A boutique book development company, CAKE Literary brings handcrafted but high concept reads to middle grade, teen and women's fiction audiences. Our projects present fresh new voices, delicious ideas, and startling storytelling. CAKE works with smart, daring writers to create compulsively readable fiction with a decidedly diverse bent.


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About the Founders

CAKE Literary is a collaboration between New School MFA grads Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, who connected on their first day of class in the university's acclaimed Writing for Children program. The pair quickly bonded over the fact that they didn't see kids that looked like them in books for kids and teens growing up — and still don't see enough of them today. Sona and Dhonielle founded CAKE with the idea that you can have rich, diversity-infused reads that are still compulsively readable — and very relatable. Shiny Broken Pieces, the follow up to CAKE's first project and the pair's first novel, Tiny Pretty Things, will be published by HarperTeen in the summer of 2016.

Sona Charaipotra

An entertainment and lifestyle journalist published by the New York Times, People, ABC News, MSN.com, Cosmopolitan and other major national media, Sona Charaipotra currently curates a kickass column on YA books and teen culture for Parade.com. A collector of presumably useless degrees, she double-majored in journalism and American Studies at Rutgers before getting her masters in screenwriting from New York University (where her thesis project was developed for the screen by MTV Films) and her MFA from the New School. When she's not hanging out with her writer husband and two chatter-boxy kids, she can be found poking plot holes in teen shows like Twisted and Pretty Little Liars. But call it research: Sona is a strong believer that three-act structure can work in fiction, too.

Flavor: Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting — rich and a bit unexpected

Dhonielle J. Clayton

Born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Dhonielle J. Clayton spent much of her childhood hiding beneath her grandmother's dining table with a stack of books. As an English teacher at a ballet academy, Clayton rediscovered her passion for children's and young adult literature. To ground herself in the canon, she pursued her Masters in Children's Literature from Hollins University before receiving her MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. She is a former middle school librarian where she pestered children to read and curated a diverse collection. An avid traveler, Dhonielle's lived in several foreign countries, but she's now settled in Harlem, where you'll find her writing late into the night, lurking in libraries, and hunting for the best slice of New York pizza.

Flavor: Red Velvet Cake —
a surprising Southern specialty