Laurel Symonds

@LaurelSymonds

Literary agent at The Bent Agency. I tweet about books and desserts in equal measure. My dog is the best office assistant ever.

United States

The Bent Agency

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · May 21

I'm constantly catching up on queries (which have gone up 200% since the pandemic hit). One category I'd love to see more of are graphic novels for kids and teens. Contemporary/fantasy/historical. Always diverse voices! Especially if an author/illustrator. #MSWL

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · Apr 22

Other things that make my agent heart sing: high concepts, voicey narration, fantasy (especially with a unique twist), lush historical settings, fresh paranormal, boarding schools, sister stories, falling in & out of friendship, dark & atmospheric, setting as character. #MSWL

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · Apr 22

My picture book #MSWL changed recently: I’m looking for author-illustrators (instead of text only projects) but I will make an exception for contests (like DVPit!), critiques, and conferences.

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · Apr 22

I’m especially on the lookout for YA rom coms (TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE; RED, WHITE, AND ROYAL BLUE), MG contemporary (A SONG FOR A WHALE; EVENTOWN), MG historical (WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE; PRARIE LOTUS), and graphic novels (NEW KID, LAURA DEAN) #MSWL

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · Jan 6

Starting the New Year with some updates to my #MSWL: I’m primarily looking for contempory novels right now! Especially if they are upbeat & include: Sisters. Crushes. Friendship Breakups. Sex-Positivity. Gender Expression. Hopeful Endings. Kids/Teens Acting Like Real Kids/Teens.

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 24 Dec 2019

This time every year I wonder why we don't have a YA retelling of the Christmas story (Mary, Joseph, etc): the characters are the right age, the conflict is strong and, depending on your beliefs, it could be read as miracle or magic a la GRAVE MERCY. Hard to pull off, but...#MSWL

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 24 Sep 2019

Other random elements I love: historical fiction, witches (historical and contemporary, but less on the humorous side), boarding schools, food, slow build romance, whimsy, retellings...#MSWL

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 24 Sep 2019

Literary MG, whether that's contemporary (a la Corey Ann Haydu) or an animal POV (PAX), I want the books that are going to pull at my heartstrings but leave me uplifted. I'd also love to see something girly (UNICORN QUEST) or with complex puzzles (BENEDICT SOCIETY). #MSWL

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 24 Sep 2019

Fantasy, but make it fresh: unique settings, unusual formats, underrepresented mythology, magical realism, paranormal (yes, paranormal!). I've seen a lot of queries comping to GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE and MY LADY JANE. Keep 'em coming! #MSWL

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 24 Sep 2019

Contemporary YA! Especially commercial and high concept YA that can be pitched as x meets y. Especially especially a rom com. The next TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE, a younger RED, WHITE, & ROYAL BLUE, etc. Diverse voices!

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 1 Jul 2019

I had such an amazing time at #alaac19 and in New York! After wonderful conversations with my TBA colleagues and many editors, a few updates to my #MSWL: coming of age literary MG, young illustrated MG, and (still!) contemporary YA, especially diverse voices and/or a rom com.

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 15 Jun 2019

There must be a YA novel told entirely through Instagram posts, photos and comments and all, already, right? If not, #mswl.

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 1 May 2019

Veronica Mars @veronicamars

The taser's making a comeback, #marshmallows. #VeronicaMars season 4 drops July 26th, only on @hulu. pic.twitter.com/8NFVKeUeQG

Ahhh! There are few tv shows I'm more passionate about than this one*. I can't wait!

*Pushing Daisies is the only rival.**

**I would love the YA versions of both of these! #MSWL

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 26 Mar 2019

Time flies when you're having fun! In my first 6 months of agenting I've built a client list I'm SO proud of. Here's an updated #MSWL (for the next 6 months & beyond!): author-illustrators, slice-of-life chapter book series, girly middle grade (all genres), and contemporary YA.

Laurel Symonds @LaurelSymonds · 27 Sep 2018

How about some middle grade #MSWL today?

- Classic feel + animal POV (ONE AND ONLY IVAN, PAX)
- Fantasy, both lighthearted and dark (Thickety series, UNICORN QUEST)
- Quirky + puzzles + complex plots (Mysterious Benedict Society, YORK)
- Historical (WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE)