Gemma Cooper

Gemma Cooper

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  • Middle grade fiction
  • Young adult fiction
  • Chapter books (fiction for 5+)
  • Author/Illustrated picture books
  • Children’s non-fiction
  • Children’s illustrated fiction and graphic novels
  • Adult fiction
  • Adult non-fiction
  • Picture book texts

About Gemma

I started my publishing career in New York, spent several years working in London, and now live in Chicago, where I work with authors all over the world. The best part of my job is getting to be the first fan of an unpublished book and then its champion — nothing beats talking up your passions to other book fanatics!

My list is typified by character-led stories, and voice is the most important thing I look for in submissions. My sweet spot is middle-grade fiction, especially a good mystery, fantasy or adventure, but really any middle-grade with a strong voice will get my attention, whatever the subject matter or setting. For young adult fiction, I prefer a contemporary setting, and I’d love a standout young adult romance or something with strong friendships or sibling relationships. If the setting isn’t contemporary, then it needs to be unique with an obvious hook. I also work on a lot of younger fiction, and have a soft spot for funny chapter books aimed at 7+ with big concepts and series potential. For picture books, I’m only looking for author/illustrators, not picture book texts. Author/illustrators writing for any age will get my immediate attention, particularly in the chapter book, graphic novel and middle-grade markets.

For non-fiction, I’m interested in history and science, but I want very accessible books. I’m looking for diverse voices, illustrators and stories across my list, but particularly for chapter books and middle-grade. Overall, I would say I have quite commercial taste across all age ranges—if you can pitch your book in one line, or it works great in an ‘X meets X’ comp, I want to read it!

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