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Agent Spotlight: Ginger Knowlton

This week’s Agent Spotlight features Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

GKnowlton About: “Ginger Knowlton represents authors and illustrators of children's books in all genres, as well as a few adult book authors. Her list includes Newbery Medalists, Newbery Honor and Printz Honor winners, Edgar and Lambda winners, a Sibert and Orbis Pictus winner, New York Times bestsellers, and a host of other delightful and talented clients. Ginger started working at Curtis Brown as an assistant to Marilyn Marlow, one of the first literary agents to specialize in children's books in the 1960s. Working for Marilyn was a rite of passage, affectionately referred to as Curtis Brown’s ‘Boot Camp.’ Before joining the company, Ginger worked in the field of early childhood education in Sacramento and Mendocino, California. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Authors' Representatives and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Library in her hometown in Westchester County.” (Link

Status: Open to submissions. "I'm always on the lookout for exciting new clients. That said, I am rather picky." (Link)

What She's Looking For:

From her Bio:

“Ginger Knowlton represents authors and illustrators of children's books in all genres, as well as a few adult book authors.”

From an Interview (2006):

"Children's books, from picture books for the very young to y.a./teen novels and nonfiction. At the moment, I especially love middle grade and teen novels and quirky nonfiction." (Link)

What She Isn’t Looking For:

Stage plays, musicals, screen plays. (Link)

Otherwise, she prefers to remain open than specify what she is or isn’t looking for (Link).

About the Agency:

“Founded in 1914, Curtis Brown, Ltd. is among the most venerable and prominent literary agencies in the world, representing a wide variety of established and emerging writers from all genres.  Curtis Brown, Ltd. offers its clients the highest standard of literary representation, with a commitment to quality, innovation and integrity.” (Link)

“Curtis Brown currently employs 32 people in our New York and San Francisco offices. Since its inception, the agency has handled more than 50,000 contracts. Our clients include many bestselling authors, award winners, and some of the leading minds and voices in the world. Curtis Brown boasts innovative and successful film and foreign rights departments, and is one of the few literary agencies that handle ancillary rights in-house, providing a motivated team working on our clients' behalf across all platforms. We are well positioned to take advantage of the new opportunities afforded by technological innovations, and we are aggressive in achieving the best possible terms for our clients. With the media industries constantly changing, Curtis Brown continues to evolve and excel while maintaining its commitment to the principles that have made it a key player in the publishing and entertainment world for nearly a century.” (Link)



Editorial Agent?

A client mentioned she is not an editorial agent in this 2008 thread; otherwise unknown.

Web Presence:

Curtis Brown website.

AAR member.

Publisher's Marketplace page.

AgentQuery, QueryTracker, AuthorAdvance.


Rebecca Barnhouse, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Thalia Chaltas, Nancy Etchemendy, Jean Craighead George, Peggy Gifford, K.L. Going, Anna Grossnickle Hines, Gary Hines, Francisco Jimenez, Gail Carson Levine, J.Patrick Lewis, Laura Manivong, Wendy Mass, Alice McGill, Todd Mitchell, Estate of Ogden Nash, Linda Sue Park, Debbie Rdipath Ohi, John Ritter, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Greg Leitich Smith, Barbara Stuber, Stephanie Tolan, Wendelin Van Draanen, Sally Warner, Nancy Werlin, Ellen Wittlinger, Ellen Yeomans, among others.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Not preferred.

Snail-Mail: Yes.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

“I will not respond to email queries unless I am interested. If that concerns you, you're welcome to submit via post, with an SASE.” (Link)

Send a query, the first ten pages, and a SASE. Illustrators should send 1-2 samples of published work, if any, and 6-8 color copies (no original art).  (Link, Link)

See Ms. Knowlton’s Publisher’s Marketplace page and the Curtis Brown website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.

Query Tips:

“I think it would help if authors put ‘query’ as the subject line. Also, if authors who query me don’t hear back within a month, please feel free to send a gentle nudge along with the original email. Please don’t send attachments unless I request it.” (Link)

“Smart, funny, and engaging letters catch my eye. It's best to include at least a first page of a longer manuscript with your query, and an entire picture book if that's what you write. Let me see what you want me to sell.” (Link)

Response Times:

The agency’s stated response time is 6-8 weeks.  Ms. Knowlton usually responds within a month, often around two weeks. Response times on requested material are limited but suggest a range of 1-2 months.

What's the Buzz?

Everything I found on Ms. Knowlton is very complimentary.  Her 20+ years of experience, focus on children’s literature, and impressive clientele make her quite the catch for kidlit writers and illustrators.  Her clients seem very pleased with her representation and are happy to praise her.  She describes herself as being very picky but remains open and invested in submissions. 

Worth Your Time:


Interview with Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown, Ltd at Mig Writers (05/2012).

Interview with Ginger Knowlton by K.L. Goings (06/2006).

Brief interview with Ginger Knowlton in the 2004 Jeff Herman Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents (page 511-512).

Around the Web:

Curtis Brown, Ltd. on P&E (recommended).

Ginger Knowlton on P&E (AAR).

Curtis Brown, Ltd. thread on AbsoluteWrite.

Debbie Ohi posted a darling cartoon called, “One of the Many Reasons I Love My Agent, Ginger Knowlton” on her blog, Inkygirl (12/10).

"How Not to Get to Agent" by Lisa Yee (HILARIOUS) featuring Ms. Knowlton (2009).

Ms. Knowlton gives tips on "Finding and Keeping Your Dream Literary Agent" at Raab Associates (2008).

Ms. Knowlton answers the question, "What Are My Obligations To A Former Literary Agent?" at Raab Associates (2004).

An old Inkspot Newsletter from 2001 where Ms. Knowlton answers a few writer-specific questions (about halfway down).


Please see Ms. Knowlton's Publisher's Marketplace page or the Curtis Brown website for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 1/21/2011

Reviewed By Agent?  Yes – 1/22/2011


Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com

Note: These agent profiles presently focus on agents who accept children's fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying an agent. The information found herein is subject to change.


  1. Casey,

    Thank you SO MUCH for this! I have been wanting to find more information on Ms. Knowlton (she's on my list of top agents to query!)for a long time. Thank you for gathering it all in one place!

  2. You're welcome, Crystal. Good luck!


  3. these are so great! I love them
    (hey my verify word is: week abs.
    is the universe telling me something?

  4. Thanks Shelli and Christina!

    Shelli, I think your word veri is trying to tell *me* something, and the universe is just using you to deliver the message.


  5. Very cool blog. Just saw this page. May I say, Ginger rocks. Publishing is a crazy business, but among all the madness, she is an island of sanity and happiness. Go Ginger!