Friday, October 21, 2016

Agents: Why & Why Not (in 3-part harmony)

Howdy, Campers! Happy Poetry Friday!  My poem and the link to PF are below.

Pardon me while I st---re--tch for a moment...
...I'm climbing out of my first TeachingAuthors hibernation...I mean, I'm just off the plane from my first TeachingAuthors sabbatical! It was soooo nice to take a break--and I also missed my blogmates--(hi, gang!)

A sabbatical, you say?  Yes!  You see, because we make so much money blogging (thank you, loyal readers), each TeachingAuthor gets two free tickets to anywhere in world for six months. NO WE DON'T!--kidding!

But, I did just get back from nearly a week at Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple's Picture Book Boot Camp on Jane's farm in Massachusetts. It was informative, warm and inspiring.  Each of ten (wonderful) published picture book writers submitted two manuscripts which were privately critiqued by both Heidi and Jane. Then we plunged into four days of lectures, poetry, philosophy, field trips (to the Eric Carle Museum!) and fabulous food (made by Heidi Stemple, an amazing chef).  Wow

Jane Yolen's Phoenix Farm
California girl holding her first bouquet of fall leaves
I'm thrilled to be back with you! On to my take on our topic--AGENTS: Why or why not--in three part harmony.

Carla started our new series with a dynamite post on this topic. Carla's a master at pulling out relevant points in her posts. On this topic, they are: 
1) An agent is not a magic door to fame and fortune
2) It is a business decision. Writers need to remember that.

Like Carla, I, too, have sold books on my own and have had several agents. I love my current agent and I'm sticking with her--but I also enjoyed selling my own work.'s today's poem:

AGENTS ~ in three part harmony
by April Halprin Wayland

Horace, Sid and Doris—
our Greek chorus—do proclaim:
An agent's not a magic door to fortune or to fame.  

The spotlight's on our hero,
who is doubled up in pain.
"Shall I saddle up and gallop o'er the hills across the plain?

If I ride along alone again
There's no one else to blame.
An agent's not a magic door to fortune or to fame.  

Is it best to take an agent
and adopt an author name?
Or better I should wait a while? (I'm not sure I am game...)

Or maybe...
I will fill my quill...
stay steady...then...take aim?

Horace, Sid and Doris—our Greek chorus—still contend:
An agent's not a magic door to fortune or to fame.  
It's up to her. They take their bows. G'bye—this is

The end.

poem (c) 2016 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

Greek Chorus?
As JoAnn noted, hundreds of new children's books published in 2016, both traditionally and independently published, are celebrated in the SCBWI Book Blast. You can search for specific titles and authors and even buy books. Among other treasures, you'll find Carmela's new edition of Rosa, Sola (in paperback and ebook) with discussion questions for classroom use.

And be sure to enter the giveaway for Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market 2017!  It ends on October 31 and is open to U.S. 
For more details see the following post by JoAnn Early Maken.

Poetry Friday is hosted by Tricia at The MissRumphius Effect Thank you, Tricia!

posted with love (and in a jet-laggy mist) by April Halprin Wayland and her trusty dog, Eli who is glad his mom is home 


Carmela Martino said...

Welcome back, April. We missed you! Love how you incorporated the topic into today's poem. <3

Jane @ said...

Oh, that picture book retreat with Jane Yolen sounds like a dream....maybe one day!!

Bridget Magee said...

Welcome back! Your retreat sounds like a fabulous experience. And holy wow, you are amazing to tackle the topic of agents in verse! "An agent's not a magic door to fortune or to fame." - love it! Btw, it was SO good to meet you in person in WA. =)

Carol Varsalona said...

April, I would have loved to been a fly on the wall during your retreat at Jane's. What a great experience that must have been. My son has been exploring the notion of an agent so this series by the Teaching Authors is great. Love your poem.

Doraine said...

I can just hear you singing that refrain. Thank you ma'am for that reminder.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carmela ~ I am so grateful for the break (I've been campaigning bigly) and I'm glad to be back. [And thanks to those who emailed me off-blog to ask if I was okay--it's nice to be missed!]

Jane ~ Go if you can afford the time off and the cost...if they hold it again. Jane and Heidi re-evaluate after each Boot Camp to decide if they have the stamina!

Bridget ~ You've changed from an amorphous internet acquaintance to a living, breathing, warm and wonderful human friend after Poetry Camp <3

Carol ~ g'luck to your son. Being without an agent can be fun if you have a bit of the salesperson in you and you like getting your hands wet. It also takes time away from writing (which is good for those of us who are more than slightly terrified of writing and need a reason to procrastinate ...besides blogging)

Dear Doraine! It was great to hug you at Poetry Camp. And I still think of you everytime I do a down dog. :-)

Buffy Silverman said...

Sounds like a fabulous retreat--lucky you! And your agent verse made me smile.

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

I've heard great things about that PB retreat with Jane and her daughter. I hope great things come from it, including BIC. :-)

michelle kogan said...

Loved your "Horace, Sid and Dorace" refrain and poem! The retreat setting looks lovely, I'd enjoy hearing more about it sometime.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Buffy ~ yes--so very lucky. Grateful.
Brenda ~ Yes--BIC!
Michelle ~ I may write more about it, sometime when I don't have jet lag :-)

CS Perryess said...

It's great to have you back. Thanks for the poem & the agent vs. agent-free advice, & please give my best to Horace, Sid & Doris.

April Halprin Wayland said...

CS! Great to see you here. And thanks for your care and concern off-blog. The Chorus sends you a hearty hello.