Our Director of Worldwide Copyright Operations, Kelly Figueroa-Ray, graduated this weekend, receiving her doctorate! So if you write to us, please address her as Dr. Director of Worldwide Copyright Operations Kelly Figueroa-Ray, PhD. Congrats, Kelly! This week we feature a rather new agency, two contests for big money, #MSWL entries, and some poetry 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, and a new-ish one-woman agency now open to queries
Sarah Gerton has joined Curtis Brown, Ltd as an associate agent.
Fiction: Middle Grade; Young Adult
"While fantasy is her first love, she’s eager to read YA and MG fiction of all genres, gravitating toward character-driven stories with unforgettable settings. On the nonfiction side, her interests include beautifully written history, reportage, and/or memoir for a young audience."
Samantha Bagood started her own agency, Samantha B. Literary, in 2017, and is now actively building her list.
"Samantha B. Literary is thrilled to be eagerly seeking new clients. Every submission is carefully considered, but as a one-woman agency, I am by nature highly selective. In addition to thinking about whether I can sell the project, I also ask myself questions like, 'Do I love the project? Will the author and I work strongly together? How passionate am I about his or her potential?'"
Big $$$ for published authors: one for a US citizen under 39 and an even bigger one for a Canadian novel or collection of short stories
Bard Fiction Prize—Submissions due June 15th, 2018 (USA; $30,000, writer-in-residence position)
Who: Published fiction writers 39 years and younger, who are U.S. citizens
What: A $30,000 cash award and an appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester, without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. The recipient gives at least one public lecture and meets informally with students. To apply, candidates should write a cover letter explaining the project they plan to work on while at Bard and submit a CV, along with three copies of the published book they feel best represents their work. No manuscripts will be accepted.
To Submit: For information about the Bard Fiction Prize, call 845-758-7087, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or request information by writing to: Bard Fiction Prize, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000. Submission information available here.
2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize—Submissions due by June 15, 2018 (CANADA; novel/short story collection, $100,000 CAD and $10,000 CAD to each finalist)
What: First edition adult fiction publication (novel or short story collection) published between May 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018 in Canada by Canadian citizens or residents (for books published between July 1, 2018 and Sept 30, 2018 submissions must be received on or before August 15, 2018). Winner receives $100,000 CAD and each finalist receives $10,000 CAD.
To Submit: Publishers should submit seven hard copies of the book via post to The Scotiabank Giller Prize, Michelle Kadarusman, 543 Logan Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 3B6 (***Please authorize couriers to leave boxes with ‘no signature required’ at front gate***). Each entry must be accompanied by the signed submission form (click here), a current author biography, a jpeg of the author and the book cover sent by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) that can be reproduced for use in print and online. For contest rules and guidelines, click here.
Agents looking for women in STEM, among other (stranger?) things
Kurestin Armada, Associate Literary Agent at P.S. Literary Agency
Kurestin is super consistant, folks! Last July she put out the same #MSWL call that we highlighed here in our Roundup. Could you all please send her more projects (fiction and non) with "young girls interested in STEM fields"? Thx! Source Tweet
Fiction: Upmarket and Commercial Fiction, Magic Realism, Science Fiction, Fantasy, select Historical Fiction, LGBTQ (any genre), illustrated Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Graphic Novels, and Romance
Nonfiction: Design, Cooking, Pop Psychology, Narrative, Photography, Nature, and Science
Follow Kurestin's #MSWL on Twitter via her agency's account @PSLiterary.
Tess Callero, Agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd
Tess has just updated her new #MSWL page where she informs us that she watched the entire first season of Stranger Things in one day. On her list we also find "women in STEM"! Take the hint people. Find out all the things she wants here. Source Tweet
Fiction: Young Adult; Commercial and Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Mysteries; Thrillers; and Romance
Nonfiction: Pop Culture; Business; Cookbooks; Humor, Biography; Self-Help; and Food Narrative Projects
"She has a soft spot for anything involving food, sports, or Hollywood."
Follow her on Twitter @TessCallero.
Here at GSF, our raison d’être is to help authors overcome the variegated and myriad barriers to publication, which can seem insurmountable; when writing is a second, unpaid full-time job, something as time intensive as finding and researching literary agents can be overwhelming, even if it is entirely necessary.* I thought of this as I read Rabih Alameddine’s essay on who gets to write (and be read) over at Harper’s this week. Alameddine notes that only writers who are not a threat to dominant culture are allowed to write, and he suggests that the economics of publishing is used to keep out threatening work: “Today’s imperial censorship is usually masked as the publisher’s bottom line. ‘This won’t sell’ is the widest moat in the castle’s defenses.” But his wider inquiry regards the way that successful writers are, in Chinua Achebe’s words, “purveyor(s) of comforting myths.” Even the work of authors who question or challenge aspects of the ascendant culture is co-opted by that culture: Conrad’s Heart of Darkness critiques the project of colonialism, all the while reinforcing racist and colonialist ideas about Africa. As culture changes, though, so do the types of voices that are allowed to be heard; world literature is now widespread and critically lauded. Yet culture’s co-opting of those voices continues, and Alameddine does not except himself from this process. What can this tell us as writers in our own genres, categories, and identities, whatever they may be? Maybe the takeaway is that obeisance to the dictates of our culture is what’s missing from our work. Maybe my novel doesn’t have enough firefighters, pickup trucks, and sturdy-but-feminine women in jean shorts, or on the other hand, uptight intellectuals roaming the Upper East Side questioning their life’s work. Or maybe the takeaway is that writing (and reading) at its best is an act that requires an intense ability to observe and scrutinize both ourselves and our neighbors, to leave to others the assumptions we operate on in our daily lives and to resist our own first impressions and impulses, and that that is all we can do. I’ll let y’all come to your own conclusions about what I think. The whole thing is well worth a read. Check it out here.
Speaking of barriers to entry, not ever leaving your house is a big one. I thought of this as I read through LitHub’s collection of writers talking about their favorite poems. Jesse Ball talks about “Jabberwocky,” one of my favorites, and one of the first I memorized. The very first poem I memorized, however, is Emily Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” When I was a child, if I was too ill to go to school, I would be forced to stay with my grandmother. Grandmother’s apartment was not a place any six-year-old would voluntarily stay for any period of time, and on top of the non-kid-friendly environment, Grandmother was apt to make you memorize poetry. And she loved Emily Dickinson.
I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us—don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
The magic of this poem was entirely lost on my sullen, fever-ridden, six-year-old self. By adolescence, though, I had grown to love it, and still do. I think that in a way it speaks to what Alameddine is talking about in his essay. The poet enrolls the reader in her own sense of alienation and feelings of being an outsider. It is this quality that allows the poem to speak to so many, regardless of whether they would be recognizable as an outsider to most of us. Tom Brady, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Warren Buffett may all feel that this poem speaks to them. As a corollary to that, this illustrates that way in which culture co-opts voices that may critique that culture: not to get all Intentional Fallacy on y’all, but this poem is not about famous and powerful people. Yet they may embrace it as their own. At any rate, read about more favorite poems here.
*Okay, so our RDE is to help y’all overcome like three or four of the barriers, but you know what I mean.