Carrie Pestritto

Laura Dail Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

I am currently looking for fresh, diverse perspectives in fiction and nonfiction for adults and children. I’m particularly drawn in by unique voices, strong character development, high-concept plots, and transporting experiences.

I’m eager to see submissions that fit the following categories:

Across All Genres

  • Commercial fiction and nonfiction featuring BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized main characters.

Children’s Fiction & Nonfiction

  • Early chapter books, MG, and YA that can be described as high-concept, tightly plotted, and inclusive (especially those that involve an adventure, mystery, or interesting character arcs/growth) with universally relatable tropes and a dash of quirkiness.
  • Classical or universal stories, tropes, and relationships that have been given a fresh twist.
  • Absorbing SFF with meticulous world building and anchored by a character-driven plot and vibrant relationships.
  • Contemporary mysteries/thrillers with a non-school setting.
  • Fun, STEM-based early chapter books or lower MG with a unique approach.
  • I’m yearning for a YA version of Yangsze Choo’s THE GHOST BRIDE!

Adult Fiction

  • Provocative, upmarket women’s fiction with compelling characters and new plotlines (especially those for Millennial and Gen Z readers), e.g. not featuring the same upper-middle-class, suburban wife already fully explored in the genre.
  • Engaging historical fiction (from about the 1800s on) showcasing a previously unfeatured perspective or an unknown aspect of history using riveting, immersive prose.
  • Light, flirty romance and rom-coms with humor, modern relationships, and an escapist feel.
  • Thrillers and suspense with expertly executed twists or unreliable narrators (with main characters who are not the standard cops, district attorneys, CIA operatives, etc.).
  • Sassy, fun cozy mysteries with closed room settings or that take place in an international locale (think Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation series-esque).
  • I’d love something dark and sinister about a cult in the vein of Martha Marcie May Marlene. I’m always looking for something that takes place at a Ren Faire or LARP event (extra points if it’s a murder mystery!).
Adult Nonfiction
  • Transportive narrative nonfiction that reads like fiction.
  • Prescriptive nonfiction.
  • Pop science.
  • Memoir with timely or fascinating subject matter. I prefer stories centering around a specific event, period of time, topic, goal, etc. (like my client Marlo Mack’s HOW TO BE A GIRL) as opposed to an entire chronology of someone’s life.  I’m not the right fit for inspirational or medical/illness memoirs.
  • Biography/history that tackles previously unknown information or approaches from a new angle.  I love microhistories!

You can check out my #MSWL tweets to learn more.  If you think we might be a good fit, please reach out via QueryManager.

In general, I don’t like premises/themes that are too obvious, e.g. the girl in a restrictive community who yearns to break free, a young person who must learn to stand up to bullies, etc., but rather ones that have more nuance and whose messages are revealed in a buildup throughout the story.


Submission Guidelines

LDLA accepts queries via QueryManager only. We do our best to answer every query letter within 4 weeks, though circumstances may vary. If you receive a manuscript request, response time is closer to 12 weeks. Please wait to follow up until after the full length of time has passed. However, if you receive an offer of representation from another agent, please let us know immediately so we can respond within the timeframe you require.

Please only submit to one agent at a time* with one project at a time, making sure that your manuscript or proposal is complete and ready to be sent if requested. You may submit to another agent if one passes.


*If you are querying after a Twitter pitch contest such as #pitmad or #DVpit, and more than one LDLA agent has liked your tweet, you may query simultaneously. We just ask that you let us know if more than one of us is considering your project.

Guidelines & Details