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Stephen Barbara was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, and graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in English language and literature, winning awards for writing and student leadership while at the college. He began his publishing career in 2005 as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins, and then worked for three years as the Contracts Director of the Donald Maass Agency. Following six years as a literary agent at Foundry Media, he joined InkWell Management at the start of 2015.
Stephen works with writers, storytellers, thinkers, and entertainers of talent and ambition. A sampling of his clients includes New York Times and international bestseller Lauren Oliver, USA Today bestseller and British Fantasy Award winner Paul Tremblay, Newbery Medal winner and New York Times bestseller Laura Amy Schlitz, National Book Award nominee Lisa Graff, Printz Honor awardee Susann Cokal, bestselling fantasy graphic novelist Ethan Aldridge, and children’s author Minh Lê , whose picture book Drawn Together appeared on more than 20 “Best Of” Lists at the end of 2018; he also represents nonfiction authors Meghan Cox Gurdon, Eleanor Herman, and Tom Venuto. In his capacity as agent for media and content company Glasstown Entertainment, Stephen has worked with actress Krysten Ritter, activist Dylan Farrow, novelist Alma Katsu, and bestselling fantasy author Sara Holland, among others.
Film/TV is a stated area of interest for Stephen. In the spring of 2019, Amazon Studios announced their first-ever YA series, Panic, based on Lauren Oliver’s novel; two other novels
based on books represented by Stephen have been adapted into films, and many other projects based on books of his are in active development. While selective in taking on new clients, Stephen is always drawn to compelling stories that marry quality writing to bold, imaginative concepts.