Maria Vicente is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency, providing support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. Maria is dedicated to managing authors’ literary brands for the duration of their careers.
Her reading preferences vary across categories and genres, which is reflected in her client list. She is actively looking for young adult, middle grade, illustrated picture books, literary fiction with a touch of genre, and nonfiction projects in the pop culture, design, and lifestyle categories. She has affinities for literary prose, strong character development, original storytelling formats, and anything geeky.
I am looking for realistic middle grade that has a touch of whimsy or magic (something Roald Dahl-ish). I’m interested in historical middle grade that re-rewrites history to add an element of magic or the unthinkable (a good example is The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel). I’m still on the hunt for a modern-day Sweet Valley Twins series—something relatable and filled with drama for today’s tweens. Oh, and scary middle grade is right up my alley. Other than these specific few things, I am interested in every possible genre for middle grade. I want to read your stories!
I would like to find a legitimately scary YA manuscript. (Please time these queries right so I can read scary books close to Halloween.) I desperately need a friendship break-up story. I’ve been asking for this for what feels like forever, and I would like for this dream to come true. Show me why friendship break-ups are so much worse than relationship break-ups. I’ve recently discovered that I really like mysteries, so a YA novel with a mystery woven throughout would be rad. I’d love to read a YA version of The Affair (tv show), or a YA character similar to Neal Caffrey from White Collar (also a tv show). Contemporary YA featuring a bisexual or asexual protagonist would be fantastic. A fairy tale adaptation that is very, very dark (I’m thinking a full-length version of an Angela Carter story from The Bloody Chamber, but suitable for the YA market) would catch my attention. In general, I’m interested in weird ideas and new voices that I haven’t read multiple times before.
I am looking for picture book submissions from author/illustrators. With professional illustrations only. Anything with a clever, high concept text and a unique visual style.
Right now, I am only looking for literary fiction with a touch of genre or magical realism. To give you an idea of what I’m looking for, read these books: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan, Night Film by Marisha Pessl, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
(Disclaimer: platform is a must for nonfiction, and I will most definitely want to see a proposal. You can read about book proposals here.) Anything with a geeky angle. Seriously. Lifestyle projects with a unique approach to popular topics are always a big hit with me. Some random topics I’d love to work with: humorous essay collections; vegan cooking; witchcraft/magic; crafts. I’m also interested in nonfiction for children, particularly science or geek-related, but I’m open to almost anything in this category.
I 100% support the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. Please feel welcome to query me if you are an under-represented writer and/or writing about under-represented characters. Supporting diverse books, especially diverse children’s books, is very important to me.
If you have a project that you think I’d like, and you think we’d make a good team, please send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org. Address the query letter to me, and then we can make books happen! Hooray!
Please limit your submission to just a query letter that consists of the following:
•Paragraph One – Introduction: Include the title and category of your work (i.e. fiction or nonfiction and topic), an estimated word count and a brief, general introduction.
•Paragraph Two – Brief overview: This should read similar to back-cover copy.
•Paragraph Three – Writer’s bio: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background (awards and affiliations, etc.).
• Do not send attachments. Please use text within the body of your e-mail.
•Please do not submit a full-length manuscript/proposal unless requested.
•Always let us know if your manuscript/proposal is currently under consideration by other agents/publishers.
•Address your query to the attention of the agent you feel is the best match for your work.
•Please do not query multiple agents at the agency simultaneously – if you don’t receive a response to your query within 4-6 weeks it means a no from the agency.
I only accept submissions via e-mail. Queries should be directed to email@example.com.
I do not accept or respond to phone, paper or social media queries.