Ellen Cormier

Dial Books for Young Readers

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m on the lookout for voicey character-driven picture books, middle grade, YA and graphic novels. My favorite projects explore universal themes through the lens of hyper-specific experiences and are voiced by flawed, complex characters that stick with you long after the final page.

I’m a total sucker for stories that authentically capture the raw, exquisite pains of middle school life; books that explore the complexities of friendships, especially ones that grow, change or fall apart; strong female characters; witty banter; queer coming-of-age narratives; and books that get me thinking more deeply about the world around me.

I’m specifically looking for…

  • LGBTQIA+ best friendship or first-ever-crush MG
  • Funny, classic-feeling family stories, à la Jeanne Birdsall’s Penderwicks series, featuring a non-white families
  • MG or YA that’s intersectional, feminist AF and  takes place at an all-girl’s boarding school or summer camp
  • Something that puts a new spin on the epistolary novel
  • YA where the primary pairing is platonic

I’m not the best fit for…

  • Books where getting the guy/girl is the main plot driver (especially if the pairing is cis/het/white)
  • Big, block-buster commercial /high concept fantasies (but send me your super literary Tamora Pierce-y , Garth Nix-y MG fantasies, please!)
  • Sick lit (chronic illness or disability = yes! cancer = no!)
  • Animal narrators
  • Humor that hinges on burps, farts, and the like

Submission Guidelines

Agented submissions only, but unagented writers may book consultations and critiques (see below).



As a new addition from The Manuscript Academy, #MSWL’s sister company, we are now offering e-meeting consultations with a select group of our agents and editors to go over your query letter or first page, get professional feedback, and learn more about the reactions you’re getting (or not getting…) from agents. You’ll be able to pick from Skype, Hangouts, or a phone call–and, yes, this works internationally. Please see our FAQ, our list of participating agents and editors–and consider joining our Facebook group, a free, friendly community of writers cheering each other on through this process. You can also learn more via the free MSWL podcast, with agent interviews, tips and tricks for giving your work its best possible chance.

Please note: Meetings are posted once monthly, and then often sell out. If there are meetings available, you’ll see them bolded on the calendar below. Want an email when new meetings go up? Click here.

Vital Info