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Amy Stern & Alexandra Penfold – 12 X 12 Featured Agents November 2018

Amy Stern & Alexandra Penfold – 12 x 12 Featured Agents November 2018

Little GOLDen Book members of 12 x 12 will be able to choose one of two agents to submit their manuscript to each month.

Amy Stern of the Sheldon Fogelman Agency will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 GOLD members November 1-15. Alexandra Penfold of Upstart Crow Literary Agency will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 GOLD members November 16-30. Amy’s profile appears first, followed by Alexandra’s. Please read BOTH and then decide who would be the best fit for your work.


Amy Stern

A little bit about Amy:

“Amy Stern has been at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency since 2010, working her way up from agent assistant to taking on her own clients. After developing her passion for children’s and young adult work while studying creative writing and English at Bryn Mawr College, she got masters’ degrees in children’s literature and library science at Simmons College, where she learned how to critically analyze children’s books. Her eight years in publishing have taught her how to read them with an eye for marketability as well.

Amy is interested in a wide range of books for audiences between birth and 18 years, but is particularly keen to find projects that respect the agency and humanity of the child reader through portraying characters that reflect their lives, no matter how mundane or fantastical they may be.”

We asked Amy what she’s looking for in picture books. Here’s what she had to say:

“More than anything, I want a story featuring a character that I can get to know even within a short text (it hopefully goes without saying that a picture book should be less than 800 words!), and I want to see that character grow over the course of the story in an organic way. I like things that are weird, but I need that weirdness to be grounded in an understanding of the structure of picture books; it can’t just be haphazard. I want to read manuscripts that tell a coherent story but leave room for the art to make that story whole.”

Here are a few resources for Amy:

Alexandra Penfold

Photo credit: Donny Tsang

Alexandra Penfold

A little bit about Alexandra: 

“Alexandra Penfold has been working in publishing for over a decade. Formerly an Editor at Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, she specializes in young picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult. Prior to becoming an editor, Alexandra was a children’s book publicist. She worked on media campaigns that appeared in USA TodayNewsweekUS News and World Report, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She’s the co-author of New York a la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks and the author of two forthcoming picture books. She is currently a literary agent with Upstart Crow Literary representing children book authors and illustrators as well as select adult projects.”

When asked what’s she looking for in picture books today, Alexandra said,

“I am looking for picture books that move me. I want books that make me laugh, think and feel. I want stories the demand a second reading immediately after the first. If you’re choosing to set your story in rhyme there has to be a strong reason for it and the rhyme should be serving the story rather than vice versa. I am especially looking for author-illustrators and for diverse voices.”

Alexandra was a 12 x 12 Featured Agent in 2014 and 2017. You can see our previous profiles HERE and HERE.

Here are some updated resources for Alexandra:

Please note Little GOLDen Book Members may only submit to ONE of these agents. Please choose the agent who is the best fit for you and your manuscript.

Submissions will only be accepted for Amy Stern from November 1st – November 15th at 6pm ET/3pm PT.

Submissions will only be accepted for Alexandra Penfold from November 16th – November 30th at 6pm ET/3pm PT.

Please double check the times on your submissions. Anything received before or after the submissions window is open will be disqualified and you will not be able to submit again this month.

Good Luck!

Want to make sure your submissions are tip-top? Grab this 7-Step Submissions Checklist.


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