(5 OF 5)
Mentors announced each day this week!
Jenna Pocius, Red Fox Literary
Jenna has a background in children’s editorial and is also a children’s book author (Robyn Hood series, ABDO 2019). During her time as an editor she acquired everything from board books to YA novels, and many of her books have gone on to receive starred reviews and awards, including The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by Douglas Florian and Small by Gina Perry. As an agent she’s had numerous exciting sales since joining Red Fox in July 2017, including the forthcoming picture books The Eternal Soldier by Allison Crotzer Kimmel and illustrated by Rotem Teplow (little bee books, Summer 2019); This is a Sea Cow by Cassandra Federman (Albert Whitman, Fall 2019); The Longest Letsgoboy by Derick Wilder and illustrated by Catia Chien (Chronicle, Spring 2021); and more.
Jenna is looking for character-driven novels with strong voice and world-building, picture books with STEM connections, and stories across age groups that highlight diversity and female empowerment. She is also a sucker for animal stories, especially dogs.
Jenna lives in New England with her husband and their precious rescue pup.
Tanusri Prasanna, Agent, Foundry Literary + Media
Tanusri represents both fiction and non-fiction across picture books, middle-grade, and young adult fiction.
Tanusri is a reformed lawyer, holding a PhD in jurisprudence and human rights law from Oxford, and an L.L.M. from Harvard Law School. An immigrant herself, with a family filled with people of varied backgrounds (including Slytherin), Tanusri is always actively seeking diverse voices, protagonists, and settings, across genres.
On her wish list right now are well-plotted middle-grade and young adult fiction (both contemporary and fantasy) written with heart and humor, and children’s non-fiction across ages. She’s also happy to consider smart, meaningful and funny picture books. Across these genres, Tanusri is passionate about championing books that recognize and reward children for being the intelligent, curious, and discerning readers they are. You can learn more about Tanusri at http://foundrymedia.com/team/tanusri-prasanna/. Twitter @TanusriPrasanna.
Dana Chidiac, Associate Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers
Dana works on picture books, middle grade, and YA. Originally from Michigan, Dana was a children’s bookseller at Politics & Prose in Washington, DC, and Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA, and earned a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College in Boston before joining Dial in 2013. Some of the authors and illustrator’s she’s had the privilege of working with include Julia Donaldson, Matthew Landis, Elissa Brent Weissman, Breanna J. McDaniel, Shane W. Evans, Kristy Dempsey, and Sarah Green. Her favorite books feature unfamiliar settings and unforgettable voices that beg to be read out loud, and she would drop everything to read a middle grade novel about the national spelling bee.
Stephanie Pitts, Editor, G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Stephanie acquires a healthy mix of picture books, novels, and nonfiction for young readers. Some notable authors she is currently working with include YA authors Stacey Lee and Sherri L. Smith; middle grade authors Eliot Sappingfield and Jeff Seymour; picture book authors Liz Garton Scanlon, Pat Zietlow Miller, and Mara Rockliff; and illustrators Brett Helquist and Brian Biggs. Twitter @stephpittsbooks.
Padma Venkatraman, Author
American author, Padma Venkatraman, worked as chief scientist on oceanographic ships, explored rainforests, directed a school, and lived in 5 countries. Her 3 novels, A Time To Dance, Island’s End, and Climbing the Stairs, were released to multiple starred reviews (12), received numerous honors (e.g. ALA notable, Kirkus, Booklist, NYPL, IBBY, CSML, CCBC, NCSS, and state best book lists), and won several awards. Currently a fellow of the Hansewissenschafts kolleg in Delemnhorst, Germany, Venkatraman was born in India and lives in Rhode Island. Her 4th novel, THE BRIDGE HOME is scheduled for 2019 release by Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin). She enjoys giving keynote addresses and commencement speeches, participating on panels, conducting workshops, mentoring, and visiting schools and universities, and author festivals. She has served as chief guest at a literary festival in Trinidad and appeared on national and international TV and radio, and in a documentary. Visit her at: www.padmavenkatraman.com