Jennifer Mattson

Andrea Brown Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

I've been with Andrea Brown Literary Agency for more than a decade, and began working in children’s publishing immediately out of college—including five years as an editor at Dutton Children's Books and five years as a Books for Youth reviewer with Booklist magazine. I rep all audiences and genres, from picture book through young adult, and I'm looking for authors or author-illustrators who bring a deep professionalism, an open mind, and a fresh point of view to their work.

I'd currently like to add more novelists to my roster, as of January 2023. I'm particularly fond of MG characters, with all their smarts, vulnerability, optimism, and messy mistakes, but I also respond to YA that's not too heavy and problem-driven and has a clear and clever structure and/or hook.  Across the board I have soft spots for mindbending, not-too-techie sff and grounded fantasy set in places I really wish I could visit.

Lately I've been thinking about: a book set in and among a middle or high school mariachi program; a fun romcom set in a historically Black vacation community on Martha's Vineyard (a la Oak Bluffs); tightly constructed mysteries with a Westing Game flavor; picture book dummies from author/artists.

My client list includes authors of YA and middle grade fiction (such as Katy Loutzenhiser and Kate Hannigan), authors of picture books (such as Kim Norman and Linda Ashman), illustrators (such as Katy Wu), and author-illustrators (such as J. R. Krause, Brandon Reese, and Liz Starin). I primarily gravitate to fiction, but occasionally can't resist an impeccably researched nonfiction project.  But I'll always give more than a passing glance to a slam-dunk of a picture book!

I'm based in Chicago, where I live with my husband and two daughters. I like to run at a decidedly non-marathon level and enjoy dance as both audience member and participant. I also spent two years a little bit obsessed with the works of Anthony Trollope.

You can occasionally find me at writers’ conferences in Chicagoland and farther afield.

Fun facts about me:

Not that this is pertinent to my query in-box, but I once coauthored The Official Easy-bake Oven cookbook.

Submission Guidelines

Please query me via this QueryManager link exclusively:  http://QueryMe.Online/JenniferMattson.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Fiction: Action/Adventure, Children's, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical, LGBTQ, Literary, Middle Grade, Mystery, Picture Books, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Biography, History, Illustrated, LGBTQ, Memoir, Science

Favorite sub-genres:
I'd like the next...

Send me projects that share ...

...the childhood emotional truths of Janae Marks's From the Desk of Zoe Washington, Victoria Jamieson's Roller Girl, or Beverly Cleary's Ramona,

...tbe instantly book-talkable premises of Neal Shusterman's Scythe or Margaret Peterson Haddix's Running Out of Time,

...the rich, character-driven, high-stakes storytelling of Angeline Boulley's The Firekeeper's Daughter,

...the fresh perspective on a historical moment of Vera Hiranandani's The Night Diary or Julie Berry's The Lovely War,

...the genre-sampling exuberance of Silvia Morena-García's Mexican Gothic,

...the accessible, controlled invention of Ben Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl,

...the lingering strangeness of Stuart Turton's The 7-1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle,

...the MG or YA version of the French blockbuster supernatural thriller, Hervé le Tellier's The Anomaly


My favorites include...

Here's a smattering of some of my obsessions:

  • Making marmalade
  • Huevos rancheros
  • Chicago-style close-up magic (a source of wonder replenishment)
  • Supper clubs and speakeasies, or anyplace with a secret entrance
  • Rivers
  • Study carrels
  • Tiny houses
  • The Moth Radio Hour (would that I had the courage to participate)
  • Choreographer Justin Peck
  • Taking dance class
  • Learning, reluctantly, to add vegan cookery to my repertoire

Some authors not for kids that I've been reading recently:

  • Robert J. Parker
  • Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
  • Susanna Clarke



My Upcoming Events:

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