Dana Murphy

Dana Murphy

The Book Group

My Manuscript Wish List

Hello! How are you? Isn’t this wonderful?

I joined the team that would later become The Book Group as an assistant in 2012, after graduating from New York University with a degree in Cinema Studies and Sociology.  The Book Group was founded in 2015, the same year I began building my list as an agent, and I’ve been on the hunt for writing that lights me on fire ever since.

I represent a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and am eager to get some YA into my literary family. I’m always looking for writing that is immersive and surprising, regardless of genre. For me, novels need to live in that perfect center of the upmarket venn diagram: beautifully written, with attention paid to craft and style, but also containing a real pulse, propulsion, plot to keep readers turning pages.  For nonfiction, my interest is pretty squarely in “culture” writing – smart narrative nonfiction or essays about pop culture, social issues, gender, science, feminism, diversity, race, film and television, music, and comedy. Send me anything that considers “low” or “unworthy” pop culture in a sophisticated, academic way, especially regarding art created for and consumed by teenagers.  #ownvoices are a priority for me and I’m always looking to help find a home for marginalized writers and stories.  I love reading about the modern south and really anything with a strong sense and interrogation of place. I’m looking for anything that makes me feel cracked open from the inside, and I want to work with writers that I’m so enamored with I’d get in a bar fight for.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what I’m attracted to, but ultimately I want to find writing that sparks joy. This doesn’t mean it can’t also be confrontational, difficult, or ask a lot of the reader, but I want to work on books that make readers feel less alone, less singular, and part of a literary world that will sit close, hold their hands, and walk them through the dark parts of life.  But then again, I also love weird, dark humor and uneasy speculative fiction. I contain multitudes!!! Or, we’re all still figuring out what we love in life and it’s a fun weird little journey we’ll go on together.

If you want to figure out if we’d get along, check out my weird little not approved for professional consumption twitter: @manadurphy. Keep an eye out for tagged #MSWL tweets.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to submissions@thebookgroup.com

Please send query letter and ten sample pages to submissions@thebookgroup.com, with my first and last name in the subject line. Please include pages in the body of the email as we do not accept or open attachments.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Fiction: Literary, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Crafts/DIY, Humor, Journalism, Pop Culture, Science

Favorite sub-genres:
I’d like the next…

My favorites include…

Middlesex, The Mothers, Station Eleven, The Hazel Wood, Grace and The Fever, This Lullaby, Love Goes To Buildings on Fire, All The Lives I Want, Spinster, The Rap Yearbook, Too Much and Not In The Mood


My Upcoming Events: