My Manuscript Wish List
I was a publisher for 25 years before becoming a literary agent in 2008 and launching Greenhouse. I’ve lived in both the States and UK, so my experience of the publishing industry is unusually deep and wide ranging. The international scene is part of my view of publishing potential, and I love MSS that could work around the world (though that’s not essential). I was an editor for many years, and my ability to help develop/build stories with authors has been key to our success. I called the agency Greenhouse because I’m passionate about the cultivation of talent.
I particularly specialize in chapter book series, MG and YA, though I sell picture books by existing clients – and even adult fiction, if my clients diversify. I love strong concepts/hooks, which intrigue me and make me turn the page, but also make me think. I like MSS with new ideas I’ve not seen before – even if they still need a bit more development. I love interesting narrative structures, formats, timelines, and writers who take risks and have big ideas. I’m very open on genre; I’m just ready to fall in love!
MG: My sweet spot is classic, gorgeous fiction with tons of heart that takes the protagonist on an inward AND outward journey. This might be contemporary/realistic or magical realism (which I’m currently loving). I’m also seeking action-packed stories with a uniquely adventurous premise. Again, structures, formats, illustrative potential are great.
YA: I’m seeking smart, freshly told love stories with diverse characters and backdrops; I’d particularly love to see more from the Muslim experience. Also: twisty-turny mysteries that keep me guessing and pose impossible conundrums; narrators I maybe can’t trust; foreign settings that feel absolutely authentic and bring to life political or cultural situations (the Middle East, France, modern Scandinavia?); fantasy/myth that interacts in some way with the real world. I’ve a particular wish to find a) a sexy historical set in the French Revolution (think THE LUXE with guillotines!) and b) a horror/thriller with a very scary house/town that holds secrets and ghosts, whether real or figurative and c) a novel from the Scandy Noir tradition – think TV series like The Bridge, The Killing – but for teens.
I have a strange passion for: oceans, ice, plants, science in fiction (though I’m no scientist myself!), and I’m a big history buff, though that can be really tough to do in fiction . . .
Don’t send me vampires and dystopia that goes along all-too-familar lines. Other than that I’m really open to falling in love with a story, so query me!
Fun facts about me:
My first job (age 14) was as assistant in a hair salon; I got fired and it was terrible.
I used to perform as a singer-songwriter (I had lots of curly red hair and wore a lot of black leather; don’t judge me) – and I still sing a lot. I have twin sons who are grown up, and two wire-haired dachsunds called Sarge and Olivia who are very noisy and very cute. I like wild places, walking, and growing things (whether authors or plants). Um, I also like cemeteries – they tell you everything about a place and who lived there.
I’m very driven and I’ve been described as being “like a dog with a bone” when I want to achieve something. If you are my client, that’s a good thing!
Favorite color? All shades of blue and green.
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
All our queries are by email and must have “Sarah Davies” in the subject line. Basically a brief intro to yourself, target market, MS length, pitch (2-3 paragraphs) and brief bio. And then the first 5 pages of the story pasted into the body of your email.
But . . .please go to our website to see our latest guidelines before you submit as guidelines occasionally change (and very occasionally we close for a short period of time).
Guidelines & Details
I’d like the next…
I’d like to find the next . . .
WALK TWO MOONS by Sharon Creech
LIESL & PO and BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver (in fact, I love all Lauren’s work)
JOURNEY TO THE RIVER SEA by Eva Ibbotson
THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon
TENDER MORSELS by Margo Lanagan
BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys
THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH by Ali Benjamin
13 REASONS WHY by Jay Asher.
My favorites include…
Some of my favorite authors are: Sharon Creech, Jandy Nelson, Eva Ibbotson, Laura Ruby, Frances Hardinge, Meg Cabot, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Lauren Oliver, Rebecca Stead, Margo Lanagan, Ruta Sepetys.
Favorite TV shows: House of Cards, State of Play (BBC version), Borgen, Morse & Lewis, most of the Scandinavian Noir series, Band of Brothers; all documentary series by Ken Burns, especially Civil War and the Roosevelts. Basically smart thrillers/mysteries, anything historical or which tells me something really interesting and new about the world. Recently, I really enjoyed The Night Manager.
My Upcoming Events: