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, selling directly to publishers in the US, the UK and Australia. The best part of my job is getting to be the first fan of an unpublished book and then its champion — nothing beats talking up your passions to other book fanatics!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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