Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 20, 2022

Agent Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra & Associates

Thao Le is a literary agent at the Dijkstra Agency. She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a double major in Econ-Management Science and Chinese Studies. While interning at the agency during college, she realized where her true love lies — books — and joined the agency full-time in the spring of 2011.

She represents KidLit (i.e. picture books and graphic novels by author-illustrators, Middle Grade fiction, and Young Adult across genres) as well as Science-Fiction/Fantasy and select Romance for adults.

In picture books: She’s excited to work with illustrators who write their own picture books and is most drawn to art that is emotive and vivid. Her tastes tend towards stories that are character driven, witty, progressive, and ends with a twist.

In Middle Grade and YA: Whether in prose or graphic novel format, she’s currently seeking contemporary stories that are witty, heartfelt, and authentic. She’s especially drawn to stories about family and friendships from the POV of diverse protagonists. She’s a fan of young characters who are passionate about the arts, sports, STEM, activism, and geeky fandoms. She adores stories with a touch of magic and whimsy, and is a fan of mythology and fairytales.

In the Adult: SFF realm, she’s a fan of character driven contemporary fantasy, near future science fiction, and romantic space operas. She is particularly excited about stories with fresh twists to common genre tropes.

Her favorite romantic tropes are: hate-to-love/enemies-to-lovers, slow burn, forbidden/doomed romance, fake dating/marriage of convenience, grouchy curmudgeon and bubbly optimistic, mistaken identities, and she is a sucker for beta second male leads who steal the show (and hopefully the heroine’s heart!).

In general, she loves beautiful literary writing with a commercial hook and tight plotting. She is actively seeking underrepresented voices (including, but not limited to, all ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental and physical health, and socioeconomic status) to her client list.

Thao is NOT looking for: non-fiction, adult literary fiction, adult general fiction, mystery/thriller/suspense, memoirs, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, or short stories.

Submission Guidelines:

Fiction: A query letter, a 1-page synopsis, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript.

Non-fiction: A query letter and a book proposal. A non-fiction book proposal should include:

  • Overview (1-3 pages)
  • Author Bio
  • Length and Delivery Date
  • 5-10 Takeaways (the key selling points of your book)
  • Comparative Titles (analyzing 5-8 comparable books that have been published in the past 10 years, with 1-3 sentences on why that book was successful and what that book did NOT cover, which yours will)
  • Target Market/Audience
  • Marketing Plan
  • Chapter Outline (with a few sentences describing each chapter)
  • 1-2 Sample Chapters

Picture Book Writers: A query letter, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and full manuscript text.

Illustrators with dummy: A query letter, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), full manuscript text, full dummy (in pdf format as an attachment) that includes 1-2 color samples, and link to online portfolio.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks for sharing what Thao Le is looking for in submissions. It’s great that she represents picture book through young adult. Maybe I’ll be able to feature her on my blog too. Thanks.


  2. So, at Thao’s query page on Sandra Dijkstra’s site it says she is not currently accepting submissions other than from BIPOC creators. Is there a query link around this??


  3. I apologize. I thought I checked everything. I didn’t think to try and send something using Query Manager. That is where it says it.


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