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VCFA alumnx from all programs are invited to join us at 7 pm ET on June 8 for a panel discussion, “Deep Dive into Publishing Contracts and Royalty Statements:How and Why to Read Them and What They Really Mean.” This “deep-dive” panel will address some of the questions that we’ve been hearing from students and grads, and from writers at any stage of their career about contracts—what they are and what they mean. We will talk about why publishers need them, and authors too, what the more important parts of them are, what parts are generally negotiable, and what parts are not, when to worry and when not to worry, why it’s usually a good idea to have an agent, and what their contract with you can mean, too. We look at royalties as well, and how what it says in your contract can affect what and when you get paid, and why it works that way. We help you navigate reading a contract as well as reading a royalty statement. While we can’t get to every point in 90 minutes, we will try to put your mind at ease a little more about this critical publishing subject.

If you’re a VCFA alum, register in advance to reserve your spot!

About the Expert Panelists

Jacqui Lipton (she/her) is a publishing attorney/consultant and literary agent specializing in children’s writing with a particular emphasis on nonfiction. She also writes nonfiction for the adult market including Law and Authors: A Legal Handbook for Writers (University of California Press, 2020) and Our Data, Ourselves: A Personal Guide to Digital Privacy (University of California Press, 2022). She has written dozens of academic articles and magazine columns on legal issues including writing the “Legally Bookish” column for the SCBWI Bulletin and the “Legally Speaking” column for Catapult. She presents regularly on writing legal issues for creatives various writing organizations.

Shaquona Crews has worked in trade and academic book publishing for over 18 years. She began her career as a junior copywriter and later transitioned into subsidiary rights, where she managed serialization, audio, book club, and reprint rights around the world. She currently works in contract management liaising with authors, literary agents, publishers, and general media for the acquisition and sale of book publishing and merchandising rights. Oddly, and comically ongoing, her professional life often mimics the art of Curb or Seinfeld.

Carrie Hannigan was lucky enough to find her way to agenting quickly after moving to New York City. (There was a brief stint in the Rolling Stone Art & Photo Department and a similarly brief career at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, a rare book and archive dealer.) After 16 years working at Russell & Volkening with the esteemed Timothy Seldes, she and her colleagues opened HG Literary in 2011. She is the managing partner of HG Literary and oversees all the agency’s financial processes and royalties.

About the Moderator

Victoria Wells Arms has been a literary agent since 2013, now working with Carrie Hannigan at HG Literary, and formerly founding editorial director at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, editor at G P Putnam, and Dial Books for Young Readers. Victoria received her MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from VCFA in 2019, has presented her Industry 101 panel for many of the grads, and is now working with VCFA Alumnx Affairs and the WCYA program on developing industry-related education for the VCFA community. Occasionally, she finds time to write.



June 8, 2022
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT
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