Big News!

Last week I hinted on Twitter and Facebook that I have big news to share. A lot of clients, personal friends, colleagues and people who I’ve talked to at conferences already know this, as it has been in the works for a while, but now I want to make it official on the blog:

In July, I’m moving to Brooklyn to open up an East Coast office of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency!

Today is a fitting day for this announcement, as it finishes up my last week of classes for my MFA degree. (I’ll turn in my thesis over the summer, which I can do from anywhere, and then I’m done!) I’m typing up all my loose ends and getting ready for the big move.

Since not everyone knows how ABLit works, let me break it down. Our agency has a central office in the San Francisco Bay Area but we all work independently. That allows us to dedicate ourselves and all our attention to our clients. No daily office grind, no “big, imposing agency” vibe. Last year, we had an agent in Japan. Right now, one of our agents is in Chicago and three of our agents, a few interns and our subrights co-agent are in Southern California.

But it has been a while since we’ve had a dedicated presence on the East Coast. I’m very excited to be stepping up!

I’m making this move for a number of reasons, some personal, some career. I feel like it’s the right time for me to dive into NYC and immerse myself in the publishing scene. I’d love to make strong bonds, lasting relationships and more friends in the industry. It’ll be great to represent ABLit in New York and it’ll also be a fantastic asset for my clients. Finally, my boyfriend and I have been doing the cross-country long distance thing for a year and it’s time for me to finally join him.

I love being so close to Andrea and my Bay Area colleagues. They have been around the corner (some of them literally!) ever since I first started reading for ABLit two years ago and I have learned so much from being so close. I can’t imagine where I’d be without every single one of them. They are truly fantastic, inspiring and wise. I’ll miss them, my friends and my family — as well as my beautiful home city of San Francisco — so much, but this is the time for me to take my show on the road. I will still fly back all the time for meetings, family, friends, and the Big Sur conferences, which I absolutely adore.

Send a toast and well-wishes my way…I can’t wait to bring you more good news, more posts, more insight and more kidlit as I take this next step in my career!

(Okay, but I am still here in the Bay Area for a few months, so if anybody wants to make that a physical toast-and-well-wishes, you know where to find me!)


A word about Sushi: Since Sushi has been such a presence on the blog in the last few weeks, I can now say that this is why her recent illness was so stressful. As I keep an eye on her, I need to know that her health is good enough to survive a taxing move across the country, too. She was always part of my plans in NYC and I hope she stays that way. All signs point to “yes” so far. Thank you for all your continued Sushi love!

Tennessee auction update: Where do I begin? My full manuscript auction ended last night, with a highest bid of $2,800. Demand for this item was so high that I offered a full manuscript critique and phone call to the top 5 highest bidders, at the lowest bid amount of the 5 ($2,125). If all 5 highest bidders want to participate, that means my item will raise over $10,000 for Tennessee flood relief. I am floored and more than happy to do the extra critiques. I immediately got on the phone with Victoria, one of the auction organizers, last night and we just kept going in circles of “Dude…” and “Thank you”/”No, thank you!” I really hope I can swing a trip to Nashville sometime this summer to meet the organizers. Mandy, Victoria and Myra are heroes. They are doing so much good, and I’m honored to be a part of that. Congratulations to the winners! I can’t wait to read your manuscripts!

75 Replies to “Big News!”

  1. Congratulations! This sounds thrilling. Moving to chase new opportunities has always been the scariest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

    Good luck! Go ABLitEast! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Wow!

    Congratulations on your auction!

    Congratulations on your move! (Welcome to my time zone)

    WooHoo for Sushi!

    You’ve got the good energy thing going on. I want to stand next to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Congratulations on your move to the East Coast — and sending continued good thoughts for Sushi! What an exciting time for you. Enjoy every moment of summer.

  4. Wow, Mary. I’m really impressed that you offered to critique the top five bidders instead of just the top one. That’s a huge amount time to give away–and it will also be a wonderful opportunity for the five writers.

    I’m so glad Sushi is doing better, and I hope you love your new life in New York.

  5. Wow. . . MFA, moves, money. MMM good! Congrats on all fronts, Mary. Where do you get the energy????

  6. CONGRATS!!! *throws confetti shaped like apples*

    That is very exciting. I’m sure we will all look forward to future posts about your experiences in the big apple.

    And good glittery gumdrops! Way to go on raising so much money. That’s astounding. Those girls, and everyone participating, are racking up some major good karma points. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m raising my mimosa and toasting you from sunny FL. I’m also sending lots of healing thoughts to Sushi.

    Congrats again. Woo hoo!

  7. Jonathan S says:

    Congratulations, Mary!

    That’s a big responsibility, and you’re certain to do a great job for the agency.

    I inhale Kidlit regularly and must say that your juicy-fresh advice continues to be spectacular. Thanks so much, and blessings on the personal and professional move!

  8. Wow, Mary!! Best wishes and a toast!



  9. Congrats on the big move! East coast rocks – except for the unpredictable weather at times. Bring your galoshes and umbrella and wintercoat. And congrats on such high bids for your ms critiques. Thanks for giving all your time!

  10. KinDallas says:

    Have a safe move — best of luck in New York!

  11. The MFA is huge news all by itself, Mary. Congrats on wrapping up your classroom work, and good luck on the thesis.

    (How does she do it all? Are there three Mary Koles?)

    I wish you all the success the future has to bring in Brooklyn, in your career, and in your life.

  12. Nice, Mary. Very nice. I hope we see you at SOME Not Your Mother’s Book Club signings. All the best to you.


  13. Wow, what a big change! I’m sure it will be fantastic. Good luck, and I look forward to reading “Kidlit Moves to Brooklyn”:)

  14. That IS big news! Congrats to you on being the east coast presence AND on your MFA–both big-time!

  15. Mary,

    Yay! I’m glad you can finally let the cat out of the bag. Or in this case, let Sushi jet to Brooklyn.

    We’re SO excited about the move.

    And those crit auction winners are getting a steal. The notes will be priceless, I’m sure.

    Bongo is quite an interesting fellow. Hmmmm….

  16. Diana Murray says:

    Congratulations on the great news! I know you’ll love Brooklyn! You’ll make a great New Yawka!

    I’m glad to hear Sushi is doing better too.

    And congratulations on the amazing outcome of the auction. Holy cow!

  17. Yay! Lots of good news. I’m happy for all the good things going on in your life and I hope the trend continues.

    You are wayyyy braver than me to move across country.

    Bongo, congrats on your fresh start. Best wishes.

  18. Congrats and best of luck! And that was so awesome of you to offer 5 full critiques for the auction! So generous!

  19. Congrats, Mary, on your MFA, move, and Sushi’s health! Hope all goes well there and that you can successfully open up another “chapter” of Andrea Brown Lit. Good luck to you!

    *Sniff* You’ll still be blogging for us, right? :'(

  20. Jenn Jones says:

    A year is a LONG time long-distance – so congratulations on the relationship front too!

    Enjoy the next few months, relishing even the inevitable last-minute packing and panic attacks. Change is lovely – especially when you’re moving towards so many exciting new beginnings.

  21. Congratulations on the move. I’m glad your cat can make the trip.
    And congrats on the upcoming MFA.
    What an impressive final big on the auction. How nice of you to do it in the first place, and then add those great prizes.
    Virtual toast to you!

  22. Congrats and great to hear that Sushi is well enough for the move too! Oh and big congrats on the MFA. Something to be proud of, for sure.

  23. Congratulations on the big move! As a native NYC-er, I am sure you’re going to love being in the thick of things there. What an exciting change that is going to be from CA.

    The auction still has me reeling. Dude… totally. You’re really is so awesome.

    Cheers to your MFA and to Sushi and to in-person romance! Lots of really great things happening for you Mary!

  24. DonnaGines says:

    From personal experience, I have to say the critiques will be worth EVERY penny!

    Congratulations again, Mary. So many exciting things going on in your life right now. I wish you the best with all of them.

  25. SO happy for you, your man, and Sushi!

    Congratulations on your MFA and heading up the New York ABLit office!! You are the KidLit guru!!

  26. Congratulations! This all sounds very exciting, but as I’m about to make a huge change myself (by moving to another country), I know that behind all that excitement there’s a LOT to do. I wish you luck and a smooth transition, Mary.

    I hope Sushi can manage the move:)

  27. As someone who was born and bred in Brooklyn (now in NJ), I want to say, “Yo! Mary!”

    Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! San Fran is cool but Brooklyn is the bomb!

  28. Ah to live the glamorous agenting life. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    How exciting!!

    I’m so glad Sushi is doing well and that this lessens some of the moving stress for you. Her illness would have been stressful at any time, but then to have it come at a time when you were trying to plan a move . . . yeah, that’s even tougher!

    I don’t know how you were able to have a long distance relationship with your boyfriend for a year! Before we were married, hubby and I lived an hour and a half drive away from each other, and I thought that was tough. A year of being on opposite sides of the country? DANG!

    I’m so glad you’ll be able to join your bf and that you’ll be making contacts and diving into the “deep end” of the publishing pool (watch out for sharks). =)

    You’re so nice to offer to critique the top five high bidders! What an amazing opportunity and what a great cause for everyone to be a part of.

    Best of luck as you work on your MFA over the summer, plan a move, and do a bunch of critiques.

    Here’s to you and your upcoming adventures! *raises virtual glass*

  29. Wow! SO exciting! This is certainly big news for you and for ABLA. (I’m excited I get to meet her(Ms. Brown) next month.)
    Hooray for Sushi and your boyfriend. So happy for you. Congratulations!

  30. WAHOO!! Career, Charity, Finishing MFA, Love, and a better Sushi—it doesn’t get much better than that.

  31. WOWEE!!! THAT is SO very exciting! I loved when I lived in NYC and you’re sure to create you’re own splash there. Fingers crossed for you and sushi and boyfriend! I cannot believe the auction results–YOWZA. My meager jewelry donation today will not reach that level but I am also happy to make some kind of impact! GOOD LUCK to you!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! Congratulations on the big move. How exciting! I hope you post a bit about the process of making a new home in NYC. Then we can live through you vicariously. It sounds a bit like a movie — “West Coast girl and her cat take NYC by storm!”

  33. Congratulations!!! You have a lot of exciting things going on! Good luck to you and Sushi with your move!

  34. Wow, awesome awesome news! As an east coast girl myself- I think you will LOVE living in the big apple! And congrats on the auction!

  35. Kelley York says:

    That’s fantastic! About both the move, and about Sushi’s health, not to mention all that money raised! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Brooklyn . . . love, love, love. I’m so happy for you – such a big move, both professionally and personally. Also glad to hear Sushi is doing much better. And WOW about your auction items! You’ve really offered a lot of effort and time to not only help writers, but also the devastated people of Nashville ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Yaaaay!! So many wonderful things for you, Mary:) I want to say this is your year, but I think this is just the beginning!

  38. Congratulations Mary!

    On the *AMAZING* auction and the impending move. I was part of the bidding and I think it’s wonderful that you offered to take the top five. What a boon to the fundraising.

    BTW – most fun auction EVER!

    I’m starting my MFA this summer at VCFA and I’m very excited.

    Take care!

  39. Estee Wood says:

    Lots of congratulations — but Cali will miss you!

    And thank you so much for having such a big heart about Nashville. Losing in the last minute by $50 was pretty depressing — not so much after I read you were taking the top five. It was a ton of fun. Thanks for the rush.

  40. Joseph Miller says:

    Congrats! Awesome news… you have my best wishes and I wish you safe travels, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. Congratulations on all counts! Sorry to hear you’re leaving San Francisco, but it sounds like a great opportunity. Wishing you all the best.

  42. Shannon Brochu says:

    Congrats, Mary! Sounds so exciting, and really wonderful to be closer to your boyfriend. Happy adventures!

  43. Welcome to my neck of the words! So many agents and authors seem to live in Brooklyn, you’ll be in good company. So happy to hear that Sushi is on the mend and preparing for the big day. Wishing you health and a happy journey ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. When you move to Brooklyn, I’ll be happy to do a physical toast in the Big Apple!

  45. Congrats, Mary! That’s wonderful news for you. I wish you the best.

    And that’s one more win for the big Apple, taking away all our West Coast talent… (ha, ha).

  46. Fantastic and exciting news. Good luck with getting everything moved. Also, congratulations on raising such an incredible amount of money for the Tennessee auction. That’s incredible.

  47. Congratulations Mary! Welcome to the east coast!

  48. melodycolleen says:

    Congratulations on all counts, Mary. I’m so glad to hear that Sushi is better. I was worried, since I have five kitties of my own.

    Hope NYC is everything you long for, and it all works smoothly.

    You’re doing such amazing things with your life. Good for you – and everyone else who crosses your path.

  49. Incredible. Look at the things you are making possible in the world. That’s what it is all about; for real girl, you got it goin’ on.

  50. Sigh! My husband and I were just talking about how much I want to live in New York. Brooklyn is such a lovely little oasis of browstones and young people hanging out on stoops. Yes, I love my life in Tokyo, but you are pretty much headed for my dream life. Dealing with the business of books all day and living in New York.

    Enjoy every minute- you’ve worked hard and given back to a large community of writers in a way that makes all of us happy for our successes.

  51. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Congrats on your great news. Hope you enjoy your move.

  52. Yippee! on three pieces of great news! And great news for you – I’m moving to New York state too! Not a stalker move, honest, just a coincidence.

  53. Congratulations on your news, Mary! Lots of exciting times ahead, I’m sure. I’m also very glad that you continue to give us updates on Sushi, since I’ve been thinking about her so much.

  54. I know I’m supposed to be all supportive and stuff, but I say boo to Brooklyn. Boo. It’s got snow, sleet, people who talk funny and a bridge that takes way too long to walk over.

    Plus I’ll miss seeing you at all the local signings. Boo.
    But I’m glad Sushi’s better ๐Ÿ˜‰

  55. Congratulations on the move! Going to NYC is such a big deal and will make you more marketable. I’ll have to get some updated info so I can query you when my next ms is done. ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. Wow. Congratulations on all counts! That must be so exciting, and I’m very happy for you. And I watched your auction, my mouth dropping a little lower each time I refreshed. That is simply incredible, YOU are incredible for being willing to take on that many critiques. Kudos to you and Mandy, Myra, and Victioria. This has been such a good week!

  57. Franz/Siski — Ooh, where?

    CJ — I’ll miss you, too. The lack of you local folk will be a major bummer.

    Emily — We accept e-queries only, so luckily my query details will remain the same!

    All — Thank you so much! I am still blown away from all the fantastic things that have happened recently.

  58. Eeep! Real life stole me away so I’m just getting to this. Glad you can finally share the great news! And SUPER glad to hear about Sushi!! Super SUPER glad about the auction, I knew it would go great on your “item” donation.

  59. Congrats, Mary! Look forward to hearing more about the move when it happens. And that’s awesome about the Nashville fundraiser too. What an exciting time is ahead of you ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. I’m late to the celebration, but since I live in Brooklyn, I wanted to say Welcome!

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