Your Best Book Staff: Tracey Adams

YOUR BEST BOOK is just around the corner, and we'd like to introduce you to our awesome staff and this year's guest speakers! 


Tracey Adams – Agent, Adams Literary


Tracey Adams co-founded Adams Literary in 2004, after nearly a decade with literary agencies Writers House and McIntosh & Otis, where she was the head of the children's department. Prior to becoming an agent, she worked in the marketing and editorial departments of Greenwillow Books and Margaret K. McElderry Books.

A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Tracey speaks frequently about her profession and the children's book industry at conferences across the country. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Association of Author Representatives (AAR), and a founding member of the Women's National Book Association (WNBA) chapter in Charlotte, NC.  


Question: What would you love to see in a YA or MG submission?

Answer: Something startlingly FRESH, something very different and surprising, like M.T. Anderson's FEED. I love when authors play with language and brave new ideas! I'll know it when I see it...

Q: What is your biggest turnoff in YA/MG submissions?

A: I'm really not a fan of addressing the reader, a la "Dear Reader." I don't want to be aware of myself when I'm reading. I don't want the narrator to talk to me. Keep me engaged in the story, please. 

Q: What was your favorite book growing up?

A: One?! Impossible. BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, the Little House books, everything Judy Blume and Paula Danziger, THE OUTSIDERS, CATCHER IN THE RYE, and of course for YA camp reading - Stephen King and V.C. Andrews. 

Q: What is one thing you feel is absolutely crucial to keep in mind when writing for a YA audience?

A: YA authors have a responsibility to their audience to always have some sense of hope, no matter how dark the book. 

Q: Tell us about some recent releases from your clients.

A: Cynthia Lord's HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HAMSTER is a new picture book featuring an already-beloved hamster and his friends - the perfect example of a successful picture book line. Margaret Peterson Haddix's RISKED (The Missing, Book 6) continues a bestselling series for middle-grade readers. Kristin Clark's FREAKBOY is about to pub - many people are really excited about the early buzz for this YA-in-verse about a transgender teen. Our authors' offerings are very diverse!