Erica McGrath

Writers House

My Manuscript Wish List®

Writers House is one of the largest agencies in the world and provides an extraordinary amount of individual client attention, combined with the full-service benefits of foreign rights, subrights (including audio and film), accounting, royalty, and contract departments.

I am a junior agent actively growing my list of adult and children’s books. I’ve been at Writers House since my intern days back in 2018, since then, I’ve worked closely with the contracts department, and have supported Senior Agents Stephen Barr and Susan Cohen. Under their mentorship, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with a range of award-winning authors and illustrators including Maggie Thrash, Anna Walker, Mark Leiknes, Jared Dillian, F.C. Yee, Jeanette Winter, Stacy Innerst, and Emily Hughes.

Before joining Writers House, I studied Visual Arts and English at SUNY New Paltz and interned at not-for-profit art organizations like The Center for Photography at Woodstock and Musee Magazine. Now, combining my literary and artistic passions with my business sensibilities, I’m dying to read your work! As a Cancer sun, Virgo rising, and the eldest daughter of four siblings, I come well equipped as an intuitive, organized, and dedicated advocate. I am a passionate collaborator eager to support authors on this emotional journey to create lasting and inspiring projects.

I’m looking to work with authors and illustrators across all age ranges, in genres ranging from picture books to middle grade and YA, to adult literary fiction and nonfiction. My taste is wide ranging but below you’ll find some specifics…

Adult Fiction
I gravitate toward ambitious voice-driven literary novels. Stark and straightforward prose, and anything that dips into a territory that could be labeled subversive, strange, out-there, darkly humorous, disquieting, or Lynchian. Despite the darkness—or because of it—I’m also seeking writing that makes me laugh. More specifically…

-Genre bending horror and folklore (WHITE TEARS by Hari Kunzru, A CHILDREN’S BIBLE by Lydia Millet, PATRICIA WANTS TO CUDDLE by Samantha Allen, OUR SHARE OF NIGHT by Mariana Enríquez)

-Propulsive stories about family, gender, and complex friendships and relationships (MARLENA by Julie Buntin, DETRANSITION BABY by Torrey Peters)

-Explorations of how structural violence breeds interpersonal violence (RAINBOW BLACK by Maggie Thrash, THE RABBIT HUTCH by Tess Gunty)

-Subversive and experimental literary mysteries (THE LIKENESS by Tana French)

-Character studies where the writing feels cerebral and interior (THE SARAH BOOK by Scott McClanahan, STEPHEN FLORIDA by Gabe Habash, CHEMISTRY by Weike Wang, THE IDIOT by Elif Bautman)

-Explorations of desire and obsession (LUSTER by Raven Lelani, I’M A FAN by Sheena Patel, BIG SWISS by Jen Beagin)

-Cultural critiques wrapped up in vivid storytelling (FRIDAY BLACK by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, THE MARS ROOM by Rachel Kushner, THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz)

-Interconnected stories with ambitiously cast characters, where lives unexpectedly collide (SKIPPY DIES by Paul Murray, THE GLASS HOTEL by Emily St. John Mandel, A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD by Jennifer Egan )

Adult Nonfiction
Overall, I’d love to work with passionate writers and journalists who aren’t afraid to stir the pot. I’m looking for narrative non-fiction (SAY NOTHING by Patrick Radden Keffee), microhistories about cultural histories (OUR BAND COULD BE YOUR LIFE by Michael Azerrad), issue-driven hybrid-memoirs (MONSTERS by Claire Dederer), and obsessive and honest essay collections (GO AHEAD IN THE RAIN & A LITTLE DEVIL IN AMERICA by Hanif Abdurraqib). I’m especially interested in working with multidisciplinary creators, subculture-history buffs, and those with uncommon voices explaining important or untold events. I’m also seeking original investigative pieces on humble subjects (RAW DOG: THE NAKED TRUTH ABOUT HOT DOGS by Jamie Loftus), and any topic that explores the gray areas where finance and artistry collide (SELLOUT by Dan Ozzi ).

Graphic Novels
I have a soft spot for graphic memoirs. In graphic novels (in everything from adult to highly illustrated MG, and YA), I’m looking for inventive storytelling and meta depictions of how reality is often stranger than fiction.
Select favorites: HONOR GIRL by Maggie Thrash; LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME by Mariko Tamaki; HEY, KIDDO by Jarrett J. Krosoczka; DUCKS by Kate Beaton; IMPOSSIBLE PEOPLE by Julia Wertz; NEW KID by Jerry Craft; THIS WAS OUR PACT by Ryan Andrews.

Picture Books
I’m seeking picture books that overfloweth with wonderment, curiosity, and humor. Memorable characters, visually expansive art, and smart and humorous writing. In this space, I want a book that demands to be read over and over, and one where readers can spend hours (days, years!) poring over the artwork. Keywords: transformative, bold, heartfelt, and hilarious. I am open to fiction and nonfiction, text-only, and author/illustrator submissions.
Dreaming of working with the next: Eliza Kinkz, Emily Hughes, M.B. Goffstein, Monica Arnaldo, Rilla Alexander, Zachariah O’Hara, Balint Zsako, Ruth Chan, Matthew Forsythe, Brendan Wenzel, Carson Ellis, Shawn Harris, Kevin Henkes, and Mariachiara Di Giorgio.

Middle Grade
Growing up, I must have read INKHEART by Cornelia Funke cover to cover no less than fifty times. I’m seeking stories that inspire a similar insatiable, unputdownable, desire. And I want books that grow up with their readers, that they can return to even in adulthood – I’ll never forget that gut-punch feeling of reading LOVE THAT DOG as a kid; the brilliance of Sharon Creech’s verse, and the story returning in on itself. Most recently, I loved Daniel Nayeri’s EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE and KING AND THE DRAGONFLIES by Kacen Callender . My taste here ranges from contemporary to fantastical to mysterious, to anywhere in between . I love writing with a ton of humor and heart (like the QUEST KIDS series by Mark Leiknes). Unforgettable characters are a must (the inimitable Clover Elkin in Eli Brown’s ODDITY), and I’m a sucker for unconventional friendships (PAX by Sara Pennypacker). Highly illustrated and inventive hybrid styles are most welcome.

Young Adult
I’m picky when it comes to Young Adult and tend to favor literary and voice-driven fiction. (Or more to the point, when I was in high school, I named our family cat Holden Caulfield.) I’m interested in contemporary stories that reflect the emotional complexities and thorny realities of adolescence. I want to fall in love with a character and be put through the ringer via the depths of their emotional despair but feel reassured that there’s a light at the end. Note: I am highly selective about YA speculative or supernatural texts.
Select favorites: I AM THE MESSENGER by Markus Zuzak, BABY & SOLO by Lisabeth Posthuma, ARISTOTLE AND DANTE by Benjamin Alire Saenz, DIG by A.S. King, FIREKEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley, WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour, anything by Laurie Halse Anderson, WILDER GILRS by Rory Powers.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Thank you for thinking of me! Please email your submission to The email subject line should contain “query”, and please include a query letter, synopsis, and approximately 10-15 sample pages of your work (or sample artwork/manuscript for picture book and graphic novel submissions.) I read and respond to each query and will do my best to get back to you within 8 weeks’ time.

Guidelines & Details