Agents' Panel: Succeeding in 2018 and Beyond: What You Need To Know
Tanusri Prasanna is an agent at Foundry Literary + Media representing children's books and adult nonfiction. On the children's side, she represent picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. As an immigrant herself, with a family filled with people of varied background (including Slytherin), Tanusri is actively seeking diverse voices, protagonist, and settings across genres.
"I'm going to tell you something really horrible about myself. I used to be a lawyer...but then my kidlit book group saved my life."
Tanusri needs to feel a book and when she does she will champion it on and on. She also says, "I want every book I represent to have element of diversity. It doesn't have to be a certain kind of diversity, but it needs to be there."
"I love a middle grade protagonist that makes me want to hug them."
The conversation turns to writing outside your identity. Tanusri suggests asking yourself why you're writing a character that is outside your identity. If you're writing a character to just be diverse, don't do it. It won't feel authentic. It won't work.
Tips on things writers and illustrators should be doing? Tanusri suggests paying attention to industry news. Read Publishers Market Place, Publishers Weekly, etc., not to write toward trends but to see what's selling and to be aware of, and stay on top of, industry news about agents and publishing houses.