Wish List

As of June 1, 2023:

Wish List

I’m currently seeking submissions in the following genres: women’s contemporary or historical fiction; contemporary or historical single-title romance; adult real-world or secondary-world fantasy; adult science fiction.

Please note: I am no longer seeking anything for the young adult or middle grade markets.

In all categories/genres, I am looking for stories featuring:

    • Underrepresented characters/diverse POVs, whether by gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.
    • #ownvoices stories
    • Found families
    • Strong sibling relationships, especially sisters or large families
    • Excellent world building
    • Fish-out-of-water stories
    • “New” settings, places that have not been overdone
    • Strong writing/prose, distinctive voices, new twists on familiar tropes, and/or high concepts
    • Strong hooks
    • Smart characters who demonstrate blind spots/flaws/their humanity

Not for me:

    • Horror
    • Sports romances, particularly team sports. (I could maybe go for a runner or a swimmer, maybe a figure skater, but that’s about it.)
    • Epic fantasy of the Lord of the Rings variety (think dwarves, elves, orcs, etc.)
    • Vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, fae (at least for the foreseeable future).
    • Big military/political stories a la Tom Clancy
    • Anything with a prehistoric setting a la Clan of the Cave Bear
    • Cowboy/rancher/American western-type stories. (Note: This is not geographically-based but character-based. I am happy to see other types of stories/characters set in the western states.)
    • Nonfiction/poetry/picture books/YA or MG/mysteries

Specifically, I’d love to find any of the following (though not all shoehorned into ONE book, please):

    • High-concept/breakout romance with a strong secondary narrative in addition to the HEA, especially rom-coms or something with a lighthearted thread. (Featuring diverse couples of all types.)
    • Women’s fiction that features a long-time female friendship or close-knit sisters; would love a travel/road-trip novel, but no Thelma-and-Louise endings.
    • A heroine looking at a slow/late career start/finding themselves in mid-30s to late-40s/reinventing themselves.
    • Unconventional/self-made/entrepreneurial heroines.
    • Fresh, creative re-imaginings of classics.
    • Dual/multiple timelines.
    • Magic or magical realism, especially non-Western.
    • Near-future, grounded speculative SF/medical advancements/tech gone awry/climate related
    • Historical fiction set between the early-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, especially that does not focus on WW2 directly.
    • Historical fiction with a literary tie-in.
    • Literary-leaning witch novel, women’s fiction/historical/fantasy, especially something set in modern-day Salem.

Favorite recent(-ish) reads:

    • RED, WHITE, AND ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston
    • THANK YOU FOR LISTENING by Julia Whalen
    • BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry
    • SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Emily St. John Mandel
    • MEMPHIS by Tara M. Stringfellow
    • NINTH HOUSE by Leigh Bardugo
    • REPUTATION by Lex Croucher
    • Themis Files series (SLEEPING GIANTS, WAKING GODS, and ONLY HUMAN) by Sylvain Neuvel
    • WRITERS AND LOVERS by Lily King
    • PIRANESI by Susanna Clarke
    • ONE ITALIAN SUMMER by Rebecca Serle

All queries should go through my Query Manager submission portal. I look forward to reading your work.

14 thoughts on “Wish List

  1. Ugh…my latest hero is a perfect example of “dubious moral fiber”. Hasn’t gone to the CPs yet, so it probably won’t hit the query trenches until then. Patience is a virtue…

  2. Great idea, posting your wish list… How to get just what you want? It might really be just as simple as asking. 🙂 Hope you find them & maybe you’ll start an agent trend (beyond #mswl, also a good idea).

  3. I LOVE this, and heartily recommend that you tell all of your agent friends to do something similar. Ha! But, really, this is great. I thought of querying you with my science fiction novel, but after reading what you are really looking for I am going to put that on the back burner to pursue others who are looking specifically for that genre. Really, a great idea!

  4. Hi Nephele! I’m SO glad I found your site! Lots of great information here. My only regret is that the trickling raindrops across the text look like the spots I get in my eyes before a migraine and I feel like I’m getting one when I’m trying to read your posts. (So weird, I know… I just want to browse more but I’m afraid I need to look away!) Best Regards!

    1. Turned the snow off! Certainly don’t want to give anyone migraine flashbacks. Thanks for letting me know. 😉

  5. Your wish list here includes fantasy, but this is not one of the genres included for YA in your Query Manager. Is it okay to submit a YA fantasy (specifically for me it’s a science fantasy).

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