Catherine Cho

Paper Literary

My Manuscript Wish List®

I am actively building a list of upmarket and reading group fiction, and select YA and non-fiction projects. I am looking for big stories, the kind of book that when you finish it, you immediately want to share. I’m not very specific about genre, for me, it’s about the story. I believe that stories are one of the most powerful things in the world, and the feeling of being transported by a book is truly magical. I am particularly looking to work with debut writers.

What I’m Looking For:

  • Books about family and relationships (character-driven, multi-generational) such as AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Adichie; ASK AGAIN, YES by Mary Beth Keane; OLIVE KITTERIDGE by Elizabeth Strout; COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett; PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee; THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett
  • Books with a distinctive, unforgettable voice such as THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak; RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles; IF I HAD YOUR FACE by Frances Cha; SORROW AND BLISS by Meg Mason
  • Literary novels with a compelling hook such as TOMORROW, TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW by Gabrielle Zevin; NOTES ON AN EXECUTION by Danya Kukafka
  • High-concept books such as THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold; LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson; SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller; THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LA RUE by V.E. Schwab
  • Hopeful, funny books (even if the subject matter is dark) such as WE ALL WANT IMPOSSIBLE THINGS by Catherine Newman; EARLY MORNING RISER by Katherine Heiny
  • Voice-driven reading group fiction such as MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout, STAY WITH ME by Ayobami Adebayo; AMERICAN WIFE by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Love stories like ONE DAY by David Nicholls; THE HISTORY OF LOVE by Nicole Krauss; BEACH READ by Emily Henry
  • Speculative fiction or books with a fantastical premise like THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern; STATION ELEVEN by Emily St John Mandel (all of her novels, I adored SEA OF TRANQUILITY); JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL by Susanna Clarke
  • Character-driven psychological suspense like BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty; SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn
  • YA crossover fantasy like Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW AND BONE series; UPROOTED by Naomi Novak
  • Memoirs like WILD by Cheryl Strayed; BLOOD, BONES AND BUTTER by Gabrielle Hamilton; WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalinithi

Themes that fascinate me – ghosts; family stories set across generations; books set in the American South; time travel; books set around a particular setting like a house; expat communities; long-held secrets.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Please send all submissions by email to

  • Please put your first and last name and the title of your manuscript in the subject line of the email
  • Please attach a one page synopsis and the first three chapters (approx 10,000 words) of the manuscript

When you submit, you will receive an automated response email. Please consider this email as receipt of your work. We read every submission that we receive, and we consider each submission carefully. We will be in touch as soon as possible if we’d like to read more of your work. As much as we would like to, due to the number of submissions we receive, we are not able to personally respond to every submission.

We encourage you to submit to multiple agencies, and we do not expect to have exclusivity. If you receive a full manuscript request or offer of representation, please do email a follow-up with “Full MS request” or “Offer of Representation” in the subject line.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info