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Agent Spotlight: Alyssa Eisner Henkin

This week's Agent Spotlight features Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group, LLC
Status: Open to submissions.
Update as of 11/22/2021: Alyssa left Trident Media Group to found Birch Path Literary in January 2021. You can find out what she's looking for and how to submit on her agency website.
About: "After earning her Bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania, Alyssa fulfilled a childhood dream that she professed on a home video at the age of six: move to New York and work with books. In 1999, Alyssa began her career in editorial at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Here she found “kindred spirits” who loved Anne of Green Gables as much as she did and a kids book space that was rapidly growing. In late 2006 Alyssa headed to Trident to expand the firm’s children’s book business. She works hard to ensure each book’s longevity from brainstorming the perfect editor, title and jacket to overseeing successful foreign, merchandising, audio, film and theatrical partnerships.

Alyssa is seeking emerging authors and illustrators in all genres. Feisty picture book protagonists, whether real or imagined, tend to intrigue. For older readers, she wants everything from prose and verse novels brimming with underdogs, social justice, mysteries, humor, regional and ethnic flavors to intrepid genre-bending nonfiction, memoir, graphic, and otherwise. Alyssa looks to spice up the canon with projects that break new ground
." (Link)
About the Agency:
“Trident Media Group (TMG) is a prominent literary agency in New York City dedicated to championing authors throughout their careers. Founded in 2000, TMG represents a wide range of bestselling and distinguished authors, as well as newly emerging authors. Our clients have won major literary awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the P.E.N. Hemingway Award, and The Booker Prize, among others.
"Our diverse group of literary agents are skilled in all genres of fiction and nonfiction. With an eye toward innovation, our clients are supported by dedicated departments in all areas of rights and career management. TMG’s robust Foreign Rights Department leads the industry in sales of both fiction and nonfiction abroad. Our author services include Digital Media & Marketing, Business Affairs & Administrative services, and Film & Dramatic rights sales.” (Link)
Web Presence:
Trident website.
What She's Looking For:
From Her Manuscript Wish List:
"Alyssa is actively seeking middle grade fiction/nonfiction and graphic novel projects as well as the occasional YA novel and a select number of picture book projects, both illustrated and text only.
"For middle grade, Alyssa loves underdog stories and perspectives that will spice up the canon. She’s also keen to find younger middle grade projects that appeal to second and third graders, along the lines of A BOY CALLED BAT. Illustrated and graphic projects akin to THE WILD ROBOT, EL DEAFO, and NATHAN HALE’S HAZARDOUS TALES are in high demand. And she’d love to sniff out a standout historical novel like WOLF HOLLOW, a magical realism story in the vein of WISHTREE, and more books with characters living outside of the US in the spirit of AMAL UNBOUND. She’s very hungry for more middle grade stories based in nonfiction as in SOME WRITER: THE STORY OF E.B. WHITE and A LONG WALK TO WATER. And she adores Bollywood movies and craves more of that cheeky spirit in her YA submissions.
"Picture books that fill an obvious sales niche but also feel incredibly fresh, like SOPHIE’S SQUASH and THE SCRAMBLED STATES OF AMERICA, are especially sought-after and of interest to Alyssa. And biographies on little known yet fascinating figures are always intriguing to
Alyssa's (not so) inner history nerd!"
From AgentQuery:
“Alyssa's primary area of interest is middle grade and young adult fiction. On the middle grade side, she's actively looking for high-concept mystery and adventure. She'd love to find a spooky ghost storyeqsue project in the vein of The Book Of Elsewhere, and a tween girl commercial series in the vein of The Mother Daughter Book Club. On the YA side she'd love to find an epic love story for teens that has crossover appeal in the women's fiction market.
"While her focus is heavily on middle and young adult novels and not on nonfiction, Alyssa does a limited number of picture books and nonfiction projects. She also does a very select number of women's fiction project.”
Editorial Agent?
Clients: See the agency website for a complete list.
Lauren Barnholdt, Ruth Behar, Julie Berry, Jennifer Bryant, Lisa Greenwald, Kristina McBride, R.J. Palacio.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: Yes.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query including a plot synopsis, relevant background, and the first five pages in the body of the e-mail. No attachments. (Link)
See the Trident Media website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Response Times:
Ms. Henkin usually responds within two to three weeks; however, there are times it takes her up to two or three months and occasional instances of no-response. Requested material ranges from a week to a few months.
What's the Buzz?
There seems to be good buzz all around. Nothing but kind, praising words from queriers and clients alike. She attends conferences regularly and is building a fabulous list of clients.
Interviews and Posts:
Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Writing and Illustrating (11/2021)
Agent Interview at Only Picture Books (7/2019)
Agent Interview at Tara Lazar (06/2019)
Agent Interview at Duotrope (05/2019)
Agent Spotlight at Eastern Penn Points (04/2019)
Interview at JustinColonBooks (01/2019)
7 Questions for Literary Agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Middle Grade Ninja (06/2017)
Agents Looking for Clients: Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Writing and Illustrating (06/2017)
Please see the Trident Media Group website or Ms. Henkin's Manuscript Wish List or AgentQuery page for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 5/2/20
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 5/4/20

Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updating? Please leave a comment or e-mail me at natalieiaguirre7(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.


Corey Schwartz said...

Ughh, it seems that so few will take on picture book writers! I wish I wrote MG or YA!

Elana Johnson said...

Alyssa is awesome. She requested my first fifty pages after 10 days [YA dystopian]. Then my full from my partial after 10 more days. Then, sadly, she rejected my full after having it for 11 days. She was kind and polite throughout. She's great if you can hook her!

Keri Mikulski said...

Heard she fabulous!! :)

Ronald L. Smith said...

I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at the Winter SCBWI con in NYC. Quite informative and funny, too.

She's on my list.

Casey Something said...

Thanks for all the input everyone!

K. M. Walton said...

Like Prince Balthazar I was lucky enough to hear her speak at that same conference.

I just sent her a query and used quotes from her interview above!!

Thanks for this info, Casey.

Casey Something said...

You're very welcome, K.M.

Best wishes on your query!

Jessica Schein said...

I signed with her in December and she is truly awesome! We've gone back and forth on my draft a few times now and her comments have helped shape my ms. in ways I hadn't even considered. It's much better! I truly appreciate her enthusiasm and patience!

Casey Something said...

Thanks so much for chiming in, Jessica! I'm glad you're having a great author-agent relationship.

Best wishes for a quick sale!

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!