Agent Confidential: Clelia Gore

Name: Clelia Gore

Agency:  Martin Literary Management, Seattle, Washington, USA

Genres represented: 

Fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade and young adult books.

Authors you represent and recent deals:

Sampling of clients who have recently published books:

·      Cheryl Lawton Malone, author of the picture book, DARIO AND THE WHALE (Albert Whitman, March 2016)
·      Brian Russo, author and illustrator of the picture book, YOGA BUNNY (Harper Children's, December 2016)
·      Jack Andraka, author of the young adult memoir, BREAKTHROUGH: HOW ONE TEEN INNOVATOR IS CHANGING THE WORLD (HarperCollins Children's, March 2015)
·      Jennifer Swanson, author of the nonfiction middle grade book, BRAIN GAMES (National Geographic, September 2015)

Recent deals:

  • Leah Gilbert's picture book, A COUCH FOR LLAMA, the story of a kooky llama who unexpectedly comes into possession of a couch, to Eliza Berkowitz at Sterling Children's, for publication in Spring 2018.
  • RESCUE AND JESSICA a picture book by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, based on the true story of the Boston Marathon bombing survivors' life with Jessica's black lab assistance dog, demystifying physical disabilities and to showcase the amazing talents and positive effects of service dog, to Katie Cunningham at Candlewick, for publication in Spring 2018.
  • Ella Schwartz's first two books in the IS IT OKAY? series, an illustrated middle grade series that answers STEM-based questions using a mix of science, history and humor, to Catherine Onder at Bloomsbury Children's, for publication in Spring 2018.
  • Debut author Max Brunner and Disney animator Dustin Mackay's illustrated middle grade novel, SUPERFAIL, about a group of defective superhero kids who band together to save one of the greatest superhero teams of all time, to Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids, for publication in Fall 2017.

What’s on your wishlist #MSWL?

One of the most important things I am looking for in any YA or middle grade novel is a STRONG VOICE. This is a big requirement for me. I also love imperfect characters that readers can really root for.
I’m interested in promoting diversity in children’s literature. Across all genres, I am interested in characters and voices that are not often heard from. I’m from a multicultural family myself, and know what it’s like to be a kid and not see yourself represented in the books you read.
I am very keen on developing my YA clientele. I’m mostly interested in commercial, reality-based YA featuring a strong voice (high importance!), memorable characters, resonant themes and a pitch perfect premise. I’m always into humor.
Quirky, funny picture books that feel thoroughly modern.
Nonfiction across all kids' genres that has a strong, commercial hook.
Check out my blog for periodic updates to my wishlist.

What is your working style with clients (eg how editorial are you)?

I would say I am quite editorial. I like to submit books to publishers when they are in publishable quality. I think getting the book to this state before submission best positions my clients for success. Most novels take a few months of back and forth revisions between my clients and I before we submit. Picture book take less time, obviously, but it's not unusual to have 20+ back and forths to get the manuscript exactly right.

Do you choose books with head or heart?

A mix of both! I wouldn't be doing my job otherwise. I have to fall in love with a book, but I must also believe that there is a place for it in the current marketplace.

Which book or character has stayed with you since childhood? 

Anne of Green Gables! She's a girl with gumption and when I was a little girl, I decided I wanted to have gumption too. And so I evolved into a girl with gumption and now a woman with gumption. Thanks to Anne.

Harry Potter question: Which house would the sorting hat put you in?

Of course, I have always imagined myself a Gryffindor because I am quite headstrong and consider myself pretty brave, but I was recently sorted into Slytherin by Pottermore and it is The Tragedy That Must Not Be Named in our house.

How to submit to you:

My detailed submission guidelines can be reviewed at Generally, you can submit to, include your query letter and the first ten pages of your manuscript (or the full manuscript of your picture book) pasted within the body of the email.

Submission tips:

Always carefully follow agent instructions. Most agents don't accept attachments unless they've requested them. Don't include a synopsis—include a pitch. Remember that a query letter is a professional sales document. Think of your audience and your purpose when you are writing it. Go through drafts and call on resources and/or other writers to help you craft it.


Twitter: @MadmoiselleClel

Any upcoming events you have:

·      Guest Speaker, SCBWI-British Isles event, London, United Kingdom — January 16, 2017
·      Guest Speaker, SCBWI-France event, Paris, France — January 17, 2017
·      Faculty, SCBWI-Los Angeles Writers and Illustrators Day — February 25, 2017
·      Faculty, Writers' Digest Guide to Literary Agents Seattle Writers Workshop, Seattle, WA — May 16, 2017

You have the opportunity to kick-start the New Year with an inspiring evening with Clelia Gore and Amber Caraveo on 16th January 2017.  Pick up your manuscript and ideas and come along to have more of your questions answered in person!

IMPORTANT: Booking is currently for SCBWI Members only.

Click here for event details and to book. 

Kate Walker is a feature writer for Words & Pictures. She mainly writes MG fantasy as well as dabbling in picture books whenever a character grabs her imagination. Kate lives in Kent with her two children who are addicted to stories just as much as she is.
Follow her on Twitter: @KatakusM  

A M Dassu is the Events Editor for Words & Pictures. Contact:

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