Cassie Mannes Murray

Howland Literary

My Manuscript Wish List®


I am most inspired by work that blurs boundaries and genre lines, has influences in poetry or lyricism, and pays attention to the particulars of language play and sentence construction.


  • literary work with a speculative bent (think: Helen Oyeyemi, Karen Russell, or Marie Helene Bertino)
  • work that is atmospheric in language, setting, and momentum (think: Daisy Johnson & Shirley Jackson)
  • work that uses quiet tension to creep up on the reader (think: Helen Phillips & Samantha Schweblin)
  • poets turned prose writers, or anyone who pays particular attention to the structure of sentences
  • novels-in-verse or novellas-in-verse (think: The Lumberjack’s Dove by GennaRose Nethercott or Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson)
  • queer stories that reshape the way we think about coming-of-age (think: Emme Lund & Justin Torres)
  • stories from underrepresented communities, particularly tied to folklore or fairy tale, but without the world-building of fantasy (think: Yõko Ogawa & Kawai Strong Washburn)
  • books about sports and/or books that twist the angles of stereotypical masculinity (think: Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash or The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach or Teenagers by Bud Smith)
  • work that is structurally innovative (think: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi, Creatures by Chrissy Van Meter, The Book of X by Sarah Rose Etter or Machine by Susan Steinberg)
  • novels about women with secrets who are alone, but not lonely–and tend to fantasize about strangers (think: any Moshfegh book, or Open Me by Lisa Locascio, any Sheila Heti book & Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey)
  • work that plays with the visceral, and senses dominate the narrative (think: Han Kang & Nayomi Munaweera)
  • bad, bad, bad women to the extremity (think: Tampa by Alissa Nutting or Melissa Border)
  • darkness in our most gate-kept institutions–like academia or the film industry) (think: Marissa Pesshl)
  • small group of people in tight quarters (think: The Weekend by David Cameron or Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller)
  • plain ol’ weird work (think: Miranda July, Jaimy Gordon & Evie Wyld)
  • books about BIG IDEAS like climate change, without that being the main focus (think: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward)


  • women burning their worlds down (think: Blow Your House Down by Gina Frangello)
  • speculative memoir (think: Lying, a Metaphorical Memoir by Lauren Slater or Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ni Griofa)
  • structurally innovative–not just fragmented–nonfiction (think: Sarah Manguso, Sarah Minor, Kathryn Nuernberger, Sophia Shalmiyev, Jeannie Vanasco, Jenny Boully & Carmen Maria Machado)
  • essay collections that blend the personal and the researched (think: Carry by Toni Jensen, Dead Girls by Alice Bolin, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee & Impossible Owls by Brian Phillips)
  • poets turned nonfiction writers (think: Lucia LoTempio, Heather Christie, Emma Bolden & Beth Ann Fennelly)
  • southern narratives across the board (think: Jesmyn Ward, Sally Mann, Clyde Edgerton, Jo Ann Beard, Kiese Laymon)
  • weird history (think: Jello Girls by Allie Rowbottom, anything by Mary Roach, The Way Through the Woods: Of Mushrooms and Mourning by Long Litt Woon,
  • nonfiction about second-stage girlhood (think: Chelsea Hodson & Melissa Febos)
  • graphic nonfiction where the author is also the illustrator (think: Liana Finck)
  • translations
  • sporting history that goes beyond one person’s legacy (think: Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui)
  • books exploring the self and pop-culture (think: John Jeremiah Sullivan & Marina Keegan)

Fun facts about me:

  • I also work as a literary publicist at my own company, Pine State Publicity, so marketing & publicity for client projects is very important to me as an agent.
  • I live in rural North Carolina where my dog chases street chickens and deer.
  • I have worked holiday seasons at the mall, in a laundromat, and as a smoothie girl previous to agenting
  • I am also a writer with an MFA in creative nonfiction, so I have the deepest respect for writers.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

All details to submit your pages, book, or proposal to me are on my QueryManager page.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info