Thursday, January 24, 2008

Agent News I Swiped from Chuck...

If you haven't visited Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents blog lately, you've missed some children's book agents news. I've stolen a few pieces of news from his blog that might interest you. (He said it was OK. I wouldn't borrow from someone's blog without asking. Plus he's my co-worker and I'm his boss, so it's all good.) If you're looking for an agent, I encourage you to bookmark the GLA blog and visit it regularly. Chuck is really on top of things and continually offers useful, up-to-date info.

Stimola Literary Studios, LLC, has a new e-mail and Web site. The new site includes information on submissions, clients, previous sales and everything in between. It will definitely help if you want to submit to them. According to their submission page, they handle nonfiction and fiction, adult and children's, but they do have a big interest in children's work--middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, etc. The new submission e-mail is

Prospect Agency, LLC, has some new agents. Reminder: Newer agencies are golden opportunities for new writers because they're likely building their client list; however, always make sure your work is as perfect as it can be before submitting, and only query agencies that are a great fit for your work. Otherwise, you're just wasting time and postage. Finding one new agent building her client list is a nice treat. But what if you had two at the same agency? That's exactly what's happened at the Prospect Agency. Here's the down-low on these two new(er) agents. Visit the agency's official submissions page!

"Rachel Orr ( joined Prospect Agency in 2007, after eight rewarding years editing children's books for HarperCollins. She enjoys the challenge of tackling a wide variety of projects—both fiction and nonfiction—particularly picture books, beginning readers, chapter books, middle-grade/YA novels, and works of nonfiction. Rachel is currently taking on new clients."

"Becca Stumpf, ( junior agent, joined Prospect Agency in 2006 after working as an assistant at Writers House Literary Agency. As a reader, Becca falls hard for sentences that are beautifully crafted, for humor in unexpected places, and for characters that come to life and follow you around for a while. Becca is looking for adult and YA literary and mainstream fiction that surprises. She's also interested in select nonfiction, including narrative nonfiction, journalistic perspectives, fashion, film studies, travel, art, and informed analysis of cultural phenomena. She has a special interest in aging in America and environmental issues. Becca is currently taking on new clients."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Power of (Certain) Words...

Sunday morning my son, who is 3-and-a-half, dropped the F-bomb. Yep. Out the F-word came from his innocent little mouth. Twice. Do they still make Lifebouy soap? thought I. Crap--I hope he never says that in front of my mother. Or at preschool.

My husband was witness to this. After a What did you say? to confirm, he asked Murray where he heard That Word. "From you," he said to his dad (AHA! I KNEW IT!), "And my mommy."

Um--I don't think so! It couldn't have been me! I don't say it much. (And if I do, it's more likely I'll say it at the office, and even then, under by breath.) But if not us, then who? He's only got basic cable in his room. All his DVDs are rated G. He hasn't seen our potty-mouthed friend Jerry since summertime. We must be the guilty party. What a proud moment in parenting!

And how do you explain to a kid his age just why that's not a nice word to say? Why can one little word can have so much power? The F-word. Scrotum.

The fact that's it's ALA awards time, along with the fact that my son suddenly curses like a sailor, reminded me of the whole The Higher Power of Lucky/Newbery/scrotum controversy happening around this time last year. Based on my quick BookScan check, Susan Patron's Newbery winner seems to be selling just fine, controversy or not. At home, I haven't gotten Murray to use the s-word when discussing his anatomy, but these days I'm not sure if it would be preferable to the daddy-taught terms he currently uses. I suppose I should go Google Lifebouy. Just in case.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Awards, Awards, Awards!...

Today's the big day for ALA: Awards day. Here's a link to Publishers Weekly's rundown of all the winners (Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, etc.).

And Here are covers of a few of the winning titles (click on them to view Amazon's listing for the books).

Blooming Tree Correction...

In my haste to get my CWIM updates posted before my newsletter mailed, I made a mistake in the Blooming Tree Press info, adding new names but neglecting to delete others. Here is the correct contact information for Blooming Tree. (I've also corrected this in my previous post.) Sorry about the error.

  • BLOOMING TREE PRESS, (08 CWIM page 142) P.O. Box 140934, Austin TX 78714. Estab. 2000. (512)921-8846. Fax: (512)873-7710. E-mail: Web site: Publisher: Miriam Hees; Madeline Smoot, senior editor, children's division; Kay Pluta, associate editor, children's division; Anna Herrington, associate editor, children's division; Debbie Smart, editorial assistant, children's division; Bradford Hees, senior editor, graphic novels/comics. Art Acquisitions: Regan Johnson, art director. "Blooming Tree Press is dedicated to producing high quality book for the young and the young at heart. It is our hope that you will find your dreams between that pages of our books."

Friday, January 11, 2008

New CWIM Listing: Razorbill...

Penguin YA imprint Razorbill has not previously appeared in CWIM. Below is information on the imprint. (See my interview with President and Publisher Ben Shrank here.)

Penguin Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014. Imprint estab. 2003. (212)414-3448. Fax: (212)414-3343. E-mail: Web site: Specializes in fiction. Acquisitions: Laura Schechter, Editorial Assistant; Kristen Pettit, Lexa Hillyer, Jessica Rothenberg. Publishes 10 middle readers/year; 30 young adult titles/year. "This division of Penguin Young Readers is looking for the best and the most original of commercial contemporary fiction titles for middle grade and YA readers. A select quantity of nonfiction titles will also be considered."
Fiction Middle Readers: adventure, animal, contemporary, graphic novels, fantasy, humor, problem novels. Young adults/teens: adventure, animal, contemporary, fantasy, graphic novels, humor, multicultural, suspense. Average word length: middle readers--40,000; young adult--60,000. Recently published Spud, by John Van de Ruit (ages 12 and up, South Africa's fastest selling book); Thirteen Reason Why, by Jay Asher (ages 14 and up, a suspenseful psychological thriller); Those Girls, by Sara Lawrence (ages 13 and up, a peek at the privileged lives of fabulous private school seniors).
Nonfiction Middle readers: activity books, arts/crafts, biography, cooking, health, how-to. Young adults/teens: biography, concept, health, how-to.
How to Contact/Writers Submit outline/synopsis and 3 sample chapters. Responds to queries/mss in approx. 8 weeks. Publishes a book 1-2 years after acceptance. Will consider e-mail submissions and simultaneous submissions.
Terms Offers advance against royalties. Authors see galleys for review. Catalog available online at
"New writers will have the best chance of acceptance and publication with original, contemporary material that boasts a distinctive voice and well-articulated world. Check out to get a better idea of what we're looking for."

Debut Author of the Month: Liz Gallagher...

Seattle-based writer Liz Gallagher's debut novel The Opposite of Invisible, was released just days ago by Random House imprint Wendy Lamb Books. Below Gallagher tells us about her book and what inspired her to write it as well as the Class of 2k8, the Vermont College MFA program, how she found her publisher, promoting her debut, and why her city is the perfect backdrop for a YA novel.

Tell my readers and me about your debut novel The Opposite of Invisible. Would you say your book is a coming-of-age novel?

I would say it’s a coming-of-age novel, yes. But it’s not on an epic scale; it’s not representative of all of the ways youth helps my character grow into herself. It’s about a particular moment in her growth. The book centers on Alice, a 15-year-old Seattle girl, who has always lived in what she thinks of as a comfortable cocoon with her best friend, a boy named Jewel. Their friendship is a real cornerstone of her life, but she starts to realize that it might not be enough, and when the boy she has a crush on starts to take notice of her, she emerges from that cocoon. She remains aware, however, that she might lose her most important friendship by expanding her circle. She’s also trying new directions in art.

Your website bio says you’ve always wanted to be a writer. Had you written or submitted novels before The Opposite of Invisible? What inspired you to write the book that would become your published debut?

Opposite is the first novel I wrote. Falling in love with young adult novels was really the key for me in deciding to pursue a career as a novelist. When I first realized that I was passionate about writing for young people—and about reading the literature that other people write for young people—I was lucky enough to get a one-year editorial internship at the magazine Highlights for Children. My first short story for younger kids was published in Highlights. I thought at that point that I would continue on an editorial path, but finally decided to pursue writing after I fell in serious love with YA—which happened while I was working at All for Kids Books & Music in Seattle. I was inspired to write this particular story based on the scene of Alice buying the dress that she wears to the Halloween dance; that was the kernel of the beginning of the character starting to see herself in a different light, and I wanted to see where that new vision would take her. It was the first scene of Opposite that I wrote.

What made you decide to enroll in the Vermont College MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults? Tell me about that experience.

I knew that I wanted to study writing craft and, for a while, it seemed like every book I was reading and enjoying mentioned in the acknowledgments that the writer was either a graduate or a faculty member at Vermont! Most notably, I was obsessed with M. T. Anderson’s books Feed, Burger Wuss, and Thirsty, and he was, at the time, the faculty head at Vermont. Once I did a little bit of research, it was a no-brainer that Vermont was my choice for an MFA. Not many programs give the degree specifically in writing for children and young adults. I think that I owe Opposite to the program; without deadlines and careful feedback from my advisers, I don’t think I would’ve accomplished the goal of writing an entire novel. The experience is intense, and wonderful in every way. Above all, it’s a community of like-minded readers and writers. Eight other graduates and I have a blog where we discuss writing craft and interview other writers.

I love the name of your main character! Any particular reason you called her Alice?

Hmm—I wonder why you would love it? Cute! Honestly, I’ve always had brain strain when it comes to naming characters. Toward the beginning of the writing process, I did some journaling in the voice of my character, about names, and she told me, “My name’s Alice. Am I supposed to live in Wonderland?” It stuck.

Judging from your website, you’re quite enamored with your town. What makes Seattle the right backdrop for Alice and Jewel? How important is setting in a YA novel?

I think that setting is important in any novel, but what’s even more important is the writing element that Seattle was able to lend to Opposite: atmosphere. Because of the drizzle, Alice and Jewel practically live inside of sweatshirt/jacket hoods. It’s cozy, but it also highlights the completeness of their small cocoon. The rain also helps to amp up the discomfort in scenes that are…uncomfortable. I love the grayness of Seattle for exactly that reason: it fits both warm and fuzzy moments, because you get to bundle up, and it fits restless moments because it can be annoying. Seattle is also a good choice for Alice and Jewel because it’s a city where kids their age can be free to roam to cool and quirky places on their own, without cars or parental escorts. They take buses, or walk. When I look around Seattle, I see that I’m lucky to live in a place where you can go by foot or bus to the movies, to concerts, and to about a ga-jillion coffee shops! I do love Seattle.

How did you end up with Wendy Lamb Books and why is that a good place for you? Tell me about your path to publication—do you have an agent?

I do have an agent, Rosemary Stimola. I signed on with her right before I graduated from Vermont, and right after I graduated, she had three interested editors. One was Wendy, and she made a preemptive offer. My path was “easy” because I had done my homework: put myself in the right communities to meet mentors, researched which agents and editors would be a good fit for me and my story, and worked hard on a manuscript.

Your bio says your “inner voice is perpetually 15 years old.” Many YA authors say the same sort of thing. Why do you think so many writers are compelled to tap into their teen selves? Why are you so compelled?

That voice in your head only matures to a certain point, I think. For some of us, it stops in teen-hood. I know mine did. I just feel that teen awkwardness so strongly, and the almost-tangible importance of events that to some adults might seem like silly teen things. Almost nothing seems unimportant when you’re a teenager, questioning the world for the first time. The things on my mind fit well with the themes of adolescence – Who am I? What do I want? Where will I end up? What really makes me happy? Some adult writers of teen books say that they eavesdrop on teen conversations to pick up language and speech cadence. I don’t do that. Maybe some day I will, but for now it’s all in my brain. I think what a lot of us YA writers are trying to do is honor teen-hood. We want to say to teenagers: Yeah, this time of your life really does matter. And we even want to say to other adults: Remember how much that summer when you were fifteen changed you?

Your book is just coming out and you’ve planned a number of events. What did you do to promote these events? Are you nervous? Excited? Psyched?

I think that e-vites are a good way to go, and I plan to use them in the future, but for my main two events—a release party at Chester County Book & Music Company in West Chester, PA, and another at All for Kids Books & Music in Seattle, WA—I had postcard invitations made and sent them to everyone in my address book! People have been so supportive over the two years since I signed my contract, and I want to celebrate that support by having as many friends around as possible. I’m lucky that I know a world-class poster designer, Jeff Kleinsmith, whose main gig is making rock show posters (and doing other graphic design) for Sub Pop Records. He created a truly beautiful image based on my book, and I used that for my Seattle postcards and for posters to have as keepsakes and to put up in the coffee shops I frequent. I’m really excited for those two parties! I’m a bit more nervous for other events—school visits, radio interview, smaller signings. Luckily, I’ve spent a few years working in schools, and that’s a great way to gain confidence in public speaking. I also just love talking YA books, so I’m excited to meet more YA readers! I truly feel like Cinderella at the ball, only better because there’s no midnight looming.

How and why did you get involved in the Class of 2k8? How has it been helpful to you?

I was originally scheduled for publication in 2007, and knew about the Class of 2k7. At ALA Annual in Washington, DC, I ran into Jody Feldman. She’s the co-leader of the Class of 2k8, and when I mentioned that I was interested, she put me on the waiting list and I ended up in the class. It’s definitely been helpful to have another community of support and advice; we’re all learning the steps after the writing and selling together, and it’s definitely helpful to have the experience of 27 other writers to learn from and commiserate over. Some of us have learned how to create a MySpace page; some have bounced publicity plans off of everyone; all have celebrated together.

In addition to being in the 2k8 collective, you have a website and a blog. Any other promotional tools you would recommend?

I think that having a web presence—be it a site, blog, MySpace, Facebook, or other—is key. So many readers, booksellers, teachers, and librarians are online, and my hunch is that teen readers are especially likely to seek out writers online. I also think it’s so cool that you can become friends with someone based on a true shared interest, regardless of geography, age, or any of the other roadblocks to “real life” friendship. For the record, I’m loving Facebook and if anyone wants to feed my pet penguin over there, Snowflake, he could use the strength! I also have a new Shelfari membership, to keep track of what I’m reading, and I like to post my own events and to keep track of others. I think contests are great. The other day, I rushed to do Cynthia Lord’s name-the-author photo contest so that I could win some books. And of course you can’t talk about Internet publicity and networking in the YA world without mentioning John Green and the phenomenon that is Brotherhood 2.0. Video blogs are certainly on the upswing. With all of that Internet stuff said, I know lots of writers who simply don’t want to get involved in blogging and web sites. The real secret to promotion? Write a great book.

What’s your advice for unpublished YA authors? Have you gotten any particularly useful advice from publishing industry types or authors you’ve met?

It goes back to what I said up there about writing a great book. The most important part to becoming a published YA author is to write, write, write and read, read, read. Know what books are out there—which you probably do anyway; if you love writing ’em, you probably love reading ’em. Have a discerning eye. Study craft; read a few craft books, but don’t take them as gospel. (There is no instruction book, but I love Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Robert Olen Butler’s From Where You Dream.) Once you’ve got a manuscript that you believe in, do some research online and in the writers’ guides to find out which agents/editors might be interested. Be professional. Learn the process. Write an appropriate query letter. For me, mentorship was key. My friend Lara Zeises was leaps ahead of me in the publishing game (still is!) and she helped me narrow down the field of agent possibilities, was a very helpful eye on my query letter, and a generally peppy cheerleader. Overall, the YA world is a very friendly place! Scour the Internet for industry news, communities, places to commiserate. SCBWI is a good organization to join if you’re just starting out. The process of earning an MFA was essential to my personal journey in that it allowed me to give myself permission to prioritize writing, but the degree in itself is certainly not a must. Write away!

Can you give us a teaser for your second novel (also under contract with Wendy Lamb Books)? When will it be published? Did you sign a multi-book deal?

I did sign a two-book deal, and am working on a companion piece to Opposite, set the summer before Opposite and exploring the character of Vanessa. I’m still only mid-way in the writing process, and don’t know when it will be published. I have a third novel mostly written that I hope to see in print someday. I’d like to do this forever!

2008 CWIM Publisher Updates...

In my January CWIM newsletter (which may or may not have mailed by the time you read this) I included a list of publishers who have given me updates to their info for CWIM. As promised in the newsletter (click here to subscibe) here are their complete, up-to-date listings.

P.O. Box 140934, Austin TX 78714. Estab. 2000. (512)921-8846. Fax: (512)873-7710. E-mail: Web site: Publisher: Miriam Hees; Madeline Smoot, senior editor, children's division; Kay Pluta, associate editor, children's division; Anna Herrington, associate editor, children's division; Debbie Smart, editorial assistant, children's division; Bradford Hees, senior editor, graphic novels/comics. Art Acquisitions: Regan Johnson, art director. "Blooming Tree Press is dedicated to producing high quality book for the young and the young at heart. It is our hope that you will find your dreams between that pages of our books."
Fiction Picture books: adventure, animal, contemporary, fantasy, folktales, history, humor, multicultural, religion, science fiction, special needs, sports. Young readers: adventure, animal, contemporary, fantasy, folktales, history, humor, multicultural, religion, science fiction, special needs, sports, suspense. Middle readers: adventure, animal, anthology, contemporary, fantasy, folktales, history, humor, multicultural, poetry, religion, science fiction, suspense. Young adults/teens: adventure, animal, anthology, contemporary, fantasy, folktales, history, humor, religion, science fiction, suspense. Average word length: picture books--500-1,000; young readers--800-9,000; middle readers--25,000-40,000; young adult/teens: 40,000-70,000. Recently published Jessica McBean, Tap Dance Queen, by Carole Gerger, illustrated by Patrice Barton (chapter book about teasing); One-Eyed Jack, by Paula Miller, illustrated by Chris Forrest (mid-grade about a boy and his dog in 1880s Montana); Summer Shorts, by multiple authors and illustrators (mid-grade stories about summer); Kichi in Jungle Jeopardy, by Lila Guzman, illustrations by Regan Johnson (middle grade about a talking dog in the Mayan temples.
Nonfiction Picture Books: biography, cooking, geography, history, self help, social issues, special needs, sports. Young Readers: animal, biography, careers, cooking, geography, history, music/dance, religion, science, self help, social issues, special needs, sports. Middle Readers: biography, cooking, geography, history, how-to, music/dance, religion, science, self help, social issues, sports. Young Adults/Teens: biography, careers, cooking, geography, history, hobbies, music/dance, religion, science, self help, social issues, sports.
How to Contact/Writers Fiction/nonfiction: "Accepting agented, conference attendee and personally requested submissions. For unsolicited submissions check Web site for dates of unsolicited submission times throughout the year. Do not send unsolicited submissions unless it is during a specified submission time period."
Illustration Works with 6-20 illustrators/year. Send illustration samples to Regan Johnson, publisher. Samples not returned; sample filed for future projects.
Terms Pays authors royalty of 10% depending on the project. Pays illustrators by the project. Authors see galleys for review; illustrators see dummies. Send e-mail with mailing address for catalog. Writer's guidelines on Web site.
Tips "During submission times follow the guidelines listed on our Web site. Send a crisp and clean one-page query letter stating your project, why it is right for the market, and a little about yourself. Write what you know, not what's 'in.' Remember, every great writer/illustrator started somewhere. Keep submitting . . . don't ever give up."

425 Madison Ave., New York NY 10017. (212)688-0085. Fax: (212)421-6134. Web site: Estab. 1935. Book publisher. Vice President/Editor-in-Chief: Mary Cash. Acquisitions: Acquisitions Editor. Art Director: Claire Counihan. Publishes 35 picture books/year; 3 young readers/year; 15 middle readers/year; 8 young adult titles/year. 20% of books by first-time authors; 10% from agented writers. Mission Statement: "To publish high-quality books for children."
Fiction All levels: adventure, contemporary, fantasy, folktales, ghost, historical, humor, literary, multicultural, school, suspense/mystery, sports. Recently published Jazz, by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers; Keeper of Soles, by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Yayo; Freedom Walkers, by Russell Freedman.
Nonfiction All levels, but more picture books and fewer middle-grade nonfiction titles: animal, biography, concept, contemporary, geography, historical, math, multicultural, music/dance, nature/environment, religion, science, social issues.
How to Contact/Writers Send queries only to editor. Responds to queries in 3 months; mss in 4 months. "If we find your book idea suits our present needs, we will notify you by mail." Once a ms has been requested, the writers should send in the exclusive submission, with a SASE, otherwise the ms will not be returned.
Illustration Works with 35 illustrators/year. Reviews ms illustration packages from artists. Send ms with dummy. Do not submit original artwork or slides. Color photocopies or printed samples are preferred. Responds only if interested. Samples filed.
Terms Pays authors and illustrators an advance against royalties. Originals returned at job's completion. Book catalog, ms/artist's guidelines available for a SASE.
Tips "We need books with strong stories, writing and art. We do not publish board books or novelties. No easy readers."

Imprint of Scholastic, Inc., 557 Broadway, New York NY 10012. (212)343-4436. Fax: (212)343-4890. Web site: Acquisitions: Arthur A. Levine, editorial director; Cheryl Klein, senior editor. Publishes approximately 8 picture books/year; 8 full-length works for middle grade and young adult readers/year. Approximately 25% of books by first-time authors.
Fiction Recently published The Arrival, by Shaun Tan (graphic novel); The Nutcracker Doll, by Mary Newell DePalma (picture book); The Book of Time, by Guillaume Prévost, trans. by William Rodarmor (novel); The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, by Jaclyn Moriarty (novel); and Wilderness, by Roddy Doyle (novel).
Nonfiction Recently published The Secret World of Hildegard, by Jonah Winter and Jeanette Winter (picture book); Dizzy, by Jonah Winter and Sean Qualls (picture book); and The Adventures of Marco Polo, by Russell Freedman and Bagram Ibatoulline (picture book).
How to Contact/Writers Fiction/nonfiction: Accepts queries only. Responds to queries in 1 month; mss in 5 months. Publishes a book 1½ years after acceptance.
Illustration Works with 8 illustrators/year. Will review ms/illustration packages from artists. Query first. Illustrations only: Send postcard sample with tearsheets. Samples not returned.

Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10020. (212)698-7000. Web site: Publisher: Vice President, Associate Publisher Emma D. Dryden. Acquisitions: Karen Wojtyla, executive editor; Lisa Cheng, associate editor; Sarah Payne, editorial assistant. Art Acquisitions: Ann Bobco, executive art director. Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. Publishes 12 picture books/year; 5-8 middle readers/year; 8-10 young adult titles/year. 10% of books by first-time authors; 50% of books from agented writers. "Margaret K. McElderry Books publishes original hardcover trade books for children from pre-school age through young adult. This list includes picture books, middle grade and teen fiction, poetry, and fantasy. The style and subject matter of the books we publish is almost unlimited. We do not publish textbooks, coloring and activity books, greeting cards, magazines, pamphlets, or religious publications."
Fiction All levels. "Always interested in publishing humorous picture books, original beginning reader stories, and strong poetry." Average word length: picture books--500; young readers--2,000; middle readers--10,000-20,000; young adults--45,000-50,000. Recently published Bear Feels Sick, by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman (picture book); Birdsongs, by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (picture book); Hey Batta Batta Swing!, by Sally Cook and Jim Charlton, illustrated by Ross MacDonald (picture book); Questors, by Joan Lennon (middle grade); City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare (debut teen); America at War, by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn (poetry).
How to Contact/Writers Send query letters with SASE for picture books; send synopsis and first 3 chapters or first 30 pages with SASE for novels. Responds to queries in 1-2 month; mss in 3-4 months. Publishes a book 24-36 months after acceptance. Will consider simultaneous queries from previously unpublished authors and those submitted to other publishers, "though we request that the author let us know it is a simultaneous query." Please do not call to query or follow up.
Illustration Works with 20-30 illustrators/year. Query with samples, resume, tearsheets. Contact: Ann Bobco, executive art director, Design Dept., 4th Floor. Samples filed. Responds only if interested.
Terms Pays authors royalty based on retail price. Pays illustrator royalty of by the project. Pays photographers by the project. Original artwork returned at job's completion. Manuscript guidelines for #10 SASE with one first-class stamp.
Tips "We're looking for strong, original fiction, especially mysteries and middle grade humor. We are always interested in picture books for the youngest age reader. Study our titles."

175 Fifth Ave., New York NY 10010. (212)375-7149. Manuscript/Art Acquisitions: Simon Boughton, publisher. Editorial Director, Neal Porter Books: Neal Porter. Executive Editor: Nancy Mercado. Senior Editor: Dierdre Langeland. Publishes approximately 70 titles/year. 1% of books by first-time authors. This publisher's goal is "to publish distinctive high-quality children's literature for all ages. To be a great place for authors to be published. To provide personal attention and a focused and thoughtful publishing effort for every book and every author on the list."

  • Roaring Brook Press is an imprint of MacMillan, a group of companies that includes Henry Holt and Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Roaring Brook is not accepting unsolicited manuscripts.
Fiction/Nonfiction Picture books, young readers, middle readers, young adults: adventure, animal, contemporary, fantasy, history, humor, multicultural, nature/environment, poetry, religion, science fiction, sports, suspense/mystery. Recently published Dog and Bear, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; Candyfloss, by Jacqueline Wilson.
How to Contact/Writers Primarily interested in agented material. Not accepting unsolicited mss or queries. Will consider simultaneous agented submissions.
Illustration Primarily interested in agented material. Works with 25 illustrators/year. Illustrations only: Query with samples. Do not send original art; copies only through the mail. Samples returned with SASE.
Photography Works on assignment only.
Terms Pays authors royalty based on retail price. Pays illustrators royalty or flat fee depending on project. Sends galleys to authors; dummies to illustrators, if requested.
Tips "You should find a reputable agent and have him/her submit your work."

1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10020. (212)698-7000. Fax: (212)698-2796. Web site: Manuscript Acquisitions: Justin Chanda, associate publisher; David Gale, vice president, editorial director; Kevin Lewis, executive editor; Paula Wiseman, vice president, editorial director, Paula Wiseman Books. Art Acquisitions: Dan Potash, vice president, creative director. Publishes 95 books/year. "We publish high-quality fiction and nonfiction for a variety of age groups and a variety of markets. Above all we strive to publish books that will offer kids a fresh perspective on their world."
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Queries are accepted via mail.
Fiction Picture books: animal, minimal text/very young readers. Middle readers, young adult: fantasy, adventure, suspense/mystery. All levels: contemporary, history, humor. Recently published Orange Pear Apple Bear, written and illustrated by Emily Gravett (picture book, agest 1-4); Huge, by Sasha Paley (young adult fiction, agest 13 and up).
Nonfiction Picture books: concept. All levels: narrative, current events, biography, history. "We're looking for picture book or middle grade nonfiction that have a retail potential. No photo essays." Recently published Insiders Series (picture book nonfiction, all ages).
How to Contact/Writers Accepting query letters only; please note the appropriate editor. Responds to queries/mss in 3-4 months. Publishes a book 2 years after acceptance. Will not consider simultaneous submissions.
Illustration Works with 70 illustrators/year. Do not submit original artwork. Editorial reviews ms/illustration packages from artists. Submit query letter to Submissions Editor. Illustrations only: Query with samples; samples filed. Provide promo sheet, tearsheets. Responds only if interested.
Terms Pays authors royalty (varies) based on retail price. Pays illustrators or photographers by the project or royalty (varies) based on retail price. Original artwork returned at job's completion. Manuscript/artist's guidelines available via Web site or free on request. Call (212)698-2707.
Tips "We're looking for picture books centered on a strong, fully-developed protagonist who grows or changes during the course of the story; YA novels that are challenging and psychologically complex; also imaginative and humorous middle-grade fiction. And we want nonfiction that is as engaging as fiction. Our imprint's slogan is 'Reading You'll Remember.' We aim to publish books that are fresh, accessible and family-oriented; we want them to have an impact on the reader."

An imprint of Ideals Publications, 535 Metroplex Drive, Suite 250, Nashville TN 37211. Web site: Manuscript and Art Acquisitions: Williamson Books Submission. Publishes 6-10 titles/year. 50% of books by first-time authors; 10% of books from agented authors. Publishes "very successful nonfiction series (Kids Can!® Series) on subjects such as history, science, arts/crafts, geography, diversity, multiculturalism. Successfully launched Little Hands® series for ages 2-6, Kaleidoscope Kids® series (age 7 and up) and Quick Starts for Kids! ® series (ages 8 and up). "Our goal is to help every child fulfill his/her potential and experience personal growth."
Nonfiction Hands-on active learning books, animals, African-American, arts/crafts, Asian, biography, diversity, careers, geography, health, history, hobbies, how-to, math, multicultural, music/dance, nature/environment, Native American, science, writing and journaling. Does not want to see textbooks, picture books, fiction. "Looking for all things African American, Asian American, Hispanic, Latino, and Native American including crafts and traditions, as well as their history, biographies, and personal retrospectives of growing up in U.S. for grades pre-K-8th. We are looking for books in which learning and doing are inseparable." Recently published Making Amazing Art, by Sandi Henry, illustrated by Sarah Cole (ages 7-13); Kids Care, by Rebecca Olien, illustrated by Michael Kline (ages 7-12); Super Science Concoctions, by Jill Frankel Hauser, illustrated by Michael Kline (ages 6-12).
How to Contact/Writers Query with annotated TOC/synopsis and 1 sample chapter. Responds to queries/mss in 4 months. Publishes book "about 1 year" after acceptance. Writers may send a SASE for guidelines or e-mail.
Illustration Works with at least 6 illustrators and 6 designers/year. "We're interested in expanding our illustrator and design freelancers." Uses primarily b&w artwork and 2-color and 4-color. Responds only if interested. Samples returned with SASE; samples filed.
Photography Buys photos from freelancers; uses archival art and photos.
Terms Pays authors advance against future royalties based on wholesale price or purchases outright. Pays illustrators by the project. Pays photographers per photo. Sends galleys to authors.
Tips "Please do not send any fiction or picture books of any kind--those should go to Ideals Children's Books. Look at our books to see what we do. We're interested in interactive learning books with a creative approach packed with interesting information, written for young readers ages 3-7 and 8-14. In nonfiction children's publishing, we are looking for authors with a depth of knowledge shared with children through a warm, embracing style. Our publishing philosophy is based on the idea that all children can succeed and have positive learning experiences. Children's lasting learning experiences involve their participation."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano Books Info...

The other day I mentioned the news regarding Christy Ottaviano's new imprint at Henry Holt. Here's Holt's complete, updated listing information to which Christy has added details about Christy Ottaviano Books:


175 Fifth Ave, New York NY 10010. Unsolicited Manuscript Hotline: (646)307-5087. Web site: Submissions Web site: Manuscript Acquisitions: Laura Godwin, vice president and publisher of Books for Young Readers; Christy Ottaviano, editorial director, Christy Ottaviano Books; Reka Simonsen, senior editor; Kate Farrell, editor. Art Acquisitions: Patrick Collins, art director. Publishes 30-35 picture books/year; 6-8 chapter books/year; 10-15 middle readers/year; 8-10 young adult titles/year. 15% of books by first-time authors; 40% of books from agented writers. "Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers is known for publishing quality books that feature imaginative authors and illustrators. We tend to publish many new authors and illustrators each year in our effort to develop and foster new talent."

  • New Holt imprint Christy Ottaviano Books will publish approximately 20 books per year ranging from preschool picture books to middle-grade and young adult fiction, as well as some nonfiction. Of particular interest--picture books: humor; curriculum-focused; books that explore childhood milestones and feelings; nature; history. Middle-grade and young adult fiction: adventure; mystery; urban fantasy; coming of age; historical; commercial and edgy YA fiction. Submission policy: agents only and by author/illustrator referral.
Fiction Picture books: animal, anthology, concept, folktales, history, humor, multicultural, nature/environment, poetry, special needs, sports. Middle readers: adventure, contemporary, history, humor, multicultural, special needs, sports, suspense/mystery. Young adults: contemporary, humor, multicultural, mystery, historical.
Nonfiction Picture books: animal, arts/crafts, biography, concept, geography, history, hobbies, multicultural, the arts, nature/environment, sports. Middle readers, young readers, young adult: biography, history, multicultural, sports.
How to Contact/Writers Fiction/nonfiction: Submit complete ms, Attn: Submissions; "no SASE please." Responds in 4-6 months only if interested, otherwise mss are not returned or responded to. Will not consider simultaneous or multiple submissions.
Illustration Works with 50-60 illustrators/year. Reviews ms/illustration packages from artists. Random samples OK. Illustrations only: Submit tearsheets, slides. Do not send originals. Responds to art samples only if interested. Samples filed but not returned. If accepted, original artwork returned at job's completion. Portfolios are reviewed every Monday.
Terms Pays authors/illustrators royalty based on retail price. Sends galleys to authors; proofs to illustrators.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Recent Children's Publishing News (just in case you haven't seen it)...

  • Christy Ottaviano Books. Joining the likes of Richard Jackson, Wendy Lamb, Megan Tingley and others, Henry Holt's Christy Ottaviano has been promoted to editorial director of her own eponymous imprint, Christy Ottaviano Books, publishing "literary and commercial picture books and fiction for all ages. Books that encourage imagination and free-thinking, foster a sense of family and community, target the feelings of children, and speak directly to children’s interests as they explore various milestones. Books that are reassuring as well as those that challenge readers--intriguing books for inquisitive kids."
  • Jon Scieszka's new post. Children's book author (and funniest author I've ever seen in person) Jon Scieszka has been named the U.S.'s first national ambassador for young people's literature by the librarian of Congress, James Billington. He'll act as "an evangelist for reading." This is a deserving post for Scieszka--check out his Guys Read site, a web-based literacy program to help boys find stuff they'd like to read.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year...and Stuff...

Well, after being out of the office for the better part of December (I was only actually here eight days out of the month) I'm back. While it was nice to be home to play with Murray, see my out-of-town friends who were in for the holidays, and do a little shopping, I'm happy to be at work today. I need my routine. It seems the more I have to do, the more I get done. When I'm able to sleep in and spend the day in my PJ's I tend to do both. During my time off, I watched a lot of reruns, wasted time on the Internet, occasionally napped, sporadically showered, and really didn't do much of anything. I couldn't even manage to read anything more challenging than InStyle magazine.

But that's all over with. Today I started to get and read through 09 CWIM articles. (I have a great lineup!) I've been working through a big stack of listings corrections for the book. I rescheduled my haircut because it interfered with a meeting (plan to chop off a lot, but may chicken out by Saturday). I got some material off to a freelancer. I checked in with the other editors. And I waded through a gigantic stack of snail mail (yes, we still get it). And now I blog.

Here are some random things I'd like to mention in my first post of 2008:

  • Judging from their website, the SCBWI Annual Winter Conference in New York (February 8-10) does not seem to be sold out, so if you're thinking about going, hurry and make your reservations. If you attend, I'd love to hear about your experience at the event and post it on my blog. Email me at after the conference.
  • The CWIM newsletter will be emailed the second Friday of each month in 2008. If you're not a subscriber, click here to sign up. I'll continue to interview new authors for the recurring Debut Author of the Month feature which is also included on this blog.
  • Be sure to visit my blog throughout January and February--as I get updates from editors and agents, I'll share important changes here (starting as soon at this week).
I hope you all had pleasant holidays and you were more productive than I was (if you wanted to be). I wish you all a happy 2008!