Submission Guidelines

Because we are an agency that responds to each and every query email received, we are now accepting queries solely through QueryManager as a way to manage the volume.

To submit, please see below to review what each agent is looking to acquire. You may submit to only ONE agent of your choice—a pass from one is a pass from all of us here at NLA. We also share queries with each other. When you’re ready to query, click the purple query button for the agent you have chosen. This will take you to that agent’s query form, where you will be asked to submit the following information:

  • a brief bio, including any writing credentials you may have
  • the title, genre, and word count of your book
  • your query letter
  • the first ten pages of your book

Please note that any submissions sent to [email protected] will not be read. However, other business communications may still be directed to that email address.

Thank you!

  Currently Seeking…


With the exception of a client referral, Kristin is currently closed to queries as it is prep time for Bologna Children’s Book Fair! Kristin will re-open to queries on April 15, 2019. Perhaps sending your awesome query letter then will take the sting out of Tax Day. In the meantime, please feel free to query Danielle, Quressa, or Joanna at the agency as they would love to hear from you. 

Kristin is seeking:

  • Voice and character driven stories well told. How you tell that story doesn’t have to fit into a neat little category.
  • Literary or literary/commercial adult novels (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet, Where’d You Go Bernadette?, A Man Called Ove) 
  • Historical/literary adult novels
  • Big crossover adult novels (literary or upmarket level writing) w/one foot squarely in genre (Wool, Station 11, Lexicon, Ready Player One)
  • Literary Speculative Fiction
  • Voice & character-driven thrillers, science fiction & fantasy
  • Voice & character-driven upmarket women’s fiction, upmarket and smart Chick Lit and Rom Com (Think Crazy Rich Asians, The Kiss Quotient)
  • Young adult & middle grade novels (all genres including contemporary, #ownvoices, boy adventure, magical, girl power, STEM girls are my jam, characters who use brains over brawn)

  


Danielle is seeking:

  • Middle grade and young adult (all genres)
  • Select passion projects in women’s fiction
  • A strong voice, nuanced writing, plots with unexpected twists, high concept
  • Complex female characters, quirky adventures, complicated family dynamics, romantic plotlines that are an element of the narrative but don’t dominate it, seaside novels, girls with swords, stories that take place in the aftermath of disaster (whether personal such as the death of a loved one or bigger picture such as a revolution), magical realism, YA psychological thrillers, sister stories
  • Social justice themes, own voices authors, a special interest in LGBTQ+ stories
  • Recent reads I have loved include (in no particular order) The Thing About Jellyfish, It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, We Are Okay, Landline, The Sun Is Also a Star, Uprooted, Salt to the Sea, We Were Liars, A Spool of Blue Thread, When Dimple Met Rishi, Six of Crows, anything Liane Moriarty, anything Kristin Cashore, anything Sarah Dessen

  


Joanna is seeking:

  • Character-driven and atmospheric mysteries and thrillers—think Tana French, Blake Crouch, and Heather Gudenkauf.
  • Literary fiction—fish-out-of-water experiences, immigrant stories, complex families. I cried my way through The Namesake and couldn’t put down The Round House.
  • Upmarket women’s fiction featuring characters I can’t stop thinking about.
  • Literary and commercial young-adult fiction—I’ll Give You The Sun and Bone Gap and anything that reminds me of Veronica Mars.

  


Quressa is seeking:

  • Modern-day blue stockings, POC fangirls/fanboys, #blackgirlmagic, #carefreeblackgirls, #blackboyjoy, LGBTQ+, neuroatypical/neurodivergent, and disabled POCs as leads
  • Middle Grade (contemporary and SF/F). Cute, quirky, charming, and fun. Along the lines of Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away.
  • Young adult (contemporary, SF/F, historical)
  • Adult SF/F with strong genre-bending/crossover appeal. (Think the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. I’m also a fan of Anne Bishop and Naomi Novik.)
  • Literary fiction that is thoughtful, evocative, page-turning (The Mothers, Behold the Dreamers, Tell The Wolves I’m Home, Station 11)
  • Upmarket and commercial fiction
  • Passion projects in narrative nonfiction with a strong literary voice and commercial appeal (Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance, Black Man in a White Coat by Damon Tweedy, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi). Would love to see non-whitewashed cowboy stories; pop science by women, specifically women of color; and literary, voice-driven memoir with commercial appeal.
  • #ownvoices and marginalized authors in all genres mentioned above. Inclusive narratives in all genres.

  


We do not represent:

  • Nonfiction (except Quressa, who considers select passion projects in narrative nonfiction—see above—but does not represent abuse narratives or political works)
  • Memoir
  • Screenplays
  • Short-story collections
  • Poetry
  • Material for the Christian/Inspirational market
  • Children’s picture books
  • Early-reader chapter books

  How to Email Us…

For other non-query business-related inquiries, please email [email protected]

  Response Time

Queries: We read and respond to each and every query we receive. Expect a response to queries within three weeks, occasionally it may take longer.

Full manuscripts: If we have requested your full manuscript, a response can take up to two months. Please keep us informed of any other interest.

  Examples of Good Query Letters

Check out Kristin’s blog workshop on query letters. You’ll find it in the right side bar of Pub Rants. You’ll also find several query letters from NLA clients posted there, as well as some of Kristin’s submission pitch letters to editors for various NLA titles. Also check out #NLAquerytip on Twitter for additional useful information.

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