L. Perkins Agency
My Manuscript Wish List®
As a rule, I’m looking for things I haven’t seen before or things I see rarely. Then there are some things that I just love, no matter how often I get them. These things include, but are not limited to:
-Main characters, especially in YA, with genuine flaws. So many YA protagonists have “flaws” that boil down to answering “what’s your greatest weakness?” with “Sometimes I work too hard”. I want to see protagonists with flaws like “is a really manipulative person” or “actually can’t keep their opinions to themself” (as opposed to the more favorable version I often see, “speaks out against things that are normal in their fantasy/sci-fi society but which we the readers know are bad”).
-YA revenge fantasy/SF (or really crazy, over-the-top contemporary revenge YA, like Kill Bill levels of revenge, not elaborate, get someone kicked out of school revenge)
-Fantasy from non-traditional eras (gunpowder fantasy in world with 16th/17th/18th century technology and culture, for instance, or something neolithic)
-In a similar vein, I love fantasy set in worlds inspired by cultures/mythologies you don’t see so much of in fantasy (i.e. almost anything other than medieval western Europe). Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Eastern European, Pacific Islander, African, etc. are all great. The more specific and unusual, the better. I bet Nepal has some really interesting myths that would be great in fantasy.
-Southern/Southern Gothic/Southern rural YA, both fantasy and contemporary. I’m a big fan of the American South and I feel like it’s underrepresented in YA.
-In general, unusual/twisted (turned on their head twisted, not necessary gross/creepy/dark twisted) versions of common tropes. For instance, MG and YA books with girl characters who are slackers and slobs instead of overachieving neat freaks. Or a contemporary MG or YA about a jock kid who is misunderstood by and doesn’t get along with his nerdy father (a twist on the trope of the nerdy kid who gets bullied by his old jock dad for not being good at sports).
-I love stories with badass, competent female protagonists. In general, competence will go a long way towards making me like a character (unless they’re so competent that nothing is ever a plausible challenge for them).
-I’m always looking for sci-fi/fantasy, YA or Adult, with a gay main character or characters, but where that isn’t what the story is about, they just happen to be gay.
-Unusual and interesting systems of magic, done well so that we have a real feeling for what the magic is and isn’t capable of in average hands (and conversely, so that we’re really impressed when we see it used by a true master). I see so many magic systems that are grouped by the classical elements (earth, air, water, fire) and it gets really old.
-I love books or series with major status quo changes that happen partway through and don’t just get reset (e.g. a character loses a limb, permanently).
And now, things I don’t like/don’t want to see:
-Sick-lit. I do not like it, I am not interested in it (if you’re unfamiliar with the term, the best example is The Fault in Our Stars).
-Intergenerational family epics, or in general books that span multiple decades/generations.
-YA books following the formula of “supernatural person falls for unlikely normal person”.
-Also, books that open with the revelation of a major secret that the main character’s family has been keeping from them, the most common being “Surprise! You and your whole family have superpowers! And hey, while you’re here, we’re at war with this other secret group of people who also have superpowers!”
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
– A brief synopsis
– Your bio
– The first five (5) pages from your novel or book proposal in the body of your email.
KEEP IN MIND:
– Attachments will not be opened unless specifically requested.
– We only accept email queries. We do not accept queries by snail mail, phone, or social media. All snail mail queries will be discarded unopened
– We will only consider one manuscript from one writer at a time to one agent at a time. If you have written more than one manuscript, choose the one you think is the most promising and pitch that to us. Do not pitch them all.
– We have a strict NO MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS policy within the agency, so please be sure to only submit to one of us. (Though simultaneous submissions to other agencies are expected.) We work together closely, often passing projects along to other members of the team. If your query is sent to more than one of us, it may be deleted without a response. For information about our agents’ individual interests, query guidelines, and contact information, please see our Agents.
– If you have a vigilant spam filter, please turn it off. If we send an email requesting additional material and receive an automatic response asking us to fill out a form in order to send an email to you, your query will be automatically discarded.
– We do NOT represent screenplays, short story collections or poetry.