Well, another Valentine’s Day is upon us. I’m desperately trying to convince my wife that it is the absolute worst night of the year to go out to dinner (years in the service industry teaches you a thing or two). So far, it’s not working. Luckily, I have other things to distract me from the consequent anxiety that has befallen me: this week we highlight some new agency peeps, big money for a Buddhist children’s book, a residency opportunity, agent wishlists, and then fail to follow through on a planned philosophical discussion at the end.
We’d love to hear your feedback. Please let us know what you think in the comments and if there are certain types of information you would like to see in the Roundup. Also feel free to tweet at us (@freelancingrads) with any ideas or questions. Have a great writing week!
A new agent, a new agency (sorta), and another new agent (maybe)
Léonicka Valcius has has joined the Transatlantic Agency as Assistant Literary Agent. [update: Léonicka Valcius will reopen to submissions on April 2, 2018.]
Fiction: Commercial, especially Fantasy, Romance, and Historical; YA/children’s
“As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the Chair of the Board of the Festival of Literary Diversity, serving readers and writers of colour has been the core of Léonicka’s career. She brings this same mandate to her work at Transatlantic.”
Léonicka will be coagenting clients with Samantha Haywood, Stephanie Sinclair, and Amy Tompkins. You can find their submission guidelines here.
MacKenzie Wolf has formed from the merger of the Gillian MacKenzie Agency and Wolf Literary Services.
Fiction: Varies from agent to agent
Nonfiction: Ditto (do people say that anymore?)
“Core to MacKenzie Wolf’s business is the recognition that offering our clients legal and strategic services in addition to traditional book representation is vital in the face of a changing publishing landscape. Our team is creative, nimble, and highly engaged; we don’t just sign up projects, we sign up creators, and we believe that good representation is integral to an enduring career.”
Elizabeth Rudnick is a literary agent at MacKenzie Wolf who may or may not have been recently hired there (we think so, though).
Fiction: YA and Middle Grade
Nonfiction: It appears not.
“In addition to building her client list, she is focusing on packaging efforts, pairing high-concept ideas and story-lines with strong writers.”
A Fellowship and a Big Cash Prize if you have your s*%@ together, cuz the deadline Is Wednesday
Shambhala Publications Bala Kids & The Khyentse Foundation Children’s Book Prize—Submissions due by February 15th, 2018 ($$$ prize, contract)
What: Children’s book (ages 0-8) expressing Buddhist values, themes, and traditions, with or without illustrations. Winner will receive $5000 and a contract with Bala Kids.
The Vermont Studio Center VSC Fellowships—Submissions due by February 15th, 2018 (Semi-Annual Writing Fellowship: Residency)
Who: All artists and writers living and working anywhere in the world.
What: Applications are judged based on portfolio or manuscript. Winners receive residencies of 2-12 weeks at the Vermont Studio Center.
Cost: $25 application fee
“Every VSC residency opportunity includes private room, private
studio space, all meals, and full access to our schedule of evening
programs and events.”
#MSWL Highlights: Grease, bad girls, and the history of writing
Maria Vicente, Agent at P.S. Literary Agency
Maria is looking for some updated Olivia Newton and Johnny T: “Contemporary #YA that involves a modern-day version of the T-Birds or Pink Ladies.” Source Tweet
Maria is seeking:
Non-fiction: Yup. For grown-ups, too.
“She has affinities for literary prose, diverse characters, original storytelling formats, and anything geeky.”
Melissa Edwards, Agent at Stonesong Literary Agency
Melissa is looking for lady sociopaths: “I’d love to see some “women behaving badly” fiction. Give me your Miranda Priestly, your Cersei Lannister, your Bellatrix Lestrange.” Source Tweet
Fiction: Children’s and Adult Commercial, particularly Women’s and International Thrillers
Nonfiction: Select Pop Culture
“She enjoys children’s books that kids will self-select and return to time after time. For young adults, she is interested in seeing fun, commercial fiction in all genres, particularly romance, thriller, and fantasy.”
Follow Melissa on Twitter @MelissaLaurenE.
Moe Ferrara, Literary Agent at BookEnds Literary
Moe wants to ponder some orthographies: “If anyone has a book about emoji use and the evolution/devolution of language back to cuneiform/hieroglyphs — I’d be interested in a proposal!” Source Tweet
Fiction: Most genres, particularly Science Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, and light Horror, in Middle Grade, YA, and Adult
Non-Fiction: Generally no, but it looks like she’ll make an exception for emojis.
“A Pennsylvania native, she is mum of a rambunctious corgi who is a master at stealing treats. When not reading, she is an avid gamer and always awaiting the next Assassin’s Creed release.”
Follow Moe on Twitter @inthesestones.
In awesome news you may have missed, this week a dairy in Maine settled a lawsuit brought against it by truck drivers who were suing for overtime pay they claimed the dairy owed. The dairy lost the suit and agreed to pay the drivers $5 million. We here at GSF have no particular affinity for either dairies or truck drivers; we have only a desire that justice, whatever that may mean, is done. What we do have an affinity for is grammar, and grammar is what this case hinged on. Maine law provides exemptions from the requirement to pay extra for overtime work, and those exemptions were presented in a list: The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods. Those of you who pay attention to punctuation will note that it is unclear whether the Maine legislators meant that packing for shipment or packing for distribution of the three categories is exempt or that packing is exempt and distribution is exempt. The legislators’ apparent disdain for the serial comma allowed the drivers to come to the reasonable conclusion that distribution (which is to say driving a truck) is not exempt—packing for distribution is. The circuit court judge agreed with them, and I like to think that quite a few truckers in Maine are raising their glasses to the memory of Roger Casement, who was not so lucky. Check it out here.
I had planned to segue into the ways in which the seemingly abstract and trivial can have serious consequences or exemplars in real life (like the lack of a comma costing a company $5 million) using the capture of an escaped convict in Las Vegas as the real-life exemplar of one of Edmund Gettier’s famous (and oft-maligned) counterexamples to the conception of knowledge as justified true belief. I was unable to find a record of this escape and capture to link to, however, and the necessity of explaining the epistemological arguments involved seemed too taxing (I have a feeling the reader would have felt the same way). But epistemology finds its expression in unexpected places (as my planned excursus would have demonstrated), and over at LitHub this week Emily Temple has collected various authors’ responses to the maxim Write what you know. Unsurprisingly, the discussions often hinge on what is meant by know. My favorite bit is Nathan Englander recounting his suburban childhood and concluding that what he should do is “write a book called Little House on the Prairie is on at 5 o’clock.” Check it out here.