I’m currently looking for young adult fiction, middle grade fiction, and graphic novels. This is subject to change. You’ll find a more comprehensive breakdown below.
Across the Board:
I want to see books with an accurate representation of the world in which we live. I want books with POC; characters who are part of the LGBTQ+ community; characters who are fat; immigrants; characters who practice different religions; blended families; and characters who are neurodivergent, or physically disabled. I’d love to work with own voices authors. I’d love to see more books set in rarely showcased places.
Themes of feminism, identity, self-love, growing into your own, and discovering yourself are of the utmost importance to me. I love a good homecoming story, or stories of redemption. I love romance and squishy feelings. I’m not an unhappy ending kind of gal. Characters who are spunky and passionate and empathetic are what I live for.
I love for my stories to answer questions like “what if everything changes” or “what if I don’t have a purpose in life” or “what if I never get this part of me figured out” with a loud and resounding: it’s gonna be okay.
I want to see more ensemble casts: anything like the chemistry between the characters in Netflix’s “Sense8” or David Arnold’s Kids of Appetite, for example. Girl gangs (like Lilliam Rivera’s Dealing in Dreams or Lily Anderson’s Undead Girl Gang) are a plus. I love family dynamics, particularly between siblings, and fathers with their kids. And when it comes to romance, I’m looking for wlw stories and queer POC in particular.
Overall, I’m one of those annoying “I’ll know what I want when I see it” people, so feel free to take a swing.
My taste in YA is primarily contemporary, occasionally with fantastical twists. I like shenanigans and romance with a juicy hook and strong, voicey characters. I don’t trend toward fantasy or sci-fi in YA, but I am not opposed; I consider my taste in SF / F YA to be Genre Lite™. I love suspense and thrillers, but I steer away from excessive drama, grit, and grim-dark narratives. Atmospheric books with magical realism are a big draw for me.
I am not a good match for issue books; I want my stories to be socially aware and to feature diverse characters, but I don’t want that to be the crux of the narrative.
YA Favorites: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi, Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom, Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.
I prefer my MG how I like my spring break: fun, fast-paced, and full of wild schemes and unpredictable twists. Think a middle grade “The Mummy” (Fraiser, not Cruise) or “National Treasure”. Convoluted worlds, action, magic, and mayhem are some of the things I live for, along with determined, take-charge characters. Sweet, endearing tweens with top-notch voice are the way to my heart.
I’m also a big, big fan of contemporary MG, and quieter stories, but tend to avoid overly sad or depressing narratives.
MG Favorites: The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal, Alan Cole Is Not a Coward by Eric Bell, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya, The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez, Front Desk by Kelly Yang, Lily & Kosmo in Outer Outer Space by Jonathan Ashley, the Nate series by Tim Federle, anything written or produced by Rick Riordan, Harry Potter, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
I grew up reading manga and traditional American comic books, so I’d love to add some kick-butt graphic novels to my list. I’m open to graphic novels across all age ranges and genres, but there’s a special place in my heart for pretty much anything that catches my eye – I love my art to be soft, bold, and visually stunning.
A non-exhaustive list of artists and styles that I favor:
- Faith Schaffer
- Chelsey Furedi
- Whitney Gardner
- Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
- Ngozi Ukazu
- Eunnie Boo
- Juliette Cousin
- Rachel Smythe
- Arielle Jovellanos
- Gabriel Picolo
- Aliza Layne
GN / Manga / Traditional Favorites: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki / illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa, Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu, Bloom by Kevin Panetta / illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau, The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver.
Very Specific Things I’d Love to See:
- A story about a girl who has to choose between a quinceñera and a Sweet Sixteen
- Rom-coms featuring wlw couples, visible bisexuality, and queer POC
- Male protagonists that express vulnerability and an aversion to classic toxic masculinity
- Supernatural elements played out as everyday occurrences (re: yeah, we got mermaids)
- Strong sibling relationships (especially atypical sibling relationships, like half-siblings or step-siblings)
- Stories about overcoming or conquering death (either literally or figuratively)
- Stories about overcoming grief
I Am Not a Good Match For:
- Sports fiction
- Chapter books
- Short story anthologies
- Poetry or novels in verse
- “Issue” books
- Stories where the dog dies
- Stories with animal protagonists
Agents: If you feel like you have just the thing for me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, let me know if you’d like to meet up for coffee or have a chat. I’d love to hear from you!
Authors: Please note that I am unable to accept unagented submissions, unless specifically told otherwise (i.e. conference submissions for the allotted amount of time). All queries must be submitted through an agent. Unagented queries will be deleted unread.
The only exception to this rule extends to writers I have met at conferences where I have served as a faculty member. Check out my submission guidelines for more info.