Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 7, 2021


Many of you have been waiting to sign up for the SUMMER FULL MANUSCRIPT VIRTUAL WRITER”S RETREAT. Here is the information. It will take place this summer on July 24th and 25th.

Spots are limited. If you would like to attend, please email: Kathy.temean (at) Put 2021 SUMMER VIRTUAL WRITER’S RETREAT in the Subject Box. Please tell me what you plan to submit Title – Genre – a little blurb about your manuscript, plus what agents you would like to see and I will get back to you. 

Everyone receives a full manuscript critique with an agent (72,000 word limit) and a 25 page critique with another agent, plus a first page group session with two agents.

Price: $750. Space is limited. Need $375 to sign up and secure a spots with the agents you would like to see and get signed up for a writer’s group.

Critique Groups are forming now. Also let me know if you want to participate in a critique group, since it is not required to attend. Not participating does not lower the cost of the retreat.

See bottom of page for more details. Picture book writers and illustrators are welcome.


ANDREA CASSCARDI Senior Agent at Transatlantic Literary Agency

Fiction: Children’s, Commercial, Fantasy, Historical, Middle Grade, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
Favorite sub-genres: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction and Nonfiction, Commercial adult fiction, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary YA, Diversity, Historical Fantasy, Literary Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Andrea Cascardi is only open to submissions by professional referral or by participants in contests or conferences Andrea personally attends.

Andrea is a literary agent with the Transatlantic Agency, representing authors and illustrators to publishers around the world. She has spent her entire career in book publishing, and has happily worked on both sides of the desk: as an editor and publisher, and also as a literary agent. I re-joined the Transatlantic Agency after two and a half years as the Publisher and Managing Director of Egmont USA and expanded my client list to represent writers of adult books as well as authors and illustrators of books for young readers and young adults.

Andrea Cascardi has held senior editorial positions at Random House, Disney/Hyperion, and 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 has 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 NubsA Mutt, A Marine, and a Miracle, and Texas Bluebonnet winner Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus.


Fiction: Children’s, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: History, Illustrated, Memoir, Pop Culture

Sarah Gerton is an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd., building a list of fiction and narrative nonfiction for middle grade and young adult readers. While fantasy is her first love, she’s eager to read YA and MG fiction of all genres, gravitating toward character-driven stories with unforgettable settings. On the nonfiction side, her interests include beautifully written history, reportage, and/or memoir for a young audience. She graduated from Wesleyan University and the Columbia Publishing Course.

She is actively building a list of YA and MG fiction and narrative nonfiction. She’s looking for projects across genres—everything from sci-fi to memoir, as long as it’s for young readers. In all areas, she tends to gravitate to stories that walk the line between literary and commercial, and those with an edge of darkness. She wants to read your scary books, whether they’re dark thrillers, spooky fantasy, true crime, or straight-up horror.

Sarah says she’s a sucker for slow-burn and/or star-crossed love stories. (Note that friendship stories are love stories too!)
In speculative genres, send me your character-driven stories with unforgettable settings. I’m especially hankering for non-royal protagonists, original magic systems, and projects set wholly or partially in the real world. In the realistic/mostly realistic sphere, I’m most interested in dark/gritty contemporary; historical fiction from diverse perspectives; unreliable narrators; and elements of weirdness. If you have a project that incorporates a video game element, dissects toxic masculinity, or makes the suburbs magical, send it my way.

I’m also interested in select narrative nonfiction for a MG/YA audience: beautifully written history like SYMPHONY FOR THE CITY OF THE DEAD, memoir such as FUN HOME that examines everyday life in all its absurdity and poignancy, or a book that cuts straight to the heart of an important societal issue—I’m imagining something like Matthew Desmond’s EVICTED for kids and teens.

LINDSAY AULD Agent at Writer’s House

She is seeking: Picture book, middle-grade, and young adult manuscripts. She particularly loves mystery, fantasy, adventure, historical fiction, nonfiction from a fresh perspective, and stories with humor—light or dark or both.

I started at Writers House in the West Coast office, where I apprenticed with Steven Malk and had the opportunity to work with some of the very best authors and artists in the industry. Before taking time off to start a family, I helped launch the careers of several bestselling and award-winning authors. I’ve now re-joined Writers House and I’m actively building my list.

I’m seeking books in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories, including illustrated and graphic novel submissions. I’m particularly drawn to mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, friendship stories, romance, magical realism, adventure, and books with humor–light or dark or both. Growing up, I loved (and still love) stories by Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary, Madeleine L’Engle, Mildred D. Taylor, Philip Pullman, Katherine Paterson, and E. L. Konigsburg. As someone who is an environmentalist at heart, I would be happy to read submissions with an environmental element or streak. I would also love to see manuscripts from diverse and underrepresented authors and artists. I’ve always been passionate about children’s and young adult literature, and, as an agent, I’m eager to help bring fresh voices, characters and stories to a new generation of readers.

Juvenile fiction
Children’s books
Middle grade
Young Adult
Early graphic novel
Illustrated middle grade
MG and YA graphic novels

A COMB OF WISHES by Lisa Stringfellow (Quill Tree/HarperCollins)
WHAT BEAUTY THERE IS by Cory Anderson (Roaring Brook/Macmillan)
HUSH-A-BYE by Jody Lee Mott (Viking/Penguin)
WHAT IF, PIG? by Linzie Hunter (HarperCollins)
HOW TO BE A ROCK STAR, Lisa Tolin (Putnam/Penguin)
MY FIRST COOKBOOK, Rachel Stubbs (Walker UK)
I’M GONNA PUSH THROUGH, Jasmyn Wright (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
LITTLE ECHO by Al Rodin (Penguin Random House UK)
BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD by Sandra Salsbury (Peachtree)
OH LOOK, A CAKE! by Jonathan McKee (Clarion/HMH)
TWINKLE, TWINKLE, WINTER NIGHT, Megan Litwin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

ANALIEZE CERVANTES – Agent at Harvey Klinger

Analieze is a graduate from Cal State San Bernardino where she studied English: Creative Writing along with a minor in Screenwriting. She has also worked as an Editorial Freelancer for Independent Authors. She started her career as an intern at a New York Literary Agency and was mentored by Saritza Hernandez. She then joined the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency in 2020. Analieze is currently building her own list and is looking for stories in YA and Adult Fiction. She specializes in Sci-Fi, Romance, Thriller, Suspense, and Mystery. Analieze is especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices in the mentioned categories. She currently resides in Southern California with her five dogs.

Middle Grade, Young Adult and Adult Fiction and am actively building my list in the following categories:

Middle Grade:

  • Contemporary (something really cute, out of the box, character desire that molds the MC)
  • Mystery (twists & turns, young detective who has a desire to solve the case, something out of the box, cute voice)
  • Sci-fi (cute voice, a young scientist/inventor on the brink of discovering something that shapes the MC and is meaningful to the MC, think Meet the Robinsons)

Young Adult:

  • Sci-Fi (a Dystopian feel, think Divergent, hacking, neurolinks, AI blend with reality)
  • Contemporary Romance (think If He Had Been With Me and To All the Boys)
  • RomCom (a love story that provides comedic elements, meeting in a unique moment/setting)
  • Mystery (think Riverdale, twists & turns, should not give me any hints)
  • Paranormal (vampires, werewolves, blend of reality & fiction with a love story) No Zombies.
  • Crime Fiction (thorough investigation for murders and other cases, strong MC with a desire)
  • LGBTQ (a love story that progresses over time, no triangles)
  • Thriller/Suspense (cliffhangers, want to be on the edge of my seat)


  • Physiological Thriller/Suspense (think Karin Slaughter’s The Good Daughter)
  • Mystery (twists & turns, want a surprise ending, should not give me hints on who “dun” it)
  • Contemporary Romance (a love story that conquers all, no love at first sight)
  • Romantic Suspense (a love story with suspense elements webbed in)
  • RomCom (a love story that provides comedic elements, meeting in a unique moment/setting)
  • Paranormal (vampires, witches, etc. blend of reality & fiction with a love story) No Zombies.
  • Sci-Fi (soft sci-fi, blending the two worlds)
  • Crime Fiction (want to feel connected to the MC and clearly shows MC’s desire to solve a case)

KELLY PETERSON – Agent at Rees Literary

Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children’s, Fantasy, Historical, Humor, LGBTQ, Middle Grade, Military, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
Favorite sub-genres: #ownvoices, Adult, Contemporary Fantasy, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary YA, Diversity, High Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, LGBTQIA, MG, MG adventure, Paranormal, Steampunk, YA, YA Science Fiction

Kelly is a West Chester University graduate with a B.S.Ed in English and Literature. She worked as a Junior Literary Agent for two years before moving to Rees Literary Agency, continuing to champion her authors and the manuscripts she loves. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies.

Kelly is excited to be expanding her client list and finding new authors who have a strong story to tell.


Below is the cost and what you would get for that price:


For Novel Writers: One full, one hour manuscript novel critique up to 72,000 words – Plus, one 25 page – 30 minute critique with a second agent – Also, an hour to discuss your manuscript with the other writers in your assigned group – $750.

For PB Writers &/or Illustrators: One hour, four picture books critiques not over 25 pages total – Plus, one 30 minute picture book critique with a second agent – Also, an hour group critique session to discuss your manuscript with the other writers in your assigned group – $675

Please email: Kathy.temean (at) Put 2021 SUMMER VIRTUAL WRITER’S RETREAT in the Subject Box. Please tell me what you write and what you plan to submit Title – Genre – a little blurb about your manuscript, plus what agents you would like to see and I will get back to you. Plus let me know if you want to participate in a critique group. Groups will be limited to four writers, so you only have to read and critique three manuscripts. Everyone in the group will get an hour with the other writers in the group who have read your book and ready to discuss your manuscript.

Not participating in a critique group does not lower the cost of the retreat.


Talk tomorrow,


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