2023: JGLM’s Year in Review

We always look forward to the end of year, when we can reflect upon all the amazing accomplishments of our authors and illustrators

We’re highlighting milestones, bestsellers, awards, and recognition, but we cannot overstate our pride in our entire list, and our gratitude that these creators have entrusted our agency with their work

This year’s gorgeous holiday card was created by our illustrator Ioana Hobai


Our authors’ work generated hundreds of deals across foreign, domestic, audio, film, and other subsidiary rights, including over 115 foreign licenses

JGLM returned in-person to the Bologna Book Fair in 2023, after three years of virtual fairs and meetings, and were thrilled to reconnect face-to-face with our international partners

Our titles hit a number of foreign milestones: Jesse Q. Sutanto’s work has now been licensed in 17 languages and counting; Alex Aster’s Lightlark and Nightbane have hit 16 languages; Trang Thanh Tran’s bestselling debut She is a Haunting was licensed in 6 foreign languages just this year; and we did a record of 8 Arabic-language deals in 2023

Among our new deals in 2023 were a number of exciting debuts across several genres and age categories, including: The Crow’s Song by Amy S. Kaufman, The Afterlife of Mal Caldera by Nadi Reed Perez, The Last Phi Hunter by Salinee Goldenberg, Hollow by Taylor Grothe, If I Could Go Back by Briana Johnson, Here Lies a Vengeful Bitch by Codie Crowley, Rougarou Magic by Rachel M. Marsh, and others still to be announced


We had several exciting projects announced this year (and more announcements still to come), and are looking forward to some highly-anticipated releases

Locksmith Animation announced its first-look deal with Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group, and an adaptation of Marissa Meyer’s best-selling Lunar Chronicles series was one of the first projects on its docket

Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Mindy Kaling’s Kaling International are attached to produce an adaptation of Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers alongside WarnerBros. TV

We closed over a dozen audio deals this year, including exciting deals for Alaya Dawn Johnson’s The Library of Broken Worlds; Kate and Danny Tamberelli’s The First Date Prophecy (narrated by Danny and actress Mara Wilson); Codie Crowley’s Here Lies a Vengeful Bitch; Barbara Dee’s Unstuck, Kelley Skovron’s No Filter, and Sara Donati’s latest novel, The Sweet Blue Distance


Our authors and titles spent a collective 60 weeks on the New York Times list and 20 weeks on the Indie bestseller list in 2023. We also had the honor of having three titles appear on the New York Times list simultaneously in April 2023

We had two debut authors become New York Times bestsellers this year: She is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran was a Young Adult bestseller, peaking at #4, and Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef hit the Middle Grade list and reached the #7 rank; both books also hit the Indie bestseller lists

Nightbane by Alex Aster debuted at #2 on both the New York Times and Indie bestseller lists, and Lightlark hit a full year on the New York Times Young Adult bestseller list in September 2023

The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix was an instant New York Times bestseller, hitting the list at #9 

Sally Susman’s Breaking Through was a Wall Street Journal bestseller

Growing Up in Public by Devorah Heitner and The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm hit the USA Today bestseller list


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

Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion by K. Tempest Bradford won the Nebula’s Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy

Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef was named a finalist for the 2024 William C. Morris Debut Award, and was Target’s 2023 Middle Grade Book of the Year

She is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran was named a finalist for the 2024 William C. Morris Debut Award

The Talk, written by Alicia D. Williams and illustrated by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu, was a Coretta Scott King Author Award Honoree

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q Sutanto was a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards

On Repentance and Repair by Danya Ruttenberg won the National Jewish Book Award, was nominated for the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for Public Understanding of Religion, was a Sophie Body Medal Honorable Mention, and was longlisted for the UK’s Wingate Prize

Surviving by Beverly Gooden won a National Indie Excellence Award and was a Silver Medalist for the Nautilus Book Award

The Actor’s Mindset by Craig Archibald was a Bronze Medal Winner in Business Commentary at the 2023 Axiom Book Awards

The audiobooks for Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Astonishing Chronicles of Oscar from Elsewhere, narrated by Dorje Swallow and Rebecca Norfolk, and Leah Redmond Chang’s Young Queens, narrated by Oliva Dowd, were both recognized with AudioFile’s Earphones Award

Garth Nix’s The Sisters of Saint Nicola of the Almost Perpetual Motion vs the Lurch and Sean Williams’ Honour Among Ghosts were shortlisted for Aurealis Awards

The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix and The Impossible Secret of Lillian Velvet by Jaclyn Moriarty were longlisted for Australia’s 2024 Indie Book Award

The Road of the Lost by Nafiza Azad won the Ruth and Silvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award for Young Adult / Middle Readers

Three JGLM authors and titles were finalists for 2023 Ignyte Awards: Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion by K. Tempest Bradford, The Kindred by Alechia Dow, and The Memory Librarian, for which Alaya Dawn Johnson co-wrote the title story with Janelle Monae 

We received 35 starred trade reviews this year across 24 individual titles. Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto and The Green Piano illustrated by Hayden Goodman each received three starred reviews; Bootstrapped by Alissa Quart, Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni, Milo Walking illustrated by Sakika Kikuchi, The Secret of Lillian Velvet by Jaclyn Moriarty, Sinner’s Isle by Angela Montoya, Just a Pinch of Magic by Alechia Dow, Writing in Color, co-edited by Nafiza Azad, Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto, and A Drop of Venom by Sajni Patel received two starred reviews each 

Four JGLM titles were recognized as IndieNext Picks in 2023: She is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran, Unholy Terrors by Lyndall Clipstone, and Chef’s Choice and Second Chances in New Port Stephen by TJ Alexander

We also saw our books on a variety of year-end, best-of, editor’s picks, and honor lists for 2023: 

Kirkus recognized Bootstrapped by Alissa Quart, She is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran, Sinner’s Isle by Angela Montoya, The Green Piano illustrated by Hayden Goodman, and Just a Pinch of Magic by Alechia Dow

Library Journal honored Chef’s Choice by TJ Alexander and The First Date Prophecy by Kate and Danny Tamberelli

Booklist selected Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto as an Editor’s Choice Best Book of 2023 

Amazon recognized The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman, Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef, She Is A Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran, Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni, Didn’t See That Coming, I’m Not Done With You Yet, and Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto, and Chef’s Choice and Second Chances in New Port Stephen by TJ Alexander  

The Washington Post recognized The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman and Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni 

The New Yorker included Young Queens by Leah Redmond Chang on its list of 2023 recommended reads

Tor.com named The Library of Broken Worlds by Alaya Dawn Johnson one of their Best Books of 2023

Book Riot named Chef’s Choice by TJ Alexander a Best Book of the Year

We also love seeing our books on notable library lists: Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto was a New York Public Library Best Book of 2023; She is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran was a Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2023; Latke’s First Hanukkah by Alan Silberberg was featured on the Association of Jewish Libraries Holiday List; No One Leaves the Castle by Christopher Healy was named to the Texas Library Association’s 2024 Lone Star Reading List; This Might Get Awkward by Kara McDowell and Wrath Becomes Her by Aden Polydoros were named to TLA’s 2024 TAYSHAS Reading List, and Shermy & Shake, The Not-So-Nice Neighbor by Kirby Larson was named to the 2024-2025 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List

There will never be enough space to list every single client accomplishment or milestone, but some highlights of 2023 include:

The announcement of a young reader’s edition, adapted by Eric Singer, of American Prometheus, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, written by Martin J. Sherwin and Kai Bird, which served as the basis for Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster Oppenheimer

Trang Thanh Tran’s stunning debut YA novel She is a Haunting was selected as an Indie Next Pick, a Barnes & Noble and Target Book Club pick, debuted on the New York Times and Indie bestseller lists, and was named a finalist for the Morris Award

Three JGLM illustrators had their art showcased at the Society of Illustrators’ prestigious original art show in NYC: Briana Mukodiri Uchendu, for We Could Fly; Hayden Goodman, for The Green Piano; and Ruth Whiting, for Lonely Bird; We Could Fly and The Green Piano were also featured titles on the Amazon Books billboard in NYC near Penn Station this year

Sara Jane Ho’s hit Netflix show Mind Your Manners, the inspiration for her forthcoming book, was nominated for a Daytime Emmy 

Several of our clients made TV appearances this year: Sasha Cagen was interviewed on Dr. Phil about self marriage; Alex Aster appeared on GMA and The Kelly Clarkson Show to promote Nightbane; J K Chukwu appeared on GMA to introduce The Unfortunates as a GMA Buzz Pick; Jean Wright, the subject of Elise Matich’s picture book Sew Sister, appeared on ABC broadcasts in Australia and Orlando to promote the book and discuss her work as a seamstress for NASA

Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism was recommended by Grammy Award-winning singer Olivia Rodrigo on a livestream with her fans, and later written up in Rolling Stone, and Margot Robbie called out Garth Nix’s Lirael in an interview with Nerdist as a favorite fantasy novel 

Colin Woodard launched The Nationhood Lab, a think tank at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University, that builds upon the essential and enduring analytical work of his bestselling book American Nations to build a paradigm that helps us understand and address the hot button issues of contemporary America

Angela Montoya, author of Sinner’s Isle, was named a Publishers Weekly Fall 2023 Flying Start

S. Jae-Jones’s Guardians of Dawn: Zhara, the first in a thrilling new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author of Wintersong, was a Barnes & Noble Book Club pick 

Des Cooper had her essay “What If I Hadn’t Been There to Catch Them?” published in the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column

Our authors traveled far and wide to promote their books this year: Garth Nix toured in the US, UK, and Australia to launch The Sinister Booksellers of Bath; Andy Griffiths entertained thousands of young readers in schools and bookstores across the US on his tour to promote The 156-Story Treehouse; Henry Gee appeared at the UK’s Hay Festival; Sally Susman headlined a number of events and festivals to promote her bestselling book Breaking Through; Lyndall Clipstone appeared at New York Comic Con and made tour stops in Massachusetts and New York to launch Unholy Terrors; and Jennifer Thorne and Lee Kelly toured across the East Coast for the release of their novel The Antiquity Affair

We made exciting new deals and have upcoming publications for established authors breaking out in new age categories: The Make Up Test author Jenny L. Howe sold her YA debut Love at Full Tilt, and Lauren Ho, author of Last Tang Standing and Lucie Yi is Not a Romantic will publish her YA debut Bite Me, Royce Taslim next year; in 2024, #1 bestselling YA authors Marissa Meyer and Scott Westerfeld will launch their debut middle grade novel (Let It Glow) and debut picture book (Before You Were Here) respectively, and Pura Belpre Honor winning novelist Alda P. Dobbs sold her picture book debut The Giving Flower

We made exciting deals in the US and Australia for Spindle Sisters, the first solo YA novel since 2012 from two-time Printz Honor winner Margo Lanagan, author of Tender Morsels and The Brides of Rollrock Island

Collaborations between JGLM authors and illustrators are kicking off in an exciting way, with some wonderful new projects in the pipeline to announce next year

Our illustrator gallery is always being updated with stunning new work by the brilliant illustrators represented by the agency

2024 will see the publication of at least 70 new client titles on the JGLM list. We’re thrilled to be seeing books from exciting debuts and new books from longtime favorites. Keep an eye on our homepage to see what we have coming up in Winter 2024 and beyond.

We can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store for all of our clients. We continue to be so grateful to work with such talented creators. We have made a donation in our clients’ names to Unite Against Book Bans, a national initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.

Wishing everyone health and happiness this winter season.

Jill Grinberg, President & Literary Agent
Denise Page, Head of Operations
Katelyn Detweiler, Literary Agent
Sam Farkas, Foreign Rights Associate and Literary Agent
Larissa Melo Pienkowski, Literary Agent
Jessica Saint Jean, Literary Agent