Lily Cronig

St. Martin's Press

My Manuscript Wish List®

On the fiction side, I’m focused on acquiring upmarket fiction, mystery, and horror. Regardless of genre, my favorite books usually feature protagonists who are relatable in their flaws and earnest in their intentions. Family sagas that recontextualize generational trauma from a modern perspective are especially interesting to me, as are any stories that use genre fiction to impart a fresh perspective. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi and The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris are great examples of the layered stories I’m drawn to, particularly the speculative element and cultural criticism of The Other Black Girl. Exploring identity in the face of a limiting culture is a theme I consistently return to.

I appreciate subversive details that convey a culturally critical message within a fun plot in the vein of Lara Williams’ Supper Club or Lee Conell’s The Party Upstairs—books that may feel frivolous but impart conceptual meaning through precise details. I especially love dark humor and characters with complex (or conflicted) emotional motivations, like Rebecca Dinerstein Knight’s obsessive, misguided botanist in Hex, who attempts to use toxic plants for betterment.

I want to follow a character as they develop rather than meet them fully formed and appreciate a plot that allows its characters to shift throughout the narrative. I’m not the right person for genre romance, though romantic plotlines that weave into a character’s emotional development are welcome. I am definitely the person for on-the-pulse cultural critiques, intellectual feminist concepts, and writing that questions the relationship between fact and fiction.

In mystery, thriller, and suspense, I love classic horror or mysteries but can also appreciate exaggerations of tropes. I think this genre is a great place to explore issues of identity and belonging, and I’m passionate about building a list that features characters from underrepresented backgrounds. I am a huge Stephen Graham Jones fan and admire his ability to impart emotional weight through terror. A bold, unexpected protagonist is a big draw. I want to hear these classic stories told from a new perspective. I especially love a contained, atmospheric setting. To me, this can mean a realistic and sharp world or an exaggerated caricature in the vein of cult classic films/television like Heathers and Twin Peaks. I would love a reimagining of either, please.

In nonfiction, I’m interested in essays, cultural criticism or history, and memoir. I’m looking for any pop culture analysis or niche investigation and memoirs that use personal experience to explore conceptual themes. Some recent favorites include Night Rooms by Gina Nutt, which uses scenes and tropes from horror movies to explore the author’s grief and anxiety, In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, whose structural creativity is astonishing, and Dead Girls by Alice Bolin, which delivers a nuanced, well-researched critique of a modern cultural theme. I’m also interested in true crime that goes beyond straight retelling, like We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper, which frames the culture surrounding its victim as the true perpetrator of her murder. I am also a fan of more straight forward pop culture books like I Like to Watch by Emily Nussbaum, and would be interested in reality television analysis and music books across genres.

I am not the right person for: fantasy, sci-fi, short stories, historical fiction, or nonfiction focusing on politics or science.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Agented submissions only please. This is an editor profile.