Currently, I'm most actively seeking:
Middle Grade (MG) & Young Adult (YA) fiction, nonfiction, & graphic novels
Illustrators (those who also write or have ambitions to write are especially welcome)
In picture books, I am NOT currently seeking picture book texts unless the author is ALSO a professional illustrator or a direct referral from an industry or personal contact. If you are an author/illustrator, I gravitate in three directions (though not necessarily all at once): sweet and gentle, wittily subversive, or outright silly. I'm rarely, if ever, drawn to snark, or picture book manuscripts that are primarily lists or descriptions of a character's day, rather than fully-developed stories.
In all categories, I'm drawn to: character-driven explorations of universal truths and experiences; plots driven by powerful stakes or a compelling "what-if"; a vivid sense of place/setting/world-building; vividly-portrayed and meaningful relationships between characters; groundbreaking themes, formats, and voices; masterful, original writing; authentic #OwnVoices narratives portraying characters and experiences previously under-represented in books for young people; and stories that will surprise and delight readers worldwide. (For more specifics about my tastes in fiction, please scroll to the end of this page.)
On the adult side, I selectively represent: women's fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction, most often in categories of pop science, pop linguistics, pop culture, travel writing, and food writing/memoir. I'm particularly drawn to nonfiction narratives about creativity, culture, storytelling, community, connectivity, and friendship/love/family in all its forms; the intersections of unexpectedly-connected topics; and those that underscore a universal human story, whatever the context. A good rule of thumb: if it would make for a fascinating TED talk, chances are I'll be intrigued.
In adult categories and kids'/MG/YA nonfiction, I primarily seek authors with well-established platforms. For different kinds of writers, this may mean different things: social media followings, blogs and/or podcasts, magazine articles and essays, speaking circuit engagements, online course teaching, participation in or founding of online or in-person communities, etc. As an agent, I'm eager to strategize with you about how a book/literary career might further impact and enable your work and platform, and to support you in developing unique, authentic ways of empowering collaboration and exchanging value between your existing community and your identity as an author.
At this time, I do NOT represent: prescriptive nonfiction (i.e. self-help or diet books); adult thrillers, adult crime fiction, or adult SF/F; picture book texts (see above); poetry; chapbooks; screenplays; or erotica.
No paper, phone, or in-person queries, please.
In any story (but especially MG/YA fiction), I get excited by:
A careful balance of universal elements and specific details: making any reader feel a sense of connection between their life and your story, while also presenting a highly memorable read.
Strong depictions of place, whether real, imaginary, or reimagined: where the richness of the setting/environment/world-building has powerful influence on character/voice/plot development. (I have an especial fondness for Southern voices, having grown up in Texas.)
Friendship stories: in picture books and middle grade, of course, but also in YA, since the teenaged sense of self is so often shaped by one's friends. "Band of misfits becomes a family" is a favorite trope of mine, as are books that might best be described as "the love story of a friendship," rather than a romance.
Stories of heartbreak, heartache, & heart-healing. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, humor! In short, I seek books (& characters!) with the power to make readers laugh, cry, think, or feel, deeply.
Stories that are fresh, inventive, or ground-breaking in their structure, format, or plot, while also having a strong emotional core. (Think: re-tellings, genre mashups, speculative fiction, and other stories based on a compelling "what if.") I get excited when an author finds a new, utterly unexpected way of telling a seemingly-familiar tale, or builds a world that diverts from history, science, or reality as we know it, alongside of a character we can't forget. If it's never been done before but you're convinced that you're the person who can pull it off (whatever it is!), then I want to read it.
Cinematic writing: if readers are dream-casting in their heads while they read because your vibrant storytelling, sweeping settings, amusing worldplay, and vivid characterizations, it's a good thing.
Magical realism: I can't get enough of stories with worlds that appear much like our own, but that have a touch of the fantastical or extraordinary. (Note: magical realism is different than fantasy.)
Action & adventure balanced with richly-developed characters: If you can keep readers rapidly turning pages, but also make them care about who your plot is happening to, chances are you'll quickly have deeply-invested readers.
Diversity in all its facets. Our books should represent our readers. All of them.