Desiree Wilson

The Bent Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

I represent novels and graphic novels for readers 10 and up. I am primarily looking for horror (and kid-horror), high-concept fantasy by authors from underrepresented communities, books featuring disabled representation or written by disabled authors, and accessible or near-future science fiction.In all my queries I am always looking for a strong voice. A little literary with the accessibility of commercial fiction is the sweet spot, and I love being swept away by a turn of phrase, or several. Whether lush and opulent, jocular and familiar, or cagey and moody, I want author and character voices that hook me and don't let go. I love a tactile, immersive world that feels like you could step into it and make an interesting life there, and I'm also a sucker for characters and their familiars, from talking animals to eldritch horrors, sentient weapons to companion robots.

Most importantly, I'm looking for unsung voices and stories that uplift Black and POC communities. I want to read stories in which we are the heroes of our own stories, that center the microcosms of our personal relationships. I'm always looking for Black-led stories, and this round of queries I'm especially interested in stories by and for Black women and girls. Send me your stories of BIPOC being in love, being joyous, being playful, silly, and foolish, making mistakes and learning from them, building their relationships with all their flaws and desires in tow.

Young Adult

For young adult readers, I'm looking primarily for high-concept fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, and non-European fairytale retellings or adaptations of Western fables that feature a diverse cast or are written by a BIPOC author. I love a unique blend of worlds, weird dystopias rooted in science or science fiction (please, no plague/disease stories right now), and stories that embrace the beautiful, horrible power of creatures we've come to think as whimsical instead of eldrich, like fey or angelic hosts.

I am looking for horror with depth and nuance, especially those that frame marginalization or systemic issues in a new and terrifying way. I love a good body horror, well-executed gore, and having to wonder which characters will make it to the end; if I throw your book across the room at the end, that's even better, honestly.

Finally, I'm looking for love stories that don't necessarily center romantic love, instead making room for found family or close friendships to get through conflict. This is especially in the case of agender and female protagonists whose journey leads them to understanding they aren't and don't have to be alone in the world. Nevertheless, I do quite enjoy cheesy, sappy, queer romcoms, with emphasis on comedy (especially when it feels like it could the anecdote of a poor confused poster found on /r/relationships).

Middle Grade

I am looking for upper MG titles for readers in the 10-14 age range and prefer titles with YA-crossover appeal. As a former Very Serious Middle Grader™, I am primarily interested in books that speak to that same reader today: stories that skip the fart jokes, don't lean heavily on zaniness or condescend to readers, with quiet humour and philosophical hooks, a safe place to explore their emotions and anxieties or examine difficult topics like mental health or gender identity.

I am currently looking for middle grade non-fiction related to STEM, gender/sexual identity, or non-Eurocentric history that hasn't already been over-explored.

I'm always looking for sharp, smart, and scary kid-horror, as long as it's got enough heart and morality to offset the scares, centers universal topics, and has a strong moral lesson attached. I'm currently looking specifically for stories that feature LGBTQ+ characters or coming out stories for younger readers and books with ensemble casts like Stranger Things that concentrate on their strong friendships. I'm also currently accepting queries for modernized story collections or potential series from author-illustrators (or established working teams).

Adult

I'm looking for upmarket adult fiction with strong crossover and commercial appeal, as well as new adult and contemporary romance. I tend to prefer genre fiction (horror, fantasy, sci-fi) but the right voice can get me to read almost anything. I have a soft spot for quick fluffy romantic reads and contemporary urban fantasy so long as the conceit is unique and well-considered and the world is as believable and cohesive. I love atmospheric and/or psychologically complex horrors or thrillers within these constraints, too. Anything that makes me want to keep the light on while I read.

I'm interested in Black-led romances, femme or LGBTQ+ protagonists of all walks, disability representation, underdogs against the world, thieves and their groups, and generally flawed, selfish characters who are in over their heads.

I am not considering crime/military thrillers, true crime, military or war stories, fictional pandemics, historical fiction pre-20th century or set in WWI/WWII, hard science fiction, or anything you'd describe as "gritty". I am not accepting nonfiction at this time.

Graphic Novels

I see graphic novels and comics first and foremost as a creative, dynamic medium, and I am most interested in books that feel like the medium is the best option for them. Please don't send me your recycled film/TV script for graphic novelization; do send me your stories that really understand the interplay of panels, colors, lettering, scene framing, and the power of a great illustrator.

I am looking for kid-horror, magical realism, fantasy, contemporary fiction, speculative fiction, and science fiction titles.

For middle graders, I love adorable but fierce protagonists dealing with somewhat complicated topics. The cuter the better, truly, but preferably not juvenile; stories should err on the side of upper MG when possible, but I do skew younger in this space. Capturing the magic and whimsy of animated shows like The Owl House or Over the Garden Wall is key to making me love it. For young adults, I look specifically for high-concept hooks, character-driven or slice-of-life narratives, and complicated relationships, whether platonic or romantic.

For adult readers, the sky is the limit, but the same rules apply as with my adult novel wishlist. I am also considering compelling graphic memoirs from writer-illustrators, as well as adult horror—including body horror a la Clean Room.

Please do not query me with your superhero stories or deconstructions, your multi-book epics, or your ongoing monthly series concepts.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to desireequeries@thebentagency.com

I am not the right agent for:

  • most nonfiction
  • monthly/ongoing comics for the direct market
  • superheroes or superhero deconstructions
  • hard sci-fi
  • military or police-themed fiction
  • pre-20th century historical
  • WWI/WWII fiction
  • picture or board books

I represent but am not currently accepting queries for:

  • illustrators not attached to a project or writing their own
  • memoir
  • poetry or story collections

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Agent
Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children's, Commercial, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Horror, LGBTQ, Middle Grade, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Favorite sub-genres:
I'd like the next...

My favorites include...

Books

Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
The Pandava Quartet by Roshani Chokshi
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Blindsight by Peter Watts
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Holly Black's Folk of the Air series
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Comics/Graphic Novels

Achewood by Chris Onstad
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
Heart in a Box by Kelly Thompson & Meredith McClaren
Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen
Girls With Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto
Paper Girls by Cliff Chiang

Film

Attack the Block
The 'Burbs
The Conjuring franchise
Colossal
Event Horizon
Inception
House on Haunted Hill
In the Mouth of Madness
Parasite
The Third Man
Us

TV
Blood & Water
Channel Zero
Doom Patrol
The Expanse
Insecure
Psych
Ted Lasso
Twilight Zone (1970s, but the new ones are also nice)
Warehouse 13
Wellington Paranormal

Anime/Cartoons

Bojack Horseman
Bob's Burgers
Dr. Stone
Fate/Zero
Fullmetal Alchemist
Infinity Train
JBA
Madoka Magica
One Punch Man
Owl House
YuYu Hakusho

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