Laura Dail Literary Agency
My Manuscript Wish List®
I’m always on the lookout for original and diverse voices in commercial and high-concept fiction. Give me a book with all-or-nothing stakes that forces me to read it all in one sitting whether it’s escapist and/or challenges my perceptions.
I’m looking for:
- Captivating historical fiction set in the 1600s-1800s or 1920s-1970s that highlights little-known trailblazers as well as marginalized or underrepresented perspectives, cultures, and experiences, preferably set outside of the US.
- Near-future speculative fiction in the vein of Netflix’s Black Mirror that explores the blurred lines of utopias and dystopias and the dark sides to social media and technology.
- Propulsive thrillers, mysteries, and suspense that cater to a smart, female audience, have a dark high-risk game, include cults/secret societies, break some traditional tropes, and feature unexpected fabulism. I am also desperate for a revenge-based thriller with POC characters and/or an ensemble cast. Note: Please don’t send your mysteries/thrillers/suspense with police, lawyer, and/or government officials as the main characters. It takes the fun out of figuring out the mystery myself!
- Rom-coms with fresh, modern and heart-wrenching approaches to those stories we know and love. Give me all the interracial and/or queer relationships! Let’s throw some dating apps meet-cutes in there. As long as I’m laughing out loud and deeply swooning for the characters, I’m happy. I love everything including enemies to lovers, forced relationships, and friendships turning into more.
- In upmarket Women’s Fiction, I’d like to see more stories catering to the authentic millennial and/or POC experience in the vein of HBO’s Insecure or multi-generational family sagas. Show me healthy, female friendships or even overcoming toxic ones.
- In MG, I like diverse historical, contemporary, mysteries, and fantasy. I’m drawn to ensemble casts, so every reader can see themselves in the stories. In fantasy, rich characters, and world-building are essential, especially when seeing why one particular story stands out against another. In contemporaries, I want to see a range of light-hearted and issue-driven tackling any range of topics with care.
- In YA, I’m open to all subgenres. I love atmospheric contemporary stories with diverse and layered characters. For me, light and quirky stories are just as important as issue-driven ones. In fantasy, I favor those with an over-arching and universal theme. I enjoy light reimaginings of classic tales or mythology in unexpected ways. In horror, I want subversive stories that explore the big and small questions in society.
Across all genres, I want stories that explore the complexities of life, mental health, politics, and relationships.
Please send all things diverse and #ownvoices. As a WOC, representation is very important to me. I hope that my list will consist of stories that serve as beacons for new and old readers, escape hatches into other worlds, and springboards for important conversations.
Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com
- Send a concise email query letter to: QUERIES [at] LDLAINC [dot] COM
- Along with your book’s title, please include the name of the agent you are querying in the subject field. This helps guarantee that your submission ends up in the right person’s queue. (Example subject line: QUERY: TITLE for Samantha)
- Your query letter should include a short pitch, a short plot summary, and a short bio. Please also include publisher submission history and previous publishing credits, if applicable. If you are a debut author, do not worry.
- After your query letter, paste the FIRST 5-10 PAGES of your novel into the body of the email. Your writing sample MUST be pasted into the email, as we do not open unrequested attachments of any kind. You may also include a synopsis, but it’s not required.
- If you are an author/illustrator, we highly recommend creating an online portfolio, which you can link to in your query instead of attaching sample artwork to an email.
- Please do not query on a second, or third, project until we’ve replied to your first query.