Are you an author who has written a Young Adult novel in a genre such as contemporary fiction, fantasy, dystopian, romance or science fiction?
Perhaps your book is a mixture of genres targeted towards teenagers.
Do you believe you have a bestseller on your hands?
Take a look at the following 19 top Young Adult literary agents.
One of these might be able to find you a reputable book publisher.
1. Christopher Schelling
With nearly twenty years of experience as a literary agent, having been an executive editor at both Dutton and HarperCollins, Christopher Schelling is one of the industry’s leading literary agents. He founded Selectric Artists and represents an impressive client list that includes numerous best-selling and critically-acclaimed authors in a wide variety of genres. Some of the clients that they represent include Rainbow Rowell, author of “Eleanor & Park,” and Stewart Lewis, author of “Stealing Candy.”
Selectric Artists is currently accepting submissions. According to the agency’s website, they highly recommend that you include a cover letter along with your resume in either .doc, .pdf or .pages form via email. They do not accept queries by telephone.
2. Emily van Beek
Emily van Beek is a literary agent with Folio Literary Management who is eagerly seeking authors with refreshing young adult stories to tell. She has represented authors like Jenny Han, author of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “P.S. I Still Love You.” She is currently accepting submissions via email. Due to the volume of submissions she receives, she will only contact those who match what she’s looking for.
3. Daniel Lazar
Daniel Lazar has nearly sixteen years of experience in the literary publishing field. Currently an agent with Writers House LLC, Daniel represents both adult and children’s books, focusing primarily on middle grade and young adult fiction. He has represented clients like Raymond A. Villareal, author of “A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising” which was published by Little Brown in June of 2018.
According to his page on Publisher’s Market, he is actively seeking new clients. It’s recommended that you send a query letter first, either by email or through regular mail with an SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). Include the first five pages of your manuscript with your query letter, and if your project has illustrations, send a link with a few samples if possible.
4. Deidre Knight
Deidre Knight is a senior agent and president of the Knight Agency, which she founded in 1996. While she represents clients who write in a broad range of categories such as romance, women’s fiction, memoirs and nonfiction, she also represents clients who write young adult fiction and has connected her clients with famous publishing houses like Penguin Putnam, Random House and Simon & Schuster.
The Knight Agency is currently accepting submissions via email only. According to their website, response times can take anywhere between two to three weeks due to the volume of submissions that they receive. This particular agency is very upfront and honest about their fees and charges, also listed on their submission guidelines page.
5. Kristin Nelson
Having represented over forty New York Times bestselling titles, Kristin Nelson has a ton of experience as a young adult literary agent. She is the president and founding literary agent of Nelson Literary Agency, LLC and has represented authors like Hugh Howey, author of “Beacon 23” and “Wool.”
The Nelson Literary Agency is currently accepting submission via email only. According to the agency’s website, Kristin is specifically looking for young adult and middle grade novels, with specific interest in projects that are thrillers, science fiction or fantasy. It’s a good idea to send a query letter first. If they’re interested, they will ask that you send your full manuscript for review!
6. Michelle Kass
Michelle Kass is a literary agent who has represented authors like Patrick Ness, author of “A Monster Calls,” which also happened to enjoy a successful theatre and film adaptation. Based out of London, UK, Michelle is currently not accepting unsolicited manuscripts. However, they still advise sending a query letter to let them know about your project. If they are interested, they will be in contact with you to make further arrangements.
7. Kate McKean
A literary agent with Morhaim Literary since 2006, Kate McKean earned a master’s degree in fiction writing at the University of Mississippi. She has worked with authors such as Daniel Mallory Ortberg, author of “Texts from Jane Eyre” and Madeleine Roux, author of the young adult horror series “Asylum.”
She is particularly interested in representing clients who write young adult horror, romance, LGBTQ issues, contemporary fiction, and more. Kate is not actively looking for new clients at this time, but there are several other agents that she works with at Morhaim Literary that are still accepting unsolicited manuscript submissions. If you’re a writer who’s written a manuscript with a unique voice and interesting perspective, they would be more than happy to take a look to see if you would be represented well.
8. Stephen Barr
Another experience literary agent from Writers House, LLC, Stephen Barr has over ten years of experience in the publishing industry. Specializing in contemporary young adult fiction, Stephen has represented clients like Caldecott Medalist and MacArthur Fellow author David Macaulay, author of “The Way Things Work.”
While he accepts submissions by mail, he prefers to be contacted by email. Send him a query letter and the first five to ten pages of your manuscript, along with an SASE. You should hear back from Stephen fairly quickly if you contact him electronically.
9. Elana Roth Parker
Elana Roth graduated from Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary with degrees in both English literature and Bible. She has been a literary agent with the Laura Dail Literary Agency since 2008 and specializes in young adult fiction. The Laura Dail Literary Agency is currently accepting submissions by email only and does its best to respond to every query letter within two to four weeks. Specific submission guidelines can be found on their website.
10. Russel Galen
One of the three founding members of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency, Inc., Russel Galen is a passionate literary agent who works hard for the clients that he takes on. He has represented clients like Diana Gabaldon, author of “An Echo in the Bone,” and Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of “The Priestess of Avalon.” Scovil Galen Ghosh prefer email queries, but do accept hard copy submissions as well if you provide an SASE. More information on how to directly email Russel can be found here.
11. Kerry Sparks
A literary agent with Levin Greenberg Rostan since 2008, Kerry Sparks has represented several New York Times and International Bestselling authors like Jennifer Niven, author of “All the Bright Places.” According to her agent information page, she is currently looking for fiction for teens and young adult readers. You can actually submit to Levin Greenberg Rostan directly on their website. Make sure to give a lot of detail about your project to really stand out against the competition!
12. Joanna Volpe
Joanna Volpe is a literary agent and president of New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She represents all brands of fiction and is currently in search of rich stories with diverse and new perspectives. She has represented authors like Danielle Paige, New York Times bestelling author of “Dorothy Must Die,” and #1 New York Times bestseller Leigh Bardugo, author of “Six of Crows.”
If you would like to be represented by Joanna, or another agent at New Leaf, submission guidelines can be found here. Be sure to send a query via email, not by phone. Be sure to include all of the necessary contact information that a representative would need to get a hold of you, and if they’re interested in seeing more of your work, they will reach out! Please note that they will only accept queries if your manuscript is complete!
13. Suzie Townsend
Suzie Townsend is another literary agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She represents both adult and children’s fiction, with specific interest in women’s fiction, romance and crime fiction. Known for representing Victoria Aveyard, author of the New York Times Bestselling book “Red Queen” and Cora Carmack, author of “Losing It,” Suzie has nearly eight years of experience as a top-tier literary agent. Suzie also happens to serve New Leaf as literary team leader.
14. Marly Rusoff
Marly Rusoff is a literary agent and president of Marly Rusoff Literary Agency. She and her team of agents represent writers who write both fiction and non-fiction. Some upcoming books that they’ve been responsible for include “The Wartime Sisters” by Lynda Cohen Loigman published by St. Martin Press and “The Good Detective” by John McMahon published by Putnam.
This particular agency is unfortunately not accepting new submissions at this time, but it’s highly recommended to check back soon to see if this changes. You can still send them query letters, however, and you may hear back from them if your project really blows them away!
15. Catherine Drayton
Catherine Drayton is a literary agent with InkWell Management who graduated with a BA in English Literature and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney. She represents a wide range of fiction and has even represented award-winning clients like Markus Zusak, Beth Hoffman, Becca Fitzpatrick and Karen Foxlee.
Submissions to InkWell management should be done by email. In the body of the email, you should include a query letter and a short writing sample from your manuscript. According to their website, it can take up to a couple of months to hear a response due to the number of submissions that they receive.
16. Lucienne Driver
Lucienne Driver is another literary agent who works with the Knight Agency. She joined in 2008, and previously spent fifteen years at Spectrum Literary Agency. She is an avid member of the Association of Authors Representatives and her authors have won several awards including National Readers’ Choice, Hugo, and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Awards.
With an in-depth and solid understanding of the publishing industry, Lucienne strives to find original and passionate new stories to represent. She is currently not accepting unsolicited submissions, but is definitely not opposed to responding back to query letters that catch her eye.
17. Thao Le
A literary agent with the Dikstra Agency since 2011, Thao Le is actively looking for young adult fiction, specifically contemporary stories with diverse protagonists. Some of her most recent projects include representing New York Times bestelling author Roshani Chokshi, author of “The Gilded Wolves” trilogy and Sandhya Menon, author of “From Twinkle, With Love.”
While Thao is currently close to queries, there are other acquiring agents at the Dijkstra agent that are currently accepting unsolicited submission. More information on how to submit a query letter can be found here.
18. Kiana Nguyen
Kiana Nguyen is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency who is seeking young adult fiction across all types of genre, particularly seeking characters that are POC and queer voices. You can send her a query directly via email and the first ten pages of your novel in the email body. More information on her response times can be found on her information page. The Donald Maas Literary Agency has represented clients like Mary Robinette Kowal, author of “The Fated Sky” and Martha Wells, author of “The Murderbot Diaries: Rogue Protocol.”
19. Joanna MacKenzie
Another talented agent with Nelson Literary Agency, LLC, Joanna is a literary agent who specializes in representing young adult fiction writers. She’s specifically interested in coming of age stories, as well as character-driven mysteries and thrillers. She became a literary agent after an internship with a literary agency in Chicago after she graduated from school. With nearly fifteen years of experience, Joanna has notably represented young adult fiction writer Kristen Simmons, author of “Article 5” and “The Glass Arrow.”
You can send Joanna a query letter via email. In the subject line, you should write “QUERY” and the name of your project to avoid having your email accidently sorted into the junk folder. In the body of your email, be sure to include the first ten pages of your manuscript. She will not accept attachments.
Do you know any other Young Adult literary agents? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
K. Z. Kwan is a freelance writer based out of Halifax, Canada.