Patrice Caldwell


My Manuscript Wish List®

I am always looking for high-concept YA (this includes titles that crossover to adult) & MG projects with an amazing hook. Some things I would especially love to see:

Shakespeare-inspired novels (like SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE by McKelle George and EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR by E.K. Johnston)

Heist/Con Artist novels. I would love to see YA heist novels inspired by Leverage or White Collar, two of my favorite shows, or with a magical twist like IRON CAST by Destiny Soria (set in 1919) or Holly Black’s Curse Workers series, in which magic or curse work is illegal and often controlled by the mob.

YA Novels set in/around the 1920s. I adore this time period…the music…the rise of so many Black artists…the culture. I’d love to see novels like the two I mentioned above and Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS that capture the feel of the Roaring 20s, but, as always, with a twist.

Literary YA novels & novels in verse. I studied poetry, am a huge poetry fan so I love it when language really sings.

Retellings in general.

Science Fiction. I would love to see something like BINTI by Nnedi Okorafor, something more Neo-noir or cyberpunk like NEUROMANCER by William Gibson, Minority Report (the movie) or The Matrix or a series as expansive as Star Wars, which takes conventions of the space opera genre but is also something entirely new and combining both magic & science.

Graphic Novels.

MG Fantasy and Sci-Fi like THE SERPENT’S SECRET by Sayantani DasGupta, Percy Jackson series, or (a girl!) Artemis Fowl.

Crossover YA novels. Books the inhabit that late teen/twentysomething space. I want more books like WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour, JULIET TAKES A BREATH by Gabby Rivera, and even AMERICAN PANDA by Gloria Chao (which has a seventeen-year-old protagonist in college early) that explore race, sexuality, and identity. Would love to see this in fantasy, too, ala FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie Dao.

Books inspired “the classics” (PARADISE LOST meets BELOVED? I don’t know what that is but I’m totally there for it!)

Friendship stories as timeless as THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS.

Nonfiction from a POC/queer perspective. I’d love something like Bad Feminist but for a younger audience.

Books that are really queer or have queer characters just living their life. Same with Black characters. I’m a queer, Black, woman so I’m ALWAYS looking for books that that my younger self wanted but didn’t have. And I want to be clear in stating this does not mean it MUST be about race or about gender & sexuality. I don’t need a coming out story. That said, I think most novels dealing with the coming out process, explore that from a mostly white (often cis-male) perspective. I’d love to see and champion intersectional coming out stories! This includes MG–I’d love to see more queer characters in middle grade fiction.

Dead genres. I will say it here as I have on Twitter many times: I want the genres everyone says are dead. Yes, if a vampire book is going to get published it has to be incredibly unique, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write it. Especially if you’re from a marginalized background. Re: this thread by Daniel José Older, there is absolutely still room for “dead” genres. Let’s be resurrectionist’s together!

Dark Novels. I love dark themes. Whether this is a dark fantasy like THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake or horror or thrillers. I want it all.

Humor, always. I like to say that my favorite characters are the ones who when they’re in a horrible situation, make the worst jokes possible or speak with a heaping dose of sarcasm. Send me the Han Solos, agents <3

Fun facts about me:

I am a Slytherin and am ALWAYS on the look for characters who you don’t like, but whose motivations you understand–compelling characters you’ll follow to the end of the world and back 😉

Submission Guidelines

I cannot accept submissions directly from writers.