Agent Molly O’Neill at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
Prior to becoming an agent, Molly spent thirteen years working in various roles inside the children’s publishing industry: as an Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where I acquired Veronica Roth’s YA juggernaut Divergent series, among many other fantastic projects; as Head of Editorial at Storybird, a publishing/tech start-up; and in School & Library Marketing at both HarperCollins and Clarion Books.
She loves the creative process and early-stage project development,
and is invigorated by business strategy and entrepreneurial thinking, and am fascinated by the intersections of art, commerce, creativity, and innovation. I’m especially passionate about the people behind books, and take pride in discovering and evangelizing talented authors and illustrators, expanding the global reach of their work, and finding new ways to build connections and community among creators, readers, stories, and their champions.
She says, “When I’m reading a manuscript, in my head I’m thinking about building connections: with the editor who will buy and champion it; with the publishing team who will bring it to life and send it out into the world; with the teachers, librarians, booksellers, and other professional book mavens who will put it into exactly the right hands—and most of all, I’m thinking about the readers whose lives will be entertained, improved, challenged, informed, or delighted by it. The stronger those connections, the more likely a book will live on forever. If I can visualize exactly how to form that web of connections around a book and its creator while I’m reading an early draft, then it’s a fantastic signal that I also know how to help that author or artist build their way into a meaningful, and potentially lucrative, career.”
Molly is actively seeking middle grade and YA fiction. She’s also seeking a select number of children’s illustrators (illustrators who also write are very welcome), and authors of picture book/MG/YA nonfiction, early readers/chapter books, or children’s/MG/YA graphic novels. She is NOT currently seeking picture book texts unless the author is also a professional illustrator, or a writer of nonfiction, or a direct referral from an industry contact that she knows personally.
In narrative nonfiction categories, she’s seeking projects by authors with well-established platforms in the categories of pop science, pop culture, lifestyle, travel, food memoir, or cookbooks. In all categories, she’s drawn to character-driven explorations of universal human stories, truths, and experiences; plots driven by a compelling “what-if”; a vivid sense of place and/or world-building; narratives about creativity, community, and the intersections of unexpectedly-connected topics; groundbreaking themes, formats, and voices; masterful, original writing; and stories that will surprise and delight readers. She does NOT represent: adult fiction (of any genre), poetry, chapbooks, screenplays, or erotica.
PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLY ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED
Please send a query letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not send attachments, though for fiction you may include 5-10 pages of your manuscript in the body of your email.