Patricia Nelson


Literary Agent at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency (@MarsalLyonLit), representing YA, MG, women's fic, romance & select literary fic. I'm looking for a mind at work.

San Diego, CA

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Oct 24

Writers, starting a novel w/ a descrip of weather is almost never the strongest choice. Open w/ a sentence that could only begin YOUR book.

You'd be shocked how many sample pages open w/ a sentence (or paragraph!) abt the sky/wind/clouds/sun/etc! Edit it out. #writetip #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Sep 20

When you're writing second world fantasy, it's really easy to fall into the trap of overwhelming the reader with info/names.

Thread! Great explanation of a very common problem in YA fantasy first pages. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Aug 4

Still noticing the query trend of VERY long MG novels: 70K, 80K, 90K (!!) Cut these down, folks. This is too long for an MG debut. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Jul 19

Gentle reminder to queriers that a query is a business letter. Aim for professional (not informal) & confident (but not arrogant). #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Mar 31

#querytip When sending req'd materials, name the file "Your Name - Book Title" Many of us read mss on a Kindle &that way we know what it is!

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Mar 17

Getting a lot of queries lately for 80K+ (!) middle grade novels. Lovely queriers, that is almost always TOO LONG for MG. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Sep 26 2016

Periodic PSA that I do NOT rep adult sci-fi/fantasy--for SFF, I'm YA/MG only. Anything online that says otherwise is lying to you! #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Aug 11 2016

Personal preference: If I like a query, I like to check out the author's social media sites. Twitter handles are encouraged!

Co-signed! #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Jul 1 2016

#querytip Don't comp to classics (unless it's as "a modern retelling of...") or books YOU read as a kid. Show you know the current market.

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Jun 17 2016

Gonna share this opinion but tell you I'm super not here to argue about it: Don't query your stuff as NA. Go up, go down, or self-pub.

Co-signed from the agent side. This is advice you want to listen to. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Jun 16 2016

Have seen multiple queries this week w/ a typo in the book's title. Oof. I'm forgiving of the occasional mistake, but...proofread! #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · May 19 2016

#querytip : no need to tell me in your query that other agents have req'd fulls. I req based on my own taste, not others' interest. Really!

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Apr 28 2016

Today's oddest query touts the novel's "brand integration" potential for Chili's Restaurants. This... does not inspire confidence. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Apr 11 2016

I don't rep picture books, so if you see PBs as a big part of your career (even if you write MG/YA too), we won't be a perfect fit #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Mar 23 2016

"My book has almost no girl characters." I am not your agent. #querytip

Ditto. This should pretty much be on my business card, in fact. #querytip indeed!

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Mar 15 2016

You might be surprised how often queriers claim their book is for "MG, YA & adults." Ack! More categories isn't better--pick one. #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Mar 15 2016

Even if yr protagonists are age 19-25, you do NOT need to call the book NA. Just call it mystery, SF/F, literary fic. That's fine! #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Mar 15 2016

#querytip : In the current market it's never in your best interest to call a book New Adult unless it is sexy romance feat. college students.

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Feb 23 2016

The most "marketability" info you should inc in a query is 2-3 comp titles (from the last 5 yrs, successful but not HARRY POTTER). #querytip

Patricia Nelson @patricianels · Feb 22 2016

Occasionally I get queries that specify exactly which publisher the author expects their book to sell to. Cart waaay before horse. #querytip