This week's Agent Spotlight features Alex Slater of Trident Media Group, LLC.
Status: Open to submissions.
About: “When asked how he became an agent at Trident, concentrating in the expanding children's, middle grade and young adult businesses, Alex simply replies, ‘It was only natural.’ While karma is not an established business concept, it is clear that Alex's career arc led him in this happy direction.
“Start with Alex's love of fiction, and in particular the stories that captivate the minds and imaginations of young people, from those so young that books are read to them, to young adults who get captivated by creative fiction. ‘I love to let myself go, and become the reader, whether the story is directed at a ten-year-old or a teenager,’ says Alex.
“Next is Alex's experience at Trident, where he has been since 2010. He became a very successful agent representing the company's children, middle grade and young adult authors in many licensing arrangements in the global marketplace for translation and in the English language in the U.K., having placed books with publishers in dozens of countries. Alex was Trident's representative at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy, as well as the broader-based London and Frankfurt book fairs. His experience in representing fiction in these areas showed him what elements in stories work well, and how to maximize the value of what an author has created.
“Alex's plan is to, ‘Look for stories that will rise above the rest with characters that will be remembered well past childhood, with the potential to cross over to other media and formats,’ such as programming, games, motion pictures and merchandise. ‘Trident is the leader on taking advantage of the latest opportunities presented by changing technology,’ says Alex, and, ‘I will be there to help make the latest innovations happen for my authors.’
"‘I believe that the most successful writers have a bit of the dreamer in them.’ And Alex passionately believes that he can help turn their dreams into reality.” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Trident Media Group (TMG) is a prominent literary agency located in New York City that originally formed in 2000. TMG represents over 1,000 bestselling and emerging authors in a range of genres of fiction and nonfiction, many of whom have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers Lists and have won major 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, The Booker Prize, and the L.A. Times Book Award, among others. TMG is one of the world’s leading, largest and most diversified literary agencies. For more than six consecutive years, TMG continues to rank number one for sales according to publishersmarketplace.com in North America. TMG is the only U.S. literary agency to be in the top ten in both UK fiction and UK non-fiction.” (Link)
What He's Looking For:
Genres / Specialties:
Middle grade and young adult fiction and non-fiction.
From an Interview (03/2015):
“I’m looking for strong, voice-driven fiction, and stories that demand that I continue turning the pages. I tend to lean towards more dark, offbeat themes and characters, while also finding fresh air in contemporary coming of age stories. I’m fond of telling writers to send me ‘Coen Brothers-esque’ fiction, as I feel their wide range of stories connect with bigger-than-life characters and dialogue. At the moment, I would love to see more historical magical realism and stories that involve Dead Poets Society type of worlds.” (Link)
From an Interview (01/2015):
“I am a bit tired of seeing high fantasy – it’s just not an area I’m interested in at the moment. What I would love to see are smart stories that blend genres, from writers who read passionately. I tend towards dark humor and dark themes, usually in contemporary settings. I love non sequiturs in dialogue, deadpan humor, stories of chaos, and I would love to see all of this wrapped up in some diverse characters.” (Link)
Via Twitter (#MSWL):
“Somebody send me ‘KING DORK in space.’” (Link)
“ICYMI: YA historical crime, like THE ALIENIST for a new generation. Let it exist in forgotten worlds too, like the old Penn Station.” (Link)
“Not really interested in Garcia Marquez-type of ‘magical realism.’ More like Kids In The Hall-type of ‘magical realism.’” (Link)
“I think I'll always have a soft spot for books that take place in the course of a single night or weekend.” (Link)
“Late 19th century NYC fascinates me. Looking for MG/YA historical, in the vein of THE KNICK, THE ALIENIST, with a Tom Ripley-esque MC.” (Link)
“Would love to see middle grade and YA stories that remind me of WINGER and DEAD POETS SOCIETY. Add diversity and show me a new voice.” (Link)
“Send me YA nonfiction..stories about peculiar historical figures you didn't learn about in school like Boston Corbett.” (Link)
“Novel of a young girl seeking revenge for murdered daredevil father in 1920s. True Grit meets Man on Wire.” (Link)
“Novel of a young boy who saves Crazy Boston Corbett, who pursued & killed John Wilkes Booth, from the Great Hinckley Fire of 1894.” (Link)
“Novel that takes place in the old Penn Station with a newsgirl, a young freighthopper & a dead body found with a bag of $50K in cash.” (Link)
“I want The Cabin in the Woods meets The Breakfast Club.” (Link)
“I'd love to see gothic MG mystery, crime, or horror fiction...a book that feels like it exists in an Edward Gorey illustration.” (Link)
“Looking for edgy YA fiction with colorful characters/lots of dark humor/sporadic brutality/hilarious non sequiturs/VOICE that binds.” (Link)
What He Isn't Looking For:
“I would not be the right agent to represent high fantasy or paranormal romance. Personally I think anything can sell if it connects with enough hearts, but obviously we’re seeing a downtrend in vampires and dystopias. Or at least, I like to tell myself we are.” (Link)
“I am an editorial agent and as such I look for clients who are open-minded and willing to work as a team.” (Link)
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
“Send a query letter, pasted in the body of the email, to aslater [at] TridentMediaGroup.com. Your query should include only a paragraph about yourself, a brief plot pitch, and your contact information. Please do not send a manuscript or proposal until you have been requested to do so.” (Link)
“In the queries, I dislike it if I am addressed as, ‘Ms. Slater,’ simply because it shows immediately just how much research the author did on me. I also do not like queries that begin with background information about the writer. I want to know about the story from the first sentence, and if I’m hooked, then I’ll scroll down and read your bio. With fiction, story is always most important.” (Link)
Mr. Slater’s stated response time is 3-4 weeks. Stats on the web show a range of just days to a couple months with an average around 4 weeks.
What's the Buzz?
Trident Media is a highly respected agency with a fantastic roster of clients. As a newer agent, Mr. Slater is actively building his list and eager to find new talent. I recommend following him on Twitter @abuckslater.
Worth Your Time:
Agent Alex Slater Interview here at Literary Rambles (03/2015).
Meet Alexander Slater, Literary Agent from Trident Media Group at All the Write Stuff (02/2015).
Interview with Literary Agent Alexander Slater at Jodi Kendall’s blog (01/2015).
Creative Writing 2 Publishing Interview on YouTube (03/3013).
Around the Web:
Trident Media Group on P&E (highly recommended).
Trident Media Group thread on AbsoluteWrite.
Publishing in the International Market by Alexander Slater, Literary Agent, guest post at Insecure Writer’s Support Group (02/2015).
Please see the Trident Media Group website for additional contact and query information.
Last Updated: 4/2/15.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 4/2/15.
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/teen fiction. They are not interviews. Please take the time to verify anything you might use here before querying. The information found herein is subject to change.