Caitlin O’Connell

Penguin Workshop/Penguin Young Readers

My Manuscript Wish List®

Hello! I’m an Associate Editor at Penguin Workshop. The bulk of my projects are work-for-hire focused on existing brands & licenses ranging from the Roald Dahl Story Company to Sonic the Hedgehog. Any agent representing a brand interested in book projects is also welcome to reach out.

I have room on my list for select original projects in Middle Grade and YA as well. First thing’s first, in all genres and age ranges: please, please send me queer stories. I would like all of them, especially queer stories that involve intersections with other marginalizations that may not have gotten enough of a spotlight in books yet.

I love historical fiction, fantasy, mystery, and any combination of the three. Give me an interesting, unusual magic system (like in Nettle & Bone or The Merciful Crow) and characters doing their best to handle it all and I’m in. My expertise is mostly in British and French history from the late 18th to early 20th centuries, but I am more than open to stories from all over the world and any time period. I am also interested in character-driven sci-fi. If it feels like a Becky Chambers or Martha Wells book for MG or YA readers, I’m interested!

I’m probably not the right fit for most contemporaries, particularly those without at least some mystery or fantasy element, but as a former musical theatre and dance kid I will always have a soft spot for stories set in that world, as well as hopeful-yet-honest depictions of mental illness.

I am always in favor of adding a cat, but if you do, please have the cat live past the end of the story!

My favorite stories, the ones that stick with me, tend to be very earnest. I love characters who try so hard—try to be good, try to help their friends, try to save the day. I want that yearning, sweeping scope of story to wrap me up and not let me go.

Fun facts about me:

I sew (by hand, because I’m just Like That, apparently) historical clothes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries for fun. So if you send me historical fiction, I will be looking for those costume details and getting it right. 😉

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Please note that for original projects I am only open to agented submissions at this time.