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about mary kole

Since 2009, my website Kidlit.com has inspired thousands of aspiring writers with articles on the writing craft and getting published. The blog has been named one of the “101 Best Websites for Writers” by Writer’s Digest every year since its inception, and my success online led to a book of completely original content on the art of writing novels for the middle grade and young adult categories, Writing Irresistible Kidlit, out from Writer’s Digest Books. My webinars for Writer’s Digest and various appearances at writer’s conferences and events (from Japan to South Dakota!) have reached thousands more writers in person.

I have eight years of publishing experience to bring to our work together, and perspectives on several facets of the industry. After earning an English and Theatre BA at Santa Clara University, I began my career freelance writing for newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times. While pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco, I interned at my first literary agency. Upon completing my degree (and securing representation for my own writing), I interned in the children’s editorial department at Chronicle Books in San Francisco.

Then I went on to read for the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, one of the oldest and most prestigious children’s book literary agencies in America. Three and a half happy years there as an Associate Agent gave me a solid foundation in the business and cemented my love for all things children’s literature. I then became a Senior Literary Manager and founder of the children’s book department at Movable Type Management in New York City. In 2013, I left to finally pursue my first love, editorial work, full-time. My work directly with writers had always been my favorite part of agenting, and so it wasn't a tough decision to make.

I grew up in the Bay Area and spent many years in my adopted home city of beautiful San Francisco, CA. After three years in Brooklyn, NY, at the heart of the publishing industry, I now live in Minneapolis, MN, with my chef husband, Todd, son, Theo, and two needy and adorable pugs, Olive and Gertie.

Click here to purchase Writing Irresistible Kidlit, my book on fiction craft for MG and YA novels, out now from Writer's Digest Books. This will show you my writing philosophy and give you lots of valuable advice. There are over 35 example novels cited and discussed throughout. 

It genuinely feels like you’ve handed me a golden compass so I can trek off in the right direction now to ultimately find buried treasure. I’m so excited to not be wandering around aimlessly on this story any more. I can move forward on it now with confidence.
— Kendra