Crystal Castro

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

My Manuscript Wish List®

Submission Guidelines

My name is Crystal Castro and I am an editorial assistant at Little, Brown Books for Young readers. I am so excited to be considering YA and MG fiction titles for my list! Below is an ever-evolving outline of things I’d like to see in my inbox.

I am actively seeking:


  • Character-driven narratives
  • Thrillers, mysteries, horror, fantasy, adventure
  • Debut projects from BIPOC authors. 
  • Voicey manuscripts– I want to get a sense of the main character’s personality from the very first page!


  • Anything that feels dark and feminist. Give me girls who are angry, vengeful, and powerful. If you have something with a Bunny by Mona Awad (from the Bunnies POV), The Craft, girl-squad-that-eats-people vibe, I want it. 
  • Books about cults/cult-like groups. Bonus for dark academia vibes (think The Secret History by Donna Tartt or We Were Villians by M.L Rio, but with a punchy YA voice). 
  • Books about mermaids/sirens/pirates.


  • Humorous stories about middle-grade issues (puberty, friend breakups, etc.)
  • Fantasy & adventure, especially if there is some sort of school/academy element
  • Quippy narrators (think Lemony Snicket!)

Things I love:

  • Sisters. 
  • The ocean. Storms.
  • Coastal aesthetics (dark and light).
  • Nature as character.
  • Books that take place in a short period of time (1 day to 1 week).
  • Seeing the same event from multiple POVs.
  • Short chapters.
  • Books with BIPOC narrators that aren’t about being BIPOC. 

I am NOT looking for:

  • Adult manuscripts. I work at a children’s publisher and I am unable to consider projects for adult audiences (yes, even if they’re really good). 
  • Picture books.
  • Unagented submissions. 
  • Novels in verse.
  • Books with racism plot lines. 

Vital Info