Faculty December 2016


December 2-4, 2016 Workshop at Big Sur Lodge

Faculty below. This is not the final roster so please check back often as we are regularly updating details.


sylvie-frank1Sylvie Frank, Editor, Paula Wiseman Books / Simon & Schuster

Sylvie Frank is the editor of award-winning and critically acclaimed books includingBreathe by Scott Magoon; Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo; Miss Mary ReportingThe True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy, illustrated by C. F. Payne; Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught; andStorm by Donna Jo Napoli. Since joining Paula Wiseman Books in January 2013, Sylvie has been on the prowl for literary, character-driven middle grade and kid-focused, snappy picture books. She is drawn to original voices across all genres. One of her favorite pastimes is browsing agents’ and illustrators’ websites for new talent. When she’s not reading, Sylvie can be found running in New York’s Central Park.


Andrew Harwell is a children’s book writer and editor living in Brooklyn, New York. He may or may not believe in magic.

Originally from Georgia, Andrew graduated from the University of Chicago, where he double-majored in Germanic Studies and Fundamentals: Issues and Texts (a major which here means a whole lot of reading and re-reading).

The Spider Ring is Andrew’s first book for young readers. It’s a spooky modern fairy tale about a girl who inherits a magical ring from her grandmother, but it’s also about friendship, grief, and the power of stories to ensnare and define us.

You can find Andrew on Twitter, Pinterest, and tumblr @andrewasalways.


Melissa-at-deskMelissa Manlove is a children’s book editor for Chronicle Books and a children’s bookseller. 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.




Eric Elfman
Having never grown up, Eric writes books for middle graders and young adults. His latest, TESLA’S ATTIC (co-written with Neal Shusterman, author of UNWIND), the first in a three book MG series, will be published by Disney-Hyperion Books in February 2014. Other books range from a series of offbeat almanacs published by Random House (incl. ALMANAC OF THE GROSS, DISGUSTING & TOTALLY REPULSIVE, an ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, and THE VERY SCARY ALMANAC, both in their sixth printing), to three YA X-FILES novels for HarperCollins.

Several of Elfman’s books have been optioned by Hollywood studios and producers for development as feature films or TV projects. As a screenwriter, he co-wrote CLASS ACT, based on a true story of a sixth grade teacher who ran for Congress, which was set up at Dreamworks with Halle Berry attached to star. He also co-wrote AS YOU LIKE IT (REVISITED), an adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy for Walden Media, and the sequel to CURIOUS GEORGE: THE MOVIE for Universal. His interviews with contemporary screenwriters have appeared in Creative Screenwriting magazine, and he has contributed articles to Dwell, mental_floss, and Disney Adventures Digest.

Eric is also a private writing coach and he has been on the faculty of the Big Sur Children’s Writers Workshop, directed by Andrea Brown and sponsored by the Henry Miller Library. He has spoken at national and regional writing conferences, including SCBWI East Bay and the Ventana Sierra Writers Workshop established by Ellen Hopkins. Please contact at http://www.ericElfmanCoaching.com.

Here’s an interview with Eric: 

ericAERIC J. ADAMS is a producer, screenwriter, journalist and author. He wrote the script and produced (consulting) the feature film “Supremacy” (2015), starring Danny Glover and Joe Anderson, and he co-wrote and produced “Archie’s Final Project” (aka My Suicide) (2011). Archie’s Final Project won 21 major international film festival awards, including the Crystal Bear in Berlin.

Eric is also the author of six books, including the suspense/thrillers Birdland (Hodder & Stoughton) and Plot Twist (St. Martin’s Press). He wrote and directed “To Save A Child,” an award-winning documentary on suicide, as well as a number of other documentary and short films. As a journalist, Eric has written for dozens of national and regional periodicals, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Wired, and Salon.

Eric relies on his journalism background to develop film projects that explore contemporary social issues while remaining commercially viable. In recognition of his efforts, Eric was recently named a Djerassi Screenwriting Fellowship finalist by the San Francisco Film Society.

BuzbeeLewis Buzbee is a San Francisco based author and poet. He is “a fourth generation California native on his mother’s side, and aDust Bowl Okie on his father’s.”  He is the author of the novels Fliegelman’s Desire(1990), Steinbeck’s Ghost (2008) and The Haunting of Charles Dickens (2010), the short story collection After the Gold Rush (2006) and the memoir The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop(2006).

He is also the author of the children’s bookBridge of Time (2012). Buzbee’s work has appeared in the Paris Review, Harper’s, The New York Times Book Review, Gentleman’s Quarterly and ZYZZYVA. His poem “Sunday, Tarzan in His Hammock” was featured in Best American Poetry 1995. Buzbee currently teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of San Francisco. He is married to Canadian poet Julie Bruck.


1427997974ANDREA BROWN
Andrea Brown is the President of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc. Founded in New York City in 1981, it was the first literary agency to represent both children’s book authors and illustrators. 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.

Andrea has published articles and published a chapter about the children’s book field in THE PORTABLE WRITER’S CONFERENCE, published by Quill Driver Books. She has been quoted in the NEW YORK POST, CNN.com, Yahoo News, FORBES, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING and REUTERS NEWS SERVICE. More at: http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html
It is worth listening to this interview with Director Andrea Brown:


LAURA RENNERT  1427997926

 Laura Rennert, Executive Agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, has been with the agency since 1998. A “literary omnivore,” she specializes in all categories of children’s books, from picture books to young adult, and in up-market fiction and narrative nonfiction. She represents award-winning and best-selling authors, including #1 NYT bestsellers Ellen Hopkins, Jay Asher, Lauren Kate, #1 NYT bestseller and Printz Honor Finalist Maggie Stiefvater, NYT Bestseller and #1 Digital Bestseller Catherine Ryan Hyde, and National Book Award Finalist Kathleen Duey, as well as brand new, first-time authors. More at: http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html

Here’s Laura talking about her work, the workshop, the business, the passion for storytelling, and more!

CARYN WISEMAN   1427998220

 Caryn has been an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency since 2003, and she has sold over 275 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 NYT 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 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; in picture books, it’s lyrical story-telling and heart. She loves books that are intellectually challenging and that take risks, but in a very logical way. More at: http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html


 Jennifer 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. More at: http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html



 Kelly represents illustrators and writers for all age groups within children’s literature (picture books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels).However, she is not currently accepting queries. More at:  http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html






 Jennifer represents projects ranging from picture books to YA. Middle grade is her soft spot and she’s open to all genres in this category, especially the tender, hilarious, or zany. She is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and “adorkable” heroes. As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to contemporary works; dramatic, funny, or cringe-worthy romance; and urban fantasy/light sci-fi. She’s especially interested in smart stories that are layered, complex, and unexpected, and she appreciates big, developed worlds. In terms of picture books, she is interested in character-driven projects and smart, exceptional writing. Jennifer also represents illustrators and author-illustrators. More at: http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html





Jamie Weiss Chilton represents all categories of children’s books, specializing in picture books and teen novels. She is not currently accepting queries. More at: http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html




Jennifer’s background in children’s book publishing includes five years reviewing children’s literature at Booklist magazine, and five years as an editor at Dutton Children’s Books.In the picture-book arena, Jennifer is interested in authors and author-illustrators who bring a distinctive, well-developed point of view to their work; at this time, she is not seeking illustration-only clients. She is particularly drawn to fiction for middle graders and YAs, especially richly imagined fantasies that depart from old-hat heroic quests (portals entered by protagonists who fulfill prophecies don’t tend to be for her). The most dogeared books in her childhood library tended to be fantasy-adventures, survival stories, and sprawling, atmospheric tales with Dickensian twists and satisfying puzzles. She still gravitates to all of the above, but contemporary realistic fiction can work for her, too, especially if it’s voice-driven and carefully structured. More at: http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html



Lara Perkins represents all categories of children’s literature, from picture books to young adult. She has been with the agency since 2010 and is also the agency’s Digital Manager. She is not currently accepting queries. 

Lara is a fan of insightful, page-turning, voice-driven young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as quirky, witty picture books. In middle grade, she’s particularly looking for compelling, unexpected mysteries, stories set in fascinating, unexpected worlds (real or imagined), and stories that hit home in their depiction of ending/changing friendships or family shifts. Humor is always welcome. In young adult, Lara is looking for heart-breaking but very funny contemporary realistic and contemporary with a fantasy twist. She loves a bittersweet romance when it’s solidly grounded in reality between believable, memorable characters. She’s also drawn to character-driven fantasy with striking world building that would appeal to non-fantasy readers, and whip-smart, page-turning psychological mysteries. In the picture book realm, Lara is drawn to picture books that take a small but universal experience of childhood and draw out something beautiful or hilarious, and an endearingly flawed main character is central for her. With her art background, she loves working with author/illustrators, and she’s drawn to a wide range of illustration styles. More at: http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.html


Kathleen comes to the Andrea Brown Literary Agency after agenting for nearly five years with the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. She represents writers and illustrators for picture books (both fiction and non-fiction), middle grade, and young adult literature.
When it comes to picture books, Kathleen loves to laugh and have her heartstrings pulled, and likes quirky character driven stories with heart. Kathleen is also actively building her list of nonfiction picture books. She would love to find more biographies and what some call “ficinformational” picture books (books with a fictional story that ties into the Common Core).
Kathleen is actively looking for fresh middle grade across all genres. She has a soft spot for heartfelt stories, as well as humorous contemporary with a relatable voice. She particularly enjoys middle grade with strong friendship themes. She would be happy to find a middle grade fantasy, adventure, historical, or a high stakes story with a twist of magic. For YA novels, Kathleen loves voice-driven contemporary (and is especially fond of magical realism), compelling fantasy with unforgettable characters, historical fiction, and romance with lots of chemistry. Additionally, she is always on the lookout for something smart and edgy that pushes the envelope.
Kathleen’s YA list includes Laurie E. Flynn’s boundary-pushing contemporary FIRSTS (St. Martins/Macmillan); Lisa Maxwell’s spellbinding UNHOOKED (Simon Pulse/S&S); Marci Curtis’s heartfelt contemporary THE ONE THING (Disney*Hyperion); and Breeana Shields’s gripping fantasy, POISON’S KISS (Random House/PRH). Some of her middle grade titles include Lois Sepahban’s moving PAPER WISHES (Margaret Ferguson Books/Macmillan); and Jess Keating’s humorous My Life is a Zoo series (Sourcebooks). Recent picture book releases include Josh Funk’s riotous LADY PANCAKE AND SIR FRENCH TOAST (Sterling); Lori Alexander’s imaginative BACKHOE JOE (HarperCollins); and Jess Keating’s clever PINK IS FOR BLOBFISH (Knopf/PRH).