Headwater Literary Management
My Manuscript Wish List®
I’m looking for work in the following categories:
- Politics and Current Affairs: A major pillar of my list is in contemporary political writing. I’m very interested in class-conscious and identity-conscious analyses of our current political moment, especially if it’s about the nature of power, socialism and other strands of leftist thought, critiques of capitalism and its intersection with fascism and other reactionary movements, and in general any sort of sharp, rigorous work that helps explain why our world looks like it does and how it can be made better. I work in this category with columnists, journalists, art critics, historians, essayists, and other specialists.
- History, especially American political or social. Cultural and political movements, especially related to leftism, labor, and power.
- Science, specifically evolution, biology, animals, or neuroscience; think Elizabeth Kolbert, Ed Yong, E. O. Wilson, Yuval Hurari.
- Cultural criticism, essays, commentary: this could be on anything, but off the top of my head I really like great writing on politics, race, social trends, leftism/socialism, videogames, Weird Twitter, and anything else you can convince me the world should care about.
- Sports with a larger (and necessary) cultural angle; think Grantland. Specifically I really like tennis, football, and basketball. I am DESPERATE to see a college football book written about from a leftist cultural perspective.
- International stories, especially in places undercovered by Western media, and ESPECIALLY places and people affected by U.S. foreign policy.
Adult Literary Fiction
I don’t put much of a premium on literal subject matter in literary fiction. It’s all in the writing; everything I like, I like because of the way it’s told. I’m interested in unique structural or craft decisions, as long as they make sense and feel necessary. I like folklore, ghost stories, myths, religion; I typically pick up realist fiction, but I really love when things feel slightly surreal because of the prose. As with the nonfiction described above, I really like fiction that’s class-, race-, or power-conscious, that sets up shop in the many divides, contradictions, dangers, and inequities of the world. I really like understatement; the most important craft decision an author makes is what to leave unsaid but present just off the page.
One highly specific request, in case the author of such a project is reading: I’d love to see a novel that engages with what would happen and how the world would look if the workers won.
Miscellaneous things I’m probably not the right agent for: long backstories; privileged people self-actualizing away from external consequences; office culture; stories that would get called “light” or “whimsical”; military, police, or other types of officers as protagonists; benevolent rich people.
I do not represent Thrillers, Young Adult, Children’s Books, or Middle Grade.
Fun facts about me:
Along with Laura Zats, I’m the co-host of “Print Run,” an (award-winning!) podcast about the book world that perhaps you might like. I also actually write a lot, myself; I’ve published some short stories and essays, and am nearing completion on a novel. I’m from Littleton, Colorado, but have lived in Galesburg, Illinois, New York City, and now Minneapolis. You can probably surmise my politics from the above discussions, but: I’m a socialist. I’m also Catholic, which from a book perspective means I really like stories of Saints, myths, legends, and other things listed elsewhere in here. I really love tennis, video games, football, and being outside here in Minnesota. I tweet too much, but that’s a great place to get to know me if we don’t know each other already.
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find Headwater Literary Management’s submission guidelines at: https://www.headwaterliterary.com/submissions
Our agency handles queries through Query Manager, a link to which is on that above page as well.