Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SF/South Agent’s Day

Date(s) - 06/21/2014
9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Fort Mason
2 Marina Blvd - San Francisco, CA 94123

$110 EARLYBIRD PRICING for SCBWI members begins APRIL 16, 2014 at 9am and ends MAY 1, 2014.

Event Schedule:
Plan to arrive at 9:00 AM for registration. The event will kick off at 9:30 AM and will end at 3:30 PM.

SF/South Agent’s Day 2014 Agenda

8:30-9:00 am         Registration

9:00-9:30 am         Welcome / Agent Panel

9:30-10:00 am       Deborah Warren: The Agent/Author Relationship

10:00-10:30 am     Abigail Samoun: Focus on Craft

10:30-10:45 am     Break

10:45-11:30 am     Pitch Workshop (facilitated by Caryn Wiseman)

11:30-12:15 pm     Lunch

12:15-12:45 pm     Sean McCarthy: Picture Book Pacing

12:45-1:15 pm       Laurie McLean: Focus on Marketing/Career Planning

1:15-1:25 pm         Break

1:25-2:30 pm         Agent Roundtable Discussions

2:30-3:00 pm         Q & A

3:00 pm                Closing Remarks / Pick up Written Critiques

Lunch will be provided at the event. Please select 1 lunch option in the Options list provided in this registration. If our options do not meet your dietary needs, please contact Tim McCanna at

Agents in attendance:

DeborahWarrenDEBORAH WARREN, East/West Literary Agency
Deborah Warren founded East/West Literary Agency LLC, after 17 years at Harcourt. With over 33 years’ of experience in the publishing industry, and over 14 years at the helm of the Agency, Deborah not only represents authors and illustrators of picture books including Jim Averbeck, Anna Dewdney, Kimberly and James Dean, Gianna Marino, and Antoinette Portis, she represents authors and illustrators—both debut and established–in the board book, concept, illustration, multicultural, non-fiction, middle-grade and young adult markets. In all categories, she’s looking to fall in love with character-driven stories, enhanced by a hook, told in a unique, fresh or distinctive way. Her sweet spots: short, quirky picture books and smartly layered, accessible and compelling MG and YA fiction. Learn more about Deborah and East/West Literary Agency at


11763_originalCARYN WISEMAN, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Caryn Wiseman has been an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency since 2003, and she has sold almost 250 books. She handles children's books only: young adult and middle-grade fiction and non-fiction, chapter books, and picture books (fiction and non-fiction). She represents NYT bestselling authors, award-winning authors, debut authors, and authors at every stage in between. No matter the genre, Caryn is looking for books with emotional depth and a strong voice; excellent writing in a tightly-plotted story; and characters that stick with her long after she has closed the book. In YA, she gravitates toward books that make her think and toward books that make her cry; in middle-grade and chapter books, laughter tends to be the common thread. She loves books that are intellectually challenging and take risks, but in a very logical way. Learn more about Caryn and Andrea Brown Literary Agency at


asABIGAIL SAMOUN, Red Fox Literary Agency
Before co-founding Red Fox Literary, LLC with Karen Grencik in 2011, Abigail Samoun was an in-house children’s book editor for over ten years. Her books received such honors as the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, the New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats award, the SCBWI Golden Kite, and the Pura Belpre Honor. As an agent, Abigail now represents authors and illustrators working in a range of genres, from board books to young adult novels. Her clients include author/illustrator Hannah Harrison whose debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal. Harrison’s picture book was Red Fox’s first project to go to auction. Fellow clients Chris Pallace and Kevin Serwacki wrote and illustrated Joey and Johnny, the Ninjas, an illustrated middle-grade series that received four offers before being bought by Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer&Bray. RT Book Reviews said of client Deborah Blumenthal’s Mafia Girl (Whitman, 2014), “The twinkling backdrop of Manhattan and the budding romance between two opposites will make YA fans adore this novel.” Learn more about Abigail and Red Fox Literary at


mccarthypic_thumb[4]SEAN McCARTHY, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency
Sean McCarthy began his publishing career as an editorial intern at Overlook Press and then moved over to the Sheldon Fogelman Agency.  He worked as the submissions coordinator and permissions manager before becoming a full-time literary agent.  Sean graduated from Macalester College with a degree in English-Creative Writing, and is grateful that he no longer has to spend his winters in Minnesota. He is drawn to flawed, multifaceted characters with devastatingly concise writing in YA, and boy-friendly mysteries or adventures in MG. In picture books, he looks more for unforgettable characters, off-beat humor, and especially clever endings. He is not currently interested in high fantasy, message-driven stories, or query letters that pose too many questions. Learn more about Sean and Sean McCarthy Literary Agency at


7290168MIRA REISBERG, Hummingbird Literary Agency
Mira Reisberg came to launch Hummingbird Literary following a 25-year history in the field of children’s literature working as an award-winning illustrator, a writer, editor, art director, designer, a children’s literature and art education professor, and a teacher/mentor to many now successful children’s book creatives.Mira is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy, which trains children’s book writers and illustrators in in-depth courses. Her doctorate in education with a focus on children’s literature has been a huge asset in this work. After nine of Mira’s students received 12 contract offers in nine months, Red Fox Literary agent Karen Grencik suggested that she might make a good agent, and offered to mentor her, providing in-depth training. Learn more about Mira and Hummingbird Literary at


lauriefeaturedLAURIE McLEAN, Foreword Literary
Laurie McLean spent 20 years as the CEO of a publicity agency and 8 years as an agent and senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco. Following her stint as the CEO of a successful Silicon Valley public relations agency bearing her name, Laurie was able to switch gears in 2002 to immerse herself in writing. She penned three manuscripts before deciding that the life of a literary agent was her destiny. Laurie has been writing professionally since high school–first as a journalist, then as a public relations agent, finally as a novelist. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the State University of New York and a Master’s Degree at Syracuse University’s prestigious Newhouse School of Journalism. At Foreword, Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, horror, etc.) plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books. She does not handle non-fiction, or commercial, literary or women’s fiction, nor does she handle children’s picture books or graphic novels. Learn more about Laurie and Foreword Literary at


Join us for an incredible day that will feature FIVE of the country's leading agents in the field of Children's Literature! This very special event will include agent presentations, an agent panel discussion, a query workshop, and lunch, PLUS an extended “Agent Roundtable Discussion” session allowing attendees to meet with agents in small groups to discuss industry topics and gain a better feel for each agent’s personality and work-style. The best first step to landing an agent is building a relationship from the ground up and finding a connection with the agent that is right for you. This session will give you much needed insight so that you can make a more informed decision about who to submit to after the conference.

Following Agent's Day our attendees will have the opportunity to submit their work to any of the five agents on the faculty with whom they feel their work is a strong fit. This conference is open to published and unpublished authors and illustrators. AVAILABILITY IS LIMITED. Register NOW and give your career the boost that it deserves! 

SCBWI SF/South uses PayPal. If you don't have a PayPal account–don't worry! You can either sign up for one, or you can pay using a credit card. When you click to pay for your registration, you will be sent to a PayPal landing page. On the right, under CHOOSE A WAY TO PAY, you can either log into your existing PayPal account, or click "Don't Have a PayPal Account?" You will then have the option to pay with a credit card, or sign up for a new PayPal account.

Refund Policy:

A refund of the registration fee, minus a $10 administrative fee will be available up until June 1, 2014. After June 1, refunds will only be allowed for family/personal emergency or if someone from the waiting list takes your slot.

Paid Query and Manuscript Critique:

This optional service is open to writers, illustrators, and writer-illustrators!

• Attendees can opt to pay an additional fee of $45 to have one of our agents on faculty critique a query letter and up to 5 pages (double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, 1" margins) of a picture book, middle grade novel, or YA novel in advance of the event. 

• Picture Book Authors: Query letter + up to 5 pages of 1 manuscript (1,200 words maximum)
• YA & Middle Grade Authors: Query letter + up to 5 pages of 1 manuscript (1,200 words maximum)
• Picture Book Author-Illustrators: Query letter + up to 5 illustrated pages of 1 manuscript
• Illustrators: Query letter + up to 5 pages of portfolio samples, or up to 5 illustrated pages of 1 manuscript

• The query letter must be in reference to the attached manuscript pages.

• If your picture book manuscript is less than 5 pages, you may NOT send an additional manuscript.

• Although Picture Book Authors may send up to 1,200 words of a manuscript, we highly suggest sending the tightest, most polished text possible. Picture book word counts are continually shrinking these days, typically UNDER 500 words. We must make every word count! Avoid comments from agents such as "Too wordy" and "You could cut out all this description." Of course there are always exceptions to every rule, so just submit with care.

• Please do not address your query letter to a particular agent. However, you may indicate your top 2 preferred agents in your submission email and we will do our best to match you. 

• Email your query letter and manuscript pages in separate Word documents attached in your email to:  Illustrators and Author-Illustrators may send their query as a Word document and their illustrated pages in a PDF file.

• Deadline for submission is 9:00 pm, May 15, 2014. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, please contact Naomi Kinsman at or Tim McCanna at

• You will receive your comments and/or marked materials in an envelope at the end of Agent's Day.

**PLEASE NOTE: We are excited to be using the new "in-house" event registration system provided by SCBWI for its members. As administrators, we are learning as we go, so your patience is appreciated as we all become comfortable with the new system. If you encounter any problems during your registration process for SF/South Agent's Day, contact Naomi Kinsman at and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks!