Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Agent Gemma Cooper Joins TBA!

Hi All, 

I'm thrilled to announce that I have joined the wonderful team at The Bent Agency! And I couldn't be more excited about this! I've already built up a strong working relationship with Molly Hawn here in London, and it seemed inevitable that we would end up as colleagues at some point. I'm looking forward to diving into the slush pile and adding to my current client list. I've written a wish list to help with what I'm looking for. I am only representing authors who write for children and teens.

      ·   I'm lucky to represent Mo O'Hara, author of MY BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH (Macmillan UK/Feiwel and Friends 2013) and I'd love to find other fantastic chapter books (7+ fiction) with an obvious hook and a laugh on every page.

·   One of my all time favourite books is WHEN YOU REACH Me by Rebecca Stead. I love that it blend genres, has an amazing voice and literary feel to the writing. Anything similar would make me sit up and take notice.

·    I love boy voice YA – it’s my favourite thing in YA and so hard to strike the right balance. Think John Green or Erin Jade Lange's BUTTER.

·    In YA, I’m seeing a lot of urban fantasy and am not really looking for this or paranormal romance. However, I’d love a nice juicy contemporary or issues driven YA. Think Jenny Valentine or Sara Zarr.

·    A YA or MG crime novel or some sort of heist would be great. My favourite detectives are Poriot and Sherlock Holmes, and I've love to read something with the same feel written for younger audiences - red herrings, opulent settings and gathering everyone in a room for the reveal!

·    Please send me historical fiction with a realistic narrator that almost has a diary feel to it. Think the ONCE, THEN, AFTER series by Morris Gleitzman

·    I would like to see some of the paranormal elements that work so well in YA filtered down into MG or chapter books - ideally with humour.

·    I'm obsessed with HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and the TV series RED DWARF, so I’d love to see funny sci-fi stories for a younger audience. The more off the wall the better.

And one final bit of help - books I've read recently that I've LOVED:

·       WONDER by RJ Palacio
·       DOG DISASTER by Katie Davies
·       LIAR & SPY by Rebecca Stead
·       BARRY LOSER by Jim Smith
·       A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness
·       MAGGOT MOON by Sally Gardner

Although I'm in London now, I lived in NYC for three years and regularly visit, so I'm going to be representing authors from the UK and the US. I look forward to reading your work and really appreciate you sharing it with me. Please query me at

Happy writing!
Gemma Cooper

Monday, September 17, 2012

Autumn is contest season for Molly Ker Hawn

I've been remiss in mentioning my participation in a number of contests this autumn. Pitch Madness has been and gone, and was terrific fun -- especially the Twitter afterparty, which inspired some very clever 140-character pitches. Boiling your pitch down to its shortest, pithiest self is such a good exercise, whether or not you're taking part in a contest. I'm working my way through all the fulls and partials I requested during Pitch Madness now. (If anyone knows how I can squeeze an extra few hours out of my week, I'm all ears.)

Over on Deana Barnhart's blog, Gearing Up to Get an Agent (GUTGAA) is underway, and next week I'll be one of the agents judging the top fifty queries. 

On 13 October, the entry window opens for Hook, Line and Sinker, co-hosted by my unsettlingly gifted client Kat Ellis, who knows a thing or two about pitching herself. I'll be judging the YA entries, but there are middlegrade and adult fiction categories as well. I should note that an earlier event on Cupid's Literary Connection was instrumental in bringing Kat and me together -- these competitions really are a fantastic opportunity to get your work in front of agents. They're a lot of work for us, but the prospect of finding a brilliant new client makes them well worth the time and effort. And there's no better way to spend a chilly autumn evening than curled up on the sofa with a mug of tea and a good manuscript.