Mary Cummings, Agent and Founder


Backstory to books

Inspiration and tips

Recent and forthcoming titles


Conferences and workshops


Top wishes right now

Top of my list for picture books: a story about the Mississippi River. Of course!

 Also eager for a story about a kid who collects (rocks, buttons or some such), and one about the beauty of the Western States landscape. 

A picture book series with a spunky, quirky, lovable main character is also a major goal. 

I see loads of stories about dogs and cats - but how about a kid who adores horses? 

And, HUMOR! Send me the funny stuff! 

Character-based stories with emotional depth, and stories with a full arc (beginning, middle, end) are very welcome. 

For middle grade, I'd like to see a contemporary novel in which the protagonist experiences a growing awareness of global or other societal issues as they dovetail with his or her own life. 

I also truly love mg fantasy, but what could be described as "soft fantasy" and magical realism, with elements of magic or alternate realities woven in with the ordinary and recognizable world. I don't much go for complex world-building. 

And here's what I'd rather not see:
-- Grandparent stories are really hard to sell right now (even though I often like them)

-- I get lots of stories presented as picture book texts that really are short stories best suited to a children's magazine

-- Too many novels lack energetic, sparkling language and lose me on the first page. Too many also include the mc's haircolor, age and other details that shouldn't be there (look at recently published books for models, whatever your genre or audience age range)

-- Picture books written in rhyming couplets (see article on this website)

   See "Always Seeking" article for lots more detail. "CONTACT" for submission guidelines. Remember: do NOT send attachments. They will be deleted without being read. - (Owing to the number of submissions I receive, I am able only to respond to those that may be a potential fit).