Kayla Lightner

Ayesha Pande Literary

My Manuscript Wish List®

I love discovering diverse and fresh new perspectives across adult literary + upmarket fiction and non-fiction. I’m particularly a fan of authors with singular voices that masterfully straddle the line between story-telling and teaching readers something new (about themselves, their communities, or the world we live in).

Within Fiction, I’m looking for…

Magical realism with southern gothic elements like Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward; books that use speculative elements as a means to examine history like These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card (no slave narratives, please.)

Book Club Fiction with an entertaining core premise and flawed characters we can’t help but root for,  but still maintains sharp, incisive prose on a line-level like Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid and The Maid by Nita Prose.

Family Sagas that turn the picket white-fence narrative on its head and/or are rooted in the immigrant experience like Zadie Smith’s White Teeth; or sit in the tensions of familial relationships (whether is be spouses, parent/child, or siblings) like American Marriage by Tayari Jones, With Teeth by Kristen Arnett, or The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

Within Nonfiction, I’m looking for…

Narrative Histories that are compelling, well-researched stories about forgotten / willfully overlooked moments in history and the ripple effects they have on our modern-day life like Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.

Deeply reported narrative nonfiction that examines race, class, current events, arts, business, and technology like Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

“Big Idea Books” that critique the different ways the internet and “internet culture” currently impact our lives, and that take pop culture seriously, like Lurking by Joanne McNeil, Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke,and Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

Platform-driven Memoirs that take me inside a previously inaccessible community, a niche sub-culture, or a unique way of life like Uncanney Valley by Anna Weir.

Practical Nonfiction that taps into gen-z’s changing attitudes around work, money, and mental health.

True Crime that provides a fresh perspective on scams and multi-level-marketing schemes.


Submission Guidelines

To submit a query, please use the APL Query form , and complete all fields.

If an agent wishes to read your submission, someone will contact you in response to your query, usually within 6-8 weeks. Please refrain from submitting to multiple APL agents simultaneously. If after submitting to one agent, you have not heard back after 8 weeks, you are welcome to withdraw your submission and re-submit it to another agent. All multiple submissions will be discarded.

APL has broad-ranging eclectic interests and we welcome submissions of all kinds. However, we don’t represent poetry, business books, cookbooks, screenplays or illustrated children’s books, although we are always on the lookout for middle grade and young adult fiction. For each of our agents’ specific interests, please refer to the About Page.

Guidelines & Details


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