Courtney Stevenson

Quill Tree Books / HarperCollins Children's Books

My Manuscript Wish List®

For my list, I’m looking for mostly MG and YA fiction. I tend to skew more literary, but I also need a narrative pace that keeps me turning pages, and clever humor is always a plus. I’m not as invested in flowery descriptions as I am in engaging plot and characters that I believe in.

I often gravitate toward contemporary fiction for both MG and YA. I’d love to find more stories that tackle new versions of self, complicated family relationships, generational histories, and more representation of religious faith and/or grappling as a lens on coming of age. (I’m not a believer of any kind, but as young people figure out how they fit into the world, religion might be a big part of that!)

When it comes to genre, I can fall in love with a fantasy or sci-fi if it feels rooted in the real world. I’m too much of a wimp for real horror, but I do love stories that have darkness and mold around the edges, or that have me looking over my shoulder while I’m reading.

Most of all, I’m dying to find some really strong historical fiction, with a story or perspective that readers may not have heard before that is begging to be told. I’m particularly interested in American history, and stories that are “slice of life” or adventure in a historical setting. (And if it’s magical or haunted, I’m open to that too!)

For something completely different, I’d be excited to see a Mary Roach-type book for young readers–something that incorporates some similar gross humor/fascination, and isn’t afraid to ask the really weird questions.

Wishlist of vibes: old timey cities, family secrets, mistakes that were meant to happen, optimism in spite of it all, fierce mothers, not-quite-humanness, houses of ill repute, body weirdness, punk rock, craftsmanship, Over the Garden Wall feels, grotesqueries, cowboys (any gender), seafaring (feminine), and convents (hijinks).

Submission Guidelines

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Agented submissions only.

Vital Info