Taking conference pitches this weekend made me realize I have a TERRIBLE NEED for queer historical YA. Not fantasy! I want real queer teens living, loving, and existing throughout the ages. If you have this, agents, I'll take them even though I'm closed to submissions! #MSWL
I keep describing my taste to agents as "weirdo books" but I think it's just mess I'm drawn toward.
GIVE ME MORE MESSY CHARACTERS. Your chaotic, confused, careless teens who are flailing around and causing all sorts of problems as they try to get their shit together. #MSWL
I'm especially on the lookout for stories with trope-heavy plots and unbelievable voice that are informed by contemporary teen issues but not wholly centered around them. See: HOME AND AWAY by @candiceamanda and YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN!
ATMOSPHERE! Setting that feels like a character is a huge hook for me. I'm on the hunt for contained settings (like boarding schools, small island towns), quirky small towns, and stories with a strong sense of regionality. #MSWL
HUMOROUS VOICES! A lot of the contemporary I read and acquire has a witty/ funny narrator, and an author with a gift for humor (see: Cece in @SoniaHartl1's HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME). Please, please send me your funny books! #MSWL
Agents! I'm putting a HIGH priority on YA contemporary realism in my inbox right now! My tastes are more picky in realism than they are in spec-fic, so here's a list of what I'm really drawn to in this broad category... #MSWL
In speculative fiction, I'm looking more for folklore, magical realism, surrealism, cozy fantasy, light fantasy, and atmospheric fantasy with lush world building and gorgeous prose, than traditional high/ epic fantasy. #MSWL
As a Southern person, working at a Southern publisher, I'd love to find Southern stories—in everything from contemporary to genre fiction! Particularly BIPOC and/or queer southern stories! #MSWL
Ashley Hearn 🕷 Preorder FOREST OF SOULS (6/23)! @AshleyHearnI've officially updated my MSWL profile to reflect what I'm looking for at Peachtree Publishing! It's changed a bit—particularly regarding stories that skew toward the younger end of the YA market—so take note!
I'm especially on the lookout for high-concept stories w/ a standout voice, and strong coming of age themes that speak strongly to teen issues, without those issues defining the plot.
In all submissions, I'm prioritizing inclusive, diverse stories and marginalized voices. #MSWL
Some random/ very specific things:
1. A cheerleading book (Gay BRING IT ON)!
2. Gay BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM!
3. A story with a Type 1 Diabetic protagonist!
4. Stories like WEATHERING WITH YOU where climate/ weather is the antagonist!
Speculative fiction and with a lightly dystopian angle like WILDER GIRLS and WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE. Give me something so weird here it's impossible to fit in one category. #MSWL
Fantasy will always me my 💜. But I'm especially on the lookout for contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal right now. Examples: A BLADE SO BLACK, THE DEVOURING GRAY, and CEMETERY BOYS. #MSWL