Paul Stevens

Donald Maass Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List®

Paul Stevens joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2016. Before that he worked as an editor for 15 years, primarily at Tor Books, where he edited science fiction, fantasy, and mystery.

Paul represents Joseph Brassey, Leigh Butler, Kat Clay, Jeremy Finley, Iain Hannay Fraser, Agnes Gomillion, Sean Grigsby, LJ Hachmeister, Alyc Helms, Leanna Renee Hieber, Kel Kade, Dan Koboldt, Michael Livingston, Elle Andrews Patt, Stephen S. Power, and Kevin Singer.

Fun facts about me:

Paul is an Ohio native and a graduate of the Ohio State University. He grows carnivorous plants. You can often find him hanging about on the walls at nearby climbing gyms.

Submission Guidelines

Paul is looking for science fiction, fantasy, and horror, mystery, and suspense. For more info, see below. He’d love more humorous, laugh-out-loud projects in all these genres.

(Paul is not looking for young adult or middle grade books at this time. If you have a YA or MG project, please consider submitting to one of the other agents at this agency.)

He’s looking for strong stories with interesting characters. Well-rounded LGBT characters and characters of color are a plus.

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror:

Paul is looking for science fiction, fantasy, and horror in all subgenres. He would love to see stories that take tried-and-true genre tropes and turn them on their heads in an inventive way.

For example, epic fantasy should stretch the boundaries and shake things up. If your book is about a group of characters going on a quest, be sure you have an inventive take on the quest fantasy subgenre. Show us something that we’ve never seen before.

Mystery and Suspense:

Ideally your book should have an intriguing concept that makes the reader think, “Oh, that’s a cool idea.”

Given Paul’s strong interest in speculative fiction, Paul is drawn to mysteries and suspense that incorporate some speculative element, such as weird creatures, psychic sleuths, or unusual settings (historical, far future, the moon, Viking times, etc.) Straight-up, contemporary mysteries and crime fiction are unlikely to be a good fit. Again, strong, memorable characters are key.


Paul’s looking for humorous books in the genres mentioned above. Humor is very subjective, but if he’s inspired to rush into a coworker’s office to show them a funny passage, that’s a very good sign. Think Terry Pratchett or Christopher Moore.

Here are some great examples of books that Paul edited at Tor. They’ll give a good sense of what appeals to him:

A. Lee Martinez: Gil’s All Fright Diner, In the Company of Ogres, A Nameless Witch, The Automatic Detective, and Too Many Curses.

Robert Brockway: The Unnoticeables.

Also check out Gail Carriger’s Soulless and Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim, two books that Paul wanted to acquire for Tor, but, unfortunately, we can’t get them all . . .


Paul is not looking for short story collections, poetry, memoirs, screenplays, picture books, chapter books, young adult or middle grade.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info