Monday, June 30, 2014

Does It Ever Get Easier? A post by Jenny on having a long career.

The other day I was thinking about agenting and whether or not my job had gotten easier or harder over the years.   Over the course of a fairly long career (I'm not sure if I'm proud or embarrassed to say 22 years), I've gone from being the assistant to a literary agent to running my own agency with eight terrific agents repping a variety of genres. But even with all my new responsibilities, I have to say that in many ways my job has gotten easier, because I just get it so much more than I ever used to. It's still a challenge, don't get me wrong, and I still sometimes make mistakes, of course, but I just understand so much better what kind of book will work in the marketplace and that has made my life as an agent a thousand times easier. And what's hard about it is still kind of exhilarating in a way--it's that you always have to stay current, you always have to learn and challenge yourself and grow.  

And then I started thinking, well, what about writers?   Does it ever get easier for them?   And I decided to ask a few of my long-time and multi-published authors that very question. I figured it would be helpful for the readers of this blog who are possibly just starting out to hear some of their advice and insights.

Here's what I found out.  No, it doesn't really get "easier." It doesn't get easier to write a book and it doesn't necessarily get easier to publish a book.   In fact, it's often harder to sell a second book than a first one, just because if the sales figures for the first weren't good, it's that much harder to sell another one.  But what I did hear from my writers was that the process of being a writer had enriched their lives in such a way that it was still worth it, no matter how hard it was (which is also exactly how I feel about being an agent).

Here are some quotes:

"I think perhaps having a writing "career" gets easier over time. You know more people in that world, you have a track record, with luck you'e got a great agent like Jenny Bent. But what matters to writers most is the writing itself-- and does that ever get easier? I think perhaps it never should. Each blank page is a new territory. And as poet Antonio Machado said, "There is no path. You make the path--in going." 
-Liz Rosenberg, bestselling author of Home Repair and Laws of Gravity and many other books for children including Monster Mama and Tyrannosaurus Dad.

"I think the writing part gets easier in that some of the craft skills have settled in and come more intrinsically. The writing gets more challenging though in that you want each story to be fresh and unique and not be repetitive yet meet reader expectations. The more projects an author has out there or the more she/he has pitched, makes the sting of rejection not hurt so much. Also, being versatile with another idea in the works helps, so if one project doesn't work, you're always ready to move on.

That said, "waiting" to see if an editor likes your work is always stressful and resurrects every insecurity that an author has! I still play mental games, picking apart the project, bouncing between being optimistic and worrying that I'll never sell another book.

Another difficult part is keeping up with the market -- buying trends, genres, publishing, and marketing are ever changing and make selling and being successful a constant learning and growing process. Sometimes your career takes a good turn, then other times it takes a dive through no fault of the author. 

The self publishing route has definitely taken some of the pressure off the author as far as limitations for selling a project. If an editor or house doesn't pick it up, there is an option, whereas ten-fifteen years ago, that book would go under the bed.  Now, the author can still see that project in print."
-Rita Herron, bestselling author of 75 books, including Dying to Tell and Worth Dying For

"Nothing about being a career writer ever gets easier. Some things get more familiar, like remembering to bring pens and swag to book signings, understanding copyedits, racing through a first draft, or learning not to check GoodReads reviews (ever!). But other things, the things at the core of the career, at the intersection of business and art, will never get better. Honestly, they shouldn't. As a writer, you should always worry that your story could have been more complex or your dialogue could have sparkled more or your big reversal at the midpoint could have been more shocking. You should always want a better contract, more publisher support, a bigger readership, a higher sell through, a longer tail. More, bigger, better. No art was ever meant to be the easy path, and if you're not striving for everything then you'll eventually fade to nothing."
-Tera Lynn Childs, bestselling author of fifteen books for teens and adults, including Oh My Gods, Sweet Venom, and Forgive My Fins.

"The writing is harder now.  I ask a lot more of myself and my work than I even knew to ask in the beginning.  Is the business of writing easier?  No.  In some ways, it's harder.  But it all feels easier to me now.  Maybe I handle it better now because my expectations are born of years of experience rather than wrong-headed assumptions like they were in the beginning."
-Julia London, NYT bestselling author of 31 books, including The Trouble with Honor and Return to Homecoming Ranch

"Somethings get easier. You get more confident in your abilities and you learn what kind of stories sell and what don't. But your standards kept going up with your skills, the business aspect of writing grows more complicated, and it becomes really hard to maintain any semblance of a balanced life the longer you're at this. No matter what level you're at, writing is always difficult."
-Lori Wilde, NYT bestselling author of 78 books, including Love With a Perfect Cowboy and Somebody to Love

"I think it does and it doesn't get easier. 

It does because you figure you've proven that you can get through the process at least once without completely embarrassing yourself and your loved ones. On the other hand, there is a significant amount of pressure to write something that will sell as well as the one before it. When that fails to happen, you can lapse into the kind of depression that is beyond Zoloft and even Krispy Kremes."
-Celia Rivenbark, NYT bestselling author of seven books, including Bless Your Heart, Tramp and Rude Bitches Make Me Tired    

"Andre Dubus III described the process beautifully at a conference. He said that each time he writes a book, it’s like climbing an impossibly difficult mountain and each time he runs out of oxygen, his supplies aren’t quite right, he despairs, and he fears that he won’t reach the summit. And then he reaches the summit. And he gets to stay there for about 15 minutes before plunging back down to bottom to start the next book. I completely understood what he was talking about.

One thing that is different is the constancy of writing which is a wonderful part of my life. The writer part of me is ever present in a way that wasn’t possible when I had to support myself in other occupations."
-Jacqueline Sheehan, NYT bestselling author of Lost and Found, Picture This, Now and Then, and The Comet's Tale

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Susan's 2014 Wish List Updated

Last Friday, I attended my son’s fifth grade graduation (how do I suddenly have a 10 year old son?), and I realized that we’re here at the mid-point of the year!  High time for an update to my 2014 wish list.  I took at look at the list I posted in January to see what has changed, and here’s the very latest.

So far this year, I’ve taken on 5 new clients, and I couldn’t be more excited about their work.  I’ll share a bit about their projects, because more than anything, this may give you a sense of the kind of project I’m drawn to.  They are:

Paul Acampora – Paul is the author of I Kill the Mockingbird, out just last month from Roaring Brook Press.  He’s also the author of Defining Dulcie and Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face, all middle grade novels.  His newest project is tentatively called Chasing the Gramosaurus, and is about a 7th grader and his grandmother, who hit the road in an attempt to visit every dinosaur site in the US – hysterical and heartbreaking!  I fell in love with Paul’s truly laugh out loud writing – it’s no easy feat to write funny – and the heart that his stories have.

Dana Middleton – Dana is a debut author of a middle-grade project called The Infinity Year of Avalon James.  Avalon is a 5th grader who, with her best friend Atticus, believes that this year, their tenth, will be a magical one.  Literally.  Avalon and Atticus are waiting for their own special magical gifts to arrive, all the while contending with mean girls, the spelling bee, and a secret that a best friend should never betray.  But does.  Avalon James is a character that stays with me – she’s smart, funny, and tough.  She doesn’t always make it easy for herself, and I love the way Dana doesn’t shy from the truth of her character.

Angie Smibert – Angie is the author of the Memento Nora series, published in 2011.  Her new novel, Big Vein, is also a middle grade novel, set in a coal mining town in SW Virginia, 1942.  The main character, Bone, can see the stories in everyday objects, a gift she doesn’t like much as some of those stories are sad, or upsetting.  Bone’s gift is related to the one her mother had, and that probably killed her 10 years ago.  The mystery of her mother's death can be unlocked if Bone uses her gift, the thing she hates to do.  I love historical fiction and am always on the lookout for something that brings a place and time to life as fully as this does.  But Bone is just as compelling as the setting.  This is a hauntingly beautiful book.

Ruth Spiro – Ruth is a picture book writer.  She sent me a picture book series concept, and three texts that distill scientific concepts in such a clever way – and the science is solid, no easy feat!  They’re funny too.  I love how these books work so well in the classroom, where teachers are always looking for new STEM related material.  Parents and kids will love them just as well at home. 

Sarah Tolcer – Sarah sent me a YA fantasy called Riverborn that is the most delicious thing ever!  Set in a world that feels a bit like Greece, it tells the story of Caro, the daughter of a riverboat captain.  She’s grown up on the boat, and wants nothing more than to live there her whole life. Not to get caught up in political intrigue.  Not to find herself forced to deliver an enchanted box which contains the teenaged heir of a neighboring nation, on the run from his murderous uncle.  Not to find herself falling for this teenaged Emparch.  But, of course…This is a rich, compelling fantasy, that features a true kick-ass heroine, a ton of adventure, and pirates!

So, where does all that leave my wish list for 2014?  Well, I’m still looking for both middle-grade and YA writers.  I’d also love to take on a new author-illustrator.

At the top of my list in January was a fantasy.  I’m always open to fantasy, but with Riverborn on my list, what I’d love now is to find a Contemporary YA, which I mentioned before: Give me a great romance, but don’t stop there – add family dynamics, or a mother-daughter thread, shifting friendships, big stakes.  I love layered stories.  My client Rachael Allen’s book 17 FIRST KISSES is a great example of a book like this (just out last week!).  THE SPECTACULAR NOW is another favorite contemporary YA, with very strong voice; add to that GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE, which I also just finished and loved.

I’d also still love to see YA with a unique story-telling device.  Think WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE? for teens – a story that incorporates  a mix of emails, letters, diary entries etc to form the narrative.  Or something like THE 19TH WIFE, that combines a present-day story and mirrors that to a historical one.  I also like multiple points of view.

I adore middle-grade, as you can see from my list above, and I’m drawn to literary, character-driven stories with a twist.  Think BREADCRUMBS or BECAUSE OF MR TERUPT.  I’m a sucker for bittersweet.

MG novel in verse.  Jackie Woodson’s LOCOMOTION is a favorite, and I’d love to find an emotional verse novel.  Or one that’s really funny and makes me laugh really hard.

MG novels often feature sibling dynamics, and it would be great to see siblings whose relationship isn’t solely defined by arguing or sniping.  This is often a part of things, but I’d love to see a book that’s about siblings who also have an interesting, complex, and positive relationship.

A fantastical MG in the vein of Joan Aiken’s WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE -- something gothic, Dickensian, historical or an alternate history.

I’m a fan of fairy tale retellings, for both MG and YA, especially ones that use a lesser known tale, and make use of the darker threads in these stories.  Some favorite fairy tales are Tam Lin, the Six Swans, and Goose Girl, and my all time favorite example of this kind of book is THE PERILOUS GARD.

And in general, here’s what I look for in a book for any age reader:
Powerful, original voice
A great hook and strong plot
Real, textured, imperfect characters.  I love quirky, but not for its own sake; quirkiness that feels true and fully integrated to its character.
Writing with literary quality, that’s commercial too
Heart.  I want to be emotionally invested in a book
And humor is key; even if the book is dark, or fairly serious, I want some humor.  Because life is like that.
Blow me away!  I want to read something that feels different.

Thanks for reading this list, and not to worry if your book doesn’t neatly match something I’ve described here.  What I really want is great writing and a great read.

I can’t wait to see your projects, thank you for sending them my way!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Deal Announcement: The Way Around by David Good

I'm thrilled to announce a book deal for one of the nicest, most interesting people I've ever had the privilege of working with, David Good, a Yanomami American who recently had his story told on CBS Sunday Morning.   Here's a link to the story, but in a nutshell, David's father was a prominent anthropologist who went to Venezuela to study the Yanomami and eventually married a Yanomami woman and brought her back to suburban New Jersey.   The Yanomami rose to prominence because they were one of the very last indigenous people to have no exposure to the outside world and David's mother had an extremely difficult time adjusting to her life in America, so much so that she eventually retreated back to the jungle and disappeared from his life.   David grew up motherless and very resentful until the day he decided to change all that and journey deep into the jungle to try to find her.   The amazing story of their reunion and all the ways that it changed David's life will be detailed in his book, THE WAY AROUND, which I was so pleased to sell to the terrific Mark Chait and his fabulous team at Dey Street Books/HarperCollins.  

To find out more about David Good and his nonprofit, the Good Project, check out his Facebook page or website or flickr or twitter feed.   He's a truly inspirational person with a huge heart and I couldn't be happier about this.  

Here's the announcement:

June 6, 2014 - THE WAY AROUND by David Good
Non-fiction: Memoir
David Good written with Daniel Paisner's THE WAY AROUND, pitched as in the tradition of LOST CITY OF Z, the story of the author's quest to reconnect with his Yanomami mother and her tribe in the deepest jungles of the Amazon rain forest, combining elements of adventure, history, and anthropology with the story of a young man's search for family, his lifelong struggle to discover his identity, and his personal journey toward self-realization and happiness, to Mark Chait at Dey Street Books, in a good deal, by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency (world).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Deal Announcement: Subsidiary Rights Sales

Lots of terrific subsidiary rights sales to report! Congratulations to the following TBA clients:

Lynsay Sands' NYT bestseller AN ENGLISH BRIDE IN SCOTLAND sold in Italy to Mondadori and her NYT bestseller THE HELLION AND THE HIGHLANDER sold in Taiwan to Treetype Publishing.

AG Howard's UNHINGED sold in Germany to cbt/Bertelsmann Juvenile and SPLINTERED sold in Italy to Newton Compton.

Lori Nelson Spielman's THE LIFE LIST sold in Taiwan to Delight Press and in Norway to Cappelen Damm.

Lynne Raimondo's DANTE'S WOOD sold in Israel to Keter Books.

YA/MG Internship Update! Application Period Closed!

Many thanks for the interest in this internship! The application period is now closed. We’re reviewing your materials this week and you should have a reply by Monday June 30. Remember to keep up with the blog, as we post new internships here periodically and you're always welcome to re-apply for any position.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Recent Reading/Wishlist Update

I read a lot. A LOT. Clients’ projects (three this week) and queries (15–20 every day) and requested full manuscripts (I try to read two a week), of course, but I try to keep up with recently published titles as well. Editors are generous people. Pretty much every lunch or coffee date or phone call with one of them results in a big fat package on my desk a few days later; editors are proud of the books they’ve worked on, and they know that the more I understand their taste, the likelier it is I’ll send them projects they want to buy.

Every so often I’ll read a book that knocks my socks off and makes me frantically flip to the acknowledgements to see who the author’s agent is so I can seethe with envy admire her good taste. This week I signed a client who’d seen my tweet about loving a certain book and then queried me, essentially saying “Since you loved that book, you might like my project, too.” (Hey, it works for Amazon.) And oh my STARS, was she right. Her book is just absurdly fantastic, reminiscent and yet not at all derivative of that book I’d tweeted about.

So I thought I’d mention a few recent(-ish) books I loved in the hopes that someone, somewhere will read this post and recognize and elements of one of these titles in her own project…and send it to me immediately.

SOMETHING REAL by Heather Demetrios (Henry Holt BFYR). I have a horror of reality shows. Many of them seem to feature humans at their stupidest, and networks have churned them out instead investing in scripted television drama and comedy, making a tough job market even tougher for actors. And I feel a bit sick to my stomach every time I read about those surveys that say kids today aspire to be famous rather than have actual careers. SOMETHING REAL shines an unflattering light on the reality TV industry and asks smart questions about celebrity—but it’s also a swoony romance and a fresh twist on the perennial conflict between parents and the teenagers craving independence from them. I'd really like to see another project that examines celebrity and the desire for it in a thoughtful, nuanced way.

JERSEY ANGEL by Beth Ann Bauman (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House). It took me a while to finally pick this one up, even though its editor has reliably impeccable taste and one of my best friends blurbed it. (Sometimes I’m too contrary for my own good.) The cover image is beachy, and I’m not a beach person unless it’s a foggy day and I can wear one of those chunky wool fisherman’s sweaters. But I was spellbound when I did read it. You know how so many contemporary YA main characters are kind of wordy, nerdy smart kids? Don’t get me wrong, I love those; they’re the kind of kids I identified with at that age (and still do). But Angel isn’t like that at all: she’s not academically ambitious, she’s not riddled with Dawson’s Creek-esque angst, and her moral compass is a little unreliable. She’s promiscuous, but she’s in full control of her sexuality and crucially, she’s not punished for that. Angel didn’t remind me of anyone I’d ever met in a YA novel, and her voice just swept me away: soulful, unself-conscious, literary but never distant or overserious.  I would love to find a project with a MC as atypical as Angel.

I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith (St. Martin’s Griffin). Okay, this isn’t recent at all — it was first published in 1948. But I just reread it, parceling it out one chapter a night at bedtime, savoring the language. Every sentence Smith writes is intentional and finely crafted in a way that sends chills down my spine: the precision is just magnificent. There are other authors who do this well — Jane Gardam and A LONG WAY FROM VERONA comes to mind, Jo Walton (have you read AMONG OTHERS? You must), Barbara Trapido (FRANKIE AND STANKIE isn’t ever classified as YA, but it certainly could be), the divine Catherynne Valente. If you’re a fan of any of these authors, I think you’ll know what I mean (and if you can think of more writers in this vein, do say so in the comments). I love authors who can write this way.

And lastly, my current bedtime reading is DETROIT CITY IS THE PLACE TO BE by Mark Binelli (Metropolitan)— it’s nonfiction, and it’s about the decline of what was once one of America’s most thriving industrial cities. You’ve seen the photos, I’m sure, of decaying abandoned buildings in Detroit; how cities grow and collapse has always fascinated me, and this book is a smartly-written look at Detroit’s history as well as its devastated present. If you’re writing a YA or MG book set in contemporary Detroit, I will be sorely disappointed if I don’t get to take a look at it.

Does any of these books strike a chord with you? Submission guidelines are here; give them a once-over and then query me at hawnqueries at

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Looking for Generalist Interns!

We are once again looking for remote (unpaid) interns! We are ideally seeking people who enjoy books by authors like:

- Erin Morgenstern
- Tana French
- Eleanor Brown
- Jacqueline Sheehan
- Jodi Picoult
- Gillian Flynn
- Lori Roy
- Laurie Notaro
- Celia Rivenbark
- Elin Hilderbrand
- Kristin Hannah
- Jeannette Walls
- Kate Atkinson

This is an eclectic list, so obviously you don't need to like everyone on it! But basically, you should like at least two of the following genres: humor, memoir, upmarket women's fiction and literary suspense.

You do not need to have any kind of publishing experience or even publishing aspirations. We are just looking for people who love books and love to read. You do not need to live in New York, this is a remote internship. Please note that it is unpaid.

To apply, please email and put "generalist intern" in the subject line. Tell us why you want the internship, attach a resume if you have one (although it's not essential), and list the last 10 books you read and your 10 favorite books.

Please do not apply if you are primarily a young adult/middle grade reader. It's fine if you do some of that, but if that is your focus, please see the posting for YA/MG interns here.

If you have applied in the past you are more than welcome to apply again.

We ask for at least a 10-hour-a-week time commitment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CLOSED! Remote Internship Positions Available! (Reading YA and MG)

We are looking for three Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction interns. You do not need to have any kind of publishing experience, but you should love to read and be familiar with all sorts of fiction in these categories, particularly with Young Adult and MG books on the New York Times bestseller list.

You do not need to live in New York—this is a remote internship. We ask for a ten-hours-a-week commitment. Please note that it is unpaid.

Interested? Send an email to and put "YA/MG intern" in the subject line. Tell us why you want the internship and something about yourself, or include a resume if you have one (although it's not necessary). Include two lists: the last ten YA/MG books you've read and your top ten favorite YA/MG books of all time.

If you've applied in the past, you're welcome to apply again. We usually get a great many applicants and the application period will close fairly quickly; watch this space for details.

Monday, June 9, 2014

DEAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The Center of the World by Jacqueline Sheehan

I am so thrilled to announce a new deal for New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Sheehan.   Jacqueline is one of my oldest and dearest clients--we've worked together since 2001, when I started representing her for a novel we sold to the Free Press then called TRUTH, about the life of Sojourner Truth (it's since been retitled THE COMET'S TALE).  

Three more novels followed (including the massive bestseller LOST AND FOUND) and now I am so pleased to have sold her fifth novel, THE CENTER OF THE WORLD, to Michaela Hamilton at Kensington Books, in a two book deal.   

The announcement follows.  You can find Jacqueline on Facebook here if you'd like to send congratulations or find out more about her wonderful books.  

June 2, 2014 - CENTER OF THE WORLD by Jacqueline Sheehan
Fiction: General/Other
NYT bestselling author Jacqueline Sheehan's CENTER OF THE WORLD, in which a letter from a dead man reveals a long-buried secret about a woman's adopted daughter in a book with two parallel narratives -- one in the past showing the girl's dramatic rescue and one in the present day as the mother faces losing her daughter once more as they struggle to mend the damage done by her lie, to Michaela Hamilton at Kensington, in a very nice deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency (World English).

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fun at the Hay Literary Festival—a post by Gemma

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, an annual festival held in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, that runs for ten days — in a usually muddy field!  

This was my first time visiting Hay-on-Wye, and I’ve heard that it’s famous for being a bookish town, but I wasn’t expecting to see so many bookshops in such a small place. The thought that thousands of rabid book fans descend on this small town just to talk about books and listen to other people talk about books was really inspiring. 

I was there to support wonderful TBA author Katy Cannon. Katy was doing two events – one for her 6+ series POOCH PARLOUR and one for her YA romance LOVE, LIES AND LEMON PIES

Katy was fantastic – for her POOCH PARLOUR event, the kids all sat on the floor in front of her and kept shuffling forward as she spoke. If she’d had more than 45 minutes to talk, a few of them would have been on her lap! They were also very keen on the ‘design you own dog masks,’ leaving us helpers (including lovely Ruth and Laura from Katy's publishers, Stripes) covered in glitter glue. It was such a fun event! 

Katy’s YA talk, ‘How To Bake A Book,’ inspired lots of budding writers  - the crowd certainly asked some great questions about where Katy got her ideas from and where she wrote. She signed a lot of books after both her events! 

Watching her, I was impressed by the amount of preparation Katy had put into her talks. She had all her tech set up, and had been in contact with the festival beforehand to check that everything would work. She had her props – a cuddly toy dog for her POOCH PARLOUR talk and her baking apron for her LOVE, LIES AND LEMON PIES talk. She’d planned which sections of the books she was going to read from and when, and also asked some questions of the audience to keep them engaged. You could tell she had rehearsed, and although she had notes just in case, she rarely needed them.  Basically, she was awesome! 

It’s nerve-wracking having to stand in a room, holding a microphone and knowing all eyes are on you. But if you are prepared – tech sorted, presentation rehearsed, book marked up, props – then you can just focus on taking a few deep breaths and then enjoying the experience. 

Katy also blogged about the festival from her perspective – check it out here

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Deal Announcement: EDWARD GETS MESSY by Rita Meade

I am so proud of my client, children's librarian and Book Riot contributor Rita Meade, whose debut picture book Edward Gets Messy just sold to Simon & Schuster Children's Books! Rita is one of the funniest people I know, and her library work has given her invaluable perspective on what children want from a reading experience. For the curious, here are the deal details:

Please join me in congratulating Rita on her good news! You can find her on Twitter, or visit her popular blog Screwy Decimal: Tales from an Urban Librarian.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Kids Author Carnival

This past Saturday, May 31, at the Jefferson Market Library in the West Village of Manhattan, I attended the inaugural Kids Author Carnival, a "celebration of middle grade books, authors, and readers." Taking its inspiration from the popular Teen Author Carnival that has been running for a few years now, the stated goal of the Kids Author Carnival is "to provide an opportunity for young readers to interact with authors up close and personal in a fun, party-like atmosphere." And let me tell you, did it ever succeed!

The Kids Author Carnival was a collaboration between authors, book bloggers, librarians, parents, and (of course) middle-grade readers.

Left to right: Heidi Schulz, Claire Legrand, Lauren Magaziner

The event was organized by children's book authors Claire Legrand, Lauren Magaziner, and (TBA client) Heidi Schulz, and featured a wide range of middle-grade fiction writers, from established greats like Bruce Coville (whose My Teacher Is an Alien series I grew up reading), to more recent stars like Tim Federle (author of Better Nate Than Ever, a 2013 NYT Notable Book of the Year and PW Best Book of the Year), and debut talents like Laura Marx Fitzgerald (whose Under the Egg has already received rave reviews and is an Indie Next List Pick).

Photo credit:
All ages were welcome at the Carnival, which ran from 6-8:30 p.m., but the emphasis was on giving kids the opportunity to meet real, live authors in person. Activities included: short, interactive writing exercises; lively rounds of Charades and Pictionary focusing on children's book titles; and Q&A's with authors. There must have been over 200 people in attendance, and booksellers from indie children's bookstore Books of Wonder were stationed at the library's entrance to sell copies and pre-orders of the partipating authors' books.

It was inspiring to see children and parents so excited about books and writers. With such an overwhelmingly positive response, Jefferson Market librarians and the Kids Author Carnival organizers are already looking to next year, potentially to make this event an annual occurrence! Published and aspiring authors of middle-grade fiction would do well to take note of this organization, and to keep an eye out for future events!