Allegra Martschenko

Ladderbird Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

Allegra is looking for beautifully written science fiction and fantasy books by marginalized authors in the young adult, crossover, and adult space.
ADULT— They are looking for SFF stories that draw on the author’s expertise and culture to build vivid worlds. Their tastes lean fantasy (especially higher fantasy), but they’d love SF books that read like fantasy. They appreciate a romance subplot, especially if it’s queer, but there are so many types of love—it doesn’t need to be romantic!
YA and CROSSOVER— Allegra prefers older YA and is open to crossover. Here they are again open to science fiction and fantasy only (though a variety of sub genres are very welcome)—think books with big emotions and writing that’s sharp enough to bite.

Here are some concepts/tropes/elements that will perk their ears up:

      • Romantic subplots (especially if it’s queer!); polyamory
      • Worlds that can be described as “lush”
      • Settings that feel alive/anything with developed architectural elements (eg., PIRANESI, STRANGE THE DREAMER)
      • Found family; friendship stories; family stories; sibling dynamics; generational conflict
      • Historical fantasy—mainly history inspired, I’m less interested in straight up historical fiction. eg. IRON WIDOW or SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN
      • Stories that draw on cultural history or myth to explore our present
      • Mortals wrestling with gods/godlike powers
      • Magic in some form; esp object or action based magic…eg magic based on tea (MAGIC STEEPED IN POISON) or music (LIGHT FROM UNCOMMON STARS)
Do not query: Allegra doesn’t have hard nos, so you can try them with anything, but they’re a harder sell on books about fertility, cop books, portal/split realm books, DnD style races (orcs, goblins, elves), books set at a magic school/featuring a school, stories centering around a trial or tournament, books with talking animals unless they are Indigenous stories, books set in reality show environments, WWI or WWII books, dream heavy/dream centric books, books featuring witches, and/or Greco-Roman myths unless you are a Greek writer (I’m less interested in full on retellings, but appreciate myth/history as inspiration). I’m also not usually into haunted house stories, or ghosts.  

Submission Guidelines

Allegra is only open to marginalized writers.

All queries must be submitted through Query Manager [], email queries are typically deleted unread. Querymanager will ask for your query and first 5 pages.

Please do not query more than one agent at Ladderbird at a time. If two agents like your work it could result in bloodshed and we try to keep that to a minimum.

Guidelines & Details