After all the tryptophan we can barely wake up enough to get out a Roundup this week (yes, we know that it doesn't really make you sleepy, we don't care). We managed it, nonetheless. This week we've got a big-money contest, some stuff agents are looking for, and then a bit about good and bad proposals 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!
Two new agents
Taylor Curtin has joined Union Literary as an Agent and is actively working to build her client list.
Fiction: Upmarket and Literary Fiction, Young and New-Adult Fiction (especially Science-Fiction and Fantasy)
Nonfiction: True Crime
“For true crime she is looking for compelling stories that bring the drama and incorporate aspects of psychology, forensics, and/or the litigation process. Regarding fiction, she is a sucker for snappy, sarcastic characters with stories that ring (painfully) true while making the reader laugh, or even cry. Taylor is passionate about narratives that are diverse, culturally conscious, and socially aware (particularly for younger readers). She has an appetite for high-quality and evocative writing that transports the reader to unfamiliar places, or lends fresh eyes to a familiar place. She’s not afraid of edgier, grittier, or darker voices and stories and prefers the kid-gloves are off when handling young readers.”
Jennifer Haskin has joined Corvisiero Agency as a Literary Agent Apprentice.
Fiction: Young adult literature, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian fiction, and romance
Nonfiction: Not interested
“She is drawn to faulty heroines with strong voices, real friendships, and super skills with a weapon. As well as a hunky love interest with a tangled plot of his own.”
This week, a great opportunity for young writers and a chance for recently published authors who focus on race, culture, and diversity to shine
Anisfield-Wolf 82nd Annual Book Awards—Submissions due December 31st (Published fiction, nonfiction, or poetry—BIG $$ Prize)
What: Works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry published and copyrighted in 2017. $10,000 will be awarded to two winners—one for a work of fiction or poetry and one for a work of nonfiction, biography, or scholarly research.
“The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book prizes in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity. Past winners have presented the extraordinary art and culture of peoples around the world, explored human-rights violations, exposed the effects of racism on children, reflected on growing up biracial, and illuminated the dignity of people as they search for justice.”
To Submit: Contest guidelines and a submission form may be found here.
BookLogix Young Writer’s Competition—Submissions due December 31st (Youth Contest—Publication)
Who: Writers aged 10-18
What: Book-length prose fiction (up to 200 8.5” x 11” pages) by previously unpublished authors. Two winners will be awarded full publication of their book.
“The Young Writers Contest seeks to encourage young people to express themselves and their thoughts through writing and literacy skills. The contest encourages entrants, age 10-18, to consider the ability to become a published author at any age, and to learn about the process of publishing their work. Winners will be selected based on originality, creativity, and writing skill.”
#MSWL highlights: fantasy, space camp, and hauntings, oh my! Also, fantasy.
Laura Crockett, Associate Literary Agent at TriadaUS
Even the holidays can’t slow down intrepid Associate Literary Agents like Laura, who is on the hunt for “contemporary, fantasy, & historical in YA/Adult, select MG mystery & fantasy.” Source Tweet
Fiction: YA realistic fiction featuring diverse characters and narratives, and fairytale/mythology-inspired fantasy for the 21st century that focuses on inventive worlds and characters with depth. In adult fiction, she is interested in contemporary women’s fiction featuring juicy moral dilemmas, millennial-driven “chick-lit,” and more fantasy.
Nonfiction: is getting dusty on Laura’s shelf.
“In YA, she is interested in contemporary realistic fiction (such as study abroad experiences, strong female friendships, falling in love, mental health, diversity, LGBTQ) and fantasy (particularly with excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures' mythology, and historical fantasy). In adult fiction, she is interested in contemporary women's fiction (heartfelt, juicy moral dilemmas, historical bends with parallel narratives), humorous chick-lit (especially if it's millennial-driven), and fantasy (excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures' mythology, and historical fantasy).”
Follow Laura on Twitter @LECrockett.
Kelly Peterson, Junior Agent at Corvisiero Agency and noted freelance Zombie/Apocalypse Survival Specialist
Kelly knows exactly what she wants, we’re just here to pass it on: 1) A story of two dancers and the friendship that sustains them in the world of competitive ballet, 2) fiction and non-fiction from Native American authors, 3) a work of Middle Grade fiction with a female protagonist attending space camp (because she wants to be an astronaut and her idol is Sally Ride, obvs... she “learns to read the stars, understand horoscopes, and uses it all to navigate friendships”), 4) works of realistic fiction featuring diverse characters, 5) YA historical fiction—picture “Ruby from Cold Mountain with a shotgun in her hand” 6) fictional tales of online dating gone horribly awry, 7) and finally… well, we think it’s best if she explains it to you: “A hilarious haunting! A ghost with a sense of humor, waking people up, making weird sculptures with random objects around the house, telling the living people that they should GET IT, etc. Make me die laughing.” Source Tweet
Fiction: Middle Grades Fantasy, Paranormal, and Sci-fi; Young Adult Fantasy (“all sub genres of fantasy accepted”), Steampunk, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Historical (“19th century and earlier with strong heroines”), Dystopian (“hold the cyborgs, the scorch, and diseases, please”), Sword and Sorcery, and select Contemporary Romance or any combination of the above with strong female main characters; New Adult Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance (“Cowboys, anyone? Sexy and somewhat geeky entrepreneur? Celebrity? Yes?”), Historical Romance, or any combination of the above; Adult Fantasy, Romance.
Nonfiction: Non-Fiction, along with Emotional Turmoil, Mystery/Crime, or Children's Picture Books might be your thing, but they sure aren’t Kelly’s.
“With books, there's just something about strong female main characters holding their own against the world, in an environment that Kelly could never, in her wildest dreams, find herself living within. It tears at her heart and pulls at her soul, especially when the main character finds that she never needed another to complete her in the first place.”
How to Submit: Fill out the online form found here. More information on the agency's submission policies here. Please note that all agents at Corvisiero Agency will be taking a well-deserved holiday break from December 1st, 2017 until January 2nd, 2018 and will be closed to queries during this time.
Follow Kelly on Twitter @YAFantasyFan.
This week, Business Insider reported that former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci had been unsuccessfully trying to pitch a book about his days in the Trump administration. Represented by the formidable Trident Media Group, Scaramucci's proposed book failed to elicit the interest of publishers, and he told Business Insider that he no longer wanted to publish a book. The news site obtained a copy of one of the versions of his proposal (apparently not the final version), and it is not pretty. Imagine a three-page hagiography whose intended audience is people who think tough-talking financiers are the real modern-day saints (take that, Mother Teresa!). In spite of his fame, and our never-ending fascination with all things Trump, Scaramucci follows Sean Spicer into the ranks of would-be authors thwarted by an industry that is intensely interested in what will sell, and what won't. And TPTB have determined that a memoir written by a mouthy blowhard who literally claims that his book may save the country won't.
Fantastic proposals aren't always enough, though, either. About six months ago, author Michael Hingston wrote a piece for Medium which offers his non-fiction proposal for a book on teeth as an example for other authors preparing to write their own proposals. An agent at a top agency signed him immediately after reading his unsolicited pitch, telling him that it was one of the best she'd ever seen. As we know already, though, the publishing gods are fickle (or maybe just good at their jobs), and the excellent proposal for Quite a Mouthful: A Cultural History of Teeth was not enough to coax the book into print. Check it out here.
For other concrete information on how to craft a proposal we recommend (as always) Jane Friedman's blog and services. If anyone knows the Mooch, send him the link. She might be able to help. Check it out here.