Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 30, 2022

Book Winners – Writing and Illustrating’s Spring Vitual Writer’s Retreat Info


Danielle Hammelef won Good Morning Sunshine by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Lindsay Hindman won SOME BODIES by Sophie Kennen

Rosie Hollinback won STORY QUILTS: Appalachian Women Speak by Shannon Hitchcock

Melanie B won MENDING THE MOON by Emma Pearl

Winners send your addresses to Kathy(dot)temean(at)hotmail(dot)com


Did you realize that Writing and Illustrating’s Holiday Book Extravaganza started last week? There is a great line-up of daily wonderful books.


Agent Charlotte Wenger – Prospect Agency

Charlotte received an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons. Prior to joining Prospect Agency, she was an associate editor for just over two years with Page Street Kids, where she acquired and edited more than twenty picture books and grew relationships with authors, illustrators, agents, and other editors.

As an agent, she loves working with debut talent and building relationships with the authors and illustrators she represents and the industry professionals she works with. She has, also, mentored Simmons MFA students.

She is interested in working with authors and illustrators of children’s books—board books through YA, but especially picture books—as well as adult nonfiction, particularly biographies and memoirs. She brings the same mindset to agenting that she did as an editor, valuing the developmental and relational work that goes into creating successful stories and fostering long-lasting collaborations.

Charlotte’s open to representing writers and illustrators of children’s books—board books through graphic novels and YA, but especially picture books—as well as adult nonfiction, particularly biographies and memoirs.

Picture books:

Sports narratives
Global stories
Performing arts
Social awareness and justice
Informational fiction

She is looking for authors and author-illustrators with strong writing skills and distinct art styles. In narrative picture books (fiction and nonfiction), she looks for well-developed characters with distinct voices; a strong plot with an earned resolution; and a clever, unexpected, yet satisfying ending. She is always open to stories that break formula and just work – that have that special something that you can’t quite put your finger on – either in the art or the words. She likes both prose and poetry, but she is typically not a fan of rhyme unless it feels authentic to the tone of the story.


Sibling and family stories, especially those with nontraditional or underrepresented family structures
Magical realism and contemporary fantasy
Historical fiction

Young Adult:

Contemporary with strong female characters, complex relationships
Novels in verse

She is always on the lookout for what hasn’t been done yet – stories that haven’t been told and voices that haven’t been heard.

She’s NOT the best fit for:

Military/war nonfiction


Agent Megan Manzano – Steven’s Literary

Megan fell in love with reading and writing from a young age. She grew up to receive a BA in English with a minor in philosophy; eager to stay as close to books as possible. With several years of publishing experience under her belt, she currently works dual roles as a marketing manager for Trade books and a Literary Agent at D4EO. She has previously mentored for the Pitch Wars class of 2018 and the RevPit 2020 contest. She is now an agent with Stephen Literary and is actically building her list.

Megan represents middle grade, young adult, and adult literary fiction across multiple genres. She is a sucker for atmosphere (in setting and in tone), voice that leaps off the page, characters who will make me laugh and cry all at the same time, and a deep exploration of interpersonal relationships.

Traditionally underrepresented creators are encouraged to query me! Your voices and stories are needed by so many readers.


  • Contemporary: Give me darker contemporary with complex family dynamics or odd jobs or shadows lurking in a forest. I’d also love to see fluffy contemporary stories about friendships, developing first crushes, beginning to question/learn about your identity and quieter plots – ie stories with more personal and character driven stakes. Anything that explores what it means to grow up is a favorite of mine and really important for younger reads to have in their hands.
  • Thrillers: She’d love a mystery set in a small town, a survival thriller, a story driven by an unreliable narrator, a group of misfits working together to solve a case, or a thriller blended with speculative elements.
  • Romance: Give me more diverse romances: best friends to lovers, slow burn, and stories that make me feel good while reading and have happy endings. If you have a queer rom-com, please send it immediately! Romances that are in the backdrop of a speculative world are more than welcome too.
  • Fantasy: Give her light fantasy, magical realism, and everyday society with a spark of magic. Bonus points if you have Fae! She’s NOT accepting high fantasy at this time.


  • Her tastes in literary fiction are best summed up with Erin Morgenstern, Morgan Rogers, Madeline Miller, and N.K. Jemisin. She loves great prose with characters at the forefront. She’d especially love to see queer relationships, stories with some kind of speculative element, unusual settings, an exploration of family/found family, and dark academia.
  • While literary fiction is preferred for adult, I’m open to stories that lean upmarket.

Elements I’m always looking for:

  • Queer Rep
  • Stories by BIPOC authors
  • Neurodiversity
  • Polyamory
  • Teens who don’t go to college
  • Sex positive stories
  • Gray Morality/Anti-Heroes
  • Slow burn relationships
  • Angst
  • Mental health rep
  • Soft/Geeky Characters
  • Strong friendships/sibling relationships


Agent Regina Bernard-Carreno, Ladderbird Literary Agency

Regina has left Martin Literary Management and is now an agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency. She holds a PhD in Education from the Graduate and University Center at the City University of New York, and graduate degrees in African American Studies from Columbia University and Philosophy from the Graduate Center (CUNY). Below is what Regina is looking for:

Middle Grade: Regina is seeking chapter books and middle-grade novels dealing especially with adventures, solving mysteries, and facing/overcoming hardships and developing friendships.

Graphic Novels: Regina is looking for Middle Grade, Young Adult, and adult graphic novels. She’d love to see more writers of color telling stories of MG & YA and has her eye out for BIPOC creators in this genre. For adult graphic novels, Regina is interested in projects in the vein of Marjane Satrapi’s work and projects in that spirit telling of immigrant stories.

Young Adults: Regina would love to receive rom coms of all kinds. Think Hallmark cards and movies geared towards young adults, complete with heartbreak, friendships, and triumph.

Non-Fiction: In non-fiction, she’s open to seeing true crime projects (No crimes against children or graphic gore against women/children) as well as memoir. Regina also loves cookbooks that help the reader travel to new places. She wants to see cookbooks that have personal narratives tied to them, whether that’s a personal story woven throughout, cultural traditions and practices, and/or dishes that tie together cultural memories. She is also accepting submissions for artisanal projects such as crafting (think knitting, sewing, crafting, home-gardening/homesteading, apothecary/healing, and alternative health practices).

Picture Books: From authors-illustrators.


Agent Kristen Terrette – Martin Literary Management.

Kristen is a literary manager/agent excited to build her list featuring titles in middle grade, young adult, female-driven crime thrillers, faith-based books, and the occasional picture book with an author/illustrator.

She has a BA in Early Childhood Education and MA in Theology and Religious Studies which led her into children’s ministry for many years. Eventually, her lifelong love of books and authors drew her back to her original dream of entering the publishing world. Kristen is a multi-published author and freelance writer. She’s held such positions as the Blog Manager for a national women’s ministry and the Social Media Manager for a publishing house. All these components landed her a spot in the coveted Writers House Intern Program. There, she received valuable hands-on agenting and publishing experience which she brings into her new position.

Kristen has long been a voice for diversity. She’s written extensively on topics of racial reconciliation and unity and is a facilitator of groups around these topics in her church. In all her focused genres, she welcomes books with BIPOC or disabled main characters and diverse friendships. She believes books change people in all the best ways and that every child should see themselves in the pages.

Kristin is intered in the following:

Middle Grade (All subgenres except Sci-fi): Kristen hearts Middle Grade. She would love to see books tackling themes like abandonment, bullying, loneliness, comparison, divorce, and body image but done so by instilling hope, growth, and healing. Send her the creepy, horrifying, supernatural, fantastical, historical, and contemporary. She is ready to see it all.

Young Adult (All subgenres except Sci-fi): Kristen’s background in writing YA and her extensive reading in this genre has given her a great love and understanding of it. Grab her attention within the first couple of pages. Send her books with first loves, unique friendships, interesting and/or challenging family dynamics, and hard-hitting subject matter (race relations, suicide, abuse, divorce, etc.) but leave her with a satisfying (not necessarily happy!) ending.

Women’s Crime Thriller: Kristen loves a good thriller with a woman main character, so send her the smart, tough, and brave lady crime solvers. If she can’t figure out what’s going to happen next or what the ending will be, you’ve gotten her attention.

Faith-Based Fiction and Memoirs: Kristen loves a good redemption or forgiveness story, a historically accurate saga, a clean and beautiful, yet realistic love story, or a memoir that has her crying and laughing within the span of a few pages. Surprise her with the beauty of God’s grace.

Picture Books with Authors/Illustrators: Picture books are an important part of establishing a love for literature at an early age, though, at this time, Kristen is only looking for authors who are also illustrators. If your work fits these criteria, she’d love to see it.

Kristen is not a good fit for Science Fiction (even in MG or YA), books with any political agenda, extremely foul-mouthed characters, or gratuitous sex scenes.


Everyone who attends receives two agent critiques: A full manuscript critique and a 25 page critique, plus a group first page session with two agents. Plus optional participation in an assigned writer’s group.

Novel Writers Receive: A One hour full manuscript novel critique up to 72,000 words – Plus, one 30 minute 25 page critique with a second agent. Also includes a first page session, plus an optional critique group (must read the other writer’s manuscripts to participate.)

Spots are limited. Please email: Kathy.temean (at), Put 2023 Spring Virtual Writer’s Retreat in Subject Box. Please include a little blurb about your manuscript – what you write and what you plan to submit – and I’ll will get back to you.

Cost: $800
Deposit: $400 – final Payment by February 15th
Manuscripts Due: February 15th

Writers can choose to be assigned to a critique group prior to submitting their manuscripts. Writer’s in groups will read each other’s manuscripts. Each writer will get an hour to discuss their manuscript with the other writers in your assigned group. I will try to limit a group to four writers. Can’t tell until people start signing up how the groups will lay out. Group participation is optional.

Please note: If I add another agent or editor, anyone will be able to ask to be moved to the new addtion.

If you want to be assigned a critique group, you will need to sign up in time to work with a group. It take time to read each others manuscript and then take that feedback and revise before the manuscript deadline. So sign up early.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I’m so excited! Thanks for picking me. I love everything Shannon has written and have been hearing so much about this book. YAY! Congrats to the other winners too.


  2. Thank you! I believe I already sent my mailing address to you weeks ago.


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