Jolene Haley

Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

Middle Grade (ages 9-13)
I am particularly drawn to adventure, contemporary, horror, magical realism, and mystery novels. I love character driven stories with humor and authentic voices.

I’d love to see:
• A contemporary novel featuring stories of family, first love, and overcoming obstacles.
• Chilling tales of horror a la R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, including creepy dolls, ghosts, and books set at camp.
• Stories involving a diverse group of friends coming together to solve a mystery or a crime, like The Goonies or Stranger Things.
• Magical tales, especially ones set at boarding schools.
• Stories of adventure from anywhere in the world, from any time period, like pirates on the high seas or camping in the National forest.
• A modern-day Babysitter’s Club series or Sweet Valley Twins series.

Young Adult (ages 14-19)
I am interested in a wide variety of YA genres: adventure, contemporary, horror, magical realism, mystery, romance, thriller, true crime, and light fantasy. I love strong, unique voices and am always looking for diverse, inclusive reads. I have a soft spot for misunderstood characters and love interests.

I’d love to see:
• Feel-good coming of age stories like Stand by Me or Now and Then.
• Dark stories and tales of terror! Send your books involving ghosts, witches, tarot, haunted houses, cemeteries, or things that go bump in the night.
• A novel that reads like a true crime podcast.
• Myths and legends from your part of the world.
• Mysteries that involve friends banding together. If your novel can be likened to a more diverse Clue, Nancy Drew, or the Hardy Boys, send it in.
• Stories featuring your local girl gang (girls supporting girls).
• Romance in every subgenre, in every heat level. From slow burn romances to enemies-to-lovers to feel-good romances, I love them all.
• Stories involving heists of any kind.
• Adventures involving pirates, mermaids, or the ocean in any capacity.
• If your book’s aesthetic is in the dark academia realm, I’d love to see it.
• I’m forever wishing for a book that brings the same kind of autumn magic that Ray Bradbury conjured in his writing.
• Magic and witches, witches and magic, magic and witches, witches and magic. Oh, and curses too.

New Adult / Adult
I am interested in a variety of genres: adventure, chick lit, commercial women’s fiction, horror, mystery, paranormal, romance, thriller, suspense, and true crime. I am drawn to unreliable narrators, dark and gritty tales, and stories with lots of twists and turns.

I’d love to see:
• Horror of any kind that can scare and thrill. Bonus points if it can also make me laugh.
• Psychological thriller that messes with your head.
• Cozy mysteries with a lovable detective. Bonus points if it reminds me of Murder, She Wrote.
• Any and all mysteries and true crime novels.
• Romantic suspense featuring a strong lead and a hot, irresistible love interest, working together to solve a crime.
• Feel-good romance that can make a reader laugh and swoon simultaneously, especially small town romantic comedies.
• A ghost hunter rom-com or a tarot reader / psychic rom-com

I seek well-researched and focused books on lifestyle (health, wellness etc.), self-help, self-improvement, true crime, spiritualism, witchcraft, and magic.

• Chapter/Picture books
• Military/Political thrillers
• Pandemic stories
• High Fantasy
• Science Fiction
• Screenplays
• Novellas/Short Story Collections

Fun facts about me:

I am a huge animal lover, iced coffee drinker, and lover of spooky things.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

To query me, please review my agent page and follow Marsal Lyon Literary Agency’s submission guidelines. To submit, email your query to

When you send in your query, please:

  1. Make sure that query is in your subject line. This is important because if it isn’t included in your subject line, it will not end up in the right folder and could go to junk.
  2. Please include your query and the first ten pages of your manuscript pasted into the email (no attachments).
  3. If you’re on social media and/or have a website, I’d love for you to include links of where I can find you. If you don’t have links to include, that is okay.
  4. I will respond to all submissions personally. Because I customize each response, it will take time to respond to your submission. With that said, I receive a high volume of submissions as well. Please be patient and know that I’m going as quickly as I can.

Please do not query more than one agent at our agency at the same time. As a courtesy, if you choose to submit to a second MLLA agent after one of us passes on pages, please let us know in the query letter that you have submitted the project to one of our colleagues in the past.

Our agency accepts electronic submissions only.

In all submissions, please include a contact phone number as well as your email address. If we are interested in your work, we will call or email you. If not, we will respond via email. We welcome unsolicited materials and look forward to reading your work.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info