Today on the EasternPennPoints blog we are featuring an interview by Heather Stigall with literary agent Paige Terlip of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Paige will be presenting at the upcoming webinar “Picture Book Building Blocks.” To learn more about the webinar and to register, go to https://epa.scbwi.org/events/webinar-picture-book-building-blocks-with-agent-paige-terlip/.
Heather: Paige, thank you so much for agreeing to present “Picture Book Building Blocks” for our Eastern PA SCBWI members on May 10, 2021. I’m looking forward to your webinar!
You have experience working for publishers as well as with Andrea Brown Literary Agency. What is your favorite thing about being an agent?
Paige: I love working with such creative, talented people. My clients are all gifted in different ways, and I am so lucky to be a small part of their publishing journey. I also love that I get to read fabulous books before they hit the shelves and that I get to help bring these amazing stories into readers’ hands.
Heather: Many of our members are looking for agents. What qualities would the ideal client have?
Paige: An ideal client would have the passion and a desire to build a career in writing. Someone who is dedicated to the process and has ideas for many books to come!
Heather: What do you wish writers and illustrators knew about agenting?
Paige: Agents get rejected too! We get rejected by editors and writers. Publishing can be a rollercoaster and we are on the ride right next to our clients. Also, my least favorite part about agenting is saying “no,” but I have to fall in love and feel a spark so that I truly can champion a client’s writing.
Heather: Your website offers a lot of great tips and resources for querying. What would you say are the most common mistakes you see in queries?
Paige: The most common mistake I see is writers who don’t know the best comps for their book. I find the best comps are contemporary books that are well known but not overly aspirational. Comps should show you understand how your book will fit into the market and position the story in a clear, accurate way.
Heather: Great tips—thank you! What are some recently published picture books that you love and why?
Paige: I adored Home Is in Between by Mitali Perkins (art by Lavanya Naidu), All Because You Matter by Tami Charles (art by Bryan Collier), and Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho (art by Dung Ho) because they feel like love letters to readers that haven’t been represented enough in children’s literature. They are poignant, simultaneously timeless and timely, and contain powerful messages of love and belonging. I can see these books becoming cherished classics in no time!
Heather: Readers, if you haven’t read the books Paige recommended, please do. They are wonderful! Thank you, Paige, for sharing a little bit about you and your expertise with our members.
I am looking forward to hearing more about picture books in Paige’s upcoming webinar, “Picture Book Building Blocks,” on May 10. Friends, if you haven’t yet registered, you can find the registration link below.
Picture Book Building Blocks
“Picture Book Building Blocks” is designed to help writers construct stories by introducing tools to create a picture book blueprint, build a strong foundation, and frame their story.
May 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Registration is now open: $15 for SCBWI Members; $25 nonmembers
Paige Terlip represents all categories of children’s books from picture books to young adult, as well as select adult fiction and nonfiction. Across age categories, Paige is drawn to high-concept novels with captivating hooks, snarky characters with hearts of gold, creative magic systems, complicated relationships, and found families. She loves well-plotted twists, being a little bit scared, and stories that explore the fluidity of gender and bring the queer experience to light. Regardless of genre, she is seeking inclusive, intersectional voices and gorgeous line-level writing with emotionally compelling narratives. She loves stories that make her feel a range of emotions, even if that means she ugly cries while reading. She wants a narrative that will stick with her long after reading.
Prior to becoming an associate agent, Paige was a senior assistant for executive agent Laura Rennert, and has been with ABLA since 2017. She comes to agenting with a background in marketing, design, and freelance editorial. She’s worked at Charlesbridge Publishing, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and a ranch in the Rockies. She has an MA in Children’s Literature and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. If she’s not reading, you’ll find her practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, rewatching the Great British Baking Show, or hiking with her Husky-Shepherd mix. Visit her website at www.paigeterlip.com. You can find her on Twitter (@pterlip) and Instagram (@pterlip).