Yes, I represent children’s books too!

I write many posts about adult novel-length fiction, however I do represent children’s books as well and I’m going to share a bit of my wishlist.

I am looking for high concept picture books, contemporary, historical, sci-fi, and accessible fantasy YA. The projects I like to work on have a great voice, a marketable hook, and fantastic writing.

I am not looking for apocalyptic, dystopian, high fantasy, or paranormal books. I don’t work on Middle Grade fiction, but my colleague Curtis Russell does.

Some non-client books I love and would like to see some submissions in the tradition of are: I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen, BLACKOUT by John Rocco, HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDPA by Jean Regan, BOY + BOT by Ame Dyckman, THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher, NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by Justina Chen, CODE NAME VERITY Elizabeth Wein, anything by Sarah Dessen, John Green, Alice Kuipers, and Nina LaCour.

To submit please limit queries to one page and include the following: one paragraph introduction including the title and category of your work, an estimated word count and brief introduction; one paragraph with a brief overview and pitch; one paragraph about your writer’s bio including information about yourself and your writing background (including awards, affiliations etc.).

Tips: Do not send attachments. Do not send manuscripts unless requested. Do not send submissions in the post we only accept email queries.

Please submit to with the word Query in your subject heading. We take 4-6 weeks to respond.

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

8 thoughts on “Yes, I represent children’s books too!

  1. I thought you’d be interested in this post re: kids lit; Love Love Paw PS: Faxed 30 pages to Diane and Pearl today. Only the most important ont to go: Letter from my attorney. If it’s all a go I meet with art committee and I’m in — but may a slip yet possible between the cup and the lip!! Hi Hi and lovey love to Snargle!!


  2. Since I have the chance to ask a real-live agent: If the writing and story was everything you were looking for, would you be interested in a YA book that was illustrated by the author? I’m not at the querying stage yet, and I suspect it will be different for different agents, but I’m curious whether the illustration thing would be a pro or a con.
    Also, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen is the BEST children’s book. :)


    1. Submitting illustrations is a big hit or miss. It can work, or it can turn someone off completely. I would suggest, to give yourself the best chance at success, to submit only the manuscript. There are not many YA books with illustrations these days (unless you’re talking about a graphic novel) so I’m a bit confused as to what the genre would be.


      1. Thanks for taking the time to answer this. What I have in mind is a YA novel with full-page and chapter-heading illustrations. Authors like Tony DiTerlizzi (Wondla) and Henry H Neff (The Tapestry) are paving the way with author-illustrations in longer books, but both of those are technically middle grade. Personally I’m really interested in the idea of illustrated books for teens and adults; if the illustrations are of sufficient quality and in keeping with the tone of the book I don’t see how they can detract from the reading experience. Still, you are right that the market is not trending that way. Cornelia Funke created beautiful full-page chapter illustrations for her YA book Reckless, and most recently I’ve seen it repackaged with a photographic cover and and no interior illustrations. It’s for these sorts of reasons that I am planning to self-publish the book I want to make, with my own design and illustrations, but traditional publishing is my ultimate goal and I will remember what you’ve said when it’s time to query.


  3. Hello Carly, I’m a fairly new children’s author and this is my second book. I want to know what do you think about getting your book publish without an agent? Can you explain what you mean by high concept picture book? The first book I wrote my characters are somewhat in the category of Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse and Barney type of characters. Would you consider them middle ground fiction?


  4. Hello, I am in the completion phase of a children’s book. This is a book for the imagination (lets call it) fantasy per say. It is a small picture book. All illustrations are done and I promise the illustrations only enhance the book and in no way will turn anyone off. It is set up for the younger children approximately kindergarten thru 5th grade. I am currently looking for an agent to represent me. Would you consider taking a look? I would be willing to send you at least one of the illustrations so that you would see that it is not amateur.


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