Wednesday, December 2, 2009


1. Young Adult realistic romance with authentic dialog that makes me yearn to be the main character.

2. Paranormal MG or YA that keeps me at the edge of my seat and has a fantastic payoff at the end.

3. MG that captures the reality of Middle School with an intriguing plot plus authentic emotion. 7th and 8th grade =hormonal roller coaster where kids strive to be independent yet are still such babes in the woods.

4. Laugh-out-loud, fast paced Chapter Books, MG and YA.

5. Books that organically combine illustration with prose--MG and YA

6. Characters that reflect the popular kids, not just the loners, geeks, etc....I was asked on FB, 'If main characters are popular, healthy, athletic, gets straight A's, gets all the girls, have a perfect family, etc., where's the story?

The story is: who the world perceives we are, how we think about ourselves, and who we really are is usually not the same. I just read The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart. I loved the part where the mc realizes that the boys she thought were confident and had it all were actually self-conscious and insecure about 'issues' the mc never considered.

Some new favorites not on my original list: Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree/Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis, The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, Forever by Judy Blume, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, What is Goodbye? by Nikki Grimes.

For now: no high fantasy.

Added Feb 1, 2010: I no longer send form declines. If you do not receive an email response to your query + 10 pages within a month, I am sorry but I am not the right agent for your work.


  1. Thanks Jill for sharing your list. I hope you get everything you are looking for.

  2. Thanks. I have a humorous YA that I'll be shopping in January. (I hesitate to call it "laugh-out-loud." Seems a little cocky.)

    And I like the Emma-Jean Lazarus books too, even though I'm pretty sure I fall outside of the target audience.

  3. Fantastic list. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm especially excited to see you're looking for paranormal YA since I'll be sending my query out in the beginning of January.

  4. Thanks for the list Jill. Hopefully, my YA will be ready to for submission in the spring. My mc is on the fringes of the popular crowd. She gets up the courage to talk to her dream guy. They become involved, but it's not all wine and roses. He's not the good guy she thought he fact he's abusive.

  5. Yay Jill, thanks for posting this. Always good to know what you're looking for:-)

  6. Thanks for the list, Jill. I'm currently working on a paranormal YA.

  7. It's great that you post your wish list! I wish all agents would do the same.

    Unfortunately, I don't have anything to send you. :(

  8. Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of A Tree and When You Reach Me are among my very small list of all time favorite MGs.

    Wish I had something that fitted your needs.

  9. Hey,

    Are you open to YA/MG set in another country? Set in an Asian country for instance?


  10. Sorry, but the "popular" kids made my life hell all through high school. I have no sympathy for people like that and I flatly refuse to write about them as anything but the villans they are in real life.

  11. Anon--and that is why there are so many different kinds of books to write, to read.

    But to villainize popular kids may mean that the popular kid character in your book is not fully developed.

  12. Hey Jill-
    I hope you find SK8R fits some of your interests! MG kid strives for independence, but is shocked by harsh realities. Plus, his self-concept doesn't match others' perceptions... I could go on, or you could check your email (hint, hint)

  13. Jill,

    What is the age of the youngest writer that has had work selected by you or your company?

    Jordan Stone

  14. Hi Jordan,
    I have two clients still in college.
    Hope that helps,

  15. Hi thanks for letting us know what your looking for... right now I'm writing poems.

  16. Thanks for the help!

    Jordan Stone



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