A white cis man in his late 30s, with short blonde hair, blue eyes, turtle shell glasses, and a smirk.

Stephen Barr is a senior literary agent at Writer House, where he started out as an intern in the winter of 2008 after graduating from UCLA with a degree in something. He represents a broad stripe of authors across all genres, with a steady hankering for audacious YA, intricate picture books, mysteries that handcuff humor and tragedy to the same radiator, world-bending middle grade, fearless reportage, and really any literary or commercial fiction that tackles heavy themes with a light touch. He’s also the author of The Upside Down Hat, illustrated by Gracey Zhang, which was chosen by the New York Times and New York Public Library as one of the ten best illustrated books of 2022. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife, son, daughter, and books.


I've got a particular hankering for...

- intricate, heart-on-its-sleeve, voice-abundant YA like "King Dork" or "The Highest Tide" (bonus points for unrequited love stories!)

- audacious, experimental YA mysteries or fantasies that handcuff humor and tragedy to the same radiator

- middle grade that takes on heavy themes with a light touch (Jerry Craft's "The New Kid" is as brilliant as it gets)

- sweet and/or silly and/or heartbreaking picture books from adventurous author/illustrators

- unexpected memoirs with itchy voices

- narrative non-fiction that tackles hard-to-tackle issues; anything about the role discourse plays in our societal ills (a la "So You've Been Publicly Shamed")

- and any fiction that rewards the reader line-by-line and gets to know at least one character really, really well (recent favorites include "Weather," "Normal People," "The Last Samurai," "Fourth of July Creek," and "Skippy Dies")

I'm also willing to be a sucker for...

- detective stories that bend reality

- ghost stories that blow reality to hell


HONOR GIRL by Maggie Thrash
ODDITY by Eli Brown
ALFIE by Thyra Heder


FICTION: Children's, Commercial Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Literary Fiction, Middle Grade, Mystery, Picture Books, Young Adult

NONFICTION: Cultural/Social Issues, Current Affairs, Adventure/True Story, Investigative Journalism, Juvenile, Memoir, Narrative


FICTION: Family Saga, GLBT, Humor/Satire, Multi-Cultural, Science Fiction

NONFICTION: Music, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Sports