Laura Zats

Laura Zats

Red Sofa Literary

My Manuscript Wish List

Across all of my genres, I am looking specifically for diversity (of all kinds, with a bent towards #ownvoices), feminism, and geekery.

I am especially interested in well-drawn female characters, fresh story-telling techniques (unreliable narrators, lists, emails, charts, texts, etc.), and voices that are unexpected for the genre the book is in (literary, lyrical middle grade, for instance).

Here are more genre- and category-specific wants:

Middle grade: 

  • Smart, adventure-type books with STEM that will appeal to both boys and girls
  • Heartbreakingly poignant contemporary stories about growing up and finding your way (such as Alan Cole is Not a Coward)
  • MCs with strange and specific enthusiasms (like beekeeping or cultivating orchids)

Young Adult:

  • Swoony and quirky coming-of-age novels
  • Dark, gritty themes (grief, guilt, forgiveness, mental health issues, addiction, etc.)
  • Geeky and weird teens
  • SF/F with a fresh, well-drawn world (especially when it comes to culture)

Adult Romance

  • Steamy! The more steam the better!
  • Books that take traditional romance tropes and turn them on their heads (i.e. heroine and hero are both millionaires; historical romance where the hero is a sex worker, etc.)
  • Lush, literary writing
  • I am also open to (accurate) representations of kinky and LGBT+ relationships
  • SF/F romance (think Lauren Dane’s Federation Chronicles)

Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • Must pass the Bechdel Test and/or the Mako Mori test
  • Must have a consistent and logical world and culture
  • Contemporary SF/F that borders on horror
  • Adventurous SF that reads quickly and has unexpected heroes (Like Wesley Chu)
  • Literary voices in SF/F
  • Fantasy set in non-western-inspired worlds

Specific Dream Books:

  • Contemporary YA anti-coming out story (straight boy and his two homosexual parents with a great, supporting relationship. However, boy is having trouble coming to terms with his sexuality and otherness).
  • Older MC in a space opera (AKA Golden Girls in space)
  • “You’ve Got Mail”-style romance about FetLife (or a similar site).
  • SF with a setting like Twin Peaks or Eureka
  • Romances with enthusiastic and verbal consent
  • A great contemporary witch book that is NOT Salem-related
  • Romances having to do with: food, dancing, kickboxing, or geeks


On the No-No List:

  • Popular Western imaginings of paranormal creatures (werewolves, vampires, mermaids, angels, demons, reapers, etc.)
  • Political-based SF/F, either played straight or satire
  • Superheroes
  • Racist-learns-the-error-of-their-ways plotlines
  • Medieval-based European fantasy worlds
  • Quest books that don’t pass the Bechdel test
  • Chosen One plot lines
  • Treasure hunts
  • Dystopian SF/F
  • Romances with timid virgins and strong men


Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Send a query to

Guidelines & Details


As a new addition from The Manuscript Academy, #MSWL’s sister company, we are now offering ten-minute e-meetings with a select group of our agents and editors to discuss your work, what you can do better–and how to maximize your chances in the submissions process. You’ll be able to pick from Skype, Hangouts, or a phone call–and, yes, this works internationally. Please see our FAQ, our step-by-step guide to booking your meeting, a list of participating agents and editors–and consider joining our Facebook group, a free, friendly community of writers cheering each other on through this process.

Please note: Meetings are posted once monthly, and then often sell out. If there are meetings available, you’ll see them bolded on the calendar below after clicking “Set Time Zone.” 

Want an email when new meetings go up? Click here.


Vital Info

Fiction: Erotica, Fantasy, Horror, Middle Grade, Mystery, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult

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

My favorites include…

My Upcoming Events: