Two promotions (according to PublishersLunch – they're not reflected on the agency websites. Hopefully we're not ruining any surprises!)
Saba Sulaiman has been promoted to Associate Agent at Talcott Notch Literary.
Fiction: Middle Grade; Young Adult; Literary; Commercial; Romance; Thriller; Cozy Mystery
Nonfiction: Humor; Memoir
“And it finally hit me—working closely with writers to hone their craft; seeing a piece of writing from its inception through to its eventual publication; and advocating for what I believed was stellar prose worthy of recognition—this was my calling.”
Sarah Bedingfield has been promoted to Agent at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary.
Fiction: Literary; upmarket Commercial
“A southerner at heart, she can’t help but love books set in the south, but she’s a die-hard for any world immersive enough to make her miss her stop on the train, cry in public, or desperately unable to sleep.”
Writers, you've got a week or four…
Prose Challenges: Sponsored by Trident Media Group—Submissions due in roughly a month (Sponsored writing challenge)
What: 1,000-5,000 word sample of your work. Winners will be approached by Trident (a heavy-hitter among literary agencies).
Reed Magazine John Steinbeck Award for Fiction—Submissions due November 1st (Annual Contest—$$ Prize)
What: Short fiction of up to 5,000 words. The theme is “California.” Winner receives $1,000. Non-winners may still receive publication.
Reading Fee: $15 (includes one issue of magazine)
Cheerleaders, ancient Egypt, and what not to send
Jessie Devine, Associate Agent at D4EO Literary
Jessie feels like iconoclasm in kids’ books is not so iconoclastic anymore: “I want MG where the MC is a girl who *is* interested in makeup and fashion and puberty and dances and significant others.” Source Tweet
Fiction: Science Fiction; Fantasy; Historical; Contemporary; Middle Grade; Young Adult
Nonfiction: Doesn’t seem like it
How to submit: Jessie is accepting submissions via QueryManager, here.
Follow Jessie @Jessie_Devine.
Kaitlyn Johnson, Agent Apprentice at Corvisiero Literary
Kaitlyn is looking for an updated classic (but probably not the Tom Cruise one): “In treasure hunting mood – also want a modern Mummy-esque story!” Source Tweet
Fiction: Middle Grade; Young Adult; New Adult; Fantasy; Romance; Historical; Contemporary; LGBT
“Her favorite tv shows are Doctor Who, Buffy, Supernatural, Firefly, basically the nerdier the fandom the better.” (I’m with her on Buffy and Firefly.)
Follow Kaitlyn on Twitter @kaitylynne13.
Jennie Goloboy, Agent at Red Sofa Literary
Jennie’s going apophatic with her MSWL: “Tough sells for me right now: lone-wolf vigilante heroes. Dystopias in general.”
Fiction: Young Adult; Middle Grade; Science Fiction; Fantasy; Romance
Follow Jennie on Twitter @JennieGoloboy.
Last week we linked to an essay written by Chris Jackson, in which he talked about the importance of diversity in the publishing industry. The diversity he refers to is entirely socioeconomic and ethnic: he doesn’t mention gender at all. Maybe that’s because the industry is already overwhelmingly female (estimates put it at almost 80%): to get more diverse, there would need to be an increase in the number of men.
But as a piece in Publisher’s Weekly points out, in spite of women’s dominant numbers, the power in publishing is largely concentrated with men. The fallout over the allegations against Harvey Weinstein has included soul-searching (or at least the appearance of said searching) in industries outside Hollywood, and publishing is no different. The article reports that sexual harassment is widespread in the industry, and that women consistently find that management and HR departments are indifferent to it. Just because 4 out of 5 faces on every agency and publishing house website belong to women doesn’t mean those faces are running the show. Or that they’re being treated fairly. Check it out here.
On a lighter note: how about that Winnie-the-Pooh? I loved Pooh growing up (well, Tigger, mostly. T-i-double guh-er!), but as the words mawkish and twee entered my vocabulary, my affections faded. A new biopic about Pooh’s creator, A.A. Milne, is out this week, and it apparently explores the family dysfunction and burden of fame that led to a never-resolved falling out between parents and son, the IRL model for Pooh’s Christopher Robin. Goodbye Christopher Robin has been receiving mostly meh reviews, so I feel no need to see it, which pleases me. On top of disliking things egregiously sentimental, I also dislike Milne for his treatment of one of my literary heroes, P.G. Wodehouse. Wodehouse had been captured when the Germans overran France in WWII, and had (foolishly, one must admit) agreed to a series of broadcasts on German radio, which he titled How to be an Internee Without Previous Training. Mostly comprised of humorous reflections on life as a prisoner, the broadcasts contained no pro-German or Nazi material, or any anti-Allied material, either. Nevertheless, this seeming collaboration with those orchestrating the Blitz enraged the British populace. Wodehouse’s old friend Alan Milne was one of a chorus of voices who condemned him publicly, which ultimately led to Wodehouse’s exile in the United States. But Wodehouse took his revenge, subtler and sweeter, if less tangibly damaging, when he wrote of Rodney Spelvin (a character in his series of golf-centered stories) turning to syrupy children’s fare when inspired by his son: “Timothy Bobbin goes Happily hoppity hoppity hop.” (There is considerably more material, and funnier, which I encourage you to read yourself in “Rodney Has a Relapse.” Here at GSF we have an intense aversion to infringing on copyright, so I will not quote more.) And while Disney has certainly made far more money off of Pooh than Wodehouse ever made in his ridiculously prolific career, it his P.G.’s work that has continued to enjoy the approval of his peers – other writers. For more on the scorn of writers for other writers, check out this piece over at LitHub. It includes Dorothy Parker’s famous takedown of Milne in The New Yorker.