Etta Wilson, Longtime Children’s Book Advocate and Literary Agent, Retires
Books & Such Literary Agency announced Etta Wilson’s retirement early today, December 3, 2010. Wilson has worked in publishing for nearly thirty years. Her career began accidentally—and, according to Wilson, providentially—in 1982 when a friend asked her to proofread a major Bible project at Thomas Nelson, where she ended up working as editor of trade books for four years, followed by two years at Abingdon Press, where she became children's book editor and developed a strong list for the general trade.
When Abingdon changed directions, Wilson started March Media as a book packaging company, and developed a variety of book product for many publishers. In the course of that work, several authors asked her to represent them as agent, and from 1992 on she worked primarily as a literary agent.
In 2007, Wilson joined Books & Such Literary Agency as the only agent in Christian publishing who specialized in children’s books. Janet Grant, founder and president of Books & Such, said, “When I first met Etta, I was charmed by her Southern warmth, but I soon found that she was of the Steel Magnolias crowd when it came to negotiating for her clients. I'm fortunate to have experienced the charming side of Etta and will miss her wit and wry humor.”
Children’s books have always been a passion for Wilson. “When I placed Elisa Bartone's Peppe the Lamplighter with Lothrop in 1991, I knew it was a heart-warming story,” Wilson said, “But I had no idea that the editor would have Ted Lewin do the illustrations and that the book would be named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1994.”