In 2019, I will be mostly focused on developing my client list in the following four areas:
(1) Author-illustrators of picture books. I’m keen to find creators doing double duty. My tastes widely range here–I like funny, commercial books; beautifully lyrical books; really well done rhyming books by supremely thoughtful crafters; super timely books about events and issues that are relevant in today’s culture; books that take on hard issues thoughtfully; commercial nonfiction picture books of all kinds; and books for the very young (including board books).
(2) Graphic novels across kid lit genres, fiction and nonfiction: Since I became a mother last year, I find myself too sleepy at the end of the day to read novels, so I’ve turned to graphic novels and I am now a true fan! I’m not so into superhero comic-style graphic novels, but would be open to just about anything else including memoir style, graphic novels for the very young (including picture book format), an exciting adventure story, a funny and/or commercial take on a nonfiction topic (As an explanatory example, something like: The History of Video Games). I love, love, love the LumberJanes series and would love to rep a girl-led adventure graphic novel in a cool setting that lends itself well to series, middle grade or young adult. I’d prefer author-illustrators submissions.
(3) Middle grade fiction: My biggest goal for 2019 is to develop my middle grade clientele! I am looking for commercial, literary or upmarket books with a lot of heart, characters to root for, interesting settings or conflicts and quick pacing. Bonus points if there is some kind of true story or historical element to the book (but not necessarily historical fiction). Think Lauren Wolk’s books or THE TRUTH ABOUT JELLYFISH. I’m not the agent for sci-fi or hard fantasy. For those queryers, check out my MLM colleague, Britt Seiss. Also, I’ve done three time travel middle grade novels and not interested in doing another one at this time.
(4) Nonfiction across all kid lit genres. I love repping commercial nonfiction! For me, it has to work in TRADE market (not just the library/school/educational market), so it has to have a strong hook. I’m wide open here–memoirs of young people with platforms, biographies, narrative nonfiction, fact books, focuses histories, activity books, board books, picture books, etc. Some nonfiction I’ve represented is BREAKTHROUGH, teen scientist Jack Andraka’s memoir; PHILANTHROPARTIES, a party-planning book by LuLu Cerone; CAN YOU CRACK THE CODE, a focused historical book about code-making and code-breaking by Ella Schwartz, the upcoming DAY FOR REMEMBERIN, a picture book about the first Memorial Day by Leah Henderson. I’d especially love to see nonfiction that feels really innovative in format or storytelling or topic. I’m also interested in seeing fiction that incorporates nonfiction elements. See the picture book THE DIAMOND AND THE BOY by Hannah Holt as an example of what I mean.
For all of these categories, I am particularly interested in representing creators of color and helping find a platform for historically marginalized voices.
If you are an author of anything that feels like could fit above–send me a query. Check out my submission guidelines here: http://www.martinlit.com/submission-policy.