Emma started her career with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, where she worked in the marketing department before joining the Aladdin editorial team. After leaving S&S, she continued to do editorial work on a freelance basis and become acquainted, as a publicist, with the bookstore landscape. Having approached publishing from so many different angles, Emma has developed a comprehensive view of the children’s literature market, as well as an appreciation of all the hard work it takes to get a book from author to reader. She is looking to create long lasting relationships with authors, working with them to polish their work and find the right editorial match.
Kirsti Call: When I first met Emma Sector (through email), I liked her immediately. Her passion for children’s literature is contagious and since I signed with her just one month ago, her knowledge has helped me improve my manuscripts. Welcome to Writers’ Rumpus, Emma!
What inspired you to become an agent?
Emma Sector: So many things! Though the opportunity to partner with authors and illustrators for the long term is what excites me most. And I must give credit to the wonderful Kim Zarins; she and I worked together on her Young Adult (YA) novel, Sometimes We Tell The Truth when I was at Simon & Schuster. Kim suggested I talk to Rachel Orr (who also works at Prospect) about being an agent. Rachel is brilliant in every way and was so helpful as I made the decision.
KC: What kinds of manuscripts are you looking for?
ES: I’m looking for middle-grade and YA of all types, but I’m especially drawn to fantasy adventure, magical realism, and historical fiction. I love picture books with big ideas and few words and chapter books with quirky, vibrant characters.
KC: Who is your ideal client?
ES: Someone who is passionate about their work and open to collaboration. As you know Kirsti, I love getting on the phone to brainstorm!
KC: Yay! Brainstorming is the best! What makes you keep reading a submission?
ES: The voice is the most important for me. If I connect with the voice, I can follow a story anywhere!
KC: What was your favorite book as a kid, and what’s your favorite book now? Why?
ES: I was a huge Harry Potter fan as a kid. I also loved Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. Hard to say what my favorite book is now, but I think I’ll go with My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. All these books feature strong friendships and explore how powerful they can be, which I love.
KC: What’s something funny or unique about you?
ES: I had seven wisdom teeth! They’ve all been removed but for a time I
was very wise. 🙂
KC: What’s your advice for aspiring authors?
ES: Make author friends! Being connected with other writers is such a special part of the writing journey. It’s so important
to have people to give you feedback, support and advice. And the kid’s book world is such a beautiful community!
KC: Thank you for visiting Writers’ Rumpus! If you are interested in querying Emma or want to learn more about her and her agency, you can find her submission guidelines here.