Kendall Berdinsky

Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m interested in seeing upmarket women’s fiction, contemporary romance, book club fiction, psychological thrillers, and narrative nonfiction. Overall, I am looking for work from underrepresented communities with new stories to tell.

In romance, I’m primarily looking for contemporary rom-coms with new takes on classic tropes. Enemies to lovers and fake dating are two of my favorites. I love anything with the style of Nora Ephron movies (especially if it’s set in NYC) and would love to see reality-TV inspired romance in my inbox. And of course, I’m game for any amount of steam (from a book you can give to your grandmother to one you wouldn’t dare read in public). Historical romance, trope mash-ups, and gossip/blind item romances are also up my alley!

In the mystery/thriller space, I’d love to see mysteries for the Gen Z or Millennial audience, especially with fun settings and a whodunnit plot. I’m partial to southern gothic and nature settings and would especially love a “Survivor” or “Succession” inspired psychological thriller (in terms of “Survivor”, I love anything set on a deserted island). Think light horror, dark academia, and Tana French & Riley Sager vibes.

For book club fiction, I’m interested in messy people making tough choices, campus novels, unlikeable narrators (especially women who either gaslight, girlboss, or gatekeep) who may or may not win you over, and atmospheric writing styles. I love voice-driven writing, social commentary that resonates with the current culture, or a critique on the ideals of femininity. I’m also interested in family sagas, new adult-ish protagonists, and myth retellings.

In historical fiction, I’d prefer stories not set in Western Europe or the USA. Hidden histories and female-led retellings are my favorites here.

In terms of nonfiction, I love undiscovered histories, pop culture/cultural criticism, food and wine writing (not cookbooks), fresh takes on true crime, and the wellness space.

Some of my hobbies that I’d love to read about (whether that’s a setting, a character’s career, or a non-fiction title with a new take) include running, old Hollywood movies, and knitting. As a native Texan, I have a soft spot for stories set in Texas or the American south.

I’m not the right fit for: military/police novels, “return to hometown” romances, fantasy, science fiction, most young adult, age gap romance, middle grade, picture books, fairy tale retellings, accidental pregnancy romance, and WWI/WWII historical fiction.

Across the board, I welcome and encourage authors of all backgrounds, and am eager to work on inclusive books that reflect our world.

Submission Guidelines

All instructions are on my Query Manager page.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info