Chelsea Hensley

KT Literary

My Manuscript Wish List®

In all areas I’m looking for lyrical prose, voice that comes off the page, intricate plots, complex emotional arcs, and immersive worlds. I’d love to see some ambitious works that play with form and narration as well as works that blend genre, aren’t afraid to get a little weird, and surprise me. The bolder the better. I’m also eager to find authors who write across multiple genres and age categories, so if you have ambitions to write beyond the project you’re currently querying, take a look at other areas of my wishlist and see if we may be a good fit for future works of yours, too.

Please be mindful of the section of things I am not looking for at the bottom of this page as submissions like these will be automatically passed on. You may view submission guidelines for myself and kt literary here.

Picture Books

I am finally, finally open to picture book submissions! I am looking for author/illustrators at this time and am especially interested in author/illustrators who are looking to do illustrator-only work in publishing like covers, interiors, and illustrations for works authored by others both in the kids space and adult. Illustration wise I’m drawn to a variety of art styles, but some of my favorites are Julie Morstad, Yoshi Yoshitani, Jessie Sima, Ryan T. Higgins, the Fan Brothers, Vashti Harrison, LeUyen Pham, Corey Brickley, and Melissa Castrillion.

I’d love to see picture books with some potential new classic characters of all kinds. I like sweet animal characters but would also like to see contemporary, human characters on adventures. In books featuring human characters, I am very, very partial to these characters being BIPOC. As far as text, I like the lyrical and poetic as well as the fun and funny, and while I enjoy a gentle and affirming ode, I’m moreso geared toward stories with a strong narrative. I’m also open to picture book biographies, particularly those of lesser discussed and contemporary figures.

Think: Ryan T. Higgins’ Mother Bruce, We Do Not Eat Our Classmates and Be Quiet, Suzanne Lang’s Grumpy Monkey, Jessie Sima’s Harriet Gets Carried Away, Vashti Harrison’s Big, Kyo Maclear’s and Julie Morstad’s Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli and Joanna Ho’s and Teresa Martinez’s Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma.

Middle Grade

Submission Guidelines

Queries will be accepted via QueryManager. If Query Manager presents an accessibility issue, our general query inbox is Please specify the agent you’re looking to query, and queries will be distributed and reviewed as time permits.

If I like your query and want to read more, I will request the first 50 pages and a complete synopsis.

Before querying, please make sure you’ve checked my MSWL to ensure we may be a good fit. All queries will receive a response, feel free to nudge if you haven’t heard back in 12 weeks.

Guidelines & Details