Kayla Lightner

Ayesha Pande Literary

My Manuscript Wish List

I love discovering diverse and fresh new perspectives across literary + upmarket fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. 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...

Science Fiction that contains a striking voice and plays with POV to illuminate a broader world like N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy; narratives that repurpose popular tropes within the genre to provide new, insightful social commentary like Black Mirror.

Magical realism with southern gothic elements like Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward; narratives that introduce the reader to some secret/obscure society that plays a significant (but unknown) role in the workings of the world like Big Machine by Victor Lavalle, or The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead; books that use speculative elements as a means to examine history like These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card..

Book Club Fiction with a unique and entertaining core premise 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 confront the trope of the typical American family and turn the picket white-fence narrative on its head; Especially drawn to narratives that 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 Nonfiction  that teaches the reader something about an overlooked demographic or forgotten community, their way of life, and how they see the world like  Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down; Compelling, well-researched stories about forgotten or willfully overlooked moments in history and the ripple-effects they have on our modern day life like Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson; A narrative constructed by journalist who has written about a topic so thoroughly/extensively in previous articles, that they've developed a specialized expertise and are the only ones who could really give the reader insight into a topic/world they otherwise wouldn't know about.

"Big Idea Books" that investigate the different ways in which the internet and "internet culture" currently impact our lives, from how we communicate to how we learn to how we consume, and more; books that tap into gen-z's changing attitudes around work, money, and mental health; books that take pop culture seriously; books that give a fresh perspective on scams and multi-level-marketing schemes.

VERY select memoir 


Within Graphic Novels, I'm looking for...

Everything listed above, but in graphic novel form.


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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Vital Info

Fiction: Family Saga, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical, Humor, Literary, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Short Story
Non-Fiction: History, Humor, Illustrated, Journalism, Memoir, Pop Culture, Psychology, Sports, True Crime

Favorite sub-genres: Dark Humor, Magical Realism, Narrative Nonfiction, Southern Gothic, contemporary
I'd like the next...

My favorites include...

Books: The Secret Life of Church Ladies, Brown Girl in the RingWhite TeethHyperbole and a Half, PoisonWood Bible, The SelloutParadise100 Years of SolitudeMama Day, Red Rising, Nickel Boys, There There

Television: Sex Education, Big Mouth, Chef's Table, Bob's Burgers, Black Mirror,

Podcasts: Nosleep Podcast, Pseudopod, Smalltown Murder, Scam Goddess, The Nod, Welcome to Nightvale.

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