About Heather: “I grew up in Massachusetts, between Boston and the Cape, and started working in New York City as a playwright during college. This pushed me towards English as a focus, and after a lot of country-hopping in my early twenties, I wound up finally beginning my publishing career in editorial, specifically at Random House in the UK. That’s also where I became a YA and children’s literary scout, which finally landed me back in NYC, consulting with foreign publishers and Hollywood regarding what the next big book will be. Now as an agent, I’m thrilled to turn my focus on growing authors for that same success.”
What she is seeking: Children’s, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as select new adult fiction, and pop-culture or humorous nonfiction.
“Currently I’m looking for YA fiction across-the-board, though my heart does sway towards issue-related YA with humor and heart – not depressing, or mopey. I also love love love hard, punchy, contemporary YA that’s got no hesitations when it comes to crazy. I’m also always up for seeing contemporary stories with sci-fi or fantasy elements, as well as a clever respin of an old or classic tale. And then, lastly, really good horror and ghost stories… not gory-for-gory’s sake or overly disgusting, but cringing, dark, bloody twisted, and even lovely. That said, the one thing I love above all else in a YA novel, regardless of sub-genre, is a strong and specific character voice. A real person, not another ‘everygirl.’
As for the middle grade I’m looking for, I want it stark, honest, and even dark; either contemporary or period, as long as it’s accessible. Coming-of-age stories, dealing-with-difficulty stories, witness stories (adult issues seen through the child’s p.o.v kinda thing), anything that makes you want to hold the narrator’s hand… for your own comfort, as well as their’s. I am also ok with these stories having slight magical or fantasy elements as well – as long as they’re subtle. In new adult, I like to see story… not just romance and/or erotica. For me, it should pretty much be a great YA novel for an older audience. On the nonfiction side, I’m looking for strong teen memoirs about overcoming crushing situations. ”
How to submit: Read The Bent Agency’s updated submissions guidelines online, and then e-mail flahertyqueries [at] thebentagency.com.
About Sarah: Sarah Nagel joined Writers House in 2011 to work with Senior Vice President, Merrilee Heifetz and is now actively building her own client list. Previously, Sarah was a media lawyer in London and graduated with two separate degrees in English Language and Literature, and Law. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahNagel14.
What she is seeking: Sarah is looking for psychological thrillers (those that mess with your head rather than high speed cross-country chases), horror, mystery, suspense and literary fiction. Sarah is especially interested in strong character-driven fiction and stories that explore the dynamics of a dysfunctional family unit / relationships. Sarah also represents realistic Young Adult and Middle Grade with a hint of magical realism. On the nonfiction side, Sarah is interested in medical ethics, true crime, humor books and memoir with a distinctive narrative voice with a universal resonance. Sarah is not looking for straight sci-fi, high fantasy, romance or picture books.
How to submit: “I accept e-mail queries and will usually respond within 4-6 weeks. Please submit your query, including the first ten (10) pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of the e-mail (no attachments please!), to snagel [at] writershouse.com with “QUERY FOR SARAH NAGEL: [TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT]” in the subject line. Please do not query multiple Writers House agents simultaneously.”