Now that you have your ideas written down, it’s time to flesh them out.
Need help deciding which ideas have potential?
Check out Laura Purdie Salas’s post Seeds vs. Pebbles.
And Laura Gehl’s Diagram Method.
Plus, if you’ve registered and signed the Storystorm Pledge (posted January 31), you’re eligible to be randomly chosen for a Grand Prize.
The Grand Prizes for Storystorm are feedback on your best five ideas from one of these amazing picture book literary agents! So start expanding those ideas into elevator pitches. Don’t know how to do that? Check this out:
Pitch Like Paula Yoo.
Without further ado…which is certainly NOT about nothing…let me introduce the Grand Prize agents to you.
Holly M. McGhee, President and Creative Director, Pippin Properties
Holly M. McGhee still carried MADELINE around in 3rd grade—until Mrs. Carrier, her school librarian, tricked her into reading longer books by giving her one with her name on it, HOLLY IN THE SNOW. After college, Holly headed straight into the book world of New York City, where she has enjoyed being a secretary, an advertising manager, a sales rep (for one month), and in the six years prior to opening the doors at Pippin, an executive editor at HarperCollins.
Now, as the President and Creative Director of Pippin she is dedicated to shepherding books that make a difference into the world.
Ammi-Joan Paquette, Senior Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Ammi-Joan Paquette is a senior agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing all types of children’s and YA literature. She is also the author of the Princess Juniper series, the MG novel The Train of Lost Things, and picture books including Ghost in the House, Elf in the House, Bunny Bus, and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies. With acclaimed author Laurie Ann Thompson, she is also the co-author of the “nonfiction with a twist” series, Two Truths and a Lie. In her agent acquisitions, Joan is particularly drawn to richly voiced, unforgettable characters and settings, as well as tightly-paced, well-plotted stories with twists and turns that keep you guessing right until the end. Visit her on the web at: ajpaquette.com. (P.S. Joan represents Tara.)
Tricia Lawrence, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Tricia is the “Pacific Northwest branch” of EMLA—born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 22 years of working as a developmental and production-based editor (from kids books to college textbooks, but mostly college textbooks), she joined the EMLA team in March 2011 as a social media strategist.
As agent, Tricia represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won’t let go.
Tricia loves hiking, camping out in the woods, and collecting rocks. She loves BBC America and anything British. She has way too many books and not enough bookshelves. You can find Tricia’s writing about blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and other social media topics (for authors and the publishing industry at large) at authorblogger.net and tricialawrence.com.
Erin Murphy, President, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Erin was born and raised in Arizona, and founded EMLA in Flagstaff in 1999. She cut her teeth in regional publishing at Northland Publishing/Rising Moon Books for Young Readers, a beloved decades-old Flagstaff company that was bought out in 2007, where she was editor-in-chief. As founder of EMLA she has focused not just on publishing books, but on building careers—and creating a sense of community, as well. In 2016, she relocated the agency headquarters to southern Maine.
Erin represents writers and writer-illustrators of picture books, novels for middle-graders and young adults, and strong nonfiction. Her favorite reads feel timeless, have strong voices, and express unique creative visions. Because of her full client list, she rarely signs new writers or illustrators, but she is particularly interested in adding cultural diversity to her client list. In addition to reading, her interests include traveling, knitting, walking, kayaking, watching movies, and figuring out How People Work.
Liza Royce Literary Agency
Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. A cross-platform company providing development, representation, and strategic career management for clients in all media, their goal is to represent clients in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. Both former partners in NYC based litigation law firms, Liza and Ginger bring a combined 40 years of negotiating experience to the field. This background, along with connections rooted in publishing, movies and television, allowed them to focus and build on a referral based clientele.
From picture books through adult projects, fiction and non-fiction, screenplays to stage works, LRA welcomes strong voices and plot driven works. Their inaugural books became available in stores January 2013. Their first was an Edgar nominee, another was an Indie Next Pick, and two others were optioned for film. LRA’s success began right out of the gate. Here’s to more great projects!
Linda Epstein, Agent, Emerald City Literary
Linda is the eyes and ears of Emerald City Literary Agency in the east. Even though she’s a life-long New Yorker, her breath is still taken away every time she sees the New York City skyline. Besides being an agent, she’s also hard at work writing manuscripts of her own.
Linda represents picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, as well as children’s nonfiction. She does not represent adult literature. Since joining the agency she has toyed with the idea of adding a G to the beginning of her name, but has come to the conclusion that she’s not exactly the good witch.
The archive of Linda’s blog, theblabbermouthblog.com, will give you a good sense of who she is, and you can follow her on Twitter @LindaEpstein, and at Manuscript Wish List. (P.S. She is not currently open to submissions.)
Victoria Selvaggio, Literary Agent/Partner, Storm Literary Agency
Victoria Selvaggio, previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. She is a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI: Northern Ohio, where her desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.
With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.
As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects!
A sincere THANK YOU to all the participating agents!
Storystormers, get down to work refining, polishing and fleshing out your best ideas so you will be ready if you are randomly selected a Grand Prize Winner! Prizes will be announced next week!