Clelia Gore, Literary & Media Manager
It was when Clelia first read Charlotte’s Web in the first grade that she got hooked by the magic of books. Her love of children’s books carried through adulthood and she is delighted to dedicate her life to bringing quality books and stories to young (and whimsical adult!) readers.
Clelia is originally from the suburbs of New York City. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Boston College. She received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law and practiced law as a corporate litigator in New York City.
In 2011, she decided to dedicate her career to books and reentered graduate school at Emerson College, where she received a master’s degree in Publishing and Writing. While she was studying publishing and taking creative writing courses at Emerson, Clelia gained firsthand experience in the publishing industry working in the children’s book division at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and in academic books at Oxford University Press. She also taught academic writing and research courses to freshman students as a graduate student faculty member at Emerson College.
Clelia attends writing and publishing conferences. She also sits on the board of directors for Poetry Northwest magazine.
What I represent, in the most general terms:
- Picture books, including baby books (both from authors and author-illustrators)
- Middle grade fiction and nonfiction, including early readers and chapter books
- Young adult fiction and nonfiction
What I would love to come across in my email box right now:
- I am very keen on developing my YA clientele this year. I’m mostly interested in reality-based YA featuring a strong voice (high importance!), memorable characters, resonant themes and a pitch perfect premise.
- Middle grade requirements same as with YA! Although I am more open to fantastical elements and adventures.
- I always appreciate YA or MG stories that have a basis in history or true events–as long as the time period is thoroughly researched. Unusual or unsung parts of history are always interesting to me.
- YA or MG memoirs or narrative nonfiction. Specifically, I would love to see a YA memoir related to the modern Native American teenage experience.
- Authors/illustrators with a large social media following, Instagram or YouTube in particular.
- YA true crime to play off of the success true crime has had in the adult world with series like Serial, The Jinx and Making a Murderer. Preferably with a happy ending since we’re dealing with real young people.
- YA or MG magical realism a la Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Isabel Allende. A good recent YA example of this style is The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.
- Charming, quirky, tongue-in-cheek YA similar to the movie Amelie
- In the mood for a summer camp love story
- Quirky, funny picture books that feel thoroughly modern.
- A picture book about a non-anthropomorphized llama or an alpaca (i.e. in the wild, i.e. not Llama Llama). I love llamas and alpacas!
- Picture books featuring animals we haven’t seen much of in kid lit before (like an okapi!)
- Anything about Alexander Hamilton for any reading level. My husband is obsessed with this founding father (he was way ahead of the trend!). I once threw him an Alexander Hamilton-themed birthday where we visited all of the AH sites in New York City and New Jersey, and destroyed some BURRitos for lunch as vengeance against his dueling partner.
- Nonfiction for all age groups and genres! Educational, memoir, historical, biographical, STEM-related. I do a lot more nonfiction than the average kid lit agent and I’d like to keep it that way.
- Nonfiction teaching kids in a clever, unconventional way like the recent Never Insult a Killer Zucchini or the upcoming Who Wins? 100 Historical Figures Go Head-to-Head
- I’m interested in promoting diversity in children’s literature. Across all genres, I am interested in characters and voices that are not often heard from. I’m from a multicultural family myself, and know what it’s like to be a kid and not see yourself represented in the books you read. A book like Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown would have been so important to me!
What I am not looking for (sorry!):
- Adult anything. If you have an adult nonfiction query, consider my colleague, Sharlene Martin, who specializes in that genre
- New adult (college through 20s character experience).
- Hard fantasy or sci-fi
- Protagonist finds out she/he has a magical/paranormal ability on his/her birthday YA or MG (flooded/fatigued market).
- Dystopian YA or MG (flooded/fatigued market)
- Picture books where the moral leads the story, lesson-based books (trade publishers don’t want these either)
- Rhyming picture books (I find them cloying, sorry!)
- Manuscripts that have not been through a thorough editing process, that have not been seen by eyes other than the author’s
Check out my submission guidelines at my agency’s website: http://www.martinlit.com.