Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
My Manuscript Wish List®
I’m looking for middle grade and young adult fiction, women’s fiction (both upmarket and commercial), and select contemporary and historical adult romance. I am especially seeking novels by BIPOC, queer, and disabled authors in all genres that I represent.
On the young adult side, I have quite wide ranging tastes and am open to contemporary realistic stories as well as more fantastical premises (including sci-fi/fantasy as well as contemporary fantasy and magical realism) — as long as the book has a stand-out voice, beautiful writing, and a captivating and original plot. I tend to gravitate toward the quirky, strange, unusual and/or offbeat, and love innovative narrative structures when the author pulls them off.
For middle grade, I generally lean toward warm, heartfelt stories with pitch-perfect voice – and a touch of humor or a splash of magic doesn’t hurt.
On the adult side, I’m primarily looking for women’s fiction of all sorts, everything from lighter beach reads and romcoms to darker stories with a mystery or suspense thread. A compelling heroine, a strong voice, and a fresh, unique hook are key to grabbing my attention in this category.
Some specific items always on my wish list include:
- heartfelt middle grade that deals with tough issues in a kid-accessible way
- literary middle grade fantasy with immersive, imaginative worldbuilding
- MG or YA novels by poets (either in verse or prose)
- MG or YA in any genre that could be described as haunting, eerie and/or weird
- clever, original MG or YA mysteries that keep me guessing
- contemporary MG or YA featuring teens who get involved with their communities and care about social justice
- MG or YA historical fantasy that brings a different time and place to life
- cozy, Studio Ghibli-esque MG or YA that makes me want to sip a cup of tea in front of the fire
- atmospheric YA or MG contemporary fantasy, especially anything witchy
- voicey, diverse YA contemporary and/or romcoms
- diverse YA fantasy with fresh worldbuilding and high stakes
- magical realism in YA, MG, or women’s fiction
- fun, splashy, diverse adult romcoms that will appeal to both romance and women’s fiction fans
- historical women’s fiction set in the twentieth-century, especially if it sheds light on a real-world historical figure
- upmarket fiction with a speculative twist, a la Station Eleven or The Power
- LGBTQ+ protagonists in stories that aren’t (just) about coming out, bullying, or discrimination, in all genres/categories
- fresh takes on female friendships or queer community, in all genres/categories
- novels set in Michigan, Texas, California, Chicago or the Pacific Northwest
- novels set outside the United States
- in general, anything with a strong sense of place
And here are some recent movies/TV/pop culture I’ve enjoyed and would be excited to see books with a similar vibe:
- For MG: Encanto, Turning Red, The Owl House, Netflix’s The Babysitter’s Club, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, the documentary Lily Topples the World
- For YA/adult: Yellowjackets, The Dropout, Ted Lasso, Dickinson, Palm Springs, Severance, The Afterparty, The Worst Person in the World, Shiva Baby, CODA, Plan B, Never Have I Ever, Taylor Swift’s folklore
Please note that I do NOT represent: nonfiction, memoir, adult sci-fi or fantasy, international espionage thrillers, chapter books, picture books, screenplays, or poetry collections.
Submissions should be emailed to https://QueryManager.com/querypatricia
Please submit your query letter and the first ten pages of your manuscript via form.