Erzsi Deak of Hen&Ink will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 members in June. This is a special opportunity because “The Coop” as it is lovingly called, is not open to unsolicited submissions!
So. What to say about Erzsi Deak, who is my own agent, albeit only for a short time (read: we haven’t gone out on submission with anything yet).
Here are a few things. She is whip-smart and forward-thinking. As a “boundary-pusher” (can I find more phrases to hyphenate?) in publishing, part of the reason I knew we’d be a good fit is because she doesn’t shy away from new challenges or the opportunity to chart new ground. She does not see herself as just a seller of manuscripts but as an advocate for her clients’ careers. Another thing I appreciate about her is that she’s not a “client-coddler” (there’s another one, AND I think I made that one up). Meaning — she will stretch you to do your best work and beyond. Ask a straight question and you’ll get a straight answer. I’ve already found that quality of hers immensely helpful in thinking about and planning my writing projects.
Last, but certainly not least, she LOVES picture books. But she is, to put it in her own words, a “hard ass” about them.
In short, I’m proud to be one of the chicks in the coop and hope some of my 12 x 12 brethren will join me there.
A little bit about Erzsi Deak, founder of Hen&ink, from the Hen&ink website:
“Hen&ink is a literary studio with a twist. We aim to work in the traditional publishing arena, but also to encourage and develop work across cultural borders, genres, and media.
Hen&ink founder, Erzsi Deàk, brings her 25+ years experience on the international stage, connecting individuals and companies with those around the globe who can make things happen – no matter where you find yourself.
With her growing list of prize-winning clients and new voices from around the world, Erzsi Deàk meets often with publishers in the US and UK and aggressively markets domestic and foreign rights, attending the Bologna, London and Frankfurt rights fairs.
Erzsi’s book, PERIOD PIECES: STORIES FOR GIRLS, was a Bank Street pick and her articles on the world of children’s publishing regularly appear in CHILDREN’S WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS’ MARKET. Based in France, Erzsi ran the international arm of the SCBWI for nearly ten years, developing and mentoring writers, illustrators and publishing programs in 28 countries. She founded and organized the SCBWI Bologna Conference and was awarded the SCBWI Member of the Year in 1999 and 2008.
But mostly, Erzsi is on the forefront of the international publishing scene, doing what she does best, connecting people across borders and genres.”