Melissa Warten

Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

My Manuscript Wish List

I acquire books for all ages, from picture books to middle grade to YA to select nonfiction and graphic novels. Across the board, I'm looking for the books that young readers won't grow out of, that will teach them compassion and individuality, and that will stay on their shelves and on their minds for years to come. I would love to see fresh takes on sports or music themes, and I'm a sucker for a setting that acts as its own character.

In picture books, I'm looking for: Humor that’s just as funny to grownups as to their kids; fresh, funny sports stories—and would love a girls’ team kicking butt; family or sibling relationships, in all their uniqueness, complexity, and diversity; adorable animals—I'm on the lookout for a unique dog story, and I have a soft spot for dolphins!

In novels, I'm looking for: Strong male/female platonic relationships that don’t turn to romance—examples of good guys in a world that hasn’t been showing us many of them; strong, funny, supportive family relationships; humor with lots of heart and on-the-way-to-happy endings; and diverse representation on all fronts (racial, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, disability, mental health). I'm open to light touches of magic, fantasy, and adventure, and I'm especially hungry for a convincing, cinematic thriller.

I'm not the best editor for: High fantasy; very serious "issue" books; kid investigators or teen journalists; dystopian fiction; anthologies

Fun facts about me:

I can recite John Mulaney bits with frightening precision, I'm very up on TikTok trends, and in spite of being pale as a ghost 12 months out of the year, my favorite place in the world is the beach.

Submission Guidelines

I accept submissions from agents only; I am not open to unsolicited submissions at this time.


Vital Info

Favorite sub-genres:
I'd like the next...

The Good Place (a thoughtful, philosophical, but hilarious exploration of life and humanity); folklore (an ethereal, poetic slice-of-life love story with a misty forest ambiance—doesn't have to be in a misty forest, but you know what I mean!); Red, White, and Royal Blue (an innate and effortless teenage voice that speaks so well to the current moment that it's sure to extend beyond it)

My favorites include...

Books and authors: Elizabeth Acevedo, Casey McQuiston, Hanif Abdurraqib, Cheryl Strayed, Jory John, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Wilder GirlsEvery Body LookingThe Miscalculations of Lightning GirlReal Friends

TV and podcasts: FleabagSearch PartyNew Girl, Song ExploderIt's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, Throughline

My Upcoming Events:

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