My Manuscript Wish List®
- PB, CB, MG, and YA, both fiction and nonfiction
- Adult fiction
For kid lit, I always want to learn something—which means I want your characters to teach me something. If your MC has an unusual hobby or interest, they’re probably for me. I’m also always looking to acquire books that give insight to our increasingly global world, so books that take place in other countries, books that highlight cultural pockets within a country, books about cultural intersection, etc. I want books that highlight friendship (especially when it isn’t easy), battling social norms to find one’s place, and diversity (across all spectrums). And I always, always need a strong voice.
As a general breakdown:
- In PB, I’m looking for 1) stories that tackle serious subjects like politics, mental health, grief, and belonging in an accessible and empowering way, 2) stories that teach about and celebrate different cultures and places in the world, and 3) nonfiction that delights and inspires—especially if it has a feminist/disability/multicultural/queer angle.
- In MG, I lean very heavily toward action-adventure—especially when it’s based on non-western (that means no Greek/Roman) mythology and folklore. If you think it could sit on a bookshelf next to Rick Riordan’s works, it’s for me. I’m looking for humor and fast-pacing but still want content that touches on larger themes like belonging, grief, friendship, family, culture, etc. I’m not a good fit for quiet and serious books.
- In YA, I’m looking for multicultural, disabled, and queer perspectives on everything from modern teen experiences to reframing classic tropes like vampires and witches. Voice is everything for me—I love sarcasm, quirk, and wit—and the story needs to be speaking to a larger sociopolitical conversation, even if in a lighthearted way. I’m all for books that empower teens to get political and take a stand for what they believe in. I’m also really drawn to stories that treat setting like a character, and I’ve especially been wanting atmospheric horror—stories where the spook comes from the place itself, similar to Wilder Girls.
On a specific level, I’m looking for:
- Recreational fighting, both combat and noncombat (MMA, kick/boxing, karate, fencing, weapon work, etc.)
- Girl gamers
- Girl mechanics/riders (give me cars, motorcycles, racing, and rebuilding all day, please)
- Science/math oriented clubs and hobbies (robotics, rockets, astronomy, coding, VR, etc.)
- Career-orientation (more for YA than MG)
- Crossing gender stereotypes/norms (boy ballerinas, girl motocrossers, what have you)
- #OwnVoices Hmong characters (doesn’t have to take place in the Twin Cities, but that would be a plus!)
- #OwnVoices Native American and indigenous characters
- Books that take place around (but don’t necessarily center on) non-Christian holidays (Eid, Dio de los Muertos, Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, Holi, etc.)—especially for PB!
- Inter-generational friendship (especially in MG)
- Unlikeable, snarky, witty MCs
- Retellings of global, often-underrepresented folklore/mythology
- Smart, quirky humor (especially if your book takes on heavy issues; I don’t do heavy without humor)
- Author-illustrator graphic novels (especially those aimed at reluctant readers)
- Informational nonfiction about unexpected, fun, inspiring topics
Note about nonfiction: if I’m going to take it on, I need to know you’re qualified to write about it and have a strong platform/network, so be sure to include that in your query.
I’m more interested in contemporary and light fantasy/spec than I am in SFF, but that doesn’t mean SFF won’t be a fit (I’m mainly just a real stickler about world building). I’m also not a great fit for trauma/terminal illness/impending death unless you’re taking a laughing-through-the-pain approach, and I pretty much entirely stay away from sexual assault.
On the adult side, I represent both contemporary/commercial fiction, romcoms, thrillers and mysteries, and horror.
- For contemporary: I want smart writing that has something important to say while still incorporating humor. Voice is everything, so gives me a witty/sarcastic MC. Think SKYE FALLING, QUEENIE, NOTHING TO SEE HERE. I’m always looking for underrepresented voices and to learn something new.
- For romcoms, I want big emphasis on COM—à la Emily Henry. I also love stories that teach me something, so characters with intriguing jobs/hobbies is going to be up my alley. I’m particularly looking for interracial/intercultural stories (big plus if both character are of color).
- For thriller/mystery, I do NOT want the MC to be in law enforcement (including FBI/CIA). I’ve been digging Lisa Gardner’s Frankie Elkin series, and I love Lucy Foley, Andrea Bartz, and Riley Sager. I want badass, smart women, brilliant plotting, whiplash pacing, a strong secondary cast. I’m also open to paranormal elements here—think Simone St. James. I love a good haunting.
- For horror, atmosphere is everything, and I’d LOVE to get horror that plays off of folklore, particularly non-Eurocentric—think Stephen Graham Jones. I also want to learn about other cultures/histories—think Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Perks if there’s an environmental bent.
A note about thrillers, mysteries, and horror: while I love spooky and twisty and dark, I’m not a fan of gratuitous violence, and, again, I stay away from sexual assault.
You can find more about me by visiting my website.
Submit your query and the first 20 pages of your manuscript via QueryMe.Online/SavannahBrooks. Queries sent by any other medium will not be considered.