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Day 2 of our countdown! Reminder: The website pitches must be loaded before 11:59 on Oct. 4. You have one more day to get those pitches in. Good luck.

It’s Day 9 of our 10-day countdown (one more day left until pitch day!) and we have the good fortune of having the amazing agent Elizabeth Bennett to share her insights. Plus, she’s offered an amazing give-away of one lucky winner the chance to get to the top of her slush pile. See details below to enter.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a senior literary agent, focused on the children’s book industry at the Transatlantic Literary Agency. I live just outside of Boston with my partner Andrew and our dog Marvin. Between us, we have 6 kids who are scattered across the country living their best lives. When I’m not working, I can be found either doing something active outdoors like hiking, biking or paddle boarding, or curled up on the couch with a book or a crochet hook.

You’ve had a prolific career in the children’s publishing industry. How has that shaped you as an agent? 

As a former editor and product developer, I bring a lot of tools to the table as an agent. I think I have a good feel for the market and enjoy helping my clients figure out what to work on next. I’m happy to weigh in early on projects and work with writers and illustrators on shaping their work from pitch to final product.

You represent quite a few graphic novel creators. What draws you to the genre, what parts do you enjoy, and what are some challenges? 

There’s something magical about the way a graphic novel can open up the world of reading to children who may be intimidated by a page full of text. The combination of illustrations and text engages readers in a way that traditional novels may not. Graphic novels are approachable and unintimidating, but they are packed with language and sophisticated storytelling. Readers don’t even realize they are decoding, making inferences, and exercising their comprehension muscles as they pour through the pages.

The biggest challenge is that they are so time-consuming. It can take years from concept to deal and then several years more before we see the book come to market. Creators must have patience (and another good source of income!) while creating their graphic novels.

Has the GN market tightened in recent years? Where do you still see growth or need? 

The market has certainly exploded in the last five or so years. I don’t see it reaching a saturation point yet. As the book world becomes more accepting of the genre, I expect we will see more and more editors adding them to their lists. While middle grade continues to be the strongest category, I see growth opportunities in young adult and early readers. I expect to see graphic novels continuing to be strong across the board.

How is submitting a GN proposal to a publisher different from a traditional manuscript or picture book?  

With a traditional book, I will only submit a manuscript when it is finished and polished. With graphic novels, we submit proposals. In many cases, editors want to have a more active hand in shaping the final product. We submit a proposal that includes enough materials so an editor can envision the final book, but there is still room for development.

For authors only, do editors prefer to choose their own illustrators, and are there advantages in pairing with an illustrator prior to submission?  

For the most part, I’d say, yes, editors prefer to choose their own illustrators in the same way they do for picture books. At the same time, I’ve seen collaborations work. The risk is that an editor is going to respond to either the writing or the illustration and either reject to avoid conflict or make an offer that leaves out one of the creators. Feelings can be hurt. Relationships can be impacted. I’d advise authors to only collaborate with an illustrator prior to submission if there is a very strong reason to do so. That being said, I’d be remiss not to add here that I much prefer clients who both write and illustrate (as do editors).

For more information about Elizabeth, see here:

To enter to win a skip-the-slush-pile pass, please comment below with your name. To enter more than once, share this post on social media, then reply to your original comment with the link to where you shared the post. You can enter as many times as you share. This contest will close by the end of the day on Oct. 7, and the winner will be selected shortly after. Thank you, Elizabeth! THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED, AND THE WINNER IS SUSAN UHLIG. CONGRATS, SUSAN.

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Yara Flores
October 3, 2022 10:14 am

Would love the opportunity! Yara Flores @Yariwrites

Glen Viggiano
October 3, 2022 10:54 am

Awesome interview, and glad to hear the Kids GN category is still growing! @glenviggi

October 3, 2022 10:58 am

Brian McLachlan

Anne E. Johnson
October 3, 2022 5:05 pm

Thanks for sharing your insights!

Deborah Katz Henriquez
October 3, 2022 5:22 pm

Wonderful opportunity – thank you for doing this! @PlanetHeroKids

Kim Narkiewicz
Kim Narkiewicz
October 3, 2022 5:24 pm

Thanks for sharing these insights! Kim Narkiewicz

Hollie Wolverton
October 3, 2022 5:33 pm

Great interview! Hollie Wolverton

Deirdre Laide
Deirdre Laide
October 3, 2022 5:50 pm

Deirdre Laide. Yes please.

Stephanie Maksymiw
Stephanie Maksymiw
October 3, 2022 6:05 pm

This is an amazing giveaway. And great information in this post.

Stephanie Maksymiw
Stephanie Maksymiw
October 4, 2022 7:41 am
Dani Duck
October 3, 2022 6:17 pm

This is absolutely fantastic information, thank you Elizabeth!

I would love to enter. Dani Duck

Rob Peters
October 3, 2022 6:24 pm

Awesome opportunity! Rob Peters

Sondra E
October 3, 2022 6:42 pm

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I’m excited about how the GN format is taking off!

October 3, 2022 7:08 pm

Great opportunity. – Jasmine Ganter

Hollie Michaels
October 3, 2022 7:34 pm

Wonderful insight. Thank you.

October 3, 2022 7:34 pm

🤞 🤞 🤞

Cyra Africa
Cyra Africa
October 3, 2022 7:37 pm

Thanks for your insight and advice, Elizabeth! I appreciate the opportunity to query 🤗

A. S. Templeton
A. S. Templeton
October 3, 2022 8:14 pm

Thanks for the insights! I hope that an exception to “For the most part…” can be made for my already-illustrated project. In any case, it would be great to dodge the slush pile!

A. S. Templeton

Milani Hunt
October 3, 2022 8:18 pm

Here’s my entry to win a skip-the-slush-pile-pass! Thanks! I am Milani Hunt.

Sarah Giles
October 3, 2022 8:20 pm

This is a great interview and terrific opportunity! Sarah Giles

Ellen Mulholland
October 3, 2022 8:24 pm

Lots of great insights about GNs v Novels. Thank you!

Katie Nelson
Katie Nelson
October 3, 2022 8:32 pm

Loved this interview! Katie Nelson

Jen MacGregor
October 3, 2022 8:44 pm

Thanks for the opportunity!
Jen MacGregor

Sue Ford
October 3, 2022 8:53 pm

A skip the slush pass! Cool!

Emily Brauer Rogers
Emily Brauer Rogers
October 3, 2022 9:05 pm

Love these insights! Emily Brauer Rogers

Julianna Marks
Julianna Marks
October 3, 2022 9:12 pm

Julianna Helt

October 3, 2022 9:13 pm

Great interview! Thank you for this opportunity! @KaraSibilia

October 3, 2022 9:17 pm
Reply to  Kara
Laurie Elmquist
October 3, 2022 10:35 pm

Thank you for this opportunity!

Laurie Elmquist
October 4, 2022 10:02 am

I posted the interview on my facebook page!

Jasmine Fang
Jasmine Fang
October 3, 2022 11:24 pm

Appreciate the insights! @jasmineifang

Susan Johnston Taylor
October 3, 2022 11:48 pm

I’d love an opportunity to submit to Elizabeth! Susan Johnston Taylor

Diane Hanington
Diane Hanington
October 3, 2022 11:55 pm

I didn’t realize the depth of the process for GN’s but it was interesting to read about Thank you for this opportunity for a chance to win skip the slush pile submission.

Argyro Graphy
October 4, 2022 2:41 am

Great insight into the publishing space. Thank you

Deirdre Laide
Deirdre Laide
October 4, 2022 2:55 am

Deirdre Laide 🌊 🌍 ✍️
Shared on twitter @deirdre_laide

October 4, 2022 3:34 am

Catherine Friess

Thank you!

October 4, 2022 3:38 am

I’ve also shared your blogpost on Twitter:

Claire Murray
Claire Murray
October 4, 2022 5:00 am

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions 🙂
Claire Murray

Holly Beth Johnson
Holly Beth Johnson
October 4, 2022 6:13 am

Great insights and encouragement. Thank you Elizabeth.

Melissa Ahonen
October 4, 2022 6:55 am

Great article Melissa Ahonen – twitter @melahonen

Cate Michelle
Cate Michelle
October 4, 2022 8:06 am

Great interview and Appreciate the opportunity! Cate Michelle

Charissa Nelson
Charissa Nelson
October 4, 2022 8:41 am

Thank you for your comments!

Penny Schneider
October 4, 2022 8:49 am

Very insightful interview. Thank you for sharing. I am grateful for the opportunity.

Judy Egan
Judy Egan
October 4, 2022 3:56 pm

Thanks for this helpful info.

Ashlee and Geoff Wagner
October 4, 2022 4:10 pm

We would love the opportunity to share our work with Elizabeth Bennett!

R.S.P. Kelly
R.S.P. Kelly
October 4, 2022 4:44 pm

Thank you for the insights. Very helpful.

Aish Moitra
Aish Moitra
October 4, 2022 6:29 pm

Thanks for this opportunity! Good luck to all.
Aish Moitra

October 4, 2022 7:05 pm

Great interview! Helpful insights about the GN market and submission process.

Kathy Watson
Kathy Watson
October 4, 2022 7:32 pm

Thanks, Elizabeth! Three cheers for GN early readers!
Kathy Watson

October 4, 2022 8:30 pm

Nice interview! CressidaH

Dante Gabriel Hookey
October 5, 2022 2:38 pm

What a cool interview! I love to hear people are still looking for author-illustrators! Dante Hookey @dantehookey

Melanie RW
Melanie RW
October 5, 2022 2:39 pm

Thanks for this! Melanie RW

Jennifer Grolemund
October 5, 2022 6:21 pm

Would love the chance! Thank you 🙂

Erin Siska
October 5, 2022 9:40 pm

Great interview! Thank you!

shirley ting
shirley ting
October 6, 2022 2:30 am

Good to know that author only gns are acceptable and a proposal.

Jeff Larkin
October 6, 2022 9:43 pm

Thanks for the informative interview and the generous opportunity to skip the slush pile!

Abby Vail
Abby Vail
October 7, 2022 8:54 am

Great interview and opportunity. Thank you, Elizabeth!

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