Thursday, July 31, 2014

Deal Announcement for NONSENSE by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

I’m so pleased to announce a new deal for Felicia Sanzari Chernesky – the fifth picture book text that we’ve sold to Albert Whitman!  The third of those books is coming out this fall (SUGAR WHITE SNOW AND EVERGREENS), and is going to be gorgeous, thanks to the beautiful artwork of Susan Swan, and the good care that editor Wendy McClure and Albert Whitman have given Felicia’s books every step of the way.

Felicia’s first four titles with AW are rhyming picture books about four seasonal visits to a local farm, to pick pumpkins, to bring home fresh corn, to tap maple syrup, and finally to see the baby chicks hatch.  The genius of these books is in their bouncy, irresistible rhythm, and the concepts they each explore – shapes, numbers, colors and opposites.  This newest title is quite different, and very lovely.  NONSENSE is about a boy who rarely speaks, except to say numbers.  Eleven seems to be his favorite.  Those around him are often confused by this, and his mother grows increasingly concerned—until the day she discovers that he has been making sense all along.

Nonsense was inspired by a member of the author's family, who is on the autism spectrum.  Felicia chose allegory to tell this tale, which focuses on the ways in which we learn to communicate, because everyone sees the world differently and uses different kinds of intelligence.  The result is an accessible story that stands on its own, while giving families, teachers, and friends a way to talk about autism—or any other circumstance or condition that challenges our ability to communicate and understand one another.

Picture book 

Felicia Chernesky's NONSENSE, the story of a boy who rarely speaks except to say numbers; his mother is quite worried, until the day she learns that he has been making perfect sense all along, to Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman, by Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency.

Please visit Felicia on her twitter page ( or blog to say congratulations! (

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Deal Announcement: Subsidiary Rights Sales

Lots of terrific subsidiary rights sales to announce this month!

Congratulations to the following TBA clients:

Lynsay Sands' bestseller TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD sold to Lyx in Germany, where the author is also a bestseller.

Susan Crawford's THE POCKET WIFE sold in France to Editions Harlequin and in the UK to Faber, brining the number of territories sold to six.

Lori Nelson Spielman's international bestseller THE LIFE LIST sold in Sweden to Bonniers, in Denmark to Art People and in Slovenia to Ucilia International, bringing the number of territories to 23.

Kathryn Caskie's A LADY'S GUIDE TO RAKES sold in Russia to Family Leisure Club.

Michael Farquhar's A TREASURY OF ROYAL SCANDALS sold in China to SDX Publishing.

Friday, July 11, 2014

What I’ve Learned from Attending Conferences + Connecting with Authors - by Beth

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve joined the Bent Agency and I’ve been to several great conferences so far. But I have a confession to make.

Being that I’m an agent, some people seem surprised to learn that I’m not a naturally social person. When I was a kid, I hated school for one reason: the inevitability of socializing. Group projects, recess, presentations, even the prospect of raising my hand. It all made me anxious.

Books saved me.

We had a little library in the back of my 4th grade classroom, which was really just two bookshelves with some used paperbacks scattered around. One recess, I picked up Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER and fell in love with books. I guess things didn’t really change for me, though. I was still socially awkward, nervous, and I preferred hanging out with my one best friend or else spending several days straight rereading entire series. Teachers let me read through class exercises (at least she’s reading, they’d reasoned). I read through lunch. I read during recess. I read in the car on the way to the mall; I read while I walked through the mall, trailing after my parents. I read through the night and during family vacations – once even reading by flashlight in the closet of my family’s hotel room because I just couldn’t put the book down. I didn’t need to talk to people. I had books. So as an adult, I still haven’t quite figured out how to be totally comfortable in pretty typical social situations.

Which means that going to conferences is kind of hard for me.

What's great about conferences is that attendees get to rub elbows with other authors, and with agents and editors they may not normally have a chance to interact with. A popular part of this is the one-on-one pitch meetings. I sit in a room or at a table, and authors sit with me for 3 minutes, 10 minutes, sometimes 15, and tell me about their book.

And, of course, they’re usually a bit nervous.

I encounter that same anxiety from the authors who sit at my table during lunch, or approach me after a panel or workshop. And without sounding like I feed off your anxiety or something – it does make me feel better! I feel like I’m surrounded by people who are my speed, people who care about stories and want to share them and talk about them. People who are likely also really nervous in social situations because they too have spent a lot of time holed up in their rooms getting lost in a good story. People who get it.

And it gives me strength and resolve and hope to think that my coming to conferences and being the awkward, socially clumsy person that I am will bring attendees relief. That they’ll see me as someone who does just like to talk about books and the power of that perfect story; that we can all just forget that we’re in A Social Situation. That you don’t have to be intimidated.

So if you’re going to a conference that I’ll be attending, know that I am there to interact with you, the storytellers I so admire, the people who saved me from recess.

Check out the right side of our blog for a list of upcoming conferences the TBA agents will be attending!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Many thanks for the interest in the Generalist Intern position. The application period is now closed and the position has been filled. Your applications will be kept on file should another position open up but remember to keep up with the blog, as we post new internships here periodically and you're always welcome to re-apply for any position.