Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 26, 2019

Agent John Cusick – Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management

John Cusick represents a diverse list of iconoclastic voices, award winners, and New York Times bestsellers. His focus is young adult and middle grade, as well as a select list of author-illustrators.

He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2007 with a double major in English and Russian Literature—a degree one professor called “fun but useless.” After working as a freelance writer, bookseller, dog walker, cashier, and radio host, he became a literary agent’s assistant and quickly began building his own list. Around the same time he also became an author; his young adult novels, Girl Parts and Cherry Money Baby, were published by Candlewick Press.

As a writer himself, he brings both a creative and commercial sensibility to his agenting style. John is an editorial agent who works closely with his clients, whether it’s developing a debut project or helping a seasoned author achieve that breakout novel. His goal is to match authors with their dream editor, secure the best deals possible, and grow an author’s readership over a long career. He is passionate about helping clients achieve their full potential, and is looking for dedicated, original, fervent, visionary creators.


He is seeking unique voices in young adult and middle-grade. He wants stories that move readers, moments that make him look up and say “Wow, yes. I’ve felt that.”

John wants beautiful, character-driven YA and MG that connects like an emotional gut-punch. I love the strange, iconoclastic, and unusual. I want #ownvoices stories of all styles and genres. He wants fresh fantasy set in our world and others, where the stakes are both monumental and personal, the world-building detailed, and the characters unforgettable. Send him the books kids will sneak / steal / borrow in secret. Those intimate, dangerous, life-saving stories. He’s looking for boundary pushers, a pitch that makes (certain) people say, “You can’t write a YA / MG about THAT!!”

He says, “I want books that keep me turning the page. I love proactive protagonists, kids and teens chasing a dream or a hero who swings in with a song in her heart and a knife in her teeth. I am not currently taking on picture book texts or books for the adult market.”


Please email your query along with the first 2500 words of your manuscript, with the word QUERY in the subject line, to I try to respond to all queries, however if you do not hear from me within thirty days, please consider it a pass.

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