Janine Le

Janine Le Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

Across the board:

  • stories and illustrations with emotional resonance!
  • originality (unique twists, fresh styles/approaches)
  • great voice (we see through a distinct point of view that draws the reader in)
  • engaging writing (rich sensory details, puns, or interactivity that add to the story)
  • like poetry, I love when form matches content in all genres
  • swift reads (compelling voice, well-paced plots rather than non-stop action. Shorter book/chapter word counts)
  • writers and artists who take their craft seriously and wow with revisions
  • diverse perspectives (BIPOC, Latinx, disabled, chronically ill, neurodiverse, immigrant, refugee, adoptee, multiracial, religious minority, LGBTQIA, etc.)

Some particular interests:

  • joyful stories (though I always welcome tough subjects, I’d like to see more joy in my inbox)
  • contemporary (romance, adventure, coming-of-age)
  • historical featuring less common settings
  • fantastic elements (surrealism, magical realism, mythology, mysticism rather than high fantasy or hard sci-fi)
  • narrative non-fiction, including subjects that broaden children’s views on science & culture (especially story-driven)
  • novels-in-verse
  • well-developed secondary characters (glimpses of each character having their own story)
  • humor that doesn’t rely on gags or the protagonist being the butt of the joke
  • complex relationships (characters navigating hurdles in friendships/dating/family relations rather than always-the-loner stories or characters who accept abuse)

For illustrators:

  • expressive characters
  • visual narratives
  • styles that are softer yet bright & vivid
  • strong use of light and shading, texture, backgrounds, layouts
  • professional artists crossing into kidlit
  • author-illustrated picture book dummies and graphic novel proposals

Fun facts about me:

I love nature & the outdoors (you can find me hiking with my family)

I also love sports. As a kid I tried swimming, diving, soccer, dance. I ran track and cross country in middle and high school, briefly did college cycling, and got into rock climbing as an adult, including multi-pitch outdoor climbs (love when a team or hobby plays a big role in a character’s growth and care more for good sportmanship, effort, and enjoyment than winning)

High school and college gigs included babysitting, Dairy Queen employee, hospital volunteer and then paid housekeeper, bike shop employee (love to see teen characters with jobs and appreciate middle class or struggling families)

I am a white, third-gen American-born mom in a biracial, first-gen family. (love to read about all sorts of characters/families and particularly love to see culture reflected in the foods, traditions, and stories/memories we share)

I was raised Catholic and am open to characters who grapple with religion if the stories fit in the trade market

See Pinterest, username janinehauber, for what I’m reading/watching

Submission Guidelines

Please use the online form at https://QueryManager.com/JanineLe to submit your work.

I would love to see a query letter with a one sentence hook, one or two paragraph summary of the work, and one paragraph bio introducing yourself. Please also include a sample of your text and/or illustrations.

I’ll do my best to respond to each query and apologize in advance that I will not be able to give feedback on most projects.

Guidelines & Details