Friday, January 3, 2014

Updated Manuscript Wishlist - a post by Beth

Back in September, I wrote all about what I wanted to see in my submissions in this post. I’ve received so many great queries and have already added a few new clients to my roster as a result. Looking ahead to 2014, I decided to fine-tune my wishlist.

Let’s take a look, starting with my MG and YA search:

- I want quirky, cute but dramatic and all-consuming contemporary YA romance. Yeah, okay, this is still true. More than anything, I want strong characters with more going on in their lives than this romance – a solid plot that makes the romance really pop.

- With contemporary, I also want to see more stories about everyday issues that are super relatable. This is also still true. What I mean here is that I want to read about people who are experiencing something real, something we can all grasp. I like a well-done “big issue” book, too, but I appreciate when an author explores the most basic emotions and makes me feel them, times a million. I’m still eager to see a Doomsday Prepper post-Rapture novel.

- Although it’s saturating the market a bit, I still love a strong YA urban fantasy with high stakes but not paranormal of the werewolves/vampires kind. Again, still true. I like fantasy. I do. But I’m looking for something extremely fresh. A whole new outlook. I want myths and retellings and something that surprises me. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of stories in others worlds that are too… otherly. I like it to be somewhat grounded in reality, so I won’t typically request epic/high fantasy. I’ll also look at science fiction, but not the kind that happens in space and obviously nothing that could be seen as dystopian. Still would love to see a dark Frankensteinian project with a lot of suspense, ghosts and witches.

- I like serious middle-grade tempered with lots of fun and adventure. I’m taking a break from MG right now, so please consider our other wonderful agents that are still looking!

- I’m also interested in finding some lovely New Adult fiction with an unforgettable voice. I definitely found some of this and I want more! I’m looking for contemporary and realistic but would love a nail-biting thriller too.

Moving on to my adult wishlist:

- I’m interested in literary fiction but obviously I don’t want the writing to be too flowery and distracting. I’m looking for bookclub-quality fiction when I say this. Still looking!

- Suspense, mysteries and thrillers that are complicated and surprising, not cheesy or derivative. I’ve been seeing a lot of the same in this area. I’m looking for a surprising villain, unexpected heroes and really twisty plots. Would love a story without a hardened cop or PI or a woman with a dark secret past.

- Humorous women’s fiction beyond the typical “Mr. Right/Back-to-my-country-roots” iterations. I’m still seeing quite a lot of these and I haven’t really connected with any of them. I’m looking for candor over campy or slapstick.

- Well-written family sagas and other general fiction. Yep.

And then there is nonfiction:

- As a home cook, I’d love to see some unique cookbook ideas with interesting perspectives on new and old recipes. I’m definitely prioritizing this above my other nonfiction interests right now and have already found a few wonderful clients to work with. Please keep reaching out and pitching me your fabulous ideas!

- I’ll consider humor/pop culture book projects with strong platforms. This is still true, and I have not been getting enough of these submissions. I’d love to work with someone immersed in comedy and funny writers with relatable stories and a loyal following.

- I’m a huge animal lover, so any pet-related submissions are welcome. I’ve still got the two dogs and I do still love them. I’m looking for interesting dog and cat stories, from impulse/gift books to the scientific.

Thanks for reading and for considering the Bent Agency! I can't wait to read your queries.

Ready... set... GO! 

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