Bestselling Authors, Top Editors and Literary Agents
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.
Laura Rennert has been with the agency since 1998. She specializes in all categories of children's books, from picture books to YA. She also represents literary-commercial fiction, thrillers, and psychological suspense/horror on the adult side.
Laura gravitates toward the gorgeously written, the weirdly idiosyncratic, and the refreshingly unexpected. The common threads in the diverse range of projects Laura represents are conflicted, dynamic characters; a fresh, strong voice; an unusual point of view; and vivid world-building. She loves works that draw on literary traditions and re-imagines them as something completely, captivatingly new. She has a special fondness for books that play with commercial tropes, but give them surprising emotional depth.
Caryn has been an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency since 2003, and she has sold almost 400 books. She handles children's books only: YA and middle grade fiction and nonfiction, chapter books, and fiction and nonfiction picture books. 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 storytelling and heart. She loves books that are intellectually challenging and that take risks, but in a very logical way.
Kelly represents illustrators and writers for all age groups and formats within children's literature (picture books, middle grade, chapter book, YA, and graphic novels).
Right now in YA, Kelly is interested in finding a sophisticated novel that examines social issues in a fresh way, or something that taps into her sci-fi, magic and fantasy nerdiness. In MG, she tends toward emotional, family-centered stories. She likes unique, clever picture books with emotional layers that reflect the challenges and conflicts 0-7 year olds face even if told from the perspective of a family of robots or mice. Kelly is a passionate graphic novel fan and excited about taking on new graphic novel creators. She loves humorous and/or fantastical adventures for a juvenile audience or personal, layered stories for older teen audiences. While her bar is high for nonfiction, she's particularly interested in projects focused on minority historical figures. She is also always on the lookout for dynamic illustrators, whether they're writing their own books or interested in illustrating other people's.
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 the 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
Jamie Weiss Chilton represents all categories of children’s books, specializing in novelty books, picture books, and YA novels. Special interests for novels include contemporary, thriller, science fiction, humor, horror, and memoir.
What Jamie looks for: INTENSITY across all genres. She's seeking manuscripts that stay with her. This could mean the sweet intensity of an "I love you" picture book, or the shocked intensity of a YA that explores an essential part of the teen experience in a way she's never considered. Unique viewpoints and new takes on perennial topics interest her. In the younger genres, she looks for the hook that will make a book a must-have parenting or educational resource.
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, illustrators, and author-illustrators who bring a distinctive, well-developed point of view to their work. She is particularly drawn to fiction in middle grade and YA, especially richly imagined fantasies that depart from typical 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 gravitates to all of the above, but contemporary realistic fiction can work for her too, especially if it's voice-driven and carefully structured.
Jennifer represents authors and illustrators of picture book, middle grade, and YA stories, and is actively building her list. Although she specializes in children’s literature, she also represents adult fiction, both literary and commercial, particularly crime, suspense, and horror projects.
For picture books, she is drawn to a wide range of stories from silly to sweet, but she always appreciates a strong dose of humor and some kind of surprise at the end. When it comes to middle grade, she likes all kinds of genres, including adventures, mysteries, spooky-but-not-too-scary ghost stories, humor, realistic contemporary, and fantasy.
Lara represents authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction. She has been with ABLA since 2010 and is also the agency's Digital Manager.
In picture books, Lara is actively seeking picture book author-illustrators who bring distinct perspectives to their work, particularly perspectives that are underrepresented in children's literature. She is drawn to bold and colorful art, a playful use of texture and media, and kid-appealing humor and heart. She is also on the hunt for narrative nonfiction and biographies that combine fascinating real-life stories with exceptional visual potential.
Deirdre Jones is a senior editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she works on picture book, middle grade, and young adult projects. For picture books, she gravitates towards anything that will get kids (and adults) laughing, as well as creative spins on universal themes. She also loves unique nonfiction topics and picture book biographies written in a narrative style. For middle grade and young adult, she looks for stories that let her escape into a new world, making her a fan of fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, stories with magical elements, and the occasional high-concept contemporary story, as well as fast-paced plots and strong writing.
Among others, she has edited Otis and Will Discover the Deep by author Barb Rosenstock and artist Katherine Roy; Claymates by author Dev Petty and artist Lauren Eldridge; First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, illustrated by Agata Nowicka; The Star Thief by debut author Lindsey Becker; the Guts & Glory nonfiction series by Ben Thompson; and the New York Times bestselling Frostblood series by debut author Elly Blake. Find her online @DeirdreEJones.
Amy Novesky is the children's book editor for Creative Editions (The Creative Company) and for Cameron Kids (a publishing partner of Abrams), where she seeks and acquires poetic picture books. www.amynovesky.com. She is an award-winning children’s book author and editor. Her picture books include Cloth Lullaby and Me, Frida. Two new picture books will follow in 2019 from Disney Press and MoMA, and in 2020, Abrams will publish Girl on a Motorcycle, illustrated by Julie Morstad.
Melissa Manlove is a Senior Editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She has been with Chronicle for 14 years. Her acquisitions tend to be all ages in nonfiction; ages 0-8 for fiction. 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 19 years of children’s bookselling experience.
Maggie Tokuda-Hall is the author of the 2017 Parent's Choice Gold Medal winning picture book, Also an Octopus, and has more picture books forthcoming from Candlewick Press and Chronicle Books. Her debut young adult novel, The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea is slated for release in 2019, from Candlewick. She holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco in Creative Writing, and is a career children's book professional. She thinks all dogs are good dogs and is the host of the Drunk Safari podcast.
Ellen Hopkins is a former journalist, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction books for young readers, four novels for adults, and thirteen NY Times bestselling young adult novels. Her fourteenth YA, People Kill People, publishes in September 2018. She lives near Carson City with her extended family, one German shepherd, a rescue cat, and a whole lot of fish, both indoor and outdoor varieties.
Eric J. Adams
Eric J. Adams is an award-winning author, feature film producer, and screenwriter. He co-produced and wrote the screenplay for the feature film Supremacy (2015), starring Danny Glover and Academy-Award-winner Mahersala Ali. He co-wrote and produced Harold Ramis' (Executive Producer) Archie's Final Project (aka My Suicide) (2010). The latter won 21 major international film festival awards including the prestigious Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Eric is currently bringing to the screen Mitali Perkins acclaimed middle-grade novel Rickshaw Girl, named as one of the best 100 children’s books in the last 100 years by The New York Library System. Eric is also the author of six books, including the therapeutic children’s book On The Day His Daddy Left, and the suspense/thrillers Birdland (Hodder & Stoughton) and Plot Twist (St. Martin’s Press). 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 Elfman is the award-winning author of 14 books for kids and young adults, including the popular Accelerati trilogy from Disney-Hyperion Books: Tesla's Attic, Edison's Alley and Hawking's Hallway, which Eric co-wrote with Neal Shusterman. As a screenwriter, Eric wrote or co-wrote screenplays for Interscope, Dreamworks, Walden Media and Universal. Also a writing coach, Eric has been on the faculty of the Big Sur Writers Workshop for the past twelve years, and among his private clients are a number of award-winning and NY Times bestselling authors. He can be reached via his website: www.EricElfmanCoaching.com
Mitali Perkins (mitaliperkins.com) has written several award-winning novels for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (nominated for the National Book Award), Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years), and Bamboo People (American Library Association's Top Ten Novels for Young Adults). In 2018, she read 300+ books for young people as a judge for the National Book Awards, which provided a good overview of current writing and publishing.
Mitali currently writes and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.