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Mentors announced each day this week!
Wendi Gu, Literary Agent, Jansolow & Nesbit
Wendi Gu is a literary agent at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. Before becoming a grownup and an agent, she grew up in the sleepy suburbs of Chicago and studied Creative Writing at Northwestern University. She started her career as an intern at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and continued working there as a literary assistant after graduation. She soon began representing her own picture books, middle-grade, and young adult titles with a special interest in girl power, family relationships, and the immigrant experience. Send her books with a social justice bent. She likes voice driven stories that root for the underdog, stories that make her cry hot, cathartic tears. She likes nuanced bad guys, too.
For illustration, she enjoys elegant and eclectic color palletes, and looks for nuanced character expression and dynamic composition. She is very interested in unconventional illustration mediums like cut paper and photo illustration.
She has a hands on, heart-forward, editorial approach to agenting. On the weekends, you'll find her on the yoga mat or stationary bike.
Kara LaReau, Author
Kara was born and raised in Connecticut. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA and later worked as an editor at Candlewick Press and Scholastic Press, and through her own creative consulting
agency, Bluebird Works. Among other celebrated titles, she edited Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie (winner of a Newbery Honor), The Tiger Rising (finalist for the National Book Award), The Tale of Despereaux (winner of the Newbery Medal), The Miraculous Journey of
Edward Tulane (winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award), and the Mercy Watson series. She is the author of picture books such as Ugly Fish, illustrated by Scott Magoon, and Goodnight Little Monsters, illustrated by Brian Won; an award-winning chapter book series called The Infamous Ratsos, illustrated by Matt Myers; and a middle-grade trilogy called The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters, illustrated by Jen Hill. Kara has taught at Lesley University, has been a guest lecturer at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has served as editor-in-residence for Rhode Island College’s ASTAL program. She lives nearby with her
husband and son and their cat. Website: karalareau.com.
Brent Taylor, Literary Agent, TriadaUS
Brent Taylor is a literary agent and foreign rights manager at Triada US. He joined the agency in 2014 as an intern, and prior to that was an intern at a few different literary agencies beginning in 2011. He represents both fiction and non-fiction picture books, middle grade, YA, and graphic novels for kids and teens. Twitter @btaylorbooks.
Stacey Barney, Executive Editor, G.P. Putnam & Sons
Stacey Barney is an Executive Editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR. She has edited the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh as well as Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award-winning Firebird by American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor-winning Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter. She has also edited award-winning authors Kristin Levine (The Lions of Little Rock), Tara Sullivan (The Bitter Side of Sweet) as well as New York Times bestsellers The Reader by Traci Chee and Happy by Pharrell Williams.