Erin Casey Westin
Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency
My Manuscript Wish List
Standard Bio: Erin is open to all kid lit age groups, from picture books through YA, and is particularly drawn to work that shows the author’s world- and character-building ability. She wants to believe wholeheartedly in the world of the book, whether the setting is familiar or fantastic. She wants to see authentic, thoughtful representations of all people so that every kid can find a book that speaks to them. She wants even the simplest lines of text to pluck at her heartstrings because they’re so beautifully written. Erin loves getting so engrossed in a book she forgets she's reading entirely.
I'm an escapist reader - I read to live in another person's experience for a little while. I love magical realism and speculative novels that take our world and change one small thing or turn it on its head entirely. I love fantasy, high or low, and it's usually what I turn to for pleasure reading. I’m eager for more fantasy and light horror inspired by non-western mythology and folklore. Please send me books that comp to the Rick Riordan Presents list or would be published by Tor Teen or Labyrinth Road.
I'm excited to be reading and representing more graphic novels, both realistic and fantastic. I prefer author-illustrators in this category and am looking for art styles that are instantly recognizable in a crowd. I’m looking for graphic novels in all the age groups I represent but I’m particularly interested in graphic novel chapter books and early readers that could sit alongside series like Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly.
I think there is a growing market for highly illustrated chapter books, particularly by marginalized creators finally getting the chance to tell their stories. The chapter book market is hard to break into, but editors are recognizing the homogeneity of that market currently and I’d love to help non-white creatives break into that space and tell stories that resonate with their childhoods.
If I'm going to read realistic contemporary, I want to learn something, broaden my perspective, or be otherwise removed from the traditional high school drama of white allocishet teenage existence. I'm not the best fit for stories that revolve around romance, though I love to swoon when the romance is part of a bigger overall plot. I’m also not the right fit for super commercial, dramatic, realistic YA plots (think The OC). I would love more contemporary sports stories with queer representation!
I'm interested in nonfiction but usually not biographies unless the world really needs to hear that person's story.
I am committed to building a diverse list of fiction that provides mirrors, windows, and doors for all kids. I am actively looking to represent work by people from marginalized communities and I greatly appreciate the trust those creatives put in me by choosing to share their work.
No work for the adult market please! Additionally, things that are not a good fit for me: gun violence, especially as a “gotcha” moment or to escalate a final confrontation; plots that entirely revolve around a misunderstanding.
Fun facts about me:
I've always loved sports and still competitively play volleyball and ultimate frisbee. I love being outside and am finally starting to rack up National Park visits. I love animals, particularly dogs, whales, and horses - I dream of one day owning an animal rescue/farm (not for whales though...).
Guidelines & Details
I'd like the next...
Something like Holes with a unique, isolated setting and cool myth/lore; a graphic novel that feels like Steven Universe; a book with the ingenuity and world/character building of the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin but for kids/young adults; a horse book about friendship and the love of riding but with modern conversations that are relevant for our world, particularly examining the economic and racial privilege of English riding and how non-white, non-cis riders navigate this often restrictive space.
My favorites include...
Picture Books: The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes, No Fuzzball! by Isabella Kung, Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro and Teagan White, Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton, Drawn Together by Minh Lê
MG Books: Sanity and Tallulah by Molly Brooks, The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn
YA Books: The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao, We Are the Scribes by Randi Pink, Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez, The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
Adult books (as comps, I don't represent adult!): The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, all things by Terry Pratchett (but particularly the City Watch Discworld series), Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
Movies/TV: Indiana Jones, The Blues Brothers, Steven Universe, Disney, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Good Place, Survivor, Craig of the Creek, Knives Out, Supernatural, Spirit Rangers
Podcasts: The Adventure Zone, MBMBAM, Wonderful!, Burn It All Down, Up First, Pop Culture Happy Hour, You're Wrong About.
Video Games: Zelda (Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild tie for first), Battlefront II, Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, Red Dead Redemption.
My Upcoming Events: