Susan Hawk of The Bent Agency (TBA) will be accepting picture book submissions from 12 x 12 members in April.

Susan-Hawk-photo4I’m pleased to introduce you to Susan today. Although I have not met her personally, she graciously accepted the invitation to be a 12 x 12 featured agent immediately after I sent it, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about her from clients and fellow agents.

A little bit about Susan from The Bent Agency website:

I come to TBA from Children’s Book Marketing, where I worked for over 15 years, most recently as the Marketing Director at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and previous to that as the Library Marketing Director at Penguin Young Readers Group. I was lucky to be involved in many different books during that time ranging from Eric Carle’s Baby Bear, Baby Bear to Betsy Partridge’s This Land Was Made for You and Me, to Nancy Werlin’s Black Mirror, as well as the work of Mary E Pearson, Richard Peck and Joan Bauer.

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 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.

I asked Susan what she is looking for in the picture book market these days, and she sent me this response:
“I really like texts that are funny or evocative. I like quirky things too. And I’m definitely looking for non-fiction.” Some recent picture book favorites are:

I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen

Me…Jane, by Patrick McDonnell

House Held Up By Trees, by Ted Kooser

Interrupting Chicken, by David Ezra Stein

All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon

The Hello, Goodbye Window, by Norton Juster

This Moose Belongs to Me, by Oliver Jeffers

Balloons Over Broadway, by Melissa Sweet

The Day-Glo Brothers, by Chris Barton

Show Way, by Jacqueline Woodson

Full 12 x 12 submission guidelines and requirements for Susan will be posted in the Submission Station section of the 12 x 12 Membership Forum, accessible to Little GOLDen Book members by 2:00 p.m. EST on March 31st. In the meantime, here are some links with more information about Susan.
Good Luck!
Susan’s profile on the TBA website
Agent Susan Hawk Talks Picture Books – Heather Ayris Burnell’s Blog
Categories: 12 x 12, Agents, Children's Books, Goals, Picture Books, Publishing, Queries, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Those books mentioned above are good references for chilidren. Actually my children loves reading, too, especially reading the books in which inserted pictures in them.
    Thank you for giving information about those precious picture books. They are worth reading.

  2. It will be exciting to sub to her. Thanks for agreeing to let us submit to you through 12 x 12 Ms Hawk.

  3. Thank you for this great opportunity, Julie and Ms Hawk.

  4. Hmmmmm, now that I see what an interest Ms. Hawk has in nonfiction, I’m wondering if it’s too late to upgrade to GOLD? Either way, it’s nice to find someone with this interest.

  5. Hurray for Julie and 12×12! And sincere thanks to Susan Hawk for being willing to take a look at our manuscripts.:)

    This is a wonderful post, Julie…it’s truly helpful that Ms. Hawk has shared the picture books she loves. I’m especially excited because earlier this month I finally put together a list of agents/editors to whom I wanted to submit…and The Bent Agency…and Susan Hawk specifically, are in the top three!

  6. I love nonfiction and Susan has listed some wonderful models. Love her background in libraries! Maybe it’s time to put that nonfiction picture book idea into words–
    Thanks, Susan and Julie.

  7. Thanks, Julie, for the insight into Susan’s picture book likes.

  8. I too loved hearing what books Susan likes. It’s so helpful when assessing whether an agent might like my own work.

  9. Thanks for sharing your favorite books – and your reminder that creating indelible characters is a worthy goal.

  10. I just loooove Interrupting Chicken (even though my kids are nothing like that…LOL!) and would love to work with an agent like Ms. Hawk who has that kind of quirky humor. Thank you, Julie and Susan!

  11. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post, and for including a list of great books to check out. 🙂

  12. Thanks so much for introducing us to Susan Hawk of Bent agency. I am reading her favorite picture books as soon as I can and have already gotten them out from the library.

    Thanks, Susan, for making this list available. It is wonderful to get to know you a little this way. 🙂

  13. I am so excited to be fortunate enough to submit to Susan Hawk… now the dilemma of what to send, while I decide I shall get the spit and polish ready ;D

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