Friday, November 11, 2011

Andrea Brown Literary Agency seeks juvenile lit

The Andrea Brown Literary Agency was founded in August 1981 and has offices in the San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The agency specializes in juvenile books. In fact, nearly 98% of projects are either juvenile fiction or nonfiction.
The two most junior agents (and hence the two most in need of authors) are Mary Kole and Jennifer Mattson:

Mary Kole, Associate Agent
Mary joined the agency in August, 2009. She has also worked in the children's editorial department at Chronicle Books and earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco. Mary is passionate about exciting, high-concept story ideas and editorial work. With all of her clients, she uses her well-honed editorial eye to develop each project to its full potential. Mary lives in Brooklyn and operates the East Coast office of the agency.

At this time, Mary is only considering young adult and middle grade novels and truly exceptional, funny, quirky and character-driven picture books (she especially loves working with author/illustrators). She's seeking fresh, unique voices and idiosyncratic characters who, by book's end, are more flesh than fiction. Her favorite stories are upmarket, high-concept, character-driven and well-plotted...featuring a mix of fast pacing, emotional resonance, and beautiful writing. In essence: literary spark with commercial appeal.

While she's not interested in high fantasy (think Tolkien), she would love to consider realistic/contemporary, character-driven fantasy (think Graceling), urban fantasy, action/adventure, issue books, romance, light science fiction, and absolutely unique paranormal (no vampires or werewolves or Greek mythology), and humor manuscripts. She is especially looking for horror, ghost, mystery, dark/edgy, thriller and dystopian tales.

One of her favorite genres is magical realism: a story set firmly in our world, only with a twist—something that turns "reality" on its ear—to make things more interesting. Favorite themes include: family, home, unlikely heroes, discovering one's voice, and finding one's equilibrium after a big life event. Mary adores manuscripts that make her laugh, make her tear up or punch her in the gut. She also loves YA stories of friendship, romance, and betrayal; manuscripts full of those "first time" moments that make teenage life electric and unforgettable.

For all projects, voice and character development are absolutely essential, as is a high-concept or upmarket commercial premise. Make sure your manuscript is as strong and polished (revised, revised after feedback, revised again) as possible. She looks forward to reading your work!

Check out some of the books Mary is representing here.

Query Mary at
Paste the text of your picture book or the first 10 pages of your middle grade young adult fiction into your email. Author-illustratos should include 2 or 3 illustration samples (in jpeg format), and text of picture book, if applicable

Jennifer Mattson, associate agent

Jennifer comes to Andrea Brown Literary Agency after nearly five years of reviewing children's literature as part of the staff of Booklist magazine. That adds up to close readings of around 1,000 books, lending Jennifer a wide-angle view of the tastes of individual houses. Prior to Booklist, Jennifer was an Associate Editor at Dutton Children's Books.

In the picture-book arena, Jennifer is interested in authors and author-illustrators who bring a distinctive, well-developed point of view to their work; at this time, she is not acquiring illustration-only clients. She loves picture books that are story time-ready stories (no one-joke tales or mood pieces) that resonate with universal childhood experiences and concerns; fables and folktales aren't for her.

For the older set, she is drawn to richly imagined fantasies that depart from old-hat heroic quests (alternate realities, magical realism, and steam-punk are all styles/premises to have recently caught her notice). She has a special interest in dystopian fiction for middle graders and in sprawling, atmospheric tales with Dickensian twists and satisfying puzzles. But as much as high-concept novels pique her interest, the most mind-blowing premise can't hide a flat narrative that rarely reaches for unexpected descriptions, fully fleshed characterizations, or a zinging narrative voice.

Recent fiction sales include Tom Leveen's second contemporary-realistic YA novel Zero, following up Party (both Random House); and Jenny Meyerhoff's comic middle-grade The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger (FSG). Recent picture book sales include author-illustrator Gail Page's How to be a Good Cat, the latest entry in her picture book series about Bobo the dog (Bloomsbury); and Ten on a Sled, a picture book written by Kim Norman (Sterling).

Query Jennifer at: Paste the text of your picture book or the first 10 pages of other fiction into your email. Author-illustrators should include 2 or 3 illustration samples (in jpeg format), and text of picture book, if applicable.

Andrea Brown Literary Agencye home page here. Full guidelines here. 

Brian Henry will be leading a "How to Get Published" workshop on Saturday, December 3 in Oakville with guest Ali McDonald of The Rights Factory literary agency (see here).

Also, Brian will lead a "Writing for Children and for Young Adults" workshop in St. Catharines on January 14, 2012 (see here).

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, OrangevilleGravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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