Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Mystery Agent Winners and Reveal!

Introducing our April Mystery Agent . . .

Pete Knapp joined the Park Literary Group in July 2011, where he has had a chance to work with many of the agency’s bestselling authors -- Nicholas Sparks, Emily Giffin, and Debbie Macomber included -- in all stages of the publication process. He has been actively involved in the company's film activities, helping to coordinate marketing and publicity efforts for The Lucky One (WB) and Safe Haven (Relativity, February 2013). Prior to joining Park Literary, he was a story editor and book scout at Floren Shieh Productions, consulting on book-to-film adaptations for Los Angeles-based film companies, including CBS Films. He has also interned in the literary affairs and development offices of New Line Cinema, Overture Films, and Maximum Films & Management.

Peter is an avid reader of young adult and middle grade fiction, frequently trading book recommendations with his nine-year-old sister. Having graduated from NYU summa cum laude with a B.A. in Art History, he maintains a (mostly) healthy interest in the visual arts, particularly with animation. He is an advisor for Builders Beyond Borders, a nonprofit that organizes international humanitarian trips for teenagers, and though he loves to travel, he happily calls Brooklyn home. He recently signed Melanie Conklin and Chelsea Bobulski as clients.
Follow him on Twitter

And in keeping with his stellar, helpful reputation in the interwebs, Pete has selected a Grand Prize Winner, some First Prize Winners, and Honorable Mentions! I'll email the winners with the details of how to get your material to him, but here are the writers who Pete has made very happy:

Grand Prize Winner (full manuscript request!):
Toni De Palma
Title: Pieces of Me
Genre: Contemporary MG

When her mother dies, 13 y.o. Frannie is left with a box of letters, one disgruntled grandmother,two tickets to Italy and a lot of unanswered questions.

First Prize Winners (will be sending Pete the first 10,000 words of their manuscript, and will also get personalized feedback on their query!):

Genre: YA dark contemporary

It's Heathers meets Before I Fall in a non-linear timeline when popular Jenna falls for outcast Cass and everything starts to unravel - her parents' marriage, her friendships, maybe even her sanity...

Rita Russell
Funny, realistic middle grade fiction

Queenie, a quirky and impulsive ten year old girl with ADHD, moves across the country from small town Ontario to glitzy West Vancouver, where she desperately wants to be popular, but her outrageous behaviour constantly lands her into BIG trouble.

Mindy Alyse Weiss
Ruby Bella Brown, Super Average Girl
Humorous MG

An eleven year-old cartoonist would eat worms or kiss a gross boy like Stinky to make sure this birthday isn’t another suck-a-rama—but is forced to choose between her dream of art camp or avoiding another ditch-a-thon and helping her friend.

Lisa Rosenman
Title: Outside In
Genre: Contemporary YA

Underneath Alexis's perfect facade lies a mess of self-inflicted cuts and bruises; if she's discovered, she'll get kicked out of her elite boarding school.

Carter Higgins
Title: A Rambler Steals Home
Genre: MG Contemporary

Derby's fractured family rolls their food truck to the Rockskippers' minor league baseball stadium each summer, but since Franklin Mattingly, the beloved head groundskeeper, has died since last season, she and Franklin's widow June need each other to lay down some new roots.

Honorable Mentions (Pete would welcome the chance to review these queries and see them in his inbox!): 

Kimberly Ann Miller
Title: Case In Point
Genre: young adult contemporary

An eighteen-year-old girl who writes an anonymous column for her school paper gets death threats when she reports that a teacher is pregnant by a senior.

Artemis Grey
Genre: Contemporary YA

Shy albino Ansel prefers books to people but when an injured runaway shows up in his shed, he readily offers her help, unaware that he’s befriending a missing millionaire heiress who’s father will stop at nothing to get her back in a psych ward where he thinks she belongs.

Andrea Mack
Contemporary MG

Twelve-year-old Molly plans to help her mom de-stress by getting her mute 5-yr-old mute cousin to talk, but her dedication to her project could cost Molly her best friend and destroy her fragile family.

Robin Lemke
Talk to the Paw
MG Contemporary

Kendra can't make all the unfair things about her family come untrue, but when her vengeful neighbor comes for her dog with a breed ban and a muzzle, she knows it's her fight to win... or lose - and she can't lose her dog.

Sheri S Levy
Title: Dog Days of Summer
Genre: MG Contemporary

"Almost-twelve" Trina had the perfect plan on becoming the best service dog trainer ever, until their time together ends with her beach trip and causes her to wonder if her heart can be pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle and allow her to train another. 

Liz Straw
Title: Mystery of the Fountain
Genre: MG Mystery

11 year old Jessie discovers that her mom has been dating her grade school art teacher behind her back, has her bike stolen, and discovers that someone is hiding something in the town fountain all in one day.

Congratulations to all the winners! Look for an email from Operation Awesome to be sent later today with instructions on how to get your requested material to Pete! And I know this is already a long post, but you want to know more about this agent, don't you? He kindly answered some questions for us.

1)What MG or YA books have you read lately that you fell in love with (your clients' or not)?
Well, of course my own clients’ books are at the top of my list – but it’s too soon to talk about any of that. But as for other people’s books: I read Bill Konigsberg’s forthcoming Openly Straight (Arthur A. Levine Books, summer 2013), which made me weep in public. I am still talking about Kat Zhang’s What’s Left of Me (HarperCollins) and I went on a Courtney Summers kick recently.

2)You're a proud nerd who's worked in the film industry--what are some of your favorite movies and TV shows?
and My So Called Life, not only because I love Claire Danes. Downton Abbey pretty reliably has me yelling at the screen, which is a good thing and a bad thing. For comedy: Freaks & Geeks, Parks & Rec, Wonder Years. I love animal movies – Carroll Ballard’s films and Out of Africa and Born Free. I love all of Studio Ghibli’s films, especially Whisper of the Heart and Kiki’s Delivery Service. I love Pedro Almodóvar’s films and Superbad and The Talented Mr. Ripley and Michael Clayton and American Graffiti and Gosford Park. I cast a wide net with film.

3)Any tips for writers struggling with their one-line pitch?
Look at other loglines or one line pitches on IMDB or the deals page of Publishers Marketplace. I read for character as much as premise, so I look for one-line pitches that convey a character-driven story while establishing the world and stakes. What is the emotional heart of your story? The part that makes it not just a good idea but a fantastic book? You have to make that promise in your one-line pitch.

4)Do you have any exciting agency news to share?
Check back soon!


Becky Mahoney said...

Eeeee, HUGE CONGRATS, everyone!!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Congratulation to all these hard working writers!

Toni De Palma said...

Today's my birthday! Am I dreaming or did I really see my name on this list!!! Thank you so much for this opportunity and birthday present!!!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Okay, we're trying to reach the winners with how to get your material to Pete, and running into way too many people who don't have ANY contact info through their profiles or blogs. Not even a twitter handle.

Not only is this more work for us as we try to hunt you down, it is in your best interest for you to be easily reachable. What if another agent or editor had seen your pitch in the contest and wanted to get in touch with you?

You should have an email or some other way to reach you in a prominent place, even if you create an account just for that purpose so your other accounts aren't bombarded with spam.

This important message has been brought to you by my morning persona, Ranty McRantypanties.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Rita Russell, I've been unable to find any contact info for you. Please email us at OperationAwesome6 (at) gmail (dot com) for instructions on how to get your material to Pete. Or if you know Rita, please let her know we're waiting to hear from her.

Michelle McLean said...

awesome bday present!! Happy birthday! And congrats!! :D

Carter Higgins said...

This is fantastic! So thrilled. Such great company. Thanks, yall!

Toni De Palma said...

Thank you, Michelle!

Toni De Palma said...

Hi Angelica,

In case you don't have my correct email, I have sent you an email with my info.



Anonymous said...

Sorry about that! I will email you my details.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

I sent it to the email through writers by the sea, but I'll check our mail

Angelica R. Jackson said...

All the emails have gone out, so if you didn't get yours check your Spam folder. Or email us if your email through your profile is not updated (Got Rita and Toni's so they're good)

H. Pinski said...

Congratulations to all of you! Big thanks to our hosts for all their hard work and especially to Mr. Knapp for his time. I hope someone gets signed!

Stacey Trombley said...

Congrats everyone! Pete already requested mine from Pitch madness (guess that's what happens with a secret agent contest, don't know if you've submitted already!) but it was still fun so thanks for the opportunity!