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agent
Susan Hawk
Upstart Crow Literary
illustration
STARRED Kirkus review, "A well-illustrated, beautifully written tale of encouragement..."

I represent books for kids: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult, along with some non-fiction for children and teens too. First, and most important, I’m looking for books that make me feel something. Grab me by the heart and don’t let go! Complex, layered, flawed, and lively characters are irresistible to me. I love writing that acknowledges and explores the way humans can hold opposing feelings—sometimes lots of them—all at one time.

Plot is equally important. I want to be drawn deeply into your story, and even if it isn’t an adventure, I want to feel like I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what will happen next. Humor is key—I like smart, witty humor (not so much gross-out humor). Even if your book isn’t meant to be a knee-slapper, a bit of something funny feels like real life to me. I want writing that’s sharp, focused, thoughtful and inventive. I’m a sucker for bittersweet and soulful. Literary or commercial, high concept or character-driven, I want to be surprised by your book.

I’m committed to building a diverse list of books and authors and open to just about any category or genre: picture book, chapter book, middle-grade, young adult; contemporary, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy—you name it.

I've worked in children’s books for over twenty-five years, and my clients include Alison Oliver, illustrator of the bestselling BABY LIT board books and the forthcoming picture book MOON; Ruth Spiro, author of the BABY LOVES SCIENCE board book series; Marcie Colleen, author of the SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS chapter book series and the forthcoming picture books LOVE, TRIANGLE and THE ADVENTURE OF THE PENGUINAUT; Lisa Tyre, whose debut middle-grade novel, LAST IN A LONG LINE OF REBELS, was a BEA Buzz Book title; Sarah Lariviere, whose middle-grade novel THE BAD KID is an 2017 Edgar Award Nominee; and Rachael Allen, author of the YA novels 17 FIRST KISSES and THE REVENGE PLAYBOOK.

For more information please visit Upstart Crow Literary, or my site, SUSAN SAYS.


years experience: 25
GENRES & SPECIALTIES
Juvenile fiction, Children's books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Picture Books, Chapter Books, Graphic Novels for Children and Teens, Non-fiction for Children and Teens
TRADE REFERENCES
Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR)
Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)
LEADING CLIENTS
Rachael Allen, Marcie Colleen, Alison Oliver, Ruth Spiro, Sarah Tolcser, Shelley Tougas, Lisa Tyre
BEST-KNOWN PROJECTS
SONG OF THE CURRENT by Sarah Tolcser, Bloomsbury
A TAXONOMY OF LOVE by Rachael Allen, Abrams
A STITCH IN TIME by Daphne Kalmar, Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan
SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS chapter book series by Marcie Colleen, Imprint/Macmillan
MOON by Alison Oliver, Clarion
BABY LOVES SCIENCE Board book series by Ruth Spiro, Charlesbridge
MOST RECENT SALES/ FORTHCOMING BOOKS
Young Adult:
Edgar Award finalist and author of THE BAD KID, Sarah Lariviere's TIME TRAVEL FOR LOVE AND PROFIT, the story of a math prodigy who invents time travel in order to redo a disastrous freshman year, only to become stuck in a time loop that results in her redoing ninth grade 10 times in a row, to Kelley Delaney at Knopf Books for Young readers, at auction, for publication in fall 2020, (NA).

Georgia YA Author of the Year and author of A TAXONOMY OF LOVE Rachael Allen's THE SUMMER OF IMPOSSIBILITIES, pitched as DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD for teens, in which four girls must spend the summer together when their moms reunite at their childhood lake house—one can't wait, two are sisters, three are feuding with their mothers, and all of them are hiding something, to Erica Finkel at Abrams Children's, for publication in spring 2020 (world English).

Autumn Krause's debut A DRESS FOR THE WICKED, pitched as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA meets THE SELECTION, about 17-year old who becomes a "dresser" for a high fashion couture house in a reimagined Europe, and finds herself thrust into a fiercely competitive world where her only respite is an attractive young journalist, to Emilia Rhodes at Harper Teen, edited by Elizabeth Lynch, for publication Summer 2019 (World English).

Rachael Allen's A TAXONOMY OF LOVE, pitched as ONE DAY meets I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, about a boy with Tourette Syndrome who's in love with the girl next door, only she's dating his older brother, told through snapshots spanning 7th grade to the summer after senior year, as he tries to classify their changing relationship, to Erica Finkel at Abrams Children's, for publication in 2018 (World English).

Middle Grade:
Debut author Daphne Kalmar’s A STITCH IN TIME, about eleven-year-old Donut, who is newly orphaned, and stuck with her Aunt Agnes who plans to drag her off to Boston. As Donut dodges her grief she and her best friend Tiny plot to keep her in their Vermont village where she belongs, to Jean Feiwel and Anna Roberto at Feiwel & Friends, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2018 (World English).

Author of HOW TO AVOID EXTINCTION, Paul Acampora's CONFUSION IS NOTHING NEW, about a 15-year old who learns that the mother she never met is now dead, and sets out to uncover the secret history of a missing mom, and to salvage the father-daughter relationship that has defined - and maybe confined - her life so far, to Nancy Mercado at Scholastic, for publication in Fall 2018 (World English).

Lisa Lewis Tyre's HOPE IN THE HOLLER -- the poignantly funny story of 12-year-old Wavie’s attempts to make a good life for herself after she's sent to live with scheming relatives in a colorful place called Conley Hollow -- to Nancy Paulsen at Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin. Publication will be in Spring 2018, followed by a second untitled novel (World English).

MEMENTO NORA author Angie Smibert's GHOSTS OF ORDINARY OBJECTS, set in coal-mining country, during WWII, about a twelve year old girl who has inherited her family's Gift, which allows her to see the stories in objects around her - a Gift that she believes killed her mother, to Rebecca Davis at Boyds Mills Press, in a three book deal, for publication in 2018 (World English).

Picture Books:
Christopher Willard and Olivia Weisser’s THE BREATHING BOOK, teaching breathing technique and mindfulness, illustrated by Alison Oliver, to Jennifer Adams at Sounds True, for publication Winter 2020. (For the illustrator).

Marcie Colleen's SURVIVOR TREE, for the 20th anniversary of September 11, the true story of the Callery pear tree that stood at the base of the Twin Towers for 30 years and was almost destroyed, only to be pulled from the rubble, coaxed back to life, and eventually replanted as part of the 9/11 memorial, illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Aaron Becker, to Deirdre Jones at Little, Brown Children's, for publication in summer 2021 (world).

Ruth Spiro's BABY LOVES SCIENCE, books 9 and 10 in the series of board books that connect our everyday world to the science that underlies everything, illustrated by Irene Chan, to Alyssa Mito Pusey at Charlesbridge, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2019 (world).

NOTHING LIKE A PUFFIN author Sue Soltis's THE STARS JUST UP THE STREET, illustrated by Christine Davenier, in which a girl loves the stars and dreams up a way for her neighbors to enjoy them too, to Andrea Tompa at Candlewick.

Author of LOVE, TRIANGLE Marcie Colleen's THE BEAR'S GARDEN, about an intrepid little girl, her beloved stuffed bear, and the garden they create in a forgotten corner of their city; a story inspired by a community garden in Brooklyn, NY, illustrated by Alison Oliver, to Erin Stein at Imprint, for publication in Winter 2020 (World).

Author and illustrator of MOON Alison Oliver's BE BOLD, BABY, the first four titles in a board book series about remarkable women, each book to feature one amazing woman, to Mary Wilcox at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's, in a four-book deal, for publication in Spring 2019.

NOTHING LIKE A PUFFIN author Sue Soltis's THE STARS JUST UP THE STREET, illustrated by Christine Davenier, in which a girl loves the stars and dreams up a way for her neighbors to enjoy them too, to Andrea Tompa at Candlewick.

Ruth Spiro's BABY LOVES GRAVITY! and BABY LOVES CODING!, books 5 and 6 in the BABY LOVES SCIENCE series of picture books that connect our everyday world to the science that underlies everything, with illustrations by Irene Chan, to Alyssa Pusey at Charlesbridge, for publication in Summer and Fall 2018.

Non-fiction: Illustrated/Art:
Jonathan Lopes's NEW YORK CITY BRICK BY BRICK, an exploration of the architecture and history of New York City through the medium of LEGO® bricks, highlighting iconic structures such as the Flatiron Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal, brownstones, fire houses, and more, unlocking techniques that can help builders of all ages, to Michael Sand and Garrett McGrath at Abrams Image, for publication in May 2019 (World).

MOST RECENT RIGHTS SALES
Rights to Autumn Krause's A DRESS FOR THE WICKED to Leonel Teti at Urano (Spain), at auction, by Berta Bruna at Sandra Bruna Literary Agency, on behalf of Susan Hawk and Michael Stearns at Upstart Crow Literary.

Korean rights Alison Oliver's MOON, to Beautiful Peoples, by Yesol Hong of Korea Copyright Center, on behalf of Susan Hawk and Michael Stearns at Upstart Crow Literary.

Rights to Sarah Tolscer's WHISPER OF THE TIDE, the second book in the Song of the Current series, to Vergara & Riba in Spain, Latin America, and Argentina, by Berta Bruna of the Sandra Bruna Literary Agency, on behalf of Susan Hawk and Michael Stearns at Upstart Crow Literary.

Rights to Rachael Allen's A TAXONOMY OF LOVE, to Blume Bettina at DTV in Germany, at auction, by Anna Diekmann and Bastian Schlueck of the Thomas Schlueck Agency; to Bayard in France, by Catherine Lapautre of the Michelle Lapautre Agency; to Ewa Holewinska at Jaguar in Poland, by Kamila Kanafa of the Macadamia Literary Agency; to Leonel Teti at Urano in Spain & Latin America, by Berta Bruna of the Sandra Bruna Literary Agency; all on behalf of Susan Hawk and Michael Stearns at Upstart Crow Literary.

Rights to Sarah Tolcer's SONG OF THE CURRENT, to Vergara & Riba in Spain, Latin America, and Argentina.

Polish rights to Julie Israel's JUNIPER LEMON'S HAPPINESS INDEX, to IUVI, by Kamila Kanafa at The Macadamia Literary Agency, on behalf of Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency.

Italian rights to Julie Israel's JUNIPER LEMON'S HAPPINESS INDEX, to Mondadori, by Daniela Micura of Daniela Micura Literary Services, on behalf of Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency.

French rights to Julie Israel's YA debut JUNIPER LEMON'S HAPPINESS INDEX to Casterman in France, and Editions AdA in Canada, both at auction, by Corinne Marotte at L'Autre Agence on behalf of Susan Hawk at the Bent Agency.

Israeli rights to J.M.M. Nuanez's middle-grade debut MY PERFECT ME, to Miskal, by Dalia Ever-Hadani of The Book Publishers Association of Israel, on behalf of Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency.

SPECIALIZED TRAINING, WORK EXPERIENCE, HONORS
Before agenting, I worked in the Children’s Marketing departments of Penguin Books for Young Readers, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and North-South Books, managing campaigns for many books and authors including Eric Carle, Mary E Pearson, Richard Peck and Joan Bauer. I've also been a children’s librarian and bookseller, and spent some time in Dutton Editorial, acquiring select picture book and YA projects for that list.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Please visit http://www.upstartcrowliterary.com/submissions/ for the most recent information on submitting to me.
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