Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Kelly Dyksterhouse Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/12/2022
  • Savannah Brooks Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 12/19/2022

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • All Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated as of 7/15/2020, and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for them to be fully updated in 2023.

Agent Spotlight: Jenny Bent

This week's Agent Spotlight features Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.
Status: Open to submissions. As of 5/10/2020 Ms. Bent is closed to unsolicited materials.
headshot banana dressAbout: “Jenny Bent represents literary and commercial adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction and nonfiction in the areas of memoir, humor and select narrative nonfiction.
I was born in New York City but grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia in a house full of books where I spent many lazy afternoons reading in a sunny window seat. I went on to England to get a BA/MA with first class honors from Cambridge University, and then worked at several boutique agencies before joining Trident Media Group in 2003. In 2009 I left to found The Bent Agency. In the course of my career, I have represented a great many New York Times bestselling authors, a list which currently includes Stephanie Garber, AG Howard, Governor John Kasich, Lori Nelson Spielman, Goldy Moldavsky, Yangsze Choo, Lynn Weingarten, Lynsay Sands, Lori Wilde and Julia London.
"I’m currently looking for commercial and literary fiction for adults and children as well as select nonfiction including memoir and humor. In adult fiction, I particularly enjoy women's fiction and crime/suspense. I also love novels—for grown-ups or children—that have an element of magic or fantasy to them or that take me into a strange and new world, whether real or imaginary. All of the books that I represent speak to the heart in some way: they are linked by genuine emotion, inspiration and great writing and story telling. I love books that make me laugh, make me cry, or ideally do both.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“At the Bent Agency, we work with each author to map the publishing career of their dreams and make it a reality. We pay careful attention to every detail, from the terms of a first contract, editorial work and cover design, to the publisher’s marketing and publicity plan, royalties and sales figures. We offer the kind of representation that can only be born of years of experience in the atmosphere of a smaller boutique firm where every client gets our combined and total focus. Our New York and London offices work closely together, so our clients benefit from a truly international agency.
“We pride ourselves on nurturing and discovering authors whom we can help propel to the top of their category. We have represented over 50 New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling titles, with many more on the Nielsen BookScan US, UK and Australia charts, as well as the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Irish Times, Der Spiegel, and other international and regional bestseller lists.” (Link with more)
Web Presence:
The Bent Agency website.
Bent On Books (blog).
AAR profile.
What She's Looking For:
Middle grade, young adult, literary suspense, crime, women’s fiction, general fiction, literary fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of humor, memoir, and lifestyle. In all areas, she is particularly interested in hearing from diverse voices.
See her blog for current wishlist.
What She Isn't Looking For:
Science Fiction, Poetry, Picture Books, Comix, Graphic Novels, Erotica, Gay/Lesbian Literature, Western, True Crime, Textbooks/Academic Books, Serious History or Biography, Political Science/Policy, Business, Reference, Investment, Professional, Sports, Puzzles, Games, Arts, Cinema, Photography, Crafts, Hobbies, DIY, Health, Diet, Mind, Body, Spirit, Music, Musicals, Nature, Ecology, Politics, Current affairs, Science, Technology, Technical, How-to, Travel, World Cultures, Dramatic Works. (Link)
Editorial Agent?
“This sounds trite, but you cannot give up and you cannot stop believing in yourself. So many incredibly successful writers spent years and years trying to break into this business and you should take inspiration from how hard they worked and how they never stopped trying. That, and brush up on online promotion—increasingly it is essential for publishing success, both for published and unpublished authors.” (Link)
There is a list of agency clients on the website.
Ms. Bent’s clients include: Stephanie Garber, AG Howard, Governor John Kasich, Lori Nelson Spielman, Goldy Moldavsky, Yangsze Choo, Lynn Weingarten, Lynsay Sands, Lori Wilde and Julia London, among many others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes (only).
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify): As of 5/10/2020 Ms. Bent is closed to unsolicited materials. Check the agency website to find out if she opens up to queries.
“First, review our agents' bios and decide which of us you'd like to query. Please do not simultaneously query our agents; submit your work to only one of us. If she passes, feel free to contact another.
“Second, email your chosen agent and tell her briefly 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).”
See the Bent Agency website complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Response Times:
The agency has a stated response time (or goal, rather) of responding to queries within a month. If you do not receive a response within that time, resend your query and indicate you are resending. 
Stats on the web show the agency responding to most queries within hours to a month. Requested material ranges from days to quite a few months.
What's the Buzz?
Jenny Bent is a highly respected agent with an established list of successful clients, including many New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.  Her clients seem very happy with her representation, and despite her full list Ms. Bent is always looking for brilliant new talent.
You can follow her on Twitter, where she’s very active, @jennybent, and at her fantastic blog, Bent on Books
Worth Your Time:
LitChat Interview: Jenny Bent, The Bent Agency at LitStack (01/2017).
Literary Agent Jenny Bent on Foreign Rights and Comp Titles (3/2016)
Q&A With Jenny Bent (6/2015).
Agent Jenny Bent Wish List (04/2014).
Interview at Love Stories (10/2014).
Query Questions with Jenny Bent at Michelle4Laughs (01/2014).
7 Questions for: Literary Agent Jenny Bent at Middle Grade Ninja (01/2013).
An interview with Jenny Bent at Write Angles Blog (09/2011).
PitchFest Interview and Feedback at Pitch University (06/2011). The associated queries can be viewed here.
Q&A with Jenny Bent at Writer’s League of Texas (05/2011).
Jenny Bent Tells Us What Agents Want at WOW (12/2009).
Around the Web:
Successful Queries: Agent Jenny Bent and “Oh. My. Gods.” at Guide to Literary Agents (10/2011).
Please see the Bent Agency website for contact and query information.
Profile Details:
Last updated: 6/11/17. Reviewed 5/10/20 for submission status only
Last Reviewed By Agent? 6/11/17.
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.


Lorena said...

She seems wonderful. Thank you, Casey!

Anonymous said...

Great agent spotlight. Thanks for sharing.

Marsha Sigman said...

Is it horrible of me that one of the reasons I would love to have her as an agent is so I can tell peeps they should get bent?

It's not like the main reason...

Angela Brown said...

*grinning at Marsha* - that's just the coolest. Love it.

Another great agent spotlight. Thanks Casey!

Amy Jarecki said...

Thank you Casey! Your posts are marvelous! I'm just finishing a contemporary romance (I don't do YA), and this information is very helpful.


Unknown said...

Thank you for compiling all this info for all of us, Casey. Informative and helpful, they could only be made better with random pics of wiener dogs. (hint hint) Hehehe. Thanks again!

Casey McCormick said...

Thank you, everyone. She really is fantastic. Good luck to those of you who query her!