Big Announcement

As of today, I am officially a Senior Literary Manager and the head of Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult at Movable Type Management! This is a wonderful new opportunity for me and I’m leaving with the full support of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, which has been my foundation and professional home for the past three and a half years. A huge thank you to my family of former colleagues: Andrea, Laura, Caryn, Jen, Jenn, Kelly, Jennifer, Taryn, and Lara. I’ve learned so much from this amazing team of women–truly among the best in the children’s book business. I have been blessed and am so grateful to have had my start at such an amazing place.

Being in such an enviable position, however, raises its own set of questions: Where can I go from here? What’s the future of publishing and agenting? Where do I fit into the brave new world of books and content and digital? As many of you know, I spent the first six years of my professional life working at a start-up that went on to sell to Google. I grew up in the Silicon Valley. There’s a rebellious and entrepreneurial streak in my blood.

Even though I’d found a wonderful place to work, I caught myself yearning to learn more about some other elements of publishing–namely digital books and packaging–because I believe they will become more and more important in the future. I wanted to amass new skills and explore what another agency is doing–both for my future as an agent and to provide new opportunities for my clients. I wanted my years of experience as a dot.com-er to dovetail with my passion for children’s books. I wanted more of that start-up feeling in my life.

It has been an absolute joy to learn from the very best, but I know that there is no reward without risk. Now it’s time for me to evolve and join a new and like-minded team at Movable Type, a small, nimble, and entrepreneurial agency. So here’s to my new colleagues: Jason Allen Ashlock, Adam Chromy, Jamie Brenner, and Michele Matrichiani. There are so many possibilities out there in today’s publishing world, and I want to learn about them and make them happen for my clients. Plus, I want to grow! I can’t describe to you the thrill of starting a department, enriching my relationships with the children’s publishing business, finding new clients, and truly being responsible for my own enterprise within an agency. This is the kind of leadership role that I’ve been dreaming about and I couldn’t be more excited to get started.

This transition may come as a surprise to some of you. It certainly did to me when I found myself seriously considering walking away from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. But this is the right choice, and I’m thrilled to also have the full support of my client list! That vote of confidence means the world. These last few weeks have been extremely fraught and bittersweet. There were lots of tears, but they’ve all been tears of gratitude. I am completely indebted to my colleagues, past and present, my friends, my family, my clients, my blog readers, and everyone else who has stood by me and decided to go along for the ride. As I wrote in the acknowledgments for my book: “Y’all know me–and you love me anyway!”

Now. Nitty gritty. The blog and my work for Writer’s Digest will not change. Neither will my availability for conferences and events. I’ll still write posts here every Monday and Wednesday. I’ll still teach webinars (including a children’s market overview this Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern, click here for more information). I’ll still hang out on Twitter and Facebook. If I still owe you a Writer’s Digest critique or a response to a manuscript or query, you will still get it as soon as possible. I still have all of your submissions and correspondence.

Now, though, you can query me at Movable Type! At Andrea Brown, you had to choose from one of nine wonderful agents. In my new role, I’ll be the only one seeing the children’s queries, focusing on picture books, middle grade, and young adult. We are still tweaking the MTM website, but my new email is up and running. It’s MKole@MovableTM.com! My submission guidelines remain the same as they were at ABLA: I want to see your query letter and the first 10 pages of your novel submission or full picture book text copied and pasted into the body of your email. The word “Query” should appear somewhere in your subject line. No attachments please (illustrators send a link to an online portfolio) and no snail mail.

Thank you all for your support and I can’t wait to see what I can do over at Movable Type. I hope to see your submissions pouring in soon so that I can start my new job off with a bang!

72 Replies to “Big Announcement”

  1. Congratulations, Mary. I’m glad I got to meet you at Big Sur in December. I know you’ll do amazing things at Movable Type. Rock on!

  2. Wow, how exciting! Big changes/transitions of my choosing always get me giddy with motivation and energy~ what fantastic news for you and your clients πŸ™‚

  3. This was an announcement with a big “A”! Congratulations, Mary! It sounds like a fantastic opportunity.

  4. Wishing you all the best in your new venture. It’s so exciting to pursue new frontiers. Sounds like you’re totally up for it! Go, you!!

  5. Congratulations, Mary! I’ve read your blog for years now, since before I started blogging two and a half years ago, and it remains one of the best resources for children’s writers on the web. Best of luck with your new position!

  6. How the heck did I not know you came from the dotcom world?

    Congratulations. You’re staying in New York? I see MTM calls itself bicoastal, but I’m guessing the lefty side is actually closer to Hollywood than the Bay.

  7. Best of luck in your new endeavor! I am interested in the way you see digital products being of value in the future…I think that you will be on the crest of a wave of change through the agents industry….More power and balance to you on the surf board…and thanks for keeping up the blog!

  8. I have followed this blog regularly, as well as pretty much anything Jason Allen Ashlock puts up on the internet and I was bowled over by this announcement! A fantastic pairing and very good news for the Kidlit industry as a whole.

    Wishing you the very best!

    Hilary Sierpinski

  9. Terrific news Mary!! The transmedia terrain needs someone with your spunk, spirit and sensibilities.

    I’ll def. be querying a digital MG project I’m polishing in the next few months.

    Best of everything to you.

    Laurie Ashbourne

  10. Wonderful! So happy for you. You have worked hard and have achieved! If only students could internalize this fact.

  11. Congratulations! That’s really terrific news.

    Can you explain the differences between MTM and more traditional agencies?

  12. So very happy for you Mary! Sounds like a real amazing opportunity, and I know your passion for what you do will never decrease wherever you agent from. Plus we know we can always find you here horray πŸ™‚

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