Megan Ilnitzki

HarperCollins Children's

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m looking to acquire picture books through young adult novels, with an emphasis on middle grade novels.

In picture books, I’m looking for witty, humorous stories and breakout, character-driven stories like Mother Bruce. I’m also interested in non-fiction pictures book biographies that feature a historical subject matter/figure or fictional picture books that have an inspirational, uplifting theme and feel classic in all the best of ways.

For middle grade, I’m interested in a wide range of genres, including fantasy, speculative, horror, and contemporary stories. I particularly love middle grade books that feature lush, magical worldbuilding, unlikely heroes and underdogs, complicated family dynamics, fairytales or mythologies, and characters who tug at my heartstrings. I’d love to find middle grade novels in the vein of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster, The Witch’s Boy, Front Desk, Pax, Aru Shah and the End of Time, and The Line Tender.

For teen, I’m looking for high fantasy like We Hunt the Flame, stories that tackle timely issues like Far From the Tree, stories with unexpected endings like Sadie, or contemporary YA romance/friendship stories with an interesting hook.

In general, I gravitate toward stories with relatable characters, strong narrative arcs, emotional cores, a compelling voice, and lush, sophisticated writing. Across all genres, I’m looking for inclusive stories with diverse voices and underrepresented creators because #WeNeedDiverseBooks.

I’d specifically love to see in my inbox right now:

  • A MG or YA featuring sibling witches/warlocks in the vein of PRACTICAL MAGIC and THE RULES OF MAGIC.
  • A picture book with an irresistible main character.
  • A MG story with LGBTQIA characters
  • An Indiana Jones-inspired MG adventure novel with lost artifacts, ancient secrets, and riddles galore.
  • A MG or YA fantasy series with a main character who inadvertently gets thrown into an adventure much to their chagrin, Bilbo Baggins style.
  • Projects that deal with mental health, adoption, and foster care across all age ranges.
  • A detective/mystery MG full of monsters, bizarre creatures, and other things that go bump in the night.
  • An epic MG fantasy rooted in mythology
  • A MG or YA novel-in-verse
  • A YA rom-com reminiscent of a Nora Ephron movie with a clever hook, witty dialogue, and swoon-worthy main characters


Fun facts about me:

  • I hate scary movies, but love scary books with unreliable narrators and lots of twists and turns. I can’t resist a story that I’m unable to put down and keeps me up at night.
  • If I wasn’t an editor, I would be an archaeologist, a chemist, or marine biologist—I love history and science.
  • I have a soft spot for fresh takes on classic fairytales that focus on the villains and villainesses, not the heroes.

Submission Guidelines

I can only accept agented submissions.

Agents, please email your pitch and manuscript to me at HarperCollins.

Vital Info