Ali Herring

Spencerhill Associates

My Manuscript Wish List®

I am pretty quirky when it comes to my list, but I do have a few things I like more than others. I hope I can help guide you in whether I’m a good fit to query: I’m open to MG, YA and adult and work in both the general and inspirational markets. You can always check my #MSWL for most up-to-date wishes, but otherwise, this is big-picture what I’m looking for and what I’m not looking for:

Some dream projects I’d love to rep RIGHT NOW (as of Dec 2020):

  • Box Car Kids for the next generation (set in Space maybe; set on a highly technological future earth).
  • Middle grade that is SUPER funny.
  • Contemporary YA that is funny. Maybe a rom-com.
  • Books that can be comped to old movie favorites. Like take two of your old faves and give me a book!
  • Adult science fiction set on a generation ship, or a generation ship arriving at a new planet.
  • Adult science fiction *written by a diverse creator.* Like an African-inspired space-faring society. That would be a dream.

Middle Grade:

  • I love everything middle grade!
  • Joyful middle grade featuring POC characters, written by diverse creators
  • Bold unexplored settings
  • Middle grade fantasy with a commercial hook but literary writing.
  • Hooky, really high-concept middle grade, great for Jimmy Patterson or Rick Riordan Presents.
  • Dark Fantasy or Horror (but not gross-out)
  • Magical Realism or paranormal
  • MG with a futuristic or technological element
  • Issue books
  • Coming-of-age
  • Dealing with grief
  • First love
  • MG concepts explored in fresh, complex ways (like first love in the apocalypse)
  • STEM-positive
  • Would love to see books for upper middle grade girls that aren’t all about the romance, yet aren’t childish either.
  • Would *also* love to see Hallmark-esque pre-teen romance like Carols and Crushes by Natalie Blitt.
  • Anything adventurous and thrilling for boys like “Hatchet”
  • Anything quirky

Young Adult:

  • I’m open to all YA: Contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, speculative, horror, romance, issue books (though I have a few already on my list so not my top choice), etc.
  • All the contemporary fantasy right now.
  • Contemporary with a speculative element
  • YA suspense/thrillers
  • All the horror right now, or horror-bordering
  • Anything with an edge
  • Fun teen romance like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • Vibrant Teen rom-coms
  • Dystopian or failing Utopia/Utopian worlds (fresh government or control system in place or none at all)
  • Near-future dystopian where the world is not cleaned up and pretty. I want a sense of the horror but without tons of gore.
  • Bold unexplored settings


  • Romance (including sweet and inspirational romance. No erotica). I prefer contemporary but can be swayed by a spectacular historical. Just needs to be really hooky for me to latch onto a historical.
  • SFF: Fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, paranormal, urban fantasy, first contact, portal fantasy, space opera, etc.
  • Women’s fiction. (Big fan of southern settings and suspense elements in women’s fiction)
  • I’d love to see more diverse creators writing from their cultural perspective.
  • Would love an adult sci-fi in space, but from the perspective of if African culture dominated space. I want all that beauty surveying the cosmos.
  • Inspirational/Christian fiction. (Mostly looking for romance and women’s fiction. I am not really looking for YA or MG Christian fiction).
  • Tropey fun romance, rom-coms, romantic suspense, category Christian romance
  • Romance with a time component (past/present timelines)

What I don’t’ rep:

  • I do not rep picture books or really young kidlit, memoir, screen plays, non-fiction and erotica. Chapter books are a hard sell for me, as well as young adult and middle grade Christian fiction.

What I typically DO NOT see as a good fit for my list (ie, try another agent at my firm if they rep this, or try another firm with these kinds of projects):

  • animal protagonists
  • very young middle grade
  • high-heat romance
  • historical romance (unless it is SUPER hooky)
  • inspirational/Christian historical romance

Submissions, etc.

  • I only accept unsolicited queries via our Query Manager web site at Please address your query to me, and it will be reviewed by me! The account is shared by Spencerhill, so if you get an email back from Nalini, don’t worry, I still got it!
  • I also blog on occasion at and host a Q&A, so come say hi and ask a question!
  • I’m also on Twitter: @HerringAli

Fun facts about me:

I’m a mom of three kids, including my boy/girl twins who are (gulp) in high school and one middle-grade-aged daughter! I unabashedly use them as readers when they aren’t reading for school! I grew up on a hobby-farm in Georgia and spent 10 years in New York / Connecticut. I miss the snow, but I love the sun more. If I’m out of the office, I’m probably at a travel baseball game. After all, the weather down here is more compliant for staying on a ball field most of the year.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Please submit queries addressed to my attention via Spencerhill’s Query Manager site at Unfortunately, I cannot consider projects submitted via LinkedIn or to my email address without a referral or personal request.

Guidelines & Details