The Directory of Literary Agents
7 Insider Secrets to Get a Top Agent, Publisher, and Book Deal (65 minutes)
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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.
|Show Notes | Show Bio||http://www.thebentagency.com/ | Show Map ||
This literary agent represents:
FICTION: Chapter Book * Graphic Novel * Middle Grade Fiction * Young Adult Fiction *
NONFICTION: Middle Grade * Young Adult *
Gemma Cooper is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. She says: “I started my publishing career in 2010 in New York after eight years working in the recruitment industry. I’ve been lucky to live and work in Chicago and London since then, experiences that have given me a global approach to representation. I’m now back in London, where I work with authors all over the world and sell directly to publishers in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. I became a director of our London office in 2020 and have represented New York Times and Sunday Times bestsellers, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winners, the Australian Book Industry Overall Book of the Year, and books that have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the Edgar Award, the Booktrust Blue Peter Book Award, and many more.
The best part of my job is getting to be the first fan of an unpublished book and then be its champion — nothing beats talking up your passions to other book lovers.
My list is typified by big-concept, commercial series fiction. If you can describe your book in one line, or in an ‘X meets Y’ elevator pitch, I want to read it. I like books that have obvious potential for dramatic adaptation, be they a funny pre-school TV series or a big-budget feature film. I’m very keen to see writers from underrepresented communities, particularly those who write chapter books and middle-grade fiction.
My sweet spot is middle-grade fiction, where I have the widest taste: anything from mystery to fantasy, historical to funny, adventure stories to serious topics, and all the gaps in between. Really, any middle-grade novel with a strong voice and/or a big hook will get my attention.
In young adult fiction, I’d love a standout romance or something with strong friendships or sibling relationships – contemporary, paranormal, or fantasy based in the real world. I’m not the agent for YA high fantasy or big sweeping epics. Funny YA is hard to do, but I like snarky characters, comedy, and some romance. I’m also interested in YA with a unique structure – such as letters, novels in verse, or episodic storytelling.
I work on a lot of younger series and I love high-concept funny chapter books with series potential aimed at ages 7+. I’m also looking for graphic novels and highly illustrated books for emerging readers ages 5+, with simple concepts but laugh-out-loud pre-school humour. Author/illustrators in the chapter book, graphic novel and middle-grade markets get my immediate attention.
I’m not looking for picture books right now. For children’s nonfiction, I’m interested in history and science, and anything that can be published in an interesting format. I’m also open to select adult graphic novels or webcomic adaptations in the areas of humour and gift books.
A few more things about me: I love Christmas, travel, choosing the perfect present, ‘90s movies, Murder She Wrote, Red Dwarf, cinematic world-building, being a bit extra, theme parks (especially impeccable attention to detail in theming), and a good twist I didn’t see coming. I’m an upbeat person and I tend to connect to characters who are the same; my current client list is a great snapshot of my taste.”
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