Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jenny Bent Closing to Queries!

Jenny Bent will be closed to queries until January 1, 2015. 

If you queried before this announcement (made at 4:54PM EST on September 24, 2014), you can expect a response in due course.

If Jenny has requested a manuscript from you (from a previous submission or during a conference) or if you were referred to her from a client or someone she knows, she's happy to hear from you.

Unfortunately, all other queries will receive an auto-response notifying the sender that she is closed to queries and the message will be deleted.

Jenny looks forward to receiving your submissions when she reopens on January 1, 2015.

Until then!

Monday, September 22, 2014

TBA at the Brooklyn Book Festival

This past Sunday, September 21, saw the return of the Brooklyn Book Festival, “the largest free literary event in New York City,” for its ninth annual incarnation! Held outside in downtown Brooklyn, the festival features panels and appearances by literary stars and publishing professionals, as well as booths featuring the wares of publishers great and small.

Bent Agency stalwarts yours truly and UK field agent Gemma Cooper were on the scene to investigate! Borough Hall was packed with families, authors, publishing industry professionals, and readers of every age. We couldn’t walk more than a few feet without running into an editor we knew, an author we admired, or a book that begged for closer inspection. (Gemma was particularly partial to the wares of the Enchanted Lion booth, a local publisher of beautifully designed children's books.) I even ran into a colleague from my writing workshop days, Louella San Juan, who has since gone on to self-publish her middle grade series The Crowded Kingdom, and had rented a booth to display her books and associated merchandise.

But my and Gemma's focus this year was on events featured at the Youth Pavilion. Among our favorite presentations:

Berrow, Scieszka & Santopolo, with moderator Jennifer Arena
  • It’s Elementary: a panel in which renowned kidlit authors Jon Scieszka (Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor), Jill Santopolo (All That Glitters), and Gillian Berrow (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) discussed the joys and challenges behind writing chapter books.

Booth, Reynolds & Stead
  • New York, New York: in which authors Jason Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest), Coe Booth (Kinda Like Brothers), and Rebecca Stead (Liar & Spy) talked about using New York City as both a setting and a character in their works.

On our way to grab a bite afterward, Gemma and I were unable to resist the pull of a nearby Barnes & Noble, where, I am pleased to report, we found the books of Bent Agency clients Sam Garton, Shelley Tougas, and Emma Trevayne, on prominent display. An inspiring way to close out this year's Brooklyn Book Festival experience, to be sure!

Sam Garton's I Am Otter in B&N's front window display!
Shelley Tougas and Emma Trevayne: shelfmates.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Deal Announcement: Three-Book deal for middle grade debut Claire Fayers

I am thrilled to announce a three-book deal for SCBWI-British Isles Undiscovered Voices winner Claire Fayers’ debut — THE VOYAGE TO MAGICAL NORTH. This book is a rip-roaring middle grade fantasy adventure, reminiscent of the classic storytelling of Diana Wynne Jones, but with the humour of Jasper Fforde. With a cast of funny and engaging characters, it’s everything I always want in a MG book. Plus, it has pirates, magicians, invisible bears and man-eating penguins! How could I not fall in love?

Claire has found a fantastic home at Macmillan in the US and UK — they blew us out of the water (excuse the pun) with their enthusiasm during a heated auction. I can’t wait for you all to get to meet Brine, Peter and the eccentric crew of the pirate ship Onion!

Please go congratulate Claire on Twitter.

 Children's: Middle grade

Claire Fayers' debut THE VOYAGE TO MAGICAL NORTH, when seeking her lost parents, twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne joins a pirate ship on a perilous adventure through ghost-infested storms and oceans teeming with man-eating penguins, all to find the magical top of world, to Noa Wheeler at Holt Children's and Rachel Kellehar at Macmillan Children's UK, at auction, in a three book deal, by Gemma Cooper of the Bent Agency (World English)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Recent #MSWL - by Beth

I love #MSWL. It’s such a great way to get specific, targeted submissions in my inbox that I can get really excited about. Not everyone participated in this week’s #MSWL, but I’ve decided to provide an updated summary of what the TBA agents are hoping to see in their slush. For a summary of the last #MSWL, and a bunch of other helpful tips on making the most of it, see here for Susan’s post. 

Jenny Bent  

#MSWL high concept women’s fiction, with a strong plot, great pace and lots of emotion. Like THE LIFE LIST by @lnelsonspielman

#MSWL bookclub fiction with an element of fantasy or magic like THE NIGHT CIRCUS or THE GHOST BRIDE by @yangszechoo

#MSWL contemporary YA with a strong plot and great hook, strong voice and lots of emotion

#MSWL suspense or crime with a strong female lead like anything by @LORIROYauthor, Tana French, Gillian Flynn, @LauraMLippman

#MSWL historical fiction (for adults) with a strong female lead and lots of plot

MG fantasy that reads like something Edward Eager would have written #MSWL

Earlier in the year, Jenny also shared her wishlist in this blog post

Victoria Lowes  

#MSWL YA historical fiction set in the early-mid 20th century with a hint of romance.

#MSWL Always looking for fun contemporary romances with a smart voice and a strong hook!

#MSWL Also looking for either YA or adult atmospheric mysteries that are filled with suspense

Victoria also shared a wishlist on the blog earlier in the year, which you can check out here.

Gemma Cooper

Gemma was a day early, but take note!

Reading submissions on the train - still really want a MG updated Homeward Bound or anything with quirky animal protagonists #wishlist

Brooks Sherman

I often have darker tastes with MG fiction: think THE WITCHES, THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, and the Bartimaeus Trilogy. #MSWL

That said, I also love straight-up comedy in MG books! Recent favorites have been BETTER NATE THAN EVER and (of course) ORIGAMI YODA! #MSWL

For YA fiction, I’m most interested in stories teens can relate to, rather than escape into. But speculative elements are fun, too! #MSWL

And for speculative YA projects, I’m most interested in fantasy (epic or historical) and horror (psychological or supernatural). #MSWL

Molly Ker Hawn

Molly didn’t get a chance to tweet updates to her #MSWL, although she’ll probably fight me for a cult book!  

But you can also find more details of what she’s looking for on the blog, over here.

Louise Fury

Sadly, Louise is closed to queries at the moment but she did run a really fun #pitchFURY event on the blog a while back. Check it out here and the results over here. And make sure you follow her on Twitter and keep up with the blog for more opportunities like that!

Susan Hawk

Susan is also presently closed to queries but mark your calendars because she’ll be reopening on September 22nd. Look here for her latest wishlist post and keep these in mind too:

A MG or YA novel in verse that's laugh out loud funny #MSWL

MG novels that include 'found' documents, like diaries, maps, journals, letters #MSWL

#MSWL YA or MG novels with historical element, and span generations, think Joy Luck Club for teens.

#MSWL YA or MG novels that are layered, rich with emotion, and include complex sibling and family relationships

#MSWL MG contemp novel that's fast-paced, with strong plot and big stakes, features 10/11 year old boy MC like the ones I know:

thoughtful, full of heart and affection for friends, loves sports and facts! #MSWL

Beth Phelan

Hungry for some dark, upmarket suspense. #MSWL

Can I also have more #YA with a laugh-out-loud kind of voice? #MSWL

Oh, and looking for beautiful, haunting, literary #YA that will make me cry. #MSWL

Still a sucker for creepy cults. Outstanding world-building, please! #MSWL

Also: islands, gated communities, small settings. #MSWL

Give me other cultures, diverse backgrounds. #MSWL

I’m also looking forward to the upcoming #PitMad (for details, see here) on September 9th, and will be hopping around the feed all day. You should also check out Victoria’s tips on how best to tackle these kinds of Twitter pitch parties; just go here!

Good luck everyone!