Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 18, 2021

Chelsea Hensley, Associate Agent at KT Literary


Before joining kt literary, Chelsea was a freelance editor and perpetual publishing intern. In 2018 she mentored in Pitch Wars and most recently was an editorial intern at Page Street Publishing where she assisted on titles from Addie Thorley and Breanna Shields. She has a BA in English from the University of Missouri and lives and works as a bookseller in St. Louis, MO. She likes fresh and imaginative SFF, dark and twisty mysteries/thrillers, and whipsmart protagonists. She is interested in working with authors belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in publishing, especially Black authors. When she isn’t working, she can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons, watching The Golden Girls, or playing with her dog.

Chelsea is looking for Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction as well as select Adult projects. Even if you don’t see your project perfectly described here please feel free to query if you think she’d be interested. Overall she is looking for fresh concepts, immersive worlds, and a strong voice. She especially interested in working with authors from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in publishing, particularly Black authors.

In the Middle Grade:

Chelsea’s tastes skew toward upper level and more toward fantasy. She’d love to see some sweeping fantasy like THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON and projects inspired by lesser told legends, fairytales or myths like LALANI OF THE DISTANT SEA. She is also interested in historical and mysteries of the whimsical and adventurous variety.

In Young Adult:

Chelsea’s tastes are broader, but she is especially interested in mysteries and thrillers in this category. She prefers dark and twisty and deeply character-driven (think: Courtney Summers). If you have fantasy, sci-fi, or historical projects with strong mystery threads in them, she’d love to see them! She’d also be interested in something irreverent and smart like American Vandal.

Chelsea is also interested in YA science-fiction and fantasy. For sci-fi, I’m interested in things that are grounded in the real world, and I’d love to see some inventive dystopia like SCYTHE or horror like WILDER GIRLS. In fantasy, I’m interested in everything from contemporary to epic. She’d love something that puts a fantasy twist on history like DREAD NATION or THE DIVINERS. She would also love something that blends and bends genres like JANE, UNLIMITED.

When it comes to YA contemporary and romance, she is very selective, but when it’s good, she’s hooked. She is drawn toward character-driven stories that meet emotional heft with a silvery thread of humor like the work of Robin Benway and Jenny Han.

In the Adult category:

Chelsea is only looking for fantasy at this time. She loves sprawling magical worlds and lush retellings. She would love something akin to the work of Naomi Novik or dark and atmospheric like NINTH HOUSE. Chelsea is also interested in some supernatural horror. Less jump scares and the like and more unsettling and full of creeping dread like YEAR OF THE WITCHING or MEXICAN GOTHIC.

In general, here are some of the things Chelsea loves to see in a manuscript:


    Intricate plots and complex emotional arcs


    Whipsmart protagonists who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. There’s nothing I love more than a main character who throws themselves into the thick of things and doesn’t look back.


    Female friendship, partnerships, rivalries, and everything in between are high up on my wishlist. Girls, girls, girls basically. I prefer narratives to be female driven, and I’d love to see more F/F romantic pairings.


    Spies, assassins, thieves and other rogue-ish characters. She loves, loves, loves heists.


    1. She’d love to see some great antiheroes or characters embarking on redemption arcs like Zuko from

Avatar: The Last Airbender.

    Submission Guidelines:

Please email your query letter and the first three pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to:

Chelsea at

The subject line of your email should include the word “Query” along with the title of your manuscript. Queries should not contain attachments. Attachments will not be read, and queries containing attachments WILL be deleted unread. We aim to reply to all queries within two weeks of receipt. For examples of query letters, please feel free to browse the About My Query archives on this site.

In addition, if you’re an author who is sending a new query, but who previously submitted a novel to us for which we requested chapters but ultimately declined, please do say so in your query letter.

If we like your query, we’ll ask for the first five chapters and a complete synopsis. For our purposes, the synopsis should include the full plot of the book including the conclusion. Don’t tease us. Thanks!

We are not accepting snail mail queries at this time. If you have an aversion to email, perhaps we’re not the best agency for you. We also do not accept pitches on social media.


  1. Thanks, Kathy. Have a great week!


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