Thursday, April 30, 2015

TBA Monthly Wishlist - April 2015

It's time again for the Monthly Wishlist!  Here's the ONE project that the TBA agents would love to see in their submission inbox. If you have something that fits with the below, please check out our submission guidelines on the website and send it over. We can't wait to read! 

Beth Phelan: I’d really love to see a bittersweet YA (romance or intense friendship story) having to do with Little Free Libraries, especially as it affects lower-income families. Building one, bonding over a favorite book, the connection we have with stories.  : 

Jenny Bent: A twisty turny suspense novel (for adults) with a female protagonist like GIRL ON THE TRAIN. 

Susan Hawk: I'd love to see a cozy mystery for the YA audience.  Think small town/community (beach town would be great!), female amateur sleuth, perhaps one of her parent’s is the town medical examiner.  I love Liane Moriarty’s characters and writing for this kind of thing.

Gemma Cooper: I never get tired of reading about characters falling in love! My favourite part is the flirting and the teasing and the almost-kisses. It’s hard to standout in this area, so ideally this YA project will have a unique way of telling the story or perhaps it will have dual POVs. I adore the way Rainbow Rowell writes about love, so she is a good indicator of my taste in YA romance.

Louise Fury: Sexy Romance with a strong hook, high heat and complex and flawed characters. Love dramatic ups and downs. Extra points if it is a little dark. 

Heather Flaherty: Still looking for solid fairytale/folklore retellings.

Brooks Sherman: I just finished reading RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard, and I’d love to find a similarly epic new YA fantasy or thriller. The key aspects for me here are vivid and original world building, aggressive pacing, and climactic stakes!

Victoria Lowes: A lyrical historical fiction set in early 20th century NYC.   

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Deal Announcement: Subsidiary Rights

Wow, we have so many really amazing foreign rights deals to report this month.  Congrats to the following TBA clients: 

Becky Albertalli’s SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA sold in Turkey to Pegasus Yayincilik.

Harriet Reuter Hapgood’s THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER sold in Turkey to Pegasus Yayiniclik.

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES sold in Germany to K√∂nigskinder, in a pre-empt.

Francesca Zappia’s MADE YOU UP sold in Taiwan to Ecus.

Susan Crawford’s THE POCKET WIFE sold in Greece to Enalios Publications.

Alwyn Hamilton’s REBEL OF THE SANDS sold in Bulgaria to Egmont Bulgaria, in a three-book-deal.

Robin Steven’s MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE and ARSENIC FOR TEA sold in Germany to Knesebeck.

LH Cosway’s HEARTS OF FIRE sold in Germany to Lyx/Egmont.

LH Cosway & Penny Reid’s THE HOOKER AND THE HERMIT sold in Germany to Lyx/Egmont.

Cherrie Lynn’s LIGHT ME UP and BREATHE ME IN sold in Germany to Lyx/Egmont.

AG Howard’s NYT bestseller SPLINTERED sold in Japan to Take Shobo.

Update on Intern Posting 4/21/2015!

Remember that post we put about about needing YA/MG interns? We received a lot of interest from many promising readers, and because of the volume, we are now closing the application period.

Please be patient while we work on getting back to everyone. If you aren't selected or if you missed out on applying, be sure to watch this blog for future openings. We post frequently about these positions! 

Thanks so much!

London Book Fair 2015

The long march of the spring book fair season is winding down, so I'm taking a quick break from my fair follow-up tasks to say a few words about the 2015 London Book Fair. I'm going to cheat and mostly just give you a few links to articles about this year's fair:
Gemma and I had a busy fair, meeting with those of our international coagents who weren't at Bologna, lots of scouts, a few British editors, and a number of international editors. We went to an absolutely gorgeous party at the Leighton House Museum — champagne and seriously good canap√©s on the lawn, and the most spectacular spring weather you could imagine (which I assume was arranged specifically for the party by our hosts at Egmont UK, who publish a number of TBA authors). And we had more champagne and some diabolically good cupcakes at OneWorld's stand at the fair itself, celebrating the launch of their new YA imprint, Rock the Boat

All that champagne did little to soften the blow of the trekking we had to do to get to our appointments. I won't miss the International Rights Centre at Earls Court, which reminded me of the kind of apocalypse-proof bunker that I'd expect to see in District 13, but the IRC at Olympia was so far from the main show floor that I racked up over 14,000 steps a day on my Fitbit, as I insisted on showing anyone who slowed down long enough to see. 

Next year, LBF starts just five days after the Bologna Book Fair, which will be a real trick for children's publishers. Many of them have large, complicated display stands that will be impossible to ship to London and assemble in time for the fair. I'll be curious to see if either London or Bologna blinks and finds a way to reschedule.

I'll leave you with this: a rare photo of me and Gemma in actual London sunshine. We're not used to it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Deal Announcement: SHADOW OF A GIRL by Shannon Greenland

We are thrilled to announce a deal with Entangled for super talented author Shannon Greenland and her new YA novel SHADOW OF A GIRL. This is one of those novels that really gets under your skin, and the romance is pure swoon! Congrats Shannon! 

Shannon is having a busy year - writing as S.E. Green her sequel to YA thriller KILLER INSTINCT, the intense and gripping KILLER WITHIN publishes in 4 weeks! We are massive fans of this series. Pre-order here
Go celebrate with Shannon on twitter.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Deal announcement: KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky

I couldn't be happier about announcing a deal for the amazing Goldy Moldavsky and her debut novel KILL THE BOY BAND.  This book is so dark, so funny, so edgy and COOL that I almost can't believe I am lucky enough to represent it.  We were lucky enough to sell it to the wonderful Matt Ringler and the fabulous team at Scholastic, in a heated six-bidder auction. UK rights were also sold at auction by my terrific colleague Gemma Cooper to Rachel Petty at Macmillan. I seriously can't wait for everyone to read this book.  Here's the announcement and please join me in congratulating Goldy on twitter at @goldywrites.

Children's: Young Adult
Goldy Moldavsky's KILL THE BOY BAND, about a group of fan girls who kinda accidentally kidnap their least favorite member of their most favorite boy band—and must deal with the fall out when he winds up dead, to Matt Ringler at Scholastic, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2016, by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency (NA).
UK rights to Rachel Petty at Macmillan UK Children's, at auction, by Gemma Cooper on behalf of Jenny Bent.

[CLOSED] YA/MG Interns needed!

[Update 4/23/2015: We are no longer accepting applications for this position.]

We are looking for several Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction interns. You do not need to have any kind of publishing experience, but you should love to read and be familiar with all sorts of fiction in these categories, particularly with Young Adult and MG books on the New York Times bestseller list.

You do not need to live in New York—this is a remote internship. We ask for a ten-hours-a-week commitment. Please note that it is unpaid.

The internship is a great way to learn more about an agent’s work and decision-making process. Past interns have been writers for children, children’s librarians, elementary school teachers, MFA students, and passionate readers.

The agency runs a monthly educational chat for all of our interns, led by a different agent/on a different topic each time. (Past and upcoming topics include: How publishers create marketing plans, Do we need literary agents anymore?, Digital and social publishing, Literary scouts: What do they do? What are the entry-level jobs in publishing? -- we try to make them as useful as we can.) These are optional, and the days/times vary because all the interns have different 'day job' schedules.


1. Send an email to and put "YA/MG intern" in the subject line. 

2. Tell us why you want the internship and something about yourself, or include a resume if you have one (although it's not necessary). 

3. Include two lists: the last ten YA/MG books you've read and your top ten favorite YA/MG books of all time.

If you've applied in the past, you're welcome to apply again. We usually get a great many applicants and the application period will close fairly quickly; watch this space for details!

Deal announcement: Three more books for Sheila Grau

Sheila Grau's debut middlegrade novel, DR. CRITCHLORE'S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS, launched last month to great reviews and it's selling like hotcakes. No surprise there—it's funny, smart, and loaded with heart. A sequel was already under contract, but the good people of Amulet/Abrams know a good thing when they see it, and they've signed up three more books from Sheila! Two more in the DR. CRITCHLORE'S series for 2017 and 2018, and an extraordinarily inventive fairytale retelling that will publish in Fall 2016. Congratulations, Sheila!

April 20, 2015 - Sheila Grau
Children's: Middle grade
Sheila Grau's next two books in the DR. CRITCHLORE'S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS series, following the continuing adventures of Runt Higgins as he searches for his true parents while training to be an ideal minion for Evil Overlords in need, again to Erica Finkel at Amulet, in a two-book deal, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (World English).
April 17, 2015 - THE BOY WITH SEVENTEEN SENSES by Sheila Grau
Children's: Middle grade
DR. CRITCHLORE'S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS author Sheila Grau's THE BOY WITH SEVENTEEN SENSES, a reboot of Jack and the Beanstalk featuring a resourceful boy, a greedy neighbor, and a planet where every single inhabitant has synesthesia, to Erica Finkel at Amulet, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency (World English).

Sheila's on Twitter—congratulate her there!

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Beginner's Guide to Bologna --thoughts from Brooks

So, my colleagues Heather and Gemma have both shared their insights on the Bologna Children's Book Fair (here and here), an annual event famous for its parties, decadent dinners, and international publishing camraderie. Publishing friends have been telling me for years now that I had to check out Bologna. This was the year I finally bit the bullet, bought the airfare, and reserved my room, to find out what all the fuss was about...

Okay, Bologna, in one word: Overwhelming. The day you fly in, the publisher Random House hosts a cocktail party for the visiting publishing people. There are delicious meats and cheeses and lots of wine and prosecco, and so many people you've spoken to on the phone or by email but never before met in person. But you can't enjoy yourself TOO much, because you've got to be up at 6am the next day in time to have a strategy breakfast meeting with your colleagues Gemma and Molly, before you hail a taxi to take you to the fair. It all starts out so quiet:

But don't be fooled! This place gets packed real fast. Thousands of agents, editors, publishers, scouts, publicists, marketing directors, art directors, authors, illustrators, and tourists will arrive this first day to check things out. Here's what it looks like on the floor, where publishers from every corner of the globe have set up booths displaying the books they're most excited about:

Meanwhile, we agents are squirreled away in the aptly named Agents' Centre, where we will spend the next three days in back-to-back meetings (9am-6pm, with occasional bathroom breaks) with co-agents from other countries, scouts, and editors, pitching our agency's frontlist — that is, our clients' most recent sales and books launching this year:

Now while the nonstop pitching is certainly exhausting, I found it fascinating (and incredibly rewarding) to be able to pitch my clients' projects in person to foreign editors, see what they were and were not interested in, and more importantly, why. After all, what works as a trend or a concept in America doesn't necessarily translate or hold the same appeal in other countries!

After the close of business each day, then there are the parties and dinners out all over town. Not exactly a requirement of the job, but you'd be foolish not to take advantage of the amazing Italian cuisine or enjoy a simple walk through this beautiful, historic city.

And then, after a whirlwind of four days, where you've spoken so much to so many people you may have literally lost your voice (sorry, Gemma!), the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2015 is suddenly over and it's time to fly back home...or in my case, to Amsterdam, for the SCBWI Europolitan conference. In retrospect, I do question the wisdom of signing up for a writers' conference immediately following the intensity of an international book fair, but was my first time. And hopefully not my last!

If you'd like to hear more about the Bologna Children's Book Fair, or my experiences there, I'd be happy to chat! Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @byobrooks.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Deal announcement: Kat Ellis's PURGE sold to Firefly Press

Congratulations to my terrific client Kat Ellis, whose sharp, sexy YA science fiction novel PURGE has sold to Firefly Press. Not a bad year for Kat, I'd say -- her thriller BREAKER sold in January, and her debut BLACKFIN SKY launched last year. Can't wait to see what the rest of 2015 brings for her!

April 14, 2015 - PURGE by Kat Ellis
International rights: UK Children's
BLACKFIN SKY author Kat Ellis's PURGE, in which a 17-year-old struggles to conform in a cult-like community that represents his last hope for escaping a dying world, to Penny Thomas at Firefly Press, for publication in Fall 2016, by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency(World English).

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bologna 2015 --a post by Gemma

My colleague Heather Flaherty blogged about the nuts and bolts of what goes on at the Bologna Book Fair last week, and now I’m going to share some of my personal impressions and lots of photos. 

It’s a well-known fact that I love the Bologna Book Fair. Yes, I might moan on Twitter about the many late nights of preparation for the fair, and the long days once we get there (and this year, about the lack of toilets in the agents centre), but really the four days I spend in Italy every year are my absolute favourite. 

This year I was lucky enough to attend the fair with TBA colleagues Molly Ker Hawn and Brooks Sherman. This is the third fair for Molly and me, so we quickly slip into a familiar routine that makes the long days not feel like work at all. This was Brooks’ first Bologna, and he’ll be posting a blog next week about his impressions. Stay tuned! 

Gemma, Molly and Brooks

During the fair, we set up home in the agents centre, which is like a big shared office space – rows upon rows of tables for agents from around the world, including friends from the U.S. and elsewhere whom we only get to see once a year at the fair. For four days we all get to almost work together - chatting around the water cooler, grabbing coffee, drinks, lunch, gelato, all while talking about books! What’s not to love?

The agents centre

The other fantastic thing about Bologna is getting to catch up with our brilliant co-agents and meet the foreign editors who have bought our books over the last year. Our co-agents have the most contact with these editors on a day to day basis, but at Bologna we get to meet them and wax lyrical about our mutual love for our clients’ books.

Molly and Barbara Konig, German editor of THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLES HOUSES
Fiammetta Giorgi and Xavier d'Almeida, Italian and French editors of REBEL OF THE SANDS

Talking foreign editions of clients books, on our first day Molly and I found a gorgeous Italian bookshop near the Piazza Maggiore, and I was very excited to see an Italian copy of Katy Cannon’s LOVE, LIES & LEMON PIES – the Italian title translates as ‘The Ingredients of Happiness’, which is adorable!


The agents centre is where we spend the most time, but we also do get to walk the halls and nothing makes me look like more of a rabid tourist than spotting my clients books on publishers’ stands. This year Bloomsbury went all-out with a giant poster showing a sneak peek of the WITCH SWITCH cover (the sequel to WITCH WARS) by Sibeal Pounder. Also spotted were books by TBA clients Kat Ellis, Felicia Chernesky, Ruth Fitzgerald, Mo O’Hara, Katy Cannon, Sam Hay and Sam Watkins.
Sneak peek at Sibeal Ponder's WITCH SWITCH cover! (Bloomsbury - illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson)

Sam Watkins CREATURE TEACHER (OUP - illustrated by David O'Connell)



Mo O'Hara's MY BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH (Macmillan - illustrated by Marek Jagucki)

Felicia Chernesky FROM APPLE TRESS TO CIDER PLEASE (Albert Whitman - illustrated by Julia Patton)


Kat Ellis' BLACKFIN SKY (Running Press)

There didn’t seem to be a ‘book of the fair’ this year, and no overall trend came to the forefront. Lots of conversations revolved around good writing rather than trends, and that has to be a good thing. It was also pleasing to hear about middlegrade being requested more in translation.

And so that was Bologna 2015. The best of times was had, and I for one can’t wait until 2016! 

The Bookseller did some great fair round ups: click, click

And so did PW: click, click, click.