This week's Agent Spotlight features Bree Ogden of D4EO Literary Agency.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “Bree Ogden is the newest addition to D4EO Literary Agency, after having been an associate literary agent at Martin Literary Management for nearly 2 years representing children’s, YA, and graphic novels.
Bree graduated with her BA in Philosophy from Southern Virginia University where she served as editor-in-chief of the University’s newsmagazine. She was awarded Most Valuable Player and Editor of the Year, as well as SVU’s Pioneer Award, an honor the University awards to two students each year. She then received her MA in Journalism with an emphasis in editing and expository writing at Northeastern University where she worked on both the New England Press Association Bulletin, and also served as the features editor of the premier campus music magazine, Tastemakers Magazine.
About the Agency:
“Bob Diforio launched D4EO Literary Agency in 1989 after a long career at New American Library. Today D4EO is a full-service, four-agent literary agency representing authors of a very broad range of commercial fiction and non-fiction for children, young adults, and adults. Books represented by the agency have topped the The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and agency authors have received awards that include the Daphne de Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and the Nero Award.
“With over 1,000 published books under contract, the agency has launched the writing careers of more than two hundred authors. The agency is based in Connecticut with associate agents in Seattle (Mandy Hubbard, Kristin Miller and Bree Ogden) and Destin, FL (Joyce Holland).” (Link)
What She's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Middle grade, Young Adult, New Adult fiction (readership: ages 18-30), Graphic Novels, YA Nonfiction, and Art books. (Link)
From her Blog (11/9/11):
“Bree’s wish list: (don’t limit your queries to these!)
- Dark (not angst-ridden)
- Psychological horror (with no paranormal elements)
- Hard sci fi. Meaning no fantasy, or magical realism at all
- A Dexter-ish type YA black comedy
- A Roaring Twenties historical for YA
- A manuscript written in the era of Mad Men with panache and style
- A unique and theme-driven art book” (Link)
From a Blog Post (11/2011):
“While watching my all time favorite movie for about the 700th time, all I could think was, “Man I wish someone would query me with an idea this great.”
“The movie? Drop Dead Gorgeous. The ultimate dark comedy.
“Irreverent wit, delicious irony, awesome stereotypes, catty girls, odd jobs, laughable idols, low-life expectations, dark, twisted, absurd, small town life. Absolute perfect storm. If you have anything like this…you know what to do.” (Link)
From an Interview (01/2011):
“She is especially interested in darker plots (think Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay) and loves dystopian, unique and fresh supernatural elements. Science fiction graphic novels and graphic novels that challenge the reader to think as well as have a great visual hook, stories that are very visual in nature, and books with a philosophical hook are equally of interest. “ (Link)
From an Interview (09/2010):
“I'm looking for quite a bit...all very different from what is out in the marketplace right now. I just finished reading a series of devilish books from the Harlequin Vintage series, i.e., Kiss Your Elbow, I'll Bury My Dead, You Never Know with Women, etc. I would love--with a capital L--a manuscript with that sort of vintage noir drama but set in a modern day. Think femme fatale, film noir, dark and mysterious. Which leads to my next desire...I would love something along the lines of Mad Men. And of course I love zombies, but those are very hard to write well.
“I've never been a huge sugary romance fan, so if you are submitting a romance to me, it has got to have grit, realistic conflict, and maybe not so much of a happy ending? I also think that a faux memoir, middle grade or young adult, if done well, could be amazing. I would love to see that in my inbox. And even more so, I would LOVE a real memoir told in graphic novel form.
“And of course, I love quirky boy-centric middle grade, always! I am always and forever looking for great middle grade. It is my favorite genre to represent.” (Link)
What She Isn't Looking For:
Poetry, short stories, screenplays, paranormal, fantasy (including urban fantasy), romance (unless there is a superb dark, psychotic element), magical realism, world building. (Link)
“It all depends on the writer. I’ve had a few clients that didn’t need anything from me other than to sell their book. I’ve had some clients that I’ve suggested significant changes to their manuscripts. I’ve had other clients that I have walked through the entire process from basic book description to book proposal to marketing plan to mock book covers. I don’t do much editing though. I would never take on a manuscript that needed significant editing. I talk to most of my clients several times a week, both phone and email. It is very important to me that my clients and I are always on the same page. I want my clients to succeed, so that means being there for them as much as they need me.” (Link)
“Do your research in all ways possible: read a lot, revise a lot, know what agents represent what and query the correct ones, blog, Twitter, Facebook, get yourself out there in the viral world and make a name for yourself before you even finish that manuscript. It will work wonders for you in the future. Show agents and editors that you are literary-minded and that you know how to promote yourself.” (Link)
“Career builder, no doubt. Once I sign a client I hope to have them for the long haul. I want to help them develop great relationships with editors and publishing houses. Not to mention I seriously fall in love with my clients and break-ups are hard to do. Ha ha. I think it is important for an author to have someone at his or her back. And when an author is continually changing agents, well, that relationship just doesn’t sustain for obvious reasons.” (Link)
“I'm not fond of being called ‘Sir.’ Haha. I've seen some pretty bad queries but I wouldn't file them under pet peeves. The pet peeves come when I can tell that the author hasn't done the research, i.e., they query me for an adult true crime, etc. Also, most agents are pretty specific that they don't want attachments in the email, so that is kind of a pet peeve. But really, I just want to know what the manuscript is about without having to put a huge amount of effort into figuring it out. It shouldn't be an Easter egg hunt for the plot line.” (Link)
As of this posting, Ms. Ogden does not have any deals listed with Publisher’s Marketplace. NOTE: PM is usually not a completely representation of sales.
She co-agented a YA two-book deal with Sterling Publishing for author Gregg Olsen (info via e-mail 07/2011).
E-mail: Yes (only).
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Paste a query and the first five pages of your MS in the body of an e-mail. No attachments.
For complete, up-to-date submission guidelines see the D4EO website.
“I like a good creative query letter. I work with creative genres, so show me that you are creative through your letter…without trying too hard. That’s never good for anyone. I hate when the writer will tell me everything BUT the plot of the book. Sometimes they beat around that bush like it’s on fire…and I’m left wondering what the heck the premise is?” (Link)
What's the Buzz?
Bree joined the D4E0 Literary Agency in November of 2011 after nearly two years at Martin Literary Management. She has a growing list of clients who seem to adore her and is actively seeking new talent.
Worth Your Time:
Interview with Bree Ogden at SFC Blog (02/2011).
Interview: Agent Bree Ogden at Plotting and Scheming (09/2010).
Meet the Peas Interview Series: Bree Ogden at A Bit of Grace (08/2010).
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Bree Ogden at Middle Grade Ninja (08/2010).
Interview with YA uberagent, Bree Ogden at Dark Angel Blog (08/2010).
Literary Warrior & Agent - Bree Ogden at Literary Asylum (05/2010).
Interview with New Agent Bree Ogden at Day By Day Writer (04/2010).
Selected Blog Posts:
I’ll Just Throw This Out There… (11/2011).
Fantasy vs. Science Fiction (06/2011).
Be the Evel Knievel of Writing (11/2010).
Monthly NEWSLETTER (11/2010).
I want to be scared. I want zombies (07/2010).
Operation Query Critique: A Good Egg (07/2010).
Some Query Letter Tips (07/2010).
Visit and subscribe to Ms. Ogden’s blog, This Literary Life, for more great posts and tips.
Around the Web:
“Going up *Ding* with Guest Bree Ogden,” at Yatopia (06/2011).
Special Guest, Agent Bree Ogden, on “Query Tips to Help Get Your Foot in the Door” at Ketch Tavern (06/2011).
Proust Questionnaire – Fun tidbits on Ms. Ogden (09/2010).
Last updated: 11/9/11.
Agent Contacted For Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 11/9/11.
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.