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. *
Rebecca Sherman is a literary agent with Writers House Literary Agency. She says: “Writers House is a leading full-service literary agency that offers the many resources of a large company and the personal attention of a small agency. It has been my home for over fourteen years now, where I’ve built a list of dynamic and award-winning picture book illustrators and author/illustrators, as well as middle grade and young adult novelists. Further information about clients’ work can be found below (sorry if it sounds like I’m bragging…#ProudAgentMama).
I have taken on clients who came to me as children’s book veterans and others for whom I’ve sold their debut works. Now, I am actively seeking additions to my client list again. In general, I am looking for stories that meet kids where they are (not those that talk down to them or go over their heads) and that genuinely can get them laughing. More specifically:
MG: Middle grade fiction is the arrow that goes to the bull’s-eye of my heart. I’m looking for timeless stories that could become instant classics. I have a soft spot for fresh retellings and inventive folklore, fairytales, etc. I’m equally excited by contemporary stories, particularly friendship stories. Occasionally I fall for character-driven historical fiction set in seldom explored settings.
Favorite childhood MG books: THE WESTING GAME, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, THE BFG, FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWILER, and HOLES (actually I read this last one when I was an adult). Favorite contemporary MG books: THE WEDNESDAY WARS, THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY, EMMA JEAN LAZARUS FELL OUT OF A TREE, THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA, THE REAL BOY.
YA: I’m looking for books with something to say—books that make me laugh, and characters that truly remind me of how confounding and wonderful (ridiculous! frightening! glorious!) adolescence can be. I enjoy contemporary stories of young love and growing up. I am not the right person for your high fantasy/SF submission, however I am game for a novel with fantastical elements in the world we know/urban fantasy/magical realism). Super-edgy and/or issue-driven books aren’t for me either.
Favorite contemporary YA: STARGIRL, BLANKETS, ELEANOR & PARK, WHY WE BROKE UP, THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU BANKS.
For all fiction, I’m very much looking for highly illustrated work—not necessarily graphic novels or illustrated diaries, but projects that include inventive uses of artwork to help tell the story. Also: bonus points for manuscripts that include an ensemble of characters in which the individuals as well as the dynamics between characters are complex and fully developed.
Picture Books: I want picture books that can hold up to readings night after night. I’d love to see something that can make me laugh embarrassingly loud. I want to find the next picture book household name like Madeline or Olivia or Harold (in other words, character-driven picture books are welcome). I’m highly selective in this category, and I accept illustrators and author/illustrators only—if you’ve just written picture book text, I’m not the best match for you.
Favorite childhood picture books: THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK, MISS NELSON IS MISSING!, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, anything by Richard Scarry. Favorite contemporary picture books: OLIVIA, ME…JANE, THE INCREDIBLE BOOK-EATING BOY, ORANGE PEAR APPLE BEAR, BALLOONS OVER BROADWAY, and THE ADVENTURES OF THE DISH AND THE SPOON. To get an even better sense of my taste in artwork, feel free to visit writershouseart.com.”
This literary agent represents:
FICTION: Chapter Book * Children’s Fiction * Graphic Novel * Juvenile Fiction * Middle Grade Fiction * Picture Book * Young Adult Fiction *
NONFICTION: Juvenile * Middle Grade * Young Adult *
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