Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 19, 2018

ASK CAT – Graphic Novels

On the third Tuesday Christina or Christy Ewers Tugeau of the Cat Agency will answer questions and talk about things illustrators need to know to further their career. It could be a question about an illustration you are working on, too. Please email your questions to me and put ASK CAT in the subject box.



I’m beginning to think all the industry art ‘questions’ must be answered as we haven’t been getting any this past couple of months!!  I can always just write about the industry of course tapping into 25 years of experience…. but this IS “ ASK CAT.”  I’m here for question answering…..

So for this month, Christy suggested I write about something I know VERY VERY little about!  Odd right?  Graphic Novels. But she has a good point.  Almost everywhere we go with our visits, this genre will come up as so many publishers are looking for artists who are comfortable with this format.  It’s rather like ‘story boarding’ but with more design variations, great character building, and interest.  It’s a lot like comics, but with various types of stories for various ages. Not just super heroes!

We want to encourage you artists to dip your toe into this area/genre if you have ANY interest or curiosity about it at all.   It’s relatively new, it’s different and it’s HOT with most publishers we’ve talked to!  And no one really knows very much about it! …not even the publishers by their own admission. So you can help ‘create’ the look, and the intention and the end result.  How fun is that?

So it seems an interesting place to play a bit!  It might just be perfect for illustrators who tend to strong ‘storytelling’ in each piece of their artwork, but don’t feel they are ‘Writers.’   Use the dialog boxes in the panel illustrations of the ‘graphic’ look to write/tell your story simply.  Very few words, but each panel leads you on in your story telling till you’ve created a written story! The reader experiences the same ‘lead ins.’ There is much experimentation in this area due to the great interest in it.  It’s not only for the middle or teen ages either.  How about a board book utilizing simple speech bubbles maybe in a minimal panel format to lead and train the young eye? Great fun for toddler and parent.   Great also for early readers, 5-7, I’d think, as ‘comics’ have long been used to encourage ‘reluctant readers.’  Readers can focus on the bubble with short text, while gleaming the meaning from the various panel illustrations.  Bringing the story and the images into panel design makes the ‘reading’ more fun perhaps?

So if this summer has put you in the mood for ‘something’ different, perhaps tap into this potentially big market where the ‘rules’ are being written daily….or in fact barely exist, and you can contribute something new!  Go look at what IS being published in this area, and then change it up!  Like I said at the beginning, I know VERY little about this topic.  I have NO ANSWERS…. just encouragement to PLAY!  Now isn’t that freeing for all of us!  enjoy…..

And DO write us with your real questions…(not about Graphic Novels obviously!)

Christina Tugeau
The CAT Agency Inc.

Thank you Chris for another great article. I am sure it will help many in the illustrating community. 

Please help keep this column going by sending in your questions.


Hope this illustration by Adelina Lirius (http://adelinalirius.comwill inspire everyone to send in a question to Chris and Christy. 

Send them to kathy(dot) and put ASK CAT in the Subject Area.

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 18, 2018

Kudos & Book Winners


Here is the link to view the the other regions winners.

BOOK WINNER OF 7 ATE 9 IS PATRICIA NOZELL – Congratulations Pat! Please send me your address!

WINNER OF SNOW DAY by CA NOBENS IS SUSAN WILEY – Congratulations Susan! Please send me your address!


At Random House Children’s, Dani Valladares has joined as editor for the Rodale Kids imprint. She was previously associate editor at Little, Brown Children’s.

Julia Kardon has joined Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency as an agent, where she will focus on literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. She was previously an agent at Mary Evans.

Olivia Bartz has joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as editorial associate.

Alex Star has been promoted to executive editor at Farrar, Straus.

Karyn Marcus will join the Gallery Books Group as senior editor on June 5, moving over from the Simon & Schuster imprint.

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 17, 2018

Happy Father’s Day


Hope you enjoy the illustrations and your day.

Christugeau Dad12
ANA OCHOA –  Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

CHRISTOPHER JACQUES – Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.



Melissa Iwai – Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.





HOLLY HATAM – Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

Christugeau Dad13

PATRICE BARTON –  Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

Christugeau Dad4

NINA MATA – Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

Christugeau Dad5

CONSTANZE VON KITZING –  Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

Christugeau Dad14

ANN IOSA – Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.


Christugeau Dad8

IRENE CHAN –  Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

Christugeau Dad3

LESLEY BREEN-WITHROW – Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.


Christugeau Dad7

PRISCILLA BURRIS – Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

Christugeau Dad11

SHEARRY MALONE –  Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

NINA MATA – Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.


Christugeau Dad10

KELLY KENNEDY –  Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.


Susan Batori –  

dad walking to school no text

Roger Roth –  

MARIA MOLA – Represented by T2 Children’s Illustrators –

happy father's day2015-Kathy

ANA OCHOA –  Represented by The CAT Agency Inc.

Enjoy your day, Dads!

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 16, 2018

Illustraor Saturday – Sarah Beise

Telling a story through drawing, painting and making bright fun stuff is what Sarah has been doing for as long as she can remember. After graduating from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Sarah moved to Kansas City Missouri where she had the privilege of working for a large greeting card company. 

Many of the stories and characters Sarah designs are based on her favorite kids, Maddie and Anwyn -and her special 4 legged friends, Maggie Moo and Mazzie May. You can find these characters and many more on all kinds of products, Sarah’s designs are featured on puzzles, game boards, stickers, gift bags, gift wrap, Greeting cards, fabric, holiday decorations and of course children’s books. 


I carry this little black book with me everywhere. It plays sketch book, memory keeper, and idea recorder. My first sketches are usually found here and are very very very rough.

After the first rough sketch, I usually take a quick picture and get it into Photoshop, so I can move things around. I will print it out and start redrawing in pencil. This is an example of the refined pencil sketch and what I typically send in for review.

Once I hear back about the pencil sketch and if there happens to need any changes, I like to make the change and do a version using grays. I feel it helps me visualize what the final version will look like.

Ta-dah, the final color version! This is a spread from CALLING ALL CARS written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by me!

Interview Questions for Sarah Beise

How long have you been illustrating?

A long time! I got my start while still in college.

What and when was the first painting or illustration that you did where someone paid you for your artwork?

If I remember correctly, my very first paid illustration was for a local magazine in Minneapolis/St. Paul area. It had something to do with the local Jazz scene. I can’t remember how many rough versions I did (MANY) before feeling confident enough to drive over and show the art director. Yes, I did say drive over!  Oh how the computer has changed everything!

Why did you Minneapolis College of art and Design to study art?

I knew someone who had attended MCAD and recommended it. I really liked Minneapolis and was anxious to experience a snowy winter.  I had spent most of my years in North Carolina at that point.

What were some of your favorite classes in college?

I started out in graphic design just for fun I took a illustration class my junior year. I was hooked! I was also lucky because I quickly started getting work.

Did the school help you find illustration work?

Yes, a little but what they really helped me with was getting an internship with the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. Getting this opportunity changed everything.  My freelance jobs really kicked in after that summer.

Do you feel art school influenced your illustrating style?

Absolutely! Art school gave me the opportunity to experiment with many different approaches to art and design. I had some fantastic instructors that really pushed me out of my comfort zone.


Are you a full time freelance illustrator?

I am, and a licensing artist plus graphic designer when needed. I have also been known to do some animation and web work. I enjoy all the hats I wear and feel very fortunate!

How did you start getting illustrating jobs?

Looking back, I feel the internship with the Star and Tribune newspaper was the real starter. Later after a few years of working for Hallmark cards I decided to get back into freelancing.  I focused in on the kids market and started pursuing children’s magazines which basically meant sending them postcard samples and crossing my fingers.

Do you still design greeting cards?

I do, but not a lot. For the last few years I have simply licensed the art and the designers at the companies which licensed the image will do the design work for the final product.

What types of licensing jobs have you work on?

The licensing world has been a big buffet of products. From fabric to paper products (cards, gift bags, table top, stickers) to games and puzzles!  I have even had a few characters developed into 3 dimensional Halloween yard ornaments that light-up.

How did you get the contract to illustrate CALLING ON CARS with Jabberwocky?

I had developed a collection of images for licensing called “Za-Zoom”. I had a lot of success getting these “cars, trucks, airplanes and trains” on all kinds of fun product.  Chris Tugeau of the Cat Agency saw something in these images and thought they could possibly develop into some publishing work.  So, she asked me to develop them into more of a story.  I have to admit… I really never got around to pushing the story line very far but I guess it was enough that Chris kept pushing the images!  After many years Chris emailed me with the good news – I think the subject line of the email was FINALLY!  Ha!

How many picture books have you illustrated?

I’m really not sure. I have done a lot of educational books some activity books. Here are a few:

+Don’t Lose Your Shoes!, Scholastic
Pats Perfect Pizza, Macmillan Mcgraw-Hill
What’s New?, Macmillan Mcgraw-Hill
Prodigal Son, Golden Books
Uncle Howie, Simon & Schuster
Best Friends, Golden Books
Love is in the Air, Golden Books
The Giant’s Sock, Harcourt
Blair and Claire, Harcourt
Mort’s Trip to the Store, Harcourt

Was ADDITION WITH ANNIE your first picture book?

How did book come your way?

Through The Cat Agency.

How did you connect with The Cat Agency?

While at Hallmark I had a office/booth near the illustrator Rob Roth. He knew I was looking to try the Children’s publishing market so he suggested I contact Chris.  He spoke very fondly of her and thought we may be a nice fit.  Rob spoke the truth!

Do you ever exhibit your artwork?

I have not.

Have you done any book covers?

I have for some educational stuff but it was years ago.

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate a children’s book?

I sure do! I actually have a folder filled with quick little sketches of book ideas. I just seem to stay so busy… but some day I hope I can take those ideas a step further!

Would you illustrate a book for an author who wants to self-publish?

I certainly would give it consideration!


Have you done any illustrating for magazines? Which ones?

Years ago I did do some editorial illustration. Mainly for local publications. When i moved into children’s publishing I did work for Highlights, Jack and Jill, Weekly Reader, Time for Kids and recently Cricket Mag.

Have you ever thought about illustrating a wordless picture book?

I have not… but you have me thinking now. This could really be a fun approach!

What do you think is your biggest success?

Being able to make a living doing what I love.

What is your favorite medium to use?

Looking back… I think I most enjoyed illustrating with water color and inks… I also love color pencils! For years now everything I do is digital. Someday I will get the brushes back out and play again!

Has that changed over time?

See above.

Do you have a studio set up in your home?

I do! I love being home and working whenever I want. But there are times when separating home and work takes a bit more effort.  I try to keep regulars work hours… Ha, when I can.

Why did you set up a business with Mindy Pierce?

Mindy and I have shared a website and for many years and we did share a booth at the Licensing Expo and Surtex for quite a few years. But we never actually were in business together.  We certainly have been each other’s cheerleaders and support when projects would turn overwhelming.  I always knew Mindy was there for me and I believe she has felt the same.  It is such a bonus to be able to travel and know someone is there to step in if need be.

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

Not really. I stay pretty busy so I really appreciate the time I am away from my studio.


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

It really depends on the project.



Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

I absolutely do!

Do you use Photoshop or Painter with your illustrations?


I use photoshop and illustrator.

Do you own and use a Graphic Tablet when illustrating?

Yes, I just replaced my intuos 2. It served me well for 10 years! I now have a Wacom Intuos Pro. Love it!

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

I have a fine art side to me that has been tucked away as I have pursued my professional career. Perhaps all the painting ideas I have will eventually surface!

What are you working on now?

I was just in NYC showing my latest collections at Surtex. The next few weeks is all about getting out the designs that were licensed at the show and following up with the new contacts.

Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

Believe in yourself.

Thank you Sarah for sharing your talent and expertise with us. Make sure you share you future successes with us. To see more of Sarah’s work, you can visit her at her website:

If you have a minute, please leave a comment for Sarah. I am sure she’d love to hear from you and I enjoy reading them, too.


Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 15, 2018

Agent of the Month – Linda Camacho Part One Interview



Before Linda Camacho moved to Gallt & Zacker Literary, she was with Prospect Agency and held various roles on the publishing side. After She graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Communication. She’s held various positions at Penguin Random House, Dorchester, Simon and Schuster, and Writers House literary agency. She’s done everything from foreign rights to editorial to marketing to operations, so it was amazing to see how all the departments worked together to bring books to life. Somewhere in between all that (and little sleep), Linda received her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Now at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, Linda continues to work with colleagues and clients who inspire her every day in both the children’s and adult categories.

Besides books, she loves chocolate, travel, and far too much TV. In terms of submissions, She’s pretty omnivorous and indulges in a variety of categories and genres, ranging from picture book to adult, from clean and lighthearted contemporary to edgy and dark fantasy.


• MG and YA, both commercial and literary
• Graphic novels (writer-illustrators only)
• Select Picture Books (writer-illustrators only)
• Adult fiction across all genres (particularly romance/women’s fiction, upmarket/book club fiction, and literary horror)
• Diversity of all types (ethnicity, disability, sexuality, etc.)


How long have you been an agent and how long have you been with Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.

I’ve worked in publishing for about thirteen years. This is my fourth year of agenting, the last seven months of which I’ve been with Gallt & Zacker Literary.

Do you have a limit on the amount of clients you will represent?

There isn’t an amount I’m looking to specifically hit. So long as I can continue to successfully manage my clients’ careers, the number isn’t as important.

What are your favorite genres?

I’m pretty omnivorous, so I can’t really choose one!

Any story or themes you wish someone would submit to you?

I’m open to all kinds of stories—creepy ones, romantic ones, heartbreaking ones, humorous ones, and everything in between.

Do you consider a book with a character between 18 and 25 years old an adult book?

For 18/19, it really does depend on the voice and perspective of the story. For anything above that age, though, I generally consider it adult.

Since you do not represent picture book, would you represent one of your clients who wrote one you liked?

I represent picture books, but very few! And even then, they tend to be writer-illustrators. I’m definitely more of a mind to rep someone who writes in other categories along with picture books and I have several clients who do just that.

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

In children’s books in particular, it’s perfectly okay to write across the categories! One of my clients, for instance, has two picture books and a middle grade under contract, and we’re about to shop her YA.

How important is the query letter?

The query letter is important, so do your best! Having said that, the sample pages are even more so.

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

Make those opening pages shine! Make those pages so good that I can’t resist requesting more. I wish I could be specific in the how, but it’s all subjective. What I might love another agent might not, and vice versa.

How far do you normally read before you reject a submission?

It really varies. I try to read more a page (sometimes a couple), but sometimes I know from the first few lines whether I’m the best person for a project.

Have you ever rejected a manuscript, but gave the writer the option to revise and resend?

Absolutely. I don’t do it as often now because I’ve gotten busier, but I’ve done it in the past. And if a project feels special, I’d do it again.

Any pet peeves?

A pet peeve is when people don’t follow submission guidelines.

Do you let people know if you’re not interested?

Yes, it’s Gallt & Zacker’s policy to respond to all submissions.

How long does it usually take to respond to requested material?

I have to admit, I’m currently a bit behind, but ideally 4-6 weeks.



In the subject line, please write “JUNE 2018 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” and paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it’s a picture book, middle grade, or young adult, 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).

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.

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: June 22nd.
RESULTS: June 29th.

Please only submit one first page a month, but do try again if your first page wasn’t one of the pages randomly picked. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 14, 2018

Opportunity: ABDO Publishing

ABDO is an established publisher of children’s books. They publish a great deal of educational books for children. Currently they are  looking for fictional manuscripts. These must contain educational content and should be focused on children between the ages of 4 and 12. You can get a good idea of what they publish by visiting their website and scanning through their catalog.

If you’ve got a great concept for a children’s fiction series (multiple fiction titles), send ABDO samples of your manuscripts or artwork.

We do not accept any submissions for nonfiction.

Email your submissions to the appropriate address below. If the incorrect email address is used, files may not be received for review.


Most of what they publish are not individual books but a series of books. So they prefer submissions to include the concept for a series and not just an individual book.

In order for your work to be considered for publication, send in a detailed outline of the manuscript and potential series, as well as introduction and two chapters. These two chapters don’t need to be the first two, they should be the two chapters that you consider to be the best.

If you are an illustrator submit three to five pieces that reflect your style and range. These can be hard copies or JPG images. Work will not be returned to you, unless you include a self addressed stamped envelope. Always make sure that everything you submit is a copy and not an original.

Make sure to include a cover letter that includes your particular skills and qualifications. You should also include your publishing history if you have any.

One of the few drawbacks of ABDO is that they do not personally respond to all submissions. If they reject your work they will not necessarily tell you unless you query. Do not query before six months has passed.

Submissions can be made via email or by post. Make sure when emailing to address your submission to the correct editor.

Editor: Candice Keimig – MG
Editor: Heidi Elston – MG and PB

Below are the imprints for higher grades:

Click this link to download both age group catalogs:

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 13, 2018


Page Street Publishing Co. publishes around one hundred original titles a year and is distributed by Macmillan everywhere except Canada, where Manda does the sales and PGC handles the distribution. Each year they try to help local environmental causes, and last year donated nearly 10% of their profits to the Trustees of the Reservation and Greenbelt. They use only sustainable paper vendors and print with environmentally-friendly, soy-based ink. Page Street Publishing Co. was founded in 2012 and is located just outside of Boston.

Page Street started out publishing creative how-to books. They focus on producing top-quality content, cover-to-cover, and back that up with high-quality printing, top-end photography, vivid color reproduction.

They’ve been featured in Publishers Weekly three years in a row as one of the fastest growing publishers in the US. They will publish more than 100 titles next year.

This year they kicked off their young adult list. The titles have gotten strong reviews from Booklist and PW, and their first title being named a most anticipated book of 2018 by Barnes & Nobles. Their new children’s picture book program, Page Street Kids, the children’s illustrated imprint debuts this fall 2018, will be in full swing in 2019 with more than 20 titles on the list. Their goal is to discover talented writers and illustrators who create believable and diverse characters, tell riveting stories that resonate with children and young readers, as well as engage with the vibrant children’s and YA book communities.

Their books are distributed by the Macmillan sales team: a Big Five publisher and one of the best sales groups out there. Their books can be found in every major retailer and most independents, as well as in mass merchandisers like Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s, and special sales accounts such as West Elm and Crate & Barrel, and occasionally QVC, Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.

The national media has recognized Page Street’s success with coverage on NPR, The View and the Today show and in the New York Times. They have a strong social media presence using Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. They support their books more than most publishers, with top PR firms on retainer complementing their in-house resources led by a veteran marketing and publicity director.

Overall, they believe believe the most important way to market a book is to make a great one.

Page Street Publishing has announced two new ventures: an illustrated children’s book imprint and a line of young adult books. The YA list launched in winter 2018 with the publication of two titles. Page Street Kids, the children’s illustrated imprint, will follow with four titles in fall 2018.

Kristen Nobles is heading up Page Street Kids as children’s publisher, and aims to set a particular tone with the imprint from the outset. “The list is art-led,” said Nobles, who was previously art director at nearby Candlewick Press for 13 years. Half of the inaugural titles have been penned by author-illustrators, and Nobles said she remains committed to retaining that approach in the years to come.

Among the first picture book releases are Khalida and the Most Beautiful Song, written and illustrated by Amanda Moeckel, and Contrary Creatures, a visually intricate nature-based title by James Weinberg. Nobles said she is excited to publish books with an artistic approach that children’s publishers used to shy away from. “Kids are pretty visually savvy,” she said. “We used to sort of say, ‘That’s too sophisticated for kids, but if it has stunning visual art, kids will read it.’ ”

Staffers (from l.) Ashley Hearn (YA editor), Kristen Nobles (Page Street Kids publisher), Lauren Knowles (YA editor), and Charlotte Wenger (Page Street Kids editor).

Kiester and Nobles have developed an ambitious schedule for growing the imprint, with a target of 37 titles for 2020. Most recently, they acquired world rights to Hector on June 16, a nonfiction account of the 1976 Soweto, South Africa uprising by author-illustrator Adrienne Wright. To support the growth, Nobles recently hired an additional editor.

For a publisher committed to production quality, having “editorial development coming from an art direction” is a perfect fit, said Kiester, and also “sort of a throwback.” Nobles and Kiester both spent years at similarly minded presses, where much emphasis was placed on production and design. Prior to working at Candlewick, Nobles was at Chronicle Books, and Kiester worked at Black Dog & Leventhal. Both had stints at Workman.

Editors Ashley Hearn and Lauren Knowles said that both of the launch titles touch on subjects that are important to YA readers today, delving into issues of intersectionality and diversity. But the driving editorial vision is even more fundamental. “It’s the craft,” said Knowles.

The editors’ orientation toward craft requires a close working relationship with their authors, all of whom are previously unpublished. “The first launch list is all debut talent,” said Nobles. “It won’t always be the case, but right now it’s what I’m looking for.”

Working at their authors’ sides means that the editors travel to their studios both near and far, meet with them in bookstores, and take their calls at all hours. Nobles said that the interaction helps with keeping authors “on task.” She currently visits one author every two to three weeks.

But she adds that the visitations go beyond simply meeting deadlines, noting that authors and illustrators are often isolated, and that they both like and need the creative energy that comes from discussing their work with her. “They spend a lot of time alone,” she said. “It’s a solitary profession.”

Acquisitions have largely been unagented, and many are being made through the outreach of the editors. Nobles frequently gives talks on her work, and uses the opportunity to keep an eye out for new talent. She said she acquired Khalida and the Most Beautiful Song (cover not available at this time) after author-illustrator Moeckel approached her after a presentation, and handed her a postcard featuring her artwork.

Page Street publishes young adult (YA) fiction (for ages 12 and up), in all genres, and a variety of nonfiction books in such categories as cooking, sports, science, nature, interior design, crafts, and parenting. They also publish children’s books focusing on new talent and artist-led narrative picture books in all genres for ages 4-8, biographies for ages 8-12, occasionally board books for ages 0-3, and visually driven concept books.

Potential authors, can submit their work using the guidelines outlined below. Due to the high volume of submissions, they respond only to authors whose work they want to consider for publication. They’ll review your work as quickly as possible; however, it could take 2-3 months to respond. Please understand they we aren’t in a position to give updates on your submissions will not be able to respond to emails or calls. Please do email them if you have received an offer for your book and would like to rescind your submission. ​

Children’s Books

Please include a query and attach the manuscript as a word document or a pdf sketch dummy, 32-40 pages, in spread layouts. Your query must contain: 1) synopsis, pitch, age range; and 2) an author bio that describes your occupation, publishing history, social media presence, and any other relevant information that pertains to your manuscript. If you are an illustrator, please also send your website. If you are represented by an agent or plan to be, please note this in your author bio.

Email: with the title of your manuscript in the subject line.

Young Adult Fiction

Please include a query (1 page) with the first three chapters of your manuscript in the body of your email. Your query must contain: 1) a book synopsis that includes your novel’s pitch, word count, and classification (literary, historical, fantasy, mystery, etc); and 2) an author bio that describes your occupation, publishing history, social media presence, and any other relevant information that pertains to your manuscript (including any endorsements, if applicable). If you are represented by an agent or plan to be, please note this in your author bio. All submissions must be edited and proofread. Ideally, your manuscript’s length is 60-90K words and your protagonist is 15-18 years old.

Email:  with the title of your manuscript in the subject line. If you are an agent, write AGENTED in the subject line as well.


Potential authors interested in submitting their work for consideration should include an author bio, a short synopsis (no more than a page) of their book concept and approach, samples of their work (recipes/projects/writing sample) if applicable, and any notable media hits or press features. If you are represented by an agent or plan to be, please note that they need to be part of the conversation from the start.

Email: with the title of your manuscript in the subject line. If you are an agent, write AGENTED in the subject line as well.

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 12, 2018


Q:  I have noticed a few major publishing house imprints that accept unsolicited manuscripts have a disclaimer in their submission guidelines, which alludes to them not being liable if they reject my story and then subsequently publish one similar? So how concerned should I be about submitting my work to such publishers?

A:  The short answer to your question is that, realistically speaking, you probably don’t need to be very concerned about submitting work to publishers with disclaimers about subsequently publishing a similar book to the one you’ve written and submitted and had rejected. This printed verbiage is likely a response to the truth that, since there are always so many books in various processes of publication:  creation, submission, layout and design, typesetting, cataloging, printing and warehousing, etc., at the same time, there’s always the thread of a chance something in their house might be similar to a submission they’ve just rejected. Publishers are keen to protect themselves from any thought that they would somehow plagiarize a submitting author’s work, or at least that’s how I am interpreting this.

If you are submitting to a reputable publisher, you have little to worry about in this regard. The key factor in book acquisition is the purchase of an author’s skill at handling a topic or theme, not the general subject of the book itself.  I’ve been in the publishing business for over twenty years, and have never had concern about my work being used without compensation or attribution.  As creators, our job is to make sure to submit a manuscript that is fully polished with a summary of professional background and writing credits.  In short:  sell yourself and your work as a package.

Still, the underlying issue, the question behind the question is bluntly: can a publisher or editor or agent steal my creative work?  For the hint of an answer to that, I did a little research.  Here are some of the bits of advice found:

To copyright or not copyright?  That is a very good question.  Copyright Pre-registration for pre-published work is expensive, and unnecessary in most cases. The US Copyright office itself does not recommend pre-registering your work. They say, “for the vast majority of works, pre-registration is not useful.” It is also expensive at $140 (four times the $35 cost to register a single work by a single author). Even if you pre-register, you still have to register (and pay the registration fee) once the work is published. And, of course, neither registering, nor pre-registering, prevents a person from copying your work. It just gives you the option of legal recourse. You can you can access and download a complete overview of the process to copyright your manuscripts as well as costs required, by clicking on this link to the government agency’s website:

An alternative to protect your work the US Copyright office is to use Creative Commons, an American non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright, but are based upon it. For more information about this option for the protection of your work, go to:

For a very informative overview of the legal and business aspects of the creative life writers lead, I’d suggest checking out 5 Top Legal Issues for Authors and Self-Publishers by Sara Hawkins, an attorney  who understands the world of bloggers, online publishers, and authors:

Another comprehensive overview of the topic is found on the website of co-writer, ghostwriter and publishing consultant, Sally Collings, titled The Book Thief – will a publisher steal my idea? Find it at:–-will-a-publisher-steal-my-idea/#whoiam

Two interesting discussions about the protection of your written work are Someone Stole My Article! What To Do When It Happens To You and Will an editor Steal My Idea?  by Moira Allen.  Here are the links:

One of the best and most comprehensive collection of advice is found in Jane Friedman’s blog entry titled, Are You Worried Your Ideas or Work Will Be Stolen?  Jane has had 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, the essential industry newsletter for authors, and has previously worked for F+W Media and the Virginia Quarterly Review. So, I really trust what she has to say about anything relating to the business side of writing. Here’s the link to her excellent discussion:

Finally, please remember that I’m not an attorney nor do I have any special experience in intellectual property law. Do not consider any of this blog post as a substitute for professional legal advice.  If you have any continuing concern about the safety of your creative work within the submission process, you should ask your own lawyer for his or her views and if warranted, a referral to an attorney who specializes in the protection of intellectual properties.

As always, Happy Writing! Dianne


Dianne Ochiltree is a nationally recognized author of books for the very young. Her books have appeared on numerous recommended reading lists, classroom desks and library shelves. Her bedtime book, LULL-A-BYE, LITTLE ONE, was a selected for the Dollywood Foundation’s childhood literacy initiative, Imagination Library in 2007. Her picture book, MOLLY BY GOLLY! THE LEGEND OF MOLLY WILLIAMS AMERICA’S FIRST FEMALE FIREFIGHTER, received the Florida Book Awards (FBA) Bronze Medal in the Children’s Literature category in 2012 and was chosen for the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer list of feminist literature for girls. Her picture book, IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT, won the FBA Silver Medal in 2013. Her 2015 title, IT’S A SEASHELL DAY, was given the FBA Gold Medal/Gwen Reichert Award as well as the Gold Medal for Florida picture book from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. For more information about Dianne’s books, go to

Dianne, thanks for sharing your expertise with us. Another great article.

REMEMBER: To send in your questions for Dianne. Use Kathy(dot)Temean(at) Please put ASK DIANNE in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,


Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 11, 2018

Full and Half Scholarship Opportunity

The Rafael Lopez and Pat Cummings Merit Scholarships are now OPEN for the 2018
Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books!  

Applications end June 18th!

The Children’s Book Academy is proud to offer merit scholarships for writers and illustrators who identify as being of color, or LBGQTI, as having a disability, who are currently underrepresented in the children’s publishing industry. In addition, we are offering scholarships for low income folks who might not be able to take this course otherwise as well as to SCBWI Regional Advisors, ARAs, and Illustrator Coordinators or children’s librarians who may or may not identify as being of any of these communities above but who do so much to help our field. To have a peek at the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books course click here.

Easy Peasy Scholarship Criteria

Here’s all that you need to do:
1. Using your funniest or most lyrical language, tell us  something lovely about yourself
2. Describe how you meet our scholarship criteria
3. Include your website if you have one, or drop some images labeled with your name into our Google Drive folder
4. Talk about how you are going to give back by helping your fellow students and the Academy by participating in the group and helping us spread the word about our offerings
5. Let us know if you are agented or if you’ve been previously published

This year’s course will be co-taught by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Senior Designer and Art Director (and published illustrator) Andrea Miller and Clearfork/Spork Editor and Art Director (and published/award-winning illustrator) Dr. Mira Reisberg.

Here is the link to apply:

Talk tomorrow,


North Street Book Prize

4th year. Your self-published book can win up to $3,000 plus expert marketing services.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of How to Get Great Book Reviewsand The Frugal Book Promoter

Publish and sell your book today


North Street Book PrizeNorth Street Book PrizeNorth Street Book Prize

Jendi Reiter           Ellen LaFleche         Annie Keithline

Jendi Reiter and Ellen LaFleche offer advice to contestants here.

DEADLINE: June 30, 2018. Submit one or more self-published books in these categories:

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction & Memoir (definition)
  • Poetry (new!)
  • Children’s Picture Book (new!)


  • One grand prize winner will receive $3,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $450 value)
  • The top winner in each category will receive $1,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $150 value)
  • One honorable mention in each category will receive $250
  • We will publish online excerpts (1,000-6,000 words) from all entries that win a prize, along with critiques from the judges

Length limit: 150,000 words. You may submit a collection of short stories or essays as a single entry. No restrictions on age or country. No restriction on year of publication. All contestants receive a free PDF download of The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson and free guides from BookBaby. Read about the winners of our third contest. The results of our fourth contest will be announced on February 15, 2019.

Entry fee: $60 per book.

Click the Submittable button below for full details.


Talk tomorrow,


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