A Good Literary Agent
You've been writing for children or illustrating children's books (or hope that one day your illustrations will be used in a children's book) and know that some writers and artists have a literary agent to represent their work - but do you need one? And how 'get an agent'?
There is no reason why you cannot be published without having an agent. It happens all the time. If you choose your target publishers wisely, and produce work that stands out from that of other authors and illustrators, and your idea fits their requirements and they think they can sell the book to make a good profit, they will offer you a contract. Unfortunately, however, you may be at a slight disadvantage.
Firstly, editors have little time for reading new manuscripts, and so many publishers employ 'readers' to help them with the backlog. You hope that your work will be enjoyed enough to be passed to a higher authority, but stories and work submitted by agents will go straight to the editor. Someone whose tastes the agent knows. The agent loves your work so much they can passionately extol its virtue and build up an expectation in the editor's mind that it will be great to consider - not something they will regard with suspicion with an expectaion that it will be as low quality as the rest of the 'slush pile', and probably a waste of time reading.
With agented representation, your work will often be read for longer and with more care.
Some publishers are so hard pressed for time, that only