Saturday, April 25, 2020

Four agents at Raven Quill Literary seek kid lit ~ Picture Books to Young Adult

No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen,
represented by Raven Quill

Raven Quill Literary Agency

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Raven Quill Literary Agency was founded in 2020 by Jacqui Lipton. The agency specializes in children’s literature, picture books to young adult. All four agents at the agency are looking for authors. Three of theme are quite new to agenting, and like all new agents, they need authors.

Lori Steel will be accepting submissions only until May 1, 2020. After that, check back with Raven Quill to see when she reopens for submissions.
Lori’s experience runs the gamut from school librarian to freelance editor to intern/assistant with two kidlit agencies. She holds degrees in history and education, as well as an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she currently serves as Coordinator for their Oxford/Bath summer residency program.
Lori represents fiction and non-fiction for young readers. Across all age groups and genres, Lori seeks stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope, and illuminate the shared human experience. She represents fiction and non-fiction for all young readers from picture books to young adult and is actively building her list in all genres except horror.
More specifically, for MG/YA, Lori is interested in representing contemporary stories that make enduring connections and reflect the ever-changing world inhabit. She would love to see meticulously researched historical fiction that flips conventional interpretations and extends the conversation—along with narrative nonfiction that illuminates a little-known slice of history or unique perspective. For fantasy, she finds it hard to resist folklore-inspired tales and earthy world building. In all genres, she has a soft spot for settings that seep off the page, stories with musical themes, unconventional structures, and verse novels.
For Picture Books, Lori is particularly interested in manuscripts crafted with spare text, play with structure, and utilize collusion to engage participation with an emphasis on texts that don’t underestimate young readers. She is searching for whimsical, lyrical, surprising, and/or humorous stories that young readers will beg to read over and over again.
Query Lori through the agency’s online query manager here.

Kelly Dyksterhouse holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults for Vermont College of Fine Arts and has interned as an editorial reader at leading literary agencies and worked as an independent developmental editor and writing mentor. She considers the opportunity to help bring books into existence to be a great honor, and it is a particular joy for her to work alongside authors as they develop their project from idea to polished manuscript. The best feeling of all is when those manuscripts end up as books in the hands of children.
Kelly Dyksterhouse joined Raven Quill in February of 2020, coming from over five years of interning for literary agents. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She represents projects spanning from picture books to young adult in all genres and has a collaborative and editorial approach to her client's work.
Submit to Kelly through the agency’s query manager here.

Kortney Price graduated with a B.A. in English from Greenville University in 2014. Since then she has internedwith several prominent literary agencies, worked as an agency assistant at Holloway Literary and was an associate agent at Corvisiero Literary. She found her home with Raven Quill in January of 2020 and is building up her list of wonderfully talented authors. Kortney specializes in books for children from picture books through young adult with an eye for all things dark and spooky to light and fluffy.
In picture books, she’s a sucker for anything either humorous or emotionally poignant. She has a soft spot for unique retellings and the absurd. My favorite picture books of all time growing up were The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Heckedy Peg, Tacky the Penguin, and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.
For early reader and chapter books, she is looking for just about anything. Amelia Bedelia was her all time favorite. Magic Tree house-type books are also a favorite. She loves history in these stories and would love to see more books geared toward boys in this realm.
The Painters of Lexieville by Sharon Darrow
represented by Raven Quill
In middle grade, she’s still more than a little obsessed with finding a wilderness survival story. “Show me kid versus nature, whether it be mountains, desert islands, or jungle,” says Kortney. “I’m dying to find something in this realm.” Otherwise she’s looking for super creepy horror, poignant contemporary, historical adventures and troublemakers on the space station type of sci-fi.
In young adult, she’s looking for the same kind of survival stories as in middle grade. For Kortney, contemporary YA should be either lighthearted romance with a good dose of comedy or a much more serious contemporary tackling topics that are much heavier such as dealing with trauma.
Kortney’s main wish in YA is for more horror, magical realism, psychological thriller, genre blending historical… basically all of the stories you avoid reading when home alone. She adores stories with a distinctly gothic feel, hauntings, psychological cat and mouse games, or other dark and twisty elements.
Like everyone else, she is “incredibly passionate about diverse representation in the books I work with. It’s not mandatory, but for me all of those uniquely special brains or bodies that don’t operate like everyone else’s are some of the best people in the world and I am determined to ensure these communities have representation in the books they read.”
Kortney tweets here.
Submit to Kourtney through the agency’s query manager here.

Jacqui Lipton is the Founder of Raven Quill Literary Agency and previously worked as an Associate Agent and intern at several leading kidlit agencies. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A law professor and attorney with American and international experience in commercial and intellectual property law, she is the author of Law & Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers (University of California Press, 2020). She also writes columns on legal issues for writers for the SCBWI Bulletin, Luna Station Quarterly, Catapult Community Page, and Savvy Authors and is a frequent presenter on these issues around the country. 
Jacqui is currently seeking submissions for middle grade and young adult, both fiction and nonfiction.
While she’ll consider all genres within kidlit, she has a particular interest in science fiction, a good contemporary romance, retellings of classic stories, and mysteries of all kinds. She’ll consider fantasy and urban fantasy, although (sorry to say) dragons and high fantasy aren’t really her thing so if you’re the next George R.R. Martin, you might be better off submitting to someone else!
Submit to Jacqui through the agency’s query manager here

Anne Shone, Executive Editor,
Scholatic Books
If you’re interested in writing for children, don’t miss the Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop with guest speaker Anne Shone, Executive Editor, Scholastic Books, Saturday, Sept 12, in Alliston. See here.

In the meanwhile, though, the best way of upping your game as a writer may be with a weekly course. This summer, Brian Henry’s offering an Introductory course and two Intensive courses, one of them online and, so, accessible anywhere in the world:
Burlington: Welcome to Creative Writing, Wednesday afternoons, July 8 – August 19.   Details here.
Online: Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, July 7 – Aug 25.  1st reading emailed June 30. Details here.
Georgetown: Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings, July 8 – Aug 26. 1st reading emailed July 1. Details here.

Beyond that, Brian’s post-pandemic workshop schedule continues to take shape:
Southampton, Ontario
Southampton Art School: Join me in this lovely beach town on Lake Huron for two workshops: How to Build Your Story, Saturday, July 25 (see here) and How to Write Great Characters, Sunday, July 26 (see here).
Oakville: "You can write great dialogue," Saturday, Aug 8. Details here.  
Collingwood: "You can write great dialogue,"  Saturday, Aug 15.  Details here.
St. Catharines: How to Make Yourself Write,"  Saturday, Aug 22.  Details here.
Alliston: Writing for Children and for Young Adults with Anne Shone, Executive Editor, Scholastic Books, Saturday, September 12. Details here.
Evan Brown
of Transatlantic Literary Agency
Toronto: How to Get Published with Evan Brown of Transatlantic Literary  Agency, Saturday, Oct 3. Details here.
Guelph: How to Get Published with literary agent Paige Sisley of CookeMcDermid, Saturday, Oct 24. Details here.
London: How to Write Great Characters, Saturday, Oct 31. Treats for everyone in costume.  Details here.
Jackson's Point: Writing Retreat at the Briar's Resort on Lake Simcoe, Friday, Nov 13 – Monday, Nov 16. Details to come.

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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