Andrea Cascardi agent with Transatlantic Literary Agency has held senior editorial positions at Random House and Disney Publishing, and was an agent with Transatlantic for ten years before returning to the Publisher role at Egmont USA.
As an editor she acquired and edited Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King winner Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold, the Raffi Songs to Read series, and Pura Belpre winner Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez among many other award-winning books. As an agent she represented many bestselling and award-winning titles including Clare Vanderpool’s Newbery winner MOON OVER MANIFEST and Printz Honor winner NAVIGATING EARLY, e.E. Charlton-Truillo’s Stonewall winner FAT ANGIE, New York Times Bestseller NUBS: A MUTT, A MARINE, AND A MIRACLE, and Texas Bluebonnet winner TEN RULES YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT BREAK IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE THE SCHOOLBUS by John Grandits.
HERE IS PART ONE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA:
Are there any genres that are of less interest to you?
I’m less interested in straight sci-fi and I don’t represent adult nonfiction or horror.
Do you have any story or theme that you wished someone would submit?
No, I prefer to be surprised.
What do you like to see in a submission?
I like to see a thoughtful query letter that shows the writer knows how to present themselves professionally and has looked at my submissions interests and thinks we might be a match. The submission. The submission should be as clean as possible (occasional typos are ok, but a manuscript riddled with grammar and technical issues is not). It should be complete.
How important is the query letter?
It’s an important tool for the author. A strong query will stand out, especially when many submissions are coming in at the same time. Make your book’s hook clear in the query.
Any tips on how an author can get you to ask to see more?
If an author does their homework so they know that what they are sending me is in my submissions wishlist, they are halfway there. Beyond that, it’s hard to be more specific, because other factors may be involved, such as what else I have in from my current clients.
How far do you normally read before you reject a submission?
I wish there was a “normal” but it depends on the manuscript. I’ve read as few as five pages and as much as the entire manuscript before coming to a decision.
Would you lose interest in a submission if the writer missed correcting a few misspelled words?
No. But if a manuscript is filled with misspellings to the point where I have to assume the writer hasn’t bothered to re-read it at all, then that would be an issue.
Do you let people know if you are not interested in what they sent?
Yes if I request to see it.
WHAT ANDREA LIKES:
Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction. I have eclectic taste, so my submissions wish-list is broad-ranging, but any fiction submission must, first and foremost, have a compelling voice driving the story. Beyond that, I look for smart writing, and amped-up emotions: for example, if you’re writing a warm, heartfelt story, I want it to leave me emotionally spent at the end. Ditto for romance: I want to feel the heat! I’m hoping to discover funny books that literally make me snort with laughter throughout. And books that take unexpected turns that surprise or shock me in a good way. I look for unique yet relatable characters, and I want those characters to come from a full range of diverse backgrounds and time periods. I’d also love to see boundary-pushing stories (in subject, or in how the story is told), cuspy MG/YA, magical realism, dark humor (emphasis on the humor), literary, and clever commercial fiction.
I am open to nonfiction for young readers of all ages, and I’m keen to find innovative presentations and compelling, creative nonfiction that illuminates a broader topic by viewing it through a smaller lens. I’d like to see some “out there” nonfiction ideas that dazzle with their brilliance yet connect immediately with kids.
Author-illustrators: I’m excited to bring new storytelling talent into the field, as well as to work with artists who have experience in other fields such as animation or editorial work and are ready to send their own projects into the world. Also Illustrators: I am looking to add illustrators to my client list. Please query with a link to your website or online portfolio.
Picture books: As of August 3rd I will be closed to picture book text-only submissions. I will revisit reopening to picture book text writers once I am up to date on current queries. I do represent picture books, but please note that I represent authors, not individual texts. I especially love books that put a fresh new twist on evergreen situations and that have an immediacy for the child. Great hooks with exceptional writing will get my attention, as will truly lyrical writing applied to a seminal moment in a child’s life. I am open to being surprised. Please query me before sending a text or attaching it to an email.
Adult fiction. I’m a voracious reader, and I’m looking to represent what I’d love to read, which for lack of a better term I will call commercial women’s fiction. As with children’s fiction, it must be superlative in one or more ways: smart, fierce, emotionally-hooking, funny, clever, diverse…the bar is high but I’m eager to discover exciting new voices. Please note that I do not represent adult science fiction, crime, erotica, or horror. I do not represent adult nonfiction.
Andrea is reviewing queries only. Please do not send complete manuscripts unless requested. Here is Andrea’s website: www.andreacascardi.com.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES For FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:
In the subject line, please write “September 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).
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: September 22nd
RESULTS: September 30th
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!