The story of Red Fox Literary began nine years ago when a young, novice editor named Abigail Samoun acquired her very first picture book from a talented agent named Karen Grencik. That book, author Sarah Wilson’s George Hogglesberry, Grade School Alien, went on to win the coveted SCBWI Golden Kite Award. Not bad for a first collaboration.
In 2006, Karen left agenting to pursue adventures in the tropical forests of Costa Rica. Abigail and Karen’s paths didn’t cross again until the Los Angeles 2010 SCBWI National Conference, where Abigail was delighted to discover that Karen had returned to the States and was plunging back into the world of children’s books. Karen and Abigail decided in March 2011 to form Red Fox Literary, a boutique agency specializing in picture books, middle-grade, and young-adult titles.
Red Fox Literary is pleased to announce its partnership with Rights People, which will act as its foreign rights representative. Visit http://www.rightspeople.com.
Before co-founding Red Fox Literary, LLC with Karen Grencik in 2011, ABIGAIL SAMOUN was an in-house children’s book editor for over ten years. Her books received such honors as the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, the New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats award, the SCBWI Golden Kite, and the Pura Belpre Honor. As an agent, Abigail now represents authors and illustrators working in a range of genres, from board books to young adult novels. Her clients include author/illustrator Hannah Harrison whose debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal. Harrison’s picture book was Red Fox’s first project to go to auction. Fellow clients Chris Pallace and Kevin Serwacki wrote and illustrated Joey and Johnny, the Ninjas, an illustrated middle-grade series that received four offers before being bought by Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer&Bray.
(L to R) Abigail, Krista Marino of Delacorte, Lauren Hodge of Little Brown at SCBWI Wisconsin conference
In addition to agenting, Abigail is the author of several children’s books, including Sterling Publishing’s Little Traveler board book series illustrated by Red Fox’s own Sarah Watts.
Abigail likes to organize her library according to which authors would get along well together (the Brontes next to George Elliot, Lois Lowry next to Margaret Atwood). She lives in Sonoma, California with her entomologist husband, two dogs, a gaggle of chickens, and a curious little boy named Tristan.
Karen Grencik became a literary agent because of a man she admired. She wanted the world to know his story, so she set out to make that happen. Within a year she’d accomplished her goal. Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan, written by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White, was published by Holiday House in 2001.
Over the next few years, Karen signed new clients and sold award-winning titles. Among the awards garnered by her authors are the Parents' Choice Gold Award for Best Non-Fiction, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Best Picture Book Text, and the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Fiction.
In June 2011 Karen joined forces with Abigail Samoun to open Red Fox Literary. She has been ranked by Publishers Marketplace as one of the Top 10 agents for children's book sales in both 2012 and 2013.
(L to R) Author Brenda Reeves Sturges, Editor Emma Dryden, and Karen at NE SCBWI conference
Karen’s philosophy is simple: “When you choose to write children’s books, it’s just that—it’s a choice. You do it because you love it. You do it because it fills you with passion. You do it because it brings you joy. You are among the lucky ones who live life with purpose. But you also must do everything you can possibly think of to achieve your goals.
“And you must be nice.”
For more than six years Danielle Smith has been the well-known blogger behind the online review site There’s a Book, voted the BBAW’s Best Kidlit Book Review Blog and host to over two-hundred thousand page views per month. Her children’s book reviews have also appeared in top online and print publications such as Parenting Magazine and Women’s World.
Smith’s expertise in children’s literature led her to serve as a judge for The Cybils Awards from 2010 to 2012, and as a board member of The Central Coast Writer’s Conference and the BEA Book Bloggers Advisory.
Danielle comes to Red Fox Literary after a successful stint at Foreword Literary where she sold Julie Falatko’s highly anticipated picture book Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) in a pre-empt to Viking Children’s Books.
(L to R) Danielle, Emma Ledbetter of Simon & Schuster, author Teresa Fannin, and agents Stephen Barr and Sarah Davies at SCBWI Carolinas conference
“There is something magical about working with children’s books,” says Smith who still cherishes the time she’s able to read with her own two children each day.
Smith will be looking to further expand on the sterling reputation she's built within the children’s trade publishing world. Her client list includes both authors and illustrators working in genres from board books to picture books to young adult novels.
Stephanie started her publishing career in 2004 at Walker Books Ltd. in London, where she sold foreign language rights. Working in a design-led company with legendary artists such as Helen Oxenbury and Lucy Cousins sparked her love of illustration, while her sales role gave her an international perspective on children’s publishing.
In 2011, Stephanie moved back home to the United States, where she joined Peachtree Publishers as an editor. During her four years there, she acquired fiction and non fiction picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles. Her acquisitions received such honors as YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, Parents’ Choice Awards, and numerous starred reviews from major trade magazines.
As the newest agent to join Red Fox Literary, Stephanie represents both authors and illustrators of board books, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. She will consider stories in any genre, but looks for a strong voice, rich and multi-layered plots, and stylish, classic, or quirky illustrations. Most of all, she loves anything that really makes her laugh.
Stephanie lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her English husband, brand new baby girl, and a border collie named Rooney. When her nose isn’t in a book, she can often be found changing diapers, renovating a house, traveling someplace new, or cooking dinner.