BEWARE: Children's Literary Agency (WL Childrens Agency)

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Sage

The Answer to Life, the Universe, & Everything
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 15, 2005
Messages
62,266
Reaction score
13,933
Age
42
Location
Cheering you all on!
I believe WritersLiterary.com is associated w/ the [insert word or two] Literary Agency group. In Bewares & Background Check, try Screenplay Literacy Agency or the thread about the tentacles of the Stylus(?) Literacy Agency (or any of the blank-Literacy Agency) threads. I think I recently read about writersliterary.com in one of those threads.

Edited: I figured it out. It was here: http://www.screenwritinglife.com/i-spy-pt-4-of-3-the-saga-comes-to-an-end

That's about the Screenplay Literary Agency, which is connected to Children's Literary Agency. Writersliterary.com is the company they suggested the guy send his sting script to to get edited for a fee. It apparently is formatted very similarly to the Sceenplay Literary Agency's website, & is most likely a co-company.
 
Last edited:
CHILDREN'S LITERARY AGENCY

DrRita said:
Emma--this does not sound like a good thing to me. What's all this rhetoric about "creative, compelling and catchy" elements? The third party is the biggest quetion I have. First, it sounds like they want you to pay for editing and secondly, it appears they want you to do some illustrations. If I'm right on both accounts, this is just a scam. Usually, unless you are really well known as you would never submit illustrations with the story manuscript. Publishers place writers and illustrators together not agencies. I would really ask Victoria Strauss about this but it looks like they want to "help" you out of some of your bank account!

EMMA, please let me know what decision you took - I am in the same boat (which is rocking). [email protected]
 

James D. Macdonald

Your Genial Uncle
Absolute Sage
VPX
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
3,782
Location
New Hampshire
Website
madhousemanor.wordpress.com
Writer's Literary is, to the best of my knowledge, owned and operated by Robert Fletcher.

The right hand may not charge fees, but it'll send you to the left hand that does.

The company they'll send you to for illustrations is also owned by Fletcher.

So far, Fletcher has shown zero ability to actually sell a book to a publisher. But he's a champion at draining writers' pockets.
 

Roger J Carlson

Moderator In Name Only
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
12,799
Reaction score
2,499
Location
West Michigan
A defender replies

Almost a year ago, a man named Peter Parente posted a defense of Childrens Literary Agency (see it here). Rather belatedly, I posted this response. Well, yesterday, I received a rather longish email from Peter complaining of my treatment of him. I'm going to quote it in its entirety and also my response to him.

Note: I have X'd out his phone number because I won't post it on the internet, but I will give it to anyone who PM's me.

Roger,
I don't know you. I'm sure if I read your posts I could get to. I was just
googling myself to see if any reviews popped up. I see you for some reason
feel you want to bring me in to message boards in an accusing way. I would
appreciate some respect. I was a highly decorated Recon Marine responsible
for saving many lives that were under siege. I did evacuate the embassies
in Liberia and the Central African Republic in 96 and provided counter
sniper operations. I have service record books to prove it(from the boards
it seems everyone wants proof). I am giving you this background so you
understand why I may take offense especially after I pride myself on honesty
and hard work. I don't need other people's money or B.S. Ventures, I make
it myself.

I was a successful(opinion based on ranking at firms) stock broker. Then
chose to leave money to start an investigative agency hiring military
operatives. Through that I had chances to serve my country hear after 9/11.
Still operating, not heavily because I am pursuing the TV show hard.
Www.soginv.com

I then decided to write and publish my first book, Peeper The Kinkajou.
It's done alright. I wrote and published 2 more. My publishing company has
now expanded to other titles and services out of demand.
Www.treeoflifepublishing.com. Google my books and myself.

I work with many wildlife and environmental organizations out of my love for
nature. I give a lot back.

I am currently working on a Peeper TV show. I type slow so if you want to
talk about the production or have questions pertaining to anything else just
be a man and call. Do go put blind information out on a message board. It
was over a year ago that I left one message and said I wouldn't check back.
Sorry I just did. Give me credit it took a year and came from a Google.
Back to my brief TV explanation. Bottom line is that the creator and
executive producer from the Reading Rainbow, Twila Liggett, is now my
executive producer. She has 26 Emmys, 9 for outstanding children's series.

Back to a comment on the boards. Setting school tours is hard. I schedule
2 a day for weeks at a time and get paid to go as well as sell books through
pre-orders. The reason I mention get paid is because any author can go for
free. It is hard I would be willing to bet you could not organize touring
like that. If you could I will pay your more than you make now(I don't mean
that as an insult, but good schedulers are hard to find).

Let's rewind to what's transpired since last year. I was selling my
publishing co to focus more on being an author. The guys were morons, they
may have been some of the monkeys you guys reference all over the boards.
I pulled out and that is a good thing because we are know rolling into a shell
with a production company forming a multi-media corp. Big financing from
institutional investors and we will be public.

Noone sold my work. I never said they did. I did get good connections out
of the CLA guys. By the way, they just formed in 05 so the probably don't
have many sold manuscripts. They originally approached me. I was
published, but they liked my property and we worked on many ideas.
They do have good business sense. I don't know the guidelines of this
industry so I liked their views from a business perspective. I never told one person who
contacted me as a referral that CLA sold my work. You should see my
responses. I have also steered people away from them. I basically say that
I like their business sense and they are nothing more than mailers to
publishers who wont accept manuscripts with out an agent. I think with my
business background I'm a bit more knowledgeable about business that most
if not all on that string giving advice on success.

Maybe I think all the posts are ridiculous because I hear people whining
about being scammed for $50 dollars. I hired a publicist for $5,000 in
services and $2,000 in expenses. She did her job but I had no return on
equity. Business Lesson learned. I have paid Thousands on advertising with
no ROI. Lesson learned. The point is that the real world and success is
expensive. Being published doesn't make someone successful. Don't get me
wrong, if some one steals $5 from me I'll break their hands. Maybe just one
if I'm in a good mood. Editing is a must. The people don't have to use a
CLA reference. I have seen the email. It states they can provide one if
needed. The reason I asked to see what they send is because I don't think
it's right to strong arm someone to use your people. Providing a reference
is wrong.

I provide services so if there clients or any others want my services I will
provide them those services also. Am I bad also. I provide services in my
business model. Great printing prices if you know anyone who needs them.
This is America. I am currently working with 7 authors. One I stole from
them when she spoke to me as a reference. I didn't steal her, but she was
interested in what I did and wanted to do the same. If you want I will put
you in contact with all my authors I work with.

Every day I deal with incompetent businesses. I usually can't get timely
responses out of people. Cla always responds immediately and that means
something in my book. I also ask people who contact me about them to notify
me if something seems fishy. They do have satisfied customers I have had
had a few ask what I thought of a situation that came up and I suggested
they leave.

I also see references to others. Dorothy Walker, Ann Doro, D A johnstone
are the same person. A lovely 81 year old woman(sharp as a tack) who I
introduced to the because she has acted as a freelance agent and sold
several works incluing her own. Dorothy is her real name. Ann is her
children's pen name(Charlie the Lost Dog a best seller through scholastic,
Twin Pickle a Bill Martin book through Henry Holt, and The Missing Canary
through me). D A Johnsone wrote Trio and she got rooked by Publish America
with that one. She sold the works as a registered agent Barbara Ann Blythe.
Dorothy came to me to publish because before only the publishers made money.

She is no longer with CLA because the message boards scared her yet she was
receiving an income to do what she did. Sell books as an agent. There was
the case of a real agent scared away. An 81 year old woman was valued for
her expertise and was able to make some money. No she is nervous and
doesn't need the head aches of the message boards in her 80s. She still
heads local writers groups(for free).

I covered much of this privately with Victoria Strauss and I asked why she
only posted my first email which blasted everyone and not the others that
answered all the questions and she said it wasn't her job. That showed me
that there was some manipulating of information and for some reason there is
a buddy list on a mission to go after this agency and everyone mentioned
around them.

I guess one a year I can afford to take time to take the stand and plead my
case. I don't know why I'm on trial, but I guess that's life. If this
makes it to a message board you can order autographed copies of my books at
www.peeperandfriendfs.com.

Contact me any time. Please call this typing thing is tough. (XXX)XXX-
XXXX. Have any of you message board buddies call that want to know things.
I suggested that a year ago, but none called.

I saw some people complained that I never got back to the as a reference so
I must not be real to kiss my ***. I live down by Key West and have had 2
nightmare hurricane seasons. I own 4 houses on the water and still am
repairing. The last one end of October put our houses under a 5 foot surge
and I had my baby born in the hospital that was falling apart during
Katrina. My job isn't to refer people to the CLA. I don't mind helping
people, but I'm also extremely busy. If new authors need advice don't
hesitate to contact me, but be understanding.

(don't know which salutaion to end with),

Peter Parente
Please contact me directly and not through the message boards because it may
be another year until I look. By the way, have people every day contacting
me because they loved my original post.

My response:

Dear Mr. Parente,

I'm sorry if my post on Absolute Write Water Cooler was disrespectful. But frankly, neither I nor anyone on the board is interested in 1) your service record, 2) your success as a stock broker, 3) your self-published books, 4) your environmentalism, or 5) your school tour guide experience. None of these qualify you to defend a literary scam like Childrens Literary Agency (CLA).

The reason I was dismissive of the things you listed that CLA did for you is because none of those are things a literary agent does for his clients. A LITERARY AGENT SELLS BOOKS TO PUBLISHERS. Period. Anything else is outside the purview of their profession.

The single defense possible of Robert Fletcher of the Children's Literary Agency, New York Literary, Christian Literary Agency, Poets Literary Agency, The Screenplay Agency, Stylus Literary Agency, and The Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company is that they have sold your book to a real publisher. That was the one thing you DID NOT claim. In fact, in your letter to me, you say they did not sell it. All the other things they did for you are superfluous.

For a while, Fletcher or one of his cronies (Georgina Orr, Sherry Fine, Robert West, etc) would come to AW and defend themselves. They always got their heads handed to them on a platter. More recently, they've taken to asking real people to post on the boards to defend them. (And before you say they never asked you, you already admitted they did in your first post.) None of these defenders have claimed that any of Fletcher's tentacles has sold a book for them.

So that's the reason AW board members ganged up on you. You are defending a known scam. Frankly, sir, if you're going to get in bed with a pimp, you'd better be prepared to be called a whore.

If you're really interested in the truth, follow these links and read all of the posts. Yes, you'll see a lot of anger from many of the same people as on the CLA thread, but you'll also hear stories of how actual living writers were taken by these people. If you are the honorable man you claim to be, I don't see how you can continue to defend them.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8312
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8286
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13514
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=929
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13517
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19104
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20359


Regards,
--Roger J. Carlson
 

LloydBrown

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
196
Location
Jacksonville, Florida
Website
www.lloydwrites.com
Maybe I think all the posts are ridiculous because I hear people whining about being scammed for $50 dollars. I hired a publicist for $5,000 in
services and $2,000 in expenses. She did her job but I had no return on
equity.


There's a difference between paying somebody to do something that they have no intention of doing and paying somebody to do something that doesn't work out the way you plan. One is fraud. The other could be attributed to anything from incompetence to circumstance.

Oh, and you get a return on an investment. You can't get a return on equity. That's a nonsensical statement. It looks like an attempt to impress people with your "business-sounding" vocabulary. It might have worked if it wasn't gibberish.

I provide services so if there clients or any others want my services I will provide them those services also. Am I bad also.


You are absolutely not qualified in any way to offer editing services. If you ask people to pay you for that skill, then, yes, you are a scam artist.

She [Dorothy Walker] is no longer with CLA because the message boards scared her yet she was receiving an income to do what she did. Sell books as an agent.
Really? What books did she sell? To what publishers? I'll be green American dollars that no agent at Children's Literary Agency, including Dorothy, has ever sold any work to a legitimate, royalty-paying, agent-requiring publisher.
 

James D. Macdonald

Your Genial Uncle
Absolute Sage
VPX
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
3,782
Location
New Hampshire
Website
madhousemanor.wordpress.com
What a remarkably irrelevant series of statements from Mr. Peter Parente!

Let's cut through the jibber-jabber to the actual meat (thin as it is) in that astounding letter.

Noone sold my work.

Very good. Is there any work that Robert Fletcher or anyone in any of his agencies has sold?

By the way, they just formed in 05 so the probably don't
have many sold manuscripts.

They started using that name in '05. The ST Literary Agency (and Sydra Techniques before it) has been around for years. The CLA (and other parts of The Literary Agency Group) have been claiming "sales" that date well before '05. Either they're new, or they aren't. Even new agencies should have sales in their first year.

You say they probably haven't sold "many" books. Have they sold any?
I don't know the guidelines of this industry ...
With all due respect, that's obvious.
...they are nothing more than mailers to publishers who wont accept manuscripts with out an agent.
That is not what an agent does, nor why Joe Average Writer wants or needs an agent.
She is no longer with CLA because the message boards scared her yet she was receiving an income to do what she did. Sell books as an agent.

Could you name the books (if any) that she sold for CLA?

If new authors need advice don't hesitate to contact me, but be understanding.
With all due respect, that would be a very bad idea for any new author. You don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Please consider that the reason Victoria didn't post your subsequent letters may have been that they were as embarrassing (for you) as this one that Roger did post.
 
Last edited:

rdfamily

Registered
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
24
Reaction score
1
Location
Outskirts of Nowhere Illinois
Just out of curiosity, what would a real acceptance letter look like? I haven't submitted anything, so have no experience, but would like to have an idea as to what to trust. What should I look for to know it's legitimate? (besides researching who I'm submitting to)
 

Roger J Carlson

Moderator In Name Only
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
12,799
Reaction score
2,499
Location
West Michigan
rdfamily said:
Just out of curiosity, what would a real acceptance letter look like? I haven't submitted anything, so have no experience, but would like to have an idea as to what to trust. What should I look for to know it's legitimate? (besides researching who I'm submitting to)
Jim, Jenna, Victoria, or anyone else who has been accepted for representation:

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most acceptances for either representation or for book publication done via a personal phone call? I don't have personal experience with this, but the closest I've come to an acceptance for publication of my book was a call from the publisher telling me why she was rejecting it and suggesting changes. I assume the acceptance will come in this form as well. (I understand that publication in a magazine will differ.)

Seems to me, one of the hallmarks of these scams is they all have a "new model" for their business where they do everything by email with no personal contact with your "agent".
 

James D. Macdonald

Your Genial Uncle
Absolute Sage
VPX
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
3,782
Location
New Hampshire
Website
madhousemanor.wordpress.com
A real acceptance letter? From an agency?

It'll most likely talk in some detail about your book. Other than that, could be anything.

And Roger's quite right. As far back as 1987 we learned about our first sale via a phone call.
 

victoriastrauss

Writer Beware Goddess
Kind Benefactor
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
6,704
Reaction score
1,306
Location
Far from the madding crowd
Website
www.victoriastrauss.com
rdfamily said:
Just out of curiosity, what would a real acceptance letter look like? I haven't submitted anything, so have no experience, but would like to have an idea as to what to trust. What should I look for to know it's legitimate? (besides researching who I'm submitting to)
Your problem is not identifying a legitimate acceptance letter (and I agree with others, a legit agent will pick up the phone), but identifying a legitimate agency to submit to.

Head on over to the Bewares topic and the Ask the Agent topic, and you'll find a lot of helpful information.

- Victoria
 

onmyway

thank you for your help

Hello to everyone who has been discussing the Children's Literary Agency. I just discovered this website today and after reading all the postings feel like such a loser.

I guess there is a first time for everything. In my case, a victim of the above company. They had no problem "taking" my money for editing purposes. I quote taking because I paid "another" company that critiqued my work. (you all know how this works, but I thought I would put my two cents in).

So, I tried contacting one of the gals at the company and did not get a response which lead me to start investigating this company. After reading all the negative comments, I decided to send a fax to notify them that I no longer want or need their service. I am within the 90 days that they give you to pull out from the contract.

So now I'm just angry, angry. I think I'm more angry because I used to make fun of people who get scammed, and now I am one of those people. About the money that I "lost", well, I'll chalk it up to experience.

Thank you again to all that have put so much research into this.
 

underthecity

Finestkind
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
3,126
Reaction score
768
Location
Near Cincinnati
Website
www.allensedge.com
Onmyway,

Welcome to AW.

You learned a valuable lesson, now take a deep breath and submit your work to a real agent.

I suggest you check out agentquery and read up on agents and submissions, and start checking out the agents that accept children's literature. Cross reference everything, and I do mean everything, with Preditors and Editors.

If you need help with your query letter, visit the Query Letter Critique forum in the Share Your Work forum on this website.

It's what I did.

Good luck!

allen
 

majiklmoon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
183
Reaction score
22
Location
NH
Hi Onmyway,

sorry this happened to you. I was so close to being taken by them as well. It's so exciting when you think a 'professional' is interested in something you've written. Please don't let this sour you.

Good luck!
 

onmyway

Thank you so much for your kind words and advice. I'll keep plugging away!
 

stormie

storm central
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
12,500
Reaction score
7,162
Location
Still three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean
Website
www.anneskal.wordpress.com
Allen gave good advice. I like agent query too, and I cross-reference every agent. Most have web sites. You can also go to www.aar-online.org for reputable agents, but not all good agents belong to aar. And, as Allen said, go to Preditors and Editors. It's great you found out before it's too late.

I'm being redundant. Sorry. Not enough coffee yet!
 
Last edited:

stiernan

CLA

Emma,

My wife and I got the same type of form letter response from CLA....supposedly written by Sherry Fine, VP of aquisitions?

Unfortunately, the whole things seems like a scam. No address, no phone number, asking for money?

Scott
 

CaoPaux

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
13,813
Reaction score
1,632
Location
Coastal Desert
Alas, there's no "seems like" about it. CLA is a scam. Run away.
 

nevada

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
2,590
Reaction score
697
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Mr Parente himself is a fraud. If you check his website, there is no such thing as Marine Special Forces. THe Marines have always maintained that their soldiers are so highly trained that they dont need to form a special forces unit. It is only in the last few months that they have agreed to joint training with other branches to form elite joint special forces units that encompass all branches.

I actually registered because this thread made me mad. :rant: Scam artists should be shot. Or better, should be scammed themselves. Let them know how it feels.
 

onmyway

sherry fine

stiernan said:
Emma,

My wife and I got the same type of form letter response from CLA....supposedly written by Sherry Fine, VP of aquisitions?

Unfortunately, the whole things seems like a scam. No address, no phone number, asking for money?

Scott
Hi Scott,

Yup, Sherry Fine is right. That's exactly who sent me the form letter. I've run away............
 

majiklmoon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
183
Reaction score
22
Location
NH
stiernan said:
Emma,

My wife and I got the same type of form letter response from CLA....supposedly written by Sherry Fine, VP of aquisitions?

Unfortunately, the whole things seems like a scam. No address, no phone number, asking for money?

Scott

run fast, run far...it's a scam of epic proportions
 

Melisande

Banned
Flounced
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
1,027
Reaction score
311
Location
Finally in Paradise
I wrote to Peter Parente about CLA, expressing my doubts. This is his reply to me. It didn't make me any wiser.



"I prefer not to comment on them. If I say anything good then the chatroom warriors try to turn me into the bad guy. I am already on the predators and editors list(which only means something in their world) because those morons have a problem with CLA, yet all my authors praise what I do. An agent should only make money when they make you money. If you think you need referrals to certain services then do, if not don’t. I’m sorry but the headaches of that soap opera have me walking away and focusing on my work.

Thanks,

Pete
“Opportunities come from knocking on doors until they open!”"
 

radnanna

CLA/Sherry Fine

emma said:
Got stung (not a big amount, but it still smarts!) by another literary agency that was actively pursuing manuscripts whose name later surfaced on a reliable board such as this one as being nothing more than a scam, so I'm a bit wary this time around. I'm only inquiring about Children's Literary Agency though, as I haven't read any negative comments about them so far. Has anyone out there heard of them? worked with them? Would appreciate any feedbacks. Thanks muchly!

Don't I feel mad and stupid. Thank God and a friend who is already a published business writer, I had not sent CLA any money, only a manuscript. My friend told me to ask the agency a few questions. No response after 3 tries to get one. Thankfully I have proof that I wrote the story, but how do I know they won't try to sell it to a publisher under someone else's name? My question is what can we do about these scoundrels? There must be some way to find them and have them arrested for fraud.
I'm also thankful I found this web site and you guys! radnanna
 

James D. Macdonald

Your Genial Uncle
Absolute Sage
VPX
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
3,782
Location
New Hampshire
Website
madhousemanor.wordpress.com
radnanna said:
how do I know they won't try to sell it to a publisher under someone else's name?

That would require that they actually sell something. Not going to happen.
My question is what can we do about these scoundrels? There must be some way to find them and have them arrested for fraud.

Write to your state's attorney general, the New York attorney general, and the Florida attorney general, telling them about your experiences. Just the "Dragnet" facts, no emotion, no speculation. Consider writing to the editor of your local newspaper, too.