Greenhouse Literary Agency
My Manuscript Wish List®
As a former Senior Editor at Random House Books for Young Readers, Chelsea has a keen editorial eye and understands how publishers think, which she uses to her advantage when advocating for her clients. She is actively building her list and loves that heart-racing, buzzing feeling she gets when discovering a talent. Chelsea edited many New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors in her time at Random House, including the Newbery Medal winner When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller and bestsellers by Tamora Pierce, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas, Matt de la Peña, Mark Siegel, and Kim Johnson to name only a few. She is also a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree, which recognizes “the rising stars of the US publishing industry.”
WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR:
I represent middle grade, young adult, graphic novelists, picture book illustrators, and upmarket women’s fiction. I’m always looking for projects by BIPOC creators, as well as those marginalized identities that include sexuality, gender identity, and disability. I enjoy working with authors whose books have commercial hooks and literary ambition–folks who are swinging for the fences!
MIDDLE GRADE: I’d love to see more middle grade in my inbox. I’m on the hunt for all genres except sci-fi and horror. Send me your MG with an unforgettable voice–I want to be laughing or crying so hard people on the train move to the next seat over. I particularly love when authors tackle Big Truths in a heartfelt way. Send me your school stories with strong hooks and diverse, memorable characters. I would love a mystery like THE WESTING GAME. And I’m on the lookout for diverse characters in action-packed fantasy adventures (similar to Rick Riordan Presents titles) and humorous voices. If you have a humorous main character with a voice like comedian Mitch Hedberg, send your project my way! I also love when kids connect with animals in a BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, bring-your-tissues kind of way. Unique structures and interesting, ambitious POV choices are right up my alley. I am interested in middle grade that doesn’t shy away from the experience of LGBTQ characters. I’m also interested in highly-illustrated MG and younger middle grade author-illustrators who straddle the line between graphic novel and chapter book. If you’ve created a strong, unique character that can become a series juggernaut, please send your project my way!
GRAPHIC NOVELS: I’d love to represent more graphic novel clients. Send me your MG and YA contemporary, romances (straight and LGBTQ), found family, friendship dramas, fantasy, fractured fairy tales, unique retellings, and magical realism. I’m open to select historical/non-fiction projects if they have clear hooks. I am thrilled when authors are mining their own experiences in an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical way. Anything with side-busting humor or box-of-tissues feels will grab my attention. (I also have a soft spot for cats.) If you are an illustrator whose work straddles the line between graphic novel and chapter book, I’m also excited to see your project. And, as always, I am looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.
YOUNG ADULT: I love when projects sit at the crossroads of literary and commercial. I’m dying for an unforgettable love story, a delightful rom-com, and a tense thriller with strong commercial hooks–especially if these stories are uplifting (and really, really fun) and the main characters are diverse with authors who are #ownvoices. I’m also looking for younger YA that deals with the general awkwardness of being a tween similar to My So-Called Life back in the day. I’m always looking for authors who are thoughtful about structure and voice; e.g. a ticking-clock timeline, a closed setting, a journal-entry format, Death as a unique narrator, and so forth. Ambitious projects with multiple commercial hooks and an uplifting, joyful, empowering sensibility with feminist and social justice angles are a plus. I’m being extremely selective with fantasy right now, but if you think you have a new, unique take, then I’d love to see it. I love literary voices when the pacing is tight and the stakes are high. And, as always, I am looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.
PICTURE BOOK ILLUSTRATORS: I’m looking for illustrators who can create a strong character, a clear conflict, and write with a humorous voice and/or a surprising twist at the end. I’m open to non-fiction if the story has multiple hooks and an evergreen, contemporary delivery. And, as always, I am looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.
ADULT WOMEN’S FICTION: I love upmarket fiction featuring female main characters that are perfect book club reads. Think QUEENIE, ANXIOUS PEOPLE, ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE, WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE, AYESHA AT LAST, BIG LITTLE LIES, and WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING as examples of her taste. And, as always, she is looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.
I am not the best fit for stories centered on suicide, sexual assault, or eating disorders.
I do not represent the following:
• Picture Book Authors (unless you are already a client)
• Poetry Collections
• Short Story Collections
• Christian/Inspirational Market
Fun facts about me:
- Edward Eager was my granduncle, the classic middle grade author of Half Magic, Knight’s Castle, Magic by the Lake, and so forth, and I grew up loving his magical adventures grounded in the contemporary.
- I studied abroad in Newcastle, Australia.
- I have a cat named Nimh who loves to play fetch.
- I’m a Midwesterner turned New Yorker.
Please query me through my Query Manager page. You can also always visit the Greenhouse website to see our latest submission guidelines and check if I’m open for queries.