor, and a sense of imagination. For young adult, I’m typically drawn to contemporary and historical work, but a good fantasy draws me in too. Use subtle wit and intelligent wordplay, and I’m all in.
Some of my perennial favorites include Harry Potter (Rowling), A Series of Unfortunate Events (Snicket), Junie B. Jones (Park), The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (Avi), The Messenger (Lowry), and A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens). More recent titles that I’ve loved include Stay Sweet (Vivian), The Unexpected Everything (Matson), Salt to the Sea (Sepetys), An Ember in the Ashes (Tahir), What to Say Next (Buxbaum), and Words in Deep Blue (Crowley).
Samantha Wekstein grew up in Westchester, NY. She attended the University of Maryland, College Park and received a B.A. in English. She now lives in NYC with her husband and dog. After internships with Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and Rowman & Littlefield, she began her career in 2013 at Writers House LLC. She then briefly worked as an assistant at The Agency Group (now UTA) before returning to Writers House for the next 5 years where she began supporting the CEO, and then the Founder, before becoming an agent.
She’s been lucky to work with a variety of best-selling and award winning authors across all genres. She joined TLA in 2019 where she’s excited to grow her list. In YA, she loves creative and epic fantasies, but she is also drawn to realistic stories with multi-dimensional female characters. She is always interested in elevating diverse voices, particularly through feminist narratives. She is seeking middle grade of all stripes, but especially stories that deal with themes of friendship, adventure, or encountering tragedy for the first time. She is also on the lookout for whimsical, meaningful, and funny picture books. On the adult side she is drawn to commercial voices in Romance, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Her clients include Lani Forbes, Korrie Leer, and Jessie L. Star, among others.
Writers House is a full service literary agency that was founded in 1974. I started in our California office in 2009 as an intern to Steven Malk, and I have been in love with publishing and this company ever since. In NYC, I first learned under Brianne Johnson, and then went on to assist Rebecca Sherman and Geri Thoma. I've had the opportunity to work closely with a variety of bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators, in genres ranging from picture books to middle grade and YA, to adult literary fiction and nonfiction. I'm actively building my own list of clients.
I studied Literature & Writing at University of California, San Diego and earned my MFA in Fiction from Columbia University—not only do I understand the revision process from an agent’s point of view, I also understand it from a writer’s perspective. I truly love editorial work, and am hands-on when it comes to helping authors revise and build projects.
I’m looking for quirky and humorous picture books filled with heart, and stories that help kids learn more about environments they know well, and other ways of life they're less familiar with. I’m passionate about working with author/illustrators who have stories they can’t help but tell, and who are excited about sharing tales that children will remember in their teens, in their thirties, in their sixties...stories they’ll want to pass on to their own children and grandchildren. I remember reading MARTHA SPEAKS and A BARGAIN FOR FRANCES countless times as a kid, and I’m looking for books that will also be read multiple times, with characters who are what Martha and Frances were to me. **At this point in time, I'm only taking on author/illustrators and illustrators of picture books.** some illustrators whose work I admire: Dana Wulfekotte, Scott Campbell, Diana Sudyka, Matt Phelan, and Sydney Smith...just to name a few! (The list could really be SO, so long.)
Shari graduated from Duke University with a degree in English, and later studied Dramatic Writing at NYU. Following a stint at The Children’s Television Workshop on international productions of Sesame Street, she published both novels and non-fiction, and worked as a writer and editor. Shari has also written Parenting & Lifestyle columns for several websites. A mother of three, she lives in New York with her husband.
Shari Maurer is currently seeking contemporary & historical YA and MG (no fantasy, please), and book club fiction. She also seeks funny picture books, New Adult, Romance, Women's Fiction, and nonfiction.
I started at Writers House in the West Coast office, where I apprenticed with Steven Malk and had the opportunity to work with some of the very best authors and artists in the industry. Before taking time off to start a family, I helped launch the careers of several bestselling and award-winning authors. I've now recently re-joined Writers House and I'm actively building my list. I'm seeking picture book, middle grade, and young adult manuscripts, including illustrated and graphic novel submissions. Growing up, I loved (and still love) stories by Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, Madeleine L'Engle, Mildred D. Taylor, Philip Pullman, Katherine Paterson, and E. L. Konigsburg. I've always been passionate about children's and young adult literature, and, as an agent, I'm eager to help bring fresh voices, characters and stories to a new generation of readers.
I'm particularly drawn to mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, friendship stories, romance, magical realism, adventure, and books with humor--light or dark or both. I would love to see submissions from diverse or underrepresented authors.
Melissa Nasson has spent her life living in and around Boston, attending college at Boston University (Go Terriers!). While studying at Boston University School of Law, she realized that becoming a literary agent would combine her passion for books with her legal background, and she began interning at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, and later at East-West Literary Agency and Rubin Pfeffer Content. After taking the bar exam in 2012, Melissa worked as a foreign rights intern at Perseus Books Group before starting as contracts director at Beacon Press. Melissa loves dogs, craft beer, making pickles, tending to her tiny vegetable garden, and her pet tortoise, Norton.
Melissa is seeking middle-grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction. She is also accepting picture book queries. She is open to all genres, but has a special love for fantasy and science fiction. She enjoys unexpected settings and loves a good romantic angle. For nonfiction, she’d love to see manuscripts that bring to light untold stories from history, particularly featuring individuals from marginalized groups. Above all, she wants to see strong, polished writing, fully developed and multifaceted characters, and fresh concepts. Tip: Melissa is not a good fit for bathroom humor.
FRANCES GILBERT started her career in children’s books when she was still a child, working in the children’s department of her town library throughout high school. After graduating from university with an M.A. in English, Frances’s first job in publishing was as a Book Club Editor at Scholastic Canada in Toronto. She moved to New York in 2000 to set up a children’s editorial division at Sterling Publishing, where she stayed till 2012. Frances then moved to Random House Children’s Books, where she is Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday Books for Young Readers. Titles she has acquired and edited include: The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain, Philip Stead, and Erin Stead; I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt; the Hello, World! board book series by Jill McDonald; Bunny’s Book Club by Annie Silvestro and Tatjana Mai-Wyss; and Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer and Dave Mottram.
In addition to editing children’s books, Frances also writes them: She is the author of the picture books Go, Girls, Go! (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster) and I Will Always Be Your Bunny (Doubleday); the Step Into Reading titles I Love Pink!, I Love My Tutu!, and I Love My Grandma!; and an abridgment of The Secret Garden (Little Golden Books).
Sarah Rockett is a picture book editor with Sleeping Bear Press. She loves stories about nature and kindness--as well as anything that encourages big, joyful belly laughs. Recent projects include Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery, Snow Globe Wishes, A Boy Like You, and Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story. She lives with her husband, young son, and cocker spaniel outside of Ann Arbor, but vastly prefers the woods of northern Michigan.
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!
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 Kids, The 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.
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.