Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laurel Symonds of The Bent Agency

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 1.17.41 PM.pngLaurel Symonds is a literary agent with The Bent Agency.

She is seeking young adult fiction (all kinds), middle grade fiction (all kinds), chapter books, and picture books (both text only and author-illustrator work). She also seems excellent illustrators and children’s nonfiction.

She does not want pitches for graphic novels or any kind of books for adults.

“I began my publishing career in the editorial department of HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books in New York City. In the past decade, I have also held positions in the marketing department at a small publishing house, in a library, and as a bookseller at one of the nation’s best independent bookstores. What I love about agenting is being the author’s number one cheerleader through all these parts of the publication process!

I am seeking young adult and middle-grade fiction with earnest, engaging voices set in immersive worlds. Fantasy, contemporary, historical settings, retellings, and manuscripts with unique elements are of specific interest. In particular, I am seeking voices that have previously been underrepresented and stories that have been overlooked. I’m also interested in middle grade that might lend itself to illustration.

“For chapter and picture books, I am seeking authors and illustrators (or author-illustrators) who bring a unique vision to their stories. In chapter books, I’m seeking sweet realistic or mystery series. My picture book tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I am interested in art in all mediums, but especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective.

“In nonfiction for children and young adults, I am seeking biographies, histories, and explorations of STEM elements, especially projects with series potential. I’m also interested in prospective authors with an established expertise and/or platform that lends itself to expansion into the children’s market.”

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