Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Wishes and Wish Lists from TBA!

We’ve had a fantastic 2014 here at TBA, and are all very much looking forward to 2015. January is always an exciting time to dive into our submissions inbox and look for that gem that we'll be talking about all year. So, with this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the sort of submissions each TBA agent has asked Santa to bring us in our Christmas stockings. He's obviously a busy guy in December, so if you have any of these, please help him out and email them over! Submission guidelines can be found here.

Jenny Bent:
  • High-concept, emotional women’s fiction like THE LIFE LIST and SWEET FORGIVENESS by Lori Nelson Spielman
  • Novels for adults about crazy quirky families like THE FLOOD GIRLS (a novel I just sold to Gallery by Richard Fifield)
  • Novels with a touch of magic or paranormal in them like THE NIGHT CIRCUS or THE GHOST BRIDE by Yangsze Choo (but not genre fiction)

For a longer list, click here.
Query Jenny/Follow Jenny on Twitter

Gemma Cooper:
  • Animals and anthropomorphic characters—I love stories with either animals as the main character, or with a close bond with a child. Examples: CHARLOTTE’S WEB, A DOG CALLED HOMELESS, THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. Or what about historical fiction seen through the eyes of an animal—major events in history with a dog or cat or pig or...etc. narrator?
  • Adventures are big for me in MG—I’d love something Goonies-inspired or a coming-of-age adventure like Stand by Me, where characters set off on an adventure and come back irrevocably changed having learnt something important about themselves.
  • I am always nostalgic for extreme weather. Can someone please send me my DASH AND LILY’S BOOK OF DARES or my THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY!

For a longer list, click here.
Query Gemma/Follow Gemma on Twitter

Louise Fury:
  • A m/m romance like FALSE COLORS by ALEX BEECROFT, but for teens
  • A cool, but interesting cookbook like THUG KITCHEN by Thug Kitchen or Gluten Is My Bitch by April Peveteaux or a fun one like An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails by Elizabeth Graeber
  • A YA that has interesting family dynamics, is deeply emotional, compelling and thought provoking, with a touch of mystery that pushes the boundaries of realistic contemporary like MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia or WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart.

For a longer list, click here.
Query Louise/Follow Louise on Twitter

Molly Ker Hawn:
  • More witty YA romance-with-a-twist
  • Smart, accessible contemporary MG fiction that deals with everyday bullying—not so much WONDER, but more like BLUBBER and THE AGAINST TAFFY SINCLAIR CLUB (shout-out to my fellow 70s/80s kids)
  • A gorgeously-written YA fantasy set in a world I've never seen before. I'm tired of medieval/Elizabethan/Victorian/British/Game of Thrones-feeling stuff—show me something new. Bonus points for absorbing political intrigue, alternate history, and no elves whatsoever.
  • Diversity! Show me characters we don't see enough of in MG/YA fiction, in leading roles.

For a longer list, click here.
Query Molly/Follow Molly on Twitter

Susan Hawk:
  • Richly imagined YA & MG fantasy, perhaps with an alternate historical setting, and strong characters, like ABHORSEN, SHADOW AND BONE, or CHAOS WALKING series.
  • YA and MG that uses found documents, like diaries, maps, journals or letters as a story-telling device; WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE for teens or tweens.
  • Literary, character driven MG with a (possibly magical) twist, like A SNICKER OF MAGIC or WHEN YOU REACH ME.

For a longer list, click here.
Query Susan/Follow Susan on Twitter

Victoria Lowes:
  • A contemporary novel that focuses on friendship. Perhaps something that explores the way friendships evolve like THE GIRLS FROM CORONA DEL MAR or Emily Gould’s FRIENDSHIP.
  • A smart domestic thriller that is both a real page-turner and emotional in the vein of Liane Moriarty.
  • A YA romance set in contemporary Middle East

For a longer list, click here.
Query Victoria/Follow Victoria on Twitter

Beth Phelan:
  • Emotional and magical novel, like a YA version of Mary Rickert’s beautiful and witchy THE MEMORY GARDEN. 
  • Poignant and sensitive YA that features characters struggling with not often explored issues of mental and physical health, like trichotillomania, phobia or genetic mutation.
  • Thoughtful, moving, coming-of-age YA about cults, rumspringa or the rapture, in the vein of RAPTURE PRACTICE.

For a longer list, click here.
Query Beth/Follow Beth on Twitter

Brooks Sherman:
  • YA or adult epic or historical fantasy with vivid world building, like Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS, or Susanna Clarke’s JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL.
  • Fantasy and/or adventure middle grade fiction, a la ARTEMIS FOWL or THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES.
  • Works of adult speculative fiction, thriller, or horror, along the lines of THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman, THE ROOK by Daniel O’Malley, or NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.

For a longer list, click here.
Query Brooks/Follow Brooks on Twitter

We look forward to hearing from you in the new year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Deal Announcement: Stephanie Kate Strohm's hilarious YA to Sky Pony Press

I'm a big fan of Stephanie Kate Strohm's books (you've read Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink, haven't you?), and when the opportunity came along to work with her on her new project, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Stephanie is so sharp and so funny, and she loves history and theatre and food and pop culture — O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright, and she's basically my dream dinner date. So you can imagine how delighted I am to report that her new YA novel, THE TAMING OF THE DREW, has sold to Sky Pony Press. It's set at a kooky summer Shakespeare program for teenagers that reminds me of my own (also kooky) high school theatre experiences and it has one of the funniest first-person narrators you'll ever meet. LOVE. 

Young Adult 
Author of Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink Stephanie Kate Strohm's THE TAMING OF THE DREW, a romantic comedy about students in a summer Shakespeare program who find the plot of their production playing out in their offstage lives--with gender roles reversed, to Julie Matysik at Sky Pony Press, for publication in Spring 2016, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (World).

Congratulate Stephanie on Twitter, why don't you?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The 7 “Be”-Attitudes of Finding Your Agent & New Deal Announcements!

I’m so excited to announce two deals today, both for the wonderful Marcie Colleen, picture book writer extraordinaire. But not only that! I asked Marcie to write on the process of finding an agent for the blog, and she’s created a list of the key qualities that will carry you through your search—it’s as inspiring as it is useful. Be sure to scroll down for her smart advice, which follows these announcements.

Here’s our first deal, for THE ADVENTURE OF THE PENGUINAUT, the story of intrepid little Orville, a penguin who imagines visiting the moon. I love this story, especially for Orville’s dreamy determination:

Picture book 

Marcie Colleen's debut THE ADVENTURE OF THE PENGUINAUT, about a penguin who lives at the zoo and dreams of building a spaceship to fly to the moon, to Emellia Zamani at Scholastic, by Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency (World).

And here’s our next deal for LOVE, TRIANGLE and a second unnamed book. The first time I met Marcie she told me she had this title, but wasn’t sure of the story yet. Watching it come together has been a total delight:

Picture book 

Marcie Colleen's LOVE, TRIANGLE, about best friends Circle and Square, and the dynamic Triangle that comes between them, and to Alessandra Balzer at Balzer & Bray, in a very nice deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency (World).

Please join me in congratulating Marcie at or on Twitter: @MarcieColleen1.

And now, here’s Marcie herself, with  


I am often told how lucky I am to have such an awesome agent. And yes, Susan Hawk is amazing. After all, we make quite a team and sold three books this year—two of which were sold in a five-house auction!

But am I really lucky?

Of course, I tried wishing on a star, writing to Santa Claus, and crossing my fingers that one day an agent would just randomly email me and ask to represent my work. But when it came down to it, those things did not get me Susan.

What did land me such a fabulous partner-in-crime was hard work. It was planning. It was researching.

It was attitude.

You see, the responsibility lies with the writer to do everything within their power to find an agent. So for those of you still looking, still hoping, and still wishing on a star, here are my 7 “Be”-Attitudes to help you along the journey:
1. Be“craft”y. First and foremost, focus on craft. If you want to be agented (and published), spend time making your writing the best that it can possibly be. Take classes, attend workshops, join critique groups, and read books. I feverishly worked on my craft for years before I felt ready to start the query process. And having worked on craft for so long, I was confident that what I was submitting was not half-baked, but something I could be proud of. It’s easy to be eager, but don’t rush this step.

2. Be social. I know social media can be a time suck. But if used well, it can be a writer’s lifeline. By seeking out communities of writers on Facebook and Twitter, I was able to learn more and more about the industry. I was able to keep current with new titles, be introduced to names of agents and editors, and ask burning questions—all without even getting out of my pajamas!

3. Be present. All right, so I eventually got out of my pajamas and ventured into the “real world.” I attended conferences, classes and workshops where I was able to get to know fellow writers, as well as editors and agents. I even had many face to face critique sessions with industry professionals, one of which actually introduced me to Jenny Bent and ultimately led to querying Susan. Sure, these kinds of events cost money—but it’s worth it. Consider it an investment in your dream.

4. Be Nancy Drew. Once you have a few names of agents that you want to query, don’t wait for Santa Claus to deliver them under your tree on Christmas morning. Instead, find them through Twitter, Google and Facebook. Read interviews they have given and blog posts they have written. Get to know what they are interested in and who they represent. Get to know their personality. Find out which conferences or industry events they will be speaking at. If possible, attend those same events. Are they participating in an online forum or a webinar? Again, participate if you can. Sure, this can be a lot of work. In fact, it might even seem like a second job. But isn’t your dream worth it?

5. Be mindful. Check in with yourself. What do YOU want in an agent? Make a list.  Do you want someone who represents a few different genres that you write? Do you want someone who has a background in editorial or is also a writer? How about someone who you can relate to personally? This list is perhaps the most important of all. I knew Susan was my dream agent because she met the criteria on my wish list. But that doesn’t mean she will be perfect for everyone. Don’t ignore your own wishes in your search.

6. Be patient. This all takes time. Lots and lots of time. I first queried Susan in the winter of 2013. We emailed back and forth a number of times going into the spring, eventually met, and she offered representation shortly after, in June. Agents are busy people. If you don’t hear right away, do not fret. Take a deep breath. Continue to work on your craft. Query someone else. Keep moving forward. And never, ever lose faith. Which brings me to the last “be”-attitude.

7. Be dreamy. Never lose sight of your dream. Your dream is what is going to keep you going through the silence and through the frustration. Remember, a rejection from an agent is not a rejection of you. It simply means that you haven’t found your Susan yet. And believe me, finding the one agent who is super giddy about your writing, believes in you more than you might believe in yourself, and wants to take you to the highest heights is well-worth the wait.
Many thanks Marcie, and good luck to everyone on their agent search!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Deal Announcement: Ormsbee's YA debut to S&S Children's!

So, I posted last week about K.E. (Kathryn) Ormsbee's middle grade, and this week it's all about her YA. Zareen Jaffery at S&S has just acquired Kathryn's YA debut called LUCKY FEW. It is darkly funny, with snappy dialogue and a really fantastic friendship at the root of it all. I can't wait for people to read this.
Young Adult 
Kathryn Ormsbee's category debut LUCKY FEW, about a home-schooled teen who agrees to help her neighbor, a boy struggling with death anxiety, confront his fears as he carries out a list of increasingly perilous fake deaths, to Zareen Jaffery at Simon & Schuster Children's, by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency (World English).

You guys, I am completely in love with this book. No joke.
Please congratulate and follow Kathryn on Twitter at @Kathsby! She also blogs here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Susan Hawk closing to queries December 1, opening January 12

I will be closed to queries from this Monday, December 1, through Sunday, January 11.  On January 12th, I’ll open again.

If you queried before this announcement was made (on Dec 1 at 10:30 am), I will reply to your query in the next couple of weeks. 

If I requested your material or if you were referred by a client or someone I know, please go ahead and send your query.

All other queries will receive an auto-reply, reminding you that I’m closed, and requesting that you re-query when I open again.

Many thanks all, I look forward to seeing your pages in 2015!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Deal Announcement: K.E. Ormsbee's magical middle-grade goes to Chronicle!

I'm so happy to share this bit of news with everyone! K.E. Ormsbee, the supremely talented author of THE WATER AND THE WILD (Chronicle, April 2015), has created yet another dazzling story which will be published by Chronicle in 2017. THE HOUSE IN POPLAR WOOD is a magical story of two young brothers that inherit a curse: lifelong service to Death and Memory. It's a lovely novel, with incredible characters and big imagination. Here's the announcement:

Middle grade 
K.E. Ormsbee's THE HOUSE IN POPLAR WOOD, about twin brothers cursed to serve as apprentices to Death and Memory, and a girl from town who asks for their help solving the murder of a local teen, to Melissa Manlove at Chronicle Children's, by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency (World). 

K.E. Ormsbee is definitely one to watch. Now, please, let's all get on Twitter and congratulate her!

Follow at @Kathsby!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Roadtripping and World Building -- a post by Gemma

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve just been on an epic road trip across America – 3750 miles from Atlanta to L.A. It was so awesome that I’m boring everyone by talking about it lots, and as it was my turn on the blog today, I had to find a way to tie it into work somehow! 

The trip was amazing for so many reasons, but one thing I really noticed was how different the various towns and states were — all the little details and quirks that were individual to that specific location. This got me thinking about world-building and how careful attention to detail can really bring a place to life. 

Some things to think about: 

  • What type of things do your characters eat? Certain places have very distinctive food that is always associated with that location. In New Orleans we did a food tour – tasting some fantastic gumbo, Po'boys, muffaletta, jambalaya. In Texas we ate steak for every meal. There is no need to describe meals in extensive detail, but a few small details add texture to your world-building.
  • What does it look like where your characters live? When they move around their world, how do they see it? We drove through pretty much every type of landscape — cities, swamps, mountains and deserts. We saw many different types of architecture and places people call home, from skyscrapers to trailer parks. If you’re setting your story in a location you’re unfamiliar with, jump on Google Images for inspiration.
  • And how does this location impact your characters’ lives? If you set your book in L.A., it might be that your character has to have a car to get around, and it takes an hour to drive five miles! If you set them in a remote mountain town, then you also need to think about the restrictions of this on their day-to-day lives.
  • What is the weather like? For my trip, it was a similar temperature across the country, but in Phoenix it was more of a dry heat, and in Louisiana it felt more humid and sticky. Again, you don’t want to overly describe the weather, just the effect it has on your characters.
  • What type of people live in the same area as your character? Overheard conversations in restaurants can be very informative – in L.A., all three of the tables around us one breakfast were discussing scripts and auditions (seriously). In a diner in the middle of Nowheresville, two waitresses were talking about fitting in a second cleaning job to pay the bills. Developing believable cameo characters can really add depth to your world. 
  • What type of clothes do your characters wear? Where do they shop? Not every teenager wears Chuck Taylors — although in books they seem to! The location/weather will have an effect on this, but it also might be that regionally there is a trend.

When you are in a place, you soak up all the atmosphere and all the little details I’ve described above, but when you are writing you have to create these – either from memory, or from scratch – and it’s getting these across that can make the difference between a rich and vivid world that jumps off the page, and one that doesn’t.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Deal Announcement: Subsidiary Rights Sales!

Congratulations to the following Bent Agency clients on their subsidiary rights deals!

Lori Nelson Spielman's #1 international bestseller THE LIFE LIST has sold in five more territories, bringing the total number of countries up to 29.  She has new deals in Croatia with Fokus, Latvia with Zvaigzne, Vietnam with Women's Publishing House, Lithuania with Alma Littera and Indonesia with PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

And Lori Nelson Spielman's upcoming follow up novel SWEET FORGIVENESS has sold in the following countries, bringing the total number up to 11:  Poland to Rebis, France to Le Cherche Midi, Hungary to Agave, Brazil to Verus, Vietnam to Women's Publishing House, Taiwan to Delight Press, Italy to Sperling and Kupfer and in Spain to Urano.

MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE by Robin Stevens, a middle grade novel recently nominated for the Carnegie Medal and longlisted for the Oxfordshire Book Award in the UK, has sold in France to Flammarion Jeunesse.

UNHINGED and ENSNARED by AG Howard have sold in Turkey to Pegasus Yayinlari.  AG Howard's wonderful SPLINTERED series has now sold in 10 different countries.

THE IMMORTAL WHO LOVED ME by New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands was sold to Lyx in Germany, where she is a regular bestseller on the Der Spiegel list.

MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia has sold in Turkey to Pegasus Yayincilik.  The book has also sold in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Audio rights to Seressia Glass's TUESDAY NIGHT SURVIVOR'S CLUB series have sold to Tantor.

Audio rights to New York Times bestselling author Vicki Lewis Thompson's new cowboy series, CRAZY FOR THE COWBOY and WILD FOR THE WRANGLER, have sold to Tantor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deal Announcement: Sam Hay's early chapter book series to Scholastic Branches

I am thrilled to announce a two-book deal for UNDEAD PETS and SCREAMING SANDS author Sam Hay’s early chapter book series – STELLA AND THE NIGHT SPRITES. Congrats Sam! 

Deal announcement from Publishers Marketplace: 
November 18, 2014

Middle grade 

UNDEAD PETS' author Sam Hay's new early chapter book series STELLA AND THE NIGHT SPRITES, in which Stella's amazing new glasses allow her to see into the magical world of the mischievous night sprites, to Katie Carella at Scholastic Branches, in a two-book deal, by Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency (world).

As a glasses wearer myself, I fell in love with the idea of a little girl getting magical glasses that show a nocturnal world of playful sprites. Branches is a fantastic imprint with an amazing editor at the helm, so it’s the perfect home for Sam’s new series.

Please go and congratulate Sam on Twitter and check out her website for more information.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Brooks's Adult Wish List

Hello, all! I believe I'm primarily known as an agent who works on picture books and middle grade and young adult fiction. It might surprise some of you to know that I work in adult fiction and nonfiction as well, and I'm actively looking to expand my list in those categories.

Now, as the first anniversary of my joining the Bent Agency approaches, I thought I'd take some time to share with you my wish list of adult projects I'd love to take on as I continue building my roster of children's books.

During most of my teenage years, the vast majority of my reading picks for pleasure were high fantasy novels (some of my childhood favorite authors were Lloyd Alexander, R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman), and I've retained a strong interest in the genre and its subgenres. I'd love to work with an authors of high fantasy epic with strong world building like George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire or Patrick Rothfuss's The Kingkiller Chronicle, contemporary fantasy like The Magicians by Lev Grossman and American Gods by Neil Gaiman, or historical fantasy like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke or The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.

I'm a particular fan of projects that fit into the "speculative thriller" subgenre: novels with a ticking clock and a strong fantasy/sci-fi/horror element. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley is one of my favorite examples of this subgenre, as is the recently released We Are Not Good People by Jeff Somers. Oh, and if someone writes literary horror like Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box or Horns, please drop me a line!

For contemporary fiction, I love a good character/cultural study, as found in Adelle Waldman's skewering of literary elites in The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., or in Carol Rivka Brunt's heartbreaking look at 1980s New York City in Tell the Wolves I'm Home. Like many other readers, I was a big fan of Gillian Flynn's psychological suspense novel Gone Girl, but I'm an even bigger fan of her darker work, like Sharp Objects.

If you can keep me guessing with a literary or historical mystery like Arturo PĂ©rez-Reverte did with The Club Dumas or Caleb Carr did with The Alienist, we're going to be good friends. A pet project I'd kill to work on would be set during the Affair of the Poisons in Enlightenment France. The story could incorporate fantastical elements or be straight historical.

In nonfiction, I am primarily seeking projects that are historical, cross-cultural, or humorous. Reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States was a life-changer for me, and I maintain a fascination with true crime like Roberto Saviano's Gomorrah or anything involving organized crime in America. Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests is one of my favorite nonfiction reads of the past decade. (If you haven't read it, go buy the updated version today!)

I'm selectively considering memoir and biography projects that are transformative, explore of universal connections in new ways, or bring to new light some previous era or historical person. Travelogues are a person pleasure of mine as well, as I am a former Peace Corps volunteer and my wanderlust still flows strong. Some recent examples of what I mean here are Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan, Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin, and just about anything by Bill Bryson.

I'd also love to work on a book that deals with advice or pop science, or essay collections (a recent favorite is Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist), but these would require a strong (or growing) platform on the part of the authors.

So there you have it: some of my favorite adult reads, and the adult categories and genres I'm most focused on incorporating into my list in the near future. This in no way implies that I will be stepping away from all the wonderful children's book projects I currently work with. After all, I'm still looking for the next Roal Dahl, Rainbow Rowell, Andrew Smith, Holly Black, and Tim Federle. It's a busy, fascinating, fun life, reading all these books!

Anyway, I look forward to seeing your submission in the near future! And if anything I've outlined here is unclear, or you have further questions, you can reach out to me on Twitter. I'm always up for a quick chat!

Deal announcement: Ami Allen-Vath's PROM BITCH

Today I am so, so excited to tell you guys that my wonderful client Ami Allen-Vath's debut YA novel PROM BITCH will be published by Sky Pony Press in Fall 2015! PROM BITCH is funny and heartbreaking and I can't wait for you all to read it.

Check out Ami's lovely blog post about her journey to a book deal here. Also, follow her on Twitter @amilouiseallen. She's charming, hilarious & all around amazing.

Young Adult 
Debut author Ami Allen-Vath's PROM BITCH, about a high school senior navigating prom season amidst panic attacks, a new boyfriend, & a suicide letter from the class outcast, to Kristin Kulsavage at Sky Pony Press, in a nice deal, for publication Fall 2015, by Victoria Lowes of The Bent Agency.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tips on Landing a Publishing Internship- a post by Victoria

As the newest agent currently at TBA, memories of my very first internship search are still quite vivid. It was time-consuming, exhausting and I got a lot of no’s. But luckily one agent was willing to take a chance on someone who didn’t have any experience, then another agency was impressed that I came back a season later with some newly added experience to my resume, then I had a boss who thought enough of me to recommend me for a full-time position at TBA.  So, if you are considering maybe trying your hand in the publishing industry, here are some tips to help get you started:

1. Start your search.

There are a bunch of websites that you can routinely check to keep an eye out for any potential internship or entry-level positions. These in particular were extremely helpful when I was starting my own job search:

Also, it’s a really great idea to keep an eye on agency/publisher blogs or websites because sometimes, like we do on this very blog, agencies or publishers will post openings for internships there.

2. Use Twitter.

The entire publishing world is constantly communicating via the Twitterverse. So follow agents, editors, literary agencies or publishing houses that you might want to work for. You never know when an opening will pop up! Also, don’t be afraid to connect directly with agents or editors you admire.

3.  Know your stuff.

It’s always a good idea to keep yourself informed about what’s happening in the publishing world.  There are a number of really great industry blogs and newsletters you can subscribe to including Shelf Awareness, GalleyCat, Digital Book World and Publisher’s Lunch.

Also, and this may seem obvious, you need to read…a lot. Figure out what kinds of books you want to be working with and read as many books in those genres as possible. Keep an eye on the bestseller lists and read those titles as well.

4. Are you willing to relocate?

While lots of agencies, including TBA, offer remote internship opportunities for those of you living out of NYC, there are definitely a lot more opportunities available, especially at the early years of your career, to those able to commute into the office. So consider if you’re willing to make the move. However, if you’re not, don’t worry! There are still plenty of literary agencies and smaller publishers located in major cities around the country.

If you don’t get the first few internships you apply for, keep trying.  Once you get your foot in the door, subsequent opportunities will be much more within your reach. Good luck everyone!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Intern applications closed

Way back on August 28, we posted a call for internship applications. The positions have been filled, but check back regularly—when we need interns again, we'll post here on the blog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Deal announcement: Martin Stewart's debut YA novel

This doesn't happen often, so it's all the more exciting when it does: TBA client Martin Stewart so seduced Puffin UK with his four-and-a-half-page short story, they asked him to turn it into a YA novel! 

In an especially fun twist, Martin wrote the story, titled 1,031, in response to a prompt on fellow TBA client Simon P. Clark's blog. Simon challenged writers to come up with a scary story under 1,031 words—for Halloween (look at the number again). Martin bent the rules a little, but his incredibly assured voice and his ability to build a whole world in just a few short pages resulted in a miniature masterpiece. Don't take my word for it; check out editor Amy Alward's quotes in this Booktrade article.

International rights: UK Children's Martin Stewart's untitled debut YA novel, based on an 1800-word short story, in which a young boy must unwillingly take up his family's mantle tending the river and fishing corpses from its treacherous waters, to Amy Alward at Puffin UK, in a pre-empt, for publication in summer 2016, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (World).

Congratulate Martin on Twitter, won't you?

Friday, October 24, 2014

We Need Diverse Books

Have you heard about We Need Diverse Books? It's a new non-profit venture dedicated to promoting diverse experiences in children’s literature. We think they're onto something—after all, half of U.S. school children are minorities, whether people of color, LGBT, and/or disabled. But most children's books feature a decidedly more homogeneous group of characters.

We Need Diverse Books has a fundraising campaign underway to support their programs, and Gemma, Susan, Brooks, and I have all donated some time to support it. If you donate to the WNDB campaign, you could get yourself a critique of your query and the first ten pages of your manuscript—and help change the face of children's literature at the same time. Sounds like a good deal to me. Go check it out.