The Rights Factory
My Manuscript Wish List®
PLEASE NOTE: Kat’s query inbox in Query Manager will be closed from Dec 2, 2023-Jan 2, 2024 to allow her to catch up on the hundreds of queries she’s been honoured to receive! Thank you for your patience.
In early 2023, I joined The Rights Factory in Toronto in an editorial assistant role on my path to becoming a literary agent. I bring writing, editing, executive management, and administrative experience to my role, in addition to having a fabulous team of experienced agents behind me, furthering my ability to combine two of my biggest passions: storytelling and helping others succeed. When I get enthusiastic about a potential client’s story, it shows! Aside from a literary agent, I’m also a freelance fiction editor, the host and producer of the #badasswriters podcast, audio editor for The Shit No One Tells You About Writing podcast, and co-founder/host/organizer of #MoodPitch. I’m heavily engaged in the online writing community and pen stories myself—mostly thrillers and ghost-y/haunted things.
Other than the above-mentioned things (and obviously reading!), I enjoy travelling, photography, creative cooking, hiking, and camping/kayaking in Ontario’s beautiful cottage country. I was born and raised in a lovely area of Southern Ontario, spent 6 months in Brazil and 15 years living in BC, AB, and NWT, and returned home to where my heart is in 2019. A romantic to my core, I consider myself mostly country with a bit of big city splash, and I’m convinced my soul resides somewhere in old world Europe. I love coffee, chocolate, cheese, and a good glass of red (not necessarily in that order!).
I’m currently building my list of exceptionally talented authors. I’m dedicated, professional, and an advocate and cheerleader for others, and can’t wait to see your query if you think we’d be a good fit!
PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL ME YOUR SUBMISSION! Emailed queries will be deleted and unread. If you have been referred to me by someone who’s given you my email address, say so in the SUBJECT LINE.
What I’ll Be Looking For
- Horror (ghosts, haunted houses, etc.)
- Historical Fiction/Historical Fantasy (pre-19th century is preferred)
- Light Romance and Romcoms
- Light Speculative Fiction (our world with one or two differences)
- Fairytale Retellings with a twist
I’m open to all genres provided it’s cute and well-written according to the target age group. I particularly enjoy adventures with pirates, witches, ghosts, animals that can communicate, an underlying moral lesson learned by the main character, strong friendships, and stories of courage, overcoming obstacles, or shining in the face of adversity. Also stories that normalize blended, single-parent, adoptive, racially and/or culturally diverse, and same-sex families.
When querying me with your memoir, remember that a good memoir reads like fiction. This means that, although the “story” is true, it should still contain all the same elements as a novel to keep your reader engaged; you are the protagonist of your story. We need to meet you and see your norm, see the inciting incident, meet the antagonist or antagonistic force, we need to know what your goals are, how external circumstances are affecting your internal struggles and ability to meet your goals, what or who stands in your way, and what’s at stake. This all must be woven together with tension, emotion, and voice, with a clear story and character arc. If you haven’t taken agent Cece Lyra’s course on memoirs, I highly recommend it! What a memoir is not: your life story; this would be an autobiography. A memoir should be about a specific event in your life that drastically changed your trajectory, often impacted by a universally relevant, outside event.
- Memoir Plus: your intense internal/emotional journey affected by a universal external circumstance (and remember, a good memoir reads like fiction!)
- I’d really love to see a memoir depicting the impact of the paparazzi and other intrusive behaviour on high-profile celebrities and their families
- I’d also love to see something in the vein of Wildcat (how saving animals can positively impact our mental health) in an exotic location
Favourite Elements and Tropes
High-tension, locked-room mysteries, thrillers in isolated and exotic locations à la The Hunted (Roz Nay), thrillers and suspense with a bit of sarcasm mixed in, past covered-up crimes in the family, twins, adoptions, the manipulation and jaw-dropping twists as seen in Behind Her Eyes, based-on-true-crime stories, ancestry, soulmates, friends to lovers, fauxmance, enemies to lovers, second-chance romance, international travel (let me live vicariously through your characters!), small town romance, unequal social status relationships (bonus if one of them lives in a castle!). If your story has midwives and related topics/themes, that’s a huge hook for me! If you can easily comp to Every Summer After, This Is Us, or Outlander, these are also huge hooks for me!
I am NOT Looking For:
Picture books, political thrillers, space operas, graphic novels, poetry, epic fantasies, hardcore sci-fi, werewolves, vampires (unless like ADOW or human-friendly), or high-tech stories.
Please do not send me, under any circumstances: erotica, extreme gore horror, extreme violence or torture, explicit/repeated on-page r*pe, intentional and on-page harm to children or animals, vaccination debates, or heavy politics (i.e. anything in support of Trump/his followers or the freedom convoy). I am not (ever) interested in seeing AI-generated stories.
I’m quite specific about what I’m seeking in nonfiction. Bonus if a bit of humour appropriately fits into some of these categories. I’m interested in hearing from you if you have a voice-y nonfiction proposal about:
- Motherhood, natural pregnancy and childbirth, midwifery, planned unassisted births
- Single-parenthood, especially if paired with overcoming an abusive relationship with the children’s other parent
- Topics exploring women living in and overcoming a historically male-dominated world
- A light-hearted (humorous) look at what males get wrong about females and vice versa
- The intersection of motherhood vs societal expectations and the physical/mental/emotional implications on moms
- Spiritual explorations of past life regression sessions and reincarnation beliefs (spiritual ≠ religious)
- Tarot, palm reading, tea leaf reading, astrology
- The negative impact humans (population, industrialization, sport hunting, environmental changes, etc.) have on animals
- Large families (whether multi-generational households or families with many children)
- The intersection of cults vs societal “norms”
- The “brotherhood” mentality of law enforcement and the impact it has on victims of abuse/flawed justice system
- Narcissism and narcissistic sociopathy
- True crime
- Wine and wineries
- Cookbooks that pair meals with wines; perhaps international cuisines/wines/locations
- Travel writing
- Empathic studies and the emotional toll on empaths
- A history of witches and witchcraft (who society thinks they are/were vs who they actually are/were)
- Puzzling ancient locations/peoples/legends and resulting theories (have you seen Ancient Apocalypse on Netflix? Bingo!)
- Children’s nonfiction: plants, animals, geography, geology, diversity, etc.
Nonfiction I’m Currently NOT Seeking:
In addition to the hard no’s above: biographies/autobiographies, academic works, self-help, health and fitness, sports, science or high-tech, DIY, or religious-centered works.
I’m always seeking works from BIPOC or historically underrepresented writers and would love to see more LGBTQIA+ stories.
Above all else, I’m looking for stories that elicit emotion. I love a good laugh, I love to be surprised, and I love when a book/show/movie makes me cry. I want to feel emotionally connected to and invested in the characters from the very beginning. Tension, emotion, and curiosity—these are, in my opinion, the top three most important elements to have in the opening pages. This is why those first few pages are crucial when submitting query material to agents! (But make sure the rest of your manuscript is just as good/gets even better from there!) 😉
Fun facts about me:
- I’m a mom of five beautiful, wonderful, quirky kids
- I LOVE cats! I love animals in general but kitties are my fave
- I spent six months living in Florianópolis, SC, Brazil for a college internship and speak basic Brazilian Portuguese
- I’ve been studying European Portuguese since early 2021 (casually–maybe for an upcoming trip?) and speak basic Brazilian Portuguese
- I’m obsessed with the concept of past lives, soul connections, reincarnation, “the other side,” etc.
- I’m deathly afraid of aliens, space, deep water, and spiders (stories containing these things are not likely to be read by me!)
- I’m a HUGE Jim+Pam fan (IYKYK)
AGAIN, PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL ME YOUR QUERY. My submission guidelines are on Query Manager, but please have your query, synopsis, and first chapter ready. Please only query me (and any agent) if your manuscript is complete and polished (i.e., several rounds of beta readers/critique partners/revisions, etc.) or, if nonfiction, you have a completed book proposal.
Responses: Please note I will do everything in my power to read your query submission within six to eight weeks. If I request a full manuscript, it may take me up to twelve weeks. If your query or full manuscript is in my inbox for longer than these time guidelines, please feel free to nudge me!