Kelly Van Sant

KT Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

Kelly Van Sant has nearly a decade of experience in the publishing industry. She cut her teeth in New York working at esteemed literary agencies such as Writers House and Harold Ober Associates, where she developed an eye for compelling, emotionally resonant stories, honed her editorial skills, and soon grew adept at contract vetting. She quickly gained expertise in subsidiary rights management, with focuses on audio rights, foreign rights, and permissions.

After relocating to Minnesota, Kelly joined Llewellyn Worldwide as their Contracts Manager across all three imprints and then moved to Quarto Publishing Group USA where she led the contract department. She has worked as a freelance editor with various publishers and is a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center.  She also blogged about writing and the publishing industry at Pub(lishing) Crawl and co-hosted the their weekly podcast. 

Kelly’s career came full circle when she realized her true passions was advocating for authors. She is now a literary agent at KT Literary and is actively building a client list.

I wish, I wish, I wish…

In the Children’s space I am seeking Middle Grade, Young Adult across all genres, including fantasy, science fiction, adventure, historical, and contemporary. For Adult I’m seeking romance (contemporary), and SFF. I am also aggressively acquiring Nonfiction on occult topics such as magick, witchcraft, tarot and other esoteric topics and modalities.  I love character-driven stories with intricate plots, and am always drawn to explorations of friendship and found family. I am especially interested in #ownvoices and inclusive narratives and working with creators who are from traditionally marginalized communities, including but not limited to Indigenous, Black, POC, LGBTQIA+ folx and any and all intersections thereof. I’ve expanded on my interests within each category below.

Middle Grade
I am seeking Upper MG only. Chapter books or early readers are not for me. My ideal middle grade needs to be whimsical, funny, and full of adventure. My tastes lean away from contemporary in this genre, and more toward fantasy, speculative, science-fiction, or magical realism. I like intricate world-building and MCs with gumption. Give me a quest, give me steadfast friendships, give me insightful, magical parallels with the real world, and make me laugh. No books with an educational thrust; I want to have fun!

Young Adult
I dearly love fantasy, science-fiction, speculative, and other magical elements in YA stories. Even better if mixed and matched with other genres. YA historical fantasy? Yes, please. Alternate universes, fictional worlds, your very own hometown with a secret or sinister twist. If the world-building is original and intricate, if you’re either dismantling existing tropes or executing them exceptionally well, if your characters are complex and come alive on the page then what are you waiting for? Send me your query.

Let’s talk about romance in YA. I prefer romance in my YA to be an undercurrent (even an urgent one) but not the main point. Something needs to be going on in universe and in your characters’ lives beyond their love story. Instant love is not for me; I appreciate when characters grow together over the course of a book. Attraction can happen instantly, but intimacy takes time.

I am selective about YA contemporary. A strong voice is vital, and again, I love to see a complex web of relationships beyond just romantic (though romance can be included): especially friendships and family relationships. More often than not you need to break my heart or make me fall head over heels in love with your characters in order for me to be the right agent to rep a contemporary book. But my heart longs to love and be broken! These books above all else must absolutely be character-driven.

For Romance, I’m primarily interested in contemporary rom-coms (can be queer! can be quirky! can be both!) with consensual relationships, commercial hooks, and compelling characters.

In the Adult SFF space, I’m looking for pacey books that work on multiple levels. Intriguing world-building is a must, as are well-rounded characters. Whether it’s an epic high fantasy, a cozy “romantasy,” or ground-breaking sci-fi, I am here for it.

I am exclusively seeking non-fiction books on the subjects of witchcraft, magick, and the occult, with a particular focus on tarot, but all esoteric topics welcome. Please be aware that within both the modern and historical practice of tarot and certain magical practices there are issues of cultural appropriation, and I am not interested in projects that continue or condone that appropriation. I am especially interested in working with tarot readers and magic practitioners who are Indigenous, Black, POC, LGBTQIA+, or from other marginalized communities, and with anyone who brings a unique perspective to the cards that is welcoming for all. I am seeking knowledgeable, subject-matter experts in these areas with high-level writing skills.

I am NOT seeking picture books or poetry at this time.
I do not represent previously published books, whether self-published or put out by a small press. Please only query me with new work.

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