Sunday, August 5, 2012

Agents Panel: Linda Pratt

Linda Pratt and her longtime colleague, Marcia Wernick, established the Wernick & Pratt Agency in January 2011 after working together for 20 years at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency. Their focus is not just on individual books, but the long term careers of their authors and illustrators in the ever-changing world of publishing. Linda’s clients work in all genres of children’s literature.

Linda says that they represent about half picture books and half fiction (MG and YA), and that

"Middle Grade just sings to me beautifully."

She refers to herself as an SCBWI success story - because she's met clients at SCBWI conferences, like Augusta Scattergood, who she met four years ago via a critique session at a local SCBWI Conference.  Augusta's middle grade debut novel, Glory Be, came out from Scholastic in January 2012.

A SCBWI success story from both perspectives: author AND agent

In response to Lin's question, for the pre-published attendees, "What path to get published?" Linda advises to not get stuck for years on your first book.  She says to finish that first book, polish it, but don't be afraid to move on to the next project, because maybe "you'll learn something in that book that will help you with your first book."

In addition to laughing about "sexy Cyclops books," Linda and the other agents spoke about the Marketplace (where they see opportunities), what rejections might mean, realistic time spans of the publishing process, having a vision for your career, pitfalls to avoid, and lots more excellent advice!

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