Meet the faculty of the 2015 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We've asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.
Next in the series is agent Victoria Wells Arms.
Victoria started in publishing with an internship at Penguin, at Dial Books for Young Readers, and later became an editor at Putnam. Then one day she spotted an ad in Publishers Weekly for an editorial director at Bloomsbury, so she applied and soon was setting up Bloomsbury USA’s children’s division. Starting with three people (and a dog), Bloomsbury grew quickly, soon hitting the bestseller lists, acquiring major awards, and adding on another publishing house (Walker Books).
In 2013, Victoria opened her own agency, Wells Arms Literary, where she represents authors and illustrators of all kinds—some she published at Penguin or Bloomsbury, some have long careers elsewhere, and some are new to the industry. When she’s not reading, or attempting yoga, Victoria can generally be found in the kitchen, teaching her three daughters to cook.
What attracted you to children’s books?
I always loved working with words and images and was editing from an early age. Children's books just seemed like a natural fit for what I could actually do and where I could find a job.
What’s the best part of your job?
Finding something really unusual.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
When an author feel frustrated by a publisher and I don't have all the answers.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?
Only work with what you really love (of course, you don't always have that luxury!).
Come see Victoria at the 2015 Austin SCBWI conference, March 7-8.