For nearly 15 years, I worked for School Library Journal, the world’s largest reviewer of books for young readers. As SLJ ’s executive editor, I had the pleasure of interviewing many remarkable children’s book creators, including Kate DiCamillo, Mo Willems, Katherine Paterson, Gene Yang, Rita Williams-Garcia, Markus Zusak, Rebecca Stead, and Jon Klassen. One of the best parts of my job was writing a monthly interview column, “Under Cover,” which highlighted new and promising authors and illustrators (like John Green, Suzanne Collins, and Stephenie Meyer) who went on to have amazing careers. Along the way, I also met many publishers and children’s book editors. Because I’ve read so much and so widely, I have a strong sense of the stories that appeal to them, and I know the literary market well. And for some reason, almost every year I was able to predict the winner of the Caldecott Medal, which honors the year’s best-illustrated book.
Although I loved my stint at SLJ, I was ready for a new challenge. But not just any job would do.
I wanted to find one that felt like my true calling—one that I was wild about—and that could contribute something of value to the world. I also wanted to stay connected to kids’ books—because I love them and because I was once a reading specialist (working with students who struggled to read) and I know firsthand what a profound difference the right book can make in a young person’s life.
To make a long story short, after lots of praying and scores of meetings with some very insightful folks (and a fair amount of snacking), I launched Rising Bear Literary Agency, LLC, specializing in what I most love: picture books, early chapter books, and middle-grade fiction and graphic novels with unforgettable characters.
Rising Bear aims to help writers and illustrators do their best possible work, to pair them with the perfect publisher, and to see them develop long, rewarding careers. We’re excited to work with people who are passionate about creating exceptional books—and who are ready to change the world, one fabulous title at a time. We offer a full range of services that include foreign, film, and merchandising rights in all forms of media.