Submission contact here
Agent Danielle Binks is currently closed to submissions, but will be open for three-weeks from Dec 1st 2023 to Dec 22nd 2023.
Details from Danielle below, to really help guide you in what she’s seeking;
I am going to be strict and narrow in what I am looking for, which is only; Middle Grade and Young Adult, narrative nonfiction.
I do realise there are a lot of people with nonfiction picture-books, but I really don’t want to be sent those, I am sorry. We have plenty already, and I am trying to target an under-serviced area of Oz KidLit publishing which is – narrative nonfiction Middle Grade and Young Adult books.
I am somewhat reluctant to be sent anything of memoir/family biography. Unless you and your family have a truly spectacular, famous, never-before-heard, important story … but I am going to be really captious about such submissions, fair warning.
For more about my reasoning; you can check this Instagram Post on the JdM account. But I am especially looking for narrative nonfiction and anything that ties in nicely to Australian curriculum, across primary & secondary schools. I am also a big fan of the American: Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and their Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, if you want to do some research! Equivalent of this award in Australia is CBCA’s Eve Pownall Award for Information Books (but remember; I don’t want picture-book nonfiction submissions right now).
I know what I am asking for is quite narrow. I think for this reason; I should be able to give some detail (at least one-page) of feedback to submissions; I will endeavour to try my hardest! And I promise that I will be open to fiction submissions across readerships at some point in 2024, but things are now dire for how badly I want YA & MG narrative nonfiction to be submitted to me, so here we are! Spread the word!
As for the roll-call of what I’d like in a single submission;
◘ Everything in Times New Roman, 12-point font and 1.5 line-spacing please. Prefer Word Doc submissions – the packet can all be one file, thanks.
◘ COVER LETTER/STATUS: No need for a nonfiction book to be 100% complete. I understand that these can be extreme undertakings, and sometimes securing representation can help you form the scope, or apply for grants to undertake more research, etc. But I’d like to know how much you have already written and completed, and an estimated time of completion and intended final word-count. Please cover this in a cover-letter addressed to me. Also if relevant, you may want to mention how you think representation will help you in completing your nonfiction work. One page.
◘ RATIONALE: A brief explanation of the how and why this book idea came to be. What research or findings prompted you to begin this project? What are you hoping to achieve for yourself and for your readers with this book? What discoveries did you make while working on this project? Did you start with one assumption in mind, which was then proved or disproved? Who will benefit from reading this book? Biographical notes can be placed here if more relevant and than in cover-letter, or too extensive to explain in letter. Maximum 2-pages.
◘ SYNOPSIS: A brief blurb/synopsis about the project. Try to write this in a book-blurb style, which will force you to crystallize your thoughts into “sound bites”. You should also have an idea of your potential readership as you write this synopsis – remember you are trying to capture their interest and imagination in a short, descriptive, and evocative burst. To get an idea of how to write this; go and check out some back-cover blurbs of nonfiction books, easy! One page max.
◘ CHAPTER BREAKDOWN: No need to have actually written all these chapters, but please list the chapters you intend to include in the book with a short paragraph explaining the contents of each chapter.
◘ INTRODUCTION: A more detailed and expanded version of your rationale and the introduction to the book letting readers know what to expect, what you’re hoping to achieve, what questions you asked and had answered, any myths busted, assumptions corrected etc… This should be personal and inviting – you are ushering readers into the book and inspiring them to read on. So consider; you’re writing this more for the reader, than for me. This should let a little of the authorial voice shine through too (is there a humorous bent to this book, are you writing as an omniscient narrator/researcher, or are you sticking close third-person to one “character”, who happens to be a real person?)
◘ SAMPLE CHAPTERS: The nuts and bolts. At least three, not including your introduction (so that’s intro + 3 sample chapters). These chapters will give me a good indication of your style, approach and rapport with your readership. No specification of length; but since I am asking for YA and MG nonfiction only, I expect there will be consideration of your readership in mind for chapter-lengths.
I will always say that I-don’t-know-what-I-don’t-know, and that’s never truer than in nonfiction. So I don’t want to be too strict on giving topics that I am/am not looking for. Rather, I’ll let you know some amazing YA and MG nonfction books I’ve read from Australia and around the world, to give you an idea of my tastes in this arena;
— ‘Free Lunch’ by Rex Ogle
— ‘Vincent & Theo’ by Deborah Heiligman
— ‘The Radium Girls: young reader’s edition’ by Kate Moore
— ‘Ugly’ by Robert Hoge
— ‘Stolen History: the truth about the British empire and how it shaped us’ by Sathnam Sanghera
— ‘We Are Rebels’ young readers edition by Clare Wright
— ‘Smile by Raina Telgemeier
— ‘The 57 Bus’ by Dashka Slater
— ‘Welcome to Your Period’ by Yumi Stynes & Melissa Kang
— ‘Young Dark Emu’ by Bruce Pascoe
— ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ by Dara McAnulty
— ‘Finding Nevo’ by Nevo Zisin
— ‘A Thousand Sisters’ by Elizabeth Wein
— ‘Growing up Disabled in Australia’ edited by Carly Findlay
— ‘Laughing at my Nightmare’ by Shane Burcaw
— ‘Flesh and Blood So Cheap’ by Albert Marrin
— ‘Love & Autism’ edited by Kay Kerr
(note I’ve got some nonfiction graphic novels listed above; these being different to picture-books, I welcome them!)