Friday, October 17, 2014

Fabulous Fall Kickoff!

SCBWI Western Washington's first 2014-2015 season Professional Series Meeting with agent Brianne Johnson of Writers House took place last night, Oct. 16. It was a packed event with a lot of laughs and a lot of interesting pointers from Brianne for everyone in the audience.

Writers House, with more than a dozen agents, is one of the biggest agencies for children’s literature. Brianne, who's been at Writer’s House for about five years, says she started as an intern, “clawing her way up” to the position of senior agent. 

She receives about 120 queries a week and told us she starts her day weeding through her slush pile, which is where she said she’s found most of her clients. “Younger agents are hungrier," she noted. "They read the slush pile.” After telling the audience what she’s looking for in PB, MG, and YA submissions, Brianne walked us through her current book list, which included the first book she sold as an agent, Albie’s First Word.

Brianne generously spent more than half of the evening answering questions from the audience, from what she’s looking for in a nonfiction book to what sorts of manuscripts keep her up at night. Calling herself a very editorial agent, Brianne gave us a sneak peek into her daily life as an agent and gave the audience very practical tips for scouting new agents and getting noticed.

Even if you missed this great event, it's not too late to attend next month on Thursday, Nov. 20, when the presentations will include "Nonfiction is the New Black" and "Marketing for Introverts." Better yet, get yourself a series passport and attend them all!

— Reported by Alison Weatherby

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