Jacqui Lipton is a Senior Literary Agent and Head of the Adult Department at Tobias Literary Agency.

Jacqui represents fiction and nonfiction across most genres and age groups from children’s books through adult fiction and nonfiction. She also represents illustrators selectively. She is not currently seeking high fantasy, and considers science-fiction selectively. Children’s stories with animal protagonists are not the best fit for her.

Please follow Jacqui’s submission guidelines at http://QueryMe.Online/JacquiLipton.

Authors & Illustrators represented by Jacqui

Annie Atkin has been an avid reader since before she could read (memorizing books to appropriately turn pages as she recited the stories aloud). Her love of a good story and engaging characters has always been a defining characteristic, and something she brings to her writing across genres. An East Coast native, she spent two years in the Midwest and fell so in love, she uses any excuse to set her stories there. When not lost in daydreams or ensconced in her home library snuggling her goldendoodle, she can be coaxed into hiking or exploring the local breweries around Washington, DC, with her husband. 

Sidura Ludwig Sidura Ludwig grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and has wanted to be a writer since she could hold a pen. She graduated with her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2021. Sidura’s collection of short fiction, You Are Not What We Expected, is published in Canada and the US by House of Anansi Press (2020) and won the 2021 Vine Award for Fiction. Her debut picture book, Rising, is coming out with Candlewick Press spring 2024. She lives in Thornhill, ON with her husband, three kids and one lazy dog.

Kathryn J. Benson is a writer, teacher, and erstwhile librarian who lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with several thousand books and a dog named after Pippi Longstocking. Kathryn holds a BA in English Literature from Grinnell College, an MSIS with a focus in Librarianship from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Dionna L. Mann Dionna L. Mann is a kidlit author of fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Ladybug, Cricket, and Spider. As a work-for-hire author, she’s written for Scholastic, Lerner, Capstone, and other educational publishers. Dionna loves discovering lesser-known individuals who shine within the margins of African-American history, and sharing their stories with young readers. Dionna’s debut middle-grade, MAMA’S CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS, will be released from Margaret Ferguson Books, an imprint of Holiday House Books for Young Readers, August 6, 2024. 

Susan Calvillo is a Chinese/Mexican-American mother of twins. She’s the author of the poetry collection Excerpts From My Grocery List. Her writing appears in NightmareZyzzyva, New American Writing, and other charming magazines. When she isn’t reading, writing, or chasing her little wild ones, she loves listening to music that’s considered “noise,” obsessing over sweets, and planting succulents.

Katy Mayfair is an Australian author of adult contemporary fiction. She’s an avid reader, plus a movie buff – so don’t get stuck watching a book-turned-movie with her unless you can tolerate obnoxious whispering about all the ways the book was different. Katy lives in Perth, Australia with a Welshman and two tiny and adorable humans, and she spends her days writing stories, managing digital projects and drinking a worrying amount of tea.

Russell Cobb is a writer, broadcaster, and instructor at the University of Alberta, where he is Associate Professor in Modern Languages and Cultural Studies and Adjunct in Creative Writing. His study of the silenced histories of the American Heartland was published in winter 2020 under the title The Great Oklahoma Swindle: Race, Religion, and Lies in America’s Weirdest State, which subsequently won a Director’s Special Merit Award from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. 

His nonfiction has appeared in Slate, NPR, The New York Times, and The Nation, among other places. The Netflix film “Come Sunday” is based on his story “Heretics” for This American Life. His scholarly work includes the edited collection, The Paradox of Authenticity in a Globalized World, as well as numerous articles on cultural production in the Greater Caribbean.  His new book, The Ghosts of Crook County, tells the story of Tommy Atkins, a mythical boy whose land led to the creation of a massive oil fortune. Cobb traces a fraud back to the source, unearthing an untold–and dark side–to one of America’s great oil bonanzas. As a descendant of an oilman himself, Cobb mixes the historical and the personal in a true-crime story that touches on race, land tenure, and natural resources.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann grew up in Houston, Texas, but calls New York City home. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She writes historical fiction and is the author of the novel Torch, set in Czechoslovakia in 1969 in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion and winner of the 2023 LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature. Other books include the pioneering own voices MG novel Rogue; the MG verse novel Moonwalking, co-authored with Zetta Elliott (FSG, 2022) set in Brooklyn in 1982;  the picture book Ways to Play, illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo (Levine Querido, 2023); and the YA historical novel in verse Eyes Open (Carolrhoda Lab, 2024), set in 1960s Portugal. She also translates children’s and YA books from Portuguese to English, including the 2024 Batchelder Honor Book Pardalita.

Tziporah (Tzippy) Cohen was born and raised in New York, spent eighteen years in Boston after college, and then landed in Toronto, Canada, where she lives with her husband, three kids, two cats, and one dog. About ten years after getting an MD from Harvard Medical School, she started writing picture books, and went on to get an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Tziporah’s middle grade novel, No Vacancy (Groundwood, 2020), won a Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor (Silver Medal) and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Her debut picture book, On the Corner of Chocolate Avenue: How Milton Hershey Brought Milk Chocolate to America, was published by Clarion in Fall 2022.

Marianne Murphy  is a writer and illustrator living in Pennsylvania and supporting two mysterious orange cats. She has taught writing and art workshops for over a decade, and currently develops content for educational software. Her work has appeared in publications such as Highlights Magazine, LADYBUG Magazine, CICADA Magazine, and SPIDER Magazine. She holds a BFA in Animation from University of the Arts, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. 

Art Coulson is a writer of Cherokee, English and Dutch descent. He is the author of more than a dozen books, graphic novels and plays, including the middle grade novel, Chasing BigfootThe Reluctant Storyteller, and Look, Grandma! Ni, Elisi! The Reluctant Storyteller was named a best book of 2020 by Bank Street. Look, Grandma! Ni, Elisi! was named a best STEM children’s book by the National Science Teaching Association in 2021 and featured on the inaugural broadcast of Reading Rainbow Live! Art was named the 2023 McKnight Fellow in Children’s Literature. He lives in Minneapolis. 

Melissa H. Mwai (she/her) is an Afro-Latinx author/illustrator. She is the author of STACEY ABRAMS (National Geographic Kids ‘22). Her middle initial stands for Hernández, representing her Afro-Puerto Rican heritage. Melissa wants underrepresented kids see themselves in her stories full of big adventures to small surprises.

She studied English, Library Science, and worked in education. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and bunny.

Nicholas DeShaw is an author from Minnesota and is an all around nerd for a good story especially if it’s one with magic and robots. He is Bois Forte Ojibwe and much of his inspiration comes from his traditional culture and contemporary Native America. 

Growing up in Michigan Nicholas made his way to Minnesota to pursue his education and traditional Ojibwe language. He always tries to bring some Ojibwe into his work but one day he hopes to have full stories written in the language. Nicholas’ passion for writing has been with him as long as he can remember and he is always ready to talk writing or share ideas. He has written fiction for all ages from YA scifi/fantasy to picture books. Nicholas has been published on A Tribe Called Geek covering all things Indigenerd from TV to comic books as well as Lacrosse All Stars where he has written several pieces on Indigenous lacrosse. Nicholas DeShaw is a recipient of the All My Relations writers cohort along with a dozen other Native writers. He hopes that his stories will bring more visibility to Native peoples particularly in genre fiction. When not writing, Nicholas helps to promote Native American games, especially traditional lacrosse. He is a proud  husband and father; above all else his first passion is his family.

Nicole Neidhardt is Diné (Navajo) of Kiiyaa’áanii Clan on her mother’s side and a blend of European ancestry on her father’s side.  She is an artist and illustrator whose Diné identity is the heart of her practice. She has a BFA from the University of Victoria and an MFA from OCAD University.  She has a multi-disciplinary arts practice and has been loving working in the field of children’s book illustration. She has illustrated When We Are Kind, written by Monique Gray Smith; the cover of Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith; and the fall 2022 release of the YA Adaptation of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, adapted by Monique Gray Smith.

Sharon Darrow is the award-winning author of picture books (Old Thunder and Miss Raney; Yafi’s Family; Through the Tempests Dark and Wild: A Story of Mary Shelley, Creator of Frankenstein) and young adult novels (The Painters of Lexieville and TRASH). Her poetry for young people and her poems, short stories, interviews, and personal essays for adults have appeared in literary journals and anthologies. Her most recent works are Worlds within Words: Writing and the Writing Life and her first poetry collection for adults, Now in a Far Sky.

Margaret Nevinski lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest where she teaches young writers. She writes middle-grade fiction because she’s eleven at heart, and nonfiction picture books to explore her passion for nature and animals. With degrees in linguistics and library science, it was inevitable that Margaret would combine her love of language and books. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She’s published short stories as well as books for the school market, and her middle-grade manuscript, Zach Hammerkop and the Summer of Doom, was a finalist for the Katherine Paterson Prize.

Rob Dircks is the #1 Audible bestselling author of You’re Going to Mars!, the Where the Hell is Tesla? trilogy, The Wrong Unit, and Listen To The Signal: Short Stories Volume 1. A member of SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America), his prior work includes the anti-self-help book Unleash the Sloth! 75 Ways to Reach Your Maximum Potential By Doing Less, and a drawerful of screenplays and short stories. Some of these sci-fi short stories appear on Rob’s original audio short story podcast Listen To The Signal, also narrated by the author. 

 
 Rob’s a big fan of classic science fiction, and sci-fi conspiracy theories like UFOs and Tesla’s secret journals (not to believe in them, just for entertainment. Really. He swears.) When not writing, he’s helping other authors publish their own work with his own little pro-bono imprint, Goldfinch Publishing. He also writes and designs for the award-winning ad agency he owns with his brother, appropriately named Dircks Associates. Otherwise, he generally engages in what he calls “sampling”: audio narration, photography, guitar, reading, cooking, video production. (Note the absence of the phrases “going to the gym” and “running iron-man triathlons.”) He lives in New York with his wife, and the nest is nearly empty of their two (truly great) sons. You can get in touch at robdircks.com.

Gary Eldon Peter is the author of Oranges, a linked short story collection, and the novel The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen. Oranges received the Gold Medal for LGBTQ+ fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Midwest Book Award, and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen won the Minnesota Book Award for Young Adult Literature, the Silver Award in the Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Awards for Young Adult Fiction, and the Whippoorwill Book Award for Rural Young Adult Literature.

It was also named one of the best Young Adult books of 2022 by National Public Radio. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies and was performed on the public radio program Selected Shorts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. A faculty member at the University of Minnesota, Gary teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, law and popular culture, and the future of work and technology. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College as well as a JD from William Mitchell College of Law and lives in Saint Paul, MN.

Elle Evans is a young adult mystery writer and attorney. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English writing with a concentration in children’s literature and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. On a dare, she quoted Legally Blonde in her law school graduation speech. She lives in Washington, DC, with her dog, Poppy.

Thushanthi Ponweera is an author and poet from Sri Lanka. Her debut middle-grade verse novel I am Kavi is forthcoming from Holiday House in 2023. She is a former We Need Diverse Books mentee and a blogger for the same organization. Her writing reflects the frustration she feels at the inequality and injustice she sees around her, and also the deep love she feels for her island home.

Stephanie Gibeault is a certified professional dog trainer and former biologist with a Master of Science in animal behavior. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, she spent her childhood searching for snakes and racing turtles. Now she writes about animals both as an award-winning freelance writer and a children’s author of picture books and middle grade nonfiction. Her books include Toby Tootles, Can’t Get Enough Dog Stuff, Calculating Chimpanzees, Brainy Bees, and Other Animals with Mind-Blowing Mathematical Abilities, and Making Sense of Dog Senses: How Our Furry Friends Experience the World.

Dana Rau graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, with a double major in creative writing and art history and vowed her job would be “something creative.” She ended up working in children’s publishing for the past thirty years as an editor, artist, and writer of many books for a variety age levels, including lots of titles in Penguin Workshop’s popular Who Was? Series. After earning her MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2015, she has taught writing at the University of Hartford, the Highlights Foundation, and the Mark Twain House, and creative classes from her art studio in Connecticut.

Molly Golden was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent much of her childhood building forts in her living room and getting muddy in the nearby creek. Molly has spent most of her adult life teaching middle school and now enjoys writing for children of all ages. She lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and many (many!) pets. Molly has an undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University in English and a Master’s of Education from Stanford University. Her picture book BECOMING REAL: THE TRUE STORY OF THE VELVETEEN RABBIT published by Clarion hops onto shelves in winter 2025.

Marcie Rendon was named to Oprah Magazine’s 2020 list of 31 Native American Authors to read, Marcie is also a recipient of the 2020 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award and the 50over50 MN AAARP & Pollen Award 2019. 

Marcie, enrolled citizen of the White Earth Nation, is the author of the Cash Blackbear series (Soho Press). The third book in the series, Sinister Graves, was a finalist for the 2023 Minnesota Book Award; Girl Gone Missing was nominated for the Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award at the Edgars in 2020. Murder on the Red River, the first in the series, received the Pinckley Women’s Debut Crime Novel Award 2018 and the Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist 2018 Contemporary Novel category. Marcie’s a stand-alone crime novel, Where They Last Saw Her, will be available Fall 2024.  Marcie has non-fiction children’s books, two picture books scheduled for publication  and four plays published.  Her poetry book Anishinaabe Songs for a New Millennium  will  be available Spring 2024.  Marcie’s script, Sweet Revenge has been chosen to be performed as a staged reading at the Jungle Theater, 2024.  Out of Hand Theater, Atlanta, GA is producing Say Their Names, a script about #mmiw , Oct 2024.  The creative mind of Raving Native Theater, she curated TwinCities Public Television’s Art Is CreativeNativeResilience 2019.

Monique Gray Smith is a proud mom and of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish ancestry. She is an award-winning, and best-selling author of both children’s books and adult novels. Her works include My Heart Fills with Happiness, You Hold Me Up, Tilly and the Crazy Eights and the Fall 2020 release, When We Are Kind. Monique is well-known for her storytelling and spirit of generosity, and believes love is medicine. She is blessed to live with her family on the traditional territory of the WSÁNEĆ people, also known as Victoria, Canada.

Monica Roe grew up in an Appalachian farming community and spent her childhood haunting the local library, where she was once almost locked in at closing time (she saw this as a huge win; the librarian disagreed). She has worked for over a decade as a pediatric physical therapy consultant for off-road Alaskan communities and is a researcher and advocate for the social model of disability and inclusive rural health. A first-generation graduate, Monica currently studies public health at the University of Alaska Anchorage, focusing on disability-inclusive disaster preparedness for rural communities threatened by climate change. When not in Alaska, Monica and her family can be found in rural South Carolina, where they raise honeybees and sometimes get stung.

Asha Greyling lives in Maryland with her furry four-footed muses, Gwin the terrier and a guinea pig who thinks she’s a cat. She likes nothing more than swinging in the playground (unless the local children scare her off), collecting acorns, or sitting down with a good book.

Sarah Rosenthal is a writer and educator whose work has been featured or is forthcoming in Bitch Magazine, The Sun , GEN Mag, Creative Nonfiction, Gay Mag, LitHub, Electric Lit, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Pigeon Pages, CrimeReads, Columbia Journal, and beyond. 

 Based on her own experience with anxiety and panic disorder, Rosenthal’s work is primarily concerned with questions of anxiety as it manifests in American history, culture, and language. She is also working on a novel set in a rape crisis center, in which a group of social workers must aid a survivor of assault whose case threatens their future. In addition to her work as a writer, she has taught writing at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York University, Bard College, and Columbia University. She earned her M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University School of the Arts and her B.A. in Written Arts from Bard College. She lives in Brooklyn.

Risa Hugo was the middle child born in suburb of Japan to a Canadian father and Japanese mother. Growing up she spent time living in both countries and for this reason she was confused about where she belonged. She found comfort reading and drawing whenever she could. Many of her illustrations come from a very personal place and she uses them to voice her feelings. For a long time, Risa has found inspiration in classic stories like Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein. To Risa, these stories reflect the essence of what it means to be human. Eventually, Risa found her place in the world of picture books; she hopes her illustrations and story will also help others find comfort in their lives. After receiving a BFA in Illustration from Emily Carr University, Risa lived in the Netherlands for a year admiring its rich history and windmills. She currently lives in Vancouver with her husband and two sons. She enjoys her quiet times at home knitting and washing dishes but hates folding laundry. Risa still thinks the world can be a confusing place, but that’s what makes it so fun.

 

Sammi Spizziri writes YA contemporary from a small town in Illinois. She grew up in Ohio, where she earned a business degree from Bowling Green State University and became a CPA. While the Midwest feels like home, she has enjoyed studying abroad in Spain and interning at a record label in Nashville and continues to love exploring new places. When she’s not lost in writing (or reading) a new book, she’s a stay-at-home mom who may enjoy library story time more than her kids. Love stories, rec league volleyball, and chai lattes are a few of her favorite things

P. J. (Tricia) Hoover wanted to be a Jedi, but when that didn’t work out, she became an electrical engineer instead. After a fifteen year bout designing computer chips for a living, P. J. started creating worlds of her own. She’s the award-winning author of The Hidden Code and Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life, featuring a fourteen-year-old King Tut who’s stuck in middle school. Under the Connor Hoover pseudonym, she is also the author of the popular Pick Your Own Quest series, which are interactive adventures perfect for everyone. When not working on her own writing, P. J. writes science curriculum articles and edits amazing manuscripts for other authors. P. J. loves spending time practicing kung fu, fixing things around the house, and solving Rubik’s cubes. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website www.pjhoover.com.

Ryan Bani Tahmaseb is an author, learning coach, and curriculum developer. His debut picture book, Rostam’s Picture-Day Pusteen, currently available for pre-order, will be published by Charlesbridge in summer 2024, and his first professional book for educators, The 21st Century School Library, was published in 2021 by John Catt Educational. His writing has also appeared in publications such as Education Week and the Carolina Quarterly. He lives in Southern Maine with his wife and two young children.

After earning a BA in music from Fordham University in New York, Sara Ingle moved to Boston in 2012. Having written all their life, they decided to take their writing seriously and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from VCFA in 2016. Sara still lives in Boston with their two cats and their best friend and while they don’t do much with their music degree, you can still find them playing cello. They run a yarn and bead store in Boston’s SoWa district where they spends their days knitting and rearranging piles of yarn. When they’re not knitting, Sara writes books for young adults and the occasional romance.

Valerio Velardo is an AI music engineer, entrepreneur, and educator. He holds a PhD in AI music and has roots in both classical music and programming. After his PhD, Valerio co-founded Melodrive, a company specializing in AI music that developed a generative music engine tailored for the video game industry. Valerio launched a YouTube channel dubbed “The Sound of AI.” As an initiative of The Sound of AI, Valerio headed a crowd-sourced research project. Over a span of two years, the project involved hundreds of community members and culminated in the creation of an AI-powered music synthesizer controlled via voice commands. In 2023, Valerio launched the inaugural iteration of The Sound of AI Accelerator, establishing the first-ever startup accelerator for companies at the intersection of music and AI. At present, he lends his expertise as an AI consultant to tech companies, while simultaneously developing music AI products, and giving keynote talks about AI and its impact on music and society.

Robin Kirk‘s nonfiction book for kids, Righting Wrongs: 20 Human Rights Heroes around the World, is available from Chicago Review Press. The Bond Trilogy–The Bond, The Hive Queen, and The Mother’s Wheel–is a young adult epic fantasy. Kirk’s short story, “Love is a Wild Creature,” is included in Wicked South. Her travel essay on Belfast was featured in the Best American Travel Writing 2012 edited by William T. Vollman. Her poem, “Imperator Furiosa posts a status update,” is included in the 2017 Nasty Women Poets Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press). Kirk has also published two non-fiction books for adults. She teaches human rights at Duke University.

Cheyanne Young lives in Houston, Texas and is an award-winning author of several books for young adults, including The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, which is being adapted into a TV mini-series by Waterside Studios. Cheyanne started her career in mechanical design for the oilfield before realizing she’d much rather create her own books instead of machinery. She is pursuing an MLS at Texas Woman’s University and currently works as a Teen Library Specialist, where she spends every day pursuing her passion of creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for teenagers to discover their unique voices, expand their horizons, and become lifelong learners. Cheyanne has a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, glitter, and sarcasm. Her hidden talents include being able to say the alphabet backwards and typing 130 words per minute. She lives with her family, two spoiled rotten dogs, and a cat that is most likely plotting to take over the world.

Kim Liao is an author of creative nonfiction, fiction, and criticism. She was a 2010-2011 Fulbright Creative Writing Research Scholar in Taiwan, and received writing grants from Harvard and Stanford universities. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Catapult, Salon, The Rumpus, Lit Hub, McSweeney’s, The Millions, River Teeth, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Fourth River, Hippocampus, Fringe Magazine, and others, and she’s received residencies from Ragdale, Hambidge, Jentel, the Anderson Center, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her 2016 essay in Lit Hub about collecting 100 rejections a year went viral–starting the #100rejections challenge–and led to her being dubbed a “Rejection Expert,” a title she wears with a healthy dose of irony. She is a Writing Lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she co-directs the Writing Across the Curriculum Program.