Kathleen Rushall

Kathleen Rushall

Andrea Brown Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

I’m looking for picture books, middle grade, and YA (no chapter books please).

For picture books, I love to laugh. I love irreverent character driven stories with a surprise ending or twist. And, on the other side of things, I’d like to find something sweet with a deeper meaning and beautiful language.

I’m also on the hunt for nonfiction picture books. (Science! Biographies! Common Core topics made fun!). I’d love to find more biographies and what some call “ficinformational” picture books (books with a fictional story that ties into the Common Core).

My taste in YA and middle grade is similar in that my tastes really run the gamut.

For middle grade, I’m always looking for heartfelt stories, as well as contemporary ‘coming of age’ stories with a relatable voice. (Bonus points if it’s funny! Jess Keating’s My Life is a Zoo series is a great example of my taste.)

I’d be happy to see a cozy scary MG.  I particularly enjoy middle grade with strong friendship themes. I’d be happy to find a middle grade fantasy, adventure, historical, or high stakes story with a dash of magic.

I particularly love YA fantasy (and can never read enough of it). I’m looking for voice-driven, compelling, high stakes fantasy with stunning world-building. I’d love to find something with cunning, complex characters like AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir or SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo. I enjoy characters that are clever and secretive with the capacity to outwit each other (or the reader). I’m always interested in unreliable narrators or characters who turn stereotypes on their heads. Characters and voice matter most to me.

When it comes to romance in YA fantasy, I particularly love strong protagonists whose personal agendas may conflict, forcing them to navigate their feelings and their goals such as Sharon Cameron’s ROOK, Marie Rutkoski’s THE WINNER’S CURSE, or GRAVE MERCY by Robin Lafevers.

I also have a major soft spot for historical novels, both MG and YA. Especially if it takes place before WWII. (Take me baaaaaack farther than the 1940s!) I’d love to find historical fiction in the vein of Ruta Sepetys or Elizabeth Wein with heart-wrenching choices and fascinating historic detail.  I’d be delighted to find a combination of these two soft spots of mine in a historical time travel such as INTO THE DIM by Janet B. Taylor!

When it comes to YA novels, I’m also always interested in voice-driven contemporary. This can be a lighter romance with humor like Kristen Held’s HOLDING COURT or something more edgy. I’m not afraid of controversy and I admire authors who push the envelope like Carrie Mesrobian’s SEX AND VIOLENCE or Laurie Flynn’s FIRSTS.

I’d also be open to raw, dark YA that makes you think and wrenches your heart like THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oakes. On the other side of things, I adore YA contemporary with a fantastic voice and humor, even while the character is undergoing struggle or change, such as Marci Curtis’s THE ONE THING or Becky Alberti’s SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA.

I adore magical realism in both MG and YA. Bonus points for complex family relationships (or secrets!) and unique, atmospheric locations.

Also, for both MG and YA I’m on the hunt for multicultural stories, diverse voices, and #ownvoices. Insights into a different culture or location always interest me, and I’m especially intrigued by LGBTQ literature where that isn’t necessarily the focal point of the plot.

A few elements I’m always excited to see in YA include strong female leads, great rapport, small towns, Celtic or Norse mythology, unexpected circumstances, humor, and romance. Try me!

I’m also looking for mind/ body/ spirit or metaphysical adult nonfiction. I would be thrilled to find a fresh nonfiction project about any of the following: tarot, crystal healing, feng shui, mindfulness, meditation, intuition, astrology, energy healing, reiki, acupuncture, or yoga.

Submission Guidelines

 

  • Visit the agents’ bios page and choose only one agent to whom you will submit your email query.
  • Put QUERY in the subject field. (This will ensure that you receive our autoresponder, confirming that your submission was received.)
  • All submissions should begin with a short Query Letter to that agent introducing yourself, and including a description of your work, previous publishing credentials (if any), and publisher submission history. 
  • Following your Query Letter, depending on what you are submitting, include:

 

    • Picture Book Writers: full manuscript text pasted below your query letter
    • Illustrators: 2-3 illustration samples (in jpeg format), and link to online portfolio
    • Illustrators with dummy: full dummy (in pdf format) that includes 1-2 color samples, and link to online portfolio 
    • Fiction Writers (chapter books, MG, YA): first 10 pages pasted below your query letter
    • Non-fiction Writers: proposal and sample chapter pasted below query
    • Graphic novels: 2-3 sample page spreads in jpg or pdf format, summary/synopsis pasted below query, link to website/online portfolio

 

  • Please be sure to enclose a contact phone number as well as your email address.
  • You are free to submit to agents at other agencies at the same time, but it is a professional courtesy to let us know that yours is a multiple submission. If you receive an offer of representation from another agent, please let us know immediately so we can respond accordingly.

 


Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Agent
Fiction: Children's, Middle Grade, Picture Books, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Humor, Pop Culture, Psychology

Favorite sub-genres: High Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Illustrated, Literary Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Nonfiction Picture Books
I’d like the next…

YA in the vein of Alice Hoffman’s magical realism. Think “Practical Magic” or “The Probable Future”. Mother/daughter/sister relationships, generational secrets, stormy, atmospheric coasts, and magical realism are all up my alley.

Historical YA with a twist of magic or the metaphysical in the vein of Cat Winters. (Can be creepy!)

A feel-good contemporary YA about female friendships in the vein of THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS by Ann Brashares.

A historical YA with a feminist bent about a little-known piece of history or about a well known time in history from a unique viewpoint like A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller.

An MG fantasy with a great hook and unique world building such as ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine or GOOSE GIRL by Shannon Hale.

A curious, possibly spooky MG in the vein of CORALINE by Neil Gaiman or in a style similar to Roald Dahl.

A fun, accessible picture book on mindfulness or yoga.

 

 


My favorites include…

Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers

The Tea Rose trilogy by Jennifer Donnelly

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

The China Garden by Liz Berry

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Alberti

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Quest for a Maid by Frances Hendry

All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Diana Gabaldon

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

El Deafo by Cece Bell

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Anything by Sophie Kinsella

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Anything by Alice Hoffman

Kiki’s Delivery Service (a Hayao Miyazaki movie)

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Green Darkness by Anya Seton

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Anything by Tamora Pierce

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin)

Gilmore Girls

Arrested Development

Parks & Rec

Veronica Mars

The Skeleton Key (just the kind of atmospheric creepy that I love!)

Practical Magic (both the book and movie)

 

NONFICTION

The Creative Tarot by Jessa Crispin

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

The Soul Seeker’s Handbook: A Modern Girl’s Guide to the New Age World by Emma Mildon

Radical Self Love by Gala Darling

Anything by Sonia Choquette

Buddha Doodles by Molly Hahn

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte

Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Little Pocket Book of Mindfulness by Anna Black

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of De-Cluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

 

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