Leslie Zampetti

Open Book Literary

My Manuscript Wish List®

My Manuscript Wish List® Items

A former librarian with over 20 years’ experience in special, public, and school libraries, Leslie’s focus was on the reader, giving them the right book at the right time – which works for matching client work to editors too. Having negotiated with organizations from Lexis-Nexis to the elementary school PTA, she is able to come to terms that favor her clients while building satisfying relationships with publishers. And after cataloging rocket launch videos for NASA and model rocket ships for an elementary school, Leslie welcomes working with the unexpected challenges that pop up in publishing.

A writer herself, Leslie is very familiar with querying from both sides of the desk.

Leslie launched Open Book Literary in the fall of 2023, after experiences at Odom Media Management, Dunham Literary, and The Bent Agency.

At Open Book Literary, the focus is on bringing under-represented voices to publishing, especially those voices centering disability, poverty, women, neurodivergence, and Judaism, Islam, and non-western religions.

Life is messy, and so are people. Identities are complex, and Leslie champions the intersections between aspects of identity. She is most interested in stories that show the diversity of everyday life, but especially joy.

Mystery: Diverse detectives; settings that function as a character; a mystery the reader can solve (but might not!).

Romance: Underrepresented main characters and love interests; upmarket voice and tropes. Everyone deserves love in their life! 

Historical Fiction: Again, settings that function as a character; underrepresented time periods and places; focus on the sovereignty and history of cultures and communities, such as the Hawai’ian people. 

Nonfiction: For children, stories about science and/or art that hit the sweet spot in the Venn diagram between children, parents, & teachers.

For adults, stories of the remote wilderness, the natural world (think MY OCTOPUS TEACHER or BLACKFISH), and true crime that focuses on the victims and social impact.

Picture books: Only author-illustrators or illustrators; sly, dry humor; difficult, complex, or sophisticated subjects.

Young adult: Verse novels; novels in stories; young YA (main characters 13-15).

Though she reads widely, Leslie’s not a good fit for political thrillers, high fantasy, inspirational or Christian fiction, stories that use violence against women as the primary narrative hook, or hard sci-fi.

Overall, Leslie seeks books with a strong commercial premise, distinct prose, and multiple layers of meaning that keep you thinking long after you finish the story. Think of a calm sea: it’s cool and inviting, but deeper than you expect.

Fun facts about me:

Baseball not football: Go Rays! Cocktails not chardonnay. Tea or tapas, not ten course tasting menus.

Submission Guidelines

Please visit QueryManager.com/Lzampetti

Leslie requests a query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript within this form. Leslie reviews all queries within four to six weeks, and she will respond if interested in seeing more.

Guidelines & Details