Adah B. Li

Algonquin Young Readers, Workman Publishing, Hachette Book Group

My Manuscript Wish List®

Currently Looking For: MG & YA fiction and graphic novels!


Things I Always Love in a Book: Puerto Rican representation; exploring the experience of cultural duality; multilingual dialogue; positive parent-child / guardian-child relationships; found families; an underdog character rising above all odds; life outside big cities (bring me the rural and suburban set contemporaries!); a swoony romance and romances that don’t pretend to solve all the characters’ problems because a relationship isn’t “The End”; cinnamon rolls (IYKYK); characters who bake their feelings; a unique and richly developed world to get utterly lost in; modern-day witches with an air of “is it or is it not really magic?”; mythology and legends, especially those that aren’t Greek or Roman; fractured fairytales; Studio Ghibli vibes; witty banter; laugh out loud humor; a dance scene with the love interests, bonus points if it’s in a ballroom; happy endings, or at least one that’s more sweet than bitter

Favorite Romance Tropes: enemies to lovers; lovers to enemies; childhood friends to lovers; forbidden love; soulmates; love at first sight (when done tastefully); meet cutes; opposites attract; the cinnamon roll and the storm cloud (think Lore Olympus)

Things I Almost Never Like: Stories with characters who are bullies; seeing any kind of abuse or violence happen directly on the page; time travel narratives


I envision a list filled with:

  • Stories that are at once universal and specific, speaking directly into the hearts of those who empathize and sympathize, uniting readers in common thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and ways of living, showing readers that they are not alone
  • Books that subvert expectations and push boundaries, that are poignant and compelling, fueled by thoughts and feelings that drive characters and readers to new heights, new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new ways of viewing the world
  • Genre-breaking novels that don’t fit neatly into a box, giving them timeless appeal in a constantly changing world and new elements to discover upon every read
  • Characters that capture the soul, resonating emotionally with readers, so that they’ll be forever remembered even when the fine details of the plot are long forgotten
  • Characters that grow in unexpected ways, learning who they are and that who they are is always enough
  • Characters that triumph against all odds and learn to view the world from a new perspective
  • Stories that instill joy and laughter and wonder
  • Stories that remind readers to hope and dream and wish and believe in goodness and magic
  • Stories that remind readers that true love is powerful and pure and can overcome any obstacle
  • Endings that whisper the promise of a better tomorrow, and endings that show that even the worst days can and will brighten when you stand firm, when you show kindness, when you act with integrity, and when you fight for what you believe in
  • The TLDR is: I like good vibes and inspiring messages!

Submission Guidelines

AGENTED SUBMISSIONS ONLY. I welcome picture book, middle grade, and young adult fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novel submissions from agents.

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