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 including Breathe by Scott Magoon; Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo; Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy, illustrated by C. F. Payne; Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught; and Storm 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.


andrewAndrew 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.






Hyde_CatherineRyanCatherine Ryan Hyde (website here) is an American novelist and short story writer, with more recent forays and notable success in transitioning from traditional publication towards the world of eBook publication. Her novels have enjoyed bestseller status in both the U.S. and U.K., and her short stories have won many awards and honors. Her book Pay It Forward was adapted into a movie and her novel Electric God is currently in development.

Ryan-Hyde’s literary works are in generally optimistic explorations of ordinary people, characters who are troubled or down-on-their-luck or recovering from past difficulties or abuse.

Many feature journeys that parallel some of Catherine’s own travels, life in New York City, small towns, and ‘cross country’ travels and explore settings often in those areas and the American West and Southwest. Ryan-Hyde’s Young writings and activities deal issues such as alcoholism, (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, TransGender) concerns, social service difficulties, etc. Catherine is also an avid hiker, kayaker, photographer, and is well known for being a very active blogger and interview-accessible author.


rIJKUDGw_400x400Eric Elfman
Having never grown up, I write books for middle graders and young adults. My 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. My 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 my books have been optioned by Hollywood studios and producers for development as feature films or TV projects. As a screenwriter, I 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. I 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. My interviews with contemporary screenwriters have appeared in Creative Screenwriting magazine, and I’ve contributed articles to Dwell, mental_floss, and Disney Adventures Digest.

I’m also a private writing coach. For the past ten years, I’ve been on the faculty of the Big Sur Children’s Writers Workshop, directed by Andrea Brown and sponsored by the Henry Miller Library. I have also spoken at national and regional writing conferences, including SCBWI East Bay and the Ventana Sierra Writers Workshop established by Ellen Hopkins. I can be contacted 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