This year 12 x 12 Little GOLDen Book members will be able to choose one of two agents to submit their manuscript to each month. Danielle Smith from Red Fox Literary will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 Gold members September 1-15. Alexandra Penfold from Upstart Crow Literary will be accepting picture book submissions from 12×12 Gold members September 16-30. Danielle’s profile appears first, followed by Alexandra’s. Please read BOTH and then decide who would be the best fit for your work.

Danielle Smith - Forward LiteraryDANIELLE SMITH

Danielle was a featured agent in 2013. She is now with Red Fox Literary and you can see her bio here. You can find our extensive profile post on her here. More recent interviews and resources appear at the end of this profile update

Every wonderful thing I said about Danielle last year remains true, and even more so! I spent some time talking with her again this year at SCBWI-LA, and once again walked away impressed with her approach, her knowledge, and her “niceness.” Perhaps that sounds strange, but Danielle is fun, funny, and human. There is no “agent aura” that separates her from the unwashed masses (i.e. us – LOL), and I love that about her. I’m so excited she’s back for another round of 12 x 12!

The most up-to-date interviews with Danielle:

ALEXANDRA PENFOLD

I have not only had the great pleasure of meeting Alexandra in person when she was still with Paula Wiseman, but I also had one of my greatest writerly epiphanies (to date) at her hands. I attended a picture book writing intensive she taught at the Rocky Mountain SCBWI 2011 conference. Here is the blog post I wrote summarizing what I learned. I should add, too, that I STILL look back on that session as one of the most comprehensive and helpful I’ve ever taken at a conference. I was so excited when I heard Alexandra had become one, and I’m happy for GOLD members who will get a chance to submit to her. You guys have a tough choice (as always) this month. 🙂

Featured 12 x 12 Agent Alexandra PenfoldA little bit about Alexandra from the Upstart Crow Literary website:

Alexandra Penfold has been working in publishing for nearly a decade. Formerly an Editor at Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, she specializes in young picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult. Prior to becoming an editor, Alexandra was a children’s book publicist. She worked on media campaigns that appeared in USA Today, Newsweek, US News and World Report, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She’s the co-author of New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks, and is looking to take on select lifestyle and cooking projects in addition to children’s books.”

In her own words:

“I can’t remember a time when my life wasn’t filled with books. From an early age I loved to read and write stories. I was an obsessive reader as a kid. I read everything I could get my hands on and bankrolled the public library with my allowance because I always wanted to read books one more time before I returned them. I like to say that some of my favorite people live in books.

I didn’t follow the traditional English major track, instead my concentration at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study was in Entertainment Business and Marketing, basically did a business major with lots of writing and entertainment and media classes thrown in. I rediscovered by love of children’s books through an internship in the marketing department at Simon & Schuster the summer of my junior year. I joined the team there as a publicity assistant soon thereafter and two years later, transitioned to the editorial side of things in 2005.

In the close to ten years that I spent at S&S, I had the privilege to edit award-winning picture books and novels. I look forward to continuing to champion books and their creators as an agent.”

Articles featuring Alexandra:

  • Find Alexandra on the Upstart Crow Literary website here.
  • Find Alexandra on Twitter
  • Deconstructing characters on The Writing Barn’s blog.
  • Profile on SCBWI Conference blog.
  • Summary of her character class from Samantha Clark.
  • Agent panel at SCBWI Conference blog.
  • Faculty profile for SCBWI Western Washington here.
  • Alexandra on Salon Author Connect here.

Full submission guidelines for Danielle and Alexandra are posted in the Membership Forum. Please note Little GOLDen Book Members may only submit to ONE of these agents. Please choose the agent who is the best fit for you and your manuscript.

Submissions will only be accepted for Danielle Smith from September 1st – September 15th at 6pm EST/3pm PST.

Submissions will only be accepted for Alexandra Penfold from September 16th – September 30th at 6pm EST/3pm PST.

Good Luck!
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This year 12 x 12 Little GOLDen Book members will be able to choose one of two agents to submit their manuscript to each month. John Cusick from Greenhouse Literary will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 Gold members April 1-15. Ginger Harris from Liza Royce Agency will be accepting picture book submissions from 12×12 Gold members April 16-30. John’s profile appears first, followed by Ginger’s. Please read BOTH and then decide who would be the best fit for your work.

 

John CusickJOHN CUSICK

John was a featured agent in 2013. You can find our extensive profile post on him here. More recent interviews and resources appear at the end of this profile update.

I’m so delighted to have John back for his second 12 x 12 “tour of duty.” He is so enthusiastic about the program and a real sport for taking this on immediately after the Bologna Book Fair. I sang his praises in last year’s post, so definitely give that a read too.

The most up-to-date interviews with John:

 

GINGER HARRIS

I had the pleasure of meeting Ginger at the NJ-SCBWI conference, both to pitch to her and to sit with her at lunch. I was impressed by her knowledge of and passion for picture books. She gave me phenomenal feedback on my pitches and I learned more in that one lunch than I could have done in a month of reading blog posts on writing picture books! The fact that she and her partner Liza BOTH wanted to participate in 12 x 12 (Liza as one of March’s agents) speaks volumes about their love of picture books specifically and children’s literature in general. Many thanks to Ginger for joining us this year!!

Ginger Harris and Liza Fleissig

Liza Fleissig and Ginger Harris from the Liza Royce Agency

“Ginger Harris-Dontzin, with her partner Liza Fleissig, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. A graduate of Boston University with a BA 1984 and Nova Southeaster University, Shepard Broad Law Center Law School with a JD, Ginger brings 20 years of litigation and negotiating experience to the field.

On the children’s side of publishing, being a mother to a preschooler boy, she is interested in everything from picture books, to middle grade and young adult. LRA also has a large adult based clientele from both established authors to writers in the earlier stages of their development. Although they lean towards suspense/thriller, commercial woman’s fiction and comedy, they are open to anything that speaks to them, in the past to include historical fiction, true crime and memoirs.”

Ginger works closely with her partner Liza Fleissig, who was one of March’s featured authors, so we recommend you read her profile post too.

Articles featuring Ginger Harris:

Full submission guidelines for John and Ginger are posted in the Membership Forum. Please note Little GOLDen Book Members may only submit to ONE of these agents. Please choose the agent who is the best fit for you and your manuscript.

Submissions will only be accepted for John Cusick from April 1st – April 15th at 6pm EST/3pm PST.

Submissions will only be accepted for Ginger Harris from April 16th – April 30th at 6pm EST/3pm PST.

Good Luck!
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Elena Mechlin Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 Gold members in October.

Elena Mechlin Giovinazzo - 12 x 12 Agent October 2013I met Elena Giovinazzo (formerly Mechlin) three years ago at our Rocky Mountain SCBWI conference. I gave my first-ever manuscript pitch to her and queried her afterward. Although she rejected that manuscript, she did so in the nicest, most encouraging way. 🙂 I was still fairly new to querying and submitting at the time, and I learned SO MUCH from her in that weekend.

But what I really remember was how easy-going, approachable, and nice she was. A few of us hung out in the bar (I know, I know… hard to imagine me in a bar…) after the banquet, and we sat and chatted about weddings (she was anticipating one in her future), to cheese or not to cheese, and many other non-writing topics that helped me realize agents are regular humans like the rest of us. I have a huge amount of respect for both Elena and Pippin Properties, and I wish participants the best of luck as you submit to her! 

A little bit about Elena from the Pippin Properties website:

“Elena Giovinazzo joined the team in June of 2009. Having begun her publishing career in subsidiary rights, moving on to children’s book marketing with a stint in audio, she realized that a position in agenting would enable her to continue to be involved in the many aspects of publishing about which she is so passionate from one place. She is thrilled to be pursuing her love of children’s literature and the industry from her seat at Pippin and especially enjoys the treasure hunt that is sorting through the daily query emails.”

Here are a few of the guiding beliefs at Pippin Properties:

“Part of the success of Pippin is due to a philosophy shared by all Pippin artists and authors:

The world owes you nothing. You owe the world your best work.

Evergreens—we want to create books that will stand the test of time.

We want to work with people in all media who share our philosophy.”

When I asked Elena what she looks for in picture book submissions, here is how she responded:

“I tend to gravitate towards spare, funny texts. I have a STRONG aversion to rhyming text as 9.8 times out of ten the story would be so much better if told in prose. I like books with a funny twist or a little ambiguity to them.”  ​

Full submission guidelines for Elena will be posted in the Membership Forum September 30.

Good Luck!

Elena will be speaking at the Minnesota SCBWI Annual Conference October 12-13, 2013

Elena’s Interview with Middle Grade Ninja – Check out #3 – What are the qualities of your ideal client?

Elena’s Interview with Writer’s Digest

How to Write a Winning Query – summary of Elena’s 2010 session at RMC-SCBWI on my blog

Query Questions with Elena

Interview with Elena and her Pippin colleagues on Cynsations

Elena on Children’s Publishing Blog

Interview on Writer Unboxed

Elena on Literary Rambles

Hunger Mountain Interview

Interview with Scribe

Brian Henry’s Quick Brown Fox blog post

Elena’s Bio on the Highlights Foundation website

Elena’s Bio from the Unicorn’s Writers Conference

Find Elena on Twitter

Find Elena on Facebook

Elena is on the list of Top 25 Agents – Highest Children’s Book Sales April 2012-April 2013

 

 

 

As of 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 4, GOLD members of 12 x 12 are free to submit to John Cusick.

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Jennifer Mattson of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 members in August.

jennifermI’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer twice, at two different Big Sur workshops – one in the Rockies and one in, well, Big Sur. Both times I was impressed with her warmth, intelligence and genuine desire to help writers. I know she puts these qualities to good use because she represents my friend Linda Ashman, and I continue to hear nothing but good things. See for yourself when you read about Jennifer’s recent deals below! I was so pleased when she agreed to be a 12 x 12 featured agent, and anyone who snags her will be in good hands! Thank you, Jennifer!

A little bit about Jennifer from the Andrea Brown website:

Jennifer came to Andrea Brown Literary Agency after nearly five years of reviewing children’s literature as part of the Books for Youth staff of Booklist magazine. That adds up to close readings of around 1,000 books, lending Jennifer a wide-angle view of the tastes of individual houses.

Prior to Booklist, Jennifer was an Associate Editor at Dutton Children’s Books, where she acquired and edited titles that included CHICO, by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; and THE HEROIC ADVENTURES OF HERCULES AMSTERDAM, by Melissa Glenn Haber. (She also enjoyed an amusing turn on the other side of the desk as a coauthor of THE OFFICIAL EASY-BAKE COOKBOOK).

In the picture-book arena, Jennifer is interested in authors and author-illustrators who bring a distinctive, well-developed point of view to their work; at this time, she is not acquiring illustration-only clients. She loves picture books that are story time-ready stories (no one-joke tales or mood pieces) that resonate with universal childhood experiences and concerns; fables and folktales aren’t for her.

When I asked Jennifer what she is looking for in picture books these days, here is the response she sent me:

As for what’s interesting to me in PB manuscripts, I warm to idiosyncratic voices that don’t condescend (think William Steig and Russell Hoban); stories that are either hilarious, mind-expanding, or heart-melting (all three would be the holy grail); and clever premises that are well paced and pay off with a terrific ending. I tend to appreciate a narrative that’s a bit postmodern in its approach, expanding character or story with elements that break away from the body text. PB narrative nonfiction that’s not institutional in feel is okay.  Above all else, though, I look for concision, and a good understanding of the give-and-take between words and pictures that make for a seamless whole.

Recent picture book sales include three manuscripts by noted poet Linda Ashman: PEACE, BABY!, to be illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (Chronicle); Linda Ashman’s nearly wordless, graphic novel influenced story, RAIN! (Houghton Mifflin/HMH); and a lyrical ode to the rhythms of the natural world, ALL WE KNOW (HarperCollins). Past sales include author-illustrator Gail Page’s HOW TO BE A GOOD CAT, the latest entry in her picture book series about Bobo the dog (Bloomsbury); and TEN ON THE SLED, a picture book written by Kim Norman (Sterling).

Full 12 x 12 submission guidelines and requirements for Jennifer will be posted in the Submission Station section of the 12 x 12 Membership Forum, accessible to Little GOLDen Book members by 6:00 p.m. EST/3:00 p.m. on August 31st. In the meantime, here are some links with more information about Jennifer.
Good Luck!
Jennifer’s Representative Deals
Paul Meisel announces representation by Jennifer Mattson – This post is short, but having a look around his blog might give you insight in to why Jennifer was interested in representing Paul and his work.
Categories: 12 x 12, Agents, Books, Children's Books, Picture Books, Publishing, Queries, SCBWI · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Tricia LawrenceTricia Lawrence of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency (EMLA) will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 members in March.

I have never met Tricia in person, but that will soon change because she will be in both Bologna AND NJ-SCBWI! I will say that I’ve been impressed with her thoughtfulness and responses in every email exchange I’ve had with her. Plus, when she started at EMLA it was as a social media strategist – how cool is that? I’m sure her clients benefit tremendously from having an agent with marketing and promotion know-how.

Prior to joining EMLA, Tricia spent 17 years of working as a developmental and production-based copyeditor (from kids book to college textbooks).

As an associate-agent at EMLA, Tricia looks for picture books that “look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page.” When I asked her to share any insights into what she is looking for in PBs these days, this is what she said:

“With PB manuscripts, I am looking for an experience, all the questions I have are positive, not coming from confusion, but from “Oh, I love this; can I have more?” A really strong voice is a huge plus. What Anastasia Suen calls “picture writing” so that you can read it and then see it in both pictures and words, without massive and painful effort. 
 
Not very specific, but I’m really looking for something amazing (isn’t everybody!) with strong character, specific word choice, playful or sweet, with that wonderful hook that takes me in an unexpected turn.”
Full submission guidelines and requirements for Tricia will be posted in the Submission Station section of the 12 x 12 Membership Forum, accessible to Little GOLDen Book members by 2:00 p.m. EST on February 28. In the meantime, here are some links with more information about Tricia.
Good Luck!
Tricia’s profile on the EMLA website
Cynsations interview featuring both Erin and Tricia discussing social media for authors
Mother. Write. (Repeat). Author-Agent Interview
Profile on The Write Path
Interview on Forever Rewriting
Categories: 12 x 12, Agents, Picture Books, Publishing, Queries, Social Media, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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