Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day News

Last week was a busy one for me--Cambridge had its bi-annual sales conference--and last week was the Query Critique, so I didn't get to announce my exciting news!




This is a little late but I am thrilled to share that I have a new client: the awesome Anthony Tardiff, whose YA sci-fi about a hacker hired to stress test a very cute AI program called SPRITE had me hooked from the first page!!

I also am very happy to report two new deals:



Whoo!! Congratulations everyone! I am so jazzed to be entering the summer this way, and it will definitely add a bit of extra sparkle to my smile this long weekend!  Happy Memorial Day, everyone!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Query Critique

Query critique time!  For everyone who enters (and those who don't) spread the word so that even if you don't submit a query, you encourage others to read and comment.  Thanks :)



If you're not familiar with how to enter, take a look at my previous post to read the rules.  Good luck!  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Prom, Cats, and Books!

I was home last weekend for Mother's Day and also for my brother-in-law's prom, which was really cute!  Or I guess I shouldn't say cute, because that isn't very teen-appropriate.  Micheal's prom was really wavy

Even though we had a really full weekend, I still managed to make a decent dent into my queries and requested a handful of partials that I'm looking forward to reading!  Other than that, my week was pretty laid back.  We bought a laser toy for our cats, so the majority of our weekday entertainment involved ordering pizza and watching them lose their minds.  And because I love you guys, please see below for your viewing pleasure...


video


Oh yeah, and I've been bugging my editor friends for ARCs of the BEA books I've been reading about in Buzz Books.  I already got MR ROCHESTER and was reading it on the train back and forth...I can't wait to get the others!!!!




Monday, May 8, 2017

I Am a Magpie

Hi, everyone!  So this past week, I registered for BEA, which as many of you know, is my hands-down favorite publishing event of the year.  In preparation for the glory that is to come, I downloaded the 2017 BEA Buzz Books, booklets with excerpts of upcoming adult and young adult titles that are generating a lot of excitement in the community.  The books are free to download and I highly recommend them!!  





As I was reading, I started making a list of the ones that blew me away:
...and now I feel like a thwarted magpie.


It's me!


I think that literary agents are, by nature, magpies, because we love collecting all the beautiful, shiny writing and authors that cross our paths.  I have built up an awesome hoard of shiny authors, but I always want more, and reading through the Buzz excerpts made me simultaneously want to pre-order the books and steal the authors.  It's good, though, because now I feel super energized to dive into all the queries that I've been letting pile up lately.  If you download the books, let me know which authors/stories you would steal if you could!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Query Critique Winner

Hi, all!  Sarah was the lucky critique winner this time around--congrats, Sarah!  Here is her original query:

Dear Ms. Pestritto:


Twelve-year-old Addie should avoid Maple Lake. After all, her twin brother Amos drowned there only a few months ago. But the notebook he left behind, filled with clues pointing to the existence of a mysterious sea creature, keeps drawing Addie back. When she’s offered a summer internship studying pollution in the lake, Addie accepts, despite the initial wishes of her mourning parents. 

 Measuring phosphorous levels becomes the focus of Addie’s internship, but it isn’t her only mission on Maple Lake. Fueled by memories of Amos, Addie investigates a different kind of evidence too: the cryptic clues he left behind. The more time Addie spends out on the water, the more she rediscovers why her brother loved it so much: Maple Lake might be magic.
 

Eventually Addie traces the primary cause of pollution in the lake to surrounding dairy farms, including the one run by her aunt and uncle. When fellow researchers call for environmental reforms, Addie finds herself caught between scientific proof, the magic her brother believed in, and the only family she has left. Against a backdrop of grief, Addie must decide how to fight for mysterious Maple Lake without endangering her community’s livelihood.


Blending magical realism with a STEM focus, THE LIGHT IN THE LAKE is a contemporary middle grade novel that traces Addie’s journey from sadness to hope. Its lyrical style and connection to the natural world will appeal to readers of Beth Hautala’s WAITING FOR UNICORNS, Ali Benjamin’s THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH, and Lindsay Eagar’s HOUR OF THE BEES. The full manuscript is complete at 44,703 words. 
 

I live in rural northeastern Vermont, where I teach high school English. I have previously written for various news and literary publications, and my creative nonfiction chapbook was awarded publication by the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press.

 
Thank you very much for your time and for offering this query critique contest.
 Sincerely,

Sarah 


And here is my critique:


Dear Ms. Pestritto:


Twelve-year-old Addie should avoid Maple Lake. After all, her twin brother Amos drowned there only a few months ago. When Addie's twin brother drowned in Maple Lake, it felt like a horrible accident that she never wanted to think about again.  But in the notebook he left behind, filled with clues pointing to the existence of a mysterious sea creature, keeps drawing Addie back to the scene of the crime. When she’s offered a summer internship studying pollution in the lake, [This part about Addie being offered an internship is a little confusing to me.  Do 12-year-olds do internships or is this a stretch and she needs to be older/this need to be YA?] Addie accepts, despite the initial wishes of her mourning parents. 

 Measuring phosphorous levels becomes is the focus of Addie’s internship, but it isn’t her only mission on Maple Lake. Fueled by memories of Amos, Addie investigates a different kind of evidence too: the cryptic clues he left behind. the cryptic hints in his journal and the discovers a surprising reason her brother was so obsessed with Maple Lake: The more time Addie spends out on the water, the more she rediscovers why her brother loved it so much: Maple Lake it might be magic.
 
Eventually Addie traces the primary cause of pollution in the lake to surrounding dairy farms, including the one run by her aunt and uncle. When fellow researchers call for environmental reforms, Addie finds herself caught between scientific proof, the magic her brother believed in, and the only family she has left. Against a backdrop of grief, Addie must decide how to fight for mysterious Maple Lake without endangering her community’s livelihood.


Blending magical realism with a STEM focus, THE LIGHT IN THE LAKE is a contemporary middle grade novel that traces Addie’s journey from sadness to hope. ["...journey from sadness to hope" is a little too general.  Can you think of something more high-concept to say about the story?] Its lyrical style and connection to the natural world will appeal to readers of Beth Hautala’s WAITING FOR UNICORNS, Ali Benjamin’s THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH, and Lindsay Eagar’s HOUR OF THE BEES. The full manuscript is complete at 44,703 words. 
 

I live in rural northeastern Vermont, where I teach high school English. I have previously written for various news and literary publications, and my creative nonfiction chapbook was awarded publication by the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press.
 

Thank you very much for your time and for offering this query critique contest.
 Sincerely,

Sarah 

Chime in with thoughts and comments below!  Sarah, I hope my critique is helpful.  This critique is in good shape already and you have a very interesting premise for a story.  I was drawn in by the way you framed the story and think that with a little editing and thinking about age range, this will be ready to go out.  Best of luck!