Janklow & Nesbit Associates
My Manuscript Wish List®
My primary focus is upmarket fiction with commercial appeal. I love literary thrillers, historical fiction, quick-witted beach and book club reads, and any plot-driven story with a distinctive voice and a smart, high-concept hook. I also gravitate towards novels with a strong sense of time and place, a unique atmosphere, or gripping, edge-of-the-seat suspense. I’m always on the hunt for writers who make me laugh.
Some of my favorite books include: The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin; Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarity; The Trespasser by Tana French; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; The Vacationers by Emma Straub; Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson; The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton; Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.
I’m looking for:
- Historical fiction like POSSESSION — with nerdy academics and “original” source research at the core, but also, sexy, exciting, and tension-filled. I’m always a fan of historical fiction that has a race-against-time element
- A novel like COUNTERFEIT — entertaining, glittery, and satisfying on the level of plot-heavy, page-turning caper or romp, but also delivering on serious themes, exploring questions of race, identity, and consumerism
- A great love story with dimension, humor, and a strong commercial hook. Think ONE DAY or THE LIGHT WE LOST, but not necessarily as weepy. I am especially eager to read underrepresented narratives in this space
- A modern take on BBC classic Upstairs, Downstairs — featuring relationships and tension between door staff of an urban apartment building and tenants, exploring class, race, and wealth disparity
- High-concept stories about being caught between two cultures (think Jhumpa Lahiri, but more commercial)
- Historical fiction centered on witches (and/or including magical elements), featuring well-researched, authentic period detail. I’d love a story in this space that borrows from actual events and re-imagines them in an original way
- A rom-com with a smart hook, true chemistry, and easy, giggle-inducing banter, like RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE, IN FIVE YEARS, or BEACH READ
- A modern comedy of manners in an unexpected or fresh setting in the vein of CRAZY RICH ASIANS or UNMARRIAGEABLE
- Plot-driven commercial novels that discuss race, class, and privilege, like SUCH A FUN AGE, or that address systemic racism, like THE OTHER BLACK GIRL
- An epistolary novel, like I CAPTURE THE CASTLE or THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY
- Beautifully-written and tightly-plotted thrillers with emotional depth in the vein of Tana French, SISTER by Rosamund Lupton, IN A DARK DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware, THE GUEST LIST by Lucy Foley, THE WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker, or THE LAST FLIGHT by Julie Clark
- A rich, commercial summer story set in an historically Black beach community like Highland Beach, Maryland, Idlewild, Michigan, or Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
- A family saga depicting intergenerational tension, particularly involving the immigrant experience in the US, where culture or setting almost functions as a character in the story
Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com
Please send a query letter and the first ten pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include “Stefanie Lieberman” in the subject line.