The third featured speaker at the Iowa SCBWI fall conference was agent Stephen Barbara of Foundry Literary + Media. He is the agent for Laura Amy Schlitz of Good Masters, Sweet Ladies Newbery fame and Lynne Jonell, whose The Secret of Zoom I read immediately after the conference. It was as enjoyable as he promised!

Mr. Barbara mainly spoke about his own tastes and tendencies as an agent rather than broad advice, but it was helpful to get to know him, especially as he reps middle grade. For those interested in submitting, he likes “irreverent material,” dreams of living in a hotel like Eloise J, and is a fan of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-type humor.

For general advice, Mr. Barbara recommends checking an agent’s track record to see how many different houses they’ve worked with. He also advises authors check out websites like Agent Query and Query Tracker.

This concludes the Iowa SCBWI fall conference wrap-up. Any other attendees have comments to add?

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