A promotion (congrats!), and a new hire
Riddhi Kamal Parekh has joined Laura Dail as International Rights Manager and Agent.
Fiction: Picture Books, Middle Grade; Young Adult; open to considering adult Commercial
"Riddhi enjoys universal, coming-of-age stories that tackle issues of identity as well as high-stakes fiction with unexpected twists. She is always on the lookout for a good pun and is particularly drawn to whimsical middle-grade fiction, picture books, and chapter books."
Sarah Younger has been promoted to Senior Agent at Nancy Yost Literary.
Fiction: Romance (like, all of it, yo); Women's
"Sarah cherishes her rural southern roots and particularly enjoys stories with a supporting cast of animal characters: horses, dogs, cats; essentially all pets furry and friendly."
Writers, you've got a week or two...
Author Mentor Match Round 3—Submission window open October 19th-24th (Semiannual—opportunity to be mentored)
What: Unagented, aspiring YA writers receive mentoring by those further along in the game. Applicants should have a complete manuscript and be willing to take feedback.
Adventure Cyclist Nonfiction bicycling stories—Submissions due October 31st (Magazine—Payment, Publication)
What: Both feature-length stories and 1,200-1,500 word excursions. Proposals first. $.30-$.50/word.
Crime and kids' books, Part II
Kurestin Armada, Associate Agent at P.S. Literary
Kurestin wants The Italian Job, maybe for kids: "Heist/con story, YA or adult! Preferably with an interesting ensemble cast & friendship focus." Source Tweet
Fiction: Upmarket and Commercial; Magic Realism; Science Fiction; Fantasy; Historical; LGBTQ (any genre); Picture Books; Middle Grade; Young Adult; Graphic Novels; Romance
Nonfiction: Design; Cooking; Pop Psychology; Narrative; Photography; Nature; Science
Adria Goetz, Assistant Literary Manager at Martin Literary
Adria is looking for Shel Silverstein's classic by way of Portlandia: "I'd love a PB set in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps a lyrical ode to our trees?" Source Tweet
Fiction: Picture Books; Middle Grade; Young Adult; anything Christian
Nonfiction: Lifestyle; Christian Living
"Adria looks for books that delight readers, that help inspire wonder and imagination, that foster deep empathy and compassion for our fellow human beings."
Follow Adria on Twitter @adriamgoetz.
In our previous edition of the Roundup, we asked why agents who are closed to queries still tweet their #MSWLs as if someone who saw those Tweets would have a chance to run their work by said agents. At the heart of why this is frustrating is the issue of accessibility. Agents are the barriers (or keys, depending on how lucky you are) to entry for editors at publishing houses, who are the barriers to entry for your work to be seen by tired people in airports throughout the world looking for something to take their mind off the five-hour layover they're 17 minutes into. (If you're fortunate enough to be at O'Hare, however, ignore the pulp in the Hudson News and get thee to a Tortas Frontera—those tortas are riquísimas!) We all want the golden ticket, the backstage pass, the VIP seating, especially when that ticket means a chance to show our life's work to someone who, just maybe, will understand it and champion it.
But the thing is, while getting access in the literary world is difficult for anyone, for some people there are barriers to entry that are unseen. Last week, LitHub published an essay written by Chris Jackson, the publisher and editor-in-chief at One World. He discusses diversity in publishing, or the lack thereof, by recounting his own entry into the publishing world, his experience teaching publishing courses at CCNY and Columbia, and his relationships with Eddie Huang and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Particularly with Coates, Jackson wonders whether someone else (someone who didn't share TNC's background) would have been able to build the kind of trust needed to shepherd a work like the National Book Award-winning Between the World and Me into being. Check it out here.
This is where the metaphor of the backstage pass doesn't work. When the barrier to entry is too homogeneous, sometimes it's the rock stars who don't get in.