Storm Literary Agency

Boutique literary agency representing quality children's literature from exceptional authors and illustrators

First, there was a  teacher who loved books almost as much as she loved little children. Then, there was an artist who loved pirates, almost as much as he loved cats. As it turns out, that artist could also write, and that teacher loved the pirate stories he wrote. And she shared those stories with the children she taught. The children loved the pirate stories; they also loved the cats. They wanted more stories with pirates and cats. They also wanted an adventure! And the stories gave them so many adventures! And that is that: Storm Literary Agency came about because it needed to. The children requested it. And so did the cats. 

Storm Literary Agency welcomes submissions from unique and talented authors and illustrators, those who are not afraid to embrace their capacity to teach, to entertain, to engage and to honor young people who, hopefully, will be changed by the work represented here.

My Path to Publication~by Emma Bland Smith

The idea for my first picture book, set to appear in fall 2016, came about in a very different way from most of my other manuscripts. Whereas most of the time, my ideas are intensely personal, inspired by my children, a conversation, an event in my life, this origin story is quite a bit more practical and thought-out. I never guessed I would write a book about wolves and conservation, but I am incredibly proud of Journey: The Most Famous Wolf in the West (Sasquatch Books) and can’t wait for the world to meet it.

It came at a time when I was plumb tired of rejection. I already had a number of picture book manuscripts and had been submitting on my own to agents and editors for years. I had received several Good Rejections, the ones where the editor says something to the effect of, “This manuscript didn’t work for me, but I enjoy your writing and would like to see more from you.” Those kept me from giving up. But I couldn’t help feeling that in publishing, there’s no silver medal or second place. An editor either accepts your manuscript or they don’t, and I was starting to lose hope.

Then two members of my critique group wrote books that made me think about new sources for inspiration. One member’s book, Little Gray’s Great Migration, about a baby gray whale migrating up the Pacific Coast, was accepted by a respected niche publisher, Arbordale. Another member wrote an adorable story about the real-life river otter who had recently taken up residence in San Francisco’s Sutro Baths, The Legend of Sutro Sam. She had the book illustrated by a friend and self-published it on iTunes. I started thinking.

I remembered when Humphrey the humpback whale swam up the Sacramento River in 1985. Several picture books about that event remain in print and popular to this day. What if I found a different current event involving an animal, wrote a compelling picture book about it, and pitched it to one of the many excellent niche publishers? Could this be my way to break into the market?

It was around then that I started reading about the wolf that was making headlines with its trek through Oregon and California, and, well, you can guess the rest. Although I had not set out, six years ago, to become a nature writer, the story of this wolf spoke to me and it was not hard to write about it from the heart, to craft a manuscript that was honest and educational but also very much my own. The story will not be classified as nonfiction; it has fictional elements. Telling a true story but being able to exercise some poetic license turned out to be a rich and satisfying writing experience.

So far I had talent (or so I hoped), persistence, and calculation. All I needed now was some luck—that frustratingly elusive ingredient in the road to getting published. After I happened to read about Storm Literary Agency on a Twitter feed, I sent my work, and ended up signing with them. My agent lost no time in submitting my work, and within weeks had found a home for Journey, with a great publisher and talented editor. I feel childishly excited, working on revisions and seeing my manuscript evolve into a book.

I am hopeful that more of my manuscripts will find homes in the coming months and years. I’m an optimist. I have to be, in this business. The joy of putting words on paper, and the dream of seeing them come to life in a book, one day, with a little luck, continue to drive me forward.

Building a Foundation: Start With Books..... (by Stacy Little)

 I loved my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Finney. He sported a shaved head and many colorful tattoos. The ones on his fingers read GOOD LOVE. His arms and legs were adorned with tattoos too, which he allowed his young students to view once! A veteran of the armed forces, he ran his classroom strictly. His eraser found uses for things other than erasing and his chalk also proved multi purposeful, sometimes as flying missiles aimed at students opting to not attend his lessons.

 But Mr. Finney was the kind of teacher, a student is lucky to have….the brand of teacher that is capable of making a lasting impact on someone…even if that someone fails to realize it until adulthood. I loved Mr. Finney not just because he took charge of the roller skates, or because he kept a woodworking bench in his classroom. My fondness for him didn't necessarily arise from his allowing us to have mini flea markets on Fridays, or because we enjoyed a couch in our classroom. I loved Mr. Finney because he READ to us. Every day, he read to us and that special time, after lunch recess, proved the best part of my day. During those twenty minutes, I could rest my head on my desk, and self-indulgently, listen to: Where the Red Fern Grows...Tuck Everlasting...Stuart LittleFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (which was one of my very favorites!)...The Rats of Nimh...even some of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories. The Pit and the Pendulum in fourth grade! I still wonder if that one was appropriate fourth grade reading material, but I definitely loved hearing that story!

 Mr. Finney was a great teacher for many reasons…but perhaps most significantly, because he understood the importance of exposing children to quality literature. He understood the importance of reading to children.  Mr. Finney helped instill in me a love of books, a love of reading, a love of language…and a deep appreciation for a good story. That framed my childhood, as well as my adulthood. Personally and professionally, literature created a rock solid foundation.

 

                                                                        Logo design by Calum Jones

                      Bookshop background image by Amber Jones  instagram.com/amberrrjones