Tuesday, October 4, 2016

7 Literary Agents Seeking Picture Books

Updated 8/22/21

These seven agents are seeking picture books. As long as people continue to have children, picture books will never go out of style. (They are even quite entertaining for adults.)

Note: You can find dozens of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients

IMPORTANT: You should NEVER query an agent without checking the agency website first. Submission requirements change, and agents may close their lists, or switch agencies.

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Emily Van Beek (Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management)

"Representing an author or artist, whether aspiring or established, is an honor and a commitment I take very seriously. I am passionate about children’s and young adult books. I am passionate about negotiating the best deal possible. I am passionate about working together with our experienced and esteemed subsidiary rights and contracts teams to squeeze as much juice out of a single property as it will yield. I find it incredibly rewarding to work with new voices (and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve discovered several irresistible projects by debut authors and artists in the submissions pile). I’m also committed to helping established authors and artists continue to grow their careers. I am an “editorial” agent, in that I’ll work through as many drafts over the course of as many years as it takes to polish a manuscript I believe in to a high shine prior to submission. My goal is to build long-term relationships with authors and artists and to help them publish books that will stand the test of time."

What she is looking for: Author-illustrator submissions only please. No submissions that are text-only.

How to submit: emily [at] foliolitmanagement.com. “To submit a picture book, please attach a PDF of your dummy. Links to online portfolios are always welcome. I would very much like to be able to respond to every query, but unfortunately time doesn’t allow for it. Please be sure to write ‘QUERY’ in the subject line as this will ensure I do not miss your letter. If you haven’t heard back from me within six weeks, I’m sorry to say I’ve decided I’m not the ideal match for your project.”

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Jennifer Flannery (Flannery Literary)

Jennifer Flannery founded Flannery Literary in 1992 in New York after working at a literary agency in her hometown of Minneapolis and then in the trade department at HarperCollins. Flannery moved her offices to the Chicago area in 1997.

What she is looking for: Flannery Literary is looking for strong writing, a unique viewpoint, a memorable story, an intriguing character, and a thought-provoking dilemma a young reader is eager to see resolved.

How to submit: flanneryliterary [at] icloud.com. “I request e-mail queries only with the entire picture book embedded in an e-mail.”

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John Rudolph (Dystel & Goderich)

"After twelve years as an editor, I’m excited to wear a new hat in the publishing industry and discover fresh voices and talent, both in children’s books and on the adult side as well. For middle-grade and YA fiction, I’m on the lookout for authentic kids’ voices and rousing, high concept stories—I love a good “what-if” scenario."

What he is looking for: "I’m eager to find the next great author/illustrator."

How to submit: E-query jrudolph [at] dystel.com.

Will not open attachments if they come with a blank e-mail.

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Wendi Gu (Sanford Greenburger)

Wendi grew up in the sleepy suburbs of Chicago and studied Creative Writing at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, she interned with children's book agent Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and continued working there as a literary assistant after graduation. She soon began representing her own picture books, middle-grade, and young adult titles with a special interest in girl power, family relationships, and the immigrant experience. She likes stories that root for the underdog. Her favorite books have voices that range from warm and lyrical, to witty and deadpan.

How to submit: You can query Wendi at wgu@sjga.com with QUERY in the subject line, with query letter and a 10-page sample in the body of the email. For illustrators and author/illustrators, please attach full sketch dummies and portfolios as a PDF or FTP link.

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Bibi Lewis (Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency)

“Bibi is actively acquiring clients in Children’s (picture books through YA, both fiction and non) and Adult. For Adult titles she is primarily interested in Romance, Women’s Fiction, Mysteries and Thrillers. She manages subsidiary rights for the agency in addition to her duties as an agent and general office manager.”

How to submit: Please send submissions to agent@ethanellenberg.com to the attention of Bibi Lewis.

For email submissions, paste all materials into the body of the email in the order mentioned below. For picture books, please include:

  • a brief query letter
  • complete manuscript (text only)
  • 4-5 images of sample illustrations pasted into the body of the email, if you have them. Illustrations are not required for picture books and you may submit only the text.

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Christa Heschke (McIntosh & Otis)

Christa graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children's Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively acquiring for all age groups in children’s.

What she is seeking: “I am open to both text only and author/illustrators, though I am very selective. I am more drawn towards character driven stories that are cute and/or funny, not overly sweet. I love twists on familiar characters or storylines and unlikely friendship stories. I also enjoy nonfiction bios on strong women and people of color throughout history, especially. For all categories [of kidlit], I’d love to see more diverse books!”

How to submit: Query CHquery [at] mcintoshandotis.com.

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Joseph Perry (Perry Literary)

Joseph Perry began his book publishing journey when he attended the New York University Summer Publishing Institute in 2010. Like many students in the course, he wanted to be an editor. However, when he listened to a literary agency panel, he knew he had found his calling. After initially interning as a reader of nonfiction manuscripts at FinePrint Literary Agency, Joseph enrolled at St. John’s University School of Law to learn about the legal aspects of publishing and graduated with a juris doctorate in 2015.

How to submit: If submitting a picture book, please include the entire manuscript. Queries should be sent to jperry@perryliterary.com.

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