Jacinta and Danielle are going to endeavour to be open to receiving adult fiction and non-fiction manuscripts at some point in late-2021. Keep checking back here for details.
In the meantime and other than those we read at publishing events, we are not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts.
Middle Grade and Young Adult Submissions
I will be open to receiving Young Adult (YA) or Middle Grade (MG) submissions throughout the month of May 2021, for reading and consideration throughout June.
Please take note of the very specific manuscripts I’m wanting and will only be open to receiving. I’d like a one-page synopsis, brief (one-to-two paragraphs) author-explanation of how your work fits what I’m looking for, and the first-five chapters.
- Young Adult fantasy – particularly progressive and ‘own voices’ fantasy that’s unlike anything I’ve read before (a tall order, I know). I like intricate, but not impenetrable world-building. Character-driven is a must, where the relationships (romantic, familial, or friendship) up the stakes tenfold. And if there’s intention for a long-arching, multi-book series then I need to be shown the “long-game” overall, or at least some evidence that you’ve thought of the ending from the start. Think; The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, Euphoria Kids by Alison Evans, and We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal.
- Middle Grade (for 8-12 year-olds) across genres. Feel free to see my current list of authors I’ve sold – to get an idea of the genres I love, and recognise that I really appreciate voice first and foremost in MG. I love depth and complex stories for this readership, that don’t “talk down” to them. Some of my favourite MG authors (aside from my own that I rep!) include; Rebecca Stead, Gary D. Schmidt, Rita Williams-Garcia, Leanne Hall, Jacqueline Woodson, Nova Weetman, Sally Morgan, Mat Larkin, Amie Kaufman, Morris Gleitzman, Kelly Yang, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Sharon M. Draper, Jessica Townsend and so many more!
- Narrative nonfiction in both YA and MG – I am a particularly big fan of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and their Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, so let that be an inspiration for some innovation I’d love to see in this space for Australian creators.
Not currently accepting submissions for words or pictures, but that could change – always check back! In the meantime you can read this interview about my opinions on what I’ll be looking for in future; Danielle Binks talks to Karen Tayleur.
You can visit the Australian Literary Agents Association website for information and helpful industry links: ALAA
Some suggested-reading and things to consider to make sure your MG or YA manuscript is in the best possible shape!
Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole – this is such a comprehensive guide to writing KidLit, it gives you both the basics (word-count differences between MG and YA) but through interviews and extracts, also explores the expertise needed when writing for younger people. Brilliant stuff!
John Newbery Medal (often shortened to just ‘the Newbery’) is a US literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”. While this is an American-award, it’s fair to say that the American publishing industry has led the charge on middle-grade literature, and it’s always worthwhile seeing where they’ve set the bar – since the Australian industry is increasingly swayed and inspired by our US-counterparts, especially in this realm!
#LoveOzMG & #LoveOzYA = “Love Australian Middle Grade Lit” and “Love Australian Young Adult Lit”. These are grassroots movements, and shorthand used to discuss everything Aussie MG and YA. Search for these hashtags on social-media platforms or visit the website.
And keep up-to-date on latest Australian MG publishing news via Inside A Dog, this Goodreads list and things like The Readings Children’s Book Prize – to keep up-to-date on LoveOzYA there’s the Official Website and The Readings Young Adult Book Prize.