Roma Panganiban

Janklow & Nesbit Associates

My Manuscript Wish List®

I joined Janklow & Nesbit in 2019, after beginning my publishing career at The Gernert Company. I’ve closely assisted three agents whose lists span both children’s and adult markets, fiction and nonfiction, genre and literary, and I’m now actively seeking clients in all of the above.

I’m interested in novels that are fresh and inventive without necessarily seeking to be edgy. I value writing that is thoughtful, clear, clever, and beautiful on a line level, but it’s essential that those well-crafted sentences comprise a compelling, memorable voice and a distinct point of view. I favor character-driven literary fiction that’s unashamed to borrow from genre fiction, particularly speculative/fantasy elements, rich historical settings, and a little mystery. My interest is always piqued by coming-of-age narratives at any age; campus novels; ensemble casts and found/chosen families; grappling with religious tradition; cults and cliques, broadly defined to include any group with a shared obsession—band kids, secret societies, sports fans, witch covens; marginalized characters and underrepresented points of view; dry humor; and unconventional storytelling methods. Fiction offers infinite possibilities, and I’m open to being surprised.

In nonfiction, I’m looking for narrative works of journalism or cultural history that uncover new ground or approach familiar topics with such curiosity and intensity that they feel new—Bad Blood, Three Women, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Catch and Kill, Radium Girls, Ace—as well as creative nonfiction that feels intimate, idiosyncratic, and/or wryly funny: How We Fight For Our Lives; How to Write an Autobiographical Novel; Uncanny Valley; Tiny Beautiful Things; I Was Told There’d Be Cake; Something That Will Shock and Discredit You; Goodbye, Again. I’d love to find a hybrid cookbook that interweaves recipes and personal narrative (Ella Risbridger’s Midnight Chicken, Ruby Tandoh’s Eat Up and Cook As You Are, Angela Dimayuga & Ligaya Mishan’s Filipinx) and any book involving original research or contemporary analysis that reorients the way we see the world (Because InternetDataclysm, 99% Invisible City).

My experience/interest on the children’s side is primarily in YA, but I’m open to select MG projects. I read for many of the same qualities in children’s fiction as I do in adult, but I prefer more high-concept, fun MG (Freddie vs. the Family Curse, The Gilded Girl) and more realistic, emotional YA, whether contemporary or historical. I’m drawn to second-gen narratives in the vein of Kelly Loy Gilbert, Randy Ribay, Mary H.K. Choi; school stories with an edge (Ace of Spades, One of Us Is Lying); enemies-to-friends relationships; and smart, weird kids, e.g. the orphans of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the child prodigies of The Mysterious Benedict Society, the savvy, sassy winner of The Westing Game. Across categories, I want to see books for kids and teens who aren’t white, cis, straight, male, neurotypical, allosexual, able-bodied, beautiful, middle-class, Americans, or any of the many things they’re taught are “normal” and good—books that allow young readers to better understand each other, themselves, and the world around them.

I’m not the best fit for:

  • intergenerational family dramas
  • white men feeling bad about being white men
  • young women in a state of inexplicable malaise
  • anything involving the military or police
  • graphic horror
  • epic fantasy
  • space operas
  • westerns
  • violent true crime
  • Civil War-era historical fiction
  • May-December relationships
  • writers writing about writers writing
  • traditional romance (adult or YA)
  • business books
  • self-help

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Email with the word “query” and the title of your project in the subject line, with your query, synopsis, and first 10 pages pasted into the body of the email. I endeavor to respond to all queries as quickly as possible, and I thank you in advance for your patience.

Guidelines & Details

Vital Info