Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fairy Dust Triumphant

You may remember that when I was in New York in January, ready to attend a poetry writing retreat held at a convent in Mendham, New Jersey, I visited Alice's Teacup on the Upper West Side and had one of my manuscripts sprinkled with fairy dust. The week after I returned, I received an email from Stephen Fraser of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. First Stephen apologized for not getting back to me sooner (it had been only a week!). Then he said he wanted to represent the manuscript, first of a proposed three-book series.

I am now pleased to report that Stephen has sold the series to Nancy Hinkel of Knopf/Random House, in a three-book deal.

I have loved Nancy Hinkel for years. I met her years ago at an intensive writing workshop at Brigham Young University, where I was serving as a faculty member and she as one of the two guest editors. We hit it off immediately. We both love to start a new life on the first day of the month, implementing resolutions about diet, fitness, frugality, and splendid and dazzling things to be accomplished in our work. Periodically, over the intervening years, we would email each other on the first day of the month to see if the other one was also starting a new life. We love the same books: Knopf published The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall, which won the National Book Award in the category of Literature for Young People in 2005, the year I was a judge.

I got the offer last month but was too shy to blog about it until now, overcome by the power of that fairy dust. Stephen and Nancy worked out the details of the offer to present to me on March 31. Nancy told Stephen that she wanted it settled by that date so that she and I could begin our new life together on April 1.

I still love my home publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and my beyond-brilliant editor there. I hope I can publish books with FSG as long as I live. But I'm so excited about being able to write and publish more books. I like writing and publishing books.

I think I can count my tea and scones at Alice's Teacup as a legitimate tax deduction. Don't you?


  1. The tea and scones will still be subject to the 50% meals and entertainment deduction limitation, unless there was a separately stated charge for "fairy dust."

  2. Congratulations Claudia! That is awesome news!

  3. This is FABULOUS! Congratulations Claudia!

  4. I want the books now on my shelf... 1, 2, 3 in a row.

  5. Thanks, everybody! I am very happy!