Young adult and middle-grade fiction featuring characters I can care about and distinctive, new voices, especially those that make me laugh out loud or think deeply.  No “high fantasy” or vampires/werewolves; however, contemporary stories with fantasy elements or science fiction are OK. So are picture books that cover new territory. 

Adult fiction:  Women’s upmarket commercial fiction or literary fiction that echoes themes of current widespread interest.  No genre mystery or romance, thrillers or poetry.

Adult non-fiction:  Creative nonfiction and how-to projects that empower and enlighten readers. Genres of key interest:  memoirs [no domestic abuse topics, please], popular culture, history, spirituality and wellness, environment and sustainable living, parenting and aging, contemporary and cross-cultural affairs.

 In every category, I am particularly interested in seeing titles that in some respect address topics on the "diversity" spectrum or that illuminate overlooked aspects of contemporary or historical American life.

Formatting and Delivery:

Emailed queries are welcome.  If you have any doubt about your project fitting into the categories of interest noted here, I invite you to send a query first, without attached materials.  Query letters should include the actual or projected length of the manuscript and germane background information about you and your long-term literary plans, along with a brief synopsis (no more than 150 words).  Please also tell me where you think your book would fit on a shelf.  What memorable, similar titles would you compare to it?

If your work is a novel, you may include--as an attached MS Word document or pdf--the first chapter of the manuscript for review.  A proposal may be submitted for non-fiction works.  Feel free to attach two sample chapters with any proposal submission, preferably Chapters 1 and 2.  [If you are in doubt about what a proposal is or does, please consult with any of the many available books and articles on the subject.  The same applies to query letters.  If the project is on simultaneous submission to several readers, I would appreciate knowing this. 

Standard formatting with one-inch margins on all sides of the page and double-spaced text lines are expected and welcomed.   Single-spaced documents will not be reviewed.  I’m cranky that way.