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Profile Summary

Nicola lives and breathes books. After studying English Literature at University, Nicola has relentlessly pursued a career supporting her love of the written word, from being an editor, foreign-rights agent, book reviewer, and agent. She continues to write regularly for the Guardian as a reviewer and commentator. Since joining Greene & Heaton back in 2011, Nicola has since been made a director of the company.
Her interests are wide ranging, from fiction to non-fiction, literary to YA, sports to politics. Her work as an editor at HarperCollins imprint Flamingo cultivated a life-long love of literary fiction, but since becoming an agent she has branched out. Nicola loves a the crime genre, expanding into mysteries, thrillers, and police procedurals. These genres with well-established tropes are full of potential for new writers to turn the expected on its head. She is currently very eager to expand her young adult list and is open to any secondary genre (fantasy, dystopian, realistic) it falls in. 
Reminding us not to bring our prejudices to the table when looking for an agent, Nicola claims to know (and love) sports as much as any man around. So if you have a narrative non-fiction work on sport, she might just be the agent for you. She is also on the lookout for historical works (social and cultural), popular science, and popular culture. Nicola also has a soft spot for any work that mentions Ireland, being from Northern Ireland herself, whether fiction or non-fiction. 
In order to grab Nicola's attention, your fiction work should be utterly absorbing and surprising. She loves a good trope, but rules are there to be broken. Don't be shy to surprise your readers! 
Passionate about finding great new literary voices, Nicola is always keen to expand her client list. She and her agency are also working with online self-publishing site CompletelyNovel as a way of finding exciting new talent in different ways.

Detailed data

The Bent Agency
Agent since:
Short biography:

Nicola studied English at Glasgow University. She joined the agency as a full-time agent in January 2011. Previously, she worked as an editor at Flamingo, the literary imprint of HarperCollins, where she worked with Doris Lessing, Fay Weldon, Nicola Barker, Patrick Gale and many others. As an agent, she works closely with new clients on shaping and editing their novels. She spent four years as an agent at The Susijn Agency, selling foreign rights and starting her own list. She has also worked as a reviewer for the Guardian and the Observer.

Client list status:
Open to new clients
Genres this agent is interested in:
Young adult fiction, Travel, Science, Politics, society & current affairs, Other non-fiction, Religion, Mind, Body, Spirit, Memoir and autobiography, Food and Cookery, History, Women's fiction, Historical fiction, Crime, thriller, action, General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Authors & books liked:

I spent my twenties as an editor on a literary list working with Nicola Barker, Fay Weldon, Doris Lessing, Douglas Coupland, Patrick Gale, and literary fiction is still my dearest passion. But in recent years my taste has widened and I adore well-told commercial fiction, whether it be historical worlds my own Katherine Webb creates, dark twisted clever contemporary psychological thrillers or the modern-day police procedural in either rainy Manchester or exotic lands. I love crime fiction: I love the tropes of the genre and the way it can be subverted. Good stories, absorbing stories, told in a way that surprises me - that's what I'll fight any agent over. Your novel can be quirky, intimate, sweeping, local, international, as long as it convinces me I'm in. Also, I'm Northern Irish so mention Ireland and you'll go to the top of my reading pile. In non-fiction, I know as much as any male agent out there about sport, so don't be sexist. Popular science, popular culture, social and cultural history are all passions. Nicola also loves upmarket commercial and literary fiction - quirky, intimate, sweeping, local, international, family stories, strong female characters, child's voices. She loves smart, surprising crime, with good strong settings - and a twist that she hasn't seen before! "I am also children's and YA agent here and represent Lucy Christopher, Natasha Ngan and Rainbow Rowell. I'm loving YA and really keen to expand my list further so whether it's fantasy, dystopian, or set in the sixth-form common room, I'd love to see it."

Other loves & passions:

Note sport, Ireland, as well as the genres and topics mentioned above. We also note that Nicola is agent to Kerry Wilkinson, a self-publishing sensation who went on to earn himself a six-book deal from Macmillan. That doesn't mean that she's open to representing everyone with a self-pub book on Amazon, but it certainly does mean that Nicola has a track record at turning an author with a very strong self-publishing record into one with a very strong regular-publishing record.

How to make a submission:
Agency standard.
Other advice and background:

No data.

Attends Festival of Writing or other WW events?
Follow on Twitter:
Interesting links:
Steven Amsterdam, Kalinda Ashton, Ginny Baily, Lisa Ballantyne, Jim Bob, Jon Butler and Bruno Vincent, Charlie Campbell, Lucy Christopher, Andy Cutbill, Joshua Doder, Travis Elborough, Natasha Footman, Stewart Foster, John Grindrod, Tom Jones, Josh Lacey, Ian Leslie, Simon Lewis, Colette McBeth, Karen Mcleod, Thomas Mogford, Scott Murray, Magali Robathan, Lee Rourke, Rainbow Rowell, C. M. Taylor, Simon and Martin Toseland, Katherine Webb, Kerry Wilkinson, Paul Witcover.
Full client list:
Email address:

Agents of: The Bent Agency

Agency details

About the agency:
No data
Address for submissions:
The Bent Agency / London 21 Melliss Avenue Kew, Richmond TW9 4BQ
Office address:
No data
Email address:
Phone number:
No data
Number of agents:
Accepts email submissions:
Submission type:
Other - see details
Further submission info:
Email only; see Submission type: Email only: query + first ten pages, both pasted into body of email message (no attachments) If you know you're a great writer with a story to tell, we hope you'll be in touch with us. Please review these submission guidelines before you contact us. First, review our agents' bios and decide which of us you'd like to query. Please do not simultaneously query our agents; submit your work to only one of us. If she passes, feel free to contact another. Second, email your chosen agent and tell her briefly who you are, about your book, and why you're the one to write it. Include the title of your project in the subject line of your email. Then paste the first ten pages of your book in the body of your email (not as an attachment, please). If you're submitting a picture book, please include the complete text; for illustrations, please also include a link to your website if available, or two or three PDFs or JPEGs of your work. For graphic novels, please paste the first ten pages of your script in the body of your email, as well as the first five pages of your dummy. The dummy doesn't need to be entirely finished, but if it's not, please include up to three samples of your finished work, or a link to your online portfolio. Please do not send an exclusive query. Queries are meant to be shared with multiple agencies. The Bent Agency ONLY accepts email queries. If you send your query by postal mail, it will be recycled and not returned to you. It is our goal to respond to every query. If you don't receive a response within a month, please resend your query and indicate that you're sending it again. If the agent is interested in your work, she will respond with instructions for sending the rest of your material. If we do request material from you, we ask that you check back with us before accepting representation elsewhere. The Bent Agency is grateful for all queries and submissions. We understand that your work is important to you and we thank you for considering us.
More info on this agency:
The Bent Agency is based in the United States, however two of their agents are based in the UK. For this reason we feel they are important to include on Agent Hunter. "At The Bent Agency, we work with authors to map the publishing career of their dreams and work with them to make it a reality. We pay careful attention to every detail, from the terms of a first contract, editorial work and cover design, to the publisher's marketing and publicity plan, royalties and sales figures. We offer the kind of representation that can only be born of years of agent experience in the atmosphere of a smaller boutique firm where every client gets our combined and total focus. We pride ourselves on nurturing and discovering authors whom we can help propel to the top of their category. We have represented over 30 New York Times bestselling titles, with many more on USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and other regional lists."
Average response time:
0 days
Agency Transparency Index:
Member of the AAA:
Overseas offices:
Accepts overseas writers:
Follow on Twitter:
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Latest news:
More about the agency:
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