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Agent Spotlight: Barry Goldblatt

This week's Agent Spotlight features Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary.
Status: Open to submissions. 
barry_portraitAbout: “To paraphrase Garrett Morris of SNL, children’s books have been very, very good to me. It was never my planned career option, however.

I came to New York in the summer of 1989 after graduating from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Journalism. I’d just finished an intensive six-week course on science fiction with James Gunn there, and I was determined to come to the city and get an editorial job at a science fiction magazine or book publishing company. If I’d only done a little research beforehand, I’d have realized how few editorial positions there were that fit that description. Fortunately I had a great interviewer at Simon & Schuster who explained a bunch of other job options, including describing the subsidiary rights department, which sounded like a lot of fun. I added that to my application letters and suddenly started getting a lot more calls for interviews…but none of them with science fiction or fantasy publishers.
"I was running low on cash and starting to worry when I got a call to meet with Donne Forrest, the Subsidiary Rights Director at Dutton Children’s Books and Dial Books for Young Readers. I liked her immediately and we had a good interview. She sent me home with three books: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, Interstellar Pig by William Sleator, and Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. I read them all that night, and she called and offered me the job the next day. She made it clear to me that she needed a body right then, but she’d completely understand if I found a job in SF&F in the near future and left. Six months later, I got a call from Tor about an editorial assistant job…and I said “no thanks, not interested.” I’d fallen in love with children’s books, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
"Two years later I was laid off by Penguin (after just signing a lease for a more expensive studio in the East Village to boot!), but fortunately landed a new job as the subsidiary rights associate at The Putnam and Grosset Group. After a couple of years there, I was handed a true golden ticket: I was hired as the Rights and Contracts Director at Orchard Books.When news came in 2000 that Scholastic was buying Orchard, I had to decide what to do with my future. I’d always thought of agenting as an opportunity down the road, but I certainly hadn’t planned to do it so soon. I talked with several people about it, including award-winning author Angela Johnson, who basically said that if I did decide to agent, she’d be my first client. With that kind of vote of confidence, I took the leap and in September 2000 opened my agency, and it is without a doubt the best move I’ve ever made.” (From the agency website)
About the Agency:
Barry Goldblatt Literary was founded September 2000. The agency specializes in children's and young adult fiction as well as graphic novels and adult genre fiction.
Web Presence:
Barry Goldblatt Literary website.
Publisher’s Marketplace page.  
QueryTracker, AgentQuery.
Update 2/2/2023
MS Wish List
What He's Looking For:
Barry Goldblatt represents children's projects exclusively including middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. He likes quirky, edgy, and offbeat. (Link)
What He Isn't Looking For:
Adult projects, screenplays, educational or institutional non-fiction.
Editorial Agent?
A full list of BG Literary clients is available on the website. website
Query Methods:
E-mail: No.
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: Yes.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Fill out the online form and paste in a query, synopsis, and the first 20 pages of your manuscript.  Query only one agent at the agency; querying one is querying all. 
See the BG Literary website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Response Times:
The agency only responds if interested.
What's the Buzz?
For nearly twenty years, Barry Goldblatt worked in subsidiary rights for various children's publishers including Dutton Children's Books and Dial Books for Young Readers, The Putnam & Grosset Group, and Orchard Books. When Goldblatt heard Scholastic was buying Orchard in 2000, he decided it was finally time to form his own agency and founded Barry Goldblatt Literary.
Since then, Goldblatt has become a very successful, well-respected literary agent with some of the best children’s and young adult authors in his clientele.  His clients absolutely adore him.  He’s married to the ever-fabulous Libba Bray. If you have a chance to hear these two speak at a conference, do yourself a favor and go.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Podcasts: (Updated 2/2/2023)
Podcast at 88 Cups of Tea (08/2017)
SCBWI TEAM BLOG Pre-Conference Interview: Barry Goldblatt (07/2011).
INTERVIEW: Barry Goldblatt - Founder of Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency at A View from the Top (05/2010).
Agent Panel: Barry Goldblatt at the SCBWI Conference Blog (01/2012).
Video of Barry Goldblatt speaking at the 34th annual Mary Calletto Rife Youth Literature Seminar on YouTube. (11/2011).
The Wisdom of Agents – Panel Discussion, SCBWI-LA 2011 conference notes including Barry Goldblatt at Karen Sandler’s blog (08/2011).
Agent Friday: Barry Goldblatt at Writing While the Rice Boils (12/2010).
Children’s Literary Agent Barry Goldblatt Knows What He Likes In The Ever-Changing and Expanding Children’s Market at Writer’s Digest (03/2008).
Please see the agency website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 2/2/2023.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? N/A.
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.


kathrynjankowski said...

Interesting that he now accepts e-queries only. It used to be the opposite. Alas, my snail mail query (sent in Feb.) received a form rejection after 4 weeks.

Stella said...

Thanks so much, Casey! Great information.

Anonymous said...

Hi Casey,
Thanks so much for your very, very helpful blog.

Can you check on the link on this spotlight where it says that he doesn't accept overseas clients? I'd like to read more but the link seems dead.


Casey Something said...

Hi Anon. The link does appear to be dead and I'm not finding the original source with a quick search. Since it's not specified on the BG Literary website / submission guidelines, I'd say it's fine to query. If it were really an issue, it would be specified there.

I've taken it off for now but will keep my eye out for further information.

Suki Wessling said...

Thanks for great info on your site. As to this page: The link to his website is wrong, and the link to his blog goes to a dead blog that hasn't been updated in a few years!

Casey McCormick said...

Thank you, Suki! I just updated Mr. Goldblatt's profile.

TheBookSiren said...

My dream agent, in theory at least. :)