Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gemma Cooper of the Bent Agency seeks children’s and young adult books

The Bent Agency
204 Park Place 
Number Two
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Gemma Cooper is the newest addition to the staff at the Bent Agency. She lives in London, England, but represents both British and North American authors.  She was previously with the Bright Agency. Gemma specializes in books for younger readers, chapter books through young adult novels.

I’m lucky to represent Mo O’Hara, author of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish (Macmillan UK/Feiwel and Friends 2013),” says Gemma, “and I’d love to find other fantastic chapter books (7+ fiction) with an obvious hook and a laugh on every page. One of my all time favourite books is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I love that it blends genres, has an amazing voice and literary feel to the writing. Anything similar would make me sit up and take notice.”

More generally, Gemma wants…

·         I love boy voice young adult (YA) – it’s my favourite thing in YA and so hard to strike the right balance. Think John Green or Erin Jade Lange’s Butter.

·         In YA, I’m seeing a lot of urban fantasy and am not really looking for this or paranormal romance. However, I’d love a nice juicy contemporary or issues driven YA. Think Jenny Valentine or Sara Zarr.

·         A young adult or middle grade (MG) crime novel or some sort of heist would be great. My favourite detectives are Poriot and Sherlock Holmes, and I’ve love to read something with the same feel written for younger audiences – red herrings, opulent settings and gathering everyone in a room for the reveal!

·         Please send me historical fiction with a realistic narrator that almost has a diary feel to it. Think the Once, Then, After series by Morris Gleitzman

·         I would like to see some of the paranormal elements that work so well in YA filtered down into MG or chapter books – ideally with humour.

·         I’m obsessed with Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and the TV series Red Dwarf, so I’d love to see funny sci-fi stories for a younger audience. The more off the wall the better.

Include the first ten pages of your work in the body of your email.
Full submission guidelines here.

Brian Henry will be leading a "Writing for Children and for Young Adults" workshop in Hamilton on February 9 (details here). Also, he'll be leading "How to Get Published" workshops on March 16 in Kingston (details here) and on March 17 in Peterborough (details here). To register, email:  

But probably the best single step you can take toward getting manuscript ready for publication is to join one of the
“Next Step” or “Intensive” creative writing courses. Starting in January, Brian will be leading “Next Step” courses in Mississauga (details here) and in Georgetown (details here). He’ll be leading   “Intensive” courses in Burlington (details here) and in Mississauga (details here).

See Brian's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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