Marietta B. Zacker

Marietta B. Zacker

Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

I am always on the lookout for visual and narrative stories that reflect the world we live in, not the bubbles in which we put ourselves. I love books that make readers feel any emotion and shy away from those that set out to teach the reader a lesson (although I believe that you will inevitably learn something from any story!). While I don’t mind sadness, laughter will always prevail — and if you can take a reader from tears to joy to whatever other emotion makes sense for the story, all the better. Whether a young adult novel, a middle grade novel or a picture book, I want readers to identify with the actions and reactions of the characters, which means that stories need to focus on the perspective of the child or young adult, rather than the author’s or illustrator’s, and diversity is inherent and authentic, not trendy. I want young adults and young readers to be able to lose themselves in the pages of the books, to feel something as they read, to see themselves and to feel validated with the turn of every page. Without a doubt, there are many writers and illustrators who have stories to share and yet who have never felt there was room for their stories to shine. I am thrilled to shine that spotlight.

Fun facts about me:

I was born in Puerto Rico to a Panamanian mother and Cuban father. The Caribbean is home (out at sea, in particular — I might have been overheard saying that I was a mermaid in a former life!). I have worked in several bookstores (both indie and chain) and love the entire process a book goes through, from being created to being read. I have worked with authors and illustrators throughout my career — studying, creating, editing, marketing, teaching and selling their books.

I am a huge supporter of independent booksellers, I believe libraries are the key to keeping us all sane, I am a proud Latina, and I take pride in my work as the agent liaison of the WNDB organization (& I look forward to the day when diversity is so commonplace in our industry, that the organization is no longer needed!).

Aside from books (because, really?!?!?), some of the things that make me ecstatic as an individual are: eating ice cream, dancing, being underwater (and if not possible, then being near a body of water!), the feeling of sand on my feet, watching theater performances, being on stage, traveling, enjoying life to the fullest.


Submission Guidelines

At the Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency we represent people, not projects, and we focus solely on writers and illustrators of children’s books (Young Adult to books for the youngest of readers). Although we make every attempt to reply to each submission, please know that if you do not hear from us after 6 weeks, we have decided that we are not the right agency for you and your work.

If you choose to submit to us, please note the following:

  • We will only consider one project (if we would like to see more breadth, we will request it).
  • A response from one agent is a response from the entire agency.
  • All electronic submissions must be sent through the submissions form (submissions to our personal e-mail addresses will be automatically deleted).
  • If you prefer to submit via postal mail, use our address (found in the ‘contact us’ page). Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with appropriate postage if you would like for us to return your work.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Fiction: Children's, Middle Grade, Picture Books, Young Adult

Favorite sub-genres: Graphic Novels (for all ages), Historical (as long as the period is of consequence), Illustration (for all ages), Magical Realism, comedy, contemporary
I’d like the next…

Soulful, insightful, well-crafted, literary or commercial project that is representative of the world we live in, aimed at any age group from young adult to the youngest of readers.

My favorites include…

Too many to name, but taking a look at books we have championed at the agency is a great start. And it might be worth reviewing the canon of Matt de la Peña, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Gary Soto, Lois Lowry, Sherman Alexie, Marla Frazee, Yuyi Morales, just to name a few.

My Upcoming Events: