Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Powerhouse literary agent Sarah Davies is looking for new authors of Chapter Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult

The Greenhouse Literary Agency

The Greenhouse Literary Agency is a transatlantic agency with offices in both the U.S. and the U.K. It specializes in fiction for children: picture book texts of less than 1,000 words; high-concept, character-led young series; middle grade novels; young-adult/crossover novels. Very occasionally, a nonfiction proposal will be considered.

Sarah Davies founded the Greenhouse when she moved to the US in 2007 after a long career as a senior UK children’s publisher. She now divides her time between London and New York. Sarah is #2 in Publishers Marketplace’s rankings for US agents selling both Middle Grade and Young Adult (this is only about numbers of deals, not value). And #2 in America for 6-figure deals. She  has recently put out a call for new authors.

I’m on the prowl for a great new writer,” says Sarah. “Or maybe even more than one. I’m greedy like that. I want a big book. Or two. Or three.”

Specifically, she’s looking for the following…

Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston,
represented by Greenhouse Literary
In Young Adult:
Big stories that mix genres. Perhaps alternative history, magic intervening in “ordinary” life. The surreal takes over the regular world. Epic stakes.
Dark fantasy adventure with romance.
Mystery – told in some fresh way (the thriller market is currently tough). I love the idea of a character seeing something that appears mundane but isn’t, with huge consequences, like in the adult novel The girl in the Train.
Non-linear narratives.
Magical realism. Again, magic meets the ordinary.
Retellings of myths from outside European culture.
Different settings, diverse characters, issues – but spun in moving and new ways.
Smart love stories that have a strong hook.  Literary realistic contemporary.
Maybe historical … but it has to have a protagonist who feels very relatable today and a voice that doesn’t feel stiff or false. I’m still seeking my French Revolution novel.

In Middle Grade or Chapter Books:
Concept-led or character-led young chapter-book series with a strong and unique hook; voice is vital here. Around 10K words per book.
In older MG: fantasy adventure, perhaps with clue-solving; a great world and strong concept.
Mystery – again genre-crossing, so maybe a foot in the murder-mystery genre and one in fantasy.
Diversity again – stories of kids who haven’t had a voice.
Magical realism – magic meets the real world.
Standalone novels – classic, charming, voice driven, heartfelt.  Like Rebecca Stead, Kat Yeh, Tricia Springstubb, Leila Howland. And like The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin, coming in September from Little, Brown. Stories that are heartbreaking, timeless, inspiring, while still being about small lives.

Read more about what Sarah is looking for here.

Note: Sarah is closed for queries July 24 to August 17.
After that, query her at:
Put Sarah Davies’ name in the subject line. Include the first five pages of your novel in the body of the query. See full submission guidelines here

Yasemin Ucar
Brian Henry will lead a "Writing for Children & for Young Adults," workshop with guest speaker Yasemin Ucar, Senior Editor, Kids Can Press, on Saturday, September 12, in Toronto (see here).

He’ll also lead "How to Get Published" workshops in St. John, NB, on Saturday, Oct 3 (details here), and in Hamilton on Saturday, Oct 17, with Rachel Letofsky of the Cooke Agency (see here). 

Other upcoming workshops, include "Writing Your Life," Saturday, August 15 in Midland (see here) and Saturday, September 26 in Brampton (see here), "Fall Colours Writing Retreat," Sept 19 - 21, in Algonquin Park (see here), and "How to Make Yourself Write," Saturday, October 24 in Guelph (see here).   

For more information or to register, email:

But the best way to grow as a writer or to get your manuscript ready for publication may be with a weekly class. This fall, Brian will offer a full line-up of six weekly courses for beginners through advanced. See details of all six fall courses here. Or here's the schedule... 
“Exploring Creative Writing,” Thursday afternoons, Sept 24 - Nov 26, in Mississauga (see here).
“Writing Personal stories,” Thurs mornings, Oct 8 - Nov 26, in Oakville (see here)
“The Next Step in Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, Sept 30 - Dec 2, in Burlington (here).
“The Next Step in Creative Writing,” Thursday evenings, Sept 24 - Dec 3, in Georgetown (here).
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, Sept 15 - Dec 8, in Burlington (here).
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, Sept 16 - Dec 16, in Burlington  (here).
For details or to reserve a spot, email:

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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