Rachel Diebel

Feiwel & Friends

My Manuscript Wish List®

I am an editor at Feiwel & Friends (an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group), acquiring middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels.

Broadly, across all categories, I am always looking for commercial fiction with a unique voice, a great hook, and characters I instantly fall in love with. I am always looking for stories by authors and about characters from marginalized identities. Here are some things I’d particularly love to see in my inbox, for any age range, genre, or format:

  • Fat positive and/or body neutrality rep
  • Wonderfully rich & complex friendships and found families
  • Characters with anxiety and/or OCD where this is not the focus of the narrative
  • Snappy dialogue and witty banter
  • Joyful queer love stories with big feelings
  • Manuscripts that do interesting and different things with format, perspective, or timeline
  • Stories set in the Pacific Northwest
  • Ensemble casts


(Fantasy/adventure, mystery, select contemporary)

  • Voice is the most important thing for me in middle grade! I love an authentic and unique voice that takes me right back to my own middle school years.
  • A brisk pace that keeps me wanting to turn the pages is also important to me in middle grade.

I would love to acquire a middle grade novel that is a fresh and interesting take on a classic adventure story, or centers a narrative/mythology/folklore we don’t often see at the center of these stories (think Aru Shah or Marikit and the Ocean of Stars), as well as contemporary novels that feature a little bit of magic (a la Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me). I also love middle grade novels like Winterhouse that feature a mystery, secret codes, and puzzles for the reader to work out along with the characters, and spooky/gothic middle grade a la Heather Kassner.


(Contemporary, mystery/thriller, fantasy/contemporary fantasy, speculative, gothic)

  • In YA particularly, I always fall in love with characters first!
  • I am looking for smart, sharp humor, and I’m a sucker for a unique setting where the setting becomes a character in and of itself.

In fantasy, I’m always looking for contemporary fantasy “our world plus magic” stories like Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, and I love things with a speculative element. For high fantasy/other world fantasy, I love books where the worldbuilding feels realistic, lived-in, and carefully crafted, but not overwhelming. Some favorites include Kristin Cashore, Laura Weymouth, and Melinda Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles.

I’d love to publish a pacy, attention-grabbing mystery or thriller that feels like a modern take on old school mystery plots (I adore Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious series and The Inheritance Games) – think KNIVES OUT but in book form! In contemporary YA, it’s all about having a great hook and delivering on it, whether it’s a love story, a friendship story, or a coming of age novel.


  • I tend to gravitate towards full color or two tone graphic novels rather than black & white illustrations.

I am interested in both middle grade and young adult graphic novels. For middle grade, I love bright, colorful, commercial art, and true-to-life middle school stories a la Raina Telgemeier and Shannon Hale. I also adore contemporary stories with a speculative twist, such as Snapdragon. In YA, I gravitate towards queer love stories (Laura Dean Keep Breaking Up With Me), and sports stories with heart (Fence, Check Please, Heartstopper). Faith Erin Hicks is one of my favorite artists for YA graphic novels.

For both age ranges, I am primarily interested in contemporary stories, but am acquiring select fantasy/speculative titles as well.


I am NOT the right person for science fiction, body horror, novels in verse, adult manuscripts, chapter book series, and most nonfiction. I am also typically not the right person for very dark/gritty stories or stories with suicidal ideation.

Fun facts about me:

Even though I’m a dog person, I have a wonderful cat named Charlie Brown.

I’m originally from a very rural part of the Pacific Northwest and would love to publish a book set there!

I’m a massive hockey and women’s soccer fan and have been known to talk about professional players like they’re my best friends.

Submission Guidelines

I only accept agented submissions unless specifically requested by me at a conference or similar.


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