Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 20, 2021

Book Winners – Kudos – Opportunity – Industry Changes

BOOK WINNERS

Judy Sobanski won WHERE’S MY COW? by Susan Blackaby

Pamela Harrison won CALVIN GETS THE LAST WORD by Margo Sorenson

Katie Williams won THE UNIVERSE AND YOU by Suzanne Slade

Please send your address to Kathy(dot)temean(at)hotmail(dot)com Thanks!

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CONGRATULATIONS TO AMALIA HOFFMAN! She has received the PJ Library Author/Illustrator Award for her new book MY HANDS MAKE THE WORLD coming out in 2022.


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OPPORTUNITY:

2021 Writing and Illustrating Book Extravaganza Feature

I always end the year with a book giveaway extravaganza. If you have a book that you would like to be featured and can send the winner a copy, please email me to let me know you would like to be featured. You will need to write up your journey with the book, send me your phot and bio, plus send me six interior art .jpgs (at least 500 pixels wide). These spot fill up fast, so make sure you snag a spot early. Please title the email 2021 Book Extravaganza Feature. Thank you!

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INDUSTRY CHANGES:

Harper Children’s:

Carolina Ortiz has been promoted to editor.

Simon & Schuster Children’s:

Jasmine Ye has been promoted to production editor.

Clare McGlade has been promoted to associate managing editor.

Chelsea Morgan has been promoted to associate managing editor.

Heather Palisi has been promoted to associate art director.

Brittany Fetcho has been promoted to senior designer.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 19, 2021

Finding Strangeness in the Ordinary by Mira Reisberg

Finding Strangeness in the Ordinary by Mira Reisberg

I hope you are doing well! Want to know something funny? Did you know that artists often make faces while they draw? Especially when they are drawing faces. I’d advise you not to put up a mirror to see yourself when you draw or write unless you want to have a good laugh at yourself!

Some things just don’t fit. Maybe I should say that some things just don’t make any sense when put together. Peanut butter and jelly? Good! Peanut butter and kitchen floor? Bad! While there are many things that don’t go together, sometimes those things make for the best books!

Not many people would think that a bull would prefer flowers to fighting, but that’s just what Ferdinand the bull preferred in the Story of Ferdinand. This bull had a very gentle soul and it made for a lovely book. The Ugly Duckling is another story where a swan baby is mistaken for a duck baby. What is seen to be an ugly duck grows up to be a beautiful swan.

I’m going to give you some scenes and see if you can add something strange to the scene. Later you can use these as story ideas. The only limit is your imagination here!

A store filled with beautifully pressed white linens.

A house that is incredibly messy.

An idyllic farm.

An elephant and a snake meet at a circus.

Now take one of these starts and write a brief story or outline!

Go for a walk, or just look around your house. Keep thinking “What would be strange here?” Soon you’ll be seeing strange things everywhere you look!

These ideas about things that don’t fit aren’t just for picture books.

Have a read of  A.J. Sass’s Ana on the Edge where we ordinarily think of female ice-skater’s loving the glitz and glamor of their outfits but here the main character is nonbinary and is experiencing great discomfort with their skating costume, which has become alien and awkward for them. In Donna Barba Higuera’s MG, The Last Cuentista, Petra wants to be a storyteller, but her world is ending, making her life anything but ordinary. And then Aida Salazar’s Land of the Cranes combines the ordinariness of cranes into something strange and mystical as she connects them with her heritage and the story of Betita’s family’s struggles with immigration. Each of these books finds strangeness and drama in ordinary things that connect to other concepts. Each of these authors is a graduate of the Children’s Book Academy doing wonderful magical and meaningful work.

So I have a question for you. How would you like to learn about writing a fantastic middle-grade novel in a few short weeks? When does class start? Whenever you want it to! Our instant access class is designed to fit into your busy schedule with a whole year of access.

Don’t have an idea? We can help you out! Need help with structure? It’s in the course. Do you like to illustrate as well? You are in for a treat with our illustration materials! You’ll have access to our Mighty Networks community and will be able to find other wonderful like-minded individuals who are eager to create for children. You’ll learn everything you need to know about writing middle-grade novels in this class! Join now: https://bit.ly/MGMastery  For a limited time, this course is only $297, so grab it while you can!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 18, 2021

Chelsea Hensley, Associate Agent at KT Literary

CHELSEA HENSLEY – ASSOCIATE AGENT – KT Literary

Before joining kt literary, Chelsea was a freelance editor and perpetual publishing intern. In 2018 she mentored in Pitch Wars and most recently was an editorial intern at Page Street Publishing where she assisted on titles from Addie Thorley and Breanna Shields. She has a BA in English from the University of Missouri and lives and works as a bookseller in St. Louis, MO. She likes fresh and imaginative SFF, dark and twisty mysteries/thrillers, and whipsmart protagonists. She is interested in working with authors belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in publishing, especially Black authors. When she isn’t working, she can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons, watching The Golden Girls, or playing with her dog.

Chelsea is looking for Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction as well as select Adult projects. Even if you don’t see your project perfectly described here please feel free to query if you think she’d be interested. Overall she is looking for fresh concepts, immersive worlds, and a strong voice. She especially interested in working with authors from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in publishing, particularly Black authors.

In the Middle Grade:

Chelsea’s tastes skew toward upper level and more toward fantasy. She’d love to see some sweeping fantasy like THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON and projects inspired by lesser told legends, fairytales or myths like LALANI OF THE DISTANT SEA. She is also interested in historical and mysteries of the whimsical and adventurous variety.

In Young Adult:

Chelsea’s tastes are broader, but she is especially interested in mysteries and thrillers in this category. She prefers dark and twisty and deeply character-driven (think: Courtney Summers). If you have fantasy, sci-fi, or historical projects with strong mystery threads in them, she’d love to see them! She’d also be interested in something irreverent and smart like American Vandal.

Chelsea is also interested in YA science-fiction and fantasy. For sci-fi, I’m interested in things that are grounded in the real world, and I’d love to see some inventive dystopia like SCYTHE or horror like WILDER GIRLS. In fantasy, I’m interested in everything from contemporary to epic. She’d love something that puts a fantasy twist on history like DREAD NATION or THE DIVINERS. She would also love something that blends and bends genres like JANE, UNLIMITED.

When it comes to YA contemporary and romance, she is very selective, but when it’s good, she’s hooked. She is drawn toward character-driven stories that meet emotional heft with a silvery thread of humor like the work of Robin Benway and Jenny Han.

In the Adult category:

Chelsea is only looking for fantasy at this time. She loves sprawling magical worlds and lush retellings. She would love something akin to the work of Naomi Novik or dark and atmospheric like NINTH HOUSE. Chelsea is also interested in some supernatural horror. Less jump scares and the like and more unsettling and full of creeping dread like YEAR OF THE WITCHING or MEXICAN GOTHIC.

In general, here are some of the things Chelsea loves to see in a manuscript:

1.

    Intricate plots and complex emotional arcs

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    Whipsmart protagonists who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. There’s nothing I love more than a main character who throws themselves into the thick of things and doesn’t look back.

3.

    Female friendship, partnerships, rivalries, and everything in between are high up on my wishlist. Girls, girls, girls basically. I prefer narratives to be female driven, and I’d love to see more F/F romantic pairings.

4.

    Spies, assassins, thieves and other rogue-ish characters. She loves, loves, loves heists.

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    1. She’d love to see some great antiheroes or characters embarking on redemption arcs like Zuko from

Avatar: The Last Airbender.

    Submission Guidelines:

Please email your query letter and the first three pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to:

Chelsea at chelseaquery@ktliterary.com

The subject line of your email should include the word “Query” along with the title of your manuscript. Queries should not contain attachments. Attachments will not be read, and queries containing attachments WILL be deleted unread. We aim to reply to all queries within two weeks of receipt. For examples of query letters, please feel free to browse the About My Query archives on this site.

In addition, if you’re an author who is sending a new query, but who previously submitted a novel to us for which we requested chapters but ultimately declined, please do say so in your query letter.

If we like your query, we’ll ask for the first five chapters and a complete synopsis. For our purposes, the synopsis should include the full plot of the book including the conclusion. Don’t tease us. Thanks!

We are not accepting snail mail queries at this time. If you have an aversion to email, perhaps we’re not the best agency for you. We also do not accept pitches on social media.

David L Harrison has written a new picture book, I WANT AN APPLE, HOW MY BODY WORKS, illustrated by David Catrow and publish by Holiday House. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky US winner.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping David and David.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DISCRIPTION:

Your body is busy, busy, busy! Learn how it works in this funny-but-informative book.

I want an apple. Smart brain, help me find one. Sniffy nose, smell the apple. Bright eyes, help me see it.
Legs, feet, arms, teeth, tongue, tummy . . . and long intestine too . . . all snap into action when a child decides she wants an apple. A clever and humorous introduction to body parts and their function.

David Harrison is a beloved, award-winning author. The David Harrison Elementary School in Springfield, Missouri was named in his honor. The illustrator, David Catrow, is known for his humor and hyperbole. Honors include a New York Times Best Illustrated Award.

BOOK JOURNEY: 

In September, 2016, I made my annual trip to New York City to see editors. Among them that year was Jeffrey Salane (who has since been promoted to Vice President and Editorial Director) at the Little Simon imprint of Simon & Schuster. We had a good visit about the sorts of ideas that appealed to him.

“I would love to see a book for the very young about how the body works,” Jeff told me. “I wouldn’t want this to be just another science book that lists body parts and their functions,” he said. “I would only be interested if the book had heart, a genuine appreciation for the body, told in a way that a young audience could identify with it.”

After returning to Springfield, I got busy on a manuscript with Jeff in mind. I’d written about the body before. In All About Me, the 1969 edition of Childcraft, I wrote the first third of the volume, which was about the anatomy and physiology of children’s bodies. In this case, I followed Salane’s request to keep the narrative more story-like, factual but “with heart,” and focused on the very young.

I decided to write about a child who wants a cookie and how his/her body responds, step by step, on the successful search. I named it, I Want a Cookie, sent the result to Jeff, and settled in for the usual wait. Like most editors, he’s slow to respond. I nudged him after seven months but received no response. After a year, I sent him a note to say I was going to start showing the story to other editors. More silence. I began by sending a query to Grace Maccarone at Holiday House. Grace and I had known each other since her days at Scholastic. She and I had brainstormed many ideas during visits to her office, but not a one had ever made it into print.

Grace called shortly after receiving the query to invite me to share the manuscript with her. Two weeks after I sent it, she was back with a few concerns from her committee. I did the tweaking, the title was changed from cookie to apple (healthier), and we were in business. Since signing the contract in 2017, four years have gone by, plus the year before that when I wrote the original story. Much of that time was spent looking for and waiting for just the right artist to do the book.

David Catrow was worth waiting for. His impish cartoon characters are perfect for the story, a stroke of genius by Grace Maccarone. I’ve only recently seen the finished book and still haven’t had the pleasure of communicating directly with David. I hope one day to have that chance. I dedicated the book to Annie Busch, a dear friend and former head of the Springfield-Greene County Public Library system who named a conference room in the main branch after me. I might also have added names of my biology professors waaay back at Drury University and Emory University. There’s a lot of what they taught me in this little book for children.

DAVID’S BIO:

David Harrison has published ninety-four titles that have earned dozens of honors, including the Christopher Award for The Book of Giant Stories.  His work has been translated into twelve languages, anthologized more than one hundred eighty-five times, and appeared in over eighty magazines and professional journals. In Springfield, MO, David Harrison Elementary School is named for him. His poem, “My Book,” is sandblasted into The Children’s Garden sidewalk at the Burton Barr Library in Phoenix, Arizona and painted on a bookmobile in Pueblo, Colorado. David’s poetry inspired Sandy Asher’s popular, award winning school plays, Somebody Catch My Homeworkand Jesse and Grace and has been set to music performed for numerous live audiences. In 2007, the Missouri Librarian Association presented David with its Literacy Award for the body of his work.

David had three new new published books come out in 2020. A picture book titled, RUM PUM PUM written with Jane Yolen. GUIDED PRACTICE FOR READING GROWTH written with Laura Robb and this book EMPOWERING STUDENTS’ KNOWLEDGE of VOCABULARY with Mary Jo Fresch.  He holds two degrees in science and two honorary doctorates of letters (MSU and Drury University). He is poet laureate for Drury University and honorary doctor of letters degrees from Missouri State University and Drury University. He regularly speaks at conferences and visits schools. David lives with his wife, Sandy, a business owner and retired guidance counselor. He is working on many new books.

Website: http://davidlharrison.com
Blog: http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com

DAVID CATROW’S BIO:

David Catrow (born December 16, 1952) is an American artist, cartoonist, and illustrator of children’s books. He and his wife, Deborah, live in Springfield, Ohio and have two children.

David is primarily a writer and illustrator of books for children; having over 70 published works in print. His scholastic book series MAX SPANIEL to name one example, has sold over a million copies. He has had NYT best sellers and two NYT Best Illustrated Books. He continue to develop projects with Simon and Schuster, Penguin Putnam, Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin, Harper-Collins, and the list goes on.

In addition to his publishing work he has worked extensively in film/TV, spending over a year creating the visual development for films such as HORTON HEARS A WHO, DESPICABLE ME, and others. In addition he has done development work adapting the animated Stuart Little for television and extensive development work on the animated television series PLANTZILLA, which was based on the popular children’s books written by Jerdine Nolen.

His syndicated editorial cartoons has run in over 1000 newspapers across Canada and the US.

David, Thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. You always have such fun ideas. A perfect book to introduce children on all the things a body does with a thought as simple as wanting an apple. David did a wonderful job creating the illustrations. His whimsical artwork adds so much playfulness to each page. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 

Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 16, 2021

Illustrator Saturday – Andrea Stegmaier

Andrea Stegmaier was born in 1979 in Freiburg, Germany. When she was a kid, she wanted to become an alligator-catcher in Alaska. This lasted for a few months until her parents told her that there are no alligators in Alaska. Trying to find a new profession, she later went to university to study German, history of art and architecture. She had worked as an architect for ten years when she turned her passion for children’s books into her new career. Since 2018 she has illustrated several books for different publishers and loves every day filled with drawing and painting. Andrea lives with her two kids and her husband in Stuttgart, a busy town in the south of Germany.

Andrea Stegmaier is an illustrator and architect. She lives with her family in a tiny town-house in Stuttgart, a busy city in Germany. She draws a lot. She draws digital and traditional, straight lines and wonky lines, serious and funny things, animals and people, houses and plants, anything and everything.

When she is not drawing, Andrea can be found in her little garden or exploring the world with her family. There is so much to see and learn when you look close enough.

Awards:

2022 – Georgia Children`s Book Awards, University of Georgia, Finalist

2021 – Shining Willow Award, SYRCA, Short-listed

2021 – Funniest Children`s Book Award, Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey!, Winner

2021 – CCBC Choices List, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Winner

Andrea sent three movies showing her process. I could not get them to show in the post, so I have given you three links. If you get a chance to watch them, they are really cool and doesn’t take much time to watch.

HERE IS ANDREA DISCUSSING HER PROCESS:

I look through my sketchbook if I get inspired from one of my little drawings or I sketch for something I already have in my mind. Then I take a picture with my phone and import it to Procreate on my tablet.

https://kathytemean.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/hello2021-video-1-sketch.mov 

Sometimes if I combine different sketches like in this picture I draw a new digital sketch.

https://kathytemean.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/hello2021-video-2-linework.mov

On top of this sketch I draw the line art.

Then I add the colors. For this picture I started with the background color using a big brush size. I try to treat the colors like I would paint with traditional media. So I add many layers and leave the colors underneath.

https://kathytemean.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/hello2021-video-3-addingcolor.mov

FINISHED ILLUSTRATION:

2021 Interview Questions with Andrea Stegmaier

How long have you been illustrating?

I started illustrating in summer 2017.

What and when was the first piece of art you created for money?

The first piece I illustrated for money was a page for Bravery Magazine’s second issue. I think I did the illustration in December 2017.

What University did you attend in Germany?

I first studied Psychology at the University of Mannheim for one year, then I studied German and History of Art at the University of Stuttgart for three years and finally switched to Architecture which I finished with a Diploma in 2009.

Did you study German because you want to be a writer?

I studied German because I love books and I wanted to become a teacher. I planned to visit an Art School, so I could become a teacher for German and Art, but I didn’t get a place at the State Academy of Fine Arts.

Why inspired you to study architecture?

I think Architecture combines many of my interests. Studying Architecture was exciting and inspiring. you could have classes in drawing, building history, structural engineering, architectural theory, building physics and I even once visited a class where we explored the room through dancing.

Have you ever taken any illustrating courses?

When I first started illustrating in 2017 I visited an online class at “Make Art that Sells” it was called “Illustrating children’s books”. I took this class three times. I think it really helped me to gain some confidence which I needed, because I was self taught and wanted to know how publishing and kidlit worked.

Did your university help find you a job in architecture?

No, not directly, but I got my first job through a recommendation from a scientific staff.

What kind of architectural things did you do during your 10 years in that industry?

I worked in offices where we did a lot of public buildings, for example Universities, Schools and Museums. I often did design the facades and the interiors.

During those ten years did you illustrated any books for European publishers?

For the last two years I reduced my working hours in the architectural office so I could also illustrate books.

When did you decide you want to illustrate for children?

I read a lot of children’s books during my life and I knew I wanted to be part of that world.

Was Ella May Does It Her Way, published in June 2019, the first book your USA illustrated?

Yes it was the first book I ever illustrated. It was published in UK and in the USA.

How did you get that job?

I got this job through my agent Nicole Tugeau from Tugeau2 Art and Literary Agency.

How did you connect with Nicole Tegeau at Tugeau2 and how long have you been with her?

Nicole contacted me through Instagram, where I had posted my work for the picture book online class.

Is Nicole responsible for your contract to illustrate, If You See a Lion by Karl Newson and published in Aug, 2020?

Yes. It was for the same publisher as “Ella May does it her way”, they wanted to work with me again.

Then you followed that up two months later with AAAlligator!by Judith Henderson in Oct 2020. How hectic was it to illustrate two books at the same time?

When I started with “If You See a Lion” I already had finished all the drawings for “AAAlligator!”. The publishers have very different amounts of time between the date they set for the final illustrations and the publication day.

Working on two books at the same time works pretty well, when they are in different stages of the process.

Then you followed that up this year with We Are All Under One Wide Skyby Deborah Wiles in June 2021, published by Sounds True. I am not familiar with them. Did they just start doing picture books?

I think they already had a few picture books in their catalogue. It’s a publisher concentrating on themes like Mindfulness, Yoga, Meditation, … for grown ups. Just a few months ago they started Sounds True Kids, so I think there will be more picture books in the future.

I noticed you have another book titled, Home by Tonya Lippert coming out in February, but there is no cover shown on Amazon, yet. Are you still working on the book?

I think that’s just a problem with Amazon. On the German and the UK page there is a cover visible. I finished the whole project in June and can’t wait to see it printed.

You are the illustrator for Children of the World by Nicola Edwards coming out next May. There is a cover on Amazon for this book. Does that mean you are finished with all the illustration?

Oh yes, these illustrations were all finished last year. The book will be published in Italian, German and Portuguese before it is published in English in May. Illustrators need to have a lot of patience and Authors need even more 🙂

Do you sell your artwork online?

No, not yet.

You have a large amount of illustrations on the Internet and you have an agent. Do you still work on your portfolio?

No, not regularly. I mostly use the work from the books to keep my portfolio up to date.

What do you feel helped develop your style?

I’m not sure. It was never a conscious decision to have a certain style. I just draw all the time and this is what happens.

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate a picture book?

Yes, someday in the future I want to do that.

Have you ever tried to illustrate a wordless picture book? 

No, not yet but I think it’s great.

Have you illustrated anything for children’s magazines? 

Yes, for Bravery Magazine, Ladybug and a whole story for a German picture book magazine called Gecko.

Do you have studio in your house? 

Yes, I have a whole room.

I see you are a finalist for the Georgia Children`s Book Awards, University of Georgia. How did you get considered with this award? Does the award involve them buying and distributing the book to school?

You can’t apply for that award. The books are nominated for the awards by teachers, media specialists, and other children’s literature enthusiasts from the state of Georgia.

Is working with a self-published author to illustrate their book something you would still consider?

I would consider working with a self-publisher if it would be in a professional way, with a contract and with an advance.

I know you will have many successes in your future, but what do you think is your biggest success so far?

Thank you very much! My biggest success is that I could quit my job in an architectural office to fully concentrate on illustrating and still can contribute my part to the family income.

What is your favorite medium to use?

I love sketching with my expensive pencils in cheap notebooks and then taking the drawings to color with my Ipad.

Has that changed over time?

No.

What type of Graphic Drawing Tablet do you use when illustrating?

I draw on an Ipad.

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

I try to do daily warm-up sketches in my sketchbook.

Do you take pictures or research a project before you start?

Sure. I love that part.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Definitely! It accelerated every step a lot. I’m even not sure if I would have been brave enough to send out my work to agents or even would have found out how and where to start as an illustrator.

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

Write and illustrate a book which fosters the love for books in kids.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a series of middle grade books and on exciting new picture books which I can’t wait to share with the world.

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

I’m really in love with the pencils from Blackwing. They are expensive but it’s so much fun to sketch with them and I like the dark strokes they are making. I’m using the black Palominos.

For me, using cheap notebooks instead of sketchbooks, really helped me to make a mess and don’t take sketching too seriously or even be afraid to ruin a wonderful sketchbook page.

Any words of wisdom for new illustrators?

Draw, draw, draw as much as you can, there is no shortcut. Draw what you love. Don’t overthink it, have fun.

Andrea, thank you for taking the time to answer the interview questions and showing us your process. Please let me know about your future books and successes so I can share them with everyone.

You can visit Andrea using the following links:

WEBSITE: https://www.andreastegmaier.com/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/andrea_stegmaier/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/sinuleeillustration/
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/andreastegmaier?lang=en
AGENCY: https://tugeau2.com/andrea-stegmaier

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 15, 2021

October Agent of the Month: Janine Le

October’s Agent of the Month – Janine Le from the Sheldon Fogelman Agency

Janine Le

Sheldon Fogelman Agency

Janine Le joined the Sheldon Fogelman Agency in 2010 and continues to assist in rights, contracts, and accounting as she expands the list of clients with whom she works. She enjoys the balance of creative-minded and business-minded work and knew she had found her niche in the field when she interned at an agency and realized the agent is the author’s biggest advocate. Janine graduated from Bucknell University with honors in English (Creative Writing) and completed NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute. She is accepting submissions for fiction and narrative nonfiction picture books through YA. She has served as faculty for SCBWI events and is also open to conference opportunities.

What She Wants:

Across the board:

  • stories and illustrations with emotional resonance!
  • originality (unique twists, fresh styles/approaches)
  • great voice (we see through a distinct point of view that draws the reader in)
  • engaging writing (rich sensory details, puns, or interactivity that add to the story)
  • like poetry, I love when form matches content in all genres
  • swift reads (compelling voice, well-paced plots rather than non-stop action. Shorter book/chapter word counts)
  • writers and artists who take their craft seriously and wow with revisions
  • diverse perspectives (BIPOC, Latinx, disabled, chronically ill, neurodiverse, immigrant, refugee, adoptee, multiracial, religious minority, LGBTQIA, etc.)

Some particular interests:

  • joyful stories (though I always welcome tough subjects, I’d like to see more joy in my inbox)
  • contemporary (romance, adventure, coming-of-age)
  • historical featuring less common settings
  • fantastic elements (surrealism, magical realism, mythology, mysticism rather than high fantasy or hard sci-fi)
  • narrative non-fiction, including subjects that broaden children’s views on science & culture (especially story-driven)
  • novels-in-verse
  • well-developed secondary characters (glimpses of each character having their own story)
  • humor that doesn’t rely on gags or the protagonist being the butt of the joke
  • complex relationships (characters navigating hurdles in friendships/dating/family relations rather than always-the-loner stories or characters who accept abuse)

For illustrators:

  • expressive characters
  • visual narratives
  • styles that are softer yet bright & vivid
  • strong use of light and shading, texture, backgrounds, layouts
  • professional artists crossing into kidlit
  • author-illustrated picture book dummies and graphic novel proposals

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PART ONE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JANINE LE:

When did you decide you wanted to become an agent?

I was intrigued by the agent panel at NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute and met with the agencies at their career fair, which led to an internship in the children’s department at another agency. There, I really fell in love with agenting. I was in awe of the career-long relationships agents build with authors and illustrators and how they work for creators.

How did you get the job with Sheldon Fogelman Agency?

I tried to keep my options open to all of children’s publishing, but things really fell into place here because it was such a good fit for my experience and interests, and it definitely helped that one of the agents I interned for put in a good word for me!

Did you have to move to New York City for the job?

I moved to NY for my internship. When I started at SFA, our office was in midtown located across from Bryant Park and the main NY Public Library. Fortunately we shifted to work-from-home pre-pandemic.

Do you have a limit on number of clients you will represent?

Yes, I need to be sure I’m leaving enough time for each client, so we have to be very selective and only take on work we truly love and clients we feel we can help build a career.

Any story or themes you wish someone would submit?

I want to work with innovators and with stories that pack a punch emotionally. I am also always seeking diverse perspectives.

Which do you lean more towards: Literary or Commercial?

More literary. I want to be pulled in by the quality of the art and writing. The agency has represented a lot of classics, and I want to work on such enduring titles.

Do you think it is okay for an author to write novels and picture books? Or do you feel it is better to focus on one age group and genre?

I am open to clients who do both, but if someone is working in multiple genres, I like to see the full range of what they’re working on before signing, because we need to be committed to representing all of their work. It’s best to pitch one project (or two for picture books) but briefly mention what else you’re working on in your query.

What do you like to see in a submission?

If you’re a picture book writer, please include two different stories. For novels, the first three chapters. For illustrators, a portfolio, and a dummy if possible. Graphic novels do not need to be completed. I like to see a synopsis, chapter outline, sketches, and some finished samples.

How important is the query letter?

The query letter is your opportunity to get the agent excited about reviewing your work! I usually skim query letters as I move them to my submission folder, and if something about a query really catches my attention, I mark it to prioritize, and sometimes I’ll even dive in right away.

Would you have a sample of a good query letter or a link to one you saw on the Internet?

Leanne Hatch’s query is a great example because it’s so concise. It drew me in, and the work delivered!

Dear Ms. Le

As an author-illustrator, I have written UNRAVELED, a 187 word picture book that tells a gentle story of a small boy coming to terms with growing up. It is illustrated in a loose, modern style that I thought you might appreciate.

Mama knits Cole a baby blanket. It’s an instant bond. But when the blanket comes unraveled, so does Cole. Is he getting too big for a blanket? How can he ever give it up?

I am an artist working in the textile and apparel industry, where I create graphics and prints for children and teens. I am also an active member of SCBWI. My book dummy is attached. This is a multiple submission.

Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you!

Leanne Hatch

I loved Leanne’s story my from the first read, and our first call cemented my interest in working with her. We admired a lot of the same illustrators, and I could tell she was very professional in how she’d gone about getting into children’s books, even though she was still brand new to it. Leanne says, “I remember feeling so unprepared to talk to you so I always give the advice to others to have a list of questions ready.” (I also always make a list of questions before talking to a potential client!)

Do you have any tips on how to find comps of book to use in a query letter?

There’s no one right way to do comps, but I tend to find comp titles that are in a similar vein stylistically more useful than those that are about the same exact subject matter. I want to know the type of work you aspire to and whether it aligns well with my tastes.

Any tips on how an author can get you to ask to see more?

Not really. I see a lot of good work, but it’s not all right for me. There has to be something about the story that either makes me request immediately or keep coming back to it. It’s kind of like dating in that there has to be a spark!

Will you let people know if you are not interested in their submission?

We are always open to submissions and review each one, but we receive far more than we have time to respond to. We prioritize giving more personalized feedback to those that most resonate with us.

After you request more of a book, how long do you think it will take to respond?

It really depends on my workload, how long the work is, and how much editorial feedback it requires. If you haven’t heard anything from me in six weeks, feel free to check in, and if you receive an offer, please let us know ASAP.

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART ONE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JANINE.

*******

HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR OCTOBER 2021 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “OCTOBER 2021 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you put your name, the title of the piece, and genre: a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult, Non-fiction, contemporary, historical, Sci-fi, fantasy, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document (Make sure you include your name with the title of your book, when you save the first page).

PLEASE name the Word document file by putting 2021 October  – Your Name – Title of first page. Thank you.

REMEMBER: ATTACH THE WORD DOCUMENT AND NOT GET ELIMINATED! Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page.

Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Sending it to my hotmail account will probably keep me from seeing it and including you in the running.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be passed over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: OCTOBER 22nd. – noon EST

RESULTS: OCTOBER 29th.

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH JANINE:

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 14, 2021

Book Giveaway: JUST BE CLAUS by Barbara Joosse

Barbara Joosse has written a new picture book, JUST BE CLAUS, illustrated by Kimberly Barnes and publish by Sleeping Bear Press. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky US winner.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Barbara and Renée.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Even as a baby, sweet little Claus seemed different. He didn’t cry like the other babies and with his rosy cheeks and round little belly, he was a jolly soul. His grandmother declares he is precisely perfect! But as Claus grows, the little boy worries that he is different from other kids: he has a loud hearty laugh, he likes to wear red all the time, and his favorite hangout is the workshop with his grandmother. And at hockey, he helps the other team win because he doesn’t want the players to feel bad. When Claus confides to Grannie that he’d rather be more like the other kids, she tells him his differences make him special. She tells him to be himself, “Just be Claus.” Claus is sure Grannie is wrong. But then a snowstorm threatens to ruin Christmas. Can Claus figure out a way to use what makes him special to help save the holiday?

BOOK JOURNEY:

Three days at a Holiday Fare created the perfect storm: I have a fizzy little brain and for three days, I’d been sitting still for countless, ticking, mindnumbing hours. Now it was Packer Sunday and all the shoppers were home, glued to the tube, eating chips and cheese curds!! Beside me was my pal and illustrator, Renee Graef, both of us selling and signing occasionally, but mostly watching shoppers trickle by in their Santa hats.

I should have been delighted with enforced relaxation. I had tons of projects on my desk, demanding attention. It seemed I hadn’t relaxed for weeks! But relaxation is over-rated, enjoyed only in very small doses. So Page 1 of 6 my diabolical brain did what it always did with enforced relaxation: it dished up a tasty, irresistible idea.

This time, the idea was a simple phrase, “Just Be Claus.” But because I was bored, the idea seemed positively hilarious, so I yelled to Renee. “JUST BE CLAUS! GET IT? JUST BECAUSE? JUST BE CLAUS??” Renee, I’m pretty sure, groaned. She knew I couldn’t afford to pay attention to a new story. But it was too late. The story was now written on my brain in permanent marker.

For me, stories are 10% inspiration and 90% percolation. (Yeah, ok. The perspiration part is true, too. I go through many, many drafts.) So my idea silently lodged itself in the underground bunker of my subconscious where it gathered little scenes and words and situations. Two years later, it emerged, a newborn babe of an idea, all wiggly and slippery and demanding attention.

“Just Be Claus” was a clever idea, but clever is never enough. I want to write stories with heart, stories that touch kids and give them insight. So I began to think of a little Santa—Clausie!—with all the beloved traits of our hero, but in a kid. A quirky, red-clothes-wearing, ho-ho-laughing, klutzy, creative, tenderhearted kid. A kid who worried he wasn’t anything like the other kids.

I have a soft spot in my heart for oddballs. I have three quirky granddaughters, little apples that did NOT fall far from the Granna tree.
One is a book nerd. One is a science geek. One is a small goth child. I couldn’t wait to dig into this story and tell Clausie the thing I wanted my granddaughters to believe in the darkest corner of their hearts:

“You’re creative, thoughtful, and generous. The things that make you different are the best things about you. Don’t try to be like anyone else. Just be YOU. JUST BE CLAUS.”

There were a lot of drafts. It was tricky to find just the right tone. I wanted Clausie to sound real, so readers who felt weird, too (roughly, all of them), would recognize themselves in this heart-felt little guy. Because, think of it! If I could make readers recognize their own weirdness in Clausie—the hero of Christmas!—I’d give them hope that their own quirky little traits might one day be amazing!

I consulted with my granddaughter, Marina, well versed in advising her book-writing Granna. I asked her to speak for Clausie. “He’d say, ‘I’m not like the other kids. I’m weird. That makes me feel lonely, like I’ll never fit in.’”

Marina’s words were authentic. I knew it. She’d given voice to most kids’ Big Worry. So this is the way I wrote the passage:
But Clausie felt lonely. His difference made him feel out of place.

One day, Clausie told Grannie his worries. “I’m weird.”

“Wonderful!” said Grannie. “You’re one of a kind!”

“But I don’t want to be weird! I want to be like the other kids.”

A tear trickled down Clausie’s cheek. Dasher licked it off.”

When I sent my manuscript to my amazing editor, she and the copy editor
tagged the word, “weird.”

I felt pretty strongly that I wanted to keep it. Weird rang true. It may have been character correct, but my editor insisted, not sensitive. My editor wanted to change “weird” to “different.”

Authors walk a narrow, twisty little road. We want to be flexible, but we also want to defend what we think is right. I know that publishers keep a close eye on trigger words, for good reason. And especially for kids, who are so often the target of relentless teasing and bullying, “political correctness” should more accurately be termed, “emotional kindness.” While I’m sure “weird” is just what a kid would say to describe his angst, I did not want to perpetuate a word that sparked so much hurt.

So I agreed to the change, accepting the greater wisdom of the other guardians of children’s hearts—my editor and publisher.

In the end, I’m delighted with “Just Be Claus.” After all, I was able to reassure all the kids who felt different, including my own granddaughters, with my happy-ever-after ending:

Back at home Clausie felt as warm and melty as a mug of Christmas cocoa. Grannie was right! He didn’t need to be anybody but himself. His differences were the very thing that helped make others happy.

BARBARA’S BIO:

Barbara M. Joosse is an American children’s writer. She has been writing for children for over thirty years. She has published fifty-four books for children, both picture books and chapter books. Through her writing, she aspires to find the things that are the same, and the things that are different, between us all.

She has toured worldwide to promote her books, which have been translated into twenty-eight languages and attended college in Wisconsin, first at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and received her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She attended University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee from 1977-80, taking creative writing classes. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Council for Wisconsin Writers.

KIM BARNES’ BIO:

Kim Barnes is a UK based illustrator. She graduated from Lincoln University, England, She is the illustrator of the Sparkella series written by Channing Tatum (The One and Only Sparkella and The One and Only Sparkella Makes a Plan). Kimberley Barnes with a first class degree in Illustration from the University of Lincoln. She lives near the sea on the Isle of Wight, her childhood home with her fiancé and two children, two children, Leo and Cameo.

Her love of drawing began at a very young age and has lead her onto a career in illustration, specializing in children’s illustration, as she loves to relive her childhood through the stories that she creates and works with.

She is represented by the wonderful Bright Agency and has worked with clients such as Little Tiger, Top That Publishing, Igloo, Macmillan Education and more. Contact them via the link below for enquiries.
Bright Agency- Kim Barnes

Barbara thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love Christmas picture books. What fun to read a story of Santa as a child and to see how he feels different than the other kids. I am sure this will appeal to many children and help them realize how being different can be a good thing. Barbara did a wonderful job providing the illustrations that help tell the story. Gook luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

BOOK WINNERS:

Danielle Hammelef won ROCK AND VOLE by Jennifer Sattler

Rosi Hollinbeck won TAD LINCOLN’S RESTLESS WRIGGLE: Pandemonium and Patience in the President’s House by Beth Anderson

Jennifer Merrifield won A QUEEN TO THE RESCUE, THE STORY OF HENRIETTA SZOLD, FOUNDER OF HADASSAH by Nancy Churnin

Please send your address to Kathy(dot)temean(at)hotmail(dot)com Thanks!

*******

OPPORTUNITIES:

2021 Writing and Illustrating Book Extravaganza Feature

I always end the year with a book giveaway extravaganza. If you have a book that you would like to be featured and can send the winner a copy, please email me to let me know you would like to be featured. You will need to write up your journey with the book, send me your phot and bio, plus send me six interior art .jpgs (at least 500 pixels wide). These spot fill up fast, so make sure you snag a spot early. Please title the email 2021 Book Extravaganza Feature. Thank you!

*******

The Sukenick

$1,500 and publication by FC2. Open to writers of, from, or in the US writing in English who have not previously published with FC2.

Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest

Eligibility

The FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest is open to writers of, from, or in the US writing in English who have not previously published with FC2. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. There is no length requirement. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included. Translations and previously published or self-published novels and collections are not eligible. To avoid conflict of interest, employees and Board members of FC2, as well as former or current students or close friends of the final judge, are not eligible to enter.

FC2 remains dedicated to recruiting new and diverse makers of the images of tomorrow and to forging an ever more representative and provocative collective to challenge and overwrite the brutal conventions of our insufficient now. We particularly encourage submissions from writers who dismantle assumed points of view and dominant narratives.

Prize

The Prize includes $1,500 and publication by FC2, an imprint of the University of Alabama Press. In the unlikely event that no suitable manuscript is found among entries in a given year, FC2 reserves the right not to award a prize.

Judges

Finalists for the Sukenick Contest will be chosen by the FC2 Board of Directors. The winning manuscript will be chosen from the finalists by our final judge, Marream Krollos. Selection criteria will be consistent with FC2’s mission to publish fiction considered by America’s largest publishers too challenging, innovative, or heterodox for the commercial milieu, including works of high quality and exceptional ambition whose styles, subject matter, or forms push the limits of American publishing and reshape our literary culture. For more information on FC2’s mission, history, aesthetic commitments, authors, events, and books, please visit our About page.

Guidelines

Entries for the 2021 contest can be submitted beginning August 15, 2021 through November 1, 2021. The winner will be announced in May 2022.

  1. Submit a previously unpublished manuscript of any length through our online submissions manager. Electronic submissions only.
  2. The manuscript must be anonymous. The author’s name or address must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. The title page should contain the title of the manuscript only. Pages should be numbered consecutively. Files should be uploaded as a MS Word document or PDF.
  3. Please include a cover letter, including a brief biography and your name and contact information, in the space allotted on the submission form.
  4. Include a $25 submission fee. Submission of more than one manuscript is permissible if each manuscript is submitted separately and accompanied by a $25 submission fee. Simultaneous submissions to other publishers are permitted, but FC2 must be notified immediately if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

*******

The Doctorow

$15,000 and publication by FC2. Open to writers of, from, or in the US writing in English with at least three books of fiction published.

Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize

Eligibility

The FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize is open to writers of, from, or in the US writing in English with at least three books of fiction published. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. There is no length requirement. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included. Translations and previously published or self-published novels and collections are not eligible. To avoid conflict of interest, FC2 authors and employees of FC2, as well as former or current students or close friends of the final judge, are not eligible to enter.

FC2 remains dedicated to recruiting new and diverse makers of the images of tomorrow and to forging an ever more representative and provocative collective to challenge and overwrite the brutal conventions of our insufficient now. We particularly encourage submissions from writers who dismantle assumed points of view and dominant narratives.

Prize

The Prize includes $15,000 and publication by FC2, an imprint of the University of Alabama Press. In the unlikely event that no suitable manuscript is found among entries in a given year, FC2 reserves the right not to award a prize.

Judges

Finalists for the Doctorow Prize will be chosen by the FC2 Board of Directors. The winning manuscript will be chosen from the finalists by our final judge, Cristina Rivera Garza. Past judges include Renee Gladman, Shelley Jackson, Mary Caponegro, Rikki Ducornet, Percival Everett, Laird Hunt, Stephen Graham Jones, Ben Marcus, Carole Maso, Stacey Levine, and Sam Lipsyte. Selection criteria will be consistent with FC2’s mission to publish fiction considered by America’s largest publishers too challenging, innovative, or heterodox for the commercial milieu, including works of high quality and exceptional ambition whose styles, subject matter, or forms push the limits of American publishing and reshape our literary culture. For more information on FC2’s mission, history, and aesthetic commitments, please visit our About page.

Guidelines

Entries for the 2021 contest can be submitted beginning August 15, 2021 through November 1, 2021. The winner will be announced in May 2022.

  1. Submit a previously unpublished manuscript of any length through our online submissions manager. Electronic submissions only.
  2. The manuscript must be anonymous. The author’s name or address must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. The title page should contain the title of the manuscript only. Pages should be numbered consecutively. Files should be uploaded as a MS Word document or PDF.
  3. Please include a cover letter, including a biography, your name and contact information, and a list of three previously published works of fiction with ISBNs and publishers, in the space allotted on the submission form.
  4. Include a $25 submission fee. Submission of more than one manuscript is permissible if each manuscript is submitted separately and accompanied by a $25 submission fee. Simultaneous submissions to other publishers are permitted, but FC2 must be notified immediately if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

*******

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 12, 2021

Book Giveaway: Once Upon a Christmas by Dawn Young

Dawn Young has a new picture book, ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS, illustrated by Kenneth Anderson and published by Worthy Kids. It is available in bookstores on October 19th. Dawn has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Dawn and Kenneth.

If you have signed up to follow my blog, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Turn “Ho ho ho” into “Ha ha ha” with this zany Christmas picture book featuring Santa, Bigfoot, Little Red Riding Hood, unicorns, dragons, and more!
In Once Upon a Christmas, the Three Bears’ Christmas party gets off to a rocky start: Bigfoot can’t stop photobombing, the dragon burns the fruitcake, and Jack Frost inadvertently triggers the storm of the century–knocking Santa’s sleigh off course and straight into a lake! A soaked St. Nick finds eager helpers in the partygoers, a varied cast of mythical creatures and familiar fictional favorites. The unlikely team rescues the sleigh, just in time to continue the festivities and get Santa on his merry way. Humorous twists and action-packed illustrations will make this story an instant family classic for the Christmas season.
ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS BOOK JOURNEY:

In 2017, I read a post by the wonderful Kathy Temean informing us that WorthyKids Publishing was seeking holiday stories, so I submitted THE NIGHT BAAFORE CHRISTMAS, and in Oct 2019, it was published. Soon after, THE NIGHT BAAFORE EASTER and THE NIGHT BAAFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL were published too. Thank you, Kathy!

Then one day, my editor asked if I’d be interested in writing a holiday story that would cross mythical/fairy tale characters with holiday celebrations with humorous results, and my response was… “Absolutely!”

I immediately got an idea, based off a fractured fairy tale I had written, and the story started to come together. Full of holiday traditions, puns and wordplay, ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS was festive, fun and humorous. It had fairy tale characters and nursery rhyme characters, but, as my editor so kindly reminded me, it was missing something – the mythical characters. I had gotten so carried away with the story, that I lost sight of the original idea, so it was time to get back to work. I have to admit, I was a bit stressed. I had to get that story out of my head and figure out a way bring the mythical and fairy tale worlds together. After a few sleepless nights and some dead-end ideas, I finally got it. A party! Parties can bring everyone together, including fairy tale and those elusive mythical characters.

At first, I had the Three Pigs hosting a giant celebration and Santa stumbling upon the Three Bears’ house, but there was way too much going on for a 32-page picture book. I had to cut it down and found myself faced with the possibility of having to remove my favorite part. Determined to find a way to keep it, I moved party locations and removed some characters and lines, and ended up with what is now ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS, and my editor loved it.  As for those characters and lines that got cut, they’re quietly waiting their turn, hoping that someday there will be another ONCE UPON A…story.

In the meantime, I learned that Kenneth Anderson was going to be the illustrator and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. His work is amazing. His illustrations are fun and festive, enchanting and magical. They make ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS the perfect addition to everyone’s holiday collection!

DAWN’S BIO:

Dawn graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and later with an MBA.  For years, Dawn worked as an engineer and, later, as a manager at a large aerospace company, until her creative side called her to pursue her dream of writing children’s books. After reading and writing hundreds of corporate documents, none of which were titled The Little Engineer Who Could or Don’t Let the Pigeon Fly the Airbus, Dawn is thrilled to now be reading and writing picture books instead.

Dawn is also a math enthusiast. When she’s not busy writing and reading, she can be found doing math problems, sometimes just because… In high school, Dawn’s dream was to have a math equation named after her, but now, she believes having her name on the cover of books is a million times better! Dawn lives with her husband, three children and golden retriever in sunny Arizona. Dawn is an active member of SCBWI and many other children’s writing groups.

www.dawnyoungbooks.com

https://twitter.com/dawnyoungPB

https://www.instagram.com/dawnyoungbooks/

https://www.facebook.com/dawn.young.1865

KENNETH ANDERSON:

Kenneth is a character designer and illustrator based in Scotland with 16 years’ experience working between games, animation and illustration. He works predominantly as a character designer for children’s TV animation and has also turned his hand to board games, magazine illustration and more recently, children’s picture books.

Kenneth’s specialties are story driven and character based illustration and character design for a variety of mediums, in particular children’s television development and picture books.

He has a background in traditional 2D animation having worked on Sylvain Chomet’s Oscar nominated film “The Illusionist” (2010) as an inbetweener followed by animating on the French feature, “Titeuf: Le film” (2011).

In 2009 he started his business Character Cube with the aim of becoming a freelance character designer and illustrator. He has since worked with numerous companies around the world such as Nick Jr, Seasame Workshop, BBC Ceebeebies, Brown Bag Films, ImagineFX and others on a wide variety of projects.

He is represented world wide by Lemonade Illustration Agency.

You can visit him at:

www.charactercube.com

https://www.instagram.com/charactercube/

https://www.facebook.com/kennethandersonart/

Dawn, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I am so happy you keep coming up with books two add to this series. This looks like another winner filled with fun and hijinks. Kenneth’s illustrations add to lively Christmas party. Kids will love this book. Good luck with it! 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 11, 2021

DHH Literary Agency: Hannah Sheppard – Agent – Director

Hannah Sheppard
Director – Agent – DHH Literary

Hannah Sheppard studied English Literature at the University of Liverpool where she set up a small poetry press in her spare time. She has since spent over a decade working in trade publishing: first at Macmillan Children’s Books and more recently running Headline Publishing Group’s YA and crossover list where she published Tanya Byrne’s critically acclaimed Heart-Shaped Bruise.

She joined the D H H Literary Agency in 2013 because she realized that being an agent gave her more time to do what she loves most – using her editorial experience to help writers develop their ideas for commercial success.

Hannah represents authors across children’s fiction (from 9+ including teen and YA) and a small number of adult fiction authors (her main interests are thrillers and romance). Hannah does not​ represent picture books.

She likes stories that push the boundaries, have a strong voice and, often, a dark edge – although she’d love to find a great contemporary romance too.​

Follow Hannah on Twitter: @YA_Books

Submissions: Please send your cover letter, first three chapters (or about 10,000 words) and a synopsis all pasted into the body of your email in that order (rather than sent as attachments) to hs.submission@dhhliteraryagency.com and put ‘Query’ and your title in the subject field.

General DHH Literary Guidelines:

DHH is always excited about finding new clients and do read all of our submissions but please remember that our first priority is to our current agency clients and the majority of our time is spent working for them so this may take some time.

Your submission should include:

A covering letter. Tell us about your novel (including total word count), where it sits in the market, and about yourself and your writing ambitions.
A brief synopsis. We prefer a single page synopsis – outline the whole story, no cliffhangers.
Sample of your writing. The first three chapters or about 10,000 words, typed (size 12 is ideal) and double spaced.

They will endeavour to respond to all submissions within 8-16 weeks of receipt but this timescale isn’t always possible. If you haven’t heard from us within 16 weeks you can assume your manuscript is no longer under consideration. Please do not call the office regarding your submission.

If they request the full manuscript to read they will aim to respond within 30 days.

Please Note:

We only accept submissions electronically. Submissions posted to the office will not be considered for representation and the material will be discarded.

Please do not send the same proposal to all of us. We all have individual taste and areas of expertise – read our profiles and choose the best agent for your work.

Unless we feel suitably passionate about your work, a standard email will be sent. This allows more time for reading and consideration of submissions. It does not mean your work is un-publishable, just that it’s not right for us. Keep trying other agents.

​If you would like to know what we recommend after receiving a rejection, you might find this page useful.

​Please don’t call the office. If you want to check on the status of a submission a polite email to the address you submitted to is the best way.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

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