Thursday, May 3, 2012

Agents for MG Writers - Part 2

I'm searching for an agent for my MG novel, and instead of just gathering information in a notebook or a messy spreadsheet, I decided to save it in blog posts so it can also be useful to other MG writers looking for agents. Here is the information I collected about five agents I decided to query this month, and some others I've eliminated for one reason or another.

(Read part one here)


Agent Mary Kole from Andrea Brown Lit agency just made a big announcement on her blog.  She is now officially a Senior Literary Manager at Movable Type Management She'll be the only one seeing the children’s queries, focusing on picture books, middle grade, and young adult. Please read her announcement for details about her new e-mail and submission guidelines.

I had a hard time choosing between her and Jennifer Rofé among all the wonderful Andrea Brown agents representing MG. That makes it easier for me now, I can query both! Good timing, I haven't sent my queries yet.

5 agents I decided to query:

Lauren Ruth
Agency:  BookEnds
Agent's blog:  Slush Pile Tales
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!]

Note: 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." After further research, I found out she does represent MG.

Submit:  Send the query in the body of the e-mail; response time for queries: 4-6 weeks

Interviews & Information:
Monica B.W.
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)
Casey McCormick
Rachel McClellan
Strategy Magazine
All the Write Stuff

Some of the authors she represents:
Cathryn Pritchard
Stacey Kennedy
Gina Danna

Mary Kole
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Agent's website: Mary Kole
Agent's blog:
Twitter account:  @Kid_Lit

What caught my attention:  At this time, Mary is only considering young adult and middle grade novels and truly exceptional character-driven picture books (she especially loves working with author/illustrators). Favorite themes include: family, home, unlikely heroes, discovering one's voice, and finding one's equilibrium after a big life event. [I remember her from WriteOnCon conference in 2010. I still have notes about voice from a live panel with her and several other agents. That, and her blog, makes me think she wants to help writers succeed. Now that's my kind of agent!]

Submit:  Query letter and first 10 pages

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)

Some of the authors she represents:
Emily Hainsworth
Laura Sassi
Dianna Winget - MG Writer
Karsten Knight
Lisa Albert
Bethanie Murguia
Lindsay Ward
Jamie Harrington

Sara Crowe
Agency:  Harvey Klinger
Agent's blog:  A Crowe's Nest
Agent's website:
Twitter account:  @saraagent

What caught my attention:  "For adult and children’s fiction, my taste tends to be for the more literary, often quirky, sometimes funny, always with a strong, original voice. While my list is mostly contemporary realistic fiction, I also like horror, mystery, urban fantasy and historical fiction." [My book is MG contemporary.]

Drawback:  Only responds if interested. I hate that, but I could live with it. [Actually, she did reply, one day after I sent my query. I'm impressed! A lot better than the "no reply means no" policy I thought she had.]

Submit:  Query only, by e-mail or form on the website. Responds within 2-4 weeks, only if interested.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
Laurie Thompson
Middle Grade Ninja
Cynthia Leitich Smith

Some of the authors she represents:
Lisa Schroeder - MG Writer
Varian Johnson
Dan Wells
Holly Nicole Hoxter
Bruce Eschler - MG Writer
Veera Hiranandani - MG Writer
Jenny Martin
Evan James Roskos
Erin Bowman
Rachel Wilson
Dianne Salerni
Heather Zenzen
Peggy Eddleman - MG Writer
K.A. Barson
Sarah Johnson
Rachel Tafoya
Varian Johnson
Dan Wells

Kate McKean
Agency:  Howard Morhaim Literary Agency
Agent's website: Kate McKean
Twitter account:  @kate_mckean

What caught my attention (from an interview): "I'm really looking for more YA and MG contemporary (i.e., not-fantasy) novels." [My novel is MG Contemporary/Adventure.]

Submit:  Cover letter and first 3 chapters - attachment OK

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)
Megan Burke
Writer's Digest

Some of the authors she represents:
Jessica Verdi
Noah Scalin
Richelle Mead
Deborah Grabien
Alison Lewis
Patricia Zapata
Josh Wilker
Ellen Luckett Baker

Sara Megibow

Agency:  Nelson Literary Agency
Agent's page:  Publishers Marketplace
Twitter account:  @SaraMegibow

What caught my attention:  "I seem to be drawn to contemporary YA and MG novels - stories set in the real world, preferably with a multicultural or historical aspect." [My MG novel would fit this description!]

Submit:  Send a one-page query by e-mail. Response time: 5-10 days, occasionally longer.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick
YA Highway
Mother. Write. (Repeat.)
Jairus Reddy

Some of the authors she represents:
Michael Martinez
Miranda Kenneally
Natalie Bahm - MG Writer
Stefan Bachmann
Elysia Whisler
Steve Vera
Michael Haspil
Sarah Skilton
Allison Rushby
L.J. Boldyrev
Jennifer Wolf
Ashlyn Macnamara
Jane Kindred
Kat Brauer

8 more agents from same agencies:

It was SO hard to choose an agent from Andrea Brown Lit. I went by elimination and I ended up with four possible agents.  How do you choose when there are so many awesome agents from one same agency?

Caryn Wiseman
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Agent's page:  Andrea Brown Lit Agents
Twitter account:  @CarynWiseman

What caught my attention:  She handles children's books only. She would be thrilled to see more contemporary multicultural middle grade or YA—books that deeply explore another culture, as well as books in which the ethnicity of the character is not the issue. She adores a sweet, funny or poignant middle-grade novel, with a great hook that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Drawback:  Senior agent.  Since this is my first time querying, I should probably start with a newer agent looking for new authors.   Caryn is very drawn to speculative middle grade or YA fiction. [My book is MG Adventure/Contemporary]

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick

Some of the authors she represents:
Sarah Albee
Terry Lynn Johnson
Bree Dayley
Tom Angleberger - MG Writer
Tara Sullivan - MG writer

Jennifer Rofé
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Agent's website:  Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch (her picture book)
Twitter account: @jenrofe

What caught my attention:  Middle grade is Jennifer's soft spot and she's open to all genres in this category, especially the tender or hilarious. She is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and "adorkable" heroes.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick

Some of the authors she represents:
Kathryn Fitzmaurice - MG Writer
Barry Wolverton - MG Writer
Nick James
Samantha Vamos
Meg Medina
Crystal Allen - MG Writer
Lauren Strasnick
Mike Boldt

Kelly Sonnack
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Agent's page: Andrea Brown Lit Agents
Twitter account:  @KSonnack

What caught my attention:  In picture books and middle grade fiction, Kelly looks for clever writing, a good sense of humor, stories that stretch a young reader's imagination, and an authentic voice, and fresh ideas.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick

Some of the authors she represents:
Carol Riggs
Bridget Heos
Kathe Anchel
Carolyn Marsden - MG Writer

Andrea Brown
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Drawback:  President. Too big for me.

Laura Rennert
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Agent's website:

Drawback:  Senior Agent. Too big for me. Represents many genres, including adult and non fiction. Also an author (picture books, chapter books). Not on twitter.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick

Some of the authors she represents:
PJ Hoover - MG Writer
Tammi Sauer
Lia Keyes
Frankie Diane Mallis
Shannon Messenger - MG Writer
Mitali Perkins - MG Writer

Jennifer Laughran
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Agent's blog:  Literaticat
Twitter account:  @literaticat

Drawback: Uses swear words on twitter. *cringe* And judging by her personality, I don't think it's a good match with mine.

Interviews & Information:
Casey McCormick

Some of the authors she represents:
Becky Wallace
Ward Jenkins

David Dunton
Agency:  Harvey Klinger
Twitter account:  @DavidDunton

Drawback:  He specializes in music-related books and is looking for the following types of projects: pop culture, narrative nonfiction, memoir, food, literary fiction, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction. [my book is not music-related and I don't think it would be a good fit for him.]

Kristin Nelson
Agency:  Nelson Literary Agency
Agent's blog:   Pub Rants We can also subscribe to her newsletter
Drawback:  Senior Agent; too big for me. I'll go with the Associate Agent.

Some of the authors she represents:
Megan Crewe

3 agents I couldn't query:

Jamie Weiss Chilton
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Drawback: Only represents YA and picture books

Jennifer Mattson
Agency:  Andrea Brown Lit
Drawback: According to QueryTracker, does not accept unsolicited queries (as of January 2012)

Amy Boggs
Agency:  Donald Maass Literary Agency
Twitter account:  @notjustanyboggs
Drawback:  She is looking for fantasy and science fiction, especially urban fantasy, paranormal romance, steampunk, YA/children's, and alternate history.


Kristen Wixted said...

You are so far the only blogger I've ever seen write about agents by name. I think this is very helpful to people just starting out--what should I be looking for, which agent(s) to pick, that kind of thing...
good job! and Good luck. :)

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Kristen! More to come! I'm planning to query 25 agents this year. Unless I find one before then, of course. :D

erica and christy said...

Middle Grade Ninja is a great place to find agents that deal with contemporary MG! And fyi - Kristin Nelson does have a blog (Sarah Megibow contributes occasionally also) - Good luck!

Robyn Lucas said...

Great post! Have you checked out Query
Best of luck to you

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks for the info, Erica! I've added Kristin Nelson's blog link.

Robyn, I just recently created an account on QueryTracker. Great tool!

Barbara Watson said...

Very imformative, Annie. This kind of post takes a lot of time to put together, so those like me who will soon be on the query trail appreciate it!

Unknown said...

You really do your research, Annie! Wow! Querying is an adventure that's for sure. :S

Anonymous said...

love these lists! thanks so much for sharing your hard work :)

Kate Larkindale said...

Great list! I may have to use some of your research for my own query list.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Awesome list Annie... thanks for compiling and I have my fingers crossed for your submission:)

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