New Literary Agency

Dede Cummings started her literary career as a book designer at Little Brown & Company. Prior to working at Little Brown, she worked at David R. Godine in Boston as a designer and production editor. Design is something she loves to do, and she still designs covers and interiors of books; most notably, she is a six-time winner of the New England Book Award for a number of authors’ works, including Slow Learner by Thomas Pynchon, Voices From The Moon by Andre Dubus, a reissue of Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan, along with four books of poetry by Mary Oliver.

She is also a publicist and literary agent for emerging writers. She’s been coined as one of the most accessible and yet well-connected agents starting out in the business. Because she is an author herself, she understands both sides of the publishing process. Dede is a 2010 graduate of the Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education course “Publishing Books, Memoirs and Other Creative Non-Fiction,” under the direction of Julie Silver, M.D. Her first book, Living With Crohns & Colitis: A Comprehensive Naturopathic Guide for Complete Digestive Wellness, was published in 2010 by Hatherleigh Press and distributed by Random House. She has another cookbook (Cooking Well:IBS) under the same imprint, and her third book—Questions for the Dalai Lama—is due out in 2014.

Dede holds a BA from Middlebury College in Literature where she was also a poetry contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and was the recipient of the Mary Dunning Thwing Award. In 1991, she received an award to study with Hayden Carruth at the Bennington Writers’ Workshop. Dede has had her poetry published in Mademoiselle magazine and ConnotationPress; she was a Discovery/The Nation poetry semi-finalist.

Dede attended the 2012 National Publicity Summit in NYC, where she established media contacts at this premier event. She is excited to work with writers — from Children’s picture books, YA fiction and non-fiction, to adult trade books, and she will help you think about all aspects of publishing from pitch to publicity, and even self-publishing. In its first year, the Dede Cummings Literary Agency has sold a number of books to the trade, most notably, “Moccasins: Raising Your Kids to Navigate Their Own Terrain,” by Krissy Pozatek to Josh Bartok at Wisdom, and “Wonder Woman Isn’t Bulletproof,” by Shannon Galpin to Daniela Rapp at St. Martin’s Press.

Cummings writes, “I just held my first book auction, and inked a book deal with St. Martin’s Press for Shannon Galpin’s sports-adventure-feminist memoir, “Wonder Woman Isn’t Bulletproof.” It is comings out in 2014, in hardcover, with a four-color photo insert. National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Shannon works with women and girls in conflict areas, mostly in Afghanistan.”

She recently signed fiction writer, Tom Pope, and his stellar futurist-fiction, “The Trouble With Wisdom,” along with New Dehli novelist, CP Surendran—the latest to join her agency. To round things out, Dede also represents two memoirists: widow of a NYPD officer killed in a terrorist bombing, Kathleen Murray Moran, and women’s nature writer, Kathleen Saville.

Dede has also founded a co-publishing group called Green Writers Press, which is now represented nationally and in the UK by Midpoint Trade Books. Their first children’s book, an illustrated children’s alphabet book with two-line rhyming couplets, called “The Bird Book,” is coming out in the fall of 2013, along with a YA/adult collection of place-based nature tales and observations tentatively titled, “The Beavers of Popple’s Pond: Tales of Love and Observations in Nature,” and the humorous mother-daughter short fiction tale of awakening entitled, “Ethel Katz Finds Her Guru.”

Dede is interested in literary fiction, both adult and YA, Children’s picture book manuscripts, self-help memoir, health and wellness. Submissions can be emailed to her at and usually take 6-10 weeks for review. Self- or co-publishing writers may also contact Dede at this email.


My first feature about my agency… New Literary Agency.

It is really exciting to have launched this, and already I am getting some pretty awesome queries. Thanks to Kathy Temean for writing this up, and helping writers, illustrators, agents and publishers … I am really honored.

Here are some photos from the shoot, by Jeff Woodward. © 2013 Woodward Photography

I was nervous about having my photo taken…but Jeff Woodward and his wife, Leslie, made the whole process fun and not intimidating at all… I recommend them for portrait photography, and they do amazing senior portraits for high school seniors. So, here I am wearing my daughter’s jeans, my sister, Connie’s shirt, and my Experienced Goods flats :!)

9 thoughts on “New Literary Agency

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  1. Hello Dede,
    Lovely to meet you…I’m so glad I read the post on Kathy’s blog. I am blown away with all you have accomplished! Your book on cooking for those with IBS is a must have for me as my husband deals with this issue.

    In addition to cooking for my husband :), I also write picture books. I’m a bit confused by the term – illustrated children’s books. Are you not accepting picture book manuscripts unless the author also illustrates them?

    In any case, best of luck in this new path…I am sure you will have much success!

    1. Dear Vivian,

      So nice to hear from you! I am glad to know of your interest in my new agency, and to clarify the term I am accepting Children’s picture book manuscripts without illustrations.

      1. Dear Dede,

        Thank you so much for answering my question…and so quickly!

        When I return from Singapore at the end of this month (I’m speaking at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content…so honored by the invitation and just a tad bit nervous), I plan to submit something to you.

        I shared the post because I think you are someone the kid lit community needs to know about. 🙂

  2. My name is Joseph McCarthy I am a special needs author and was wondering if I can send you my picture book if that’s ok?

  3. My name is Joseph McCarthy and I am a special needs author, with a new picture book idea looking for an agent or publisher and was wondering if i can send you a couple of my picture books if that’s alright ?

    1. Dear Joseph, I’m a bit behind because if the wonderful publicity I received, so if you are still up for it, I’d live to see your submission. Best regards, Dede

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