At Writers House I've had the privilege of working closely with a variety of extraordinarily talented bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators of works ranging from very young picture books to middle grade and young adult. I'm a junior agent seeking clients who work in primarily those genres, but looking to make exceptions in lifestyle/cooking/health.
I especially love realistic and witty YA (that includes drama, romance, comedy, thrillers, mystery—or hybrids of these!), but I’m open to elements of magic. I’m almost 100% voice-oriented and love (flawed!) character and relationship driven plots: true-to-life fiction with larger-than-life personalities. A big, sexy concept never hurts, though!
Setting is secondary to characters and relationships for me, but I love when it’s almost a character in itself. Seamlessly incorporated cultural bytes (music, food, art, language, books, and specific family traditions) are always good. I also love innovative modernizations and re-tellings of Shakespearean and other stories, or even movies.
I look for funny and dramatic (or both!) MG novels about friendships (including those with animals), outcasts, and the complexity of individual families. Brave or whimsical adventure stories starring unlikely characters and underdogs are great. I still look for honest, funny, and unique voice here, and that MG trifecta of heart, smarts, and humor.
While I'm presently focusing on acquiring older formats, in general, I look for artful, human, and/or hilarious picture books and artwork driven by expressive characters. I seek illustration with something fresh going on (or that pays homage to a classic with its own modern layering). I'm additionally a fan of tender/gentle picture books. Voice remains a top priority across the board; that includes in artwork. Be yourself!