Eva Scalzo

Speilburg Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®



General Wants:

All the items below can and should be applied to my specific genre requests unless specified.

+#Latinx stories please from #Latinx creators! Especially from authors of Puerto Rican, Dominican or Cuban descent. I want to see my culture represented in the books I read, but I also just want to promote authors whose voices and stories can reflect the diversity in our world, a diversity that is still lacking in publishing.

+Beyond #Latinx voices, I want to see multicultural, diverse fiction from authors of all cultures, races, ethnicities, abilities. I am committed to making sure underrepresented voices have a seat at the table.

+#LGBTQ stories of all flavors, across categories any retelling “but make it gay” is pretty much would be something I want to read.

+Invisible chronic conditions: I want to see characters with diabetes, epilepsy, other auto-immune diseases, where the condition is part of their identity, but not the whole of it. I want to see their joy more than their struggles, but I don’t want it to be token or forgotten either.

+Stories from marginalized voices that focus on joy. If it’s not obvious by now, I’m a fan of the happy-ever-after. Issues books have their place on the bookshelf, but that’s not my wheelhouse. Everyone deserves a little love (whatever form of love that takes), send me those stories, please. I want to feel ALL THE THINGS.

In Romance:

+All the grumpy-sunshine tropes. Seriously ALL OF THEM. If your couple comps to Roy-Keeley or Roy-Ted or whatever the f/f version of that would be, please send it to me.

+Raunch-coms that embrace female sexuality and are fun and sexy with love interests who are supportive and never slut-shame.

+Romance that sweeps me off my feet. Heroes who love hard and fast and true. I ADORE a good HE FALLS FIRST story. I want heroines who are tough and can always rise above without needing to be saved. I love it when HE TRIES TO SAVE HER BUT SHE SAVED HERSELF FIRST. I want to see couples that have to work hard for that HEA/HFN.

+In historical romance, my tastes tend to Regency/Victorian England/Gilded Age America. I’m very selective in this space, other time periods/settings are fine to query, but hook and writing must be compelling.

+In contemporary I’m especially hungry for stories where gender expectations are subverted. And I am always intrigued by stories with a light speculative element.

+I love when music/songs/vibes are the inspiration behind a story. I’m a known #Swiftie, so if say you’ve got a heroine whose karaoke go-to is “Anti-hero”, query me please.

+High concept stories that are just shy of bonkers are always my jam. If you have to caveat an idea with “wait, but hear me out” it’s likely that I will be interested in seeing more.

In Young Adult:

+I would love to see stories from BIPOC creators that explores culture through things like music or food or art. The way those things can connect us to culture and also cross cultural barriers is a relatable way to explore identity, especially in the YA space.

+I know I mentioned invisible chronic conditions in my general asks, but I would especially love to see this in the #kidlit space. Again, stories should center on joy, but representation is so vital for this age category. Kids grappling with new diagnoses or figuring out how to navigate old ones in the face of growing up and gaining more responsibility for self-care is a space that has room for growth in this category.

+Contemporary fantasy that is inspired by non-European mythologies from diverse creators. I wouldn’t be mad if it were historical fantasy either. I’d really love to see stories from #Latinx creators in this vein.

+Open to almost all subcategories, but I prefer stories that feature a strong romantic element. I am not a huge fan of coming-of-age stories.

+Historical YA must have an incredible voice/hook for me to take the risk on it. And prefer speculative/fantasy settings than realistic ones.

+In the contemporary space, I’m especially interested in queer stories where falling in love is an exploration of identity that hinges on joy and feeling comfortable in knowing who you are.

In Science Fiction and Fantasy:

+Anything with a fairy tale at the root of the story is fair game, but also any retelling of a classic story is always my jam. From Shakespeare to Spielberg, I love stories that take familiar characters and upends their world and everything we thought we knew about them.

+Stories that are feminist and intersectional, I especially want stories that don’t reinforce patriarchal thinking and that is inclusive above all else.

+A perennial ask, historical fantasy with a diverse bent and lots of magic. Especially if your story comps For the Wolf. I’m slightly obsessed with that book.

+A reminder that I’m not the best fit for overly complex high fantasy. I prefer my fantasy to be accessible, with world-building and magic systems that don’t require PhDs to understand.

In Middle Grade:

+Stories that are lyrical and on the more literary range of the spectrum.

+Stories infused with magic and and mystery. With kids working together to save their world.

+Diversity above all, kids in this age range need to see the a reality that reflects their world.

+Here too, that invisible chronic condition representation is so important and something I’d love to see.

+Both fantasy and contemporary, but the beauty of the prose will be what draws me in.

In Mystery/Thriller:

+My tastes here are pretty specific. To go back to my old friend, Taylor Swift, say you have a story that would comp to “Vigilante Shit” or “no body, no crime” then you’re 100% in my wheelhouse.

+I’m not especially interested in cop narratives or detective stories. White hat hackers, morally gray MCs are my speed in this space.

+Gothics with light horror elements as long as it’s not too gory. I especially love atmospheric settings and psychological suspense.

+It’s hard to keep me guessing, but if you can do that, then I know we have a winning story on our hands.


+Inspirational Romance (Sweet Romance is okay, it’s the prayer/God stuff I don’t want.)

+Nonfiction (If your story is autobiographical, I don’t want it.)

+General fiction or women’s fiction that does not include a strong romantic element or a happy-ever-after. (If I fall in love with characters, for the most part, I want them alive and happy by the time “The End” rolls around.)

+High or Epic Fantasy is not a good fit. (If you’re comping George R.R. Martin or Tolkein, it’s just not something I enjoy reading.)

+Motorcycle Club Romance (Unless you’ve managed to write the MC f/f romance with no overt sexism/misogyny that I may secretly want to see! Bonus if the characters are #Latinx.)

+I didn’t realize this needed to be said, but if your book features incest, that’s a hard NO for me. Also, no on the page rape or sexual abuse, these are not things I am okay with reading.

+Please do not try to redeem a Nazi. They’re unredeemable in my book.

+Chapter/picture books

+Graphic novels (Love them but don’t know how to sell them)

+Screenwriting/Short Stories/Poetry

Fun facts about me:

Eva Scalzo was born in New Jersey, but has lived in Houston, Buenos Aires, San Juan, and Boston before settling down outside of Binghamton, New York. She has a B.A. in the Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico and a M.A. in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. Since graduating in 2002, she has spent her career in scholarly publishing, working for Houghton Mifflin, Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, and Cornell University in a variety of roles.

Eva has been reading romance since the fifth grade when she discovered the Sweet Valley High series. On inheriting her grandmother’s collection of vintage Harlequin Romances, she promptly set about filling the gaps, and her goal is to someday finish reading all the treasures.

Actual Fun Facts:
+My name is not pronounced with a long E sound. I’m of Puerto Rican, Lebanese, and Spanish descent.

+I worked at a shoe store while in college. I was perennially broke, but my shoe game rivaled Carrie Bradshaw’s.

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