My Manuscript Wishlist

Welcome, authors!

Please note, I’m closed for queries August 2017 through January 2018, with a few exceptions. Details here.

Now, if you’re curious about the sort of books I’m looking for, here’s my current manuscript wishlist, as of June 2017. You can check out my recent sales to get a sense of what I’ve worked on. I also have the kind of books I don’t want, listed at the bottom.

Note, just because what you’re writing isn’t on here, doesn’t mean I’m not interested in it (unless I say that, of course). If you think you’ve got something I might enjoy based on my tastes, send me a pitch! But please, send all pitches through the P.S. Literary submissions  email.

Also, I’m getting a lot of comments in here. And that’s fine! I love it! But if you have a pitch, email it to the agency submissions. I can speak for myself, sure. But not the rest of the team. Just because I say no, doesn’t mean someone else won’t want it. I won’t answer query specific requests in here, sorry!

You can find that contact information here: psliterary.com.

Young Adult: I’m eager to find bright, diverse new voices in YA. Send me any genre in YA. I read (and sometimes write!) YA frequently, so I’m fiercely passionate about YA books. You can also find me blogging about it on BookRiot, Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads, and Paste Magazine. If I talk about something on there, it means I love it.

I’d love to find more diverse sci-fi and fantasy YA. I’m a big fan of Tahereh Mafi, Kat Zhang, Justina Ireland, Zoraida Cordova, Renee Ahdieh, Ellen Oh, Sabaa Tahir, Melissa Grey, Courtney Alameda, and Sangu Mandanna. Zhang and Cordova’s debut trilogies helped get me into YA in the first place.

I also adore novels that genre blend, like Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly Series (fantasy, steampunk, zombies!), Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not (contemporary with a twist of sci-fi), and anything by Nova Ren Suma (magical realism and mystery!).

Oh, and I love a really good, contemporary read that will make me cry. I LOVE TO CRY, and frequently talk about that on Twitter. See books by Lauren Morrill, Lauren Gibaldi, Aisha Saeed, Jeff Zentner, Ashley Herring-Blake, Randy Ribay, David Arnold, or Rebecca Phillips. They can be sunny and happy, or tragic and heartbreaking. Or both!

And please, PLEASE send me your LGBTQ books. Hero by Perry Moore is one of my absolute favorites, and I’d love to get a geeky book in my inbox. See books like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Adam by Ariel Schrag, Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler, and Proxy by Alex London to get an idea of what I like. And the entire Robin Talley catalog. Every book she’s written.

Science Fiction & Fantasy: Looking for high fantasy and exciting sci-fi, new worlds that simply can’t be put down, but that also do a bit of genre blending. John Scalzi is probably the perfect example. Redshirts (sci-fi collides with pop culture) and Lock In (sci-fi smashed up with noir and mystery) are great comps for what I love. Also see Chuck Wendig’s entire publication history. I love a memorable voice in genre, and his is one of the best.

When it comes to wildly imaginative worlds, I adore the work of Cherie Priest, Fran Wilde, and Gail Carriger. I’m not limited to steampunk though, I just happen to love a good steampunk story.

Cookbooks: I’m particularly interested in cookbook ideas from bloggers. Do you have an awesome food blog with a growing audience? Can you take amazing photos? Are you an active part of the food blogger community? Let’s talk. I’m very open to helping develop ideas here, even if the book isn’t quite there yet.

Non-Fiction: When it comes to non-fiction, I’m interested in books that focus on pop culture, geekery, and/or teach readers about the odd and the unique. If you’ve ever picked up a book by Mary Roach, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Non-fiction that explains big ideas and large concepts in ways that are accessible, fun, and humorous.

I’m also interested in essay collections, particularly humor, though I’m open to anything that’s really compelling. Think Davy Rothbart. Give me your awkward confessions. Make me laugh.

Blog to Book Ideas: I would love to work with bloggers kicking around ideas for developing their blog into a book. Think your massively popular Tumblr deserves a fun hardcover gift book? Let’s discuss.

Literary & Commercial Fiction: Very open to and excited to read some adult literary fiction, especially anything contemporary with a rom-com twist (think Nick Hornby) or mystery / thrillers that touch on current affairs (think Jon McGoran).

I’m also very interested in literary fiction that does a bit of genre mashing. Think Station Eleven, The Last Policeman (one of my favorite books ever), or The Night Circus.

What I’m Not Looking For:

  • Middle Grade or Picture Books (pitch my colleague Maria!)
  • Angel & demon love stories, Heaven / Hell stories. I don’t like them.
  • Books that are far over 100k+. I can do 100k, but if you’re hitting those 150k+ numbers, I’m not right.
  • Non-fiction about sports or politics.
  • Thrillers about terrorism.
  • Horror novels. I like them, but I don’t know what makes a good one.
  • Anything comped as “Lovecraftian” (he was racist, not interested)
  • Anything comped to Orson Scott Card (if I have to explain this, we can’t work together)
  • Commercial fiction about sports (exceptions made for sports YA, I love sports YA!)

And there we have it. Send me your books. Have a pitch? Email me.

Comments

Robert magi
Reply

Listen, I have a book half written, 500 some odd pages, and I’m looking for an agent. It is a young adult apocalypse with an original twist on the zombie scene. Email me if you wish to talk, you’re my first (but not last by far) choice in agents.

eric
Reply

Hey thanks! If you want to send a pitch my way, the submission guidelines are on the P.S. Literary website. psliterary.com/submissions.html

Jo Ladzinski
Reply

Hello Eric!

I just read the profile Writer’s Digest did on you and I got a little excited. I’m not quite ready to query my new adult fantasy work yet just yet, but you’re definitely someone I am keeping on my radar.

High fives,
Jo

eric
Reply

Yay! Thanks Jo!

Todd
Reply

Can you suggest someone to help get my novel into submittal shape? I have writers ADD and I can’t seem to lasso the words back into the yard? I have many completed chapters but they’re on multiple devices, napkins, palms and the like… thoughts?
Congrats on the nuptial too!

eric
Reply

Hey thanks!

If you’re not in a writers group… join one! Peer review is incredibly useful when getting your novel into shape. There are also scores of freelance editors out there. My pal Katherine (katherinelockebooks.com) is fantastic, if she’s available. Spend some time Googling around! I’m sure you’ll be able to find somebody to work with.

Good luck!

Samantha
Reply

Eric,

I am so happy I stumbled across your page! I have been endlessly searching for a literary agent who shares my passion for young adult novels and considers them to be a serious form of literature. I will definitely query you soon!

Best,
Sam

eric
Reply

Awesome, thanks! :)

Young writer
Reply

Hi, I have a completed novel and I want to submit it to you. It’s about a young sorceress who has this obsession with an engaged guy, so she tries to break him and his fiancee up. Would you like to see it? It’s kinda similar to Shannon Hale’s work, if you’ve read it.
Also, do you have to have experience in the writing world to query you? I’m in junior high right now and I don’t have anything published yet.
Thank you!
A young writer
P.S. I’m part of Gail Carson Levine’s online blog community. Does that count as a writing group?

eric
Reply

Hi Young Writer!

I’d have to see a query if I’m going to know whether or not I’ll like it / want to read it. You can send me a pitch email via the P.S. Literary email, which you can find here on the agency website. I’ll keep an eye out for it! psliterary.com/submissions.html

Maybe? I’ve never checked it out. Sorry. Good luck! I’ll be on the watch for your email.

Eric

Brian McNatt
Reply

Hey Eric,

I’m writing up a query letter to send to you, and there’s something I’m unsure of. Previous agents I sent queries to requested a short sample of the story be included in the email. Do you need the same, or just the general introduction and overview as set out by the submission guidelines?

Thanking you for your time,
A hopeful writer

eric
Reply

Just what’s in the guidelines. Thanks Brian! :-)

psliterary.com/submissions.html

Kerron
Reply

Hi Eric,

Just stumbled across you on my search for an agent and we seem to be up each other’s ally. I finished my second book late last year and I’m looking to traditionally publish this one; I’ve sent a query email via P.S. Literary. Hopefully I pique your interest, enjoy your day.

Regards,
Kerron Streater

eric
Reply

Cool! Thanks for thinking of me! :)

Steven Garner
Reply

Hi Eric

My name is Steve Garner, I was wondering if you are interested in screenplay scripts? I have written a full screenplay script remake of the 1970′s series PROJECT BLUE BOOK. This original series was sort of a combination of “X Files” and Steven Spielberg “Taken”. The Series ran for a few season before being cancelled. However my version dives in a bit deeper involving a corrupt branch of the US government, global genocide conspiracy, terrorists and of course whats believed to be extraterrestrial beings.

Thanks Steven Garner

eric
Reply

Sorry Steven! Not doing screenplays. But thanks!

Jim Norman
Reply

Hey there Eric. Just wanted you to know that I submitted a query to you just now for my first novel, an epic action-adventure fantasy called Otherworld. Saw the Writer’s Digest blurb that described the kinds of works you’re looking for, and decided to reach out. I think you’d really enjoy this story. I hope you’ll give my query a good look, and that you’ll want to explore this imaginative world further. Thanks! Jim

eric
Reply

Awesome, thanks Jim! I’ll be sure to look for it, and I’ll be in touch if it seems right for me.

Sharon Wren
Reply

I just sent you a query letter -fingers crossed! Have a great day!

eric
Reply

Great, I’ll keep an eye out for it!

Young writer
Reply

Hi, Mr. Smith, I have a question. Do you have anything against stories based on other stories? Like The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Romeo and Juliet set in different time periods and countries?
Thanks!
Young writer (I’m actually only 14, but I have almost 2 completed manuscripts)

eric
Reply

Nope, not at all! There have been some wonderful retellings of classic stories done up as YA novels.

Cez
Reply

I have a question about word count. If you receive a high fantasy or fantasy fiction query with a 150 000 word count, will you consider it at all? Do you and your fellow agents have a word count limit. I read that the max for YA fiction was 150 000, is this correct?

Amber Riippa
Reply

I love your eagerness! Just sent my query to your attention. :)

Wes Peters
Reply

Hi Eric, are you interested in seeing YA dark fantasy queries? I just finished a novel that walks the line between fantasy and horror for younger readers. I’ll send you a query if this is a genre that interests you. Thanks for your time!

eric
Reply

Yup, feel free to query away!

Devin S.
Reply

Hi Eric,

I’m in the process of heavily researching agents and submitting queries. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate and love your energy and enthusiasm! It gives me great pleasure and relief to know that there are agents out there who take such pride in their work. Thanks for all that you do!

eric
Reply

Thanks Devin!

LULU JIANG
Reply

Hi Eric,
I have just sent you a query letter. It was not until I began to find myself an agent that I realized the difficulty of it. Just want you to know that you seem really a nice agent to me and I really, really want to work with you. And if sadly you want to turn me down, I will appreciate if you could give me some suggestions or a feedback. Really important to me!

eric
Reply

Thanks Lulu!

Young writer
Reply

Hi Mr. Smith, it’s Young Writer again.
Would you turn down a manuscript if there are books on that topic already published? I want to do Romeo and Juliet during the Holocaust (Romeo’s a Nazi and Juliet’s a Jew), but I know there are tons of books about the Holocaust already.
Thanks!

eric
Reply

I would not want that book. Sorry.

Zubin Erik Dutta
Reply

Hi, Mr. Smith!

I just sent you a query letter via PS Literary about my first novel. I queried you as you mentioned that you were looking for literary fiction that does a bit of genre mashing and thrillers that touch on current affairs. Mine does those things. It bears a resemblance to The Last Policeman, except it focuses on the complexities of terrorism and global conflict in the 21st century instead of a world coming to an end at the hands of a comet.

I hope you find it appealing!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

PS, I did not include the first chapter as I usually do, as I did not see that it was requested in the submission guidelines. I might have misread that, as I sometimes do.

eric
Reply

Cool thanks! I’ll look for it.

Nick J.
Reply

Hello Eric,

Are you interested in novellas?

eric
Reply

Not at the moment, sorry Nick!

writingqueen
Reply

Hi, like the Young Writer I am doing a Holocaust book, but it’s a YA rewrite of The Phantom of the Opera. Would you be interested?
Thank you!

eric
Reply

I’m not interested in any rewrites / re-imaginings involving the Holocaust.

writingqueen
Reply

Okay, I’ll keep looking for someone who is.

Bobbie Metevier
Reply

I have just queried you and am very excited based on this site and your #MSWL. Happy weekend!

Joe
Reply

Hi.

Are you into political themes? I have an epic fantasy novel that acts as a parody of the American political system. It also has multiple first person narrators, I am not sure if that will be a problem.

eric
Reply

Maybe? I’d have to see the query and manuscript to know. You can pitch via the agency website, listed above! I do like political books!

writingqueen
Reply

I do have another manuscript almost done. It’s a dark YA novel about some young Olympians who are involved in a judging scandal. There’s a lot of twisted romance and some of the characters start going mad. I can’t tell you all about it, but it would be nice if you could tell me whether you might want a peek at it.
Thanks,
Writingqueen (not my real name; my mother doesn’t like me putting personal info on sites)

eric
Reply

Maybe? When you have a finished manuscript to pitch, you can pitch it via the agent email. Instructions are here. psliterary.com/submissions.html

writingqueen
Reply

Thanks, I’ll send it as soon as I’m done tweaking it.

Cez
Reply

Hi Eric, I have a question about PSlitarary, not sure where to ask it. If I query one agent at PSliterary and get rejected, is that a rejection from all the agents, or do you allow writers to submit again, to a different agent?
I haven’t queried to your agency yet and I’m not sure which agent would be right for my work.

eric
Reply

Just pitch one agent at a time. A no from one is generally a pass from the team. We all see every email that hits that query email box:

“Please do not query multiple agents at the agency simultaneously – if you don’t receive a response to your query within 4-6 weeks it means a no from the agency.”

Carol
Reply

Hello Eric

This was my first and who knows how lucky a traditional fantasy writer could be – #pitchwasrs, will be putting aside all this mania to take up your dare. I would like to submit a query. Please keep an eye out for Tarkeenia, in all its glory and the characters who struggle amidst a world of chaos, and wild magic.

Thank you and cheers
Carol

Chris Billingsley
Reply

Hello Mr. Smith,
Loved reading your profile. So refreshing! I admire your passion for YA and would love to work with you. I think we have some every similar tastes. I am sending my query to you in a few minutes, and was hoping you’d keep an eye out for UNDER THE RAVEN’S WATCH. I think it will appeal to your inner fantasy side:)

I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and even modelled my opening chapters after STEELHEART. Hoping that you love it!

Thank you,

Chris

eric
Reply

Thanks! I’ll look for it!

eric
Reply

High Fidelity. :)

Caitlin
Reply

Hi Eric,

I sent a query but do you send a response to all or only the ones you’re interested in?

Thanks!

eric
Reply

If I’m interested, our submissions manager will drop you a note regarding sending the full manuscript over. I only respond to the ones I’m interested in, sorry!

Matthew Zellmer
Reply

You’re the first agent I’ve ever sent a query letter to! Sent it last week, hopefully it catches your eye. I just have to say when I was pouring over dozens of possible agents websites, all it took was glancing at yours to know it had to be you! I saw the supernatural gif and was immediately sold, I got a good laugh out of that. Hopefully I’ll talk to you soon! Thanks for your time!

eric
Reply

Awesome, thanks Matt! I’ll be sure to look for it.

Linnea
Reply

Hi! I sent you a query today for my novel CHARLEY’S DRAGONS. The language is best suited for NA fiction, although it is not a romance. I hope it works out for you! Thanks for posting!
-Linnea

eric
Reply

Great! I’ll look for it!

Timothy
Reply

Just to say I respect you for trying to answer all these comments. Especially the one from the jr. higher. That was touching.

eric
Reply

Thanks Tim. :)

A.S.
Reply

When does a novel go out of YA range? Is there subject matter that is too graphic? Trying to decide if I should market my novel as YA or not as most of the agents I like are YA.

eric
Reply

It’s all subjective. Couldn’t tell you. Really depends on what that is.

Have you ever been to Absolute Write? It’s a GREAT writers forum where you can bounce ideas off peers. Go check it out. Lots of great writers in there.

Eliza Scalia
Reply

Hello, I am just about to send you my query for my first novel, Death’s Assistant. I started writing this as a sophomore in high school and finished writing it in 2013, I finished editing it earlier this year. It is a young adult four-part series that I hope you will adore.
By the way I enjoyed the Star Trek reference in your Young and New Adult column, that put a smile on my face.

eric
Reply

Cool! I’ll look for it!

lawrence
Reply

Hello Eric!
Greetings from Africa, I saw your area of interest and profile, I don’t know if you have interest doing a work from Africa precisely with Igbo phylosophy; A self-help to revolutionalise youths of the generation without job. Already done with the manuscript just scaning for an agent interested in the matter. ‘THE VALUES OF FAILURE: THE MATTER MANY IGNORE’ is the title.
Kind regards.

eric
Reply

When it comes to non-fiction, I’m really looking for humor, memoir, essays, and pop-culture type stuff, so this might not be up my alley. But, if you query it to me, the rest of the agency also gets to check it out. I’d suggest looking at what my colleagues are on the hunt for too. psliterary.com/submissions.html

Eliza Scalia
Reply

Hello Mr. Smith, I sent you my query letter a few days ago and I just wanted to say that I hope you like my first novel Death’s Assistant. I’m also going to be applying for the “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest that I heard you are going to judging, I’m using the same novel for that. By the way I have sent you a message on this only a few days ago but it seems to have disappeared from the list of other messages. I don’t know if the last one sent correctly or not, that might need to get looked into just in case other people’s responses are getting lost.

eric
Reply

Great, thanks!

Didn’t get lost. I just don’t approve comments on here every day. Best way to get a query to me is just emailing the address I mention up above. I see ‘em all! :)

shaik abdulla
Reply

heya,am working on a poetry book with illustrations with a painter, and am halfway through it,so thought of stopping by and asking where can i pitch the concept of poetry book with illustrations to a literary agents whose area of interest is poetry, will you please suggest me few literary agents to address this. #much_love

eric
Reply

I wouldn’t know, sorry!

Rose
Reply

Hello Eric,
I’m currently fine tuning my first adult fantasy novel and looking to begin the agent query process. You’re at the top of that list due to the types of fiction interests you have listed in your profile. I do have a couple of general questions. Do you have a minimum or maximum word count you would be willing to look at? Would you be willing to consider the first book of an epic fantasy series? I’ll be sending the detailed novel pitch in the near future.

eric
Reply

Hi Rose! Thanks! :)

Word count constraints… not really? If the work is good enough, that shouldn’t matter. Revisions can always happen later. If it’s more than 100k+, that does generally send me running, but again, revisions are a thing. And as long as the book stands on its own apart from the series, yes.

Phebe
Reply

Hey,
I wanted to know if it’s ok for a YA Fantasy novel to be in the word range of 49,000 words.

eric
Reply

I think so. Guess it depends on the book. Generally you wanna try to hit that 55k number, but if the work is powerful enough as is, I’m not sure it’s a problem. The Outsiders is only 48k, ya know. :) Not fantasy, but still. An example.

Heather Hill
Reply

Hi Eric, I simply landed here while researching you and wanted to say how great your website is. What I can’t find out is how to subscribe? This is a WordPress platform (like my own) isn’t it? I just ticked ‘notify me of new posts by email and am now anticipating a stream of messages containing people’s comments here… ouch! Do let me know if I have got this all wrong and am now a site administrator :-D

eric
Reply

Thanks! I should probably make that an option. I’ll work on it. :)

Kaylee Streets
Reply

I stumbled across your page today and I’m so glad I did! I’ve written a manuscript and have been looking for a publisher for my YA fantasy novel called Discovery. It’s about a young creature named Erie who is just a normal teen vamipre/werewolf/faire mutt trying to get through school until one day something changes. And that change set off a whole chain of events leading her to discover the truth about her past and who she really is. I submitted a query through the pl link and I hope you like what you see!!!

eric
Reply

Cool, I’ll be sure to look for it!

Mila
Reply

Hey,
Can I know your query status? Till what date have you reviewed queries ?
Thanks :)

eric
Reply

Sorry, feel free to follow up with your query via email. I don’t want to open those floodgates of folks asking about query statuses on my personal blog.

I will say that if I’m interested in reading something, I almost always get back relatively quickly.

Zoya
Reply

Hi eric
Do you like dragons?

eric
Reply

I’ve got a heart, don’t I? :)

Zee Crawford
Reply

Hi Eric

Under my spec fic pen name I wrote a New Adult sci-fi adventure/romance based on the beliefs of the Kuna Indians of Panama. It was published for 3 months by a small romance e-publisher before they went bust. (Name and sales info provided upon request). Would you consider representing a previously published novel if it tickled you? It’s quirky that way! :)
Thank you,
Zee

eric
Reply

Couldn’t say unless I read it, really. Feel free to query though!

Going from small press to a bigger place, it can be tricky sometimes. But two things generally help. One, writing so amazing that it doesn’t really bother the publisher, agent, etc. Or two, fantastic sales and press. As long as you have one of those things, you should be able to find someone for your book, I’m sure. Good luck! :)

Gigi
Reply

Is romance really important in all your novels you are looking forward to represent? Say for YA (14) if there is not much romance would you still consider it ?

eric
Reply

Not really? Romance doesn’t HAVE to be in everything. I do like to cry and swoon, but it’s not a must. I’d love to see YA reads that are more about friendship and family, and less about the love story.

Jenna
Reply

Can 14+ be YA ?

eric
Reply

14+ is YA, Jenna! :)

Angela Sargenti
Reply

If I have pitched another agent at your agency and been rejected, is it still all right to pitch you?

eric
Reply

If it sounds like something I’d like, go for it.

Justin
Reply

Hello, Eric, I just wanted to throw a friendly heads up your way that I submitted my cold query letter to your specified email, for a fantasy genre novel I’ve written. I hope to hear from you!

Have a great weekend!

-Justin

eric
Reply

Great! If it feels like something for me, I’ll drop you a line!

Rose
Reply

Hi Eric,
I hope the holidays find you in good health and good spirits. The fantasy manuscript I mentioned in an earlier post is finished at last. A query letter regarding that manuscript has been sent your way as promised. I look forward to hearing from you if it tickles or even pickles your interest.

Have a great holiday. =D

eric
Reply

Cool, thanks! I’ll definitely email you if it’s something that’s right for me.

AHowitt
Reply

I saw your tweet about PitMad and an really sad I missed out on that. Anyways, I write gritty fantasy romance, is that something that might appeal to you? It certainly is genre-mashing–fictional world with dragons and magic, flawed grayscale characters, and raw and awkward romance. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s certainly mine. Just wondering whether you might be interested or if you’d consider it a waste of your time.

eric
Reply

Couldn’t say! I’d have to see the query and full pitch. Feel free to drop me a line at the agency, or check to see what everyone else there is into. Might be a better fit for Kurestin.

Doug Williams
Reply

You must be a Saint to put up with all these questions that writers should already know. You would be a cool agent to have, maybe I’ll query. Thanks for your compassion, the agent search can be defeating.

eric
Reply

Aw, thank you Doug! I appreciate that. :)

JCEMB
Reply

I actually found this blog of yours over the summer when I was looking up agents that I might seek out when I finish my work! It’s my plan to finish the manuscript this year, but after reading through your wishlist I really think it’s something you’ll like. I’m kind of defying genres a little but I consider it a fantasy that will appeal to young adults, and I’m a big fan of Brandon Sanderson’s style of storytelling. Just wanted to drop you a line – if all goes well you may see my official query come summer!

eric
Reply

Awesome! Thanks for thinking of me. I do love me some Sanderson.

Jeremy Szal
Reply

Thanks so much for this Eric!

My next novel isn’t quite done yet, but it will be soon and I’ll definitely hit you up shortly. Hopefully something can be worked out!

Thuy-Anh
Reply

Hi Eric,
It took me half a year to finish a 150k word manuscript and it feels like I finished a marathon (feeling exhausted but definitely accomplished). The story’s a YA Asian historical fantasy about a headless boy, an ex-monk, and an exiled princess on a quest to resolve their respective existential crises through a world of 4 kingdoms based on China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. Shapeshifters, mythical creatures, and animal gods abound. Literary influences include Brian Jacques’s “Redwall” series, CS Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia,” Sean Russell’s “The Initiate Brother”, Guy Gavriel Kay’s “Under Heaven,” and Barry Hughart’s “The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox.” Would you be interested in something like this?

eric
Reply

Cool! Thanks for thinking of me! Couldn’t say, unless I saw the query and more details in my inbox. One unsolicited tip though, 150k seems like a LOT for a YA novel. Most are in the 65k to 80k range. Epic fantasy, sure 100k is fine. Just be careful when you’re querying. Some good advice here: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/word-count-for-novels-and-childrens-books-the-definitive-post

Sorry, can’t really say yes or no to queries here on my site. If I start doing that, I’ll get too many comments. :)

Mathew Iozzi
Reply

Hi!
I’m a new author, and have a completed Middle Grade novel. It’s an original take on a very popular period of time for writing- World War II. The entire novel takes place around a war dog and his trainer on the Pacific Front in the Marine Corps. It’s 231 pages long, and has an illustration for each chapter heading. Would you be interested in this novel? Even though it doesn’t have a romance subplot, it’s been a hit with my ten test readers across all ages. I would send a query to you, but I wanted to know if you would be interested first. I believe that the unique perspective of this novel would be something completely new on the literary front.

eric
Reply

Sounds awesome! I’m not doing middle grade, but other people at the agency are. Feel free to look them up!

Mathew Iozzi
Reply

OK, thank you for your input. I’ll definetly follow up with another agent at P.S. Literary.

Rick George
Reply

Hi, Eric. I noticed your wish for “thrillers that touch upon current events” from a week ago. I queried you just such a book Nov. 27th. The villains closely resemble the militia types who’ve taken over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, except that my villains are more lethal and the stakes for the protagonist are much higher. My pitch for this book at a major conference this past summer took first prize in a contest judged by agents and editors.

eric
Reply

Cool! If it seems up my alley, I’ll drop you an email.

Maureen
Reply

Hi Eric,
I have been working on my first novel for awhile now, but am finally ready to start sending it out and would like to forward you my query
I am just sending you a heads up that I will be submitting it today
It is a fantasy, romance based novel, filled with deception, murder and the destruction of a young family through unspeakable crimes against humanity
I look forward to hearing from you
Kind regards
Maureen

eric
Reply

Great, I’ll keep an eye out for it! If it seems up my alley, I’ll drop you an email.

Maureen
Reply

Great, thank you
I hope to hear from you

Shivi
Reply

Hi Eric, Not sure if you are still looking for blog to book ideas and cookbooks. I blog life and recipes and I am looking for ways to weave my stories and recipes together. Would love your input.

eric
Reply

I am! Couldn’t say anything here though. Then everyone will want query tips / manuscript stuff. :)

You can query the idea to the agency box, linked up above! I will say, if you’ve got a nice following, write about a niche topic in terms of recipes (ie: a single subject cookbook idea), and take lovely food photos, that’s a definite plus.

Joan Dempsey
Reply

Hey Eric,
I’m not the writer for you but I’m excited to have learned about The Last Policeman, which I just started to read on your recommendation – got immediately hooked. Can’t wait to read it.
Thanks for that!
Happy Friday, and keep up the good agenting! :)
Cheers.

Young Writer
Reply

Dear Mr. Smith,
I’m working on a sci-fi novel about a psychic girl who loses her memory. It’s inspired by Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. It’s not completed yet, but when it is, would you be interested? Thank you!

eric
Reply

I can’t say yes until I see a full query. You can send that over to the agency here: psliterary.com/submissions.html

Ro
Reply

Hi,
I have just started querying around the place for my YA fantasy novel which is 115k words.
Is this length ok, or would you reject something of this length (even if it’s awesome)?
;-)

eric
Reply

Couldn’t say unless I saw the query and heard what the story is about, but yeah, 115k is a bit long.

Miranda
Reply

Are you LGBTQ friendly? I noticed while the other agents specifically mentioned it, you did not. My main character is pansexual.

eric
Reply

Sure am!

Miranda
Reply

Thank you for replying back so quickly. I have a few more questions to ask.

1) How do you feel about first person novels?

2) I have a few chapters that I wrote for my story that are not in my main characters point of view. One is in his sister’s, one in his twin brother’s, and one in his best friend’s point of view. As a primarily one POV story, do you believe that this may take away from the flow of the story? Or would it build on the story having to see my main character, as well as the plot itself, from an outside point of view?

3) What grabs your attention most when reading a query? Number of words, title, genre, synopsis, etc.

4) In the query, would you like me to reveal the end of my book? Or would you rather I not reveal the details? I plan on making a sequel.

5) After reading the submission guidelines, I noticed that it said nothing about sending in a portion or first chapter of a manuscript along with the query. So you would prefer if we didn’t?

eric
Reply

I can’t really offer up details critiques and stuff in comments here, Miranda. Sorry! I’ll end up with too much of that.

My tastes should show you I dig first person books (everyone does!), and shifting POV is fine. Don’t spoil the book. Whatever the sub guidelines are, just go with them. :-)

Joe
Reply

Since I do not see Martin, Abercrombie, or Neil Gaiman on your fantasy list I am wondering if brutality is a deal breaker?

eric
Reply

Nope, it’s fine.

Maureen
Reply

Hi Eric
I sent in my query a few weeks ago
Was wondering if you had a chance to review as of yet

eric
Reply

Sorry, can’t respond to queries here. I’ll get way too much of that if I do. I’ll look for it in my inbox, and if I’m interested you’ll hear back. :-) Thanks!

Maureen
Reply

Thank you, I appreciate it

Carolyn
Reply

Would you be willing to take a look at a well-reviewed self-published book? I’m looking for an agent for current and future work (sequels and more). I have received good reviews for my work and have small but growing following. Here is link to my novel on Amazon:
http://amzn.to/1WZVQWz

I’m happy to send you a copy.

eric
Reply

Maybe? If sales are good, the prose is good (obviously!), and it’s gotten some press, I’d maybe take a look. Can’t confirm interest in here though. Feel free to query!

Megan
Reply

Hi Eric,
Do you consider YA urban fantasy?

eric
Reply

Sure.

Garret Schuelke
Reply

Hey Eric,

Just sent you an email containing the proposal about my short story collection, Whup Jamboree. Hope to hear from you soon!

Cheers,
Garret Schuelke

eric
Reply

Cool! If I’m into it, I’ll have the agency request the manuscript.

Bex
Reply

Hi Eric,
I’m currently working on a kids sci-fi adventure aimed at 9+ but also have several picture books drafted and a YA dystopia/coming of age novel fully formed in my head and in the research/getting to know all the characters stage. Does an editor represent the novel or the author? Would I approach a new editor for each genre? I’m probably making life hard for myself having several novels in the air at the same time but the characters wont leave me alone! Thank you for your time answering this, much appreciated.

eric
Reply

Hi Becky.

You mean agent? Ideally your potential agent is invested in you and your entire career, not just one book. Everyone works different through. I’d suggest just focusing on that one sci-fi adventure middle grade book, putting your energy into that, and worry about those other projects down the line. While researching agents, look for folks who represent a lot of stuff. :)

Good luck!

Bex
Reply

Eric, thanks for replying so promptly. Yes, you’re right I meant agent. Wrote that in the early hours after reading a lot on here and twitter. Have been following you for a while on the twitasphere, where your genuine love of literature, positivity & support for writers lead me here. Thanks for the advice (you are spot on, no doubt). Will crack as suggested. May be in touch… eventually.

Christopher Worman
Reply

Hi Eric,
I read your profile here, as well as on the P.S. Literary Agency website, and thought you might be interested in my work. I’m the author of THE AMULETS OF PAX AND SALUS: THE TALE OF A SMITH, a young adult, high fantasy novel. I wanted to reference you to my website, https://amuletsofpaxandsalus.wordpress.com/, as a brief overview (Similar to a back-cover copy) and the prologue through the first three chapters are available in the title menu. I look forward to any input you have, and am happy to submit an official query to P.S. Literary Agency if necessary. Have a great day!

eric
Reply

Hi Chris. If you want to query me, send something on over through the site. Thanks!

BrittanyB
Reply

Hey! So, is YA dystopia really dead? What do you think? Thanks!

eric
Reply

The world is always going to suck, and people are always going to want to see that reflected in the books they read. Not dead.

Dystopian novels have been around forever. 1984. Brave New World. Fahrenheit 451. Anyone who tells you it’s a trend that is dying off doesn’t read.

Trick is, figuring out how to make yours DIFFERENT than what’s out there right now.

AlanBrooke
Reply

Eric they’re coming, you and I may survive. Together we may save the educated in this world. We must find food and shelter!!! Please, read my pitch and lead me in the rescue of mankind. I’m so scared.

PJ Wentzel`
Reply

YA High Fantasy with five MC’s including POC, LGBTQ, neurodiverse MC’s requiring extra world/character building due to diversity of MC’s – will a length of 100K get this rejected out of hand?

eric
Reply

Probably not. Depends on how good the query is. :) I’ll watch for it, thanks!

Katie
Reply

Hello Eric. May I query? I have a completed MS for Adults,95 k, contemporary lit-lite/genre mashup. Grieving young policeman Sunny has the Sight and is distraught seeing the ghost of his little brother Freddy, drowned in circumstances for which Sunny cannot forgive himself. Until Freddy is at peace, Sunny can’t move on, but what can he do? Meanwhile there is the day-job, an ex-soldier who wages a private war on Sunny, and a girl; the ambulance driving Petra, but Freddy comes first. Regards, Katie

eric
Reply

Can’t really answer queries here, or everyone will start that, sorry! And it’s too short a query for me to know anything about the story or you as an author in such a small space, you know?

Agency submissions details are here: http://www.psliterary.com/submissions/

Katie
Reply

Thank you…will do, sorry for the confusion. That wasn’t meant as a query, but was asking re permission to query, not to clog up your in-box if this kind of subject matter/genre mashup was a total non-starter.

Sam
Reply

Question, what would you say is the defining difference between New Adult and Young Adult? I have seen many different articles and yet very few agents looking for “New Adult”.

Elayne
Reply

Hi Eric,

I tried querying you at query@psliterary.com, but the email bounced. I tried a second time, with the same result. Is my email acting strangely, or is there an issue with the address listed in the submissions guidelines on the PS Literary site?

Thanks!

eric
Reply

I let the team know. Shouldn’t be bouncing. Try again later, or use my personal email in my contact section.

Will White
Reply

Eric, I feel like a fool. I just sent a query letter addressed to you through PSLiterary but got ahead of myself and didn’t proof read it. Sure enough, there are two typos in the opening paragraph. I’m sorry, Eric. I’ve let you down, I’ve let myself down, but worst of all I’ve let down Mr Towsnsend, my old English teacher.

I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

eric
Reply

A little typo isn’t going to stop me from reading the query letter Will. :) Don’t worry.

Svelte Lady
Reply

Hi Eric!
Question. If a full manuscript was under consideration by you or an agent at your agency, but in the meantime I wrote another book I thought you or that agent would also like (or maybe like even better) should I query it? Advice???

eric
Reply

I’m sure that would be fine. Don’t pitch two agents at the same place though. I’d just nudge the same one again.

Svelte Lady
Reply

Thank you for your response, Eric! I will nudge the same one :)

Kat
Reply

Hi Eric,

I was just reading your interview with Smith Publicity. Are you still looking for
“weird to read, that’s hard to classify”? I have a genre-mashing manuscript that’s a little on the wackadoodle side, and it’s looking for a home.

Also, if you like a manuscript, would you overlook a word count higher than 100K? Mine is 120K, but I’ve read that sci-fi and historical fiction can be longer than other types of fiction. Thank you for giving us your time. :)

eric
Reply

Always looking for weird stuff, yup.

The query would have to absolutely amazing, but yes, I’d consider something over 120k. But again, premise has to be awesome and unique to rope me in. Thanks!

Ken Cole
Reply

Eric–

Does a mix of memories and incidents from history (Civil War, First World War, early 1970s war resitance, 1985) and a literary family saga constitute a mash-up of genres for you? If so, I have a story in which a thirty-something couple refuses to be defined by the sins of their fathers.

eric
Reply

Couldn’t say unless I saw the full query, sorry! Sub details are on the P.S. Literary site. Thanks!

Eric Street
Reply

Eric,
I was scheduled to attend the Hampton Writer’s Conference and pitch you there. However, a family emergency prevented me from attending. I know one of your clients, A.Orloff, and he highly recommends you. I think we could be an excellent match. Are you open to me trekking to see you and making a pitch over a beer or two? My website is listed above. I did query you through usual channels but I really want to pitch in person. Let me know. Take care,
Eric

eric
Reply

Hey Eric! Alan is such a great guy. Just send a query on over through the agency submissions email and I’ll keep an eye out for it. :)

Eric Street
Reply

Eric, thanks, already have. One of my novels (A series actually) has a gimmick/construct that is new and innovative. Is there a way to send the first chapter as an attachment to you for your perusal so that you will know what I am doing? It has illustrations and will have video once I have an agent who will “go to the mats for me.” The book is written to play off of both of those. The version I have is for ebook and also for limited print. A second version would be for regular print. I had hoped to show you this at the conference. Let me know how to proceed. Let’s keep the rest of this off this board. Here is my email ericstreet99@aol.com
Take care.

Eric Street
Reply

Okay I sent you the chapter with all illustrations to the usual query address. It is in two emails and I hope you take a serious look at it. Let me know if there is some other way to get this to you.
Eric

Cynthia
Reply

Hi Eric,
I have written a chapter book series and I have several picture book manuscripts as well. Would you be interested in both chapter books and picture books for children?

eric
Reply

Congrats Cynthia! Unfortunately I don’t do chapter or picture books. But good luck with these!

Jamie Wahl
Reply

Hello! I LOVE your wishlist, and I think my New Adult Urban Fantasy will fit right in. I’ve trolled through the FAQs over on the P.S. Literary site but can’t find the answer I’m looking for. We self-published over on amazon about a year ago, and while we’ve done well for first-timers, and gotten good reviews (five stars WHAT!), we just aren’t savvy enough to get seen. We’re looking into other options. Would you be willing to work with an author who has just a little Hippie Publishing regret?

Thank you for your time!

Roll for initiative,
Jamie Wahl

eric
Reply

Couldn’t say unless I saw the query / details about the book in my inbox. Sorry!

Jenny
Reply

Mr. Smith,

I am contacting you because I see some of your interests are the same as mine. I have never published a book before and currently halfway through mine (excluding the editing I need to make before I send it off). The book I’m currently writing has the following genre’s; drama, self help and hints of humor, romance and mystery. The entire book is a novel that’s meant for teens and older.

You are so far my first choice who meets all to most of the requirements that I can relate to. Please let me know if you are interested or not into taking this discussion any farther. If so, I will email P.S Literary.

Thank you. :)

eric
Reply

Can’t say unless I see the actual query in my inbox, sorry! Feel free to query me when the book is done though. You can find query details here on the agency website. psliterary.com

Sarah Ulery
Reply

I’m a young adult who writes YA, and I love your approach to the genre! I’m encouraged by your online presence and interaction, so I’ll be sure to query my novel soon!

eric
Reply

Yay! I’m glad. :)

David Rice
Reply

Thank you for this list: it is an immense help to writers looking for representation. If more agents did this it would make the process much easier.

I will send a query, attn: Eric Smith.

eric
Reply

My pleasure!

Line Barre
Reply

Hello, M. Eric.
Do you also work with translated French authors ?
If not, is there any other agent at PSLA who does ?
(But I would rather prefer you…)
Thank you,
Line
(We just translated a french written numeric blockbuster.)

eric
Reply

I represent three authors who aren’t in the US, one in the UK, two in Canada. :) I’m definitely open to working with international authors.

David Ellis Dickerson
Reply

I have a query ready in response to your #mswl tweet seeking humor essays from an author with a platform. (Mine’s This American Life/NPR.) But I also read an article saying that agents are insanely busy until the third week in January, putting out fires and dealing with backlog. So for best results, should I send you the query tomorrow, or wait until the 17th? I tend to eat marshmallows immediately, myself, but thought I’d ask for your preference.

eric
Reply

I’ve got no fires. You’re welcome to send away. :) If I’m into it, I’ll follow up!

David Rice
Reply

Your web site says to wait until January 3rd. :-)

Nick Binge
Reply

Thanks so much for this Eric. It’s lovely when you can see what an agent is looking for. I’m delighted to hear you are keen on high fantasy and exciting new worlds.

I have just sent you a query through the PS Literary email. I hope you get a chance to read it.

eric
Reply

Thanks! If it sounds like something for me, I’ll drop you a line!

David Rice
Reply

It’s January Third…. expect 870 emails…..

David Rice
Reply

I sent a query letter an hour ago. :-) I did not explain why I think Eric might like the MS, but to tell the truth it’s his facial hair…..

Kim
Reply

Hi Eric, Thanks for this updated list. Always great to see an agent’s current wish list. You and I tweeted back and forth in December right before the Christmas holiday and I sent my query. It’s a Brontesque Gothic fantasy set in the late 18th century that you could find on the shelf next to Soulless, I think. If this one isn’t for you, then I should have INBETWEEN ready soon. It’s a YA dark fantasy about a teen who paints images that ghosts walk out of and more. You asked to see the polished version after reading the first 5 pages when I took a bootcamp with Maria Vicente some time ago. In your notes you said you’d be happy to see it when it was finished. By “welcome checking it out” did you mean you wanted me to send the full manuscript or a partial? Thanks!

eric
Reply

Not answering query questions in here Kim, sorry! You can follow up in an email though! If it’s a query that I’m interested in, I’ll request more.

rollie nelson
Reply

So. I have aspirations to be a famous writer. And you’ll be happy to know that I’m not writing you because I just finished my first one. I’ve been working on my skills on wattpad. Of course those stories are probably useless to you. Don’t trip I got plenty of unpublished stuff for an agent to see. But would it be entirely inappropriate of me to include a link to a google doc’s file that contains say a couple dozen short stories that have felt the moist peepers of the public before.

Having never published anything beyond wattpad before and I kinda have to assume that this, being my very first attempt, will end in utter failure. But I have to make the effort, or I am nothing in my own eyes.

I like to push the limitations of our knowledge envelope in the sci fi i write. But its not the only genera that I dabble in. My personal favorite sci fi authors are Heinlein, Niven and Clark. I don’t do romance that well and if my hero/heroine/other falls in love the ship in question will most likely have really big thrusters. Some of my ending tend to be a bit dark. And I’ve been known the bend a sub-genre or two. But my first love is the epic stuff.

Sooo…do you want to take a ride?

eric
Reply

Hey there Rollie! If you’ve got a book you’d like to query my way, the submissions email address is on the agency website.

http://psliterary.com/submissions

Don’t paste a link in here, you don’t want everyone able to access that.

Good luck querying!

Brian McBride
Reply

Hello,
For the longest time it’s been a dream of mine to become a published author. More than that, though, I want to move people. I want my stories, many of which are birthed out of my own life story, to move people out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. I write as I raw as possible and I push the boundaries as far as I can go. I write about depression, mental illness, rape, suicide, self-harm, friendship, romance, heartbreak, betrayal, sexuality – anything and everything that real-life people go through.

I’ve been through a lot in my life. I’m a survivor of sexual assault, of suicide and mental illness and self-harm. I’ve seen a lot of darkness in this world. But I’ve seen a lot of light too. I’ve endured. And that’s the story I want to share with the world.

I wrote a novel a while back entitled Love and the Sea and Everything in Between and I shared it to Wattpad about a year ago with great aspirations of becoming a Wattpad sensation. While I’ve touched a lot of lives this way with nearly a quarter of a million reads and a Wattys Award, I’m beginning to think that my story may never reach as many people as I feel it should. This story is raw and real to me and so many people have reached out to me to tell me how it turned their lives upside down. To me, there’s no greater joy. But how can I take this story further?

In general, what is a literary agent’s opinion of books shared through Wattpad? I’m currently querying this book to a couple dozen agencies, but I want to present it in the best possible light. If you’re willing, I’d love to pitch my novel to you.

All the best,
Brian M.

eric
Reply

Hey there Brian!

Thanks for your comment and sharing your story with me. Writers telling stories through the lens of their own experiences are so very important, and I’m glad you are out there doing it. It’s so brave. Never stop.

As for Wattpad, I can’t really give a great answer on this one. I like Wattpad, and I’ve definitely read some books from there, like Ali Novak’s awesome YA contemporary novels and that AMAZING series The Summoner. So there are definitely agents out there who work on it.

Maybe the best approach is to look up the agents of authors who published on wattpad and then went the traditional route? Here’s a list that could be a decent start. https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/39595.Published_Books_from_Wattpad

Good luck!

J.Brooks
Reply

I’m a bit unclear if you are interested in books that fall in the new adult genre. My book would be considered new adult/romance and I was wondering if that is a genre you are interested in?

eric
Reply

I do like New Adult / romance books! Feel free to query away.

Vanessa
Reply

Shucks, I see that once you’ve submitted a particular book to anyone at your agency, it’s an automatic no from all. :( Wish I’d saved my query for you.

eric
Reply

An author I signed previously queried another agent at P.S.

Generally it’s a no, sure. But sometimes stuff slips by. We miss things. No one is going to jail if you send another query. :)

Vanessa
Reply

Wow! I guess the main reason I am nervous is because the title of my book stands out tremendously and I thought for sure I’d be black balled from ever querying at PS again! It was 8 months ago, so I’ll give it a go. Thanks!

Tayla
Reply

Hey Eric,
Would you be interested in a blended mystery/light science fiction, YA novel?
If so, i’ll shoot you through a query.
Thanks,
Tayla :)

eric
Reply

Can’t say unless I saw a query, sorry! I do like all genres of YA though.

Line Barre
Reply

Hello, M. Eric.
If we already send you a query, but weren’t following the guidelines, can we send you another one that will… Or are we automatically out?
(You’re still our first choice.)

And what, exactly, makes you smile or shuts you off in a query letter?
Are there specific points that we should take care?

Thank you.
(Sorry for my french accent…)

eric
Reply

Hey there Line!

I wouldn’t worry. I’m more concerned about a good story than I am about a query letter that doesn’t look perfect. If it looks like something I’m interested in, I’ll certainly respond.

I think a good query letter, to quote an agent pal of mine, talks about the hook, the book, the cook, nice and quick. So… the hook, a quick blip about what makes it so great (“it’s Michael Crichton meets Jane Austen!”), the book, a paragraph or two summing up the story, and the cook, YOU. :)

Line Barre
Reply

Thank you for that second chance, M. Eric.
We will soon send you the new “Yianna” query.
And I hope, for both of us, that you will like it.

Thank you again,
Line and Louis
P.-S. Is it okay if we add some literary critics comment at the end of the letter?

eric
Reply

Cool, I’ll look for it. And it’s okay. I don’t really care what other people have said.

Line Barre

Thanks again for that second chance.
(We appreciate it a lot even if you didn’t like our query for Yianna…)
Louis, Line and Manon.

Eric Johnson
Reply

Eric, I’m a food blogger that does what no one else does. I combine a chef’s love of food with a story teller’s love of tall tales. I write the Folklore Food Blog where I serve up, Tales from The Cook. The stories are fantastical tales of imaginary historical events of past and present, revealing the truths of how we are transformed by food, and my own tested recipes. I have 308 blog followers and 28k twitter followers. Check it out, if it interests you.

eric
Reply

Cool, thanks for sharing Eric! If you have a book idea in there, feel free to query me! Details are here: psliterary.com/submissions

Brian
Reply

If you pass on a query does it typically mean its a pass from everyone or no? Thanks for the information.

eric
Reply

Generally yes. The whole agency reads all the queries that come in. But you know, it’s not like anyone goes to jail for sending another query to someone else down the line. :)

Naeem Noorani
Reply

Hi Eric,
Would something that combines historic fiction with fantasy be of interest?
Thanks!
Nick

eric
Reply

Possibly! I’d have to see the query (in my inbox, not in comments please!) to say for sure. :)

Jill
Reply

Hi Eric,
What is the right length for MG and YA? I know MG is not for you, so it’s a general question. Is 70K for MG too long? What about YA? Is there a limit?

Thank you!

Kat
Reply

Hi Eric,
I’ve read that omniscient narrators aren’t exactly flavor of the month right now. How do you feel about them? And would it depend on how the writer handles it in the manuscript; for example, a quiet, unobtrusive one vs. an over-the-top one?
Thank you for all you do. :)

eric
Reply

Hi Kat!

I’d take any advice like that with a grain of salt, as they say. Remember, it’s all subjective and based on tastes. Some agents like first person, others don’t. Some like stories told in verse, others don’t. Doesn’t make something better or worse. It’s all just taste.

Me, I don’t like narrators who know everything? Makes it hard to believe the stakes. But, again, subjective. It would depend on how the book handled it.

Leslie Acord
Reply

Hello Eric!

My novel is New Adult, Romance, Sci-Fi and Magical, i.e. Special powers, humans and extra-terrestrials coexisting and falling for one another. First in a series for sure! However book one focuses more on character and relationship establishment, with reveal of ET race. Future books in series would be where the majority of the Sci-Fi info would blossom. I noticed you didn’t mention romance in the about wishlist. Any chance you’d be willing to take a look? Don’t want to waist your precious time. :)

Thanks,
Leslie Acord

eric
Reply

Couldn’t say unless I saw the query, sorry! I do like sci-fi that’s voice-driven though. If yours does that, query away.

Maja
Reply

Hi Eric, do you think P.S. would be interested in an international research about yoga and social change? Nonfiction. Idea driven. Reads like fiction.

Maja
Reply

Thank you, maybe Curtis or Carly would like it. It’s both eclectic and holistic – global yoga phenomenon as a mirror of social relations…an intuitive research, over 100 contributors from all continents and walks of life; a mosaic of ‘Sociology Of The Present’ made of inspiring true stories, not easy to define a genre :) It’s many in one: journalism, religion, history, politics, lifestyle, sport, health, wellness, philosophy, psychology, art, education, women empowerment, social issues/social change, pop-culture, holistic sociology/pop-science, personal narrative… It may sound ‘crazy’ or ‘scary’ to potential agent, right? Should I just say ‘creative nonfiction’? Thank you for your kindness.

eric
Reply

Not scary, I’d just narrow it down so it sounds like you’re positive about your genre, you know? Creative nonfiction sounds good. Good luck!

Maja
Reply

Yes! Creative nonfiction, social issues & pop-culture. Thank you. (Preparing proposal…)

Hadar
Reply

Hi Eric,

Thank you so much for sharing all these useful tips and information with us :)

Two small questions, please:

1. As NA is a relatively new age group, many agents don’t really talk about it much. I know it’s all about YA now, but I feel that my debut contemporary humorous magical realism novel is not really a YA novel, but rather a NA one (although the co-protagonist is a talking rabbit, which turns it into a genre blend ;) ). I know some of the agents at P.S. Literary are interested in YA (including yourself), but it’s not clear if NA could also be relevant.

2. I read the submission guidelines of P.S. Literary and there I saw we are only to add a query letter to our submission. In addition, it’s written that no MS attachments are allowed (unless requested), but what about pasting sample chapters? Should we only send a query letter and nothing else? Could it be? I didn’t see any specs as to *pasting* sample pages of the MS.

Thank you so much in advance for your help and time!

All the best,

Hadar.

eric
Reply

Hi there Hadar!

1. There are a few agents who do NA, sure. I’m… not quite sure I’d take a NA book about a talking rabbit though? Are you sure it isn’t just fantasy?

2. Nope. Just follow the guidelines that the agents request. I can tell if I want to read a book based on the pitch. :) Not following directions is a quick way to have an agent just delete your query, and you don’t want that!

Hadar
Reply

Hi Eric!

Thank you so much for your quick reply!
Most of the characters in my book are in their late twenties/early thirties and my book seems more relevant to adults who refuse to grow up (in other words, fellow Millennials ;) ). I don’t want to limit myself by sticking to the NA age group, though, knowing that not all agents and editors acknowledge this new category. I tend to blend humor with magical realism, which, as a result, forces me to be more creative when pitching. Despite the talking rabbit, I’m positive this book is 100% magical realism :)

I will try to pitch either you or another agent at P.S. Literary while sticking to the guidelines.

Thank you, again, for your help!

All the best,

Hadar.

eric
Reply

No problem, good luck!

Hadar

Thank you!!!

Bex
Reply

Hi Eric,
Appologies if you have already covered this but… I often see advice on the internet for new writers to get an agent prior to completing their work. The advice is to send synopsis and first chapter/s and work with the agent to complete. What is your take on this? Many thanks, much appreciated.

eric
Reply

Depends. Is it non-fiction? Then yes, totally. Work on your synopsis, proposal, and solid sample (ie: 10,000 words), and pitch away.

Fiction? No. Finish the book, absolutely finish the book. Then pitch it out after you’ve polished it and made it the best you can.

Kelsey Kingsley
Reply

Hello good sir.

I believe it to be a strange twist of fate that I came across your blog. I was actually looking into quotation mark tattoos and somehow stumbled upon your page. What luck to find that you are also a fellow writer, as well as a literary agent.

You see, I have recently finished my first novel (an adult rom-com starring a self-loathing author and a woman forced to begin her life over at thirty-two years old), and I am fairly confident that it might be right up your alley. What luck, right?! Yes, except…

In the spirit of being honest, I have to admit that I have no prior experience in the world of publishing. In your professional opinion, how does this hurt my chances of getting picked up? Because, in the spirit of being honest, this is the precise reason why I’ve shied away from submitting any queries to various agents, as silly as that may be. I’ve even gone so far as considering the likelihood that I’ll have to resort to self-publishing. Not to speak ill of the independent route, but it isn’t my dream.

So, I will end this by saying I am thoroughly glad that I found you and your sweet ink, and I’m looking forward to any nuggets of advice you might have.

Kelsey Kingsley

eric
Reply

Hey Kelsey!

Thanks for the compliments! :) Remember, every single author was a debut author at some point. Not having a book out or any previous experience doesn’t hurt you one bit. Submit to agents! Every author has had a first book.

Mercedes
Reply

Just a quick question: would you be interested in a story that was loosely inspired by a Japanese role-playing game (e.g. “Final Fantasy X”)?

Mercedes
Reply

P.S. sorry, generally would any agent (such as yourself), be interested in reading stories that were loosely inspired by Japaness role playing games? I have long ways from finishing, but I was wondering.
Thank you!

eric
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If it’s just inspired, I think you’re fine? If it has characters / aspects taken from the world, then probably not? That would make it an I.P., and you’d need the company’s permission to play in that world.

Merlin Love (yes, it's my real name)
Reply

Hi Eric,

I submitted a query, which you may or may not read, but that’s not what this comment is about – as a long time connoisseur of the internet (I was on Compuserve in 1992), it’s a rarity that I stumble across a URL that manages to make me giggle. EricSmithRocks(dot)com? Took a wildly common name and made it, well, rock. Dude – well-done sir.

~M

eric
Reply

Thanks!

Charlotte Avory
Reply

Hi Eric
I’ve written a novel that I’ve self published
It’s about a woman who will go to unimaginable lengths to get what she wants, primarily her step brother Liam, by using heinous curses and committing crimes against humanity
This is not your typical love story for the unsuspecting couple, and there is no fairy tale ending.
It is called Revelations.
I’d love to send you a copy or you can go to
Amazon.com to read a few sample chapters and let me know if it’s of interest to you or anyone of your colleagues
I’ve gotten great feedback and have constantly been asked about its sequel
I look forward to hearing from you
Kind regards
Charlotte

eric
Reply

Congrats! I don’t really respond to queries in comments though (see the note above), but you’re welcome to send a pitch over to the agency! The submissions info can be found on psliterary.com. Thanks!

Charlotte Avory
Reply

Thank you for your response
I will send in a query
Kind regards
Charlotte

[…] Eric Smith (‪@ericsmithrocks) is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary, with a love for young adult books, sci-fi, fantasy, and non-fiction. He began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on Book Riot, Paste Magazine, Barnes & Noble’s blog, and more. If you would like to send a query to Eric, please review his Submission Guidelines, and check out his wishlist on his website. […]

terry gene
Reply

Hi!
Just dropped my Sci-Fi Genre bender Query, Matryoschka Girl, in the e-mail. Glad to have caught your WD article.

eric
Reply

Cool, thanks!

Michelle Modesto
Reply

Hi Eric,

Would a dark comedy with supernatural and horror elements be too much in the horror spectrum for your taste?

eric
Reply

Couldn’t say unless I saw it, but like… Michelle I loved your first book and it has a special place on my bookshelf, so please email me. :)

Becca J
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I was wondering how you felt about the use of a pen name? I have searched extensively for an answer and come up almost empty-handed. The few answers I have found are just from other authors and their thoughts on the matter, but I would really like to know an agent’s opinion.

Thanks for your time!

eric
Reply

I think it’s fine, as long as there is a reason. If it’s just “I think this name is cooler than mine” then no. :)

Plenty of authors use different takes on their own names due to professional reasons, and that’s okay.

Jay
Reply

Greetings, Eric!
I read on your twitter page that you are looking for weird manuscripts that would be hard to market. Can you offer some clarification or examples of ‘weird’?
Thank you for the time you take to answer our questions.
Jay

eric
Reply

I feel like the genre-mashing books are a good example of that, which I listed in here. Station Eleven is a pretty hard to define book. Morte by Robert Repino, that’s absolutely another one.

Teresa Robeson
Reply

Wow! If I just limited myself to writing YA/A, you would be my dream agent because of the whole spec-fic-love and Orson-Scott-Card-loathing thing. Plus, I’m writing a steampunk/fantasy YA set in China (#ownvoices)…

If I hadn’t already signed up for a revisions class with Harold Underdown for the entire fall, I would take that Inked Voices critique class with you to get feedback on the WIP. :)

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