Jennifer Laughran joined Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2007 after a long career as a bookseller, buyer and event coordinator. Always on the lookout for sparkling YA and middle grade fiction with unusual and unforgettable characters and vivid settings, she loves funny books, thrilling books, romantic books, books that make her cry, and all-around un-put-downable books… and her true favorites are all of the above. Some clients include author-illustrators like Giselle Potter, Don Brown, Raul the Third and Phoebe Wahl; middle grade authors like Daniel Pinkwater, Kate Messner, Alex Gino and Linda Urban; YA authors like Erin Jade Lange, Paula Stokes, Karen Rivers and Ellen Emerson White, among others. Visit www.andreabrownlit.com.
I loved Jennifer's story about meeting Kate Messner at an SCBWI conference, and signing her as her first author about ten years ago. (They've sold forty books together!) While waiting to sell her first novel with her new agent, Kate drafted a poem on the back of a brown paper bag that quickly became Over and Under the Pond.
While Jennifer reminds us we can't replicate any author's success, she says: Absorb the SCBWI anecdotes shared by agents, editors, authors, and illustrators, but know your path in publishing will be unique, too.
That said, some of the traits she credits Kate for bringing to their successful partnership are:
- Flexibility: she rolls with the punches and isn't afraid of revisions.
- When an idea isn't working, she's willing to try something new.
- Actively working on new projects
- Attending an SCBWI Conference! That's how they met.
Catch more of the conference highlights this year through blog posts tagged #LA17SCBWI or as-it-happens on Twitter.