Kristin Ostby

The Greenhouse Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

About me: Prior to becoming a literary agent, I moved from Michigan to New York to begin my life in publishing at Penguin Random House and rose to become a senior editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. I have had the joy of editing children’s book legend Tomie dePaola; New York Times bestselling authors like Stuart Gibbs (Spy School) and US soccer star Alex Morgan (The Kicks); and award-winning creators including Daniel Miyares (Float), Robin Stevens (Murder Is Bad Manners), Jessica Lawson (Nooks & Crannies), and Heather Vogel Frederick (The Mother-Daughter Book Club). I also edited bestselling I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley. I love guiding authors and illustrators toward their best work and advocating for them in service of building successful, sustainable artistic careers. I live in Brooklyn, New York.

Top of my wish list:

  • Upmarket commercial adult fiction with a literary sensibility in the categories of:
    • comedy (Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Prep, Heartburn)
    • mystery (Girl Waits with Gun, Thursday Murder Club, A Most Agreeable Murder)
    • romance (Normal People, Americanah, The Night Circus)
    • historical fiction (Year of Wonders, Homegoing, Atonement)
  • YA and middle grade mystery, including contemporary mystery, mystery-comedy, whodunits, cozy mystery, paranormal or supernatural mysteries, historical mysteries, and thrillers
  • Hooky, feel-good young YA and middle grade with light fantasy elements like Freaky FridaySisterhood of the Traveling Pants, or escapist fare like The Princess Diaries

In YA, I am also looking for:

  • Romance with a speculative element or an unusual form/structure/timeline
  • Insecure for teens, i.e., frank, funny contemporary stories about romance and friendship
  • Historical romance from a BIPOC perspective
  • YA of all genres with distinct settings outside of school—for example, stories that take place on vacation or in summertime, or a road trip or workplace story

In MG, I would also like:

  • friendship stories a la Lisa Greenwald, Sarah Weeks, and Wendy Mass
  • funny coming-of-age contemporary graphic novelists

***Please note that if your manuscript is over 95K words, it is probably not for me***

I always love:

  • humor
  • rich ensemble casts
  • coming-of-age stories
  • fish-out-of-water stories
  • friendship stories
  • subplots built around nuanced family dynamics, particularly parent-child or sibling relationships
  • MG with an accessible, classic literary sensibility like When You Reach Me
  • books with descriptions of elaborate feasts

I am also seeking illustrators who write picture books to my client list.

I am NOT accepting picture book manuscripts, graphic novel scripts, issue books, or nonfiction at this time. Greenhouse does not represent poetry collections, short story collections, screenplays, erotica, or titles for the Christian/inspirational market.

Fun facts about me:

  • I have two adorable daughters, ages seven and four
  • I used to ski race and still love to ski recreationally
  • I was a reporter for my college newspaper
  • I have an adopted twelve-year-old spaniel mix named after the lead singer of Vampire Weekend
  • I❤️NY

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