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Agent Spotlight: Emily Keyes

This week's Agent Spotlight features Emily Keyes of the L. Perkins Agency.

Status: Open to submissions, actively building her list.

Image1.1085937_stdAbout: "Emily is Contracts & Foreign Rights Manager at the L. Perkins Agency. She’s very passionate about YA and teen novels and is looking to acquire in that area.

“Previously, she was a Contracts Administrator at Simon & Schuster, Inc. and a writer for “The World Almanac for Kids.” She is a graduate of the NYU Publishing program and knowledgeable about many areas of publishing, and an expert on all things ‘Sweet Valley.’” (Link)

About the Agency:

"Founded in 1987 by Lori Perkins, a former newspaper publisher and editor, the L. Perkins Agency specializes in many different genres. Currently there are five agents representing approximately 200 authors to the publishing industry. The Agency has agents in 11 foreign countries and works with an established film agency." (Link)

Web Presence:

L. Perkins Agency.

Life Is An Open Book (blog).



What She's Looking For:

Genres / Specialties:

Middle grade, young adult, and commercial adult fiction.

Some interests are listed in this 2012 Agent Genre Listing at PNWA.

From A Contest (4/2012):

“I'm looking for YA of all types, story-driven (as opposed to ‘lesson’-driven) middle grade. I'm also looking for a range of commercial adult fiction.” (Link)

From a Blog Post (08/2009):

"I love YA books. I loved them when I was a kid and I still love them now. I want to see manuscripts from people who love it as much as I do. I want to find the books that kids are going to remember with fondness. I inhaled Lois Duncan, LJ Smith, Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley, etc, etc. These days I’m excited by the writing done by Suzanne Collins, Kristin Cashore, Claudia Gray. I’m also into the teen novels by people like Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, Barry Lyga and others. I’m looking for smart middle grade and teen novels. (No picture books, please.) I like fantasy and paranormal, and other odd things. […] I like strong, female heroines and books with fresh voices and a quirky sense of humor. I’m really sick of knock-off 'Harry Potters’ and Twilights.'" (Link)

What She Isn't Looking For:

Screenplays, short story collections, poetry, picture books (Link, Link).

In the QueryTracker comments on her profile, one writer reports she doesn’t care for sports stories. (Link)

Editorial Agent?

“Certainly, if you work with me, you're going to have to learn to love [revisions]. Although I don't think I could ever be an editor, I do rather enjoy the creative aspect of this business. I want things I send out to be as polished as possible before a real editor sees them.” (Link)





As of this posting, Ms. Keyes does not appear to be a member of Publisher’s Marketplace. She has assisted the agency in at least one International Rights deal.

Query Methods:

E-mail: Yes.

Snail-Mail: No.

Online-Form: No.

Submission Guidelines (always verify):

Send a query letter including a brief synopsis, your bio, and the first five pages in the body of the e-mail. No attachments.

Query only one agent at the agency; a no from one is a no from all. Simultaneous submissions to other agencies are expected.

Please see the L. Perkins Agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines. 

Response Times:

The agency’s  stated response time is 3+ weeks for queries and 4-12 weeks for requested material. If you have not heard back in that time frame, feel free to follow up (link). Stats on the web, though limited, show Ms. Keyes responding to queries between 1-6 weeks and requested material 1-4 weeks.

What's the Buzz?

Emily Keyes was an intern then junior agent with the L. Perkins Agency back in 2008-2009 and was accepting submissions at that time. I don’t believe she ever got off the ground as an agent before taking a job at Simon & Shuster in the Contracts department. As of late 2011, she is back at L. Perkins as the Contracts and Foreign Rights Manager and once again seeking clients.  She handles foreign rights for at least two other agencies, including the Blue Ridge Literary Agency and the Mary Sue Seymour Agency.

P&E has the L. Perkins Agency listed with a "Conflict Advisory" as Lori Perkins appears to have financial interest in Ravenous Romance. More info on the L. Perkins Thread and Ravenous Romance thread at AW. This issue does not apply to Ms. Keyes as she is not involved in the company or handling erotica, but I do think this and other conversations in the Perkins thread are worth considering on an agency level.

Worth Your Time:


Contest Winners & Interview with Emily Keyes at Operation Awesome (04/2012).

Selected Blog Posts:

How to Read Queries, A Step By Step Guide (05/2012).

Cccchanges (01/2012).

Most of My Favorite Books… (02/2011)

Around the Web:

L. Perkins Agency thread on AbsoluteWrite.

L. Perkins Agency on P&E (listed with "conflict advisory").

Emily Keyes on P&E.

New Agent Actively Seeking Middle Grade and Young Adult at Guide to Literary Agents (07/2009).


Please see the L. Perkins Agency for contact and query information.

Profile Details:

Last updated: 5/24/12.


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 and/or teen 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. Thank you for this Spotlight, Casey! I appreciate the work you put into them each week.

  2. Great spotlight, Casey. Thanks for the watch on the agency - very thought-provoking.

  3. Thanks for another awesome agent spotlight Casey.

  4. thanks so much! On my way to send out another query:)

  5. I didn't realize she had left the agency to work at SS. I'll have to add her to my list for when I start querying again. :)

  6. Now at Foreword Literary. Thanks for these wonderful profiles, so useful when querying.

    1. Thanks Eric. I'll try to get her profile updated soon.