Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's Time for #MGLitchat Tips from the Pros Month 2013

Hi, everyone! Back by popular demand…welcome to the #MGlitchat 2nd Annual Tips From the Pros chat series!
Each week during the month of March, we have invited a few professionals to share their tips for writing and publishing middle-grade books in today's market.  We'd like to thank each of our professionals for graciously volunteering their time and expertise for this series of chats.
Just a quick recap of the Tips from the Pros chat format and how to get your questions noticed…
Your #MGLitchat hostesses will introduce your featured guests for the night.  For the first 10 minutes of the chat, our guests will share their tips focused on the chat topic.  After the first 10 minutes, your chat hostesses will then open the floor to questions for our featured guests.  **Because of the nature of these chats, we are asking that chat attendees please refrain from tweeting until our moderators open the floor for questions.  This will give our professionals a few minutes to share their tips at the beginning of each chat.**
Also, when participating in the Q&A portion of the chats, please remember to use the Twitter handle of the guest and include QUESTION to grab their attention. (So, if I wanted to ask Elissa a question, I’d tweet it like this: @elissacruz QUESTION: How did you get to be so awesome?)
Now, the schedule and our guests for the 2013 edition of Tips from the Pros chat series…
Week 1 (March 7) - Drafting And Revising with the Pros
Rose Cooper - @RoseCooper
Rose Cooper is an author and illustrator with Random House Publishing, agented by Rosemary Stimola. Her books include the middle grade Blogtastic Novel Series: Gossip From The Girls Room, Rumors From The Boys Room, and Secrets From The Sleeping Bag. Her series is published and translated in over 13 countries. The first book will also be published by Scholastic Fall 2013. Her upcoming new teen series, Dead Serious, will debut Fall 2014 with I Text Dead People, followed by the second book in Spring 2015. She lives in California with her husband, three boys, and a mischievous cat which is named after a character in her books. You can visit her website at
Greg Fishbone - @tem2
Greg R. Fishbone is an author of galactic fiction for young readers, including the Galaxy Games series of humorous middle grade sci-fi novels from the Tu Books imprint at Lee & Low Books. Greg also serves as an Assistant Regional Advisor for the New England regions of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is a two-time NESCBWI conference co-director, and founded of the Class of 2k7 debut author group. Visit his website at for more information.
Jen Gennari - @JenGenn
Jennifer Gennari is the author of MY MIXED-UP BERRY BLUE SUMMER (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012), an Association of Booksellers for Children Spring 2012 New Voices title and American Library Association Rainbow List title. A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts and a former reporter, she lives on a houseboat in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and (occasionally) their four daughters. Learn more at
Tricia Springstubb - @springstubb
Tricia is the author of over a dozen books for kids of all ages. Her most recent middle grade novels, "What Happened on Fox Street" and "Mo Wren Lost and Found" (Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins) received starred reviews and were named to best of the year lists. Her picture book "Phoebe and Digger" (Candlewick Press) will publish in March. A former Headstart teacher and children's library associate, Tricia is the mother of three grown daughters. She lives with her husband and, of course, cats in Cleveland. 
Week 2 (March 14) - Querying and working with MG agents with the Pros
Geoff Rodkey - @GeoffRodkey
Geoff Rodkey is the author of the Chronicles of Egg middle grade adventure series and the Emmy-nominated screenwriter of such hit films as Daddy Day CareRV, and the Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas. His early writing credits include the educational video game Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, the non-educational MTV series Beavis and Butt-head, and Comedy Central’s Politically Incorrect. Geoff currently lives in New York City with his wife and three sons. They do not have any pets, mostly because the whole experience with the goldfish was just too upsetting. For additional information please visit
Josh Getzler - @jgetzler
 In May 2011 Josh partnered with Carrie Hannigan and Jesseca Salky at Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency and has been actively and happily running his list. Josh represents more than 40 authors, including Geoff Rodkey (THE CHRONICLES OF EGG series from Putnam Children’s Books), Sam Thomas (THE MIDWIFE’S TALE—Minotaur), Cali Yost (TWEAK IT!—Center Street), EJ Copperman/Jeff Cohen (THE HAUNTED GUEST HOUSE series from Berkley Prime Crime, and Dana Cameron (SEVEN KINDS OF HELL—47 North). For more information on Josh’s most recent sales, please see his Publishers Marketplace profile. Josh also tweets under @jgetzler, and is the Tuesday blogger on Hey, There’s a Dead Guy in the Living Room
John Cusick - @johnmcusick
John Cusick joined Greenhouse Literary in January 2013 after several years with a small New York agency, where he began as an assistant and rose to be an agent with a fast-developing MG/YA client list. John is also the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY, as well as the managing fiction editor at Armchair/Shotgun. You can read his blog here:
Ryan Gebhart - @RyanGebhart
Ryan Gebhart was born and raised in Maumee, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a Masters in Spanish (he can hablar some español like a boss). Ryan is represented by John Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. His debut THERE WILL BE BEARS comes out Spring 2014 with Candlewick Press. Contrary to the title, there’s actually only one bear. Didn’t want to get your hopes up or anything…
Week 3 (March 21)- Path to Publication  with the Pros

Deborah Kovacs - @DeborahKovacs
Deborah Kovacs is a senior vice president and editorial director of Walden Pond Press at Walden Media, where she has been overseeing publishing activities since 2001, working first with Penguin and now with HarperCollins to publish dozens of major middle-grade novels. Previously, she edited Sesame Street magazine, wrote more than thirty books, and produced software for kids. 

Kevin Emerson - @kcemerson
Kevin Emerson has never been abducted by aliens, at least not that he remembers. He has been to Roswell, but all he found there was a cool key chain. Kevin is the author of a number of books for young readers, including the Oliver Nocturne series, Carlos Is Gonna Get It, and The Lost Code: Book One of the Atlanteans. Many of his characters have been inspired by his classroom teaching experiences in Boston and Seattle. Kevin is also a musician. His current project is the brainiac kids’ pop band the Board of Education. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children. You can visit him online at or tweet with him at @kcemerson.
Zareen Jaffrey - @ZareenJaffrey
Zareen joined Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers in February 2011, where she focuses on commercial and literary young adult and middle grade fiction. Her current list at Books for Young Readers includes New York Times bestselling authors Hilary Duff and Tonya Hurley, as well as a fabulous new series by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. Prior to Simon and Schuster, Zareen worked at HarperCollins Children’s Books editing bestselling novelists Lauren Conrad, Jodi Lynn Anderson, LJ Smith, and Claudia Gray. Zareen is a graduate of New York University.
Claire LeGrand - @ClaireLeGrand
Claire is a Texan living in New Jersey with a dragon and two cats. She writes fantastical stories, and her daemon is an ocelot but sometimes a unicorn. When presented with the choice to high five or not to high five, she will always choose TO HIGH FIVE. Her first novel, THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, due out August 28, 2012 from Simon & Schuster BFYR, will probably give you nightmares. Or at the very least make you buy a nightlight. Her second novel, THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, due out August 27, 2013, also from S&S, involves several ghosts, a girl who lives in a haunted music hall, and a rather insouciant cat. Her third novel, WINTERSPELL, due out in Fall 2014, also from S&S, is a young adult retelling of The Nutcracker, full of faeries, bloody swordfights, and forbidden romance.
Week 4 (March 28) - Marketing Middle Grade with the Pros
Amber McRee Turner  - @ambermcturner
Amber McRee Turner is the author of SWAY, released by Disney-Hyperion in 2012 and CIRCA NOW, coming from Disney-Hyperion in May 2014. She is represented by Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary. You can visit her website at
Joanna Volpe - @JoSVolpe
Joanna Volpe has been a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, an editorial assistant with independent publisher Blue Martin Publications, an assistant and junior agent at FinePrint Literary Management and a full-time agent with Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation, all before starting her own company: New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
Jason Brubaker - @Jason_Brubaker
Jason Brubaker works at Dreamworks Animation in Visual Development. At night, he puts on his cape and doubles as an independent graphic novelist and self-publisher. He's  worked professionally as an artist and animator on commercials and films since 1996.
reMind was a 2012 Great Graphic Novel from YALSA. reMIND 2 is officially in the top 10 most funded Kickstarter projects for comics, where he raised over $95,000 for his book.
Tracey Daniels - @TrayMMP 
Tracey Daniels is the founder and senior partner of Media Masters Publicity, LLC, an agency dedicated to promoting children's books and graphic novels. Tracey has more than 20 years of children's book publicity experience. After receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Secondary English Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Tracey realized her true passion was to work with books and authors. Tracey lives with her husband, fifteen year-old daughter Maren, eleven year-old son Liam, and a beagle named Edgar Allen Poe. After living in both the Philadelphia and Chicago area, Tracey and her family moved to Tryon, NC, (population: 1500).

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