Thursday, July 31, 2014

Deal Announcement for NONSENSE by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

I’m so pleased to announce a new deal for Felicia Sanzari Chernesky – the fifth picture book text that we’ve sold to Albert Whitman!  The third of those books is coming out this fall (SUGAR WHITE SNOW AND EVERGREENS), and is going to be gorgeous, thanks to the beautiful artwork of Susan Swan, and the good care that editor Wendy McClure and Albert Whitman have given Felicia’s books every step of the way.

Felicia’s first four titles with AW are rhyming picture books about four seasonal visits to a local farm, to pick pumpkins, to bring home fresh corn, to tap maple syrup, and finally to see the baby chicks hatch.  The genius of these books is in their bouncy, irresistible rhythm, and the concepts they each explore – shapes, numbers, colors and opposites.  This newest title is quite different, and very lovely.  NONSENSE is about a boy who rarely speaks, except to say numbers.  Eleven seems to be his favorite.  Those around him are often confused by this, and his mother grows increasingly concerned—until the day she discovers that he has been making sense all along.

Nonsense was inspired by a member of the author's family, who is on the autism spectrum.  Felicia chose allegory to tell this tale, which focuses on the ways in which we learn to communicate, because everyone sees the world differently and uses different kinds of intelligence.  The result is an accessible story that stands on its own, while giving families, teachers, and friends a way to talk about autism—or any other circumstance or condition that challenges our ability to communicate and understand one another.

Picture book 

Felicia Chernesky's NONSENSE, the story of a boy who rarely speaks except to say numbers; his mother is quite worried, until the day she learns that he has been making perfect sense all along, to Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman, by Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency.

Please visit Felicia on her twitter page ( or blog to say congratulations! (

Monday, July 21, 2014

#pitchFURY Requests

Thank you to everyone who entered #pitchFURY.
There were so many amazing pitches and after a week of reading and rereading, I have picked my top 10 pitches (+ an extra 4) and have replied to their comments with a request in the comment section. See original post HERE
I would love to read the query and first 3 chapters of the following (in no particular order):
1) Getting a new heart might not fix sixteen-year-old Adam’s broken one. #YA #thriller
2) Alanna is deaf; Jared is a geek, and both need each other to survive high school. YA Contemp. Beauty and the Beast retelling.
3) Obsessed with criminal minds, Schuyler Williams has to put her knowledge to the test to save her sister from a serial killer. 66k YA Contemporary Thriller
4) Beauty and the Beast meets Sarah Connor when Ella confronts the dangerous species who kidnapped her father. #Adult #PNR
5) #RomCom A breakup a dare and a hilarious 1 night stand prompt Caroline and Ryan to become FWB-is she more interested in his roommate who is willing to offer more
6) 35-year-old executive’s career is compromised when she has an affair with her subordinate. ContemporaryRomance
7) When an arrogant heir falls in love with the girl he must kill, it will take more than power to secure his reign...and his heart. YA/F
8) What happens when Beauty becomes the Beast? Forced to confront enemies both real & internal, even love might not be enough to save her.
9) The only man to keep his head, Thomas Wyatt was Anne Boleyn’s only real lover. #Historical #NA
10) An ice age shrouds the world, triggered by abrupt climate change. In this harsh environment, a young hunter must choose between honor and survival. #YA post-apoc

I would also love to read the query and first 10 pages of the following:

(1) In two worlds with two husbands and too many secrets, there can be only one soulmate. Magical realism.
(2) Lexy must choose between obeying her family or following Kaden, a werewolf, for a chance to save Jason, the boy—I mean zombie of her dreams. #YA
(3) Scotland's all castles and lochs and perfect boyfriends, right? The dark of the dungeon soon proves otherwise. #ContempRom
(4) Knife-wielding Catskin appears in shy albino Ansel's life & changes his world. But they'll both have to face the past she fled. #YAcontemp

Thank you to everyone!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Deal Announcement: Subsidiary Rights Sales

Lots of terrific subsidiary rights sales to announce this month!

Congratulations to the following TBA clients:

Lynsay Sands' bestseller TO MARRY A SCOTTISH LAIRD sold to Lyx in Germany, where the author is also a bestseller.

Susan Crawford's THE POCKET WIFE sold in France to Editions Harlequin and in the UK to Faber, brining the number of territories sold to six.

Lori Nelson Spielman's international bestseller THE LIFE LIST sold in Sweden to Bonniers, in Denmark to Art People and in Slovenia to Ucilia International, bringing the number of territories to 23.

Kathryn Caskie's A LADY'S GUIDE TO RAKES sold in Russia to Family Leisure Club.

Michael Farquhar's A TREASURY OF ROYAL SCANDALS sold in China to SDX Publishing.

Friday, July 11, 2014

What I’ve Learned from Attending Conferences + Connecting with Authors - by Beth

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve joined the Bent Agency and I’ve been to several great conferences so far. But I have a confession to make.

Being that I’m an agent, some people seem surprised to learn that I’m not a naturally social person. When I was a kid, I hated school for one reason: the inevitability of socializing. Group projects, recess, presentations, even the prospect of raising my hand. It all made me anxious.

Books saved me.

We had a little library in the back of my 4th grade classroom, which was really just two bookshelves with some used paperbacks scattered around. One recess, I picked up Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER and fell in love with books. I guess things didn’t really change for me, though. I was still socially awkward, nervous, and I preferred hanging out with my one best friend or else spending several days straight rereading entire series. Teachers let me read through class exercises (at least she’s reading, they’d reasoned). I read through lunch. I read during recess. I read in the car on the way to the mall; I read while I walked through the mall, trailing after my parents. I read through the night and during family vacations – once even reading by flashlight in the closet of my family’s hotel room because I just couldn’t put the book down. I didn’t need to talk to people. I had books. So as an adult, I still haven’t quite figured out how to be totally comfortable in pretty typical social situations.

Which means that going to conferences is kind of hard for me.

What's great about conferences is that attendees get to rub elbows with other authors, and with agents and editors they may not normally have a chance to interact with. A popular part of this is the one-on-one pitch meetings. I sit in a room or at a table, and authors sit with me for 3 minutes, 10 minutes, sometimes 15, and tell me about their book.

And, of course, they’re usually a bit nervous.

I encounter that same anxiety from the authors who sit at my table during lunch, or approach me after a panel or workshop. And without sounding like I feed off your anxiety or something – it does make me feel better! I feel like I’m surrounded by people who are my speed, people who care about stories and want to share them and talk about them. People who are likely also really nervous in social situations because they too have spent a lot of time holed up in their rooms getting lost in a good story. People who get it.

And it gives me strength and resolve and hope to think that my coming to conferences and being the awkward, socially clumsy person that I am will bring attendees relief. That they’ll see me as someone who does just like to talk about books and the power of that perfect story; that we can all just forget that we’re in A Social Situation. That you don’t have to be intimidated.

So if you’re going to a conference that I’ll be attending, know that I am there to interact with you, the storytellers I so admire, the people who saved me from recess.

Check out the right side of our blog for a list of upcoming conferences the TBA agents will be attending!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I see a lot of #tenqueries on twitter where agents tweet the queries as they reject them. Now I understand that these might be useful to writers, but here at The Bent Agency we tend to focus more on what works rather than what doesn't.

I am closed to submissions, but have recently requested a few manuscripts and I want to tell you a little about how they came my way and then do five tweet-sized accounts about why I requested them.

1. I met an author at a conference in Dallas. She was fabulous and made me laugh. We discussed what was working in the market and moved onto chatting about the things we women loved to talk about, watch on TV, etc. The list included Bridget Jones, 50 Shades, Magic Mike, funny books, Contemporary Romance, etc.  The author invited me to join the gals at a strip club. I had plans, but we joked about Magic Mike and her writing a manuscript like that, but for women. The next day I saw her walking the street, lol – okay, she was walking between hotels. I had my driver stop and I opened my car door and offered her a ride. A year later she emailed me with a query (that rocked) and 5 pages of the manuscript just like we discussed.

My (lengthy) tweet would be:
Query 1 yr after meeting author. Exactly what I asked for. High concept. Funny. Sexy. Magic Mike meets Sex & the City. Request! #5queries

2. A colleague sent me a pitch that came her way.  She loved the writing and the voice, but it was not the right fit for her. I loved the query and the pages.  Literary MG based on author’s life.

My tweet would be:
Referral. Literary middle grade that made me want to cry while reading the first 5 pages. Beautifully written.  Request FULL! #5queries

3. Self-published author that I tweeted/DM’d last year contacted me. I love everything about her series and I am a true fan. I did not offer rep when I had contacted her last year, but she feels like she might need some help moving forward and so she thought of me. Her covers are beautiful. Her titles and plots are high concept. Her sales are good. She is smart and savvy. I think there is foreign and film potential here. I have worked successfully with authors like her before and we are a full service agency, so we can help her explore those subrights. I have read many of her books and would love to see some new unpublished work.

My tweet would be:
Self-pub author restarts conversation we had last year. Gorgeous covers. High concept. Great writing. I am a HUGE fan #OFFERofREP #5queries

4. Nicole Resciniti and I run an annual American Writers Idol competition every year at the Romantic Times Convention (RT). Many of the submissions were so good that we requested a few of fulls even before the event started. We fell in love with four of them and are working on co-repping some of them.  We also represent one of last year’s winners.

My tweet would be:
Amazed at the wonderful, talented authors who submit their work to our RT Writers Idol Comp. Blown away. Requested many fulls. #5queries

5. Because I am closed to submissions, I try to go where the writers are and enjoy participating in online competitions, tweet festivals, roundups, blogs and general pitch madness on the interweb. This year I requested more than 25 full manuscripts from competitions alone. I think that the “tweet” pitch forces the writer to really hone in on the premise of the story and can bring out a high concept that might have been hidden in a regular query. These are my favorite pitches and are much like loglines used to pitch film concepts.

So today my tweet is…

I love 140 character pitches. Want to leave your high concept pitch in the comments section of my latest blog post? 24 hours only #pitchFURY

For this event I will request only the ones that resonate with me and it will probably be based on the following…

Is it high-concept? Eloquent? Original?
Do I love the idea/premise?
Will it make me want to call 5 friends and tell them all about it?
Does it make me curious to read more?

If you want to see what I am looking for, visit my page on the web:

Ready? Set? Tweet! 

I can't wait to read and consider your pitches.

~Louise Fury

UPDATE: #pitchFURY closed at 2pm EST on Friday (July 11th) 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Many thanks for the interest in the Generalist Intern position. The application period is now closed and the position has been filled. Your applications will be kept on file should another position open up but remember to keep up with the blog, as we post new internships here periodically and you're always welcome to re-apply for any position.