Amy Stern

Sheldon Fogelman Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

I feel like so much of what I want is what everyone wants- fresh voices, exciting stories, something very marketable but not quite like anything out there. I like my stories firmly rooted in character and my characters firmly rooted in their world.

I enjoy a little bit of everything, and constantly surprise myself with what I want to take on; I don’t think of myself as someone who’s a big fan of romance or high fantasy or historical fiction, for example, but I can think of several examples of each that really worked for me that I wouldn’t want to rule out. That said, if you have a historical fantasy romance, I’m probably not your best bet.

I firmly believe that every story is about race, gender, and class- it’s just that often, those are invisible because they’re the societal default. I am definitely looking for a broader spectrum of representation on my list, but I’d also like to see more stories where those default identities are explicitly acknowledged and analyzed, rather than invisible.

Topics I love to read about? Summer camps, boarding schools, reality television, kids who are in some way extraordinary, puzzles, puns. I really love stories that involve close family relationships that both enhance and complicate the protagonists’ lives. I want to see more mental illness stories that aren’t just about diagnosis and LGBTQIA+ stories that aren’t just about coming out. I’m a giant nerd who goes to several comic conventions a year and I am always in favor of stories about geeks that don’t rely on stereotypes or pop culture references to succeed.

I got my masters degree in children’s literature and I’m passionate about the idea that even the funniest, most light-hearted stories deserve to be taken seriously. If you think of children’s books as something easy to write or illustrate, we probably won’t be a good match.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Send a single page cover letter that includes a brief synopsis of your work, your publication history, and how you were referred to us, if at all. This cover letter can be pasted into the body of your email. If you are querying several other agencies simultaneously, we ask that you mention this in your query letter.

If you are a novelist, you may include the first three (3) chapters of the work and a synopsis. Please do not submit the entire work or include chapters from more than one work unless specifically requested.

If you are a picture book writer, you may include two (2) manuscripts. Please do not submit any additional manuscripts unless specifically requested. If you are not an illustrator, please do not include images in your submission.

If you are an illustrator, please include information regarding website portfolio links, if applicable. Otherwise, please attach a limited sampling of examples of your work to your submission.

If you would like to send your work to a specific agent, address your query to that agent. Otherwise, simply put your work to the attention of the submissions coordinator. Please note, however, that a submission to one agent in our office is considered a submission to all.

All work must be submitted electronically. Please make sure that all text attachments are accessible via Microsoft Word (.rtf and .doc preferred). We prefer illustrations in .jpg or .pdf format, and all files sent should not total more than 5 MB combined. All submissions should be sent to While every submission will be read and considered, please understand that due to time constraints, we will only reply if we are interested in seeing more of your work.

If additional work is requested following the cover letter, we prefer exclusive consideration of the requested work for at least one (1) month.

Guidelines & Details