Laurel Symonds

The Bent Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

I began my publishing career in the editorial department of HarperCollins Children’s Books where I worked with a number of award-winning and bestselling authors. I’ve also worked in the marketing department at a small publishing house, in a library, and as a bookseller at one of the nation’s best independent bookstores. What I love most about being an agent is being the author’s advocate through all the parts of the publication process.

I represent young adult and middle grade fiction, and I have a special interest in contemporary, historical fiction, and genre-blending fantasy. I look for engaging voices, commercial hooks, and immersive worlds. My YA tastes are pretty commercial but my middle grade tastes can skew more literary, and I’m especially interested in middle grade that might lend itself to illustration.

I also represent picture books, graphic novels, and other illustrated work, and I am open to new clients who are both authors and illustrators. My tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective.

Additionally, I represent select nonfiction for children and young adults, especially projects about STEM or history with age-appropriate hooks and series potential.

In every category, I’m particularly seeking voices that have previously been underrepresented and stories that have been overlooked.

Although there are exceptions to every rule, I am generally not the best fit for slapstick humor, heavy sci-fi, portal fantasy, time travel, rhyming texts, or “issue” books.

On a personal note, when I’m not reading, I enjoy baking, hiking, and spending time with my dog, Sherlock. Raised in rural New England and having spent a decade in New York City, London, and Chicago, I’m thrilled to have settled in the Pacific Northwest.


Fun facts about me:
  • My dog, Sherlock, is my office assistant
  • I used to work as a bookseller
  • You can almost always find me in the middle of a cooking or baking project

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com

In your query letter, briefly explain who you are, about your book, and why you’re the one to write it. Include the title of your project in the subject line of your email. Then paste the first ten pages of your book in the body of your email (not as an attachment, please).

If you’re submitting a picture book, please include the complete text; for illustrations, please also include a link to your website if available, or two or three PDFs or JPEGs of your work.

Please do not send an exclusive query. Queries are meant to be shared with multiple agencies. The Bent Agency ONLY accepts email queries. If you send your query by postal mail, it will be recycled and not returned to you.


Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Agent
Fiction: Children's, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Picture Books, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Biography, History, Illustrated

Favorite sub-genres: Contemporary YA, High Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Illustrated, Literary Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Narrative Nonfiction
I'd like the next...

To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Code Name Verity, Jackaby, The One and Only Ivan, The Mysterious Benedict Society


My favorites include...

The above plus Caraval, the Grishaverse, Anne of Green Gables, The Princess Academy, Ella Enchanted, Pushing Daisies, Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, Beauty and the Beast, Ever After, The Great British Bake Off, Broadway musicals from The Sound of Music to Wicked to Spring Awakening

My Upcoming Events:

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