Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet literary agent Molly Jaffa

by Kathryn Craft

Young adult (YA) and middle grade (MG) continue to be hot, and Folio Literary Management knows it. That's why they've created a new division, Folio Jr., to target this important market. One of Folio Jr.'s four agents, Molly Jaffa, will be at our conference to hear pitches and to give a session specific to YA/MG authors, Getting a “YES!”: From Query to Representation in Ten Steps. 

About Folio Literary Management
A full-service literary management company in New York City since 2006, Folio Literary Management places both fiction and non-fiction with major publishers throughout the U.S. and around the world. They represent many first-time authors, some of whom have gone on to become bestsellers and major award-winners. Folio also represents many well-established authors, and works closely with them to take their careers to new heights. Client Garth Stein's novel told through a dog's point of view, The Art of Racing in the Rain, has been on the bestseller lists for 73 weeks and counting. Folio is proud to offer a full complement of literary services in a changing publishing landscape, and provide their clients with access to marketing services, website development, and the media training it takes to make each book a success. They are dedicated to supporting authors across all platforms, from film adaptation to enhanced e-books and apps.

About Folio Jr.
Folio Jr. is the division of Folio Literary Management devoted exclusively to the representation of today’s most stellar children’s book authors and artists. Folio Jr. agents are wholly committed to offering their clients 360ยบ of impeccable, hands-on care. They strive not only to find the most un-put-down-able new voices as well as to find the most can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it new styles of illustration, but also to guide their established writers and illustrators to new heights in their publishing careers. For a list of Folio Jr. Clients, click here.

About Molly Jaffa
Molly has been with Folio Literary Management since 2008. As the agency's Subsidiary Rights Associate, she aggressively pursues the sale of Folio clients' audio and foreign rights, helping to grow their careers in as many formats as possible. Molly is actively building her own client list as part of the launch of Folio Jr., an initiative within the agency devoted to children's and YA titles. An “editorial agent,” Molly works closely with clients to make their manuscripts as strong as possible.

What she is looking for: Molly is particularly interested in voice-driven, high concept MG and YA fiction; projects with elements of magical realism or historical fantasy; characters who have strong passions, smarts, or skills; and books that open up a rich new world (real or imagined!) for the reader to discover.

What she is not looking for: Picture books, boy books (no gross-out humor, aliens, gore, etc.), and paranormal fantasy.

To read more about Molly:

Interview at E.I. Johnson's blog "A View from the Top," where Molly says "it's all about the voice."

Interview at "Mother. Write. (Repeat)." blog, in which Molly shares her agenting philosophy, and the difference between magical realism (which she likes) and paranormal romance (which she doesn't).

Another take on what Molly represents.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Introducing Lisa Rector-Maass!

By Tammy Burke

It is with great delight to announce that independent editor and owner, Lisa Rector-Maass, of Third Draft New York City will be one of our conference presenters and one of our pre-conference workshop leaders.

Lisa brings a wide range of experiences with her, starting her writing career at 17 as the youngest writer at BC Woman magazine in Vancouver, Canada. She has been a journalist, publicist, bookseller, agent and editor. She has served on the Surrey International’s Writers’ Conference Board and is the staff editor at Donald Maass’ Breakout Novel Workshops. Plus, she teaches at conferences worldwide often times with her husband, Donald Maass. She is an award winning writer, founder of the Lisa Rector Young Writer’s Scholarship and author of her upcoming book The Third Draft.

Her specialty is late story issues, sagging middles and third draft woes and she has helped authors achieve book deals with Tor/MacMillan, Berkley Prime Crime and others. Questions she focuses on in her 11th hour checklist include “How much of each page centers on sequential action?” “What emotional triggers are in place and how have they been used to incite conflict?” and “Do characters inhabit the world of the story or simply pass through it?” These are the issues that create a sympathetic reader, one who will cheerfully forgo sleep in order to read your book, that crowning achievement that every writer wants.

Lisa works with thrillers, suspense, mystery, historical, fantasy, mainstream and literary fiction. She does not take poetry, non-fiction, picture books, science fiction or horror.

The four hour workshop she is teaching on Friday, March 25, 2011, Sagging Middle will provide you the expertise in enlivening voice, renewing conflict, and heightening subtext and tension. You should bring a WIP and writing materials.

In addition to teaching her workshop, she is also giving two sessions during the conference. The first one is on Third Draft Issues for story diagnosis and repair for when that last elusive 10 percent isn’t working in your manuscript and The First 50 Pages which helps you to discover what is working and what isn’t.

To find out more about Lisa, please click on the interview links below:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meet literary agent Adam Friedstein

by Kathryn Craft

A great way for a rookie author to gain literary representation—beyond having a top-notch novel or nonfiction proposal—is to query a newer agent at an established literary agency. It's a "best of both worlds" scenario: you get in on the ground floor with an agent who is working hard to build his list and establish himself in the industry, while benefiting from the agency's reputation and combined experience.

The agents coming to the 2011 Write Stuff conference fit this description perfectly. One of them is Adam Friedstein of Anderson Literary Management.

About Anderson Literary Management
Anderson Literary Management is the culmination of Kathleen Anderson’s three decades of publishing experience, thirteen of those years as an agent, seventeen as an editor. In 1995, she made the unorthodox decision (at the time, which is commonplace now) to “jump the fence” and leave institutional publishing for the entrepreneurial world of agenting. The decision was prescient because, in fairly short order, her authors gained international reputations on the back of her established tenure as an editor. It was a liberating move, allowing her to become more closely aligned with the discovery of authors and manage their artistic development. Her literary acumen attracted writers of all stripes without the restrictions of working for a single imprint of a publishing house. Now ALM represents authors to the industry as a whole. Their projects are roughly 50% fiction, 50% nonfiction.

The agency's philosophy: "We are committed, spunky, empathetic communicators, representing authors who are truth-tellers as well as story-tellers. We foster long-term relationships based on integrity, sound business practices, mutual respect, and companionship. We represent authors, not books – meaning, we manage and nurture the careers and ideas of writers over many books, not just on a book-by-book basis – and we remain active as partners throughout the publishing process. We orchestrate publishing and media deals worldwide involving factors both personal and professional, because matching writers with the right people to publish, film, and stage their work is our key to their success."

About Adam Friedstein
Adam Friedstein of Anderson Literary Management grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts and holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Bard College. He began his publishing career in 2005 at Writers House, later going on to the foreign rights department at Harold Ober Associates, and most recently Trident Media Group where he worked with agents Ellen Levine, Alex Glass, and Melissa Flashman and authors such as Christopher Andersen, Russell Banks, Stanley Fish, and Matt Bondurant. 

What Adam is looking for: Books that make statements, books with captivating characters and loud voices, books with unique perspectives on the familiarity of adolescence and adulthood, specifically debut literary fiction, literary thrillers, young adult fiction and narrative and serious nonfiction, including memoir, popular science, and pop-culture books.

More about his interests in "serious nonfiction": In addition to other categories mentioned above, this includes biographies, histories, extrapolated critical essays, travel books, idea books in technology, politics, education. Books researched and written by authors with appropriate qualifications. 

More about his interests in YA: Historicals; "I like YA on the darker, older side as well—quirky stories that remind me of the pathos of adolescence in a creative way."

What he's not interested in: Celebrity memoirs, or prescriptive dating and weight loss books. He also admits to never having been a big sci-fi or fantasy guy.

Read an interview with Adam at Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents blog.