Black Hawk Literary & Portfolio Agency Testimonials

Dear writers and artists, In 2020, I got an email from an agent, Jan Kardys that she liked my work and wanted me to illustrate a story that had already been approved by a big publisher in Belgium. She and Barbara Ellis-Uchino felt that I was the right person for this story and they both trusted me. I did a sample, it was approved and I got the job! Now, our picture book “The purple pail”, illustrated by me, is out in Belgium, Indonesia and USA! Jan was amazing with the contract details and rights and I felt really protected as an artist. I highly recommend Jan and Barbara as they both respected me and my work and encouraged me so much! As a freelance illustrator for more than 20 years now, I feel very grateful that I met them and that I am represented by the Black Hawk Literary & Portfolio Agency!
Dear Fellow Writers, I highly recommend Jan Kardys and Barbara Ellis-Uchino of Black Hawk Literary Agency. I met Jan and Barbara at the Unicorn for Writers Conference in Purchase, New York. My advice: Don't just find an agent who loves your story, find the right agency who believes in you and in your writing! Jan provides years of experience, the wisdom to know what the market is looking for and she's the best in the business when it comes to contracts, and rights. Barbara is my biggest supporter, book doctor and coach. Thanks to Jan and Barbara, I am a multi-award-winning writer. I'm currently writing my third novel and looking forward to a long and prosperous career at the Black Hawk Literary Agency.
"No matter where you are in the life of your manuscript, I highly recommend the editorial services of Barbara Ellis of Unicorn for Writers. Barbara is truly a full spectrum editor. She offers deep insight into character, packing, and story development as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of form, style, and grammar. Barbara has edited all three of my books - FINDING MRS. FORD, RUBY FALLS, and REEF ROAD - and they are much better for it! I hope to be able to work with her for years to come. "
"Barbara Ellis is one of those editors who makes an amazing difference for a writer. She is always thoughtful, insightful, and encouraging. An historical fiction writer herself, Barbara has a love of the past and a feel for what life was really like then." Rose Osterman Kleidon, author, 1836: Year of Escape.
"For a long time, I thought I was a pretty decent writer and editor, but then I worked with Barbara and the amazing editors at Unicorn for Writers, who with their professionalism, acumen and industry know-how turned my fun but disorganized ms into a solid, publishable work of art. I would not have made it into print without them! Thanks, Barbara and Jan, and the rest of the Unicorn crew! I can't wait to get my next ms into your hands!" Author of "The End of Cake"
Jan Kardys and Barbara Ellis have worked very hard at Black Hawk Literary Agency to edit and try to sell my book. They are both representative of the strengths you’d want in an agent in a very tough publishing environment: professional, connected, caring, and persistent. Furthermore, they provide feedback and lists of submissions achieving total transparency in the process. I have been very thankful for their efforts and would not hesitate to recommend them.
As the author of six investment books, I am very much aware of the dance that precedes the publication of a successful book. When I met Jan a few years ago, she told me the story of the loss of her brother and how important it was to her to come across my book, “Julie Jason’s Guide to Connecticut Probate.”
I was grateful that my book helped her at a time of need. In learning more about Jan, I found that she also was drawn to helping people, in a different way of course, but an important way. Jan and her colleague, Barbara, helped authors “get a manuscript into perfect shape to submit to book publishers.”
I saw that happen with a friend I recommended to them. Lushe had a story to tell before she met Jan and Barbara. Now, Lushe has a book that you will be eager to read called “Yesterday is Gone.”
As I said, I am very much aware of the dance that precedes the publication of a successful book. Jan and Barbara make that dance smooth as silk.
All a writer wants is to see their work enjoyed by readers. Both Jan and Barbara have fought for me and my work for years. Their determination for me to succeed is outstanding. Barbara Ellis-Uchino at Black Hawk Literary will not only read and edit, but she also sees the bigger picture. An editor that loves your story as much as you do is a rare thing. I will never trust anyone else as much as I trust her to bring my writing to life, in a way only she can.
Jan Kardys and Barbara Ellis of Black Hawk Literary Agency are a rock star team.
With over 35 years of experience Jan has an incredibly deep understanding of all aspects of publishing. She knows all of the ins and outs of how to navigate the industry. Her ability to negotiate contracts is outstanding. I have been working with Jan from the very beginning of my publishing journey and she has always provided invaluable guidance and support.
Barbara Ellis is brilliant. I absolutely love working with her. Her edits and feedback are spot on. She goes above and beyond helping to get a manuscript ready for submission.
Both Jan and Barbara work very well together and I can honestly say that I don't think I would be the author of two published books if it weren't for the both of them. They are incredible literary agents.
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