2021: JGLM’s Year in Review

We’re so pleased to be back with our yearly recap, and to once again be celebrating the accomplishments of our brilliant authors and illustrators.

Below is a compilation of deals, awards, and bestseller highlights. Of course, all of the day-to-day achievements of our authors and illustrators are too numerous to name. Completing a written and/or illustrated work is its own victory, especially so given the challenges of the past couple of years, and we applaud all of our authors and illustrators on their deliveries and publications. Your work furthers our mission, and provides meaning in these uncertain times, for which we are profoundly grateful.

This year’s beautiful holiday card was created by our illustrator Monica Liaw.

Domestic and Foreign Deals

Our authors’ work generated nearly 200 deals across foreign, domestic, audio, film, and other subsidiary rights.

We did more than 130 foreign licenses in 24 languages. Virtual book fairs were back in full swing in 2021, and we pitched our list at the Bologna, London, and Frankfurt Book Fairs.

We are thrilled to have made debut deals for a dozen new authors and illustrators. Those titles include Soul Culture by Remica Bingham-Risher, The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne, Chef’s Kiss by TJ Alexander, The Make-Up Test by Jenny Howe, Ben & Beatriz by Katalina Gamarra, Lonely Bird by Ruth Whiting, She Is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran, Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni, The Talk by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu, and House of a Thousand Lies by Cody Luke Davis.

While there are still debut deals that we have yet to publicly announce, we cannot wait for all these brilliant new talents to introduce their work to the world.

Film, TV and Audio

We had several exciting projects announced this year, and are looking forward to some highly-anticipated releases.

Filming began for the feature adaptation of Scott Westerfeld‘s Uglies at Netflix. In addition to star Joey King (The Act, The Kissing Booth), Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Chase Stokes (Outer Banks), Brianne Tju (I Know What You Did Last Summer), and Keith Powers (The Tomorrow War) have joined the cast.

Other projects currently under option include the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, the Wilderness Series by Sara DonatiLiar by Justine Larbalestier, Foreign Babes in Beijing and Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin, and Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee.

The demand for audio books continues to grow which has resulted in some exciting auctions this year for audio rights, including Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson, sold to OrangeSky/Findaway, and Surviving: Why We Stay and How We Leave Abusive Relationships by Beverly Gooden which were snapped up by Audible in a six-publisher bidding war. We also made fourteen licensing deals for both new and backlist titles.


Our authors hit the New York Times, USA Today, and IndieBound bestseller lists this year. Additionally, we reached the milestone of our 50th New York Times bestseller.

Marissa Meyer’s Gilded debuted at #1 on both the New York Times and Indie bestseller lists and has spent 6 weeks on both lists so far.

Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism returned to the New York Times bestseller list upon its release in paperback, and spent 13 weeks on the list. It also returned to the Indie bestseller list in paperback and has since spent nearly 40 weeks on the list.

Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Dial A for Aunties and Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau’s Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel both hit the Indie bestseller list upon their releases.

Garth Nix’s Terciel & Elinor hit the USA Today bestseller list.

Awards and Nominations

Our authors were honored with a number of prestigious awards and nominations this year:

Trouble The Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto won the UK’s Comedy Women in Print Prize, was selected by Amazon and NPR as one of best books of 2021, and was the runner-up for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction.

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award for Best Novel and shortlisted for the Australian Indie Book Award.

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm was named to the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List.

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst by Jaclyn Moriarty was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award and the Queensland Literary Award.

Her Perilous Mansion by Sean Williams was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award.

The Erasure Initiative by Lili Wilkinson was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Award.

Three of our middle grade titles were named as Best Books of the Year by the major trade reviewers: The Lion of Mars by Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm was named a Booklist Best Book of the Year; Da Vinci’s Cat by Newbery Honor winner Catherine Gilbert Murdock was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and Violets are Blue by Barbara Dee was named a School Library Journal Best of the Year

We had several titles nominated for Cybils Awards: The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad (Young Adult Speculative Fiction), The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto (Young Adult Fiction), Sunny Makes a Splash by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Graphic Novels), and Violets Are Blue by Barbara Dee (Middle Grade Fiction)

The Knockout by Sajni Patel was an Ippy Award Silver Medalist.

Margo Lanagan was nominated once again for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Melina Marchetta was honored with the NSW Premier’s Special Award for her contributions to Australian children’s literature.

There will never be enough space to list every single client accomplishment or milestone, but some highlights of 2021 include:

Marissa Meyer returned to fairytale retellings with the #1 bestseller Gilded, which was also named a Best Young Adult Book of the Year by Amazon and The New York Times.

Alaya Dawn Johnson teamed up with musician Janelle Monáe for a collection of short stories based on Monáe’s hit album, Dirty Computer — Alaya is one of five contributing writers and has written the titular piece, “The Memory Librarian.” The project was announced in People and has already garnered thousands of likes across Janelle Monáe’s social media channels.

Jesse Q Sutanto re-upped with Berkley for an exciting five-book deal, which includes brand new books as well as new titles in her Aunties series.

Alex Aster‘s Lightlark went viral on TikTok, which led to a six-figure book deal with Abrams.

Lyndall Clipstone ran a brilliant pre-order and publicity campaign for her debut novel, Lakesedge, which showcased her own gorgeous artwork.

Mikki Kendall continued to be an in-demand speaker, and was honored by the Illinois Association of Teacher Educators for her excellence in writing.

J K Chukwu’s short story “Against Enough” appeared in the collection Of This Our Country, alongside acclaimed authors like Bolu Babalola and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Our authors’ nonfiction work continued to be incredibly relevant, from Becca Andrews‘s reporting on abortion access for her upcoming book No Choice, to Alissa Quart‘s work with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, which informs her forthcoming book Bootstrapped, among many others.

Tiffany Pham was featured in a new campaign for Lexus, and her company Mogul continued to break new ground in the business world.

Gorgeous new editions of Scott Westerfeld‘s original Uglies series with cover art by Aykut Aydoğdu were launched, and Garth Nix‘s Old Kingdom series was re-released as a box-set with the original iconic Dillon covers .

JGLM expanded our stellar list of illustrators since launching our gallery in the Fall of 2020, with new work always available to check out.

Next year will see the publication of at least 60 new client titles on the JGLM list. We’re thrilled to be seeing books from exciting debuts and new books from old favorites. Look out for the following in early 2022, among many other titles:

A beautiful new 10th Anniversary edition of Marissa Meyer‘s Cinder and Serendipity: Ten Romantic Tropes, Transformed, her debut as an anthology editor

Four Aunties and a Wedding, Jesse Q Sutanto‘s sequel to the Indie-bestselling Dial A for Aunties

Must Love Books, a buzzy debut novel from Shauna Robinson

Youngbloods, the final installment in Scott Westerfeld‘s New York Times-bestselling Impostors series

More Salt Than Diamond, the debut poetry collection from Undocupoet fellow Aline Mello

We can’t wait to see what else 2022 has in store for all of our clients. We are so grateful every day to work with such brilliant artists, thinkers, and writers.

Wishing everyone health and happiness this winter season.

Jill Grinberg, President & Literary Agent
Denise Page, Head of Operations
Katelyn Detweiler, Literary Agent
Sophia Seidner, Head of Rights, Contracts & Legal and Literary Agent
Sam Farkas, Foreign Rights Associate and Literary Agent
Larissa Melo Pienkowski, Literary Agent
Jessica Saint Jean, Literary Agent
Evan Goldfried, Agent-at-Large