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NO PLACE TO FALL through December 13th

VITAMINS AND DEATH through January 3rd

CREED through January 3rd

Agent News: Stephanie Maclean, Trident Media

This news is a couple months old now, but I saw it over on Just the Facts Ma'am yesterday and thought I'd post it over here in case anyone missed it.

Per the Trident Media web site:

"Stephanie Maclean was promoted to Literary Agent in June of 2009. Stephanie came to Trident as CEO Dan Strone’s assistant where she had the opportunity to work on some of the biggest and most prestigious book deals in the industry. She is now collaborating with Robert Gottlieb and Kimberly Whalen and is now actively seeking Romance, Women’s Fiction and Young Adult. She holds a B.A. in Literature and Writing at Moravian College."

Submission guidelines available on the Trident web site.

QueryTracker profile.

Best to all who query.

Another Request!

I'm still looking for guest bloggers and interviewees, but I have another less time-consuming request that's open to everyone.

Research Tip Tuesday!

Are there any research tips or words of wisdom you'd like to share here on Lit Rambles?

It can be anything from that first moment a writer has to figure out who reps what up to the last when they've received an offer of rep and are quadruple-checking the agent is actually a real, legit human being, errr agent, that will be good for their career (we get pretty skeptical after all those rejections, right?). Detail oriented or large picture, whatever you want to share!

I'd love to tap into the collective knowledge of my readers and share some gems. I know we have some great researchers and query veterans among us.

Please e-mail your tips, wisdom, and advice to agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com. I'll be putting up one per week, so if you send more than one expect them to be spread out. I'll be sure to plug your blog, web site, book(s), favorite author, favorite charity, whatever you want.

Also, please spread the word! I'd love to make this an ongoing feature.

Thanks all, and have a great weekend!

Agent Spotlight: Bill Contardi

This week's Agent Spotlight features Bill Contardi of Brandt and Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. 

Bill-Contardi About: "For ten years Bill Contardi worked as an editor for NAL, Berkely, Popular Library, and Avon Books. He was director of literary affairs at United Artists and then vice-president, literary affairs at Warner Bros.—in their New York offices, charged with bringing in books for the studios to develop for feature film. For eleven years Bill was a dramatic rights agent for books to film and television at William Morris in New York. Since 2002 he has been a literary agent with Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents representing authors and selling their work to publishers. In addition to building a list of new writers at Brandt & Hochman, Bill also continues to represent the dramatic rights of literary properties for some Brandt & Hochman clients and for a few other agencies as well." (Link)

Status: Open to submissions.

What He's Looking For:

Fiction: Literary Fiction, True Crime, Commercial Fiction, Historical Fiction, Thrillers/Suspense, Military/Espionage, Children’s, Young Adult, Multi-Cultural.

Non-Fiction: History, Celebrity, Biography, Religion, Politics, Multi-Cultural, Memoirs, Spirituality, Current Affairs, Pop Culture, Narrative, Nature/Ecology, Film & Entertainment, True Crime. (Link)

(QueryTracker has him listed with even more genres here.)

From AgentQuery:

"I am looking for a fresh, smart voice, in control of the story which has some resonance to today. A story that hits the ground running with drama and fully developed characters and takes me to a new place. Writers, including multi-cultural, with a point of view, something to say which will appeal to an audience that enjoys wit and intelligence." (Link)

From an Interview (10/2008):

"I am pretty open to anything that seems smart and different...and saleable helps."  (Link)

What He's Not Looking For:

I found the following information listed with a conference bio from late 2008: 

"He is open to all kinds of books, fiction and nonfiction (except for science fiction, fantasy, children's picture books, middlegrade fiction, and self-help)." (Link)

I believe this to mean he doesn’t want sci-fi or fantasy adult fiction as he reps several YA fantasy titles.

Quotables:

"We don't have a website because frankly we spend professional time being agents and occasionally editors rather than maintaining a website. We have great clients and loads of talented new writers through references and reputation. And as you know Google tells the story these days, for better and sometimes for worse." (Link)

“Everything runs in cycles. Right now there is depressed market in adult fiction for high fantasy. Whereas supernatural chick lit with werewolves and vamps etc. continues to thrive. The YA high fantasy genre is more alive. And there is always a market for epic fantasy, usually for the guys and abounding with issues of honor and courage and martial arts. But over time what is labeled ‘out of fashion’ wears off and is the new bright shiny thing.” (Link)

Editorial Agent?

Yes, he requests revisions and editorial changes as needed.  One client, Sugar Turner, acknowledged him for acting "more as an editor than an agent," and seemed very thankful.  In his podcast interview from 2007, however, he mentioned that agents generally don't have time for line-by-line edits, so I wouldn't expect that level of editorial help.  Always send your best, polished work.

Web Presence:

No website.

AAR member.

AgentQuery, QueryTracker, & AuthorAdvance.

Clients:

Jessica Brody, Bryan Chick, Leah Cypess, Kathleen Benner Duble, Shane Gericke, Mary Jane Nealon, Alyson Noel, Brooke Parkhurst, Cindy Pon, Margaret Lowrie Robertson, Charlie Stella, Curt Wendelboe, Thomas Zigal, among others.

Sales:

As of 3/2011, Mr. Contardi is listed on Publisher's Marketplace as having made 3 deals in the last 12 months, 3 six-figure+ deals, and 31 overall.  Recent deals include 1 memoir, 2 young adult.

NOTE: PM is rarely a complete representation of sales.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (preferred).

Snail-Mail: Yes.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

E-mail:  Query only.

Snail-mail:  Query and SASE.

Query tips: 

"I prefer email queries which allow for instant consideration if I am before the screen, which is much of the day...and night." (Link)

"When I receive a query I look immediately to the author bio. Something that seems to show evidence of that individual as a writer whether it is academic credits or professional accomplishments. Having a blog these days can be a very effective platform for a new writer." (Link)

“Yes, I am always looking for writers. I prefer an email with a plot synopsis and an author bio. Some writing experience is always helpful -- that shows dedication to honing one's craft. I am looking for really good writing, with freshness and point view and relevance.” (Link)

Response Times:

Mr. Contardi generally responds within minutes to a few days, occasionally taking longer.  His response time on requested material seems to fall within days to a couple weeks.  Despite his quick turnaround, don’t be too hasty to followup if you don’t hear back right away.  Agent response times fluctuate.

What's the Buzz?

Despite his quiet Internet presence, there is a lot of praise floating around the web about Mr. Contardi.  Most have very complimentary things to say, and his clients particularly seem to love him.  Given his years in the publishing business (around 30!), successful clientele, and experience in the film industry, he seems like quite the catch. According to AgentQuery, he sells many debut novels, which is always a plus.

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

Agent Perspectives: Bill Contardi at Class of 2k10 (06/2010).

Interview with Bill Contardi by client Cindy Pon (10/2008).

Podcast interview with Bill Contardi and Lolly Winston (11/2006).

Ask An Agent: Reader Q&A with William Contardi (2002).

Around the Web:

Brandt & Hochman Literary on P&E.

Brandt & Hochman Literary thread on AbsoluteWrite.

If you have a paid membership with AvantGuild, you may be able to find more information on Mr. Contardi with this article, Pitching an Agent: Brandt & Hochman.  Note, however, its from 2004.

Contact:

Please see Mr. Contardi's AAR page or one of the query databases above for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 3/16/11

Agent Contacted For Review? Yes

Last Reviewed by Agent:  N/A

***

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.

Wednesday's Word Count

And here we sit. At the last Wednesday of another month.

Prior Goal: 2k

Accomplished: 2138

Goal for new week: 3k

Excuses / comments: I managed my 2k, and did quite a bit of thinking about my rewrite and new idea. I've finally let go of my fervent desire to have something polished by the end of the year. It's not doing anything for me, this rushed feeling, so I'm going to go with the flow for the rest of the year, and then regroup with some great goals for 2010. As Angela was kind enough to point out to me, I've done great things with my blog this year, even if I haven't accomplished all that I wanted to with my writing.

Things are going to be busy in the next few weeks. I have my daughter's birthday coming up in about a week, and all the planning involved in trying to throw this little wedding together in a short amount of time. But, even if it has to take a backseat, I don't want my writing goals to slip off the schedule completely, so I'm going to try for 3k this week. Really, that's only about three hours of writing time, at the most, if I can hit a stride and turn off Ms. Internal Editor. I just need to make the time to sit down and write an hour here and there.

Did you make your goals from last week (there were some great ones!)? What are your goals this week? Anyone planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year? It's going to come up on us pretty fast.

'Til Death Do Us Part

I found a dress I like!  And it isn't black (though I found an awesome black one too).  I'm going to try to find a picture of it later today.  Let me tell you though, my dad's going to be thrilled.  Here's a recent conversation we had while my brother was visiting. 

***

Dad:  You can't wear a black dress to your wedding.

Me:  Why not?

Dad:  Black is a funeral color.

Me:  But it's okay if the groom wears black?

Dad: ....

*Several minutes go by*

Dad:  You can't wear a black dress.  It's just wrong. 

Me:  That's very traditional of you.

Dad: ....

Me (sly look):  At least we nixed the plan to get married in the cemetery.

Dad: There was a plan to get married in a cemetery?

Me:  Yeah.  We were going to pre-order our plots and get married on them.  Go with the whole 'Til death do us part' theme. 

Dad: *stares*

Me:  What?  It's beautiful, symbolic. 

Brother (looks over from TV):  You're twisted, Sis.

Me:  A black dress doesn't seem so bad now, does it?

Guest Bloggers, Sea Urchins, and Dresses, Oh My!

First off, I'm trying to line up some guest posts and interviews for the blog. So...

If you'd like to do a guest post on some facet of agent research and/or preparedness, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

If you'd like to do a guest post on something else (that still hits upon one of themes of this blog), feel free to e-mail me and let me know what you're thinking.

If you're an agented or published kitlit author or a publishing profressional that wouldn't mind being interviewed, I'd love to hear from you as well. Also, I'm totally open to hosting book tours and contests, should anyone need such an outlet.

***

In an attempt to better utilize Twitter, I'll now be posting whatever useful or funny links, posts, articles, etc. I come across there, rather than doing random linkspam posts on Lit Rambles. Of course, if it's something particularly interesting or related to agent research, I'll still post it here. So, if you haven't already, please friend me on Twitter.

***

BetaMy daughter got a Beta fish as an early birthday present yesterday. Can you guess what she named it? I'll give you a hint. There's probably thousands upon thousands of kids' fishes named this right now. I really hope it doesn't die anytime soon.

Then again... there is that whole attachment thing we'll have to deal with. *sigh*

***

research-uniI watched three different people (family) eat a piece of sea urchin on Friday, and each one pretty much looked like they were going to throw up on the table. The consensus seemed to be that it tasted like the bathroom at the Monterey Bay Aquarium would taste, and melted in your mouth like some kind of liquid-based slime. Mmmm... want some?

Have YOU ever tried sea urchin?

***

bridesshortI'm going wedding dress shopping today. I'm not completely opposed to a traditional wedding dress (some of them are absolutely gorgeous!), but I'd prefer to find either a black dress (yes, black) or a 50s-inspired tea-length gown. I may be odd but, I assure you, there are plenty of other offbeat brides out there.  Though, if I had all the time and money I needed to do so, I'd get the dress pictured on the right.  LOVE. 

Anyway, we're heading out of town for the day, and I think it's a testament of my bookishness that I've scheduled in a stop at a book store that has a much better YA section than my local one. I mean... I'll be right there. How an I pass up the opportunity?!

***

Okay. I think that's enough random for today. As I mentioned, I'll be out of town most of the day, so if you leave a comment or e-mail me, I'll be getting back to  you tonight or tomorrow.

Have a great day everyone!  Looking forward to your comments when I get home.

Let's Discuss! Do Connections and Readiness Go Hand In Hand?

When I was researching Erin Murphy for her Spotlight, the following quote from one of her interviews stood out to me:

In general, I don't think a writer should contact an agent without a referral or connection. If a writer hasn't gotten out there enough to have met agents at conferences or met other writers who know agents, she's not ready for an agent. Being part of the world of writing for children is what takes a writer to a new level and gets her ready to be published. Children's writers form a unique community. They look at each other's work and help each other improve and learn, so a referral from another writer means a lot to me.

I agree to some extent. I do think, if you're networking, making friends, participating in one or more critique groups, going to conferences and workshops, etc. you're bound to make some connections (even doing just one or two of these). Also, if you're writing has reached the level that it needs to be at, I'd like think you'd connect with some writers (friends or otherwise) who are excited enough about your writing to want to refer you to their agents. Note the very large, subjective IF.

Now, I did say to some extent; not only because taste in writing/story is so subjective, but also because I don't expect that most writers would make a lot of these connections. So if you have, let's say, five connections and none of them pan out, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to twiddle your thumbs until you've had a chance to make more (though you might want to get another critique or three to reassure yourself it was ready in the first place.). It's possible that the best agent for you isn't even connected to anyone you know, and plenty of amazing writers have been pulled from slush.

What are your thoughts on this?

Agent News: Mary Kole - Associate Agent @ Andrea Brown

mary-kole Head on over to the Andrea Brown web site and read up on their newest associate agent, Mary Kole (scroll down to the bottom).

Here's a snippet of what she's looking for:

"At this time, Mary is only considering young adult and middle grade novels and truly exceptional picturebooks. She's seeking fresh, unique voices and idiosyncratic characters who, by book's end, she knows like a friend. Her favorite stories are character-driven but well-plotted... a mix of fast pacing, emotional resonance and beautiful writing. Boy books, girl books, first person, third person, it doesn't matter... she's looking for a literary spark with commercial appeal. While she's not interested in high fantasy, science fiction, thrillers or horror, she would love to consider realistic/contemporary, urban fantasy and fantasy/adventure, historical, paranormal and mystery manuscripts. One of her favorite genres is magical realism: a story set firmly in our world, only with a twist—magic, danger or something that turns "reality" on its ear—to make things more interesting."

Click over for more!

Wednesday's Word Count

Wow! I loved all of the commiseration and fabulous responses in yesterday's post. It was fascinating to see who has annual trouble months and/or what affects your creativity. And of course, reading that so many of you go through writing funks is heartening all on its own.

Prior Goal: 5k (hey, I was optimistic).

Accomplished: Namuch.

Goal for new week: 2k.

Excuses / comments: Collectively, the popular suggestion yesterday was to start something new. I can dig it. Maybe that's what I need to get the creative juices flowing again, and then I can plink away at the rewrite as well. I know several of you have suggested having two projects going on at the same time, so I suppose it's time I see if that will work for me as well.

I'm going to write that 2k (at least) by next Wednesday. That's my promise to you and me. Who else wants to set a goal and be accountable for it? Leave em' in the comments!

That Time of Year Again...Maybe?

As some of you know, I'm having a hard time getting back into the groove of writing. The issues I've been having with my MS have really knocked me down, and the getting back up has been surprisingly difficult. Even now, after sorting it all out in a way I'm happy with, I'm struggling to get motivated.

Thinking on this, I recalled a few weeks last year where I had a really hard time with my writing. I was so unmotivated and frustrated that I was pretty much ready to give up. Turns out, that happened in late July, early August.

Hm.

It has me wondering if there's just something about this time of year for me. Luckily, it only lasted a few weeks last time and I was pounding out words again. Let's hope that's the case this time as well. I'm miserable!

How often do you get into a writing funk? Is there a time of year that seems to affect your writing? How do you deal? Do you push through or wait until motivation and inspiration strike again?

Awards!

The lovely Deb Markanton of Driving Into A Writer's Life awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award, and the equally lovely Sherrie Peterson of Write About Now (whom I will hopefully soon meet!) awarded me the Superior Scribbler Award.  Thanks so much girls!  It's time I pay them forward. 

So, for the Kreativ Blogger award, I'm to list seven favorite things and nominate seven Kreativ Bloggers. My seven things:

Kreativ Blogger award1. Fresh, hot coffee first thing in the morning.  There's nothing like it!

2.  My kids, especially when they're giggling at the same time.  They sound so similar and it's so infectious.

3. Walking through a grove trees and not being able to see civilization for a short, peaceful while. 

4.  Checking in with my online friends and finding good news, hilarity, and inspiration.

5.  Chocolate.  'Nuff said. 

6.  Losing myself for awhile (never long enough!) in a great book.

7. Seeing dreams become reality.

Now, here are the seven bloggers I'd like to nominate. 

1.  Ann Finkelstein for sharing her lovely photography, lessons on teen driving, and thoughts on writing.

2.  Chatty Anna who certainly merits an award for creativity.  Just check out the jewelry and crafts she makes alongside her writing.

3.  Day By Day Writer, Samantha Clark, for thoughtful posts on writing and being brave enough to post her progress daily.

4.  Stephanie Julius of Musings and Scribbles.  She may not post as often as some but she always posts great, interesting stuff when she does.  Love it.

5. Tabitha Olson at Writer Musings for her great content.  Interviews, posts on writing, cakes she makes, and so many other fab things. 

6. Rebecca at Epoch for a lovely mix of posts on life, family, writing, and books.  So much I can relate to. 

7. Hilary Wagner for her fabulous teaser Tuesdays and keeping me inspired with her great attitude and recent success. 

***

Woo!  That took awhile.  Now, let's see...  this here Superior Scribbler Award has a more specific set of rule.  Let's get those out of the way.

  • superior_scribbler_awardEach Superior Scribbler must, in turn, pass the Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy buds.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List (!?) at the Scholastic-Scribe's blog. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Five most deserving?!  That's so many of you!  Ack.  But, I'll play by the rules.  Here are five blogs I'm always eager to read.  There are many others, but I'm trying to choose some that may not (but may have) been awarded this before.

1) Heather Hansen who make me laugh and laugh and laugh.  And, of course, she happens to be a super critique partner.  Thanks Heather!

2) Deb Markanton for having unique views on life and sharing them in great posts (who also happen to be a fab critique partner).  Get writing, Deb! 

3) Beth Revis of writing it out for a large variety of posts that keep me entertained, in the know, and learning. 

4) Christy Raedeke of Juvenescence for having one of the coolest book titles ever (Prophecy of Days Book One: The Daykeeper's Grimoire) and posts like R.I.P. Pickled Baby.

5) Ben Watson of I, uh, think I killed my muse who's relatively new to blogging but making a splash.  Also, he's Tom Thumb.  So. Awesome.

Thanks again Deb and Sherrie.  And friends, sorry I couldn't nominate all of you!  There might be more chances in the future. ; )  Stay tuned.

Agent Spotlight: Jill Corcoran

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jill Corcoran of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency

Status: “Submissions will only be accepted from attendees of A PATH TO PUBLISHING workshops or consultations, from attendees of conferences at which Jill Corcoran presents, or through referrals from clients or from professionals in the industry.” (Link)

Jill CorcoranAbout: “Prior to becoming an agent, I worked at Mattel, LA Gear, Leo Burnett Advertising and my own company, LAUNCH! New Product Marketing. With an English degree from Stanford University and a Marketing and Finance MBA from the University of Chicago School of Business, I have marketed everything from Barbies to Disney toys, Kellogg's cereal to LA Gear shoes. But when I started writing books for children, and then agenting them, I knew I found my true calling.

“In August 2013, after 4 years agenting with the wonderful Ronnie Ann Herman of the Herman Agency, I decided to strike out on my own and create the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency. 

“I am also a poetry anthologist. Winner of the American Library Association 2013 Notable Books for a Global Society Award, my anthology DARE TO DREAM...CHANGE THE WORLD features work from thirty renowned contemporary children’s poets, including Ellen Hopkins, Jane Yolen, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Marilyn Singer, Bruce Coville and former Children’s Poetry Laureate J. Patrick Lewis. Each pair of poems in the anthology was inspired by someone whose actions made a difference, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of people all over the world. Subjects form a culturally diverse mix ranging from Jonas Salk to Steven Spielberg, from Christa McAuliffe to Michelle Kwan, with brief descriptions of their lives included. The collection,also garnered the California Reading Association’s 2012 Eureka! Silver Honor award and was named a Best Books of 2013 by Bank Street College of Education.” (Link)

Web Presence:

Jill Corcoran Literary Agency website.

Publisher's Marketplace page.

Jill's blog.

A Path to Publishing.

Facebook.

Twitter.

Tumblr.

Pinterest.

LinkedIn.

Blue Boards.

AgentQuery, QueryTracker.

What She's Looking For:

Genres/Specialties: 

“Picture Books, Chapter Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult plus a select list of adult non-fiction.” (Link)

As of 12/11/2013 She’s Looking For:

“1. Young Adult or Middle Grade fiction set within a big family. My husband is the youngest of 10 kids and this makes for a unique take on growing up.  

“2. Young Adult first love love stories.  I'm a sucker for love and romance. Authenticity is essential in this type of story coupled with a fresh plot and characters. 

“BTW, The words from How's It Going To Be by Third Eye Blind gets me to my core. I would love to read a YA based on this song. 

“3. Teen memoir

“4. Young Adult or Middle Grade Mysteries and Thrillers

“5. Teen and MG adventure stories--fiction and/or true-life adventure stories

“6. Character-driven Picture Books

“7. Character-driven Chapter Books

“8. Innovative approaches to picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult as well as adult non-fiction.” (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

“I am not looking for poetry, plays, screenplays, dystopia, vampires, devils and angels (I represent Martha Brockenbrough's DEVINE INTERVENTION, Arthur Levine/Scholastic 2012 and the SWEET EVIL TRILOGY, HarperCollins, 2012, 21013, 2014), and historical fiction for which the author has not done a great deal of research for setting/dialog/plot/etc.” (Link)

"I am not looking for high fantasy or historical fiction that ‘teaches’ a history lesson." (Link)

Pet-Peeves:

"An automatic 'No Thanks'... forced dialog, flabby prose, mixed metaphors, expected plot turns and endings, etc." (Link)

Her Advice to Writers:

"Don’t rush out to find an agent or send your books to editors---learn your craft and revise the heck out of your manuscript. Also, as I said before, try to write a book with a unique and engaging concept. I know writing is often organic and for some of us the concept comes as the book is being written, but there are wonderful writers who are writing boring books. If you are going to spend the time, sweat and tears writing/revising/subbing, try to think of a concept that will stand out to editors/agents/readers, and even Hollywood." (Link)

There's also plenty of advice for writers on Jill's blog, Jill Corcoran Books, including a linkfest of writerly tips. Definitely stop by her blog; dig in the archives, follow, subscribe, learn, digest.

Quotables:

"The books I represent also represent me. Editors judge my taste by what I submit to them. I owe it not only to myself but to all the authors I represent to be highly selective and utterly in love with each and every book I represent." (Link)

"I love endings that are expected, but unexpected; surprising but logical." (Link)

Editorial Agent?

Minimal revisions before submission, as needed.

Clients:

Anastasia Suen, Angela Ackerman, Angela Townsend, Beck McDowell, Bev Katz Rosenbaum, Denise Lewis Patrick, Elaine Marie Alphin, Erin Fry, Janet Costa Bates, Janet Gurtler, Jen Nails, Jennifer Dussling Arena, Judy Clemens, Julie Williams, Kelly Milner Halls, Kenn Nesbitt, Kim T. Griswell, Laura Ellen, Linda Joy Singleton, Marileta Robinson, Martha Alderson AKA Plot Whisperer, Martha Brockenbrough, Ralph Fletcher, Robin Mellom, Shelley Coriell, Sherry Shahan, Susan Meyers, Susanne Gervay, Varsha Bajaj, Wendy Higgins.

Sales:

There is a list of Recent Deals available on Ms. Corcoran’s website here.  She updates regularly.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes (only).

Snail-Mail: No.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Please see Ms. Corcoran’s Submissions page for complete, up-to-date submissions guidelines.

Query Tips:

She prefers Times New Roman and a font size of 12-14. (Link)

Response Times:

Stats on the web show Ms. Corcoran responding to queries and requested material within days to a couple weeks.

“You will receive an auto-responder that I received your submission. If you do not receive that auto-repsonder, please resubmit. All submissions will receive a response.” (Link)

What's the Buzz?

Fabulous! Jill Corcoran is developing a great list of clients who seem extremely pleased to be working with her. She’s made a fantastic number of deals in the last couple years and attends conferences regularly. 

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

SCBWI SpringMingle 2013 Blog Tour: Agent Jill Corcoran at Donny Bailey Seagraves site (01/2013).

An Interview with Jill Corcoran: #LA12SCBWI at Martha Brockenbrough’s site (07/2012).

Agent Interview: Jill Corcoran, Herman Agency on Alice Pope's SCBWI blog (06/2010).

Discover the Life of a Children's Book Agent - Q&A with Jill Corcoran at Institute of Children's Literature (12/2009).

Interview with Literary Agent Jill Corcoran at Hunger Mountain (07/2009).

Mini-View with Jill Corcoran on Terry Pierce's blog (03/2009).

Around the Web:

Jill Corcoran at P&E.

See Ms. Corcoran’s Directory of All Posts on her blog for query tips, preferences, client news, and more.

Also, keep your eye on the sidebar of her blog for conferences, workshops, and events she will be attending/teaching.

Queries and Synopsis: How to Get an Agent Salivating to Read Your Manuscript at Ingrid's Notes - fabulous notes and tips on Ms. Corcoran.

Agent Appreciation Day post for Jill Corcoran by client Robin Mellom (12/2009).

Contact:

Please see the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 1/21/14.

Last Reviewed By Agent:  2/09/11.

***

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction and/or teen fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.

Wednesday's Word Count

For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. - Mary Kay Ash

I read on a blog recently, and I wish I could remember which (an agent's?), the sentiment that people don't succeed by whining and fretting, but by finding a solution and doing. That's the obvious course of action, naturally. You have to do to succeed. But I think I needed that reminder, because even though I can't remember what was said exactly or which blog I read it on, it's been stuck in my mind.

I've been going in circles with my story, spinning my wheels, and it's been really eating at me. I thought I had things figured out last week (and many times before), but only a couple hours after I posted my Wed update, it all crumbled again. So I took a step back, enjoyed following the conference, and let my thoughts swirl around in my head as they wanted to, rather than trying to focus them or force them on problem solving.

I also read a post on Tabitha's blog called Inspiring to Motivate, that really hit home. Not only did it give me hope, but it helped me feel less negative about certain thoughts I've had. I've considered, frequently, that I simply might not have the skill and experience to do my story justice at this time. I don't want to beleive that, of course, but seeing that others have had the same issue is heartening. If it comes to it, I'll feel better about setting the story aside for awhile.

Prior Goal: 5k

Accomplished: 1k

Goal for new week: 5k

Excuses / comments: So what now? Well, I think the answer finally came to me a couple days ago, but I haven't been very excited and I haven't jumped back in. Probably because I've been here before. Maybe because I'm jaded. But I'm still determined, still motivated to see this story in print, so I'm giving it one more go. If it falls apart yet again, I think it'll be in my best interest to move on until I'm really ready for it. If things do click into place, I'll be setting a goal of having the new draft done by Sept 30th.

Question on a Wed: Have you had any similar struggles? Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share? And, as always, please tell me about your goals!

Open Thread

Well now...

There are a few things I could blog about, some awards I need to address, and other such stuff and things, but I'm feeling lazy and unmotivated today (though, I really should be getting ready for my mom's visit this Thurs). Despite my mood, I feel an extreme need to post something. It's been a few days.

So, OPEN THREAD today. Start up a topic, ask a question, tell me something random, good news? Whatever! Talk to me.

If you're a new follower or subscriber, why don't you introduce yourself and say hi? (BTW, thanks for following everyone—you're all awesome.)

I'm Not At SCBWI But...

Originally, I planned on having a pity party on the blog today complete with pity party poppers and chocolate--lots of chocolate. One for those of us who are not attending the SCBWI-LA conference but really (really, really) wish we were.

But, when I sat down to get the party goin', all I could think was, "I'm not at SCBWI BUT..."

I would have missed finding a "tree star" with my daughter.
I would have missed the huge smile my boy gave me when I got him out of his crib.
I don't have to miss my family or wonder if my kids are getting along okay without me.
I can follow along via Twitter (#scbwi09) and on blogs.
I saved a lot of money by not going.
I'm not a wreck of nerves and panic (first timer).
I won't be tired as a mule by the end of the day.

So, maybe we can have some pity at the party (and yes, chocolate and poppers) but mostly, I want to see your BUTs (not the bodily kind, please), the positive "I'm not at SCBWI buts..."

Feel free to leave em' in the comments for the entirety of the conference.

I probably will!

(Note: I'm not saying it's better I didn't go, but I'm trying to be positive!)

Agent Spotlight: Marianne Merola

This week's Agent Spotlight features Marianne Merola of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.

About: Marianne Merola is a veteran literary agent with Brandt & Hochman, a century-old boutique agency in New York.  Along with representing an established list of clients, she handles foreign rights for the agency.

Status: Open to submissions.

What She's Looking For:

Genres/Specialties: Children's middle grade and young adult, adult literary fiction, and narrative and engaging non-fiction. (Link)

Quotables:

Via Bill Contardi, another agent at B&H: "We don't have a website because frankly we spend professional time being agents and occasionally editors rather than maintaining a website. We have great clients and loads of talented new writers through references and reputation. And as you know Google tells the story these days, for better and sometimes for worse."  (Link)

Her client, Sunshine O'Donnell, says: "Marianne is tough and fabulous—honest, incredibly professional, and clearly someone who loves literature." (Link)

Editorial Agent?

Unknown.  However, Ms. Merola’s client Kerry Madden mentions she’s an excellent “reader/editor” in this interview.

Web Presence:

No website.

AAR member.

AgentQuery, QueryTracker, & AuthorAdvance.

Clients:

Ron Carlson, Judy Gelman, Heather Gudenkauf, Tim Johnston, Vicki Levy Krupp, Kerry Madden, Joyce Maynard, Heather Millar, Shannon Moffett, Sunshine O'Donnell, Patricia Williams, among others.

Sales:

Ms. Merola does not actively list on Publisher’s Marketplace. Some old listings can be found in the archives but nothing recent. 

NOTE: PM is rarely a complete representation of sales.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes.

Snail-Mail: Yes.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

E-mail:  Query only.

Snail-mail:  Query and SASE.

Response Times:

Ms. Merola generally responds within hours to a week but there are longer instances of up to a few weeks.  Requested material usually gets a response within days to a couple months.

What's the Buzz?

In line with the agency as a whole, Ms. Merola’s web presence is minimal. However, Brandt & Hochman is a well-respected agency and Ms. Merola, a member of the AAR, is an established agent in the business with many sales under her belt.  Her clients seem happy with her representation. 

Worth Your Time:

Interviews:

None that I could find online.

Around the Web:

Marianne Merola on P&E ($ AAR). Brandt & Hochman Literary on P&E.

Brandt & Hochman Literary thread on AbsoluteWrite.

If you have a paid membership with AvantGuild, you may be able to find more information on Ms. Merola with this article, Pitching an Agent: Brandt & Hochman.  Note, however, its from 2004.

Contact:

Please see Ms. Merola's AAR profile or one of the query databases above for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 3/16/11

Agent Contacted For Review? Yes

Last Reviewed by Agent:  N/A

***

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.

Wednesday's Word Count

Another Wednesday, August the 5th. Can you beleive my baby boy is seven months old today, and my other "baby" is two and eleven months? That's right. The big three is less than a month away now. *Wail*

As for my brain child, a.k.a my novel:

Prior Goal: Brainstorming.

Accomplished: Brainstorming, outline, and 3520 new words.

Goal for new week: 5k

Excuses / comments: I think I'm back on track! I listened to all my gut instincts, came up with a new game plan, and got it loosely outlined. I'm still trying to work out some of the middle, but I felt confident enough to jump back in. To be honest, I'm hoping things have finally clicked into place and I'll be able to blow through about 10k this week, but I'm not counting on it (hence the 5k goal).

Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement you've given while I've flopped about. I really (really, really) hope this will be "the draft."

How are your goals coming along? Swimmingly? Sinkingly? Do share!

Agent News: Adriana Dominguez Joins Full Circle Literary

Adriana Dominguez, former HarperCollins Children's Books executive editor, has joined Full Circle Literary as a literary agent, effective immediately.

Most recently, Ms. Dominguez managed the children's division of the Latino imprint, Rayo, at HarperCollins, and served as a Children's Reviews Editor at Criticas magazine before that. Previously, she also served as a professional translator for children's books.

Here's the announcement from Publisher's Lunch:

"Adriana Dominguez has joined Full Circle Literary as an agent, based in New York and serving as the agency's East coast representative. Most recently she was executive editor at Harper Children's, where she managed the children's division of Rayo. Dominguez will continue working on children's picture books, middle grade novels, and literary YA novels, as well as representing literary fiction, women's fiction, historical fiction, women's interest, multicultural, pop culture, and how-to books."

You can read the full press release on Adriana Dominguez's blog, Voces.

Agent Spotlight Requests

I'm building up my list of upcoming Agent Spotlights for the next few months, so if there is an agent (or multiple agents) you'd like to see featured soon, now's the time to speak up (though I'm always open for requests)!

Don't forget the focus of the Spotlights is on agents who represent children's fiction, so make sure they represent at least one area therein.

That's all!

Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com with your requests.

Agent News: Colleen Lindsay Reopening to Subs

Colleen Lindsay of FinePrint Literary announced today on her blog, The Swivet, that she is temporarily reopening to submissions. However, she's only looking for adult urban fantasy/paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy/paranormal, and realistic YA between now and the end of August.

For more details, stipulations, and submission guidelines, see the original post.

(With thanks to Corey Schwartz for prompting me to put this up!)

Agent News: Emily Keyes - L. Perkins Agency

Junior agent Emily Keyes of the L. Perkins Agency is now "avidly seeking middle grade and YA" and "aggressively" seeking new clients.

As per their Agent in the Middle blog, here is what she is looking for:

"I’m tired of getting queries from authors who don’t currently read YA, never read YA, say books published today are terrible, but they heard that Harry Potter lady made more than the Queen, and hey, they can do that! Writing for kids is easy, right?

"I love YA books. I loved them when I was a kid and I still love them now. I want to see manuscripts from people who love it as much as I do. I want to find the books that kids are going to remember with fondness. I inhaled Lois Duncan, LJ Smith, Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley, etc, etc. These days I’m excited by the writing done by Suzanne Collins, Kristin Cashore, Claudia Gray. I’m also into the teen novels by people like Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, Barry Lyga and others. I’m looking for smart middle grade and teen novels. (No picture books, please.) I like fantasy and paranormal, and other odd things. Zombies are pretty big at the moment, and I’d also like to see witches, psychics, time travel and superheroes. As far as non-genre, I like strong, female heroines and books with fresh voices and a quirky sense of humor. I’m really sick of knock-off 'Harry Potters’ and Twilights.'"

A list of Ms. Keyes favorite TV shows and her e-mail is available on the original post.

Great opportunity. Best to those who query!