Manuscript Wishlist

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Hey there writers!

I'm open to queries again! I'm so excited to read new work again! Here's what I'm looking for in 2019. To send a pitch my way, please use P.S. Literary’s query email, found here.

Genre Blending Literary & Commercial Fiction

If you love novels like Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson, The Last One by Alexandra Olivia, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggerand, The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, and every book by Colson Whitehead... then your work is a good fit for me.

I'm looking for genre-blending fiction... books that pull a bit of genre into the literary.

When it comes to my clients, Mike Chen's Here & Now & Then, Erica Boyce's The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green, and Alison Stine's The Grower, are the perfect example of this. Literary fiction with splashes of time travel, secret societies, and the apocalypse? Yes. Please.

I also really love literary fiction that takes you into small worlds and communities where I'm an outsider. A glimpse inside a complex family, or a workplace. One of my favorite novels of 2018 was Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li. I'd love to find a book like that.

As for weirdly specific things I'm looking for... I'm dying to find a great book about a cult or a survivalist or a plague... maybe all of them in one?

I'm hoping this will be a big focus for me this year and pushing forward, so please, query away!

Young Adult

Hey, it's that category I also write in! I'm always hungry to find bright new voices in YA.

As for what I'm specifically looking for, that's a hard thing to pin down. I read widely in YA, and enjoy just about every genre in it. I love moving contemporary reads, thrilling sci-fi, and lush fantasy.

To get a sense of my taste in YA, my favorite novels of last year were Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole, The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk, Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutski, Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston, The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding, and Contagion by Erin Bowman.

My favorite YA novel of all time is Hero by Perry Moore.

When it comes to my favorite YA authors, I've read every book by writers like Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, Nova Ren Suma, Mindy McGinnis, Jeff Zentner, Zoraida Cordova, Meg Medina, Bryan Bliss, and Nina LaCour.

Very hungry to work on more LGBTQ+ YA novels and diverse, inclusive reads. I'd also love to see more YA non-fiction hit my inbox. My author George M. Johnson’s upcoming YA memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue, is a great example.

Select Science Fiction & Fantasy

I'm a bit picky when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy novels. I love them. I read a ton of them. But they have to be accessible.

What does that mean? It means that readers who don't traditionally pick up much sci-fi or fantasy, can pick up one of these novels, and enjoy it.

Some of my favorite recent sci-fi and fantasy reads include The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller, The Book of M by Peng Shepherd, and the Sleeping Giants series by Sylvain Neuvel. I also love anything Chuck Wendig, Kat Howard, and Delilah S. Dawson writes.

Memoir and Essay Collections

I love powerful personal stories, especially from essayists. I'm lucky enough to work with Bassey Ikpi, whose novel I'm Telling the Truth But I'm Lying is out this year. Some of my favorite essayists include Nicole Chung and Michele Filgate, whose books are absolutely filed in "books I wish I could have worked on."

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung was my favorite memoir of 2018, and one of my favorite books of the year, period.

Cookbooks

I love quirky cookbooks that explore topics that are hard to find in the bookstore, or haven't been explored at all. Odd, single subject books tend to grab me really quickly. If you think your project is too niche, I might be right for you.

Recent projects of mine in this category include Eat to Feed by Eliza Larson and Kristy Kohler, a cookbook that dishes recipes that help mothers with breastmilk production, Are You Afraid of the Dark Rum? by Sam Slaughter, a cocktail book full of 90's inspired drinks, and Lindsey Smith's Eat Your Feelings, a mental health focus cookbook about pairing food with emotions.

Wildly different, right? But each are wildly unique and very specific.

Cookbook authors should be platformed... which doesn't necessarily mean a big ol' Twitter following. If you're writing articles for food-related places, doing speaking engagements, or run your own blog... that counts!

Non-fiction History & Pop Culture

 I love love LOVE books that introduce readers to untold stories. My author Alex Rubens' 8-Bit Apocalypse is the perfect example, telling the untold story of the creation of the game Missile Command.

I've loved every single book written by Mary Roach, and would love to find a non-fiction book along those lines. One of my favorite non-fiction titles ever is The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson.

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And now, a quick rundown of what I'm not looking for, to save everyone's time.

What I'm Not Looking For:

  • Middle Grade or Picture Books (pitch my colleague Maria!)

  • Angel & demon love stories, Heaven / Hell stories.

  • Adult epic fantasy or military sci-fi.

  • Douglas-Adams-esque sci-fi.

  • Non-fiction about sports or politics.

  • Your thriller about some white guy fighting terrorists.

  • Portals.

  • Main character is Death.

  • Novellas.

  • Main-character-is-a-bigot-and-learns-a-lesson. Hard pass.

  • Redemptive story arcs for abusers. Nope.

  • New Adult books.

  • Horror novels. I like them, but I don't know what makes a good one.

  • Anything comped as "Lovecraftian" (he was racist, not interested)

  • Anything comped to Orson Scott Card (if I have to explain this, we can't work together)

  • Commercial fiction about sports (exceptions made for sports YA, I love sports YA!)