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Drum roll please…

The following Storystormers have been randomly selected from the pool of ~800 who registered for the event AND completed the 30-idea challenge!

Each winner has been paired with a picture book literary agent who will provide feedback on FIVE IDEAS that have been fleshed out into pitches.

So winners, go through your idea lists and pick the five ideas that move you, that sing to you. (Like Adele.)

Yes, HELLO IDEAS!

Write up each idea as a pitch, around a paragraph apiece. Write about the crux of the story, the hook, how you might envision it panning out. If you aren’t exactly sure, then say so. But give as much information as you can about the idea so the agent can give you feedback on the idea’s viability in today’s picture book marketplace. This will give you an IDEA of which IDEAS you should pursue as manuscripts.

I will give you three days to work on your idea descriptions, then I will email you on February 10 to introduce you to your agent. I have asked the agents to respond to your ideas by the end of the month, but some asked for a little longer due to pending commitments. So please give them time to review and reply appropriately.

And so, here we go…the GRAND PRIZE WINNERS ARE:

Julia Ugarte (Holly McGhee)
Donna Taylor (Ammi-Joan Paquette)
Bronte Colbert (Tricia Lawrence)
Mary Jane Muir (Rachel Orr)
Johnell DeWitt (Stephen Fraser)
Tiffany Dickinson (Erin Casey)
Cassie Bentley (Kelly Sonnack)
Amanda Davis (Jennifer March Soloway)
Tanya Parrott (Tracy Marchini)
Lauren Soloy (Liza Royce Literary Agency)

Congratulations, everyone! Go celebrate!

Remember there are still prizes to come–all those daily goodies you saw throughout January. So stay tuned!

 

Hello, Storystormers! Your guest posts will return tomorrow for a full 30 days of inspiration. Plus, there will be a couple of Post-Storystorm guest blogs, too!

In the meantime, let me announce the Storystorm Grand Prizes—feedback on your best five ideas from one of these TEN amazing picture book literary agents.

The Storystorm Pledge will be posted on February 1st for you to sign if you have at least 30 ideas. This will be your chance to officially affirm that you have completed the Storystorm challenge.

Winners of these Grand Prizes will be selected in early February from the list of Storystormers who have both registered and completed the challenge. Your name must be on both the registration and final pledge.

Without further ado…which is certainly NOT about nothing…let me introduce the Grand Prize agents to you.


Holly M. McGhee, President and Creative Director, Pippin Properties

Holly M. McGhee still carried MADELINE around in 3rd grade—until Mrs. Carrier, her school librarian, tricked her into reading longer books by giving her one with her name on it, HOLLY IN THE SNOW. After college, Holly headed straight into the book world of New York City, where she has enjoyed being a secretary, an advertising manager, a sales rep (for one month), and in the six years prior to opening the doors at Pippin, an executive editor at HarperCollins.

Now, as the President and Creative Director of Pippin she is dedicated to shepherding books that make a difference into the world.


Ammi-Joan Paquette, Senior Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Ammi-Joan Paquette is a senior agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing all types of children’s and YA literature. She is also the author of the Princess Juniper series, the forthcoming MG novel The Train of Lost Things, and picture books including Ghost in the House, Elf in the House, Bunny Bus, and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies. With acclaimed author Laurie Ann Thompson, she is also the co-author of the “nonfiction with a twist” series, Two Truths and a Lie. In her agent acquisitions, Joan is particularly drawn to richly voiced, unforgettable characters and settings, as well as tightly-paced, well-plotted stories with twists and turns that keep you guessing right until the end. Visit her on the web at: ajpaquette.com. (P.S. Joan represents Tara.)


Tricia Lawrence, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Tricia is the “Pacific Northwest branch” of EMLA—born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 22 years of working as a developmental and production-based editor (from kids books to college textbooks, but mostly college textbooks), she joined the EMLA team in March 2011 as a social media strategist.

As agent, Tricia represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won’t let go.

Tricia loves hiking, camping out in the woods, and collecting rocks. She loves BBC America and anything British. She has way too many books and not enough bookshelves. You can find Tricia’s writing about blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and other social media topics (for authors and the publishing industry at large) at authorblogger.net and tricialawrence.com.


Rachel Orr, Agent, Prospect Agency

Prior to joining Prospect Agency in 2007, Rachel worked as an editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she had the pleasure of working with such successful novelists as Dan Gutman and Suzanne Williams. Because of her editorial background, Rachel continues to do a lot of hands-on work with her clients before sending their projects out on submission.

Rachel loves working with clients who come from diverse backgrounds and have fresh perspectives to offer readers.

Rachel is looking for short, punchy picture books (either in prose or rhyme) that are humorous and have a strong marketing hook; non-fiction picture books (especially biographies or stories with a historical angle); and illustrators for the trade market.


Stephen Fraser, Senior Agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Stephen Fraser joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an agent in January 2005. He worked most recently at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where he edited such creative talents as Mary Engelbreit, Gregory Maguire, Michael Hague, Ann Rinaldi, Kathryn Lasky, Brent Hartinger, Stephen Mitchell, and Dan Gutman. He began his career at Highlights for Children and later worked at Scholastic and Simon & Schuster.

A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, he has a Master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College in Boston. He represents both children’s and adult books in a wide range of genres.


Erin Casey, Junior Agent, Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency

Erin has found solace and wonder in books since she stopped gnawing on their corners. Erin graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Creative Writing and an ever-growing list of books to read. Though she spent most of her education learning to appreciate, analyze, and argue points about adult fiction, working at Gallt and Zacker has allowed her to get back in touch with her inner child. Erin now reads books for all ages and is particularly drawn to work that shows the author’s world- and character-building ability. She wants to believe wholeheartedly in the world of the book, whether the setting is familiar or fantastic. She wants to experience the characters’ journey through all of her senses as well as her emotions. She wants even the simplest lines of dialogue to pluck at her heartstrings because they’re so perfectly written for that character. Erin loves that startled feeling you get upon reaching the end of a chapter in a really good book. You forget you’re reading when you’re so busy living, you know?


Kelly Sonnack, Senior Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Kelly represents illustrators and writers for all age groups within children’s literature (picture books, middle grade, chapter book, YA, and graphic novels).

Picture books that Kelly represents include sweet, emotional books like Diane Adams’ TWO HANDS TO HOLD YOU and LOVE IS (both Chronicle), Elizabeth McPike’s LITTLE SLEEPYHEAD (Putnam/PRH), and Alastair Heim’s LOVE YOU TOO (Little Bee/Bonnier); funny books like Bridget Heos’s MUSTACHE BABY (Clarion/HMH), Alastair Heim’s NO TOOTING AT TEA and his upcoming THE GREAT PUPPY INVASION (both Clarion/HMH); thoughtful and imaginative books like Jessica Young’s MY BLUE IS HAPPY (Candlewick) and Sam Zuppardi’s THE NOWHERE BOX and JACK’S WORRY (both Candlewick); and original board books such as Kenny Harrison’s four-book series Hide and Seek Harry (Candlewick).

Kelly spent most of her childhood as a 3rd culture kid, growing up in Singapore. Now she lives with her husband and little ones in San Diego, and is on the Advisory Board and faculty for UCSD’s certificate in Writing and Illustrating for Children. She is also a founder of the City Heights Young Writers Workshop and is a frequent speaker at conferences, including SCBWI’s national and regional conferences. She can be found talking about all things children’s books on Facebook (agentsonnack) and Twitter (@KSonnack).


Jennifer March Soloway, Associate Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Jennifer represents authors and illustrators of picture book, middle grade, and YA stories, and is actively building her list. Although she specializes in children’s literature, she also represents adult fiction, both literary and commercial, particularly crime, suspense and horror projects.

For picture books, she is drawn to a wide range of stories from silly to sweet, but she always appreciates a strong dose of humor and some kind of surprise at the end.

Prior to joining ABLA, Jennifer worked in marketing and public relations in a variety of industries, including financial services, health care, and toys. She has an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, and was a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto in 2012. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two sons, and an English bulldog.

Jennifer regularly presents at writing conferences all over the country, including the San Francisco Writers Conference, the Northern Colorado Writers Conference, and regional SCBWI conferences.

For her latest conference schedule, craft tips and more, follow Jennifer on Twitter at @marchsoloway.


Tracy Marchini, Literary Agent, BookEnds Literary Agency

After four years as a Literary Agents Assistant at Curtis Brown, Tracy Marchini left to pursue her own editorial business and to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. With ten years of experience either at an agency or working as a freelance children’s editor, she joined BookEnds in June of 2016 and is excited to grow her list of both award-winning and debut authors and illustrators.

Growing up, Tracy made it a personal goal to read every Nancy Drew Case Files in her school’s library and still has a soft spot for a good girl detective story. As an adult, she loves the sense of possibility in children’s and young adult literature – and can still empathize with the soul-crushing feeling that is mandatory gym class.

Tracy is looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, graphic novels and non-fiction. She is also looking for picture book illustrators and author-illustrators. Follow her on Twitter @TracyMarchini.


Liza Royce Literary Agency

Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. A cross-platform company providing development, representation, and strategic career management for clients in all media, their goal is to represent clients in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. Both former partners in NYC based litigation law firms, Liza and Ginger bring a combined 40 years of negotiating experience to the field. This background, along with connections rooted in publishing, movies and television, allowed them to focus and build on a referral based clientele.

From picture books through adult projects, fiction and non-fiction, screenplays to stage works, LRA welcomes strong voices and plot driven works. Their inaugural books became available in stores January 2013. Their first was an Edgar nominee, another was an Indie Next Pick, and two others were optioned for film. LRA’s success began right out of the gate. Here’s to more great projects!


 

A sincere THANK YOU to all the participating agents!

Storystormers, get down to work refining, polishing and fleshing out your best ideas so you will be ready if you are randomly selected a Grand Prize Winner!

As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

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My Picture Books

COMING SOON:

THE WHIZBANG WORDBOOK
illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Early 2019

FOUR WAYS TO TRAP A LEPRECHAUN
illus by Vivienne To
HarperCollins
Spring 2019

YOUR FIRST DAY OF (CIRCUS) SCHOOL
illus by Melissa Crowton
Tundra/PRH Canada
Summer 2019

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