Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Agent Claire Draper – The Bent Agency

Date(s) - 06/23/2019
3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Meet agent, Claire Draper of The Bent Agency –

Diversity in Children’s Books and Doing It Well.
The entire book community is talking about diverse books for all ages. But how can we aim to create diverse picture books, middle grade, and young adult books, and how do we do it well? Claire Draper, agent at The Bent Agency, will be talking about what she loves seeing in queries and manuscripts, and how you can aim to put your best foot forward when writing and illustrating for a diverse audience. We’ll talk about why this is important and what you can do to be part of this step towards inclusivity in your own books. Claire will be giving examples of many intersections of diversity and the do’s and do not’s of representation.
This is an important topic in children’s publishing even if your characters are not diverse.

Claire will offer a limited number of written critiques.

$20 for Webinar (The event will be recorded and available for 4 days after the event.)

$25 Nonmember webinar only

$50 for webinar plus written critique.

You can submit a dummy or 10 novel pages plus title page to Claire. All submissions for critique are due by May 20, 2019. Please send your submission to Please read the formatting directions on the formatting info page:


About Claire

After studying Queer Diversity in Children’s Literature at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study for my BA, I continued my pursuit of great books for young readers by interning at Rare Bird Lit and the Children’s Book Council, and eventually joined InkWell Management. In early 2019, I moved to the Bent Agency as an agent of graphic novels and a mix of fiction and nonfiction for children of all ages.

I’m currently looking for young adult fiction and middle grade fiction, graphic novels for all ages, body positive or feminist memoirs, and collections of feminist essays. I am particularly interested in books with queer protagonists that are not necessarily issue-driven books.

For YA and MG fiction, I love action and adventure, and far-off places with challenges that make the protagonist grow as person for you to love and admire. I also love contemporary fiction for young readers where the main character has average, everyday challenges and we see how they overcome them. I love a book with heart that causes an outpouring of emotions, especially when a book makes me feel so much I want to throw it across the room in protest (think Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe or We Are Okay). I am especially interested in neurodiverse protagonists. Don’t send me books with suicide ideation, particularly when it’s a queer protagonist.

For graphic novels, I like a diverse cast of characters, placed in nearly any genre or location, but I’d like to see something that hasn’t been done over and over again. I prefer art that is challenging the classic “comic book” style. I am open to queries for all ages, fiction and nonfiction, for graphic novels. Don’t send books with gratuitous violence.

For body positive and/or feminist memoirs and collections of essays, I want this for audiences of all ages and from persons with multiple intersections of identity. I am particularly interested in memoirs from disabled people, neurodiverse people, and/or people with mental illness. I love books with humor or a narrator with a bone to pick.