Andrea Brown: President of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc. since 1981, author of “Writers’ and Artists’ Hideouts: Great Getaways for Seducing the Muse,” published numerous articles for Writer’s Digest and other publications. Prior to opening her own firm, Andrea was an editor at Alfred A. Knopf, and worked in the editorial departments of Random House and Dell. In 1990, she moved her literary agency to Northern California.
Her literary agency has sold over 2,000 books to just about every publisher, from toddler board books to serious, award-winning young adult. She is the executive director of the Big Sur Writing Workshops.
Laura Rennert. Senior Agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency since 1998. Laura specializes in all categories of children’s books, from picture books to young adult, and in up-market women’s fiction and narrative nonfiction. She represents award-winning and best-selling authors, including #1 New York Times bestsellers Ellen Hopkins and Jay Asher, # 1 New York Times bestseller and Printz Honor Finalist Maggie Stiefvater, and National Book Award Finalist Kathleen Duey, as well as brand new, first-time authors. Some of her noteworthy sales include seven-figure deals to Simon & Schuster and Scholastic; deals for over half a million dollars to Random House, Scholastic, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster; and film deals to Nickelodeon/Paramount; Warner Bros; and Universal Pictures.
Laura’s work as an agent is enhanced by her experiences on the other side of the table. She’s the author of a picture book, “Buying, Training, and Caring for Your Dinosaur,” (Knopf, 2009), illustrated by Marc Brown, creator of Arthur. She’s also the author of an illustrated chapter book, ROYAL PRINCESS ACADEMY: DRAGON DREAMS, forthcoming with Dial in 2012. Laura has a Ph.D. in English Literature and was a faculty member in the English Departments of the University of Virginia, Osaka University of Foreign Studies, and Santa Clara University.
Jennifer Rofé: Associate agent Andrea Brown and a graduate of UC Davis with a degree in English and Social and Ethnic Relations, Jennifer also attended Dominican University for Education and taught middle school.
Jennifer handles children’s fiction projects ranging from picture books to young adult. Middle grade is Jennifer’s soft spot and she’s open to all genres in this category, especially the tender or hilarious. She is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and unassuming, “adorkable” heroes.
As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to contemporary works; dramatic or funny romance; and urban fantasy/light sci-fi. She’s especially interested in mind-blowingly smart projects that are layered, complex, and unexpected. In terms of picture books, early readers, and chapter books, she is interested in character-driven projects and smart, exceptional writing. Jennifer also enjoys how-to and sports-related nonfiction.
Caryn Wiseman: Caryn has been an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency since early 2003, and has sold more than 175 books. She handles children’s books only: young adult and middle-grade fiction and non-fiction, chapter books, and picture books (fiction and non-fiction). She represents New York Times bestselling authors, award-winning authors, debut authors, and authors at every stage in between.
No matter the genre, Caryn is looking for books with emotional depth and a strong voice; excellent writing in a tightly-plotted, commercial story; and characters that stick with her long after she has closed the book. In YA, she gravitates toward books that make her think and toward books that make her cry; in middle-grade and chapter books, laughter tends to be the common thread. She loves books that are intellectually challenging and take risks, but in a very logical way. She wants to be surprised by interesting plot twists, but she never wants to question the motivations of characters.
On the editorial side, she works directly with Laura’s very talented authors to develop their manuscripts and story ideas.
She also evaluates potential clients’ work, make recommendations for representation, and draft pitch letters to editors. Meanwhile, on the business side, she manages many of the financial and administrative aspects of Laura’s business. Check out this great interview with Lara to find out more about her work.
Jennifer Laughran, from the Andrea Brown Literary agency, began her career in agenting after working as a long-time children’s bookseller and buyer. She is also the founder of the extremely popular YA event series “Not Your Mother’s Book Club”.
She joined Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2007. Always on the lookout for sparkling YA and middle grade fiction with unusual and unforgettable characters and vivid settings, she is drawn to all kinds of books, whether realistic comedies or richly imagined magical adventures. However, the common thread in her favorite stories is an offbeat world-view.
Jennifer adores simplicity, but she is not interested in the conventional, predictable, mechanical, gimmicky or ordinary. Jennifer loves funny books, thrilling books, romantic books, books that make her cry, and all-around un-put-downable books… and her true favorites are all of the above.
Jamie Weiss Chilton is an agent at the Andrea Brown Literary agency and she represents children’s books exclusively, specializing in teen novels and picture books. For teens, she is interested in literary/commercial fiction with intense emotional content (character driven, not issue driven plots); smart thrillers and mysteries; science fiction and futuristic fiction; surreal stories and magical realism. “I’m looking for a YA writer who is reinventing and re-envisioning the genre, the way Francesca Lia Block did with her WEETZIE BAT series in the 1990s. I’m looking for the Lady Gaga of YA fiction.” As for picture books, Jamie gravitates towards quirky, unique, character-driven texts and illustrations.
Jordan Brown is a senior editor with Walden Pond Press and Balzer + Bray at HarperCollins Children’s Books. He has been fortunate enough to work with such esteemed authors and illustrators as Jon Scieszka, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Anne Ursu, Dan Wells, Donna Jo Napoli, Christopher Healy, Gris Grimly, M. Sindy Felin, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, and Greg Ruth.
Amongst their books are ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, New York Times bestsellers, Children’s Choice Book Award winners, an Edgar Award nominee, and a National Book Award finalist.
Kate Sullivan Editor at Little Brown Books for Young Readers, grew up in Belgium as the daughter of a military man. As a result, in the books she edits, she seeks both the escapism she loved as a shy child far from home and the world-broadening perspectives she was exposed to abroad. Kate has eclectic taste; she loves either commercial novels with a quirk, or literary books with a hook. She is primarily looking for novels that make her laugh aloud on a crowded subway, are smart without being boring, or have strong, defiant characters (who may or may not have a penchant for monstrous behavior).
Kate is the editor of Ash by Malinda Lo, an ALA William C Morris YA Debut Award finalist and Lambda Award for YA nominee, and New York Times bestselling series by Darren Shan, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Cornelia Funke. Upcoming she has: Etiquette & Espionage, the first YA by Orbit’s New York Times bestselling Gail Carriger, Rapture Practice, a beautifully told YA memoir about growing up in a fundamentalist household, and Loki’s Wolves, the first middle grade collaboration between New York Times bestselling YA authors Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong. Previous to working at LBYR, Kate was an editorial assistant at Walker Books for Young Readers, where she also worked on picture books.
Melissa Manlove is an Editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She has been with Chronicle for seven years. She is passionate about all age groups and genres of children’s books, with the exception of religious topics.
When acquiring, she looks for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her. She has 12 years of children’s bookselling experience.
Special talents include reading and walking at the same time, batting her eyelashes (but only ironically), and making killer desserts. She has no nicknames, but several toddlers know her only as a puppet alligator.
Tamra Tuller is an Editor at Chronicle Books. After working several years in education as an English as a Second Language instructor at Rutgers University, Tamra got her publishing feet wet in the Scholastic Book Clubs, and then moved on to Scholastic’s trade division at Blue Sky Press.
Tamra is interested primarily in modern, literary middle grade and young adult fiction as well as story-based picture books. She has worked with such authors as Ruta Sepetys, Kathryn Erskine, Renata Liwska, Beth Kephart, Heidi Ayarbe and Barbara Joosse.
Ellen Hopkins is the the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of eleven novels, including the CRANK trilogy. Hopkins began her writing career in 1990. She started with nonfiction books for children, including Air Devils and Orcas: High Seas Supermen.
Her second adult novel Collateral will come out in the fall of 2012. Collateral is about military deployment and how the families that are left behind are affected.
Anne Ylvisaker is the author of award winning middle grade novels Little Klein- and Dear Papa- , and the forthcoming The Luck of the Buttons- (April 2011), all from Candlewick Press, as well as numerous nonfiction books for young readers.
In 2005 Anne was awarded the McKnight Artist Fellowship/Loft Award in Children’s Literature. She has a master’s degree in education.
Her website here: http://www.anneylvisaker.com/
Cece Meng is the author of I Will Not Read This Book!, Tough Kids, and The Wonderful Thing About Hiccups. She says about writing…”For me, it’s about the music and the rhythms found in words. The joys of my childhood – music and poetry – wrapped up in the words of today. I love to honor the impulses of our spirited children. I tell my kids I have the best job in the world. I’m a professional daydreamer.
Cece’s website here: http://www.cecemeng.com/
Lewis Buzbee is a fourth generation California native who began writing at the age of 15,
after reading the first chapter of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Since then he’s been a dishwasher, a bookseller, a publisher, a caterer, a bartender, and a teacher of writing (currently on the faculty of the MFA program at the University of San Francisco).
His first novel for middle grade readers, Steinbeck’s Ghost, was published in 2008 by Feiwel and Friends and was selected for these honors: a Smithsonian Notable Book, a Northern California Book Award Nominee, the Northern California Independent Booksellers’ Association Children’s Book of the Year, and the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Beatty Award.
A second middle-grade novel, The Haunting of Charles Dickens, was published in 2011 and won the Northern California Book Award, was nominated for an Edgar, and was selected as a Judy Lopez Memorial Honor Book.
Eric J. Adams is an author, film producer, screenwriter, and journalist. Eric co-wrote and produced the independent feature film “My Suicide,” starring David Carradine, Joe Mantegna, and Nora Dunn. “My Suicide” won the coveted Crystal Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and was selected to screen at SXSW in Austin, Gen Art Film Festival in New York, and the San Francisco International Film Festival.
With his new company, Sleeperwave Films, Eric is in development on a number of film projects, including a co-production with Halle Berry’s management company on his script “Supremacy,” the true story of a black family held hostage by white supremacist fugitives. Eric is also the author of several books, including the suspense/thrillers “Plot Twist” (St. Martin’s Press), “Birdland,” (Hodder & Stoughton) and the dramatic non-fiction “Loss of Innocence: A True Story of Juvenile Murder“ (Avon Books).
Eric Elfman is the author of 10 books for middle-grade and young adult readers, including ALMANAC OF THE GROSS, DISGUSTING & TOTALLY REPULSIVE (Random House), an ALA Recommended book for Reluctant Readers, and three X-FILES novelizations (HarperTrophy). Eric is co-author of TESLA’S ATTIC (Hyperion), the first of a three-book series to be published starting next year.
Also a screenwriter, Eric has developed projects with Dreamworks, Universal Home Entertainment, Walden Media, Walt Disney, and others companies. He has written articles for Dwell, Mental_Floss, Creative Screenwriting, Disney Adventures, and other magazines, has written pages of the Houghton Mifflin 5th Grade History textbook, and study guides for the Mark Taper Forum/PLAY, bringing live theater to high school and middle school students.
He has been coaching writers privately for the past six years (www.ericElfmanCoaching.com).