Last month, I posted a list of agents who represent science fiction, along with some of their recent comments about what they’re looking for. Honestly, it’s most of the same people here… but not all of the same people, and some of their requests here are specific to fantasy. It’s not a complete list, but it’s a long one!
The Twitter comments date from fall 2015. Other comments are mostly from their websites. Many agents seem to be looking in particular for diverse authors who create diverse worlds, and for for YA fantasy.
Clicking the literary agent’s name will take you to more information about them, although you may need to scroll down the page. Clicking the name of the agency will take you to the submission guidelines.
Again, by including agents on the list, I am not endorsing them. Please research and ask around before signing with anyone! You may learn that even an agent with a “good reputation” has been pretty squirrely in the last year or two. (“Squirrely” is too a word, WordPress.)
If you feel that an agent should be added or removed from this list, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
“…especially books that recognize and subvert typical tropes of genre fiction.”
Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency
Adult, YA, and MG fantasy.
Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency
Adult and YA fantasy, but maybe especially YA…
Looking for “well-written fantasy romances.”
Interested in representing MG fantasy.
Also interested in MG fantasy.
“She is partial to strong voices, fast-paced plotting, and near-future or cross-genre elements.”
“I’m looking for YA fiction across the board… I’m interested in contemporary stories with sci-fi or fantasy elements, as well as straight-up YA fantasy. I’m a sucker for a clever spin on a classic tale… The one thing I love above all else in a YA novel is a strong and specific character voice: a real person, not another “every girl.” …As for middle-grade, I want it stark, honest, and even dark… These stories can have magical or fantasy elements as well.”
Connor Goldsmith, Fuse Literary
“Connor is seeking…Fantasy… with a unique and memorable hook. He is especially interested in books by and about people from marginalized perspectives, such as LGBT people and/or racial minorities. Connor does not represent Young Adult, Middle Grade, or Children’s manuscripts at this time.”
Please note that Fuse Literary is closed to submissions until January 15, 2016.
“Fantasy… especially with a literary flair. Would love to see more non-traditional settings and characters. I’m always open to optimistic, lighthearted fiction, but also enjoy a good scare.”
I’ll say this for Trident: all their agent profile pics look slick as hell.
Represents MG and YA only.
“In fantasy, I’m open to most genres. High, urban, contemporary, or magical realism, but I love it dark, gritty, and believable. That might sound strange, but how would you react to seeing a monster in real life? I have no interest in the perfect heroine or hero. We all have problems and I want to see them play out just as much as the dragon breathing flames everywhere. Also, English medieval societies have gone stale for me. Medieval times are great, but I’d like to see some different (read: multicultural) types of societies. Perhaps a fantasy based on tribal Africa. Or Native American. A Polish culture? These, without any marginalization of said culture, would be great!”
YA epic fantasy, “but must feel fresh,” and YA “realistic stories with some type of twist (speculative, fantastical or otherwise—such as THE RAVEN BOYS, BONE GAP, WE WERE LIARS, etc)” Also interested in MG “epic adventures.”
Looking for “diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and world building”
Adult and YA fantasy.
MG and YA only.
I appreciate how this agency’s site refers to unpublished authors as “pre-published” authors.
“I’m looking for a distinct voice, a good sense of story, and strong characterization.” He considers fantasy to be his specialty.
Jerusalem-based literary agency. “I am most interested in representing Fantasy and Science Fiction in all its permutations – Adult, Middle Grade, Young Adult etc. …You will steal my heart for sure if it’s set in the Middle East, in Israel or if it has Jewish or Israeli themes and characters, but I’m open to all themes, settings and characters.”
Looking for “middle grade and young adult fiction. In teen novels, Sci-fi/fantasy is my sweet spot, but I’m open to anything as long as it doesn’t have zombies.”
Amanda Rutter, Red Sofa Literary
She’s a former editor for Angry Robot and blogs for Tor. Looking for MG, YA, and grownup fantasy.
“A lifelong fan of children’s books, she’s looking for middle grade and young adult novels in a range of genres, including fantasy and science fiction… She is actively seeking books with underrepresented or minority characters.”
Formerly an editor at Orbit. “He is looking for science fiction and fantasy – especially epic fantasy or high fantasy – for both adults and teens.”
YA and adult fantasy. “She loves intricate plots that balance drama, wit, and intrigue in equal parts, as well as stories that explore the lives of anti-heroes and fringe-dwellers, or the unexpected complexities of the “normal” day-to-day — be that surviving the spells of an unhinged wizard or an awkward romance.”
Urban fantasy, steampunk, epic fantasy, YA fantasy. “Suzie loves strong characters and voice driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres.”
“…especially innovative fantasy that explores worlds we haven’t seen before.”
Preference given to SFWA members.
“Must pass either the Mako Mori or Bechdel tests. Love non-traditional settings, fast-paced storytelling, anthropological elements, and smart humor. Please no high fantasy.”
Do you need an agent to publish a fantasy novel? Absolutely not. While they can open doors to some of the bigger publishers that you cannot submit to directly, there are many publishers that you can submit to without an agent, and I’ll be doing a roundup of those next week. And of course, self-published novels are making up more and more of sales all the time, although in my opinion it takes some upfront investment and a lot of discipline and hustle to be successful there.
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