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. After graduation I worked in magazines, bookselling and agenting, most recently at Trident Media Group, before founding THE BENT AGENCY in 2009. I now live in Brooklyn in an apartment full of books and while there are not quite so many lazy reading afternoons, I manage to fit one in now and then.
Originally from London, I started my publishing career while living in NYC for three years. I have since moved back to the UK, and I work with UK and US authors.
My client list is typified by character lead stories, with voice being the biggest thing I look for. I love younger fiction, and have a soft spot for funny books aimed at 7+ with series potential. With Middle Grade fiction, I'd love to see a good mystery, but really any MG with strong voice will get my attention whatever the subject matter. For YA, I'm a sucker for boy POV. Author/illustrators writing MG or chapter books would get my immediate attention!
While at Penguin, I also worked for a time in Dutton Editorial, acquiring projects for that list. My favorite part of that time was being able to read new submissions -- finding something wonderful and imagining where it can go was thrilling to me then and remains so now.
I handle books for children exclusively: picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA, fiction and non-fiction. In middle-grade and YA, I’m looking for something that makes me laugh out loud, I’m a sucker for bittersweet, and I can’t resist a character that comes to understand how perfectly imperfect the world is. I want a book to stay with me long after I finish reading, and I’m looking for powerful, original writing. I’m open to mystery, scifi, humor, boy books, historical, contemporary (really any genre). My favorite projects live at the intersection of literary and commercial. In non-fiction I’m looking for books that relate to kid’s daily lives and their concerns with the world. In picture books, I’m looking particularly for author-illustrators, succinct but expressive texts, and characters as indelible as my childhood favorites Ferdinand, Madeline, George and Martha.
MOLLY KER HAWN
I'm looking for young adult and middlegrade fiction that's inventive, well-crafted, and rich with emotion, whether contemporary, historical, fantasy, sf, thriller, romance, or mystery. My favorite books have characters I wish I could talk to in worlds I wish I could visit, and I love stories that grab hold of me and keep me up reading long into the night.
I live in London and I work with authors and publishers both in the U.K. and the U.S. I've bounced back and forth from America to England since I was a teenager: I grew up in Northern California, lived for a time in the West Country, read English at Cambridge University, spent many years in New York City, and now live a stone's throw from the River Thames.
Before joining the Bent Agency, I worked at Trident Media Group and Elyse Cheney Literary Associates as a Literary Agent and Foreign Rights Director. I have represented a wide range of New York Times bestselling authors in both foreign and domestic markets. Some authors I’ve represented abroad include Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Joshua Foer, Russell Banks, John Perkins, Jon Stewart, Deepak Chopra, Louis Sachar, Jane Urquhart, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth George and Karen Robards.
I am particularly moved by stories that transport me to another time and place, with strong characters and emotional themes—and I have a soft spot for books featuring children or animals. My interests include literary fiction, well-written commercial fiction, young adult fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, current events, history, popular science and psychology books.