Leah Spann

DAW Books

My Manuscript Wish List®

About me:

I am an associate editor at DAW Books, an independent science fiction and fantasy publisher. Prior to working for DAW, I attended the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford. I’ve been fortunate to work on books from Laura Lam & Elizabeth May, E. J. Beaton, Joshua Phillip Johnson, Lena Nguyen, Adam Oyebanji, and Kritika H. Rao. My pronouns are she/her.

What I’m looking for:

I am actively seeking submissions of adult science fiction and fantasy. I love character-driven SFF with a strong narrative voice. Stories centering nuanced women are always a plus, even more so when they follow middle-aged or older women as protagonists. Some favorite subgenres of mine include historical fantasy, fairytale and folklore retellings, psychological sci-fi, and science fantasy. I also love lyrical prose, found families, earned redemption arcs, outsider narratives, stories inspired by modern science, queernorm worlds, slice-of-life fantasy, narratives that blend darkness and whimsy, retellings that interrogate and/or reframe the source material, dragons, and a strong thread of optimism. I particularly hope to see more works from underrepresented and marginalized voices, works from international authors, speculative works with asexual and demisexual characters, and historical fantasy from authors of color set in underexplored time periods.

Recent reads I’ve enjoyed include:

  • The Mirror Visitor quartet by Christelle Dabos
  • A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
  • The Daevabad trilogy by S. A. Chakraborty
  • The Poppy War trilogy by R. F. Kuang
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

Fun facts about me:

  • I love musical theater and sang for many years. Current favorites include Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 and Hadestown.
  • I run two fifth-edition D&D campaigns and play in two others. (Ask me about my PCs if you want your ear talked off!)
  • I enjoy cosplaying and sewing, and have created or am planning projects from Critical Role, Dimension 20, Legend of Zelda, and others!

Submission Guidelines

I can only consider agented submissions. For unagented submissions, please see DAW’s submission portal at submit.dawbooks.com. I cannot consider short stories, novellas, or poetry, works for a childrens’ or YA audience, or any genres aside from adult science fiction and fantasy.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info