Amy Stapp

Wolfson Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

Adult Fiction

  • Commercial book club fiction
  • Lighthearted mysteries with a touch of romance
  • Historical mysteries
  • Gritty psychological thrillers
  • Domestic suspense
  • Women’s fiction (from beach reads to upmarket women’s fiction)
  • Magical realism
  • Historical fiction (particularly 1900-1950s)
  • WWII fiction (particularly from a perspective we don’t often see)
  • International setting/Small-town setting/Unique regions
  • Multigenerational/Relationships between women
  • Family drama/Family secrets
  • Southern Gothic
  • Sophisticated horror with a high-concept hook

I am most eager to find high concept, commercial, book club fiction, and sharp, tightly woven thrillers/suspense.
I’ve lived in the Midwest, South, and now the Northeast, and I have a fondness for small-town settings (either with an endearingly quirky cast of characters, or a more sinister, closed-in, suspicious feel). In general I love stories with a strong sense of place. I will inevitably pick up any book set in Paris, but truthfully I love any unique international setting or region I’ve not seen before.
I tend to shy away from women’s fiction where the central story involves a woman learning to live again after divorce and an empty nest.
In romance I want two compelling characters, not just a fawning man who puts up with anything a heroine does; don’t be afraid to write strong, authentic men.
I need multidimensional, complex, nuanced characters who feel like real people (yes, even the villains and bullies). I want the characters to speak to me, not the writer. Moments when it’s apparent the writer is trying to teach me a lesson pull me out of the story; but authors who can paint fully human and complex characters on both sides of any issue can move the reader to empathy and keep us thinking long after we close the book.


  • Health/Wellness/Fitness
  • Family/Parenting
  • Unique cookbooks
  • Minimalism/simple living
  • Feminist/female-focused
  • Faith

In nonfiction, I’m looking for an established platform, an approachable tone, and a unique perspective.

Young Adult

  • Mystery/suspense/thriller
  • Contemporary romance
  • Contemporary coming-of-age
  • Historical fiction
  • Southern Gothic

In YA, I almost always prefer a more mature protagonist and stories with adult crossover potential. I tend to gravitate toward stories that take place outside of the traditional high school setting. (I’m not a fan of clichéd high school cliques, stereotypical mean girls, or “why doesn’t the boy notice me, I’m so plain”-type outdated tropes.)
I want more strong boy protagonists.
I’d love-love-love to find a fast-paced, twisty YA mystery or thriller that keeps me guessing.
I come from a long line of Midwestern factory workers, and I want to see more stories about kids from blue-collar families, farming communities, small towns, or kids who have no desire to go to college.
I want all of the YA romance; I can’t get enough of it; but I’d also love to see more friendship stories, where girls aren’t jealous, insecure, or in competition.
I love learning something new or being challenged in some way when I read a great book (of any genre or age range), but it needs to come from being fully immersed in a character’s story rather than from an obvious agenda (teens can smell didactic a mile away).
I’d love to find a YA Indiana Jones, or a story with an international adventure.
I have a soft spot for vintage Hollywood, and I’d love to find a historical that captures this romance.

Middle Grade

  • High concept adventure stories
  • Traditional mysteries
  • MG Horror that isn’t afraid to really scare kids

In MG I value beautiful writing above all else. It’s such a tricky time in your life, when you’re just starting to see your parents in a different light, starting to approach friendships with more complexity; I love when writers can explore this in an authentic middle grade voice.


Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

  • Please put “Query: [Title of your book]” in the subject of your email.
  • Please paste your query letter and the first FIVE pages of the manuscript in the body of the email. Include word count.
  • Attachments will not be opened and will be automatically deleted.
  • Please review additional guidelines on our website.

Guidelines & Details