Agent Carrie Prestritto on PERFECTING YOUR PITCH! with Lindsay Bandy

If you’re crafting a pitch, take a moment to absorb some wisdom from Carrie Prestritto of Prospect Agency! Carrie will be accepting pitches at our 2017 Fall Philly/PA Author Day event at the Warwick Hotel in Rittenhouse Square on November 5, so be sure to register and see her friendly face in person.

Everyone say, Hi Carrie!

carrie prestrittoLB: What is your best advice for crafting a strong pitch?

CP: Try to write something concisely and sharply written (almost as if it were back cover copy) that draws agents in and gets them interested in reading more.  You want to showcase your writing, but also get to the point, so that we quickly understand what the story is about and get excited to read more.

LB: What are you looking for/not looking for right now?

CP: You can look at my #MSWL tweets or recent blog post for a more exhaustive list, but right now I’d really love to see more quirky and diverse MG, YA across the board (fantasy, contemporary, and diverse stories), and children’s nonfiction.  I’d also really love a fantastic YA memoir.

LB: Are you open to representing picture book authors and/or illustrators?

CP: I do not represent illustrators at all, although I do admire them very much!  For authors, I only represent non-fiction or educational pictures, so anything else would be outside my bailiwick.

Thank you for stopping by, Carrie! We will see you soon!

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Agent John Cusick on PERFECTING YOUR PITCH! with Lindsay Bandy

Fall Philly pitching is just around the corner, and today agent John Cusick from Folio Literary Management is here to give you some advice. Everyone say, Hi John!
JCLB: What is your best advice for crafting a strong pitch?
JC: Tell me what’s at stake for your character: Why must the mystery be solved? What happens if the hero fails? What does she stand to gain or lose? Also, give me a few choice details that make your story or concept stand out. Agents and editors want to know what makes your project unique.

LB: What are you looking for/not looking for right now? JC: I’m seeking unique voices in fiction for young people, stories that move readers, moments that make me look up and say “Wow, yes. I’ve felt that.”

Send me the books kids will sneak / steal / borrow in secret. Those personal, dangerous, life-saving stories. I’m looking for boundary pushers, a pitch that makes (certain) people say, “You can’t write a YA / MG about THAT!!” I want beautiful, character-driven YA and MG that connects like an emotional gut-punch. I love the strange, iconoclastic, and unusual.

I’m drawn to contemporary realistic stories with strong hooks, as well as fresh fantasy set in our world and others. I love stories told in alternate formats (letters, texts…sticky notes?). I love funny, quirky, and spooky. I want books that keep me turning the page. I love proactive protagonists, kids and teens chasing a dream or a hero who swings in with a song in her heart and a knife in her teeth.

WHAT I’M NOT LOOKING FOR: Picture book texts. I also tend to shy away from novels with talking animals, sports stories, and poetry.

LB:  Are you open to representing picture book authors and/or illustrators?

JC: When it comes to picture books, I’m only considering submissions by author-illustrators. Thank you!

Thank YOU for stopping by! We’ll see you in Philly!

If you haven’t registered yet, just click on over and reserve your spot to pitch to John!

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Happy Fall! by Lindsay Bandy

Hello out there in internet land! We here at Team EPA have been hard at work, preparing to treat (but never trick) you with exciting Fall events! We hope you’ll join us for the following….

Poetry Day in Lancaster PA on October 7 at the Lancaster Public Library. Join us for a relaxed and informative day of exploring the options for poets today, from novels-in-verse to poems for young children. (It’s only one week away, so hurry and register today!)

Fall Philly and PA Author Day on November 5 at the Warwick Hotel, Rittenhouse Square. Come to meet and learn from PA authors and illustrators, and register to pitch to one of our *growing* list of agents!

Perfecting Your Pitch: An October blog series. No registration required for this one! Just tune in regularly throughout the month of October as our Fall Philly agents share their pitchy wisdom and bookish wishes with us!


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Come to the Princeton Children’s Book Festival and SCBWI Meet-N-Greet on Sept. 23, by Virginia Law Manning

Calling all members! I hope you’ll join other writers and illustrators this Saturday 9/23 at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival! The festival is a free and a wonderful opportunity to meet your favorite children’s book creators, including EPA’s own Lauren Castillo, Jonathan Bean, Judy Schachner, Zachariah OHora, Brian Biggs, and Greg Pizzoli. Plus big names like Mac Barnett, Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Ame Dyckman. The list goes on and on! 
After the festival, gather with other SCBWI members across the street at the Alchemist & Barrister to discuss all things kidlit at 4 PM. Remember to bring $ for books and drinks. 

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017
11 AM to 4 PM
Princeton Children’s Book Festival
Hinds Plaza, 65 Witherspoon Street 

Beginning at 4 PM
SCBWI Meet & Greet at the Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ
I hope to see you there!
Virginia Law Manning
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Three Bookstore Events with PA Author Diana Rodriguez Wallach!

dianaDiana Rodriguez Wallach, author of the Anastasia Phoenix series, will be doing two panel discussions during B-fest* on Sept. 23rd!  B-Fest is a celebration of YA Literature at Barnes & Noble stores across the country, so join the fun and support your local YA authors!

First, she will be at the B&N in Marlton, NJ at 1pm with Diana Gallagher. Then, she will be at the B&N in Rittenhouse at 6pm. She invites you to say hello!

Diana will also be doing a YA panel* on Oct. 10 at the Blue Marble Bookstore in Mt. Airy, with authors Blair Thornburgh and Jennifer Eaton.

*These are not SCBWI-sponsored events*


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Happy Book Launch, Eric Bell!

EPA SCBWI-er Eric Bell’s debut MG novel, ALAN COLE IS NOT A COWARD, was released this week by Katherine Tegen books! Hooray, Eric!

If you’re in the area, you can stop by the official book launch this Saturday, September 9, from 1-3PM at the B&N in Montgomeryville, PA to get a copy and say hello!

Alan Cole.jpg

Our own Wendy Greenley, one of Eric’s critique partners, says, “It is a seriously good book about personal identity, courage and friendship.”

So check it out!

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New: A Ches-Mont-Del Co Meet & Greet!

When: Tuesday, October 10 at 1:00

Where:  Pour Richards in Devon (36 Berkley Road, Devon, PA 19333 – across from the Whole Foods Market). Click here for address, hours and map.

Who: Anybody interested in writing, illustrating, meeting, and greeting!

RSVP: If you can come, please drop Heather Stigall an e-mail at

See you there!



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