I am actively growing my picture book, middle grade, young adult, and adult lists.
Please take a look at the manuscript wish list below to see if your work may be a good fit!
What am I looking for? Picture book author-illustrators, a wide range of middle grade and YA, and more speculative-leaning or genre-bent upmarket adult works. I’m committed to working with writers from diverse backgrounds and am looking to put forth a list of outstanding creators who will be able to provide windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors (thank you, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop) into all kinds of experiences. I’m particularly looking for own-voices stories about historically underrepresented characters, identities, and cultures.
No matter the genre or age-range, I crave a distinctive voice and strong thematic point behind the work—I want to run screaming to my friends and family about your book because there is so much to discuss. I love character-driven stories that revolve around BIG topics (discussing things like mortality or grief in a new and hopefully somewhat uplifting way is always an instant lightbulb!). One might say that I have a great affinity for what used to be known as ‘issue books,’ however, I would argue that I’d like to represent authors and stories that stand for more than just a good yarn; I’d like to represent authors who provoke conversations around important and necessary topics in our world today. I don’t just want contemporary versions of these stories, either. Send me your fantasy, your sci-fi, your genre-bender!
So please, send your horizon-expanding work on over to me. I can't wait to give it a read.
I love humor when it comes to picture books! Some of my favorites include:
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
The Hat Series by Jon Klassen
Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch by Diana Murray
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Accident by Andrea Tsurumi
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
The Napping House by Audrey Wood, Illustrated by Don Wood
I also love sparsely designed books:
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
I love interactive books:
Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
And sometimes, I just love a transcendently beautiful and meaningful story:
Drawn Together by Minh Lê, Illustrated by Dan Santat
The Landry News by Andrew Clements
Beatrice Zinker, Upside-Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Sideways Stories from Wayside School / Holes by Louis Sachar
Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
*Skeleton Tree by Kim Ventrella
Anything by Laurie Halse Anderson
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Contagion by Erin Bowman
A Great and Terrible Beauty / The Diviners by Libba Bray
Private by Kate Brian
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
*Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
*Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
*Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart
*Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
I really love novels that that don’t quite fit the mold, that are more than they seem at first glance. Some of my favorites include Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, and a novel I worked on called You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce. I also have a soft-spot for literally anything by Shirley Jackson, Octavia E. Butler, and Jorge Luis Borges.
The weird, the strange, and the speculative are certainly my focus in adult works, but it doesn’t always have to be something dark. I also love lighthearted magic in this category.
Particular topics/ideas I’m intrigued by…
‘I do not write dark books. I write candles. I write fire.’ - Laurie Halse Anderson
Unapologetic and intersectional feminist narratives
Healthy portrayals of masculinity
Atmospheric YA horror
Literary and socially conscious horror
Anything inspired by myths, folklore, or legends particularly those that are non-western in origin
Dark futures / apocalypse with a touch of hope
Outbreak / contagion discussed in a new and innovative way
A novel in seasonal movements
A YA that takes a nuanced and hard look at relationship violence
A literary thriller set in a confined space (ex: a cargo ship)
Anything involving the ocean
Please note, a touch of whimsy is always, always welcome.
Are you a visual person? Me too!
Take a peek through my #MSWL Pinterest board.
I’ve also been trying to collect all my #MSWL tweets in a moment. You can find them here.
Anything I shouldn’t send you?
Yes, your racist, misogynist, ableist manifesto. Don’t send me that.
This sounds great! I'd like to query you. What are my next steps?
Thank you for thinking of me—seriously! I feel incredibly honored when writers select me to submit their work to.
Please send your personalized query letter along with your first ten pages (pasted into the body of the email) to me at alevick (at) writershouse.com. Bonus points if you can tell me a bit about the intention behind your work.
You can also take a look at my Publishers Marketplace profile here for more information.