Writing for children is a very fulfilling, not to mention lucrative, endeavor. The genre is reported to produce about 2 billion dollars in revenues annually. So, if you want to make the big bucks, you should look into illustrating and publishing books for kids. That is if you can get your work published.
This is such a competitive genre and you’d need the best agent to get your work noticed by publishing houses. There are numerous agents that are looking for the next E.B. White, Eric Carle, or J.K. Rowling. Below are ten of the best literary agents that you should query if you want your children’s book to be published.
- Elana Roth Parker from Laura Dail Literary Agency, Inc.
- Stephen Barbara from InkWell Management
- Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank from Fairbank Literacy Representation
- Lindsay Davis Auld from Writer’s House Literary
- Erin Casey from Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency
- Chelsea Eberly from Greenhouse Literary Agency
- Rebecca Angus from Golden Wheat Literary
- Jennifer Rofe from Andrea Brown Literary Agency
- Stephanie Fretwell-Hill from Red Fox Literary Agency
- Sarah Gerton from Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Elana Roth Parker from Laura Dail Literary Agency, Inc.
From the very beginning of her career Elana Roth Parker has specialized in children’s publishing. She started out as an intern at Nickoledeon Magazine and became an editor at Parachute Publishing. She became an agent in 2008 and has steadily built an impressive client list. She joined the Laura Dail Literary Agency in 2008.
Among her clients is New York Times bestseller Kiera Cass, author of The Selection series. She also works with Gina Chen, Shannon Price and Andy Marino. She is looking to work with authors of children’s books, picture books, juvenile fiction, middle grade, and YA fiction.
Her wishlist consists of epic fantasies, strong plots, high-concept twists, and mad-cap adventures. For young adult fiction, she is looking for escapist books that are plot-driven.
All the agents of LDLA, including Elana, accept queries through QueryManager. The response time is four weeks but once you’ve received a request for your manuscript, the response could take as long as twelve weeks. Query one agent at a time. Completely fill out the query form and include the project’s title and plot summary on the query letter. Don’t forget to mention your brief bio including your previous publishing experience. You may also paste the first ten pages of your manuscript in the body of your query letter.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Barbara from InkWell Management
Stephen Barbara began his career in publishing in 2005 when he became an editorial assistant at HarperCollins. He then worked for three years at the Donald Maass Agency as its Contracts Director. He became a literary agent and eventually found himself at Inkwell Management in 2015.
He has since worked with Newberry Medal winner Laura Amy Shiltz, USA Today bestseller Paul Tremblay, National Book Award nominee Lisa Graff, and New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver. Despite his already intimidating roster of award-winning clients, he is still hungry to help authors of children’s books.
Stephen Barbara only accepts queries sent via email. Indicate his name on the subject line. Paste your query letter in the email’s body. Include also up to two chapters of your work.
Note that Stephen does not open attachments. In fact, emails with large files attached automatically get discarded. The wait time for a response from Stephen is around two months.
Phone number: 212.922.3500
Email address: email@example.com
Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank from Fairbank Literacy Representation
Fairbank Literacy Representation is a small and selective agency that represents all types of authors from newbies to international bestsellers. The agency used to work mostly on narrative nonfiction, lifestyle books, pop culture, and memoirs. But it has successfully branched out to children’s picture books.
Its founder and literary agent is Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank. She has successfully helped Drew Dernavich, author of “It’s Not Easy Being Number 3” and Terry Broder, author of Happy Birthday Cupcake”.
Elizabeth is currently on the lookout to add more authors to her client list. If you craft interesting children’s picture books then you would likely catch her attention immediately. Her response time is eight weeks.
She accepts queries through her email or via the contact form found on the agency’s website. Send your query letter, including your work’s synopsis, so she can check it out. It would help to also include a representative sample chapter in your query so she can see what you can do. You can also send your query letter via mail.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Fairbank Literary Representation, 21 Lyman Street, Waltham, MA 02452
Lindsay Davis Auld from Writer’s House Literary
Writer’s House is one of the largest and well-known literary agencies when it comes to providing authors individual attention. One of this agencies more active agents is Linsday Davis Auld. She started out at Harcourt Children’s Books, gaining insight in what types of books children love to read.
She then became Steven Malk’s assistant at Writer’s House. Eventually, she became an agent and started building her client list. Among the authors she represents are Sandra Salsbury (Best Friend in the Whole World), Rachel Stubbs (My Red Hat), Al Rodin (Winner of 2019 Sebastian Walker Prize) and more.
She is currently looking for children’s picture book and graphic novel submissions. If your work is a children’s book that has elements of magical realism, romance, adventure, friendship, history, mystery and such, you have a higher chance of catching her attention. She also favors books that talks about the environment.
Send your query letter to Lindsay only via email. You want to express your unique style and approach in your query letter in order to really pique her interest. Include the first fifteen pages of your manuscript in the body of the email. For graphic novelists, send the link to your portfolio and dummy.
Lindsay receives a considerable number of submissions and her response time varies. However, the longest you should expect her to send a reply of interest is three weeks. If you don’t hear from her by that time, you should submit your work to another agent.
Email Address: email@example.com
Erin Casey from Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency
Eric Casey started her career in publishing as an intern. She then got hired as marietta Zacker’s assistant in 2015 thus becoming a part of Galt & Zacker Literary Agency. It was only in 2019 that she got promoted as an associate agent and began building her client list.
She currently represents Derick Brooks (The Bright Family), Robin Yardi (The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez and They Just Know: Animal Instinct), Laura Williams McCaffrey (Water Shaper and Marked), and more.
Erin is on the hunt for a children’s book that offers authentic representation of people since she wants the books to speak to every kid. She also loves works that have vivid settings in them. If your work has great dialogues and offers that startled feeling when the reader gets to the final chapter, then you’ll quickly capture her attention.
Submit your query letter to one agent at a time. On the subject line, write your last name and your manuscript’s title. Paste your query letter in the email’s body, This should include a short author’s bio, your reason for querying Erin, and your reason for writing the book.
Paste also the first 2000 words of your work. Do not send it as an attachment because it will not be opened. If you are also an illustrator or graphic novelist, you need to send a link to your online portfolio. The response time is typically four weeks.
Email address: QueryErin@galltzacker.com
Chelsea Eberly from Greenhouse Literary Agency
Chelsey Eberly was one a senior editor at Random House. She eventually moved to Greenhouse Literary Agency as its director. She represents authors of graphic novels, middle grade, and young adult fiction.
Among Chelsea’s notable clients is Tae Keller, Newberry Medal recipient and author of When You Trap a Tiger. She also represents a few New York Times bestselling authors like Marie Lu (Legend series), Leigh Bardugo (Grishaverse novels), Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness series) and more.
To get Chelsea’s attention, your work must have a little magic and a full cast of interesting characters. She loves brave sidekicks. She also finds animal characters quite interesting. She is looking for a well-written story based on real people’s adventures or broken fairytales.
Chelsea only accepts submissions via Query Manager. Any emailed query letter will be deleted. If you plan on submitting your work, note that she doesn’t accept picture books that are not illustrated by the writers themselves. After submitting your query letter along with the details of your project, you will receive a confirmation email.
Query Manager: https://querymanager.com/query/ChelseaEberly
Rebecca Angus from Golden Wheat Literary
Rebecca Angus is not just a literary agent, she is also an experienced author of children’s books. Thus, she knows what it takes to impress publishing houses. Rebeca’s client list includes Barbara Lowell (Sparky and Spike), Annmarie Riley Guertin (Thundermaestro), and June Smalls (Odd Animal ABC’s).
She is currently on the hunt for a chapter books with a spy theme or focusing on geeky kids. She is also interested in working on a book about strange animals and weird monsters. If your work is close to those on her wishlist, you should send her a query letter as soon as you can.
Once she starts accepting unsolicited submissions again, you can send your query letter via a link from the Golden Wheat Literary Agency’s website. You must paste the first three chapters of the manuscript into the body of the email. You should also include a complete synopsis, your bio, links to your social media, and a description of your other works if any.
Jennifer Rofe from Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Jennifer Rofe is one of Andrea Brown Literary Agency’s senior agents. She represents authors that create books for young readers. She currently represents Meg Medina (Newberry Medal recipient and author of Merci Suarez), Kim Tomsic (The 11:11 Wish), and Christina Diaz Gonzalez (The Red Umbrella).
Jennifer is open to any genres but is very interested in stories with overlooked children or strong-willed underdogs as main characters. She likes projects where many kids will feel understood and seen. For chapter books, she is looking for something that reads like The Dragon Masters or The Princess in Black series.
Before contacting Jennifer, you need to make sure that your manuscript is polished because a pass from one of the agents means a pass from the agency. You are dissuaded from resubmitting the same project to the other agents.
Submit your work by clicking on Jennifer’s QueryManager link. Follow the prompts and fill in the required fields. Describe your work in your query letter. Include an author’s bio as well as your previous prublishing credentials. Paste the first ten pages of your text in the email’s body.
If you are submitting a picture book, submit a copy of the text and up to 2 color samples of the illustration. You should also add a link to your portfolio. As for graphic novels, give the synopsis as well as the first twenty sample pages.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Fretwell-Hill from Red Fox Literary Agency
Stephanie Fretwell-Hill started in the publishing field at Walker Books Ltd. in 2004 where she had the role of selling foreign language rights. She then became an editor at Peachtree Publishers. During her stint there, her aqcuisitions received numerous honors such as Parent’s Choice Awards and YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults.
In 2016, Stephanie joined Red Fox and began representing illustrators and authors of childrens’s to young adult books. Her client list included Christina Soontornvat (Two-time Newberry Honoree), R. W. Alley (Illustrator of Paddington Bear), Carolyn Crimi (Where’s My Mummy?), Beth Anderson (An Inconvenient Alphabet), and more.
Stephanie is drawn to works with diverse voices, a strong hook, and classroom value. She also looks for stories with heart and humor. If your project contains puzzles, ghosts, mysteries, and a little amount of darkness, you might be able to catch her attention.
All the agents of Red Fox Literary are closed for submission at the moment because of the volume of submissions that they are currently going through. However, it is always prudent to keep your manuscript at the ready should Stephanie start accepting unsolicited submissions again.
She only accepts submissions through her QueryManager link, which will be reposted on the company’s website. If you really want to work with her, is it best tto find the conferences where she will participate as she still accepts submissions through those.
Email address: email@example.com
Sarah Gerton from Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Sarah Gerton is one of the newest agents at Curtis Brown, Ltd. and is still working on building her list of clients. Her focus is to find writers of narrative nonfiction and fiction targeting middle grade and young adults. She loves works of fantasy but is open to projects from any genre.
If your work is a slow-burn featuring star-crossed lovers, you will likely catch her attention. She also mentioned that she likes scary books. It can be straight up horror, true crime, spooky fantay, or dark thrillers, as long as it is for young readers, she would check it out.
Submit your query letter via email. Mention “query” on the subject line. Talk about yourself and your reason for writing your story. Include the first ten pages of the manuscript in the email’s body. She will respond as soon as possible if she wants to learn more about your work.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org