(scroll down for Portfolio Consultants)
Tina Dubois is a literary agent at ICM Partners, with a focus on middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction. She’s looking for diverse voices/#ownvoices. Many of her favorite reads include an element of mystery, dangerous magic, and nerd humor. @tduboisny
Karen Grencik became a literary agent because of a man she admired. She wanted the world to know his story. In 2001, she accomplished her goal when Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan, written by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White, was published by Holiday House. Karen’s next sale, George Hogglesberry, Grade School Alien, written by Sarah Wilson, was acquired by a brand new editor, Abigail Samoun, at Tricycle Press. In February 2011, Karen and Abigail joined forces to open Red Fox Literary, LLC, a boutique agency that specializes in children’s books for all ages. Karen specializes in picture books and is looking for character-driven stories that fill her with emotion or stories that make her laugh, preferably with a strong marketing hook.
Wendi Gu is an agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She is lucky to work with fiction and nonfiction children’s books across the spectrum, from board books all the way up to young adult. Wendi enjoys lyricism at the line level, sophisticated rhythm, as well as whimsical, absurdist humor. She does not shy away from heavy, darker subjects related to mental health, trauma, and displacement, with a special focus on family stories, and nonfiction books that unearth unexpected corners of history and science. For middle grade and young adult novels, she enjoys voice-driven stories with thoughtful, contemplative, often flawed characters. She is looking for authors who value intersectionality.
Katie Heit is a picture book editor at Scholastic Books where she edits nonfiction picture books and chapter books, as well as select fiction picture book titles. She works with many nonfiction authors, including Sandra Markle, Dean Robbins, and Nick Seluk, among others. She is drawn to books that approach nonfiction in a unique, kid-friendly way and is especially on the lookout for nature and STEAM topics.
Sasha Henriques is an associate editor at Random House Books for Young Readers where she acquires picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects, both fiction and nonfiction. For young adult, Sasha loves mysteries and thrillers with adult crossover appeal, historical fiction with fresh takes on stories we think we know, retellings and modernizations of classic tales, contemporary rom-coms, and horror with a psychological, suspenseful bent. She lives for high-concept, genre-crossing speculative reads. For middle grade, she prefers witty female protagonists and stories that are funny and voice-driven. Above all, she’s looking for diverse voices, sassy narrators, and sharp writing! She particularly hopes to find projects that represent the LGBTQ+ community, explore immigrant and first generation stories in a commercial way, and feature otherly-abled characters.
Carol Hinz is Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, divisions of Lerner Publishing Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She acquires and edits picture books as well as photo-driven nonfiction, publishing about thirty titles a year. Books she’s edited include Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson; One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon; A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Seo Kim; and Tracking Pythons: The Quest to Catch an Invasive Predator and Save an Ecosystem by Kate Messner. Find her on Twitter: @CarolCHinz.
Tricia Lawrence is a senior agent at the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. She represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won’t let go.
Alvina Ling is VP and Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (a division of Hachette Book Group) where she has worked since 1999. She edits children’s books for all ages, from picture books to young adult. For picture books, she loves both silly, laugh-out-loud picture books; as well as beautiful, thought-provoking ones. For middle grade and young adult, she would love to acquire a commercial “next big thing” series (of course!), as well as strong literary fiction with award potential. As one of the founding members and former chair of the Children’s Book Council’s Diversity Committee, she has a particular passion for books with diverse characters and themes. She’s also a sucker for books that feel completely unique, books that can make her both laugh and sob, and books that can be described (in all seriousness) as “important.”
Melissa Manlove is a senior editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She has been with Chronicle for 16 years. Her acquisitions encompass picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, graphic novels, and novels in verse. When acquiring, she looks for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her. She has 20 years of children’s bookselling experience.
Krista Marino is a senior executive editor at Delacorte Press (Random House Children’s Books) where she acquires and edits young adult and middle grade fiction. Among her list are bestselling series, like the Maze Runner; literary gems, like Kathleen Glasgow’s Girl in Pieces; genre-bending debuts, like Rory Power’s Wilder Girls; and trendsetters, like Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying. Whether it’s an original voice, a unique world, a different worldview, or a compelling plot, she’s looking for stories that you can’t stop thinking about as well as novels with unexpected twists and authentic, compelling voices. She loves anything that keeps her up at night and begs her to finish in one sitting. Young adult and middle grade, and across genres, she wants fresh concepts, lots of heart, and she always loves a great mystery.
Alexandra Penfold is a literary agent with Upstart Crow Literary Agency and the New York Times bestselling author of All Are Welcome, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman. She represents works for all age ranges and across genres. Some of the books Alexandra has represented include SCBWI Golden Kite winner Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley; Be the Change by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Evan Turk; and, Quackers by Liz Wong. Clients include New York Times bestselling illustrators Elizabeth Baddeley and Suzanne Kaufman, and authors Bethany Hegedus, Adam Lehrhaupt, and Stephanie Ledyard, among others. Alexandra is the author of several books for children: Eat, Sleep, Poop, illustrated by Jane Massey; We Are Brothers, We Are Friends, illustrated by Eda Kaban; The Littlest Viking, illustrated by Isabel Roxas; and Food Truck Fest, illustrated by Mike Dutton. Find her on Twitter @agentpenfold or www.alexpenfoldbooks.com. She will only be reviewing Picture Books.
Sara Sargent is a senior executive editor at Random House Children’s Books, where she publishes cutting-edge nonfiction and fiction for young people of all ages. She focuses on books that feel of-the-moment, reflecting what kids, parents, teachers, and educators most need now. Sara has previously held publishing positions at HarperCollins Children’s Books and Simon & Schuster. Her wish list includes picture books with diverse representations of family experiences; young adult psychological thrillers with crossover appeal; Crazy Rich Asians for young adult; Daisy Jones and the Six for young adult; young adult LGBTQ+ contemporary rom-coms; middle grade or young adult fiction featuring protagonists who explore themes of ableness, neurodiversity, or chronic illness; and fiction and nonfiction PB, MG, and YA with themes surrounding climate change.
Erica Rand Silverman is a senior agent with Stimola Literary Studio. In her 10+ years in publishing, Erica has worked with some of the most exciting new talent and treasured mainstays in the industry as well as the estates of our favorite classics. She is currently focused on representing authors and illustrators of illustrated books for children. Erica is a tireless advocate for her clients and proud to be a part of an industry that is so thoughtfully shaping young hearts and minds. Right now, she is closed to unsolicited submissions but will accept referrals from Studio clients and industry colleagues as well as submissions from attendees at conferences where she is on faculty. Erica is most interested in author-illustrator picture books through chapter books and interesting novelty formats. She is looking for a diverse array of voices, perspectives and styles.
Alexander Slater is an agent at Trident Media Group. His list includes authors like Jodi Kendall, Janae Marks, Anuradha Rajurkar, and other award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors. In looking for new projects, he hopes to find smart and innovative thrillers, as well as witty and original rom-coms in the young adult space, and then speculative, horror, or grounded sci-fi and fantasy fiction for middle grade readers. All stories must have the urgency all the best stories for children share, and be from writers eager to engage in the diverse and dynamic conversation ongoing in contemporary literature.
Saba Sulaiman is an agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services. She’s looking primarily to build her list with picture books, middle grade and young adult and is particularly (although not exclusively) interested in contemporary realistic stories. She is committed to highlighting marginalized voices with compelling stories to tell; stories that demonstrate the true range of perspectives that exist in this world, and address urgent and often underexplored issues with veracity and heart. What’s on her wishlist? Unapologetically joyful narratives centering on intersectionally marginalized characters, underrepresented Queer perspectives, wildly original, character-forward picture book ideas, and South Asians behaving badly. Twitter @agentsaba. Website: sabasulaiman.com
Nick Thomas is a senior editor at Levine Querido, an independent children’s book publisher. Authors on the upcoming LQ launch list he has had the honor of working with include Darcie Little Badger, Eric Gansworth, and Donna Barba Higuera (the latter of whom he met through SCBWI)! He loves to work on every type of book under the sun, but most especially middle grade and young adult, and at the moment is looking for wonderful fantasy and funny, thoughtful writing.
Erika Turner is a senior editor at Versify, the new imprint helmed by Kwame Alexander at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She acquires books for kids of all ages, including graphic novels, and is looking for unexpected concepts, surly middle grade protagonists, and sweeping young adult fantasies. She’s partial to projects that explore our relationship to technology, spirituality, and history.
Andrea Welch is Executive Editor at Beach Lane Books, a San Diego-based imprint of Simon & Schuster. She has the pleasure of working with a long list of wonderful authors and illustrators, including Liz Garton Scanlon, Denise Fleming, April Pulley Sayre, and Ekua Holmes. Recently celebrated books she has edited include Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel; The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, illustrated by Terry & Eric Fan; and the New York Times bestselling LMNO Peas series.
Krista Vitola is a senior editor at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. A few of the gems she is lucky to work with are Anne Bustard, Donna Gephart, Shanna Miles, Kelly Yang and Stuart Gibbs. She gravitates toward middle grade and young adult novels with tons of heart, strong relationships, and a unique setting. If she learns something new in the process, she is even happier. Krista would love to find more novels that shed light on marginalized experiences and stories that will make her laugh.
Laurent Linn, art director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, has collaborated on picture books, middle grade, and teen novels with both celebrated and new illustrators such as the late Tomie dePaola, Vashti Harrison, and Raúl Colón. He is also the author-illustrator of the critically acclaimed young adult novel Draw the Line. Laurent is on the SCBWI Board of Advisors and is the artistic advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York. Laurent began his career as a puppet designer and builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, creating characters for productions including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films. He eventually became the creative director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award. www.laurentlinn.com.
Elizabeth B. Parisi is the creative director of trade publishing at Scholastic Inc. A graduate of RISD with a BFA in illustration, Elizabeth has won 2 gold medals as an art director from the Society of Illustrators. She oversees over 200 book titles per year, in middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction genres, and has worked on many acclaimed titles including the Hunger Games series, with her husband, Tim O’Brien, as illustrator; Kent State by Lois Lowry;the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series by Sayantani Das Gupta; and Flying Over Water, by Shannon Hitchcock and N.H. Senzai. Widely respected in the industry, she is known for her innovative, focused designs and for knowing instinctively what the right image and design approach is for every book.
Lauren Rille is an art director at Simon & Schuster, where she works with the Beach Lane, Atheneum, and McElderry imprints. Before joining Simon & Schuster, Lauren was a designer at Sterling and Harcourt Children’s Books. Some books she’s designed include the most recent edition of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume with cover illustration by Debbie Ohi; Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel; Scraps by Lois Ehlert; The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, illustrated by The Fan Brothers; and the New York Times bestselling Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman. Lauren’s debut picture book, I Feel Teal, illustrated by Aimee Sicuro, was published in July 2018 by Beach Lane Books. Lauren loves the collaborative process of working with editors and illustrators, and she’s always on the lookout for new talent.