Cassie Mannes Murray
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.
In ADULT FICTION I love:
- 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)
In ADULT NONFICTION I love:
- 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)
- 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.
Submissions should be emailed to https://QueryManager.com/CassieMannesMurray
All details to submit your pages, book, or proposal to me are on my QueryManager page.