Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laurel Symonds of The Bent Agency

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 11.01.07 AMLaurel Symonds is a literary agent with The Bent Agency.

I began my publishing career in the editorial department of HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books in New York City. In the past decade, I have also held positions 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 about agenting is being the author’s number one cheerleader through all these parts of the publication process!

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

For picture books and graphic novels, I am especially seeking authors-illustrators who bring a unique vision. My tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I am interested in art in all mediums, but especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective. I am not the right fit for “issue” books, rhyming texts, or overly sentimental stories.

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

With a background in both editorial and marketing-sales, I’m looking forward to partnering with you on your publishing journey!

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