Secondly, as our success stories indicate, many workshop participants walk away with a publishing deal, which is cool if that’s your thing. And that’s because the workshop is co-sponsored by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, who, it should be noted, has been consistently ranked #1 in juvenile sales in Publishers Marketplace.
Here are the agents who’ll be in attendance. And we’re still taking registrations here.
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. She’s been with the agency for ten years, and specializes in all categories of children’s books, from picture books to young adult. Some of her noteworthy deals include deals for over half a million dollars to both Random House and Simon & Schuster; six-figure YA deals to Razorbill/Penguin, Knopf, Feiwel & Friends, Margaret McElderry/S&S, Scholastic, and Harper; and a film deal to Nickelodeon/Paramount.
Laura is the author of a picture book, “Buying, Training, and Caring for Your Dinosaur,” (Fall 2009, Knopf) and of two highly illustrated books for young readers, “The Extra-Ordinary Princess,” forthcoming with Dutton. She has a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Virginia and has nine years of experience teaching as 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. Kennifer 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.
Jennifer Laughran: ennifer 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.
Jennifer is looking for YA and middle grade realistic fiction, science fiction, mystery, adventure and humor. She adores simplicity, but she is not interested in the conventional, predictable, mechanical, gimmicky or ordinary. She seeks books that have not only voice, but blood, temperature and a pulse–they can be messy and idiosyncratic, but never weak. If you need to be reassured that your writing is vital, you are probably not an author to interest her.
Kelly Sonnack: Kelly comes to the Andrea Brown Literary Agency after nearly three years with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency where she agented children’s and adult work. Prior to that, Kelly worked for the publishing giant Reed Elsevier, where she served as an Acquisitions Editor under the Academic Press imprint. As an agent, Kelly specializes in all types of children’s literature (picture books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels).
In picture books and middle grade fiction, Kelly looks for a good sense of humor, stories that stretch a young reader’s imagination, and an authentic voice. In young adult, she appreciates literary voices and character-driven stories with heart. In non-fiction for children, she enjoys projects that inspire and stimulate the minds of our younger generations.
Mary Kole: Mary came to children’s literature from a writer’s perspective and started reading at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency to see what it was like “on the other side of the desk.” She quickly found her passion here and, after a year of working behind the scenes, officially joined the agency in August, 2009. In her quest to learn all sides of publishing, she has also worked in the children’s editorial department at Chronicle Books and earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco.
Mary’s passion is editorial work. With all of her clients, she uses her well-honed editorial eye to develop each project to its full potential. She especially enjoys traveling to conferences and SCBWI events to meet writers and actively build her list. Mary lives in Brooklyn and operates the East Coast office of the agency.