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.

Fun stuff:

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…).

Submission Guidelines

Query Manager

  • I prefer that folks query me through Query Manager. Please fill out the form on my page to submit your query.


  • If for accessibility reasons you need to query by email, you can send your query to

  • In the subject line, please write your last name and the title of your manuscript (if you illustrate but don’t write, write your last name and the word ILLUSTRATOR). Then, in the body of the e-mail, include a query letter with the following:

    • Who you are (please include your website if you have one)

    • What your manuscript is about or a description of your artistry

    • A sample of your work keeping the following in mind:

      • If you are a writer, include the first 2000 words (or less for full picture book texts) pasted in the body of the e-mail (no attachments).

      • If you are an illustrator, author/illustrator, or graphic novelist, please include a link to your website or online portfolio.

      • If you have a dummy or sample illustration pages available and they cannot be accessed online, you are welcome to attach that as a PDF. Otherwise, again, do not include attachments.

  • I endeavor to respond to all queries within 6 weeks. If I haven’t done so in that time frame, please resend or feel free to query another GZLA agent.

  • While I ask that you query only one agent within GZLA at a time, I encourage you to submit your work to other agencies simultaneously.

Guidelines & Details