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.
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.
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 Nightmare, Zyzzyva, 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.
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, will be 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 Bigfoot, The Reluctant Storyteller, and Look, Grandma! Ni, Elisi! The Reluctant Storyteller was named a best book of 2020 by Bank Street and American Indians in Children’s Literature. 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!
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.
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.
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. As an award-winning freelance writer, she regularly contributes articles on dog training and behavior to the website of the American Kennel Club. She’s the author of the picture book Toby Tootles and the middle grade nonfiction Can’t Get Enough Dog Stuff. Upcoming books include 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.
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 is the author of the Cash Blackbear series (Soho Press). The second book in the series, 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 has non-fiction children’s books and four plays published. Her script, Sweet Revenge has been chosen to be performed as a staged reading in the Oklahoma Indigenous Theatre Company’s 2020 New Native American Play Festival. The creative mind of Raving Native Theater, she curated TwinCities Public Television’s Art Is CreativeNativeResilience 2019. Diego Vazquez and Rendon received the Loft’s 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship for work with incarcerated women.
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.
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.
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.
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, a Da Vinci Code-style young adult adventure with a kick-butt heroine, and Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life, featuring a fourteen-year-old King Tut who’s stuck in middle school.
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
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.
Ryan Bani Tahmaseb is the library director at a K-8 school. He has master’s degrees in education and English literature. His debut picture book, Rostam’s Picture-Day Pusteen, 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 print and online publications such as Education Week, Edutopia, and the Carolina Quarterly. He lives in Greater Boston with his wife and two young children.
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.
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.
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.
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.