Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 21, 2018

New Agent Looking for Clients – Kiana Nguyen

Kiana Nguyen

Donald Maass Literary Agency

Newly minted Assistant Literary Agent at Donald Maass Literary Agency. I focus primarily on YA Contemporary, but would love to work with low/high Fantasy (not-western/European based) and Sci-fi. Kiana is HUNGRY for queer and POC voices, especially if the narrative is as much driven by the main character(s) as by a high-concept plot. Think THUG, ONE OF US IS LYING, THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS. Recent Fantasy: FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS, THE FIVE DAUGHTERS OF THE MOON, WINTERSONG.

She’s looking for queer gang ensemble casts in any YA genre/sub-genre that kick ass physically, mentally, at the arcade or in a high-stakes heist. Some of my favorite badass teams right now are in The Flash, Wynona Earp, The Craft (obviously), The Diviners by Libba Bray, Feral Youth edited by Shaun David Hutchinson. They all have their strengths, weaknesses, and quirks and each are wholly unique in their own ways. Also, COVENS.

Kiana is looking for an achingly bittersweet queer love story with thriller or genre spin like FAR FROM YOU and THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END. She wants her heart broken with all things dark and twisty.

Give her the girls with skinned knees and boys weak with jealousy and queer kids who couldn’t be good if they tried. All the gray morality and friendships they would kill to keep. Nothing cookie-cutter for her!

She is also looking for Adult SFF, thrillers (specifically domestic suspense), and romance. Think Nicky Drayden, THE GIRL BEFORE (Rena Olsen), and Rebekah Weatherspoon.

Looking for:
– Dark, twisty narratives that explore human complexity
– YA Contemporary featuring lower socioeconomic backgrounds; poor kids who get in as much reckless mischief as their rich counterparts!
– YA featuring happy/hopeful queer romances
– Thrillers!!!

Do not send:
– Non-fiction
– Crime or military fiction
– Picture books, chapter books, or MG
– Poetry, screenplays, or short stories
– Religious fiction

Submission Guidelines:

Kiana only accepts queries via email. Do not query via regular mail, phone, or social media.

  • Send your query to the email address specified on the individual agent’s page.
  • Begin your subject line with QUERY: title of the manuscript (e.g. QUERY: The Count of Monte Cristo).
  • Include:
    • a query letter (be sure it includes both genre and word count)
    • the first five pages of your manuscript
    • a short synopsis (1-2 pages)
  • Kiana will not open unsolicited attachments, so send all of the above pasted into the body of the email.

To query, please email with the query letter, and the first ten pages of your novel pasted into the body of the email.

Response times:
Query letters — up to 6 weeks from receipt.
Partial manuscripts — up to 8 weeks.
Full manuscripts — two months or more.


For all other inquiries, email her at

Fun facts about Kiana:

I was a park ranger for the High Line for two seasons.

I did an urban forestry Americorps service in NoCal.

I died as a character in Shane Kuhn’s HOSTILE TAKEOVER.

I cry a lot watching TV/reading books even when it’s not sad. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Law & Order SVU, Criminal Minds, and all things twisted murder.

Lil Kim told my dad I was beautiful.


Talk tomorrow,



  1. Just have to say what a cool name Kiana is! I know two boys named “Kian” but haven’t heard of the female version before.


  2. It’s always great finding out about new agents and that they’re looking! Granted, I don’t do what Kiana’s looking for, but I love to spread the word 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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