Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 14, 2021

May Agent of the Month – Lindsay Auld

LINDSAY AULD Agent at Writer’s House

Writers House is one of the largest literary agencies in the world and is known for providing an extraordinary amount of individual client attention combined with the benefits of full service foreign rights and subsidiary rights departments.

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

RECENT SALES / FORTHCOMING BOOKS
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)
HOW TO TEACH YOUR CAT A TRICK, Zoe Si (Tundra)

If you have a manuscript that you feel would be a good fit for me, please see my submission guidelines below–I’d love to hear from you.

I accept email submissions only at: lauld@writershouse.com.

Please send a query, along with the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email.

In the picture book category, I am currently looking to represent author/illustrators and illustrators only. Please try one of my colleagues if you’re an author of a picture book text.

For illustrators or graphic novelists, I prefer a link to a dummy or portfolio, or an attached PDF that is less than 3 MB.

I do read each query carefully and will respond as soon as possible. If you haven’t received a response within two weeks, please feel free to follow up. I look forward to reading your work!

*******

HERE IS PART ONE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH LINDSAY:

I read that you started your career teaching 4th grade. Is that what you studied in college?

I actually double majored in English and Africana Studies. In my junior year of college, I spent time working with children in Cape Town, South Africa, and I think that experience, in part, led me to want to do the Teach for America program after graduating.

I know you work with Writers House in California. Did you live in CA while working for Harcourt Children’s Books?

Yes, I did. It was wonderful working there and I really enjoyed it. We’ve actually just recently moved our family back to Southern California, and it’s great to be living here again.

What made you decide to become an agent?

I loved the idea of working closely with authors to help them to develop their work and bring their stories into the world in the best possible way.

How did you get the job with Writers House?

While I was working at Harcourt Children’s Books, I mentioned to a friend in publishing that I’d love to work at a literary agency. As it happened, she saw a posting for an opening in the Writers House West Coast office shortly after we had chatted, and she sent it to me. I applied, interviewed, and was thrilled to get the job.

Do you ever fly to visit Writers House in NYC and visit editors?

Yes, before the pandemic, I loved going to NYC and visiting the Writers House office there, and meeting with editors. While I’ve missed doing that this past year, it’s been great to see so many Writers House colleagues and editors on Zoom. Of course, it’s not the same as meeting in person, but it’s nice that people seem more comfortable hopping on video calls now.

What would you like to see from a writer sending you a query letter?

I love query letters that somehow reflect the voice, tone, and narrative style of the book they’re describing. Ideally, the main paragraph in the query letter (the one describing the book) would read a bit like flap copy or back cover copy. If writers are looking for inspiration while drafting their query, it might help to read the back cover copy (or the publisher’s online description) of favorite books that are in the same genre.

How important is the query letter? 

The query letter is a great opportunity for writers to make a strong first impression—to show that they’re professional and thoughtful in their presentation of themselves and their work.

Should the writer try to be funny in their query to you or is it alright to be more business like?

If it’s a funny book, then it’s great if the query is funny too. I love humor! And it’s fine to be more business like too. Again, it’s nice if the tone and style of the letter feel in line with the book that’s being queried.

Do writers need to mention some comps in their query letter?

No, not necessarily–and I’ve read many great queries that don’t include them. That said, if an author does mention thoughtful comp titles, that always stands out to me as it shows they’ve read widely in their chosen genre.

Do you feel it is better for an author to focus on one age group and genre?

I think every author has a unique path, and every situation is different. It really depends on the author’s individual vision for their career. What works well for one person might be completely different from what works best for someone else.

CHECK BACK NEXT FRIDAY FOR PART TWO OF MY INTERVIEW WITH LINDSAY:

*******

HERE ARE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR MAY 2021 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUES:

In the subject line, please write “MAY 2021 FIRST PAGE CRITIQUE” Example: Paste the text in the email, plus attached it as a Word document to the email. Please make sure you put your name, the title of the piece, and genre: a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, or young adult, Non-fiction, contemporary, historical, Sci-fi, fantasy, 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).

PLEASE name the Word document file by putting 2021 MAY  – Your Name – Title of first page. Thank you.

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. Sending it to my hotmail account will probably keep me from seeing it and including you in the running.

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: MAY 21st. – noon EST

RESULTS: May 28th.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. It’s always so great how you feature so many amazing industry professionals, Kathy 😀 ❤

    Like


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