Top Agents representing Author-Illustrators in the kid lit industry

I decided to pursue becoming a published illustrator in 2001. Back then the author-illustrator was an aberration. Advice was given to pick either being a writer or being an artist. Common knowledge said it was a rare animal who could both well. Because of that, my pursuit of Agents representing Author-Illustrators was really a pursuit for representation of one as a writer and one as an artist.

In 2007, I signed with a literary agent. She was only interested in representing a single title, one I co-authored with a friend. She didn’t represent picture book writers or illustrators of any flavor. But she belonged to a well respected and to remain unnamed literary agency who did have Agents representing Author-Illustrators. I decided it was an “in” to the agency and signed. My co-author and I spent months reshaping our 37,000 word manuscript to fit the agent’s vision, which seemed to not understand what I had in mind for the book. But my co-author assured me this was normal and since both she and the agent had more experience than I, I did what I was told without questioning either one.

Finally, the agent declared our sample chapters ready. Neither one of which I thought showed the strength of our book and both of which I felt had been made it seem bland and ordinary. She said she had a list of publishers in mind and would email us the names. Then she disappeared. For months and months. Not good.

She returned full of apologies and promised she was with the program now and would do right by the manuscript. She actually sent the manuscript off to a list of publishers (I still don’t know who) and started getting rejections. We heard back from her for a few months before she disappeared again. This time for good.

Needless to say, in 2010 when I began my search for agents representing author-illustrators in earnest again, I was a bit more cautious. Meanwhile agenting and the publishing industry had changed. Not only was the author-illustrator a thing, but such people were being sought after. Agents representing Author-Illustrators also became a thing.

I’ve done a lot of research collecting names of agencies and Agents representing Author-Illustrators. I wanted to make sure the people I presented my book babies to shared not only my vision but my passion for them, as well. I wanted an invested agent. I wanted a successful agent. And I wanted an agent who could grow with me as well as mold me into a more successful and saleable author-illustrator.

Every time a list popped up on the best picture book agents, I’d check it out. Most of the time, I’d have to sift through all the names on the list. Perhaps only a third or so of the people listed were Agents representing Author-Illustrators. The longer I researched, the longer my list of Agents representing Author-Illustrators became. Also, because of my past less-than-successful experience with an agent, I wanted to make sure the agents I approached had a strong track record. I read their blogs. Stalked their social network wishlists. Tracked their sales. I reviewed their clients, and their client’s sales, too.

This year I signed for representation with agent Natalie Lakosil, who fit most of my criteria. (She only represents to the book publishing industry, so I will at some point seek representation for a more traditional artist representative.) Before she signed with me, she made The Call. And we chatted like old friends. And giggled like school girls at one point, too. It was a good match. She’s already brokered a book deal for me. I’m looking forward to more.

I decided, since there isn’t a list of Agents representing Author-Illustrators out there (that I know of, please link to them in the comments if you have info) I would share mine.

Top Agents representing Author-Illustrators in Kid Lit *

Adams Literary Tracey and Josh Adams
Andrea Brown Literary Agency JENNIFER ROFÉ
Barry Goldblatt Literary, LLC Barry Goldblatt
Bent Agency Brooks Sherman
Book Group Rebecca Stead
BookStop Literary Agency Kendra Marcus
Bright Agency Vicki Willden-Lebrecht
Catbird Agency Kirsten Hall
Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency Kevin O’Connor
Chudney Agency Steven Chudney
Cornerstone Literary Helen Breitwieser
Curtis Brown, Ltd. Elizabeth Harding
Curtis Brown, Ltd. Ginger Knowlton
D4EO Literary Agency Bree Ogden
Deborah Harris Literary Agency Rena Rossner
DeFiore and Company Laurie Abkemeier
DeFiore and Company Meredith Kaffel
Donadio and Olson Carrie Howland
Dunham Literary Inc Jennie Dunham
Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency Edward Necarsulmer IV
Dystel & Goderich, Stacey Kendall Glick
EastWest Deborah Warren
Eden Street Liza Pulitzer-Voges
Eden Street Literary Liza Voges
EMLA Tricia Lawrence
Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency Ethan Ellenberg
Folio Literary Management John Mcusick
foliolit Emily van Beek
Full Circle Literary Adriana Dominguez
Fuse Literary Sara Sciuto, Assoc. Agent
Gelfman Schneider / ICM Partners Victoria Marini
Gernert Company Seth Fishman
Gillian MacKenzie Agency Gillian MacKenzie
Gina Maccoby Literary Agency Gina Maccoby
Greenhouse Literary Agency Julia Churchill
Hansen Literary Judith Hansen
Harvey Klinger Sara Crowe
Hen and Ink Beatriz Caicoya
Herman Agency Ronnie Herman
HSG Agency Carrie Hannigan
ICM Tina Wexler
InkWell Management, Charlie Olsen
Janklow & Nesbit Associates Kirby Kim
Jean Naggar Literary Agency Laura Biagi
Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency Jennifer De Chiara
Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency Victoria A. Selvaggio (Vicki Selvaggio)
Jill Corcoran Literary Agency Eve Porinchak
Jill Grinberg Literary Cheryl Pientka
Kuhn Projects Laura Nolan
L. Perkins Agency Rachel Brooks
Laura Dail Literary Agency Laura Dail
LBA (in London) Louise Lamont
Linnan Literary Jen Linnan
Liza Dawson Associates Anna Olswanger | Senior Literary Agent
Mansion Street Management Michelle Witte
Marsal Lyon Literary Kathleen Rushall
Martin Literary Management Clelia Gore
McIntosh & Otis Christa Heschke
Miles Stott Literary Agency Victoria Birkett
Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency Miriam Altshuler
nancy gallt literary agency Marietta B. Zacker
New Leaf Literary & Media Joanna Volpe
Olswanger Literary Anna Olswanger
P.S. Literary Agency Carly Watters
Painted Words Lori Nowicki
Pippin Properties Elena Giovinazzo
Prospect Agency Rachel Orr
Prospect Agency Teresa Kietlinski
Red Fox Literary Danielle Smith
Red Tree Literary Elana Roth
Rising Bear Rick Margola
Rob Weisbach Creative Management Rob Weisbach
Rodeen Literary Management Lori Kilkelly
Rodeen Literary Management Paul Rodeen
Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency Thao Le
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates Brenda Bowen
Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency Jessica Sinsheimer
Sean McCarthy Literary Agency, Sean McCarthy
Shannon Associates Justin Rucker
Sheldon Fogelan Agency Janine Le
Sterling Lord Literistic Erica Rand Silverman
Stimola literary studio Rosemary Stimola
Studio Goodwin Sturges Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges
Susan Rabiner Literary Holly Bemiss
Susan Schulman Literary Susan Schulman
Thompson Literary Agency Cindy Uh
United Agents Robert Kirby
Unter Agency, LLC Jennifer Unter
Victoria Sanders & Associates Bernadette Baker-Baughman
Waxman Leavell Julie Stevenson
Weber Group Tricia Weber
Wells Arms Literary Victoria Wells Arms
Wernick and Pratt Linda Pratt
William Morris Endeavor Andy McNicol
Writer’s House Rebecca Sherman
Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Rick Richter

* Please note this list was compiled from 2012 thought early 2015. Because the publishing industry is constantly in flux, some information may no longer be accurate. Some agents listed are closed to unsolicited submissions. Some agents require a personal introduction from someone whom they already represent. Some of the agents listed represent people as illustrators who also happen to be author-illustrators. As in all things in this industry, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH before submitting your manuscript. Good luck!

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