30 Literary Agents Seeking Diverse Books — Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Books (Part 3)

In celebration of my three new books released this September, I’m doing a lot of special lists of agents seeking queries right now. I’ve already done lists on picture book agents, thriller agents, fantasy agents, horror agents, and women’s fiction agents. Below find a list for 30 agents seeking diverse books for children/teens.

(This post is so big I broke it up into 3 sections. This is Part III. See Part I here and then see Part II here.)

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  1. When Clowns Attack: A Survival Guide is an anti-clown humor book that teaches you how to defend yourself against these red-nosed bozos who plague us. It’s a perfect gift for that clown-hating friend in your life. (It almost makes a heck of a white elephant gift.) Find it on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble or anywhere else books are sold. Beware clowns.
  2. The 2016 Guide to Literary Agents is a big database of agents — who they are, what they want, how to submit and more. Find it in the Writer’s Digest Shop or anywhere else books are sold.
  3. The 2016 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market has oodles of markets (agents, publishers, etc.) for writers & illustrators of children’s books — from picture books to middle grade to young adult. Find it in the Writer’s Digest Shop or anywhere else books are sold.

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All the agents listed below personally confirmed to me as of October 2015 that they are actively seeking diverse kidlit submissions (young adult, middle grade, picture books). Some gave personal notes about their tastes while some did not. Good luck querying!

Important note: After this list went live, several agents have commented that they felt snubbed by being “excluded” from the list, but please understand that this is not meant to serve as any kind of complete list of agents seeking diverse kidlit. There are lots of agents out there seeking diverse kidlit. This list is just a simple blog post — a grouping of 30 where the listed agents personally confirmed to me in October 2015 through chit-chat emails that they would like to be on such a list and were currently open to subs. If you are an agent and want to be added to this list (or included in the next installment), just tweet me @chucksambuchino and I will be happy to include. No one is excluded from any lists.

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.20.50 AM21. Beth Campbell (BookEnds Inc.)

Genres: young adult.

How to submit: E-query bcsubmissions [at] bookendsliterary.com. No attachments. “If you haven’t received a response to a query after 8 weeks, we ask that you simply resend the query. It’s possible that it was eaten by a spam filter on either our end or yours.”

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22. Sara Megibow (kt literary)

Genres: middle grade and young adult — absolutely all subgenres of both.

How to submit: ”Please e-mail your query letter and the first three pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to saraquery [at] ktliterary.com. The subject line of your email should include the word ‘Query’ along with the title of your manuscript. No attachments. We aim to reply to all queries within two weeks of receipt. In addition, if you’re an author who is sending a new query, but who previously submitted a novel to us for which we requested chapters but ultimately declined, please do say so in your query letter. If we like your query, we’ll ask for the first five chapters and a complete synopsis. For our purposes, the synopsis should include the full plot of the book, including the conclusion. Don’t tease us.”

(What are overused openings in fantasy, sci-fi, romance and crime novels?)

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.23.08 AM23. Laura Biagi (Jean V. Naggar Literary)

Genres: picture books, middle grade, young adult.

How to submit: Follow the instructions on the agency’s Submissions page here.

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FullSizeRender-124. Sarah LaPolla (Bradford Literary)

Genres: young adult (contemporary, science fiction, urban fantantasy, supernatural, NOT high fantasy), and middle grade (contemporary only).

How to submit: E-query sarah [at] bradfordlit.com. Put “Query: [title]” in your subject line. Please email a query letter along with the first chapter of your manuscript and a synopsis. Please be sure to include the genre and word count in your cover letter. (If you submit to Sarah, please do not submit to an of the other Bradford Lit agents on this list — Laura Bradford or Monica Odom.)

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.35.10 AM25. Jessica Watterson (Sandra Dijkstra Literary)

Genres: young adult romance.

How to submit: jessica [at] dijkstraagency.com. “If you have not heard back from us six weeks after sending your letter, you may assume that we have passed. Please send a query letter, a 1-page synopsis, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript. Please send all items in the body of the email, not as an attachment.”

(7 Easy Things Writers Can Do Right Now to Get More Blog Traffic.)

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.37.24 AM26. Elana Roth Parker (Laura Dail Literary)

Genres: picture books, middle grade, young adult.

Notes: “I seek books featuring under-represented voices and backgrounds. Non-Christian points of view, especially Jewish, would be especially great.”

How to submit: elana [at] redtreeliterary [dot] com. “Include the word QUERY in the subject field. (I suggest “QUERY: Book Title” as a nice model for a subject line.) Your query letter should include a short pitch, a short plot summary, and a short bio. Please also include publisher submission history and previous publishing credits, if applicable. After your query letter, paste the FIRST 5-10 PAGES of your novel into the body of the email. Your writing sample MUST be pasted into the email. I do not open unrequested attachments of any kind. And if there are no sample pages, I am far less likely to request material. If you are an author/illustrator and have not yet realized it’s a necessity, I highly recommend creating an online portfolio, which you can link to in your query instead of attaching sample artwork to an email. (Recommendation: If you like the way this site looks, then you’ll love Squarespace.) Please do not query me on a second, or third, project until I have replied to your first query.”

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.19.47 AM27. Stefanie Von Borstel (Full Circle Literary)

Genres: middle grade fiction and nonfiction, young adult fiction and nonfiction, picture book writers and illustrators.

Notes: “Full Circle Literary has a long-commitment and successful record of discovering and launching diverse writers! We represent award-winners Monica Brown, Katheryn Russell-Brown, Diana Lopez, Angela Cervantes, Anna Marie-McLemore, Reyna Grande among  many others. We’re also actively growing our list of diverse illustrators —proudly representing veterans like Rafael Lopez and Susie Ghahremani to exciting new talent like Juana Martinez-Neal. Visit us at fullcircleliterary.com, we’d love to hear from you!”

How to submit: Contact Stefanie through the agency’s online submission form. (If you are querying Taylor Martindale of FCL [also on this list], do not query Stefanie.)

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.38.41 AM28. Melissa Jeglinski (The Knight Agency)

Genres: young adult and middle grade.

Notes: “Diversity for me means characters with diverse religious, racial or sexual orientation backgrounds.”

How to submit: Submissions(at)KnightAgency(dot)net. “Your submission should include a one page query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript. Attachments will not be opened. Queries must be addressed to Melissa. The response time for queries is two to three weeks from the time of receipt. If you do not hear back after three weeks, it’s possible that our email security filter has blocked your email, so please send us a brief note following up on your initial query.”

(Can your query be longer than one page?)

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.40.52 AM29. Alison Devereux (Wolf Literary)

Genres: picture books.

How to submit: Send a query letter addressed to Allison along with a 50-page writing sample (for fiction) or a detailed proposal (for nonfiction) to queries [at] wolflit.com. Samples may be submitted as an attachment or embedded in the body of the email. More information can be found on the agency submission page.

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.42.27 AM30. Monica Odom (Bradford Literary)

Genres: picture books, middle grade, young adult.

Notes: “Genuine depictions of diversity, please.”

How to submit: E-query monica [at] bradfordlit.com. Put “Query: [title]” in your subject line. Please email a query letter along with the first chapter of your manuscript and a synopsis. Please be sure to include the genre and word count in your cover letter.” (If you submit to Monica, please do not submit to an of the other Bradford Lit agents on this list — Laura Bradford or Sarah LaPolla.)

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Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.23.41 AMBonus #31. Beth Phelan (Bent Literary)

Genres: young adult and middle grade.

How to submit: Send your query to phelanqueries [at] thebentagency.com with the first 10 pages of your manuscript pasted into the email.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 4.05.49 PMBonus #32. Uwe Stender (TriadaUS)

Genres: middle grade and young adult.

How to submit: E-query Uwe [at] triadaus.com. “If I like the query, I will ask for the full as a ms Word attachment.”

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Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 1.19.40 PMBonus #33. Sarah Davies (Greenhouse Literary)

Genres: middle grade and young adult

How to submit: “Email a query, with my name in the subject line, to submissions [at] greenhouseliterary.com. The query should be accompanied by the first 5 pages of text, pasted into the email. Always check submission guidelines at www.greenhouseliterary.com before sending; the website will also show you the kinds of books I represent.”

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Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 1.20.59 PMBonus #34. Brooks Sherman (The Bent Agency)

Genres: picture books, middle grade, young adult

How to submit: Brooks asks that you review the agency’s submissions guidelines, then query him at shermanqueries [at] thebentagency.com.

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See Agents 1-10 on the list here.

See Agents 11-20 on the list here.

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