Gemma Cooper is a literary agent with The Bent Agency.
Gemma represents: authors who write for children, from picture books to young adult, fiction and nonfiction.
“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 The best part of my job is getting to be the first fan of an unpublished book and then champion this book — nothing beats being able to talk up your passions to other book fanatics!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 prefer short texts that don’t take themselves too seriously, and high concept ideas that can be sold on the title alone. Author/illustrators writing for any age will get my immediate attention, particularly in the chapter book and MG market. For nonfiction, I’m interested in history and science, but want very accessible books with an obvious hook.”