Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring John Bowers of the Bent Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.
About John: John is from Richmond, Virginia and studied English literature at Virginia Commonwealth University. After graduating with a master’s degree in teaching, he spent a few years teaching English and Drama at American International schools in Colombia and Costa Rica. There he engaged in community outreach initiatives, picked up surfing, and after one too many eye-rolls trying to get kids to fall in love with Shakespeare, he packed his bags for Brooklyn. Before joining the Bent Agency, John worked in literary scouting, where he read fiction and nonfiction and recommended titles for foreign publishing and film/TV adaptation. He now helps handle the Bent Agency’s foreign rights and is also building a list of literary fiction and serious nonfiction.
He is Seeking: For fiction, John is looking for Southern Gothic and Southern-influenced literary fiction along the lines of Ron Rash, Cormac McCarthy, and anything in the tradition of titans like Flannery O’Connor. He would also love to see idea-driven science fiction, such as Ursula K. Le Guin’s THE DISPOSSESSED, dystopian fiction such as Nick Harkaway’s THE GONE-AWAY WORLD, and stories that make the world feel dystopian, like Kurt Vonnegut’s classic SLAUGHTERHOUSE-5.
For nonfiction, he is interested in narrative nonfiction in the vein of Beth Macy’s FACTORY MAN and sweeping historical fiction like RIVER OF DOUBT and KING LEOPOLD’s GHOST. He’s open to projects that engagingly distill topics regarding culture, media theory, finance, and popular science, much in the way of Michael Lewis and Malcolm Gladwell’s acclaimed works. He’s deeply intrigued by stories that help us better understand our world and anything that sets forth strong characters, edgy and expansive themes, and new perspectives.
How to Submit: Queries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him briefly who you are, about your book, and why you’re the one to write it. Include the title of your project in the subject line of your email. Then paste the first ten pages of your book in the body of your email (not as an attachment).
The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.
If you’re an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Writer’s Digest Books Managing Editor Cris Freese at email@example.com.