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K E L L Y   S O N N A C K

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she / her / hers

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Kelly Sonnack started her career in publishing as a Life Sciences editor at an academic publisher where she learned she loved working with authors, but that post-graduate textbooks and monographs were never going to be as near and dear to her heart as children's books. So, with a great leap of faith, she re-launched her career at the front desk of a local literary agency where she figured out that agenting was the perfect blend of creative and business for her. A few years later she set her sights on the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, a leading West Coast based agency that has long been considered one of the top (if not the top) children's book agencies. Eighteen years later, fifteen of which have been at ABLA, Kelly has never looked back.

Kelly is consistently ranked by Publishers Marketplace as one of the top ten selling agents in the US. She champions creators of children's literature for nearly every category, format, and age group and she represents debut authors and illustrators, as well as bestsellers and award-winning clients.


Kelly serves on the board of the Association of American Literary Agents (AALA) and is the co-chair of the DEI Committee. She also served on the Advisory Board for UCSD’s Certificate in Writing and Illustrating for Children, was the co-founder of the City Heights Young Writers Workshop, which ran for three years, and co-founded the mentorship program co-run by AALA and Literary Agents of Change.

Based in San Diego, Kelly spends her weekends at her daughter's softball games, and trying to beat her kids at Mario Kart. She is very active in LGBTQ+ advocacy in her community.

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The Andrea Brown Literary Agency is a mid-sized agency specializing in children's and adult literature, celebrating thousands of titles sold since its founding in August 1981. The agency works to bring to light the voices and perspectives of new writers as well as to nurture and develop the careers of experienced authors. Our goal, whether seeking to secure a publishing contract for a first book or a fiftieth book, is to make sure that clients are not only published, but published well. 

Our philosophy is to remain a "small" agency at heart. We invest a great deal of personal care and attention in each project and in each client, and we are hands-on in all aspects of our interactions. We work closely with clients and devise a strategy at every stage of the writing process - from conception to editorial to submission - that is tailored to the client and that will enable us to find the best publisher for each book. In doing so, we think about both short term and long term goals for our clients, always keeping the trajectory of a successful career in mind.

As a West Coast based agency, we follow a tradition of West Coast innovation in our passion for discovering new voices, in our efforts to make New York publishing more accessible and inclusive of voices from other parts of the country, and in our attempt to see publishing trends that result from this broader perspective. We combine this approach with access, standing, and visibility in the publishing community at large.

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