What I’m Looking for in 2016

f2240bacec62ba2a118914720e348d97 The start of another year! You may be pleased to know that I am open to submissions again. I represent children’s literature exclusively. That is, I’m looking for picture books, chapter book series, middle grade novels and non-fiction, young adult novels and non-fiction, and graphic novels by author-illustrators.

Please make sure to follow my submission guidelines carefully, or your query will be deleted. You can find the guidelines on the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency website, as well as here on the blog, and down at the end of this post.

In particular, I am looking to represent the following things:

  • I would very much like a more diverse client list, so I invite and would like to encourage more people of color to query me.
  • I’m always looking for distinct voices, unique stories, and remarkable writing. It’s fine to be a newbie, because everyone has to start somewhere, but I’m looking for superlative writing.
  • I’m interested in character driven stories that don’t skimp on plot.
  • For MG and YA I like realistic contemporary, mystery, literary, historical fiction, speculative fiction and magical realism, science fiction that’s not too science-y, anything feminist (but no hating on boys), mythical re-tellings, and characters with some sass. As always, I’m partial to GLBTQ stories and authors.
  • I’d love an epistolary novel, and although I don’t usually represent short stories I’d also really like a series of linked short stories (like a MG or YA Olive Kitteridge.)
  • For picture books, I like funny, odd, voice-y stories. I’m not partial to rhyme (unless it’s fantastic), and I steer away from writing that’s too saccharine. I never take on new clients who don’t have more than one picture book manuscript, so although I don’t want you to pitch me more than one project at a time, please make sure you have other things you can show me if I ask.
  • I would like to see more non-fiction and narrative non-fiction for children. Think STEM and Common Core topics, but also specifically biographies, history, and weird topical interests.

I’m sure I’ll think of other things, as soon as I hit “publish,” but for now this is what I’d like to see coming into my in-box.

To query me, send a short, snappy, professional query letter with the first 20 pages of your manuscript in the body of your email. For picture books, please include the full manuscript in the body of the email. Do not send me an email asking me if it’s ok to query. Do not ask me in the comments section of this post whether <insert what you’re writing> would be something of interest to me. Put “Query” and the title of your manuscript in the subject line. Send it to QueryLindaEpstein (at) gmail (dot) com.

If you’re not sure if your manuscript is a good match for me, do your research. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, have been interviewed, and have blogged enough here that you can certainly get a sense of who I am and what I like.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “What I’m Looking for in 2016

  1. Very interested in viewing your wish list. Wondering what your expectation for multiple queries are. I have several completed manuscripts in YA, MG, and picture books. Have been writing for over 10 years and submitting less than a year so completed works have piled up. Should I wait for a response on one before I query another? Or can I submit individual queries at the same time? Thank you for your time.

  2. Pamela Grossman

    Thanks so much for this. I’ll be in touch as soon as I have everything together on my end!

  3. Pingback: What I’m Looking for in 2016 | Holly's Narrative Dream

  4. What a great wish list. I love it that you’re looking for more non-fiction and narrative non-fiction to fit in with STEM and Common Core topics.