Ask an Agent: Good YA Authors to Work With?

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Question: My library does an annual Teen Writing Contest where, in conclusion, we host a large gala for all the participants. For the last 3 galas, we have invited a YA author to speak at/host the reception. This seems to get a very positive response from all the teens and I would like to keep this tradition going. So my question is, what are some YA authors you have worked with in the past? And, what ways have you found are best in locating/contacting an author?

 Carrie (Tulare County Library) says:

That sounds awesome! I’ve had Kazu Kibuishi and Isabel Quintero for teen events in the past, and I highly recommend them both as guests.  We are extremely excited to have Anna-Marie McLemore visit in April! My awesome colleague and former Agent , Faythe, is fully responsible for making this connection!  She met Anna-Marie at ALA Midwinter and kept in touch through Twitter and a nearby library invited her to speak, and she mentioned she’d like to come to our library.

I contacted the authors via email, but I think Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook etc. are great ways to contact an author, too.  There are usually multiple way to contact them.  Also, if a library near you hosts authors, see if you can attend a panel and meet the authors that way. Or see if you can bump into them at a conference!

 Kelsey (Burnham Memorial Library in Colchester VT) says:

We’ve only ever skype-met with authors, but that’s more to do with our budget and relatively rural location than desire. I’ve found the best way to contact is via email and have specific authors in mind. Every author we’ve skyped had a personal website (some more unwieldy than others) and had a contact form, or a link to contact their agent. I always contact at least 3 at a time, because response times varied A LOT (one author emailed me back 7 months later…yea seriously) and be prepared to be communicating with an agent or publicist-type person instead of the author. This often meant I’d email a question, and get back another email with a “I’ll get back to you” type response. Be patient and good luck!


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