Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A New CANVAS Contest For Writers - We're Excited!

CANVAS, as part of its mission, strives to open new opportunities for Filipino writers in the global market.

CANVAS is therefore very proud to announce that we have tied up with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, one of the top agencies in the United States to launch the CANVAS Story Writing for Young Children Competition (target readership: 4-6 years old).

We will be putting up a modest cash prize for the winner, but what should pique the interest of writers here is that Kelly Sonnack, Literary Agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency will review and provide feedback on the top five stories selected by CANVAS.

While there is no guarantee of anything beyond their look and review, it is notoriously difficult to even get stories considered for representation, much less publication, in the US.

We regard this as a huge, difficult-to-overstate, no-lose, possible-foot-in-the-door opportunity for writers to be introduced and hopefully represented by a literary agency that can help bring Filipino stories not just in the US, but to the worldwide market. We therefore highly encourage all Filipino writers to participate.

We will issue the official rules on Monday next week. Watch out for it!

In the meantime, check out these websites from authors whose picture books have recently done well in the U.S. market (just to give you a better sense of the types of stories that would be appropriate for the age group (4-6 years old) and that we'd be looking for): Mo Willems, David Weisner, Doreen Cronin, and Jon Scieszka.

*** About the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

With over 250 authors around the world, the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency has developed a reputation for discovering new talent and representing quality work with great commercial potential. Their impressive client roster ranges far and wide. Ms. Dijkstra is “regarded by many as the most powerful literary agent on the West Coast” according to a recent Los Angeles Times Profile, and Newsweek has proclaimed her “the best agent in the West.” Esquire, Publishers Weekly and the influential New York Observer list Ms. Dijkstra as one of the United States’ top five literary agents.

Their leading clients include Amy Tan, Lisa See, Kate White, Chitra Divakaruni, Mike Davis, Diane Mott Davidson, Janell Cannon, Anchee Min, Gary Small, Maxine Hong Kingston, Lillian Faderman, Kevin Starr, Chalmers Johnson, Peter Irons, and Irvin Yalom.

***About Kelly Sonnack

KELLY SONNACK is a Literary Agent and Submissions Manager at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She specializes in children's literature (picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, as well as illustration). She has been with the agency since 2006.

Born in Brazil, Kelly has grown up among many cultures. She spent most of her childhood in Singapore but ultimately returned to the U.S. for university, where she obtained a B.A. in English Literature. She immediately started her publishing career with the publishing giant Elsevier, where she worked as an Acquisitions Editor under the Academic Press imprint. She moved to the Dijkstra Agency after 3 years with Elsevier, to pursue her love of children’s literature and fiction.

In picture books, Kelly looks for stories that stretch a young reader's imagination and speak to children in an authentic voice. She loves picture books that evoke real emotion, whether it is humor, love, fear, or joy.

Recently, Kelly has begun working with several authors/illustrators from Singapore, who had been selected by National Book Development Council for the First Time Writers and Illustrators Publishing Initiative. Kelly is now bringing their work to a U.S. and world audience and has already found success with Jin Pyn Lee's The Elephant and the Tree, which will be published by Running Press in Spring 2009. She hopes to be able to discover new Philippine talent through this exciting collaboration with CANVAS.

Some of Kelly's other soon-to-be-published books include Steve Watkins' Down Sand Mountain and Goat Girl (Candlewick), Jasmin Darznik's The Good Daughter: A Memoir (Grand Central), Merrily Kutner's Alphabet Magic (Roaring Brook), and Candace Ryan's Animal Magic (Walker).

1 comment:

tampipi said...

Ang galing galing! Isa kang dakilang POGI!

- Kimi