This week's Agent Spotlight features Linda Pratt of Wernick & Pratt Agency.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “Linda Pratt received a BBA in finance from the University of Texas in Austin. After briefly exploring a career on a bond trading desk, she began working at Sheldon Fogelman Agency in 1987. In working at the agency, Linda finally found ‘her people’ in the world of children’s publishing, and has never looked back. Initially working primarily on the operations side of the business, doing everything from royalty analysis to annual accountings for literary estates, Linda was promoted to agent in 1995. This opportunity allowed her to combine her business acumen with her love of the artistic side of creating books, including working with clients editorially. Among the clients she brought into the agency, and with whom she continues to work at Wernick & Pratt, are Sharon G. Flake, Denise Brunkus, LeUyen Pham, Robert Neubecker, Kathryn Erskine, and Eric Luper, among others. Linda also takes special satisfaction in introducing new talent, and has placed debuts for clients Jane Kelley, Augusta Scattergood, W.H. Beck, Angela Dominguez (as both author & illustrator), Lisa Luedeke and Judy Hoffman. She is accepting new clients in all genres for children.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Wernick & Pratt Agency is a full service agency focused exclusively on the children’s book industry. Established in January 2011 by industry veterans, Marcia Wernick and Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt represents established and emerging authors and illustrators, whose work ranges from fiction to non-fiction, from very young picture books and novelty books, through early readers, middle grade and young adult. Our philosophy is to represent people rather than merely the books they create, so our approach to representation is to create strategies for our clients’ long term careers.
“Wernick & Pratt Agency provides each client with personal attention and the highest quality of advice and service that has been the hallmark of our reputations in the industry. We have the resources and accumulated knowledge to assist clients in all aspects of their creative lives including editorial input, contract negotiations, and subsidiary rights management. Our goal is to represent and manage the careers of our clients so they may achieve industry wide and international recognition, as well as the highest level of financial potential.” (Link)
AgentQuery (not up-to-date).
What She's Looking For:
Children’s books of all genres, fiction and non-fiction, as well as author/illustrators. (Link)
From the Website (as of 5/2012):
“We are most interested in the following: people who both write and illustrate in the picture book genre; humorous young chapter books with strong voice, and which are unique and compelling; middle grade/YA novels, both literary and commercial.” (Link)
From Ms. Pratt’s Website Q&A (02/2012):
“A broad description of my likes are stories that: explore other cultures; fish out of water stories; larger than life supporting characters who contrast with the protagonist; smart and witty dialogue; historical fiction where the stakes for the protagonist are palpable and have a sense of urgency; elements of magical realism; and above all else – emotional truth in all stories. I love encountering the unexpected on the page, as long as it is done in a way that makes sense for the character(s). Quirky, odd, or unpredictable simply for the sake of being so tends not to work for me. It has to fit within the character’s personality or the context of the story.” (Link)
From an Interview (02/2011):
“I would like to see the inventiveness of subject matter and approach to storytelling that’s been going on in YA emerge more in the middle grade market. One of the great things we’ve seen happen in YA is how arbitrary that upper age limit on the genre is. Many adult women have discovered these books and have become devoted readers. Harry Potter showed us that middle grade can have the same elasticity in readership, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to see more of that happening?
“But that’s my broad response and you probably really want to know what I’d specifically like to see. In terms of my personal tastes, the kinds of things that draw me are: stories about kids that are straddling a major transition in life ( a tween who doesn’t really want to release girlhood when her core friends suddenly cross the line to teens or a teen who isn’t going to college when everyone else around them is), magical realism, unique cultural perspectives, humorous voices, historical fiction on an event or era that hasn’t been overly covered already, memorable supporting characters, sibling stories that go deeper than the stereotypical love/hate relationship, and stories from a viewpoint not often seen in literature.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
“Picture book manuscripts of more than 750 words, or mood pieces; work specifically targeted to the educational market; fiction about the American Revolution, Civil War, or World War II unless it is told from a very unique perspective.” (Link)
“The kinds of stories that are probably not the best match for me are: stories in all genres that are written to convey an overt lesson to the reader; high fantasy; the now well-trod plot lines involving love among vampires, werewolves, and the like (unless of course, it offers a fresh and unique point of view); and ‘listy’ picture books (i.e. those where there is no story arc created for the series of events or hypothetical situations being posed).” (Link)
“Although I tailor my style to each individual client, overall I take a long view in working with clients since I want to work with them for their careers. So there are a series of things I need to know. What are their goals - both immediate and long term? What are their financial needs? What time do they have to devote to their creative lives with their other professional, family and or personal commitments? What’s realistic once we start putting all these pieces together? Then it comes down to the nuts and bolts work. How do we try to get them where they want to go? This tends to involve a lot editorial work, as well as, advising on what projects to pursue, possible networking opportunities, scheduling issues, and many other day to day decisions that fit into the long term career picture. It’s a work in progress that isn’t written stone since life and business are ever-changing.” (Link)
Yes. See editorial mentions in bio, about the agency, and quotable sections.
There is a list of clients on the agency website. Ms. Pratt’s clients include:
W.H. Beck, Aaron Becker, Denise Brunkus, Angela Dominguez, Kathryn Erskine, Sharon G. Flake, Judy Hoffman, Lita Judge, Jane Kelley, Amy Goldman Koss, Lisa Luedeke, Eric Luper, Robert Neubecker, Anne Marie Pace, Margie Palatini, Julie Paschkis, Richard Peck, LeUyen Pham, Augusta Scattergood, among others.
As of this posting, Ms. Pratt is listed on Publisher’s Marketplace as having made 4 deals in the last 12 months and 8 overall. Recent deals include 3 pictures books and 1 middle grade.
NOTE: PM is usually not a complete representation of sales and Ms. Pratt does not appear to actively report.
E-mail: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
“Please send us your contact information, including your email address, your mailing address and your telephone number. Please also indicate if you were referred to us, and by whom.
“Please indicate if this is an exclusive or non-exclusive submission. We prefer exclusive submissions for at least 1 month, but it is not a requirement for submission.
“Please include a brief synopsis of your work of no more than 1 page, your background, including any publishing history, and if you have any other work available for consideration.
“If you are a novelist, please include the first three (3) chapters of the work and a synopsis; please do not submit the entire work or include chapters from more than one work unless specifically requested.
“If you are a picture book writer, please include two (2) manuscripts; please do not submit any additional manuscripts unless specifically requested.
“If you are an illustrator, please include PDF samples of your work, as well as a link to your website, or to a portfolio of your work. Please do not send any original artwork as we do not assume any responsibility for original artwork that is submitted.
“Please send all submissions to [see website for e-addy], and please indicate if you are submitting to Marcia Wernick or Linda Pratt.”
See the Wernick & Pratt Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
“If you would like to request confirmation of receipt, please use the request receipt function when e-mailing your initial submission and we will reply accordingly. However, we will not reply to subsequent e-mail follow-ups unless we have requested additional material.” (Link)
See Ms. Pratt’s website Q&A for a great list of query preferences and peeves.
They agency only responds if interested. If you do not hear back within six weeks, assume rejection. Stats on the web show Ms. Pratt usually responds to requested material within one to four weeks.
What's the Buzz?
Linda Pratt is a very well respected industry veteran. After 20+ years with the Sheldon Fogelman Agency, Pratt and long-time colleague Marcia Wernick founded the Wernick & Pratt Agency, specializing in quality children’s literature. She has a fantastic list of clients who seem very happy with her representation and is always looking for amazing new talent.
Worth Your Time:
Q&A with Linda Pratt on the agency website (02/2012).
NESCBWI AQQ Sneak Peek Interview with Agent Linda Pratt at Joyce Shore Johnson’s site (02/2011)
An Exchange with an Agent, Ms. Pratt answers two picture book questions at Devas T. Rants and Raves! (09/2005).
Around the Web:
KS SCBWI: the low-down, conference notes at Ink and Angst (10/2011).
Agent Tips, including a few from Linda Pratt, at Kidlit Central (12/2008).
Agent Appreciation Day post by client Anne Marie Pace (12/2009).
Please see the Wernick & Pratt Agency website for contact and query information.
Last updated: 5/17/12.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 5/17/12.
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 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.