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Profile Summary

Molly Ker Hawn is one of two UK agents at US firm, The Bent Agency. She is based in London and represents US and UK writers. Molly specialises in young adult, middle grade, chapter books and non-fiction for ages 8-18.

Her publishing career has seen her take on editorial roles at Chronicle Books and Dial Books for Young Readers, social media development for a teen magazine, and a post as National Programs Director at the American Children's Book Council. She is a former board member of the United States Board on Books for Young People.

*Molly's young adult list covers thrillers, comedy, romance and science fiction. She is actively building her list and represents a number of debut authors. Clients include Stephanie Kate Strohm ('Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink' and 'Confederates Don't Wear Couture'); Simon P Clark (debut middle grade novel, 'Eren'); and Kat Ellis ('Breaker' and 'Purge')

*In fiction, she is interested in books set in India and Ireland. Molly like books 'whose characters explore religion in unexpected ways'. Performing arts stories, strong sibling relationships and unusual settings will also catch her eye.

*In non-fiction she would like to see middle grade and YA which focuses on 'social issues and contemporary topics'. She's looking for fiction that is 'inventive, well-crafted, and rich with emotion'.

*Humour is a bonus (as long as it's not toilet humour!) and she tends to prefer books with literary appeal.

*Please note, Molly doesn't represent adult trade fiction, adult non-fiction, new adults (18-25), or picture books.

*Her favourite children's authors include: Ellen Raskin, Edward Ormondroyd, Margo Lanagan, Maureen Johnson, Jack Gantos, Jacqueline Woodson, Catherynne Valente, Chris Crutcher, Francesca Lia Block, Noel Streatfeild, Gene Luen Yang, and Susan Cooper.

*Email Molly with a brief biography and a 'solid pitch' for your book. Make sure you paste the first ten pages of your book in the body of your email (the agency don't accept attachments or postal queries)



Detailed data

Agency:
The Bent Agency
Agent since:
2012
Short biography:

My time in the children's publishing industry has included editorial roles at Chronicle Books and Dial Books for Young Readers, early social media development for a major teen magazine, and serving as National Programs Director at the Children's Book Council, the trade association of American children's book publishers. I've also been a bookseller, and I'm a past board member of the United States Board on Books for Young People. I live in London and I work with authors and publishers both in the U.K. and the U.S. I've bounced back and forth from America to England since I was a teenager: I grew up in Northern California, lived for a time in the West Country, read English at Cambridge University, spent many years in New York City, and now live a stone's throw from the River Thames. I'm looking for middle grade and young adult fiction that's inventive, well-crafted, and rich with emotion. I'm also interested in non-fiction for readers ages 8-18. I like wit, but not snark; I prefer books that lean more toward literary than commercial, but of course, my perfect book neatly bridges the two. The books on my list all share a strong sense of authentic place, whether real or imaginary. If you've got a terrific story, well-told, I want to read it.

Client list status:
Keen to build client list
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Children's fiction, Children's & YA non-fiction
Authors & books liked:

Some of my favorite (non-client) authors are Ellen Raskin, Edward Ormondroyd, Margo Lanagan, Maureen Johnson, Jack Gantos, Jacqueline Woodson, Catherynne Valente, Chris Crutcher, Francesca Lia Block, Noel Streatfeild, Gene Luen Yang, and Susan Cooper. And in the non-children's/YA pantheon, my favorites include Maeve Binchy, AS Byatt, Mollie Panter-Downes, Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury, Laurie Colwin, and Judith Krantz.

Other loves & passions:
No Data
How to make a submission:
Please send me: Young adult fiction Middle grade fiction Chapter books Non-fiction for ages 8-18I'm not currently considering queries in the following genres: Adult trade fiction Adult Non-fiction New Adult(18-25) Picture books
Other advice and background:

An Interview with Molly
Q. What books/authors do you love in children's fiction? (Crime, women's) Give us some examples and say why you liked these books/authors.

My tastes are varied, to a certain extent - but most of the time, they veer toward the literary.

Some of my favorite middlegrade novels:

The Westing Game, by the great Ellen Raskin. It's a tricky puzzle of a book, with a cast of largely adult characters seen from the perspective of thirteen-year-old Turtle Wexler.

The Dark Is Rising sequence, by Susan Cooper. There's no one like Cooper -- her books are superbly researched and plotted, elegantly written, and full of characters that just burst with life.

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell is another favorite. The voice is a gorgeous mix of whimsy and melancholy, and the story is classic and fresh and genuinely touching, all at the same time.

Jack Gantos' Joey Pigza books are terrific: funny and engaging. I think a lot of kids can see something of themselves in Joey, and his struggles feel very real to them.

In YA fiction, I think Margo Lanagan is hard to beat. Her voice is singular, her imagination is boundless, and she has crucial things to say about gender politics and human relationships.

Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss is my shining example of a romantic YA novel. She captures that delicious tension of first love so naturally.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is one of the most extraordinary novels you'll ever read. It's an edge-of-your-seat wartime novel, but it's also a heartbreaking depiction of female friendship, which I always I find compelling.

I'm not really a good fit for any fiction that relies on bathroom humour, and I don't easily connect with animal protagonists. Other than that, though, I'm open to anything, as long as the writing is top-notch.

Q. On the non-fiction side, are there particular areas that interest you? Does your non-fiction list have a particular slant to it?

I'm interested in non-fiction for the MG and YA audiences, especially projects that focus on social issues and contemporary topics.

Q. Is there anything in particular you'd love to see at the moment?

I'd really like to see a middlegrade or YA novel that plays with narrative structure in a clever, unexpected way. I was really taken with Todd Hasak-Lowy's recent novel, ME BEING ME IS EXACTLY AS INSANE AS YOU BEING YOU -- it's told entirely in lists, and it managed to surprise me with its inventiveness while still delivering an emotional punch. I'm always hopeful that today will be the day I find the kind of high-stakes fantasy I crave -something like Marie Rutkoski's THE WINNER'S CURSE, or Rae Carson's THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS. I want political intrigue, I want complicated characters, I want a world that feels new and fully developed.And I'm constantly looking for great MG and YA contemporary fiction with a literary slant.

Q. What's your biggest turn-off in a covering letter? What would you really hope to see?

Too much information is worse than not enough, I find. Seven paragraphs on the author's life story detracts from what's really important: the book. A solid pitch is so much more appealing.

Q. What are your biggest peeves in an opening page or opening chapter? And what do you love to see?

The usual disappointing suspects: The main character's alarm goes off, waking her up. The main character examines himself in a mirror. The main character is late for something. Clichs, clichs, clichs.

Q. Do you have any unpredictable loves?

I'm drawn to novels set in India and Ireland. I like books whose characters explore religion in unexpected ways. Performing arts stories are a good bet. Strong sibling relationships. Unusual settings.

Q. Would you take on an author who had self-published? What kind of self-pub sales would make you sit up?

If I thought the book was really special, sure, I would.

Q. How many submissions do you see annually? And how many of those submissions will end up on your list?

I get about 5000-6000 submissions each year, and take on maybe 4 or 5 clients in that same timeframe -- but I don't have a quota. I can go months without signing anyone, and then discover two promising writers in a week.

Q. Do you look for social media and online presence? Do you care?

Oh, sure. It's not a prerequisite for success, but an online presence that's unprofessional or unpleasant is a warning sign. I'm not sure I'd want to work with someone who was always angry or complaining.

Q. When people are pitching the concept for a book to you, what do you find is the most common failing?

Waffling. Be concise -- give me the one line pitch and the comp titles (e.g., "it's Downton Abbey meets The Lord of the Rings").

Q: What character (from any book) would you be and why?

Lizzie Bennett, please.

Q: Which 3 famous people (alive or deceased) would you invite to a dinner party and why?

Emma Thompson. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Michelle Obama. I think with a couple of bottles of wine, we could definitely put the world to rights.

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
No
Follow on Twitter:
@mollykh
Interesting links:
http://www.fizzygrrl.com/fizzy-fangirling-an-interview-with-molly-ker-hawn/#.VVX1WpO3zcs
Clients:
Albertalli, Becky Allen, Rachael Allen-Vath, Ami Allure, Kate Ashby, Amanda Bache, Ellyn Baldwin, Christopher Bateman, Scott Blake, Liora Bottoms, Greg Brady, Kate Brock, Kimberly Cannon, Katy Carr, Susanna Charman, Katrina Chernesky, Felicia Sanzari Childs, Tera Lynn Choo, Yangsze Clark, Simon P. Cole, Scarlett Colleen, Marcie Collins, Katana Condit, Sonja Cooley, Josh Costa, T.L. Crawford, Brent Crawford, Susan Delahanty, Katie Dickinson, Lynn Downey, Jen Swann Ellis, Kat Fifield, Richard Fitzgerald, Ruth Ford, Keri Frampton, Megan Fury, Shawn Gallam, Claire Gamble, Paul Garton, Sam Gaus, P. L. Glass, Seressia Gordon, Gina Grau, Sheila Greenland, Shannon Greenwood, Emily Guarente, Gabe Hamilton, Alwyn Hammerle, Julie Harmon, Elizabeth Hay, Sam Haymore, Jennifer Heilig, Heidi Herron, Rita Hill, Sandra Hitchcock, Bonnie-Sue Hosie, Donna Howard, A.G. Janz, Jonathan Jones, Anna Newell Jones, Lisa Renee Khorana, Aditi Kindred, Laura Kitchings, Taylor Knepper, Nicole Lariviere, Sarah Lerman, Philip London, Julia Lydon, Alexandra Manning, Jo Martin, Barry McDowell, Marta McLane, LuAnn McLaughlin, Jen McMinn, Suzanne Moldavsky, Goldy Moran, Jan Myles, Marina Nord, Cindy Notaro, Laurie O'Bryant, Robin O'Hara, Mo Ormsbee, K.E. Patel, Ayesha Pattillo, Beth Peaflor, Lygia Day Pounder, Sibeal Pullen, M.J. Revell, Mike Ricks, Ingrid Rivenbark, Celia Rosenberg, Liz Roy, Lori Sands, Lynsay Scanlon, Nancy Schmidt, Jamie K. Schulz, Heidi Seymour, Ingrid Shea, Hunter Sheehan, Jacqueline Spielman, Lori Nelson Spiro, Ruth Stevens, Robin Stewart, Martin Stirling, Tricia Strohm, Stephanie Kate Sutton, Jenna Thompson, Vicki Lewis Tobin, Paul Tougas, Shelley Tyre, Lisa Van Tiem, Victoria Watkins, Sam Waugh, Sandra Weingarten, Lynn Wilde, Lori Zebedee, Jo
Full client list:
http://www.thebentagency.com/authors.php
Email address:
hawnqueries@thebentagency.com

Agents of: The Bent Agency

Agency details

Website:
www.thebentagency.com
About the agency:
Notable books represented by The Bent Agency include: The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman, a No. 1 New York Times and international bestseller; The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo, a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestseller; Roseblood by Anita Grace Howard, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller; Bent Road and Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy, both Edgar Award Winners; and Caraval by Stephanie Garber, a New York Times bestseller.
Address for submissions:
The Bent Agency (London), 21 Melliss Avenue, Richmond, TW9 4BQ
Office address:
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
Email address:
info@thebentagency.com
Phone number:
No data
Number of agents:
10
Accepts email submissions:
Yes
Submission type:
Other - see details
Further submission info:
Potential clients should visit the agency’s website first to find out what the agents’ individual submission requirements and areas of interest are. These are subject to change and updated accordingly. The standard method of submission to The Bent Agency is an email query including a cover letter, a description of the work, the author’s qualifications and writing experience, and the first ten pages of their manuscript. All of the content should be found in the body of the email; unsolicited attachments will be ignored. Authors submitting picture books should include the complete text of the proposed work, a link to an online portfolio, and two or three images (in JPEG format) of proposed illustrations. Those submitting graphic novels should include the first ten pages of their script and the first 6 pages of their dummy (a link to these is best). If the dummy is unfinished, applicants should include a link to their online portfolios. Please note that submissions via regular mail are not accepted here; any material submitted this way will be recycled unread. If they have not heard back in four weeks, applicants are encouraged to resend their query. If the agency has requested a full manuscript after receiving an initial query, authors should then tell the agency if they have had interest from other agencies.
More info on this agency:
The Bent Agency, founded in 2009, is a boutique full-service literary agency that represents authors of fiction and non-fiction, with a focus on rights and marketing deals. The agency comprises 9 agents across offices in New York and Richmond, with the UK office opening in 2015. The agents (Jenny Bent, Nicola Barr, Victoria Cappello, Gemma Cooper, Heather Flaherty, Louise Fury, Molly Ker Hawn, Rachel Horowitz, and Sarah Manning) represent a truly wide range of interest, including most genres of adult fiction and non-fiction and children’s books. Despite its relative youth, the agency has already represented over thirty New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers. Genres represented by the agency in fiction include thrillers, mysteries, romance, fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, historical fiction, erotica, contemporary, graphic novels, horror, and YA and middle-grade fiction. Collections of short stories and picture books are also welcome. In terms of non-fiction, the agency represents works concerning popular culture, cooking, humour, lifestyle, animals, and women’s issues, memoirs, and YA and middle-grade non-fiction. The Bent Agency is keen to emphasise its expertise in negotiating rights for foreign and media sales. The agency claims to have made over 1,000 foreign rights deals since the foundation of the company, and it employs an in-house rights agent who works with sub-agents in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. It is also a regular presence at international rights fairs in Italy, Germany, and London. Nevertheless, the agency additionally states its commitment to assisting authors throughout all stages of the publishing process, including editorial work and cover design. The Bent Agency claims access to a large number of Hollywood agencies, which should be encouraging to authors hoping to sell the adaptation rights of their work. The Bent Agency is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.
Average response time:
4 days
Agency Transparency Index:
26/100
Member of the AAA:
Yes
Overseas offices:
Y
Accepts overseas writers:
No
Follow on Twitter:
No data
Latest news:
http://www.thebentagency.com/blog
More about the agency:
Notable books represented by The Bent Agency include: The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman, a No. 1 New York Times and international bestseller; The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo, a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestseller; Roseblood by Anita Grace Howard, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller; Bent Road and Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy, both Edgar Award Winners; and Caraval by Stephanie Garber, a New York Times bestseller.

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