Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 26, 2010

Adams Literary – Josh Adams (Tracey’s Husband)

Josh Adams, together with his wife Tracey, runs Adams Literary, a boutique agency exclusively dedicated to representing Children’s book authors and artists, including many bestselling and award-winning clients. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School, Josh spent years in publishing and media before bringing his editorial and business backgrounds together as a literary agent.

Lee Wind interviewed Tracey’s husband.  I thought everyone would interested in hearing about Josh, since we all love Tracey.  Below is a little from the interview Lee conducted.  Josh will also be at the SCBWI Conference in LA.

Lee: For an as-yet-unpublished writer, is an on-line presence (a blog, facebook friend count, twitter following, etc…) important to you?

Josh: Not at the expense of the quality of the writing. It’s not something we particularly seek out, but if an aspiring author has a site or online presence, we’ll definitely check it out and take it into consideration as part of the big picture.

Lee: For illustrators, is there something different that you’re looking for in a physical portfolio versus an online website/portfolio?

Josh: I prefer visiting an online portfolio, where it’s easier for me to see a full range of work. What I’d look for in a physical portfolio is the texture and media of the works.

Lee: Small versus large literary agency. You and your wife Tracey are closer to the small end of the spectrum. What do you see as the pros and cons of small versus large?

Josh: Tracey and I—and Quinlan Lee, too, who works closely with us—love being a part of what we call a boutique agency. Tracey came from larger agencies before we started Adams Literary, but it has never been our desire to be a large agency. We much prefer working collaboratively with our authors and artists than managing a large staff. I think a boutique agency can offer every advantage of a large agency, with a more personal approach—and, in our case, one that is focused exclusively on the children’s and YA market. The only disadvantage—and it’s ours, really, not our clients’—is that there is no “off” switch. We are always working, which is why it’s good that we’re so passionate about what we do.

Lee: There’s a puzzle for writers when trying to find that “match” with an agent. On the one hand, we’re told to look at the books of an agent’s current clients to see if we’re ‘apples to apples.’ On the other hand, if you already represent apples, might you not prefer kiwi, so you have something different?

How would you suggest writers tackle finding the best “match?”

Josh: While I’d highly encourage writers to look at our website and our client list to get a sense of who we are and what literary works we gravitate toward, we certainly don’t look for clones. I always hesitate to mention a specific or favorite genre out of fear that I’ll be deluged with one type of book at the expense of something spectacularly different that otherwise might not be sent our way. I like to be surprised. What we look for is a fresh perspective, a great voice and memorable characters—writing that draws us in, keeps us turning the pages, and provokes us in a compelling and unforgettable way, whatever the genre. We gravitate toward the timeless, not the trendy. Our first criteria is not “Can we sell this?” but rather, “Do we love this?”

If you attend Josh’s workshop in LA, I would love to here about what he had to say.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Hey, Kathy 🙂
    I’m still catching up on weeks of email, including your wonderful blog, and I won’t skip over any of them!
    When I saw Josh and Adams Literary in the subject line, I had to open it. I love Tracey too and coincidentally, recently they were mentioned in Publisher’s Lunch Weekly:

    “Children’s: Young Adult
    Megan Crewe’s THE WAY WE FALL, in which a 16-year-old challenges her fears, finds a second chance at love, and fights to keep her family and friends safe as a deadly new virus devastates her island community, to Catherine Onder at Disney-Hyperion, at auction, in a three- book deal, for publication in Winter 2012, by Josh Adams at Adams Literary (NA).”

    Great stuff 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: