Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Heather Flaherty 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 Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency: "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."
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She is seeking: authors who write 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: Review The Bent Agency's updated submissions guidelines online, and then e-mail flahertyqueries [at] thebentagency.com.
Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers Conferences:
- Feb. 11, 2017: Writers Conference of Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
- Feb. 16–19, 2017: San Francisco Writers Conference (San Francisco, CA)
- Feb. 24, 2017: The Alabama Writers Conference (Birmingham, AL)
- Feb. 25, 2017: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA)
- March 25, 2017: Michigan Writers Conference (Detroit, MI)
- March 25, 2017: Kansas City Writing Workshop (Kansas City, MO)
- April 8, 2017: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
- April 22, 2017: Get Published in Kentucky Conference (Louisville, KY)
- April 22, 2017: New Orleans Writers Conference (New Orleans, LA)
- May 6, 2017: Seattle Writers Conference (Seattle, WA)
- May 19–21, 2017: PennWriters Conference (Pittsburgh, PA)
- June 24, 2017: The Writing Workshop of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
- Aug. 18–20, 2017: Writer's Digest Conference (New York, NY)
Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:
- Agent Spotlight: Andy Kifer (Gernert Company) seeks Literary, Sci-Fi, Thrillers & Nonfiction.
- 5 Things To Look For In A Critique Partner.
- It Starts With A Good Book.
- How I Got My Literary Agent: Natalia Sylvester (Fiction).
- Follow Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter or find him on Facebook. Learn all about his writing guides on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and writing a query letter.
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