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TheSweetestThing Cover Shadow WEB

We are so very excited for today’s cover reveal! THE SWEETEST THING by Christina Mandelski is a fantastic contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and cake, and it’s soon to be re-released on Amazon with this gorgeous new package and some yummy bonus materials.

TheSweetestThing Cover Shadow WEB

When it comes to cake, Sheridan Wells is a true artist. She’s happiest working in the back of her family’s bakery, dreaming of the day her mom will come home. But when her dad makes an announcement that threatens to change their lives, Sheridan launches a desperate plan to find her mother before it’s too late. Add to that a school art project that she can’t seem to start, a moody best friend and the fact that she may or may not have been asked out by the cutest boy in


I’m so thrilled to wish Jessixa Bagley a very happy pub day for her debut book, BOATS FOR PAPA. I met Jessixa at SCBWI NY in 2013; that was the first conference I attended with my agent hat on after nearly ten years on the other side of the desk at Simon & Schuster. Jessixa came to my session, politely introduced herself and struck up a conversation. She was a runner-up in the Illustrator Showcase and submitted a dummy called Drift to me after the conference. I opened it and was immediately drawn into the world of Buckley, a young beaver who creates increasingly intricate boats to send to his absent and much missed Papa. And she made me cry. Tears-streaming-down-my-face cry. I sold the book to the brilliant and wonderful Neal Porter. Neal, … [more]

We’re oh-so-excited for the cover reveal of Andrew Brumbach‘s spectacular debut middle grade adventure novel, THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT (Delacorte, 2016). Hop on over to the good folks at Middle Grade Minded for the big reveal and an interview with Andrew.

 … [more]


logoWe are pleased to announce that Upstart Crow client Erin Byers Murray has won the M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing. The award, presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, is for Erin’s essay “Sense of Self”, which appeared in FoodThinkers in 2014.

Erin is the author of Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and a co-author of The James Beard nominated cookbook The New England Kitchen (Rizzoli 2014). Erin is an enormously talented writer and she has many more exciting projects cooking for the future. Congratulations, Erin!… [more]

WaitingforUnicorns - jacket

WaitingforUnicorns - jacketThe wait is over! We’re thrilled to celebrate the publication of  Beth Hautala‘s debut middle grade novel WAITING FOR UNICORNS (Philomel Books).

Kirkus calls Beth “an author to watch.” School Library Journal calls her writing “poignant.” Publisher’s Weekly calls Beth’s descriptions “spellbinding.”

Talia McQuinn is much too old to believe in magic, yet she keeps a jar of wishes under her bed. When her whale-researcher father drags Tal to the Arctic for the summer following her mother’s death, she brings the jar along. During her stay, Tal learns of the ancient Inuit legend of the narwhal whale—the unicorn of the sea—she forms a plan to make the biggest wish of her life.

I discovered Beth’s work while participating in the annual agent slugfest known as the Baker’s Dozen Auction, a contest in which … [more]


FanArt_FINALI am fizzy with fangirl-ish glee! Sarah Tregay’s sophomore novel, FAN ART, has been nominated by YALSA (the American Library Association) as one of the best Books for Young Readers, 2015.

This isn’t Sarah’s first time on this fantastic list. Her debut novel, LOVE AND LEFTOVERS, was a YALSA 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults finalist.

FAN ART is a tremendously special book, as it is at the forefront of the movement to create diversity in young adult literature. In FAN ART, seventeen year-old Jamie is in love with his best friend Mason, but is afraid that if he shares his feelings, he’ll lose Mason’s friendship forever. Ever since I read an early draft of the story back in 2011, it’s been my hope that FAN ART would cross boundaries–that it would allow … [more]

[Image taken from, purveyors of fine book-shaped cakes.]

[Image appropriated from, purveyors of fine book-shaped cakes.]

[Image appropriated from]

2009 isn’t all that far back, but sometimes it can seem like a lifetime ago.

Lady Gaga was a breakout artist, and Kanye West was stealing Taylor Swift’s microphone. Barack Obama hadn’t yet served a full year—but had already hosted a beer summit. Steve Jobs was alive (if not well), and the iPad hadn’t yet been introduced. Legitimate journalists wrote about things like Farmville and sexting and the Gosselins as though these things were “news.”

And Upstart Crow Literary opened for business. We were four agents who’d met at another, short-lived agency, and we joined forces and announced ourselves that August. So much has happened since! Far too much to adequately cover in this post. So a quick summary with lots of links.

We moved from a PO box to an … [more]

From this week’s PW rights report:

Andrea Cascardi at Egmont USA has bought a contemporary YA novel by debut author Amy Allgeyer Cook. In Water for Starfish, pitched as an Erin Brockovich story set in coal country, 17-year-old Liberty is sent to live with her grandmother in Kentucky after her mother is arrested during a protest. Liberty discovers that the water has turned orange and starts questioning whether the new mining process might be the cause, opening a Pandora’s box of problems. Publication is slated for 2016; Danielle Chiotti at Upstart Crow brokered the deal for North American rights.

When I read Amy’s novel on submission, it was clear from the first page that she  is one of those rare talents who can write funny, smart, and beautiful all at once. Water for Starfish[more]


Chris Richman here. After many months of consideration, I’ve decided to leave the book world. This isn’t a decision I make easily—for years I wanted to work in publishing, and it was a literal dream come true when I landed a job as a literary agent. I loved finding new talent, working with my clients, and sharing in their triumphs. I enjoyed connecting with writers across the country and the world, and being a part of people’s roads to success.

I’m especially proud to have worked with so many talented people over the years, from my wonderful roster of clients, to the editors who helped shape good stories into great ones, and especially to my colleagues both at Upstart Crow and Firebrand Literary way back when. The biggest debt I owe is to Michael … [more]


katfWe at Upstart Crow Literary are very excited to announce the publication of Claire Caterer’s debut novel The Key & The Flame, published by Margaret K. Mcelderry books! Claire is a wonderfully talented author who worked long and hard to bring this story of magic and mystery into the world.

The Key & The Flame follows eleven-year-old Holly Shepard, a bookish girl who desperately seeks some escape from her boring life living in the middle of Kansas. When her family takes a trip to England, Holly gets more than she bargained for when she receives an old iron key that unlocks a door to a secret world, and also the potential for magic within her. … [more]