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

Fiction: Children's, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Picture Books, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Illustrated

Favorite sub-genres: Action-Adventure, Contemporary YA, Diversity, Epic Fantasy, Gothic Horror, High Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Literary Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Narrative Nonfiction, science fiction
I'd like the next...
  • Song for a Whale
  • Practical Magic
  • The Astonishing Color of After
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Holes
  • Charlotte's Web
  • From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • Challenger Deep
  • Serafina and the Black Cloak
  • Little & Lion
  • A YA version of Circe
  • The Moon Within


My favorites include...

Way too many, but here are a few:


Jane Eyre, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series, The Phantom Tollbooth, series, Miss Rumphius, The Rainbow Fish, Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly BarnhillA Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle, All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, Brooklyn Brujas series by Zoraida Córdova, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish, This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, The Count of Monte Cristo, Looking for Alaska by John Green, A Series of Unfortunate Events



Tamora Pierce, Gillian Flynn, Meg Cabot, David Grann, Soman Chainani, Neil Gaiman, Jason Reynolds, Laurie Halse Anderson, Rick Riordan


Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale, Jessica Jones, Charmed, Gilmore Girls, Stranger Things, The Office, Chopped, The Great British Bakeoff, Queer Eye, Parts Unknown, The Bold Type, Younger, Law and Order: SVU



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