Julia Byers

Sheldon Fogelman Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®


I enjoy working with children’s books for all age groups.

Within YA, I’ll read pretty much anything, as long as it has a strong voice, tight plotting, and a great sense of humor. I like to see protagonists struggle with big questions and their place in the world, no matter the circumstances, and welcome darker stories about contending with trauma and grief (as long as there’s still some humor and hope woven in). That said, I’m always a sucker for:

  • secret identities
  • time travel
  • globetrotting adventures
  • high school theatre
  • anything dealing with movies/TV
  • socially conscious protagonists
  • super fluffy rom-coms

Also, if you can comp your book to Taylor Swift’s music (especially folklore), PLEASE send it my way, I beg of you.

Middle grade-wise, I generally tend toward books with a lot of heart, especially humorous mystery and adventure stories. I can never get enough of kids going on quests, whether that be to save the world or just to beat a mean girl at the local scavenger hunt. I’m not the best fit for stories from animals’ POVs, but if your protagonist has a cute animal companion who goes everywhere with them, sign me up (as long as said animal companion does not die; the last time I read a book with an animal death, I accidentally threw it across the room).

In terms of picture books, I prefer fiction, but otherwise my tastes are very open. I love both laugh-out-loud humor and quieter, more lyrical writing. What I really look for is a strong character arc and sense of plot structure.

Across all age groups, a priority is working with underrepresented voices. I’m especially interested in stories with incidental diversity, rather than issue-driven books, and happy (or at least bittersweet!) endings.

Fun facts about me:

  • My childhood dog has my whole entire heart. Her name is Sammy and she’s a beagle.
  • I minored in film in undergrad.
  • I studied abroad at Oxford (twice!) and once produced and acted in a play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, so I have a soft spot for the UK.
  • I’m a photographer.
  • In middle school, I was the Michigan State Fair Hula Hoop Champion two years running.


Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to submissions@sheldonfogelmanagency.com

Sheldon Fogelman Agency, Inc. specializes primarily in children’s books of all genres, from picture books through young adult literature. The agency represents both authors and illustrators. We work with our clients on an exclusive basis and primarily take on clients who are looking to build a career in children’s literature.

We always welcome submissions, and look forward to adding up-and-coming new authors and illustrators to our client list each year. However, we receive thousands of submissions annually and are highly selective in offering representation. We consider each submission carefully and do our best to respond quickly; however, please be aware that it takes time to read and consider each manuscript. It may take us up to six weeks to consider an initial query, and if we request more work, the process can take even longer.

Unfortunately, because we receive so many submissions, it is not always possible to respond to each one. If you have not heard from us about a query letter within six weeks, please consider this a rejection. Please do not query us more than once every six months, unless otherwise requested. A rejection from one agent is a rejection from the agency as a whole. Please only submit previously unpublished work. Please note that we do not charge a reading fee. Additionally, we do not accept physical submissions; all submissions must be sent via email to submissions@sheldonfogelmanagency.com.

If you are interested in submitting to us, please adhere to the following guidelines:

For All Submissions

  • Please email us your cover letter and a sample of your work (as stipulated below). Your cover letter should include:
    • a brief synopsis of your work
    • your writing history
    • any relevant background (including, but not limited to: education and/or participation in any writing-related professional organizations and/or critique groups)
    • why you’ve chosen to query us
    • how you were referred to us, if at all
  • This cover letter should be pasted into the body of your email. You may include your work either as an attachment or pasted below the cover letter in the body of the email.
  • If you would like to send your work to a specific agent, please address your query letter to that agent. Otherwise, simply put your work to the attention of the submissions coordinator. Please note, however, that a submission to one agent in our office is considered a submission to all. If one of us receives a submission and believes a colleague would be a better match, we will pass along the submission to them. Along the same lines, a rejection from one agent at our agency is considered a rejection from all.
  • All submissions should be sent to submissions@sheldonfogelmanagency.com..
  • While every submission will be read and considered, please understand that due to time constraints, we will only reply if we are interested in seeing more of your work.
  • If including attachments, please make sure that any and all text attachments are accessible via Microsoft Word (.rtf and .doc preferred). We prefer illustrations in .jpg or .pdf format, and all files sent should not total more than 5 MB combined.

For Picture Books

  • If you are a picture book writer, we recommend you include two (2) independent manuscripts (i.e., not two in the same series). Please do not submit any additional manuscripts unless specifically requested. If you are not an illustrator, please do not include images in your submission.
  • If you are an illustrator, please include a picture book dummy or graphic novel proposal. You may also link us to your online portfolio, if applicable. Otherwise, please attach a limited sampling of examples of your work to your submission.

For Chapter Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult

  • As a novelist, you may include the first three (3) chapters of the work and a plot synopsis. Please do not submit the entire work or include chapters from more than one work, unless specifically requested.

If you receive interest in your work from another agent, we request that you please let us know as soon as possible. If you receive an offer of representation from another agency, we expect at least one week after notification of this offer to make a decision about whether to likewise offer.

We appreciate your interest in our agency, and your careful consideration of our submission guidelines.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info