Friday, December 14, 2012

YA Agent Highlight: Holly McGhee

Holly McGhee is the founder of Pippin Properties, another excellent literary agency. The agency has reported very strong sales, including six-figure deals, to Publishers Marketplace. Holly created Pippin Properties in 1998 and the agency is both a publishing and entertainment representation agency. In an interview with Hunger Mountain, Holly McGhee and Emily Van Beek were quoted as saying that Pippin is unique because: "Our approach is somewhat unconventional. Our client list, for instance, is not divided among us, as is standard practice in most agencies; rather, when a client signs on with us, they are agreeing to be represented by “Pippin.” Although one of us may take the lead on any given submission, extensive collaboration and brainstorming is always going on behind the scenes. There are so many benefits to working this way, not the least of which is seamless representation. If one of us happens to be away at a conference or on vacation, the other is always present to pick up a conversation with a client without missing a beat."


Represents:
The agency specializes in children's books and illustrators (YA, MG, and picture books) but it does take on select adult authors. Publishers Marketplaces also lists recent deals for nonfiction, including deals in the areas of sports, parenting, pop culture, and art.

Clients:
Kathi Appelt, Harry Bliss, Doreen Cronin, Kate Dicamillo, Tony Fucile, Alison McGhee, James McMullan, Kate McMullan, Jandy Nelson, Peter H. Reynolds, David Small, William Steig, among others.

History:
Holly started Pippin Properties after a twelve-year career in publishing, including an executive editor position at HarperCollins. Holly discovered she wanted to be free to advocate the projects she loved without the restrictions of an entire acquisitions committee, and Pippin now places about 90% of the projects the agency takes on. Holly is also the author of JUST DESSERTS, DESSERTS FIRST, MITCHELL'S LICENSE and other titles under the pen name Hallie Durand.
Looking for:

At the SCBWI June 2011 conference, Holly said, "I'm looking for people who are on a journey. I'm looking for people who want to break their hearts wide open and never close them again. I'm looking for people who can only say, 'Why not?'" She says Pippin is looking for artists who know the world owes them nothing, but they owe the world their best work. She represents both commercial and literary works. In an interivew with Chuck Sambuchino, Holly said, "I am drawn to beautifully written stories that come from the heart, across all genres. Show me your heart and you’ve got mine. That’s just how it works."
To query:

Email queries only. Include a synopsis and author background/publishing history. Pages that aren't numbered is a pet peeve of Holly's. Response time on queries is approximately three weeks.

Around the web:

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