Mary Cummings

Great River Literary

Originally trained as an art historian and arts administrator, Mary Cummings has served in executive and curatorial capacities in several art museums; a folkdance center; and a literary organization: The Loft Literary Center, where, among other things, for seven years she chose presenters and topics for an annual festival of children's literature and selected judges for the McKnight Award in children's literature from among the nation's top children's book editors. She has scholarly publications, award-winning poetry for adults, plus published short stories and books for young readers. She is a painter (Japanese-inspired ink and watercolor) and brings her visual arts background to her work as a literary agent. In 2008 she joined Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises to represent books for kids and teens, leaving in 2021 to open her own agency: Great River Literary. Among her sales are board and picture books as well as chapter books and novels to such houses as Abrams; Knopf; L,B; Candlewick; Chronicle; Wiseman S & S; Philomel; Viking; Nancy Paulsen; FSG; Feiwel and Friends; Holt; Imprint; HarperCollins; Balzer & Bray; WorthyKids; Random House; Walker and others.

Subject Focus

Children’s: Graphic Novel
Children’s: Middle Grade Fiction
Children’s: Middle Grade Non-Fiction
Children’s: Picture Book
Children’s: Young Adult Fiction
Children’s: Young Adult Non-Fiction
Children’s: General
Children's: Fantasy



Years of Industry Experience


Member Since

Submission Requirements

How to successfully present your work

See wishlist and submission instructions on website, For picture books, c & p full into email. For author/illustrator submissions, include a link to dummy and art samples. For novels and other longer works, c & p first three pages into email. DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS (emails with attachments will be deleted without being read). Include in query some bio info, experience with children or other relevant background (including volunteer and employment), activity in kidlit world, as well as comp titles. (Due to the volume of submissions, I'm only able to reply to submissions which may be a fit).