Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 members in July. This is a great opportunity for Little GOLDen Book members to query an agent who is normally closed to unsolicited submissions.
I met Karen last year at the Rocky Mountain SCBWI annual conference, and I am not exaggerating when I say she is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She is genuine, kind, helpful, and passionate about helping writers become authors. I would consider anyone who snags Karen as an agent to be lucky indeed!
A little bit about Karen from the Red Fox Literary website:
“California native Karen Grencik makes her home in Shell Beach, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Karen initially launched her own literary agency in 1999 to champion writers and manuscripts she discovered on the Central Coast of California.
The opening chapter of The Karen Grencik Literary Agency was an astounding success, propelled largely by Karen’s major sale of the middle grade memoir Double Luck: Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White. Karen quickly found herself on the New York publishing circuit and in regular contact with editors and publishers, while also finding time to be a favorite presenter at several West Coast writers’ conferences.
Karen signed new clients and sold award-winning titles. Among the awards garnered by her authors are the Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Best Nonfiction, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Best Picture Book, and the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Fiction.
In 2006, Karen left agenting to pursue adventures in the tropical forests of Costa Rica…until the Los Angeles 2010 SCBWI National Conference, where Abigail Samoun was delighted to discover that Karen had returned to the States and was plunging back into the world of children’s books. Karen and Abigail decided in March 2011 to form Red Fox Literary, a boutique agency specializing in picture books, middle-grade, and young-adult titles.
Karen’s philosophy is simple: “When you choose to write children’s books, it’s just that—it’s a choice. You do it because you love it. You do it because it fills you with passion. You do it because it brings you joy. You are among the lucky ones who live life with purpose. But you also must do everything you can possibly think of to achieve your goals.
‘And you must be nice.’ ”
I LOVE that last line! When I asked Karen for some insight on what she was looking for in picture books these days, this is what she told me:
“I look for stories that elicit a lot of emotional response and stories that have layers. Just a fun wordplay story is very tough to sell in today’s competitive market. I want stories that have a great takeaway for the reader or a fun surprise ending that begs to be reread, and also offers terrific illustration opportunities. Deanna Romita just posted an interview that I think does a nice job of explaining my working style, and it might be helpful for those who will be sending manuscripts to see if I would be a good fit for them.” (The Query, Sign, Submit link below)