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Agent Spotlight: Brent Taylor

This week's Agent Spotlight features Brent Taylor of TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc.
Status: Open to submissions, actively building his list.
unnamedAbout: “After years of interning in trade book publishing, I joined Triada US in 2014 to assist Uwe Stender while building my own list of fiction and non-fiction for readers aged 0-18. I was promoted to associate agent in November 2015 and to agent in April 2017. In 2019, I was named a PW Star Watch Honoree. I am incredibly proud of my list—my clients’ books have won major awards, collected starred reviews, and hit the bestseller lists. In addition to my role as an agent, I manage the agency's subsidiary rights, licensing audiobook and foreign rights to our titles around the world and attending international rights fairs.
"I describe my reading tastes as upmarket: I'm passionate about books for young readers that are extremely well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience.
"You can find me on Twitter @btaylorbooks. To see recent sales (both domestic and subsidiary), visit my Publishers Marketplace page. ” (Link)
About the Agency:
“Our Founder, Dr. Uwe Stender, is a Full Member of the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR)."Our best known clients are: actress Melody Thomas Scott, CNN HLN and TruTV's In Christi Paul, NPR's Eric Deggans, 4-time Grammy Award winning composer Lalo Schifrin ("Mission Impossible"), Stacy Tornio, legendary NBA referee Bob Delaney, Elizabeth LaBan, and Kate Hattemer.
"Uwe has been a guest speaker at several major conferences, including the SCWC in San Diego, the Crimebake (Mystery Writers of America New England Chapter), CAPA-U in Hartford, the Writers' League of Texas in Austin, Penn Writers, and Book Expo America in New York City.
"We are always open to strong fiction and all non-fiction projects. Check the agents page and submission guidelines to find the right Triada agent for your project..” (Link)Web Presence:
TriadaUS website.
#mswl on Twitter.
Personal website.
Publisher’s Marketplace page.
What He's Looking For:
From His Bio on the Agency Website:
"Literary Agent Brent Taylor's tastes can best be described as upmarket: stories that are extremely well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience.
"He is seeking smart, fun, and heartfelt books in the following categories: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels for kids and teens. His favorite books include: Charlotte's Web, The Thing About Jellyfish, The Vast Fields of Ordinary, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and The Westing Game.
From His Manuscript Wish List:
"I focus on books for kids and teens and describe my taste as upmarket: I fall in love with books that are extremely well-written, robust with emotion, and appeal to a wide, commercial audience.
"Picture books: I am seeking picture book projects from authors and author-illustrators. My taste in this category covers a wide range: I love picture books that are fun and bonkers, as well as ones that are more literary. I'm open to fiction, non-fiction, and picture books in unusual formats or styles—verse, rhyme, comics, etc. Some of my favorite picture books are Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal, My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, The Dress and the Girl by Camille Andros and Julie Morstad, and The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito and Julia Kuo. Some of the picture books I've worked on include Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, Seven Bad Cats by Moe Bonneau, and Pies from Nowhere by Dee Romito. Some forthcoming picture books on my list include Poultrygeist by Eric Geron, Test This Book by Louie Zong, and I'll Go and Come Back by Rajani LaRocca. I'm looking for picture books with an energy that pops off the page, that kids have never seen before, and that will turn them into life-long readers.
"Middle grade: My middle grade list covers first kisses, demon-slaying, water dragon races, magical baking competitions, and everything in between. I love a wide range of middle grade, and the best way to describe what I'm looking for is to tell you about my favorite middle grade novels: Keeper by Kathi Appelt, The Best Man by Richard Peck, Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhhà Lại, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, and The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Some of the middle grade projects I've worked on include the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series by New York Times-bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta, Free Lunch by Rex Ogle, and Smoke and Mirrors and the Silver Batal series from K. D. Halbrook. Being between the ages of 8 and 12 is so difficult. Kids are on the cusp of what feels like a vast, overwhelming, and unwelcoming world. I want to represent middle grade that enlightens kids to all the love and joy that the world has to offer.
"Young adult: Though I lean more toward realistic/contemporary fiction, my interests encompass high fantasy and lightly speculative projects too. I love YA that captures the dichotomies of being young—how, as a teen, you yearn for freedom, but at the same time it's incredibly scary for so many parts of your life to be changing. My favorite YA novels are bittersweet, authentic portrayals of what it's like to be figuring out who you are, what this world is, and how those two things fit in with one another. Some of my favorite YA novels are The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd, Dig by A. S. King, Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh, and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Neal Shusterman's novels (particularly the Arc of a Scythe series) are a great example of the type of smart, commercial, and high-stakes YA that I love. Some YA novels I'm proud to have worked on include Whitney Gardner's Schneider Family Book Award-winning You're Welcome, Universe, 500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosario, The Pursuit of Miss Heartbreak Hotel by Moe Bonneau, and Perfect Ten by L. Philips. I'm passionate about young adult fiction that helps teen readers discover, love, and live as their most authentic selves.
"Graphic novels (for kids or teens): I'm open to both text-only graphic novel scripts and author-illustrated projects. My favorite graphic novels include The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks, and Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol. Some of my graphic novel clients include Whitney Gardner, Tori Sharp, Rex Ogle, and Bre Indigo.
"Non-fiction (for kids or teens): I'd love to see all sorts of non-fiction in the categories that I represent, including but not limited to biographies, memoir, narrative, history, science, and how-to."

What He Isn’t Looking For:
“YA scifi isn't really my forte, but I would definitely be open to it in middle grade. My interests in MG are much more vast, and I tend to be extra picky about YA. And, while I enjoy paranormal/supernatural stories, it’s almost impossible to sell these days.” (Link)
“I hate seeing teen protagonists paralyzed by their lack of romance. I think the authors writing these protagonists have the idea that because this is a universal feeling, it will resonate with teens in a huge way. But the truth is that it’s too universal, and it’s impossible to connect or sympathize with a protagonist on only this basis.” (Link)
Editorial Agent?
I can be, yes, but some clients don’t require it. I’m a flexible agent constantly molding myself to fit the tailored needs of my clients, and if a project needs an intensive edit before going out on submission, I am willing and delighted, even, to provide the necessary editorial guidance.” (Link)
“As far as editorial work goes, it depends on the client and the book. There are manuscripts I’ve sent out as-is, and there are ones that took multiple rounds of revisions. Every project is different, and I’m usually able to gauge what the author-agent relationship will look like once we have that first phone call.” (Link)
Clients: You can find a list of clients on the agency and Mr. Taylor's website and his Publishers Marketplace page. His agents include Sayantani DasGupta, Eric Geron, Jason June, Rajani LaRocca, Rex Ogle, Suzanne Park, Phil Stamper, Krista Van Dolzer, among others.
Query Methods:
E-mail: Yes
Snail-Mail: No.
Online-Form: No.
Submission Guidelines (always verify):
Send a query and the first ten pages pasted in the body of the email. Put "Query" in the subject line. No attachments. (Link)
See the agency website for complete, up-to-date submission guidelines.
Query Tips:
“I prefer queries that jump straight into the story, but personalization at the end is always nice.” (Link)
”Despite the fact that I am not a fan of prologues, and think they’re nearly always unnecessary, I still consider them as part of the first ten pages, which is what I request.” (Link)
Response Times:
The agency’s stated response time is one week. Mr. Taylor often responds within 24 hours.
What's the Buzz?
Brent Taylor has been an agent with TriadaUS Literary Agency for five years and has an impressive list of clients and sales on his Publishers Marketplace page.
Worth Your Time:
Interviews and Posts:
November Agent of the Month Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 at Writing and Illustrating (11/2020)
Agent Building: Brent Taylor at Writing and Illustrating (07/2019).
Rajani LaRocca and Brent Taylor Guest Post at Literary Rambles (05/2019).
SCBWI Exclusive with Brent Taylor at SCBWI (Date unknown)
Interviewing Literary Agent Brent Taylor at From the Mixed Up Files (08/2018).
Agent Spotlight: Brent Taylor at Kidlit411 (11/2016).
Agent Brent Taylor Interview here at Literary Rambles (04/2015).
Query.Sign.Submit. with Brent Taylor at I Write for Apples (03/2015).
A Behind the Scenes Q&A with Lit Agent Brent Taylor at Robin’s Nest (02/2015).
Q&A: Brent Taylor, Agent at TriadaUS Literary Agency at Kirkus (01/2015).
Brent Taylor Literary Agent at pdpabst (12/2014).
7 Questions For: Literary Agent Brent Taylor at Middle Grade Ninja (11/2014).
Agent Interview with Brent Taylor of TriadaUS Agency! at Rachel Writes Things (10/2014).
Agents Like Us - Brent Taylor at Valerie Cole Reads (10/2014).
Query Questions with Brent Taylor at Michelle4Laughs (09/2014).
Around the Web:
TriadaUS Literary Agency thread at AbsoluteWrite.
TriadaUS at Predators & Editors ($, Recommended).
Please see Mr. Taylor’s Publisher’s Marketplace page, his Manuscript Wish List, and the TriadaUs website for additional contact information.
Profile Details:
Last Updated: 6/3/2020.
Agent Contacted for Review? Yes.
Last Reviewed By Agent? 7/9/2015.
Have any experience with this agent? See something that needs updated? 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/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.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Someone is going to benefit from that! If you've written the next Traveling Pants book, you have a shot.

Rosi said...

This is great. So helpful. I really appreciate all this information. Thanks for the post.

Theresa Milstein said...

He seems like such a great agent. Unfortunately, he's passed on my last two manuscripts.

Cherie Reich said...

It's nice learning more about Mr. Taylor.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I see lots of agents who are looking for middle grade. I think an agent's job is getting more difficult with so many authors turning to self publishing.
Susan Says

dolorah said...

I was excited at his acceptance of general and women's fiction; but he seems more interested in MG and YA for now. I'll keep him in mind though. Thanks for the introduction.