Brenda Bowen, who left HarperCollins in February, is moving in a new direction, signing on as a literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, beginning July 6. Bowen will represent authors and illustrators of children’s books for all ages (preschool to teen) as well as, in her words, "graphic novelists, animators and maybe a surprise element or two." She says her client list will "start fairly small and dedicated, and then we’ll see."
“Brenda Bowen’s deep knowledge of the children’s industry and her expertise as a publisher will be a magnet for authors and artists,” said Heide Lange, v-p of Greenburger, in a statement. “We are thrilled to have Brenda join us, and see this as a way to further our reach into children’s books.”
“With publishers being asked to do as much or more with fewer resources, publishers are going to look to outside agencies to do what they do, to get authors’ works out there to the larger public," said Bowen, who will be the agency's children's book specialist (the agency does already represent some children's authors and illustrators). "[Greenburger] has been finding homes for authors for over 80 years. I like their portfolio. They have Kafka, Dan Brown and Fancy Nancy—that’s a pretty good combination."
Although her focus will be on the children’s and teen market, she says she would like to investivate representing adult fiction and nonfiction writers "once I get my sea legs." Down the road, Bowen also plans to start a “children’s packaging venture” within Greenburger. "That’s so I can provide publishers material they might not have the time or resources to develop in-house," she said. "And also authors sometimes have ideas that are too large in scope for a single author to develop. They like to join with others, so I can help facilitate that. "
Bowen is a 28-year industry veteran, having served as v-p, editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Global Books at Disney; executive v-p and associate publisher at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; and editorial director at Scholastic Press. In 2007, she moved to HarperCollins to found the Bowen Press imprint, which Harper closed in February, just as the imprint was about to debut.