Bradford Literary Agency
My Manuscript Wish List®
My Manuscript Wish List® Items
I joined Bradford Literary Agency as the agency’s assistant in 2022 before moving into agenting in 2023. Prior to that, I interned at Writers House and served as a long-term reader and editor for another literary agency. I love high concept, high stakes stories with deep character development and gorgeous, commercial prose. I acquire primarily MG and YA and am open to any genre in those areas (including Graphic Novels and Nonfiction). In New Adult/Crossover and Adult, I acquire more limitedly and am open to only select genres.
What I’m looking for overall:
I acquire much more fiction than nonfiction, and my tastes tend to run toward the highly commercial.
In terms of what I’d like overall, I’d love to see more work from BIPOC and queer authors and more stories that can be described as “lush”, “glitz-y”, or “epic and high-stakes”. Stories featuring strong romantic elements are one of the best ways to get my attention, and I am specifically on the lookout for books that centers a-spec characters, fun settings, interesting or intense magic/political systems, and nonwestern worlds, though these elements don’t all need to be present in the same project!
Additionally, I’d like to see more projects that center Black joy and/or diaspora, immigrant, and refugee experiences (and not just in rom-com or contemporary fiction; I would love to see more of these stories in SFF as well).
I harbor a deep love of the high emotion, high stakes, and high trauma of K-dramas, C-dramas, J-dramas, etc. (be they historical, contemporary, or SFF) and am eager to see stories in any genre or area I represent that contain similar vibes!
Overall in fiction, though, the biggest thing I look for is whether the story features an active protagonist. I usually only acquire projects in which the protagonist enters the story with a goal and, by pursuing that goal, causes the story to happen.
For MG & YA:
I am open to all genres of MG and YA, including graphic novels and nonfiction, though I acquire primarily fiction and am only able to consider graphic novel projects that have an illustrator attached.
For MG, my taste leans commercial, though I will very happily consider more literary-leaning work if it has strong emotional hooks. I especially like stories that center messy, loveable characters trying to figure out who they are in difficult or changing worlds. Magic, gorgeous worldbuilding, accessible humor, epic plotlines, series, and unique settings are all welcome. I like active characters who, despite being young, have goals and things at stake and people they want to care about and for.
Some perennial favorite MG titles I don’t represent that are emblematic of my taste are:
- Anything by Rick Riordan or that fits Rick Riordan Presents!
- Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series
- The Chronicles of Egg and The Tapper Twins series by Geoff Rodkey
- The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer
- Minion, and Sidekicked by John D. Anderson
- The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
- Half Upon a Time by James Riley
- The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
- Dragon Run by Patrick Matthews
- The Fourth Stall series by Chris Rylander
- A Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom series by Christopher Healy
- Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Some elements that may draw me into a MG submission are:
- Characters who are full of heart and heroics
- Very atmospheric fantasy worlds, especially those based in nonwestern settings
- Squad goal friendships
- High stake situations
- Humor imbedded in emotional worlds
For YA, I am looking exclusively for commercial titles. Epic, high stakes historical fiction, glitzy contemporary, romantasy (particularly based in nonwestern worlds), and SFF with solid romantic subplots are high on my list of things to acquire, and I am very interested in finding more lush dystopian and dark academia novels that feature danger and intrigue. I also like trope-y rom-coms, though I am specifically looking for authors who can do this in ways that feel unique, and I love a good retelling, mystery, or thriller. Again, I like very active characters that cause their stories to happen. And I prefer high concept stories with easily definable pitches and hooks, especially those that meet, use, or challenge genre norms in new and satisfying ways.
Some perennial favorite YA titles I don’t represent that are emblematic of my taste are:
- Embassy Row and Heist Society series by Ally Carter
- Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
- Ivory and Bone series by Julie Eshbaugh
- A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
- Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro
- Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer
- The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater
- The False Prince series and the Mark of a Thief series by Jennifer A. Nielsen
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
- Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira
- Now a Major Motion Picture by Cory McCarthy
- Somewhere Only We Know and The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo
- How Not to Fall in Love by Jacqueline Firkins
Some elements that may draw me into a YA submission are:
- Contemporary rom-coms and/or dramas set in non-western settings
- Morally gray situations
- Loveable weirdos
- Disability/chronic illness rep
- Found family & bands of misfits facing the world together
- Enemies-to-lovers, rivals-to-lovers, and best-friends-to-lovers tropes
For New Adult/Adult:
I am currently only open to:
- SFF (including dystopian and space opera) with strong romantic elements; very important female, queer, and/or nonbinary characters; and emotive plotlines
- Very select narrative nonfiction that focuses on history and is accessible to a commercial audience
I tend to gravitate toward stories from diverse voices, and I appreciate stories that break the mold of what came before them rather than simply replicating that mold. I love morally gray characters (be they protagonists or love interests), I enjoy the excellent use of tropes, and I don’t shy away from heat. I am especially interested in seeing romantasy or dystopian stories featuring a strong romance set in nonwestern worlds. And I would love to see commercial narrative nonfiction that celebrates the daring, historical exploits of women from around the world.
Some perennial favorite titles I don’t represent that are emblematic of my taste are:
Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer
- To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang
- Love and Other Conspiracies by Mallory Marlowe
- The Resurrectionist by A. Rae Dunlap
- City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
- Trial of the Sun Queen by Nisha Tuli
The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor
- Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages, Through the Women Written Out of It by Janina Ramirez
Some elements that may draw me in for fiction are:
- Deeply Gen-Z or Millennial voices
- Super fun rom-coms with speculative elements
- Unique meet-cutes that very much fit the characters
- Twisty intrigue with high stakes that keeps me guessing
- Rom-coms with a bit of extra drama
- Enemies-to-lovers, rivals-to-lovers, and best-friends-to-lovers
- Nonwestern settings or worldbuilding
Some elements that may draw me in for nonfiction are:
- Ancient and Medieval history/culture from around the world: any well-researched topic here could be of interest to me, though I especially enjoy topics that touch on women in power or intrigue
- Feminist scholarship underpinning a project (can have a focus in any place/era)
- Lesser known topics that still fit the commercial market
- A well-done transition of a highly academic piece (e.g., a PhD thesis) into a commercial book
- History podcasters looking to work in commercial nonfiction
I only accept queries through QueryManager. You may reach my QueryManager page here: https://bradfordlit.com/submission-guidelines
You will need a query letter along with the first chapter of your manuscript and a synopsis. Please be sure to include the genre and word count in your cover letter. I acquire primarily MG and YA with some select New Adult/Adult work. In MG and YA, I am open to any genre. In New Adult/Adult, I only work with rom-com, romantasy, fantasy, and sci-fi (and tend to look for strong romances featured in SFF).
Please don’t send me:
- Short story collections
- Novellas not already connected to a full-length book or series
- Picture Books
- Anything outside of the genres included above (unless I’ve specifically solicited the submission)
- Inspirational fiction
- Graphic Novel scripts w/out an illustrator attached
- Adult Graphic Novels (YA GNs w/New Adult crossover potential are fine to query)
You will need a full nonfiction proposal including a query letter and a sample chapter. I am additionally only interested in seeing work that deals with history and is commercial in nature, well-researched, and well-cited; I tend to error toward preferring projects that are based on a feminist lens, and I typically am more drawn toward narrative history than biography, though there are exceptions, so please don’t hesitate to send me a proposal for something that you think might still fit my tastes.
Please don’t send me:
- Anything outside of the areas included above (unless I’ve specifically solicited the submission)
- Material that celebrates colonialism