We’ve had a fantastic 2014 here at TBA, and are all very much looking forward to 2015. January is always an exciting time to dive into our submissions inbox and look for that gem that we’ll be talking about all year. So, with this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the sort of submissions each TBA agent has asked Santa to bring us in our Christmas stockings. He’s obviously a busy guy in December, so if you have any of these, please help him out and email them over! Submission guidelines can be found here.
- High-concept, emotional women’s fiction like THE LIFE LIST and SWEET FORGIVENESS by Lori Nelson Spielman
- Novels for adults about crazy quirky families like THE FLOOD GIRLS (a novel I just sold to Gallery by Richard Fifield)
- Novels with a touch of magic or paranormal in them like THE NIGHT CIRCUS or THE GHOST BRIDE by Yangsze Choo (but not genre fiction)
- Animals and anthropomorphic characters—I love stories with either animals as the main character, or with a close bond with a child. Examples: CHARLOTTE’S WEB, A DOG CALLED HOMELESS, THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. Or what about historical fiction seen through the eyes of an animal—major events in history with a dog or cat or pig or…etc. narrator?
- Adventures are big for me in MG—I’d love something Goonies-inspired or a coming-of-age adventure like Stand by Me, where characters set off on an adventure and come back irrevocably changed having learnt something important about themselves.
- I am always nostalgic for extreme weather. Can someone please send me my DASH AND LILY’S BOOK OF DARES or my THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY!
- A m/m romance like FALSE COLORS by ALEX BEECROFT, but for teens
- A cool, but interesting cookbook like THUG KITCHEN by Thug Kitchen or Gluten Is My Bitch by April Peveteaux or a fun one like An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails by Elizabeth Graeber
- A YA that has interesting family dynamics, is deeply emotional, compelling and thought provoking, with a touch of mystery that pushes the boundaries of realistic contemporary like MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia or WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart.
- More witty YA romance-with-a-twist
- Smart, accessible contemporary MG fiction that deals with everyday bullying—not so much WONDER, but more like BLUBBER and THE AGAINST TAFFY SINCLAIR CLUB (shout-out to my fellow 70s/80s kids)
- A gorgeously-written YA fantasy set in a world I’ve never seen before. I’m tired of medieval/Elizabethan/Victorian/British/Game of Thrones-feeling stuff—show me something new. Bonus points for absorbing political intrigue, alternate history, and no elves whatsoever.
- Diversity! Show me characters we don’t see enough of in MG/YA fiction, in leading roles.
- Richly imagined YA & MG fantasy, perhaps with an alternate historical setting, and strong characters, like ABHORSEN, SHADOW AND BONE, or CHAOS WALKING series.
- YA and MG that uses found documents, like diaries, maps, journals or letters as a story-telling device; WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE for teens or tweens.
- Literary, character driven MG with a (possibly magical) twist, like A SNICKER OF MAGIC or WHEN YOU REACH ME.
- A contemporary novel that focuses on friendship. Perhaps something that explores the way friendships evolve like THE GIRLS FROM CORONA DEL MAR or Emily Gould’s FRIENDSHIP.
- A smart domestic thriller that is both a real page-turner and emotional in the vein of Liane Moriarty.
- A YA romance set in contemporary Middle East
- Emotional and magical novel, like a YA version of Mary Rickert’s beautiful and witchy THE MEMORY GARDEN.
- Poignant and sensitive YA that features characters struggling with not often explored issues of mental and physical health, like trichotillomania, phobia or genetic mutation.
- Thoughtful, moving, coming-of-age YA about cults, rumspringa or the rapture, in the vein of RAPTURE PRACTICE.
- YA or adult epic or historical fantasy with vivid world building, like Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS, or Susanna Clarke’s JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL.
- Fantasy and/or adventure middle grade fiction, a la ARTEMIS FOWL or THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES.
- Works of adult speculative fiction, thriller, or horror, along the lines of THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman, THE ROOK by Daniel O’Malley, or NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.
We look forward to hearing from you in the new year!