Thursday, April 4, 2019

New literary agent Claire Draper of The Bent Agency seeks MG and YA fiction, picture books, and graphic novels

The House with Chicken Legs,
by Sophie Anderson,
represented by the Bent Agency

The Bent Agency
19 West 21st Street,
Suite 201
Brooklyn, NY 10010
21 Melliss Avenue
Richmond TW9 4BQ

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Since Jenny Bent left Trident Media in 2009, the Bent Agency has grown into a mid-size trans-Atlantic agency with a dozen agents. But it’s still a young agency, and most of the agents there are very actively looking for authors. They represent all sorts of nonfiction and fiction for all ages.


Claire Draper is the newest member of the team, and like all new agents, she needs authors. Claire is looking for Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, picture books, graphic novels for all ages, feminist memoirs and essays.
Here’s what she has to say:
“After studying Queer Diversity in Children’s Literature at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study for my BA, I continued my pursuit of great books for young readers by interning at Rare Bird Lit and the Children’s Book Council, and eventually joined InkWell Management. In early 2019, I moved to the Bent Agency as an agent of graphic novels and a mix of fiction and nonfiction for children of all ages.
“I’m currently looking for young adult fiction and middle grade fiction, graphic novels for all ages, body positive or feminist memoirs, and collections of feminist essays. I am particularly interested in books with queer protagonists that are not necessarily issue-driven books.
“For YA and MG fiction, I love action and adventure, and far-off places with challenges that make the protagonist grow as person for you to love and admire. I also love contemporary fiction for young readers where the main character has average, everyday challenges and we see how they overcome them.
The Weight of a Thousand Feathers
by Brian Conaghan,
represented by the Bent Agenty
“I love a book with heart that causes an outpouring of emotions, especially when a book makes me feel so much I want to throw it across the room in protest (think Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe or We Are Okay). I am especially interested in neurodiverse protagonists. Don’t send me books with suicide ideation, particularly when it’s a queer protagonist.
“For graphic novels, I like a diverse cast of characters, placed in nearly any genre or location, but I’d like to see something that hasn’t been done over and over again. I prefer art that is challenging the classic “comic book” style. I am open to queries for all ages, fiction and nonfiction, for graphic novels. Don’t send books with gratuitous violence.
“For body positive and/or feminist memoirs and collections of essays, I want this for audiences of all ages and from persons with multiple intersections of identity. I am particularly interested in memoirs from disabled people, neurodiverse people, and/or people with mental illness. I love books with humor or a narrator with a bone to pick.”
Include the title of your work in the subject line of your email and paste the first 10 pages of your work into the email. No attachments.
For picture books, include the complete text; for illustrations, please also include a link to your website if available, or two or three PDFs or JPEGs of your work. For graphic novels, please paste the first ten pages of your script in the body of your email, as well as the first five pages of your dummy. The dummy doesn’t need to be entirely finished, but if it’s not, please include up to three samples of your finished work, or a link to your online portfolio.
Full submission guidelines here.

YA author Tanaz Bhathena
In May, two Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshops are coming up, both with guest speaker Erin O'Connor, senior editor, Scholastic Books. On Saturday, May 5, in Toronto, the workshop will also feature young adult author Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (see here), and on Saturday, May 11, in Brampton the workshop will feature young adult author Tanaz Bhathena (see here).

If you’re interested in getting published, soon or somewhere down the road, don’t miss the How to Get Published workshop, Saturday, June 8, in Waterloo with literary agent Meg Wheeler (see here). 
For updated listings of How to Get Published workshops see here (and scroll down). 

And don’t miss these other great workshops coming soon: Secrets of Writing a Page-turner, Saturday, April 6, in Alliston (see here), Writing Your Life, with guest speaker Ross Pennie, Saturday, April 13, in Guelph (see here), and Plotting Novels and Writing Short Stories, Saturday, May 25, in Niagara on the Lake (see here). 

But the best way to grow as a writer may be with a weekly course. A full range of classes start in April:

 Welcome to Creative Writing, Thursday afternoons, April 18 – June 20. Details here.
Toronto: Welcome to Creative Writing, Friday afternoons, April 26 – June 28. Details here.
Oakville Central Library: Writing Personal Stories,  Thursday evenings, April 18 – June 20. Details here.
Burlington: Intensive Creative Writing, Tuesday afternoons, April 16 – June 25. First readings emailed April 9. Details here.
Georgetown: Intensive Creative Writing, Wednesday evenings. First readings emailed April 10. Details here.
Toronto: Intensive Creative Writing, Friday mornings, April 26 – June 28. First readings emailed April 19. Details here.
     See details of all 6 courses here.

And later in the spring, come enjoy the most sublime writing experience of all…
Algonquin Writing Retreat, Friday, May 31 – Monday, June 3, 2019: four days in the luxurious isolation of Arowhon Pines Resort to get down to some real creative growth. Details here. 

And in the fall, join us at the ... 
November at the Briars Writing Retreat.
Friday, November 1 – Monday, November 4; four days of creativity in a setting that provides the warmth of a country estate steeped in history while providing all the benefits of an extensive, modern lakeside resort. Details here.

To reserve a spot in any upcoming weekly course, weekend retreat, or Saturday workshop, email Brian at:
Read reviews of Brian’s courses, retreats, and workshops here.

See Brian’s complete current schedule hereincluding Saturday writing workshops, weekly writing classes, and weekend retreats in Algonquin Park, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, New Tecumseth, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Navigation tips: Always check out the Labels underneath a post; they’ll lead you to various distinct collections of postings. 
For a listing of twenty-one American & Canadian publishers accepting unagented manuscripts for children and young adults {and other things} see here.
For a listing of one Canadian and eight British publishers  and book publishers, accepting unagented manuscripts for children and young adults {and other things} see here.
For most recent postings of publishers of Kid Lit {and other sorts of books}, see here {and scroll down}.
For all posting of book publishers, see here {and scroll down}.

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