Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Gemma Cooper of The Bent Agency

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 2.06.32 PMGemma Cooper is a literary agent with The Bent Agency.

“I started my publishing career in New York, spent several years working in London, and now live in Chicago, where I work with authors based in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia. The best part of my job is getting to be the first fan of an unpublished book and then champion this book — nothing beats being able to talk up your passions to other book fanatics! My client list is typified by character-led stories, and voice is the most important thing I look for in submissions.”

I love younger fiction, and have a soft spot for funny chapter books aimed at 7+ with series potential. For middle grade, I’d love to see a good mystery or adventure, but really any MG with a strong voice will get my attention, whatever the subject matter or setting (historical, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, thriller). For young adult fiction, I prefer a contemporary setting and I’d love a standout YA romance or something with strong friendships or sibling relationships. For picture books, I am only looking for author/illustrators and not just picture book texts. I’m looking for diverse voices, illustrators and stories across my list, but particularly for chapter books and MG.


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