The Directory of Literary Agents
7 Insider Secrets to Get a Top Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal
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Literary Agent Directory
Important: Visit each agent’s website (links in their listings below) to see if they’re open to submissions before querying.
* Picture Book authors should not submit unless also illustrators. *
Desiree Wilson is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. She says: “I joined the Bent Agency in 2020, after previously working with companies like Kickstarter, Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, and Counterpoint Press. I hold a master’s in Book Publishing and a post-baccalaureate in Comic Book Studies from Portland State University and in 2021 was a PW Star Watch honoree. Prior to my work in publishing, I was in the military, in medicine, and an emergency dispatcher — all experiences that contributed to my humanist approach to publishing. When I sign a client, my goal is to champion the person behind the writing as much as the writing itself.
I represent upper middle grade, YA, and adult genre fiction, especially horror (and kid-horror), high-concept fantasy, speculative fiction, magical realism, and accessible or near-future science fiction. I am also looking for select middle grade nonfiction about history or STEM.
I’m always interested in receiving queries from Black, Indigenous, AsAm, and other POC authors, stories featuring disability representation by disabled authors, stories from trans authors, and books by or about the lesser-represented perspectives of the LGBTQIA+ community. I’d also love to see queries that foreground agender/asexual characters, stories that center friendship over romantic interest, and contemporary rom-coms from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors.
I am not the right fit for hard science fiction, military or police fiction, books about school shootings or sick-lit, poetry, novels in verse, erotica, and adult non-fiction.
In middle grade, I look for books in the 10-14 age range and prefer titles that could have young YA-crossover appeal. As a former Very Serious Middle Grader™, I am interested in books that speak to that reader today: stories that skip the fart jokes, don’t lean heavily on zaniness or condescend, with quiet humour and philosophical hooks—a safe place to explore their emotions and anxieties or examine difficult topics like mental health or gender identity. I’m always looking for sharp, smart, and scary kid-horror, as long as it’s got enough heart and morality to offset the scares, centers universal topics, and has a strong moral lesson.
For YA, I’m looking for high-concept fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, and non-European fairy tale retellings or adaptations of Western fables that feature a diverse cast or are written by a BIPOC author. I love when magic isn’t a hidden, Kafkaesque part of the world. In YA horror I look for depth and nuance, stories that frame marginalization or systemic issues in a new and terrifying way. I love a good body horror, well-executed gore, and having to wonder which characters will make it to the end. I run the gamut of YA romances and romcoms, from sappy to serious, but have a soft spot for Black-led romance, LGBTQ+ romance, and love stories that don’t necessarily center romantic love as the pinnacle. Bring me your found family, your fractured best friendships, and anything that bends the genre to its most flexible point.
I’m also looking for select upmarket adult books with strong crossover and commercial appeal, as well as new adult and contemporary romance. Voice is key here, but in general I’m interested in atmospheric and/or psychologically complex horrors or thrillers, Black-led romances, femme or LGBTQ+ characters of all walks, disability representation, underdogs against the world, thieves, and generally flawed, selfish characters who are in over their heads but learning and growing along the way.
In graphic novels, I’m looking for (kid-)horror, magical realism, fantasy, contemporary fiction, speculative fiction, and science fiction titles. For middle graders, I love adorable but fierce protagonists dealing with difficult topics or situations (think death, emotional control, anxiety, etc.). Capturing the magic and whimsy of animated shows like The Owl House or Over the Garden Wall is key to making me love it. For young adults, I look for high-concept hooks, character-driven or slice-of-life narratives, and complicated relationships, whether platonic or romantic. For adults, I have a soft spot for contemporary fantasy so long as the conceit is unique and well-considered and the world is as believable and cohesive as it can be. I am only looking at author-illustrators or established teams with a proposal at this time.”
This literary agent represents:
FICTION: Commercial * Contemporary * Fantasy * Gay/Lesbian Fiction * Graphic Novel * Horror * Magical Realism * Middle Grade Fiction * Multicultural Fiction * Romance * Science Fiction * Suspense * Thriller * Upmarket Fiction * Young Adult Fiction *
NONFICTION: Middle Grade * Narrative * Young Adult *
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