Have you written a middle grade (MA) novel that you want to publish? If you want an agent to help you find a publisher, below we’ve featured 15 top middle grade literary agents.
1. Katie Grimm
Founded by Don Congdon and Michael Congdon in 1983, Don Congdon Associates, Inc. is a literary agency which works with both aspiring and established authors. Some of their clients have won prestigious prizes, such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the George Polk Award, and the Pritzker Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Among their agents we can name Katie Grimm, who joined the New York City-based team in 2007. She is mainly interested in vivid literary fiction, which includes young adult and middle grade fiction, short story collections, graphic novels, and upmarket women’s fiction. In terms of non-fiction, she is looking for narratives and memoirs – regardless of the genre, Katie wants to represent stories “with a heartbeat”, which transcend the limits of triviality.
Another Don Congdon agent that accepts middle grade fiction is Maura Kye-Casella. If you would like to work with either one of them, feel free to consult the Submission Guidelines available here and send them your work.
The founder of the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency, she gained experience in the field as a writing consultant for major corporations, and she also worked in the editorial departments of Random House and Simon & Shuster. She is currently based in New York City, where she is often a guest judge for the Writer’s Digest, That First Line, and Wow! Women on Writing contests.
Jennifer is looking for authors of children’s fiction, respectively picture books, and middle grade and young adult fiction (although she is open to any distinctive story, she is not very fond of science fiction), non-fiction (such as memoirs), and adult fiction.
The president of the New York City-based Prospect Agency, Emily decided to open her business in 2005, after five years of working at Writers House. With a major in English from Carleton College, she discovered her passion for fiction once she realized that law school was not the right choice for her.
Now, Emily is looking for select middle grade and early reader fiction that has a strong commercial appeal, memoir and high-interest non-fiction, literary and commercial young adult fiction, established and strong debut romance writing, mainstream romance, commercial and upmarket women’s fiction, and self-published authors who want to explore a hybrid career.
However, she is not interested in poetry, screenplays, prescriptive non-fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. If you would like to collaborate with Emily, you can find the Submission Guidelines here.
Jennifer Chen joined Bradford literary in 2017, as a representative of both fiction and non-fiction. Previously, she was a Fuse Literary Associate Agent and she served as Counsel at The New Press. Jennifer has a Juris Doctor from the Boston Northeastern School of Law, an M.A., and a B.A. in English Literature from the St. Louis Washington University.
In terms of fiction, she is interested in select middle grade and young adult, women’s fiction, respectively upmarket, literary, and contemporary, as well as in graphic novels and other visually-driven projects. Regardless, she is not interested in children’s picture books, erotica, poetry, westerns, science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, and screenplays.
With a minor in Anthropology and a major in English, both from Birmingham University, Christa Heschke started her career as an intern at Sterling Lord Literistic and at Writers House. She is now a literary agent at McIntosh and Otis since 2009, where she works in the Children’s Literature Department.
Christa is open to discovering works for all age groups in children – when it comes to young adult, she is particularly interested in fantasy, horror, contemporary, and thriller/mystery. She is also passionate about all types of middle grade, especially when it comes to adventure, magical realism, and mystery.
At the moment, she does not want to represent authors who specialize in non-fiction, adult fiction, dystopian, and paranormal. However, if you have a middle grade project to send, make sure to read the Submission Guidelines provided.
6. Peter Knapp
A literary agent at Park & Fine Literary and Media since 2011, Peter Knapp currently represents middle grade and young adult fiction authors. Previously, he worked at Floren Shieh Productions, where he had to find books for production entities to develop and turn into movies or TV shows. He graduated from the New York University and is now based in Brooklyn.
His range of clients includes Soman Chainani, a New York Times bestselling author, Lindsay Cummings, Sara Holland, Julia Drake, Lucy Keating, and many others. In order to become accustomed with his work, you can access his Clients section here.
7. Wendi Gu
An agent of the New York-based Sanford Greenburger Associates, Wendi represents authors specialized in children’s books of fiction and non-fiction. From board books to young adult, she is interested in all the genres across the spectrum.
When it comes to middle grade and young adult novels, she is particularly interested in voice-driven stories that have contemplative, thoughtful, and flawed characters – intersectionality is also a value on which she places great importance.
Wendi has worked with New York Times bestselling authors, humor award winners, and many other kinds of authors. If you would like to collaborate with her, feel free to access her page here for more information.
A Stonesong agent since 2015, Alyssa Jennette was initially an intern at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She earned a BFA in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010, which helped her provide a unique expertise in terms of design-heavy works, and she is the co-founder of a book club called #readmorewomen.
She currently represents authors of children’s and adult fiction, graphic novels, picture books, and select pop culture non-fiction. Her main interests are mythology, archaeology, art, language/translation, and the criminal justice reform. Among her clients we can name middle grade authors Chris Negron and Brandon Hoang.
If you have a project that you want to discuss with her, you can send her your work according to the Submission Guidelines provided online.
A member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and an agent at Triada US, Dr. Uwe Stender is interested in both fiction and non-fiction. When it comes to the latter, he imposes no limits – from gardening to history, there is no subject he will refuse.
In terms of children’s fiction, he mainly wants to represent authors of young adult and middle grade fiction. Although he is now based in Philadelphia, he is not American – thus, he is eager to represent underrated voices from all around the world.
However, he is not the only Triada US agent to accept middle grade fiction – Brent Taylor and Lauren Spieller are two other agents that you can contact as well, in case you want to discuss such a project. The Submission Guidelines can be found here.
The Rights Agent at Madeleine Milburn Ltd, Alice also works on improving the children’s and young adult list of the agency. Previously, she gained experience in the publishing industry as a bookseller. This has helped her negotiate several deals in the UK, thus managing to sell title rights worldwide. Furthermore, she also has experience as a film critic.
In terms of literature, she is currently looking for middle grade for 9-12 (both standalone and with series potential), tween stories between middle grade and young adult, graphic artists and illustrators, and underrepresented authors.
If you want to collaborate with a professional literary agent from the UK, you can contact her after reading the Submission Guidelines displayed on the website.
11. Liz Dennis
A London-based literary agent, Liz Dennis joined Johnson & Alcock in 2015. She is currently developing a children’s list, and she also works as the agency’s office manager. Her passion for children’s fiction was discovered at an early age – this determined her to write her university dissertation on the gender images in this genre.
After gaining an experience of over 12 years in selling foreign rights for renowned publishing houses, Liz now spends most of her time reading middle grade and young adult manuscripts. The works she prefers usually involve challenging the stereotypes, mystery, and plot twists.
If you want to contact her in order to discuss your project, make sure to check the Submission Guidelines imposed by the agency first.
12. Zoe Plant
Born in London, Zoe studied for her Cambridge degree in both Russian and Spanish, and then lived in Moscow for a year. When she came back to the UK, she started her publishing career as an intern at The Bent Agency, thus spending five years as a literary scout – in this manner, she managed to find the best children’s and adult book writers.
She is looking for commercial, middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction. Regardless of the age group, she wants all of the books she represents to have a high-quality plot, a pace, as well as quirky and fresh elements. When it comes to middle grade and young adult fiction, she is particularly interested in adventure, action, and distinct worlds.
13. Rachel Letofsky
A Canadian literary agent, Rachel Letofsky graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in English Literature, and from the Humber Creative Book Publishing Program. She became a part of the Cooke McDermid team in 2010, and she now spends her spare time hosting workshops for authors, among other activities.
When it comes to representation, she is highly interested in middle grade and young adult books, regardless of the genre. She is passionate about exquisite literary fiction, and she is very versatile in terms of writing approaches.
Although a reply is not guaranteed, as they have to read a high volume of submissions, you can still try to reach Rachel after consulting the Submission Guidelines provided online.
14. Danielle Binks
Now based in Melbourne, Danielle Binks is an agent, writer, reviewer, Youth Literature Advocate, and book blogger. She is partnered with Jacinta di Mase Management as a literary agent of young adult and middle grade works, thus looking permanently for new Australian authors. Occasionally, she works with adult authors as well.
Among all the writers represented by Danielle, we can name Graham Akhurst, with his debut young adult eco-thriller “Borderland” and Julianne Negri, who is the author of the middle grade book called “The Secret Library of Hummingbird House”.
Unfortunately, she will not be accepting unsolicited manuscripts until the end of 2019. This may change, though, so make sure to remain updated by accessing this page.
15. Alex Adsett
The founder of the Alex Adsett Publishing Services, she is a literary agent and publishing consultant who has an experience of over 20 years in the field. As a consultant, she provides strategic and commercial advice to her clients, among which we can name the University of Queensland Press.
As a literary agent, she is interested in children’s, middle grade, and young adult fiction, as well as in science fiction, crime, romance, commercial fiction, and fantasy (especially high-concept fantasy). However, she is not interested in memoir, self-help, spirituality, young adult dystopia/post-apocalyptic, romance involving domestic abuse, or racist, sexist, homophobic, and discriminatory/offensive books.
She is not accepting unsolicited manuscripts at the moment – for additional information, you can access this page.
Do you know of any other middle grade literary agents? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
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