Patricia Nelson

Patricia Nelson

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

I’m looking for middle grade and young adult fiction, women’s fiction (both upmarket and commercial), contemporary and historical adult romance, and select literary fiction. I am actively seeking diverse books and #ownvoices in all categories I represent.

On the young adult side, I have quite wide ranging tastes and am open to contemporary realistic stories as well as more fantastical premises (including sci-fi/fantasy as well as contemporary fantasy and magical realism) — as long as the book has a stand-out voice, beautiful writing, and a captivating and original plot. I tend to gravitate toward the quirky, strange, unusual and/or offbeat, and love innovative narrative structures when the author pulls them off.

For middle grade, I generally lean toward warm, heartfelt stories with pitch-perfect voice – and a touch of humor or a splash of magic doesn’t hurt.

On the adult side, I’m looking for women’s fiction of all sorts, everything from lighter beach reads to darker stories with a mystery or suspense thread. Favorite elements here include (but aren’t limited to): magical realism, family secrets, dual timelines (a past and a present story, for example), and anything set in the South.

In literary fiction, I tend to gravitate toward novels with flawed but compelling central female characters and interesting things to say about family, friendship, identity, home, gender and/or sexuality.

Finally, I’m also always looking for adult single-title romance, both contemporary and historical. When it comes to romance, it’s all about the characters and the chemistry for me: I’m looking for smart, witty, sexy novels with heroes and heroines I can fall in love with.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Please send a query letter by email, and feel free to include the first 10 pages of the novel pasted below the letter. No attachments, please.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Fiction: LGBTQ, Literary, Middle Grade, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult

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

My favorites include…

Adult fiction: Liane Moriarty, Meg Wolitzer, Sarah Addison Allen, Amy Tan, Ariel Schrag, Jami Attenberg, Ann Patchett, Maria Semple, Rainbow Rowell, Nick Hornby, Emily St. John Mandel, Jeanette Winterson

Romance: Courtney Milan, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean, Sonali Dev, Jennifer Probst, Jill Shalvis

YA: Jandy Nelson, Stephanie Perkins, Becky Albertalli, Sara Zarr, Elana K. Arnold, Bennett Madison, A.S. King, Nova Ren Suma, Laini Taylor, Veronica Rossi, Alexandra Bracken, Victoria Schwab

MG: Rebecca Stead, Jeanne Birdsall, Kate DiCamillo, Judy Blume

My Upcoming Events: