Molly Ker Hawn

The Bent Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

I am currently closed to queries as I catch up on the manuscripts I’ve already requested.

I represent authors whose books have been New York Times, Sunday Times (UK), and international bestsellers and that have won and been shortlisted for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Costa Children’s Book Award, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Yoto Carnegie Medal, the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, and many other awards. My clients include Angie Thomas, Hilary McKay, Dhonielle Clayton, Frances Hardinge, Heidi Heilig, Maryrose Wood, Louie Stowell, and more.

My clients are based all over the world, and I sell directly to  publishers in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. I also pay particular attention to translation rights sales, and so I’m looking for projects with global commercial appeal.

Specifically, I’m looking for:

  • Exceptional middle-grade and young adult fiction with international appeal
  • Children’s graphic novels with illustrations in place
  • Fantasy, science fiction and speculative fiction for adults
For children’s and YA, I’m open to any genre and almost any topic. Contemporary, historical, fantasy, science fiction, romance, horror…I’ve loved and sold books that fit all those descriptions.
For adult fantasy, science fiction and speculative fiction, I’m looking for fast-paced stories that would appeal to a broad audience, set either in new worlds or one that could be our own, with vividly drawn characters.
And no matter the genre or age category, the writing needs to be polished and assured; the story needs to be captivating. I like to be astonished! I’m especially drawn to stories with a strong sense of place, told by authors who fundamentally understand the world they’re writing about, whether it’s real or imaginary.


Some specific likes and dislikes:

  • I like wit, not snark.
  • I like books that play with form and narrative.
  • Nothing hooks me like writing that shows a real mastery of language.
  • I love love. Romantic love, family love, the love of friendship — authentic-feeling bonds between characters can carry me through almost any story.
  • I like books that make me feel changed by the end of them, like my world is bigger, and I understand it a little better.
  • I’m not interested in ‘misery lit.’ I don’t like to finish a book feeling hopeless about the characters.
  • Fantasy was my first love: Ruth Chew, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Anne McCaffrey, and Sylvia Engdahl made me the reader I am today. But those influences mean my standards are high — I need solid worldbuilding, intelligent dialogue and real emotion in my fantasy.
  • My taste in fantasy doesn’t run to angels/demons, vampires/werewolves, or similar ‘paranormal’ tropes.
  • I can’t get enough of books that tell a great story and invite me to get to know a culture I’m unfamiliar with—and I’d like the author to be an authentic representative of that culture.
  • I’m not a dog person. Animal protagonists in general don’t interest me, except maybe cats.
  • Alternative reality/history always catches my eye. I like reading about real places, reimagined — Pullman’s Oxford is a good example of what I mean.
  • I’m interested in reading about life in religious communities.
  • I’m interested in books that deal with theatre and performance.
  • I think the publishing industry underestimates young readers’ love for weirdness.
  • I’m particularly interested in hearing from writers from historically excluded communities.

Please do not send me books for adults in genres other than science fiction and fantasy.

Please do not send me picture books. I only represent picture books for my established clients.

Please do not send me illustration samples. I don’t represent illustrators who don’t write their own texts.

Fun facts about me:

I love road trips, libraries large and small, miniature villages, old stuff, New York City, folklore, ridiculous coincidences and unexpected connections, ghost signs, lost rivers, modernism, hotels, typographical design, choral music, revolving restaurants, and those last fifteen minutes in the departure lounge before I get on the plane.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

First, check the TBA website to confirm I’m open to queries — sometimes I’m not able to review new work. If I’m open to queries, please email me at with your query and the first ten pages of your manuscript or a link to your graphic novel’s sample pages, pasted in the body of the email (no attachments, please).

I read all my queries myself and I respond to them all; if you don’t receive a response within a month, please check your spam filter, then resend your query and indicate that you’re sending it again.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info