2012-07-28 at 11-37-43By now I supposed you’ve guessed what the “huge news” is that I alluded to in this week’s Gratitude Sunday post. There are no words to describe how ecstatic I am to announce that, as of yesterday, I am now represented by Erzsi Deak of Hen & Ink Literary.

To celebrate, I am giving away the spreadsheet I’ve kept these past few years of agents who represent picture books. How can you win? Easy! Leave a comment on this post before midnight EST today and it’s yours!! Share with your friends. Everybody is a winner, just like the rubber duckie game at the fair. πŸ™‚

I was just thinking the other day how this series had been neglected for a while and I should find someone to post. Little did I know I would be given the opportunity to turn the tables and interview myself! *gleeful dancing* So here goes…

Julie, how long had you been writing before seeking an agent, and what made you decide it was time to look for one? What kind of research did you do before submitting?I

I began writing for children in 2006 when my daughter was three and my son an infant. I attended my first regional SCBWI conference in 2007 and quickly fired off a submission I was sure would be accepted (the very first completed book I’d written which, after many substantial revisions, was published last week as A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS). Big mistake. Rookie mistake. A few months later, I attended the National SCBWI conference in New York. I learned so much at that conference, but the biggest lesson was how “new” I was and how much I had yet to learn.

I put a moratorium on submissions for a full year while I learned everything I could about the craft of writing picture books and the children’s publishing industry. I began submitting again at the beginning of 2010 once I felt I had a foundation beneath my writing.

I knew I wanted an agent for several reasons. To take over the submissions process, definitely, but mostly to have a partner in what is an emotional, complicated, ever-changing career path. I’ve always felt working with an agent, as opposed to submitting to many editors, would help me navigate my career, make the best decisions and, quite frankly, make it less scary!

I did most of my research online, scouring blogs and websites and compiling the information into the aforesaid spreadsheet. Eventually I began targeting conferences where my top-choice agents were speaking so I could meet them in person. I was fortunate enough to meet Erzsi last March at the Bologna Book Fair. (I did so much research I ended up writing an ebook on submissions, which you can get for free if you sign up for my mailing list)

The dreaded questions: How many queries?Β  How many rejections?

I was chickenΒ careful and strategic about my submissions, only sending a few queries out at a time and one manuscript at a time. I would then reflect on the feedback I got (or not) and generally use it to make further revisions before querying the same manuscript again. So I didn’t get too many rejections, although some of the ones I did get were painful indeed.

It’s a tough market for picture books. Was it difficult to find an agent who wanted to represent an author-only focusing solely on picture books?Β How did you know your agent was β€œthe one?”

Yes, it was difficult. Yet, agents are still seeking picture book clients. I was surprised by how easily I filled my roster of participating agents for 12 x 12, for example. I think agents are understandably quite discerning about taking on picture book clients, but they are taking them.

I first met Erzsi at the SCBWI booth at the Bologna Book Fair last year. I had a 20 minute pitch appointment and we spent the first 10 minutes chatting with great excitement and fascination about all the changes in going on in publishing. Finally, I said, “Wait! I better talk to you about my work or we’re going to run out of time.”

I sent her one of my manuscripts and she offered encouragement and suggestions for revision, which I made over time. In the meantime, I was busy working on other projects, attending more conferences, learning more craft and immersing myself in digital publishing in the form of storybook apps.

Given the trajectory my career had taken in the months since I first submitted to Erzsi, I was committed to finding an agent who would embrace digital publishing. I knew Erzsi to be forward-thinking in this area because one of my good friends, Sarah Towle, is her client and has only published digitally thus far. I also appreciated her global view, which is one I share (hence, the upcoming whirlwind European tour).

I also wanted an agent who would provide editorial feedback on manuscripts and have the patience to help me get it “just right” before submitting. I knew from the thoughtful and in-depth comments I received from Erzsi both times I submitted to her that she was indeed that type of agent.

Finally, when we talked on the phone about the contract, I was reminded of how much I enjoy talking to her. Yes, choosing an agent is a business decision, but I think if you’re going to be working side by side with a person for years, it’s a great bonus if, in addition to trusting their instincts and valuing their expertise,Β you can enjoy that person’s company .

Has your writing process changed since signing with an agent?

Since we just signed yesterday, I don’t know yet! πŸ™‚

What advice would you give to picture book writers looking for agents today?

  • Always put your craft first. Always. Hold off on submitting until you are confident in your craft.
  • Remember that no writing is ever wasted. I didn’t believe this at all when I started. I would roll my eyes, convinced I was the exception to the rule – that everything I wrote would be publishable. Boy was I wrong. Then I went through a period where I was so disheartened I was convinced everything I wrote was terrible (some of it was) and thus a waste of time. Neither turned out to be true. Everything you write will make you a better writer. Be glad for each and every piece of writing because you never know when you might be able to resurrect something – even if it’s just a kernel of an idea – from an old manuscript.
  • Do not be afraid to submit to the same agent more than once. I went through two rounds of submissions with Erzsi before she took me on. Another agent I met at the RMC-SCBWI conference this fall, Karen Grencik, said this in her speech: “A no today is not a no forever.” In the span of a year, you will grow as a writer. Even if you’ve received a rejection from an agent in the past, if you have a new manuscript you think would be a good fit for him/her – go for it!
  • Make personal connections whenever possible. Try not to be a wallflower at conferences or other events when you have a chance to meet agents. They are there to meet you! But be a real person. Have a normal conversation. When you go to query them, remind them of the connection you made. If you aren’t able to make in-person connections, do your research before querying to find out their tastes, their background, something about their lives. Never, ever send a form letter.

What’s up next/what are you working on now?

Well, I just submitted the final (I hope) manuscript for the second of the three apps I’m publishing with Little Bahalia this year. It felt a little surreal (and wonderful) after spending so much time with TROOP. I have yet to write the third but I’m itching to get going…

I have another yet-to-be-announced publishing project I’m excited about for this year, and of course, I hope to revise one of my PB manuscripts into something “just right” that Erzsi could take out on submission before the end of the year.

Lastly, I started working on my first chapter book, intended to be one of a trilogy. Writing in longer form is new for me, and I’m loving the challenge and excitement!

Annie Leibowitz, Vanity Fair

Annie Leibowitz, Vanity Fair

I am now going to ask myself the question I asked Tara Lazar at the end of her interview in this series. I took contention with her answer and am relieved I can now give my own, far more appropriate response:

Johnny Depp or Ryan Reynolds?

Hello??!!?? Johnny Depp all the way my friends! Even though I was shocked to find Tara had chosen neither of the two, ever since then it’s clear she sides with Ryan Reynolds. Yes, he has the rippled abs, but does he have those eyes or that bone structure? (although I could live without the scarf) I think not!

My apologies to my male readers, but it just had to be said!


Categories: A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, Agents, Digital Publishing, Goals, How I Got My Agent, Picture Books, Publishing, Queries, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. This is fabulous, Julie! Congratulations!!

      • Barbara Scheer-hochheimer

        Hi Julie,

        congrats!!!!! Wow, the events come thick and fast for the moment! But I would like to mention that you have deserved it! Due to all the work and all the enthusiasm you invest to establish and to build up 12×12.

        How amazing that you will come to Bologna again! Well, I went to NYC twice and that means to me a comparable adventure in the opposite geographic direction. I wanted to come to Bologna too, but the date is around Easter during the school holidays, so it is not easy to get a few days off.

        So enjoy the fact having such a wonderful agent to the full and open a bottle of sparkling wine. Cheers! I wish to hear more stories full of success in the course of the year!
        I hope, that my comments don’t reach you too late due to the time shift!

        Warm regards

  2. Congratulations on getting an agent! πŸ™‚ I loved your interview by the way. I was there a week ago as I was in tears telling myself that I am not a good writer and I just write crap. I guess it can only get better from here. πŸ™‚ And I have to vote for Ryan Reynolds.

    • Lisa, we’ve ALL been there at some point and probably MANY points. Hang in there and it WILL get better!

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree about Depp vs. Reynolds. πŸ˜‰

  3. You are so on the cutting edge. Congrats!

  4. Congratulations Julie on acquiring an agent. Well deserved! What a great start to 2013 you have had – a wonderful story published as an app, another 12×12 following last year’s success, and now an agent! The world is your oyster. You have worked hard on your craft, but I love that you also help other children’s picture book writers, like me, with ideas, resources and publishing information. You are an inspiration.

    • Helen, what a lovely comment! I feel honor bound to help other writers since so many helped me along the way. It’s a pleasure and a gift to be able to give back to this amazing community!

  5. Congratulations, Julie!!! With all those wonderful projects on the go it’s perfect timing. Happy dance and Johnny Depp for sure :0)

  6. Great news, Julie! You have given so much to other writers, it’s good to see wonderful things happening for you!

  7. Absolutely fabulous news! So pleased for you. I love hearing stories like these. Many, many congratulations!

  8. Great news!!! So glad to have you in the Coop πŸ™‚

  9. JULIE! This is such huge and exciting news! I’m SO PSYCHED FOR YOU. And I love your advice, about waiting, and working on your craft (and not only because I’ve been crazy Cave Hermit Julie F working on stories and afraid to send anything out). And what is wrong with me that I don’t know who Ryan Reynolds is? Hang on. Oh yeah yeah yeah that guy. I vote for a young Dick Van Dyke. Not that he was on the list.

    • Julie, you never fail to crack me up which is how I KNOW you are going to be published and revered one day as a great comedic writer! I’m hoping 12 x 12 will help you come out of your cave.

      And OMG HOW did you not know right off the top of your head who Ryan Reynolds was??? Lucky for you the same did not apply to Johnny Depp!

      • Well, that’s a huge ego boost. Thanks. 12×12 is hugely helpful. YOU KNOW it is.

        I think because “Ryan Reynolds” sounds like every guy I went to school with. You know? I totally know who he is, now that I looked. But Ryan Reynolds = Bob Johnson = Brian Kennedy. Everyguy.

  10. WOW!!!! You have had a great beginning to 2013. Congratulations! You have worked so hard!!!

  11. This is more great news! Thanks for sharing your path with us all. Inspiring and helpful.

  12. Congratulations, Julie!! That is so exciting for you! You’ve worked hard and you deserve it, enjoy every minute!!

  13. Congratulations, Julie. Keeping your focus on your craft – the best advice!

  14. Congratulations Julie, for landing an agent, and for your excellent taste in celebrities. I’m a Johnny Depp fan too. Awesome interview with great advice. What a week for you!

  15. So exciting. This has been quite a week and thanks for sharing all that you know and learn.

  16. That’s great news, congratulations. Wishing you every happiness in your new agent relationship.

  17. Super news, Julie. Keep on buzzing along!

  18. Great post, Julie and congratulations!!! And I completely agree about not submitting until your work is ready, though I probably embrace that mandate a little too much… I am the “anti-submitter”… I’ve completed three rhyming manuscripts, one prose one, and have at least five works in progress and I’ve submitted nothing because I don’t feel any if it is “there.” So I am, as you say, learning the craft more deeply… getting better every day… going to conferences… And I finally do have a manuscript that is getting close (I do feel that this is “the one!”) So great advice and congrats again… Fantastic news!!!!!

    • Kim – good for you with your approach. I forgot to mention in my post that you really do need to have more than one polished piece of work before submitting. I have had several agents over the past year like one of my submissions. The first thing they ask is whether you have more. It’s very seldom that an agent will take a PB client on one manuscript, so you are forging the right path!

  19. This is wonderful news Julie, congratulations. The perfect agent is the key to a successful writing career. Having four books in print and three in the illustration stage is exciting for me but I know that my next step is to find an agent to boost my career. Thank you for sharing your journey and ideas on your site. I look forward to the daily updates and have made some great connections since I joined 12×12.

  20. Congratulations, Julie! I hope your new relationship (not with Depp!) takes you far and wide. It’s always fascinating to hear about someone’s path to publishing success. And very generous of you to share your list!

  21. Well, there is NO DOUBT that 2013 belongs to YOU, Julie! Congrats. As someone who also put a year long moratorium on submissions in 2012 and now is looking to get back into submitting in 2013, I cannot stress the need to work on craft enough. Well done!

  22. Congratulations. When I saw the note in the gratitude post, I had no clue what it could be, but knew it would be good. Wonderful also about the second app and the third and the chapter book. Good luck!

  23. That’s wonderful news Julie, congratulations! I made 2013 my year to hone my craft and learn as much as I could. I joined 12×12 and my first critique group; yet I wonder if I’m even ready to critique others when I feel I still know so little. I learn tons from my group on a daily basis, but I’m frightened to submit my stories to them let alone agents! One foot in front of the other I guess. :0)

    • Donna, if you are ready to learn and hone your craft then Yes! you are ready for a critique group. Believe me when I tell you you learn just as much from critiquing others as you do from revising your own work. Do not be afraid to submit your stories to them. Everyone cuts their teeth in critique groups and it’s the only way to get better faster. Nobody can be objective about their own work, so you are doing the right thing by joining a group. Keep up the good work!

  24. Congrats! I can’t wait to read your picture book!

  25. I would just like to pipe in that I’d take the scarf if you and Johnny are not using it. And given your recent spate of luck… perhaps a date with Depp is not out of the question. Congratulations Julie!

    • Stacey, if I get Depp, the scarf is all yours! πŸ™‚

      Of course I couldn’t possibly thank you enough for playing a heavy hand in my recent spate of luck! πŸ™‚

  26. Congrats Julie! Thanks for the advice. You’re an encouragement and inspiration.

  27. Julie!!!! Congratulations!!! I am so proud of you, and Erzi is one lucky lady to have you as a client. I can’t wait to talk live. xoxoxo

  28. Oh my Julie!! Congratulations on your new agent. I’m very happy for you. Thanks for great advice in your post πŸ™‚

  29. Congratulations! Well deserved Julie. Wishing you much success!

  30. Congratulations… Love your posts…. Always make me feel like there is hope!
    Sandee Abern

  31. Congrats, Julie! I’ve known Erzsi for years and love her! She is a fab person and a smart woman…you’re in good hands!

  32. Yay, Julie! So happy to hear you’ve found a match πŸ™‚

  33. Woot-woot! You make the near impossible seem possible. So happy for you, Julie!

  34. Congratulations, Julie! It is so wonderful to witness such well deserved success! It’s also important to know that while we all love to write, it IS hard work. We’re all going to have those ups and downs, but with patience, passion and work, it can happen. You are an inspiration, and we are so lucky to have you! By the way, doesn’t Johnny own an island somewhere? Can you arrange a writer’s retreat there???

    • Jennifer, yes all those things we hear all the time about patience, perseverance, passion, hard work – they’re all true! Sometimes it’s hard to believe but sticking with it and continuing to practice is what will make the difference.

      Johnny owns an island?? I’ll be looking into this ASAP! πŸ™‚

  35. Thank you for this very valuable advice, Julie. I’ve been working with Simone Kaplan at Picturebook People and a pb manuscript I’ve been revising is coming along but she advised that I wait until NJSCBWI in June to submit so it will be stronger.

    • Deborah, Simone is wonderful and good for you to take the step of working with her. I have no doubt your writing will grow by leaps and bounds and you’ll be ready to submit by June. Also, I’m glad you’ll be at the conference so we can meet! πŸ™‚

  36. I’m out of breath – it’s a little early in the morning for me to be happy dancing. This is wonderful news,Julie. A super huge CONGRATULATIONS! This is your year. Although I don’t think you need it, I wish you continued success.

  37. Excellent news! congratulations! And thank you so much for the advice… and encouragement.

  38. I’m thrilled to hear your news, Julie! I know this will be a stellar year for you. Looking forward to what’s in store for your career. We are honored to have you as our guide!

    • Jarm, it’s me who’s honored to have you all with me. You guys have been my rock for the past year+ and knowing you were out there supporting me has made all the difference during the tough times. So thank YOU!

  39. This is such wonderful news and so well deserved! I wish you much success with your new agent. Congratulations.

  40. Congratulations, Julie! And thank you for your generosity with your advice and leadership talents.

  41. Julie, What great news! Congratulations! I’m delighted for you but I know how much energy, study of craft, time, and desire has gone into reaching this goal. You are so-o-o deserving of this big step. I’m certain I will hear even more wonderful news about your writing career in the future. I’ll be watching for your name EVERYWHERE!

  42. So very happy for you, Julie, and Erzsi is right up there on my list too, what a fabulous match. It is also always good to read of the path leading to the ecstatic moment. Here’s to so many more wonderful publications AND your growth as a writer through working with someone like Erzsi!

  43. Congrats to you, Julie! That’s wonderful!

  44. Julie! I am teary-eyed. SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! It’s funny how you have these ideas of who would be a great fit for you. But then when the right person comes along, the whole package makes so much sense. It couldn’t be anyone else. Erzsi and Julie. Seems like a wonderful match. Congratulations. Hugs to you. (And Johnny Depp? Heck yes!)

    • Thank you Elizabeth! It does feel like kismet to have met up with Erzsi. And boy do I have lots of banana peelin’ moments I hope to share on your blog one day. πŸ™‚

  45. Brilliant Julie! I really appreciate your perspective and sharing your experiences. I can really relate as far as my journey has been up til now, so I am thankful for your sharing!

  46. Wonderful news! Congratulations πŸ™‚

  47. This is SUCH fantastic news, Julie! May you go from strength to strength. The advice you give in your interview of yourself (how cool is that?) is so helpful to those of us who have been diligently trying to learn and hone and polish… and now, like me, are seeing that the work of submitting is looming close. Thank you for all you do, and here’s to your success!

    • Here’s to YOUR success too Beth. For you are so giving of your time, talent and kindness to this community. I have cherished your support these past couple of years. πŸ™‚

  48. Wonderful, wonderful news! So thrilled for you. And yes, DEPP all the way baby!!!

  49. Congratulations, Julie! And the most important question…How are you CELEBRATING all that’s happened this week??? There would be alot of cake and wine in my house πŸ˜‰ (Similar to those rejection letters, but with alot more smiling πŸ˜‰ )

  50. Congratulations. Always good to hear the stories behind success. Thanks

  51. Congratulations–adding my voice the chorus.

  52. Congrats, and thanks for letting us in on your journey to agenthood (I need to book a flight to Bologna). And a note to Tara Lazar: Johnny Depp over Ryan Gosling by a mile!

  53. I’m so happy for you! Thanks for all the great info and your willingness to share. πŸ™‚

  54. Thanks so much for giving us a view from above!

  55. Congratulations Julie! Through all your hard work and perseverance, you are now living the dream of publishing. Leading by example!

  56. Julie,

    Congratulations–you must feel relieved as well as elated. It’s amazing that you have two young children, and still manage to add the 12×12 to your plate along with all your writing, interviewing, conferences–and now a tour of Europe! You make me feel like there is hope, and that diligently pursued dreams still come true. All the best to you and your family.

  57. Congrads Julie. Up, up, and away! πŸ™‚ Wishing you much happiness and many successful books, pal.

    (Now it’s my turn and all these writers who are commenting.)

  58. Julie Dietzel-Glair

    I can’t even imagine how excited you must be. Congratulations on a huge milestone.

  59. What great news! Just when I feel like throwing in the towel, a success story like yours comes my way. I am very happy for you.

  60. Julie, I’m so thrilled for you! ::leaps across room tossing confetti:: Yet I’m not at all surprised to hear MORE great news from your spot in this crazy world of picture book writing. You work hard, yanking at those heavy doors so you can achieve your goals. And you prop them open so we can find our way through, too. Woo hoo! Congrats!

    Oh, and last week my husband said, “Your boyfriend is on Letterman tonight.” Johnny Depp. But he could also have meant Steve Martin. All my friends know if Steve knocked on my door and said, “Come away with me,” (Hey, stop laughing. it could happen. Well, it could.), I wouldn’t even bother to pack.

    • Thanks Carol! I have been yanking on those doors as I’m not all that patient about waiting – LOL!

      And how funny that your husband is on board with your celebrity crushes. You crack me up!

  61. Congratulations, Julie! How exciting it must be. You must be busy 24/7 and a lot younger than me.:) Sounds like you’re on your way. The tips you gave will be taken to heart. Thank you for all your hard work!

  62. I send you HUGE congratulations! Yay! Can’t wait to see more of your work “out there!!” πŸ™‚

  63. P.S. Johnny Depp published a book — as in funding the cost of it and getting it produced, not as author. I’ll let you all know if he branches out into kid-lit publishing. LOL

  64. Huge success! You’ve certainly been working hard. You deserve it! Thanks for your generosity in sharing all you’ve learned πŸ™‚

  65. Congratulations on your wonderful news, Julie! What an exciting start to 2013.

  66. Fabulous news! Congratulations! I knew it was only a matter of time…

    I just wish Johnny Depp didn’t purposefully ugly himself up sometimes. It seems like he feels guilty for being so handsome. I prefer his clean-cut “Jumpstreet” look to the “artsy/brainy/pirate-y/sleeping-with-a-french-woman” look.

    • Yeah, I get what you’re saying about Depp. I wish he’d leave himself alone too. But he is just so remarkably sexy that I can tolerate the occasional Edward Scissorhands look. πŸ™‚

      THANK YOU for all you’ve done for me, and for writers across the globe Tara!!

  67. Congratulations Julie! You are on a roll with your inspiring success stories. And to think there is more to come. So happy for you! Great post, thanks for sharing your journey.

  68. Congrats, Julie! I am sooo happy for you! Great interview, and I totally agree . . . Johnny Depp!!!!!

  69. Congratulations, Julie! Thank you for sharing so much about the process with all of us!

  70. Congrats, Julie! This so thrilling — and well deserved. Your post was full of wisdom; I found myself nodding throughout. I have been going through the steepest learning curve these past couple of years — it’s just part of the process. Congrats, congrats and may this be merely the beginning of more wonderful news!

    • Thanks Ella! The thing about learning curves is that just when you get around the bend of one there’s another one waiting. But that’s what makes it all so thrilling!

  71. Thanks Julie, you have really inspired me! I “found” you just recently and have enjoyed all of your posts and information you have shared with your readers. You probably have no idea how important your online support is to a newbie! Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for commenting Merry! I am so glad you’ve found my blog/website useful in your journey. As you can probably tell, I LOVE supporting other writers! The more the merrier (pun intended) πŸ™‚

  72. Congratulations Julie! Loved your interviewer and what a great interviewer!! WINK. I love your advice about waiting and Johnny Depp makes me go weak in the knees.

  73. Well done, Julie! We shall toast your wonderful news in Florence in just six short weeks! πŸ™‚

  74. Thanks for such an informative, helpful site and blog. I’m a published pb author currently looking for an agent, and I share your joy at finding one yesterday! Congratulations. πŸ™‚ Janna, Indianapolis

  75. Congratulation Julie, thank you for the wonderful advice.

  76. What wonderful news, Julie! And Erzsi is great! I’ve also know Erzsi thru SCBWI and Bologna and I know you two will make a great team! You have so much to celebrate this year. Pop the champagne!

  77. Julie, What exciting news! I’m glad all your hard work is paying off, and 2013 is shaping up to be such an awesome year for you. I’m also glad for the reminder that a lot of perseverance, working on craft, and stepping out of our comfort zones will make a difference in our success here in the writing world.

    Here’s to you!

  78. Congratulations, that’s wonderful news.

  79. Congratulations Julie! And thank you for the wonderful posts, words of wisdom and encouragement that you continue to share.

  80. I am absolutely thrilled for you. And I do hope you share in a post how you went about getting your book into App format. Congratulations and thanks for sharing the info.

  81. Woo-hoo! Julie you have had an amazing year. I am sooo happy for you. Great interview πŸ˜‰ I have a question for you. Do you think having the book app deals in-progress helped in getting the agent. The reason I ask is because I sometimes hear having a deal in the works with an editor can making you more appealing (as a writer). I don’t how you manage all these balls in the air (12×12, book apps, retreat, speaking gigs), it is really amazing. Congratulations again!!

    • Thank you Darshana!

      Wow, your question is probably worthy of a blog post all of it’s own. I know some people, if they’ve gotten an acquisition from an editor, then use that to go find an agent. I chose not to submit to editors directly because I’ve also heard the flip side – if your manuscript is rejected by several editors, and agent will feel like it’s already been “shopped.”

      That said, having a published work, whether in electronic or print format, is a boon I think. Even though the agent signing you won’t receive financial benefit from that work, it demonstrates that you are publishable, professional and can deliver. IMHO.

      I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  82. Just found your App Template! Excellent – thanks!

  83. Congratulations Julie,
    Your enthusiasm and optimism and gratitude is contagious to those you meet. This latest achievement is something so huge and wonderful for you.
    Very special, you are.

  84. Congratulations Julie! It has been inspiring to see all you’ve accomplished over the past couple of years. I definitely prefer Johnny Depp — but more from his 21 Jump Street years. πŸ™‚

  85. This is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing and offering such a great gift!

  86. Julie, this is wonderful news. I hope more and more agents take on picture book authors! I’ve met Erszi and she seems great. I hope we hear many more writing successes from you. And I’d love that picture book agent spreadsheet. Though I’ve published two books with small presses, I hope for an agent for all the reasons you mentioned. Good luck!

  87. HUGE congratulations, Julie! So, so proud of you for all you’ve accomplished!

  88. Congrats on your success!!!

  89. So pleased for all your success Julie!!

  90. Julie, Congratulations! All your hard work is paying off. May the acceptance come rolling in as fast as you can write! I am so happy for you!

  91. This was awesome. Am off to share about it on the Children’s Book Creatives Facebook page. And boy that last one would have been a really difficult call for me if it was Ryan Gosling instead of Ryan Reynolds but as it is – definitely Johnny Depp. Didn’t know that you had that bad boy appeal thingy going on for you πŸ™‚

    • Mira, you know what’s funny? I actually MEANT Ryan Gosling when I wrote that question to Tara so long ago. I didn’t realize it until I got this comment. How embarrassing! At least Ryan Reynolds is also handsome!

  92. Congrats! I appreciate your generosity with sharing the list!

  93. Congratulations Julie! This is fantastic news!

    • Ingrid! How wonderful to hear from you! I see you’ve gone from blue to purple. πŸ™‚ I’d love an update from you whenever you get a chance. You were there, as you recall, at that first NY conference I attended!

  94. So happy for you, Julie. You’ve earned your success!

  95. Congrats. from my world to yours. This interview was fascinating. Thanks for sharing your experience and your list. Wishing you a long successful career. Let the fun begin!

    Warmly, Jenny

  96. So Exciting!!! thanks for sharing.

  97. Congrats Julie! It feels great when someone in the industry finally stands behind you.

  98. Congratulations, Julie! I’m so excited for you!

    And thanks for teaching me something in this post. I always thought that a “no” from an agent meant a “no forever.” It’s good to know that it isn’t the case!

  99. Well done, Field Guide Julie! πŸ™‚

  100. Congratulations! Persistence and hard work wins the day! And yes, Johnny Depp. No contest.

  101. Loving this congratulations party!! Room for another?! THRILLED FOR YOU!! So much love. So much!

  102. Many, many congratulations, Julie! And thank you for sharing your journey. It’s very inspiring! All the best to you.

  103. Congratulations, Julie! It’s so refreshing and encouraging to hear this type of good news from a PB writer–especially after finding that many agents would be interested in PBs only from someone who also writes novels. And thanks so much for your willingness to share your spreadsheet!

    • Jacqueline, I think there is a great deal of reason to be encouraged about being a PB writer. 11 of them are featured in the 12 x 12 challenge! πŸ™‚ Glad to share the spreadsheet!

  104. Congratulations and thank you for the encouraging words!

  105. That’s great Julie. I did download your app submisson proposal and it was very helpful.

  106. Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing your story and advice. And for making me laugh — it’s not often that Johnny Depp graces the end of blog post about writing! (Not that I’m complaining.)

  107. Congratulations – to Erzsi Deak. What a lucky woman to have signed our fearless leader! Loved your bathroom-mirror interview. Things are not happening FOR you – you have MADE things happen! You are one of those great women who will ‘move the piano’ by herself! Wunderbar!

  108. Congratulations, Julie! Thanks for the encouragement you’ve given all of us!

  109. congrats Julie! So happy for you!

  110. Yay, Julie. I was trying to guess whether your big news was an agent of another contract and it’s a little of both (since I’m sure it won’t be long before you are announcing another book deal!) I’m excited for you and this next phase of your career!

  111. awesome news! congrats! I wish you the best you deserve it!

  112. Congratulations, Julie. Well-deserved!

  113. Inspiring – thank you for sharing with us. And you are right – RR’s abs are nice (at least ’til he ages) but JDepp’s face has timeless character.

  114. Julie, they say if you need something done…find the busiest, most productive person you know…and ask her…she will know how to accomplish it. We are all so happy for you…the positive energy you project, even through the pages of your website, is a real and powerful entity.

    Kudos on one more feather in your cap…you remind me of Bartholomew Cubbins…you continue to reveal hats of amazing beauty and wonder with each successful project you unveil.:)
    Hugs and all good wishes!

  115. Congratulations Julie. I agree with others, you have made this happen. Glad to know you’ve been at this longer than I realized. Gives me hope. I think of the archetype of the “shape shifter” when I see Depp. He is the man of many disquises in the roles he plays. It seems to fit his personality.

    I hope you celebrate. You reached for the stars and snagged one of the top agents.

    • Thank you so much Pat! And you should definitely have hope, as you have much to contribute to the world of children’s literature. And I’m glad we agree on Depp. πŸ™‚

  116. Congratulations, Julie!! And thank you for the insight to how your achieved success. I especially like your point about how no writing is wasted (I could really relate to the thinking that my writing is great, and then being in a deep funk when I couldn’t sell something). πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Teresa! I had to learn all those lessons the hard way because I didn’t want to believe them when other writers shared them. I wanted SO BADLY to be the exception. I’m now convinced nobody is an exception – even if it seems like it from the outside.

  117. Congratulations, Julie! Wonderful news!!!

  118. Oh, Julie, what wonderful news! I know it’s been a rocky road, and this couldn’t have happened to a more generous and deserving spirit. Sending you a big high five!

  119. Many congratulations to you, Julie, and continued gratitude for all you do for 12×12.
    -another Team Johnny writer

  120. Congratulations to you, Julie. I am thrilled for you.

  121. Congrats Julie!!!! That is awesome, and so well deserved. Thank you for sharing your journey. πŸ™‚

  122. Congratulations! This is awesome news! Thank you for sharing your experiences and insight. It is encouraging as well inspiring!

  123. I was just looking through the agents listings in the 2012 Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market this morning! Congrats! You must be walking on air!

  124. So impressed by your diligence! I love the query, revise, query approach. Congratulations!

  125. Whoo-Hoo and Congratulations! Although I do not have an agent, I totally agree with your point about having it be somebody that you actually like, not just in a business sense, but in a connection sense. So cool.

  126. Wow Julie! Big congrats! With the focus, passion and generosity towards others that you have put into your craft it’s really no surprise. We’ll be reading more and more books by the author Julie Hedlund in the years to come! Thrilled for you!

    • Speaking of generosity, how about you making the 12 x 12 logos, banners, badges??? I have so appreciated coming to know you and love your work so much! Thank you for your support! You gave me the immense gift of allowing me to see a couple of my beloved characters “in the flesh.” πŸ™‚

  127. CONGRATULATIONS! Thrilled to read your news! Couldn’t have happened to a more giving person – as evidenced that it took me ages to scroll down to the end of the comments!

  128. Hi, Julie. And Congratulations!
    Thanks for interviewing yourself. I enjoyed learning more about you and about your journey.

    I have been writing for a very long time but only began to “work” on my craft about seven years ago. I am “working” very slowly. I have only attended two SCBWI conferences, two other Writer’s Seminars, and took an only writing course. Sharing my work is very scary. And with each rejection notice, scarier. But I love writing stories and thankfully I have a couple of cheerleaders who think they are wonderful.

    I know I need to build a website or begin a blog, but I am so technologically challenged that it isn’t funny. And I’m a chicken:)

    Again, congratulations! Keep on…

    • Joyce, you need to go to Katie Davis’ website at katiedavis.com! You don’t have to be a techie to have a website or a blog or do social media. I’m not techie. I’ve learned enough to get by, but it’s certainly not my specialty.

      As for the submissions, just take it step by step and submit when you’re ready. It IS scary, but unfortunately the only way you can get accepted is if you actually send the darn things out into the world.

      Best of luck!

  129. Oh my goodness, how exciting. Congrats to you. What an accomplishment.

  130. Such great advice, Julie. I went to Andrea Brown’s writing workshop at Big Sur last year. I thought I had everything figured out…after all, I’ve been writing and editing (magazines) all my life. I learned so much but, alas, learned that I was not ready to submit. However, I met a great group of women (all of the Andrea Brown agents) who were kind, encouraging, helpful and gave me the tools I needed to seriously work on my children’s book.

  131. Oh and…did I truly forget to say “congratulations?” I’m thinking that I did. So…CONGRATULATIONS!!

  132. excellent, fantastic, wonderful news!!!!! Big huge well deserved congratulations!!!

  133. Congratulations, Julie! And a small world fun fact – you’re now an agent-mate of my friend Maureen Hourihan!


    1) Yes, Johnny Depp for sure. Right on.

    2) So lovely that you also mentioned my agent, Karen Grencik – who works with Hen & Ink. I guess that makes us connected some how, right! YAYAYAYAYAYA!

    3) This is such an exciting post. I am so happy for you. Squee!

    (And let me just write Johnny Depp one more time.)


  135. Wow! Congratulations!! πŸ™‚

  136. Well-deserved Congrats! Thanks so much for sharing your journey so far as a writer. I am very early in my journey. It has helped me better understand myself as a writer. Thanks for doing what you do for your 12 x 12 TROOP!

  137. That is great news! I hope to get an agent some day too! Maybe your spreadsheet will help me! πŸ™‚

  138. Julie, I am so thrilled for you! Congratulations!! I knew it was only a matter of time, and I loved reading about the smart way you went about finding your agent. It sounds like a great match. Best of luck to you in the submission process.

  139. Julie, congratulations. I met Erszi years ago at the National SCBWI conferences when I was RA for Rocky Mountain Chapter. She was so personable and delightful with fresh views. Later, when my husband was going to attend a conference in Paris and I went along, she set up a dream Paris speaking tour for me there. I came to think of her as something of a Fairy Godmother. I know that for you, she will be a powerhouse and a source of great support. You and she are two fortunate people. And…so am I for I know you both.

  140. Congratulations, Julie! Your generosity and enthusiasm are contagious. By the way, I downloaded your app and love it.

  141. congratulations, Julie! That’s wonderful news.

  142. Congratulations! Wonderful news Julie.
    I so relate to your rejection experiences. I submitted a ms to Stephen Fraser via 12 x 12 and was chuffed beyond imagination when he so kindly emailed a rejection. (I had actulally been acknowledged by a real live agent. Wow!) His comments are invaluable.
    Congrats again and many, many thanks for 12 x 12.
    ps Johnny Depp forever!

  143. Awesome, Julie! I saw this come up in my blog reader and saw your picture and thought,
    “YES! Julie got an agent!”
    This is very exciting.
    Love that you got to interview yourself!
    And I love your point that no writing goes to waste.
    Just realized that a year or so ago when I dug something up and used, like you said, “a kernal” of it for something else.
    It’s all practice.
    It’s all good πŸ™‚


  144. Julie, cheers for you! I admire your persistence, hard work, dutiful study of the craft–and your incredibly upbeat nature. You are inspirational. Congratulations!

  145. loved learning about the path your career has taken you on. a big congrats on your big step today! and I agree…craft first (followed very closely by dedication and persistence!)

  146. I am cartwheelin’ and flippin’ thrilled for you! I appreciated hearing your story of starting in 2006, which made me feel like my writing journey is in a decent place. Plus, knowing you took lots of time to work on craft and get your submissions ready makes me feel good too. Thanks for the “you’re doing okay” strokes! And congrats, of course!

  147. Congratulations, wonderful news

  148. Congrats, and thanks for telling your story in such detail. Inspiring!

  149. Congratulations on your agent! What great news. I’m in the “moratorium on submissions for a full year while I learned everything I could about the craft of writing picture books and the children’s publishing industry.” phase this year so it’s great to hear such a success story. You are doing so much to help so many of us on our writing path, (12×12 yay! big thanks!) so I’m glad to hear that great things are happening on your journey as well.

  150. Julie, Super awesome news and a great post! How funny that your ‘How I Got My Agent’ feature was one of the first in your blog and now you get to interview yourself. Thanks for sharing your journey. xoxo

  151. Congrats Julie! You are so generous to offer your agent spreadsheet to us.I believe I’ll be ready in a couple months. Meanwhile, I’ll practice on the 12 x 12 agents! Best of luck on your other upcoming projects.

  152. In the short period of time that I’ve dipped my toe into 12×12, there has been nothing but affirmation and positive feedback. I’m really digging this forum thing! Big High 5 to you, Julie and thank you for the inspiration (and explanations, too). ~Yvette

  153. I’m so happy for you, Julie πŸ™‚ Big huge Congrats!!
    Now, I, of course, would go with Tara lol niether for me because it’s Jonathan Crombie all the way for me! Xoxo

  154. Congratulations, Julie. Can’t wait to hear about more sales.

  155. Congrats, Julie. Well done! I’m excited for you and looking forward to hearing great publishing stories from you for years to come.

  156. “No writing is ever wasted.”
    That’s gonna be my new mantra. πŸ™‚

  157. Congrats Julie – You are starting the year out right!

  158. Julie Segal Walters

    Congratulations!! Your process was so thoughtful and your spirit is so generous. Best wishes for a beautiful and successful long-term relationship with your new agent!

  159. Congratulations congratulations congratulations! That’s SUCH a big deal! And thanks for being willing to spread such a great compilation of information around. That’s big too πŸ™‚

  160. Julie, I am still brimming with excitement for you! You have been such an inspiration, and with all your hard work I am thrilled that you’ve found an agent that’s a wonderful match. She’s lucky to have you as a client! Yippeeee!!!!

  161. Congratulations, both on Troop and on the agent. More good things are in store.

  162. As always Julie…you are wonderful, inspiring and encouraging at the same time! I can’t wait to follow on this journey with you! It will just keep getting better.
    I’m sure there will be a time, when I say to someone, “I knew her when the success was just starting!”

  163. Congratulations, Julie!! I never doubted this would happen for you. To new beginnings for a prosperous future!

  164. Congratulations, Julie! That is such fabulous news! Love that you interviewed yourself for this series, too. Perfect πŸ™‚

  165. Congratulations, Julie! You put so much out there for all of us. I’m so happy for you! I am on vacation so I saw this after the deadline. Is there any chance I could still see your amazing spreadsheet?? Thanks! Deb

  166. Penny Klostermann

    I smiled and smiled reading this post! I love that you got to interview yourself! I love your story! Big, huge congratulations! I am so happy for you!

  167. A very belated “Congratulations” to you Julie. How very exciting and so well deserved. Thank you for all you have done to put other writers on the right track one their publishing journey. T.

  168. WOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations, Julie!!! All our stars are aligning. I can’t believe you didn’t share on Writer Exchange! I just read your twitter profile today and found out – a month later! So I posted for the group. Hope you don’t mind. So, so very happy for you. You deserve it.

  169. I think this self interview is fab and awesome. And before I go on too long, Congratulations!!
    Thanks for sharing that a no now does not mean a no forever. I learned so much from reading this interview and you so deserve this.

    Good luck with all your projects! You are surely our fearless leader. πŸ™‚

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