Stephanie Stein

Stephanie Stein

HarperCollins Children's/HarperTeen

My Manuscript Wish List

I’m looking for YA and middle-grade fiction in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, historical, and books that feel contemporary but have a slight magical or high-concept twist (think Adam Silvera or Rebecca Stead’s WHEN YOU REACH ME). I am focused on building an inclusive list with a variety of different voices, and am always looking for own voices and underrepresented authors and characters–in books that tackle serious topics and questions of identity head on, but also in genre fiction and more light-hearted contemporary stories.

I love stories that play with narrative structure (non-linear timelines, unconventional POVs, quirky or unreliable narrators) and/or twist the rules of genre.

In YA, I look for smart, atmospheric, voice-driven stories, whether they’re witty and full of snappy dialogue or lyrical and literary. I’m a fan of slow-burning romantic tension, stories of friendship and sisterhood, complex family relationships, and retellings–if they bring a new twist to the table (gender-swapped, feminist, and queer lenses always catch my attention!). My first love is YA fantasy, where I look for unique or complex magic, strong worldbuilding, and morally complex dilemmas and characters.

In middle grade, I’m interested in multi-layered humor that kids of all ages can enjoy, a great puzzle or mystery, and stories about friendship and family. Right now I am especially looking for contemporary middle grade, fantasy with a literary feel, and magical realism.

I always fall for: parallel universes, magical schools, disaster epics, heists, wishes, underdog sports teams, tournaments and competitions, magical undercities, “found families,” best friends who fall in love, and multigenerational family stories.

I’d specifically love to see in my inbox right now:

  • A YA fantasy full of Slytherins: ambitious, smart, morally gray characters who nonetheless look out for their own
  • Historical fiction or historical fantasy with a light-hearted or comedic bent. Think MY LADY JANE or A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE
  • A tournament, competition, or sports story
  • A fantasy heist or disaster epic
  • Dragons!
  • More serious historical fiction, especially if set elsewhere and elsewhen than WWII Europe
  • A strange magical shop or service that deals in wishes, dreams, or something even more esoteric. Think DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE or the manga xxxHOLiC
  • LGBTQIA+ middle grade (and YA, but I’d especially love to see a first crush, etc. for tweens)
  • A 24-hour whirlwind YA romance
  • A slow-building YA romance (probably not at the same time!)
  • Contemporary YA and MG set outside North America
  • Openly bisexual characters
  • A serious YA treatment of one of the “soulmate” tropes common in fanfiction (soulmate timers, name tattoos, etc.)

Fun facts about me:

Former Southern Californian, Starbucks barista, and World of Warcraft player who still drinks too much coffee, plays video games, and stays up too late watching West Coast hockey (go Ducks!).

Submission Guidelines

Agented submissions only, but unagented writers may book consultations (see below).

Agents, please email your pitch and the manuscript to me at HarperCollins.

Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, HarperCollins editors are not able to accept unsolicited manuscript submissions directly from authors. If you are an author with a manuscript that matches what I’ve listed here, please have your agent submit it via email. If you are an author who is currently looking for an agent, best of luck; I hope your agented manuscript submission does cross my desk one day!


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: Action/Adventure, Children's, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical, Humor, LGBTQ, Literary, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Favorite sub-genres: Contemporary YA, Contemporary Young Adult, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Feminism, LGBTQIA, Literary Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Speculative Fiction, YA Fantasy, YA Historical Fantasy, contemporary MG, historical, science fiction
I’d like the next…
  • The Hazel Wood
  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue
  • It’s Not Like It’s a Secret
  • The Wrath & the Dawn
  • Caraval
  • The Crown’s Game
  • Before I Fall
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
  • Raven Cycle
  • Graceling
  • Six of Crows
  • Code Name Verity
  • a YA The Song of Achilles
  • I’ll Give You the Sun
  • When You Reach Me
  • Savvy

My favorites include…

Books: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The City & the City by China Miéville, The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Comics: Saga; Lumberjanes; Check, Please!; The Tea Dragon Society

TV: Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, Unreal, House of Cards, The Expanse, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Jane the Virgin, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Orphan Black, Veronica Mars, The Great British Bake-Off

My Upcoming Events: