Kayla Cichello brings to Upstart Crow Literary nearly a decade of experience in children’s publishing. A former Conference Coordinator for the International Summer and Winter Conferences for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she most recently logged several years as assistant to Senior Agent Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She is open to a wide range of books, from picture books through young adult novels, and is especially keen to discover unique voices and champion new creators of tomorrow’s classics.
“I’ve always been a voracious reader. From the time I could read, I would spend summers staying up late with a flashlight reading, making my way through each Nancy Drew mystery and the Little House on The Prairie series. I would often imagine myself as a new character in the stories; a kind friend to Laura or Nancy’s sassy sidekick (move over, George). For me, reading has never felt like an escape from reality, but rather an invitation to run alongside the author’s imagination, and strengthen my own. Weekends always included a trip to the library with a list of books to check out and back up selections in case my first choices were currently checked out.
Hailing from Texas, I did not take the traditional path into publishing. After majoring in English at the University of Texas, I found my way to California and into the generous and welcoming tribe of SCBWI. I owe my education in children’s books to Lin Oliver, Kim Turrisi, and Jennifer Rofé, each of whom imparted on me their knowledge of and passion for this industry.
“I may have upgraded from a flashlight, but I’m still on the lookout for those stories that will make me stay up late turning the next page.”