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Literary Agents have been around for a long time. They are sought after like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But how does one go about capturing one? How does a writer’s query set the tone for their work? Agent Kelly Sonnack tells all in the 2012 Children’s Writers & illustrator’s Market book. (Sambuchino)
ON STARTING STRONG
When you’re reviewing a partial fiction manuscript, what do you hate to see in Chapter 1?

  • I hate to see a whiny character who’s in the middle of a fight with one of their parents, slamming doors, rolling eyes and displaying all sorts of other stereotypical behavior. I hate seeing character “stats” (“Hi, I’m Brain. I’m 10 years and 35 days old with brown hair and green eyes.”). I also tend to have a hard time bonding with characters who talk to the reader (“Let me tell you about the summer I….).
    -KELLY SONNACK is a literary agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency

ON PICTURE BOOKS & ILLUSTRATIONS
With picture books, I suspect you get a lot of submissions and most of them get rejected. Where are writers going wrong?

  • Rhyming! So many writers think picture books need to rhyme. There are some editors who won’t even look at books in rhyme, and a lot more who are extremely wary of them, so it limits an agent on where it can go and the likelihood of it selling. It’s also particularly hard to execute perfectly. Aside from rhyming, I see way too many picture books about a family pet or bedtime.
    -KELLY SONNACK is a literary agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency

KellyKelly Sonnack is a literary agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, has attended writer’s conferences and is found talking about children’s books on Facebook and Twitter. She has represented many authors that include Steve Watkins’ Golden Kite Winner DOWN SAND MOUNTAIN and his YA novel WHAT COMES AFTER. Find out more about this agent at:

http://www.andreabrownlit.com/agents.php

 

 
For the writer’s out there that want a different voice to help them decide if an agent is right for you please watch the video with Michael Larsen, literary agent, and Brain Felsen, president of BookBaby.

Works Cited
Sambuchino, Chuck. “Agents Tell All.” Sambuchino, Chuck. 2012 Children’s Writer‘s & Illustrator’s. Cinncinnati: Writers Digest Books, 2012. 26-30.

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