Kelly Dyksterhouse

The Tobias Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

I am looking to acquire middle grade and young adult novels and narrative nonfiction, as well as author-illustrator created picture books and graphic novels.

I am especially looking for high-concept middle grade and young adult novels with high-level writing.

For picture books, I am drawn to books that are character driven and have a strong narrative arc, and I particularly love stories with a surprise or subversive twist to them that make me laugh. I also love lyrical texts with a classic feel. In terms of nonfiction, I am looking for books about a little known period of history or that focus on the natural world and STEM concepts.

For both MG and YA, I am drawn to character driven books with a strong hook, a compelling plot, and strong writing. I am looking for books that stay with the reader long after they’ve turned the last page.

In middle grade, I’m open to a wide range of genres. I am looking for books that get you to look at the familiar in a different light and to see the possible in the impossible. For fantasy and sci-fi, world building is paramount. I’m on the lookout for high-stakes adventures that take place in unique and immersive worlds with relevant themes. I enjoy books that feature ensemble casts, unlikely heroes, underdogs, surprise friendships and complicated, yet hopeful, family dynamics. I am particularly interested in books written by and featuring underrepresented voices in ways that showcase kids being kids in all the above scenarios. For nonfiction, I’m interested in projects that shed a light on a little known historical time period or discovery, projects that focus on the natural world, and issues of social justice. In all genres, I’m looking for beautiful writing and strong voice.

For YA, I’m looking for fiction that is layered, has a distinct voice, unique world building, and is grounded in a universal emotional desire. I am drawn toward books with literary themes that have a commercial hook, and I’m interested in genre mash-ups. I find that I’m especially drawn to YA that has vivid, immersive worlds or contained settings–settings that almost function as a character themselves. And I would love a fantasy that brings a completely new vision to fmailiar (or unfamiliar) folklore. As with MG, I enjoy books with ensemble casts and fast action.

I’m not a great fit for straight romance, but I do enjoy a romantic thread in all my books. I always enjoy a good enemies to lovers story. A couple of specific wishes: I would love a smart, funny heist, eerie thriller, and a rom-com that is layered and has thematic depth.

You can learn more about me and the kinds of things I look for in books on Publisher’s Marketplace, The Tobias Literary Agency, and

Fun facts about me:

I love all things animals, traveling, hiking, boating, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and I have a particular talent for falling asleep during movies.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to QueryMe.Online/KellyDyksterhouse

Submissions are only accepted through Query Manager. Please check Query Manager for the days that I am open to submissions. For novels, please submit a query, a one-page synopsis, and the first ten pages of your work. Author-Illustrators, please make sure to provide a link to your portfolio or website, and you may submit the entire picture book manuscript in addition to your query.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info