Emily Polson


My Manuscript Wish List

As an assistant editor at Scribner, I am looking to acquire:

  • Character-driven literary and upmarket novels and novellas with memorable protagonists
  • Speculative fiction based in the familiar world, ranging from dystopian to magical realism to surrealism that flirts with the absurd
  • Memoir, essays, and narrative nonfiction with a compelling personal narrative arc
  • Translated fiction with a unique hook
  • Poetry that skillfully engages with the personal as a lens for exploring the wider world
  • Self-help that reframes/demystifies its topic and empowers readers with actionable takeaways

In any type of project, I’m drawn to unconventional/experimental forms, immersive and distinct prose, short books with big impact, humor (punching up and in, never down), genre-blending/straddling works, and stories that "speak into the silence" (Carmen Maria Machado) of the existing canon.

I love themes of coming-of-age, travel, heritage, food, art, mental health, and religious identity, and I'd love to read more diverse/intersectional perspectives on these topics.

Fun facts about me:

I've taught writing in a Mississippi state prison and English in a Basque ikastola; I'm originally from Iowa, where my first job was detasseling corn at age 14 and I won many blue ribbons for baking at the state fair; I'm a classically trained ballerina and still take the occasional open class in NYC.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to emily.polson@simonandschuster.com

I am currently accepting agented submissions only.

Vital Info

Fiction: General, Humor, LGBTQ, Literary, Poetry
Non-Fiction: Humor, Journalism, LGBTQ, Memoir, Psychology, Travel

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

Transcendent Kingdom, SeveranceIn the Dream HouseConvenience Store Woman, Taking the Work Out of Networking: an Introvert's Guide to Making Connections that Count, and Deaf Republic: Poems.

My favorites include...

Fiction: Milk Fed by Melissa Broder, Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu, Temporary by Hilary Leichter, The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun, Weather by Jenny Offill, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin, The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam, No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

Nonfiction: Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden, The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood, Wandering in Strange Lands by Morgan Jerkins, The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang, Ask for More: Ten Questions to Negotiate Anything by Alexandra Carter, Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

Poetry: Eye Level by Jenny Xie, Space Struck by Paige Lewis, Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar, Junk by Tommy Pico, Brute by Emily Skaja, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker, Homie by Danez Smith

My Upcoming Events:

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