Andrea Cascardi has an eye for winners. She acquired and edited the Coretta Scott King winner Tar Beach written by Faith Ringgold and the Pura Belpre winner Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez. As an agent she represented Newberry winner Clare Vanderpool and Stonewall winner, E.E. Charlton-Truillos.
In her with Transatlantic Literary, she is on the lookout for nonfiction that tells a compelling story and will welcome your groundbreaking nonfiction manuscripts.
Nonfiction Ninjas were excited to catch up with the hard-working Ms. Cascardi and she graciously answered some of our burning questions.
Why did you become a literary agent? I became a literary agent after having been an editor, and
wanting to work from home when my children were young. I felt that being an agent was a way to use my skills and knowledge for the benefit of writers and illustrators, just from the other side of the business.
What excites you most about working in publishing? Publishing is an ever-evolving industry, but the best thing about it is that I get to Interact with so many creative, passionate, professional people.
What are you looking for in nonfiction projects? I’m very open to all kinds of nonfiction but across all subject areas I’m always looking for that “aha” moment. I’m curious so I like nonfiction that takes me on a journey, that introduces me to ideas and information in a way that makes me feel I’m reading about it for the first time but engages me completely. The big idea that is distilled into an approachable and entertaining story. Most of all, a compelling voice—that’s just as important in nonfiction as in
Are there specific topics that interest you? I’m a generalist. I’m open to all topics as long as there is a hook for kids. But beyond that, I gravitate to animals, pop culture, quirky/hidden histories, books that
look at big historical moments through a smaller focus, STEM, and graphic novel memoir.
What trends are you seeing in the industry? I’m seeing more lively, entertaining nonfiction where a topic is approached from a humorous or sideways perspective.
Who is your ideal client? One who is both passionate about their subjects and ideas, who has the fortitude to persevere, and who understands who the reader is for their book.
Are you more interested in PB, MG, YA, or all three? I’m more interested in PB and MG right at the moment.
What do you want to see in a nonfiction proposal? I want to see a professional presentation—the hook, the overview, the market, the competition, and at least one complete chapter if it’s middle grade.
The full manuscript if it’s a picture book. A great proposal will carry all the way through to acquisition.
What are some of your favorite kidlit nonfiction books? First, I’d have to list all of my clients’ books, and then books I published, so this would be a very long answer!
What advice can you give to people who want to break into the nonfiction market? First, be passionate about and invested in, a subject. Do your homework: read, read, read, in the age group you’re writing for. Find mentor texts. Be ready to articulate why your book is one the world can’t live
without. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
And last but not least – are you a dog person or a cat person? And do you have a pet?
I’m just slightly more of a dog person, but sadly our home is currently without a pet, as our miniature schnauzer passed away almost a year ago.
If you have a nonfiction project that will knock the socks off Andrea - please contact her at Transatlantic Submissions.
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The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of writers with diverse ideas and a strong belief in The First Amendment. The views expressed in each post are those of the author and may differ from others in the group.