Agent and artists' rep Christy Tugeau Ewers
has an 'assignment' for you

And she's eager to see what you do with it!

Agent Christy Ewers shows an example of a good book cover in the Heidi Heckelbeck series written by Wanda Coven and illustrated by Priscilla Burris (Simon and Schuster.)


Cover art and design by Irene Chan

Cover art and design by Irene Chan

Book cover art is crucial, says agent Christy Ewers of the CAT Agency.

More important  than an irresistible title or the author's eager fan base. Especially for a middle grade novel, where often it's only image to beckon a young reader into formidable gray pages of dialogue and prose.

The cover is the promotional identity, the 'look of the book' and its birth announcement to a distracted world.

A mock cover appeals to KidLit publishing decision makers. Whether it's for an already published classic or a make-believe yarn, it suggests a finished product on the shelves and in catalogs. Editors and art directors sometimes assign a spec cover to audition an illustrator for a project they have in mind. (Christy shows some examples here.) It can be physically sent as a promotional postcard, an Instagram post or a simple email easily forwarded to the rest of an editorial team.

Not only does the right cover sell books. It can sell an editor on an unknown artist, or an author-illustrator's book proposal. It can also land you an agent.

She has this art prompt you, as her assignment for the March 22 live workshop with her:

"Prepare a mock cover for a children's middle grade novel or a chapter book," she says.

In the video Christy shares some great tips about what to convey in your cover art. You don't need to worry about lettering, for example, unless it's a skill you wish to showcase in your cover. And the visual depiction of your interesting story character(s) is the big draw in your cover art for middle elementary grades, she suggests.

She'll pick a few covers – up to 10 – from the submissions to critique as part of her live training with us. She'll also reveal how an agent/art rep works and thinks and how to make a good impression on one at a conference or in your next mailing.

Register to see Part 2 of the video (with still more tips to help you with the assignment) and the details on the when, where and how to participate in the March 22 live workshop with Christy.

Workshop # Five of Six

This month's workshop with Christy is the fifth live session in the Drawing Children for Children's Book Illustration series.

Registering for this workshop also gives you access to replays of the four previous workshops in the series with illustrators Cindy Wider, Shirley Ng-Benitez, Patrice Barton and Tracy Bishop is and the upcoming workshop in April with Juana Martinez-Neal, winner of the American Library Association's 2018 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award.

Please save my seat for March 22 And all other workshops in the series!

A Legacy of Creative Support for Illustrators

Christy Ewers has been a close observer of the children's literature industry most of her life. Her mother Chris Tugeau founded The CAT Agency 24 years ago.

With a degree in English/Journalism and a decade of experience in various creative fields, Christy brings her own perspective to the agency, while maintaining the enthusiasm and love that her mother brings to the industry.

She's been surrounded by artists her entire life. Her mother, a BFA trained artist is the author of SCBWI Illustrator Guidelines and continues to be active in the agency and in the illustration community, writing and presenting for SCBWI regions around the country advocating for ethical fairness and the bright future of children's publishing.

Christy's brother, Jeremy Tugeau is an exceptional fine arts painter and children's illustrator, now represented by his wife, Nicole Tugeau, at Tugeau 2. Her husband, Chris Ewers, is an artist too, as a talented photographer and cinematographer.

Group critiques are 'perfect practice'

They tell you...

  • What isn't working

  • When to push harder

  • When to just stop

The CAT Agency

The CAT Agency

Agent Christy Ewers and illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal workshops ahead
Spring 2018 workshop series lineup 4

A jolt of art school in the comfort and convenience of home!

Secure your spot at the table with these fine artist-teachers while they're available to you in this highly affordable workshop series.

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Six sessions. Six months. If you find your first experience of a session not helpful or just not your cup of tea, let me know. I’ll refund you same day, no questions asked, no worries, and we’re still friends. – Mark Mitchell