Saturday, July 8, 2017

Agent Panel: Alexandra Penfold

Alexandra Penfold is an agent at Upstart Crow Literary. She represent everything from picture books up, with some select adult titles. She's also an author.

In books, Alexandra is a seeker of beauty and truth and light.

At an annual SCBWI conference in NY Alexandra met Jessixa Bagley when Jessixa thanked her following a breakout session. After the conference Jessixa sent Alexandra a picture book dummy. When Alexandra read it, she cried. She signed Jessixa, and together they worked to refine the story. They created changes with small word choices, in order to hit the emotional target. That book became Boats for Papa which won last year's Golden Kite Award for picture book text.

Image result for boat for papa

Another SCBWI success story happened at the LA summer conference when Alexandra met illustrator Suzanne Kaufman through friends. This relationship was first one of friendship but then Alexandra had a chance to see Suzanne's work and she later signed Suzanne as a client.

They are now collaborating on a book together called All Are Welcome.

Image result for suzanne kaufman booksImage result for suzanne kaufman books

"Work on the things you are afraid to work on."

In terms of submitting, the plan is formulated based on the book. Sometimes Alexandra might take it wide or target in on the perfect person. As agents, they are match makers. 

Publishers are asking agents to see "own voices" stories. 

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