Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 16, 2019

Agent Building Her List – Laurel Symonds

There was a mix-up with yesterday’s post going out on time. Here is the link to the Book Giveaway for Sidetracked. Don’t miss the chance to win.


Laurel Symonds launched as a literary agent at The Bent Agency in Fall 2018 after nearly a decade of experience in the publishing industry. She began her career in the editorial department of HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books in New York City and has also held positions in the marketing department at a small publishing house, in a library, and as a bookseller at one of the nation’s best independent bookstores.

She says, “What I love about agenting is being the author’s number one cheerleader through all these parts of the publication process!”


I am seeking young adult and middle grade fiction with a special interest in contemporary and fantasy-with-a-twist. I look for engaging voices, commercial hooks, and immersive worlds. My YA tastes are pretty commercial whereas my middle grade tastes can skew more literary and I’m especially interested in middle grade that might lend itself to illustration.

For picture books and graphic novels, I am especially seeking authors-illustrators (although I am open to both solo authors and illustrators) who bring a unique vision. My tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I am interested in art in all mediums, but especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective.

In nonfiction for children and young adults, I am seeking biographies, histories, and explorations of STEM elements, especially projects with an age-appropriate hook and series potential.

In every category, I am seeking voices that have previously been underrepresented and stories that have been overlooked.

I am not the best fit for slapstick humor, heavy sci-fi, or “issue” books.

Fun facts about me:

  • My dog, Sherlock, is my office assistant
  • I used to work as a bookseller
  • You can almost always find me in the middle of a cooking or baking project

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

In your query letter, briefly explain 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.

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.

Guidelines & Details





Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks for sharing this, Kathy!


  2. Thanks for this, Kathy!


  3. Can we get Laurel to a NJ event? 🙂


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