Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Agents for MG Writers - Part 1

I'm looking for an agent for my middle grade novel. I was planning to start a spreadsheet to keep track of the agents I looked up and to save their information, but I figured many other writers might benefit from this information if I post it here instead.

So here it is, a scrapbook of all my agent research.  My goal is to query five agents at a time, then wait for replies while I work on my new novel before sending the next batch.

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5 agents I decided to query:


Kathleen Rushall
Agency website:  Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC
Agent's page:  Kathleen Rushall
Twitter account: @katrushall

What caught my attention: "Kathleen is open to unique, quirky picture books and all genres of character driven middle grade fiction as well (especially multi-cultural or boy-driven MG)." [Multi-cultural and boy-driven. That's what my book is!]

Submit:  Query only, by e-mail; responds within 1-4 weeks

Interviews & Information:
YA Fusion
Monica B.W.
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)
Casey McCormick
Deana Barnhart
J.R. Johansson

Some of the authors she represents:
Anjea Sandro
Ruth Donnelli - MG Writer
Jenn Johansson
Sandy Grubb - MG Writer
Karri Thompson
Pam Calvert - MG Writer
Jess Keating - MG Writer


Kristin Miller
Agency website:  D4EO Literary Agency
Agent's page:  Kristin Miller
Twitter account:  @AgentKristin

What caught my attention: (seeking:) "Middle Grade: Authentic voice is most important. Fun, adventure, mystery and big, big characters. A timeless middle grade with siblings learning about themselves, each other and the world. Lovely but accessible prose. Something classic, the next The Penderwicks or Anne of Green Gables." [My book is a MG Adventure, might be a good fit!]

Submit: Query and first 10 pages in the body of the e-mail.

Interviews & Information:
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)
YA Highway

Some of the authors she represents:
Carey Farrell
Alison Kemper
Vonna Carter - MG Writer
Priscilla Mizell
Gail Shepherd - MG Writer



Linda Epstein
Agency website:  Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Agent's blog:  lindapepstein.wordpress.com
Twitter account:  @LindaEpstein

What caught my attention:  (looking for:) "For middle-grade, it should be particularly character driven and quirky, with excellent pacing and rhythm." [She also has a blog full of useful information for writers.]

Submit: Query and first 20 pages in the body of the e-mail. [now closed to queries until June 15th. Luckily, I had already sent my query before she announced it.]

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
Women's National Book Association

Some of the authors she represents:
Stacy Mozer - MG Writer
Bill Konigsberg
Emily Saso
Rhonda Saunders - MG Writer
Katherine Sparrow



Sarah Davies
Agency website:  Greenhouse Literary
Agent's blog:  Sarah's Blog
Twitter account:  @SarahGreenhouse

What caught my attention:  "Greenhouse exclusively represents and manages the careers of authors writing fiction for children, from young chapter-book series through middle grade novels to sophisticated teen fiction."  [The whole agency is specializing in children's fiction!]

Submit: Query and first chapter or first five pages (whichever is shorter) in the body of the e-mail.

Interviews & Information:
SCBWI
Cynthia Leitich Smith
YA Highway
Casey McCormick
Middle Grade Ninja

Some of the authors she represents:
Sarah Aronson
Sarwat Chadda
Sue Cowing - MG Writer
Alexandra Diaz
Jill Hathaway
Elissa Hoole
Lindsey Leavitt
Megan Miranda
Tricia Springstubb - MG Writer
Shawn Stout - MG Writer
Brenna Yovanoff


Jessica Regel
Agency website:  Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency Inc.
Agent's blog:  Happy Birthday, Book!
Twitter account:  @jessregel

What caught my attention (from an interview):  "I also handle a lot of young adult and middle grade writers. For my children's books I like reality based fantasy and science fiction with big themes or contemporary novels with a lot of heart."

Drawback:  "Due to the volume of email we receive, we typically only respond to queries we would like to see more of. Because of time constraints, we cannot reply to requests for reasons on a pass." [I much prefer agents who reply when they are not interested.]

Submit: Query in a form on the website; only replies if interested.

Interviews & Information:
Editors, Agents and Blogs, Oh My!
Galleycat
GumboWriters.com
Writer's Digest

Some of the authors she represents:
Kristi Helvig
Shea Ernshaw
Emily Danforth
Cecilia Galante - MG Writer
Lesley Livingston
Jillian Cantor
Adrienne Kress
Whitney Holcombe
Katia Raina
Victoria Strauss


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6 more agents from same agencies:


Alice Tasman

Agency website:  Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency Inc.
Agent's page:  Alice Tasman
Twitter account:  @AliceTasman

What caught my attention:  "She is especially interested in novels—whether adult, young adult, or middle grade—that combine excellent writing, voice, and characters with a great plot."

Drawback:  No blog? No website? No interviews?  Same agency as Jessica Regel, which I'm querying. I cannot query two agents from the same agency.

Interviews & Information:
I couldn't find any!

Some of the authors she represents:
Ellen Potter
Stephen Wetta
Emily Gray Tedrowe
Timothy Schaffert



Jennifer De Chiara
Agency website:  Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Agent's site: (same - agency's owner)
Twitter account:  @4writers

What caught my attention:  "For middle-grade and YA fiction, I'm looking for beautiful, distinctive voices, above all, and character-driven stories.  I'm open to every genre under the sun, but I'm not a huge science fiction fan."

Drawback:  This agent may be too "big" for my little book.   Same agency as Linda Epstein, which I'm querying. I cannot query two agents from the same agency.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
WOW
Fiction Factor

Some of the authors she represents:
Stephanie Brown
and many, many others


Stephen Fraser
Agency website:  Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Agent's blog:  None
Twitter account:  None

What caught my attention:  (looking for:) "Dazzle me with lyrical writing in all categories: one-of-a-kind picture books; strong chapter book series; whimsical, dramatic, or humorous middle grade; dramatic or high-concept young adult; powerful and unusual nonfiction.  Do you have the first book in a mystery series?  A novel about the world of music or theater?"

Drawback:  No blog? No twitter account?  Same agency as Linda Epstein, which I'm querying. I cannot query two agents from the same agency.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
First Novels Club
Throwing Up Words
Humor Me
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)

Some of the authors he represents:
Ally Cowee
Brent Hartinger
Christine Brodien-Jones
Bev Katz Rosenbaum
Rosanne Parry
Matthew Kirby
Carol Lynch Williams
Cat Woods
Michael G.G.


Marie Lamba
Agency website:   Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Agent's blog:  marielamba.wordpress.com
Twitter account:  @marielamba

What caught my attention:  (looking for:) "Young adult and middle-grade fiction, along with general and women's fiction and some memoir.  Books that are moving and/or hilarious are especially welcome."

Drawback:  She's also an author, so most links I've found were about her books, not about her as an agent.  Same agency as Linda Epstein, which I'm querying. I cannot query two agents from the same agency.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
All the Write Stuff

Some of the authors she represents:
Stephanie Winkelhake
Carmella Van Vleet




Mandy Hubbard
Agency website:  D4EO Literary Agency
Agent's website:  www.mandyhubbard.com
Agent's blog:  mandyhubbard.livejournal.com
Twitter account:  @MandyHubbard

What caught my attention:  "As an agent at D4EO Literary, I  represent a broad range of books for Young Adult and Middle Grade audiences.  I have diverse tastes, so if it’s YA or MG, bring it on!"

Drawback: (seeking:) "MG with a fantastical or magical realism twist" [my book is a MG Adventure (very realistic) novel]  Same agency as Kristin Miller, which I'm querying. I cannot query two agents from the same agency.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
Jessica Martinez
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)
Amanda J.
The Punching Bag Fights Back
Day by Day Writer
Examiner.com
Cynsations

Some of the authors she represents:
Lee Bross
Sacha Whalen
Lynn Heitkamp
Jessica Martinez
Nancy Herman
Emily Murdoch
Lindsey Scheibe



Bree Ogden
Agency website:  D4EO Literary Agency
Agent's blog:  agentbree.wordpress.com
Twitter account:  @breeogden

What caught my attention (from an interview): “And of course, I love quirky boy-centric middle grade, always! I am always and forever looking for great middle grade. It is my favorite genre to represent.”

Drawback:  “She is especially interested in darker plots (think Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay) and loves dystopian, unique and fresh supernatural elements. Science fiction graphic novels and graphic novels that challenge the reader to think as well as have a great visual hook, stories that are very visual in nature, and books with a philosophical hook are equally of interest. “ [my stories are far from being dark...]  Same agency as Kristin Miller, which I'm querying. I cannot query two agents from the same agency.

Interviews & Information:
Day by Day Writer
Casey McCormick
D.M. Cunningham

Some of the authors she represents:
D.M. Cunningham
Kelsey Ketch
Kate Grace

****************************************
3 agents I couldn't query:


Elana Roth
Agency website:  Red Tree Literary
Agent's blog:  www.elanaroth.com
Twitter account: @ElanaRoth

What caught my attention:  "How she fell in love with children's content is a long story that begins by sheer dumb luck with an internship at Nickelodeon Magazine. Books followed when she began working as an editor at Parachute Publishing, where she spent 5 years learning the publishing ropes on series for kids of all ages (and that includes some adults). She switched to agenting in 2008." [specializes in kid books - that's always a good thing!]

Drawback:  *** Not accepting submissions at this time *** [awww... *cross out - for now*]

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
Joelle Anthony
First Novels Club
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)

Some of the authors she represents:
Andy Marino
Darren Farrell
Kaleb Nation



Lauren Ruth
Agency website:  BookEnds, LLC
Agent's blog:  slushpiletales.wordpress.com
Twitter account:  @LiteraryLauren

What caught my attention:  "I live in New Jersey with my family and my personal interests include watching movies, reading (for fun, still) traveling and making my two-year-old son, Henry, laugh." [A New Jersey girl, like me! :)]

Drawback:  Her bio says: "middle-grade—all subgenres" but the main site's submissions guidelines state: "BookEnds does not represent children's books, science fiction, short fiction, poetry, screenplays, techno-thrillers, or military fiction." [Hmm... I need to find out whether she represents MG or not. But for now, I won't query.]


Marlene Stringer
Agency website:  Stringer Literary Agency LLC

Drawback:  *** 02/20/2012 - Effective Immediately, The Stringer Literary Agency LLC is Closed to New Middle Grade Projects *** [Well, that's a major drawback!]

Some of the authors she represents:
Too many to name:  http://www.stringerlit.com/authors/

12 comments:

Jay said...

Great post, Annie. I really do miss this. One of them is bound to snap you right up!

Annie McMahon said...

Jay!! Long time no see! We miss you on the forum. Thanks for your encouraging comment. :)

Rina Heisel said...

I'm hoping to get to the query stage soon so this was very fun to read. Thanks for sharing, look forward to Part 2! :)

Jack said...

That's a great strategy, Annie! And THANK YOU for the resources! This page is going on my bookmarks, pronto! :)

Marcia said...

Annie, I'm querying MG right now, too! My strategy is the same -- small batches, meanwhile working on next book.

Emailman said...

You do the best blog posts in the world :)

Melanie Conklin said...

Hi Annie!

I was excited to see that you're in New Jersey, as am I. I've been hoping to make more contacts with other Jersey writers. It's interesting to see that your selects are many of the same on my crazy excel spreadsheet.

I'd drop you a line but blogger seems to be freaking out a bit. Feel free to get in touch if you are ever looking for another crit group member, with loads of opinions and a love for creative collaboration.

Melanie
www.melanieconklin.com

Gina C said...

terrific post! you are so meticulous. i'm getting ready to query soon, and have a sloppy spreadsheet :)

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! And nice to meet you, fellow New Jerseyan Melanie! :)

Michael G-G said...

I have to say, you feature a great band of agents. Thanks for featuring so many of the Jennifer De Chiara agency!! I wish you all the best with your querying--fingers crossed!

tfwalsh said...

Awesome post Annie...and all the details on the agents are so helpful. I have my fingers crossed for you:)

rhondasaunders said...

What Michael said!

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