How to Submit to Upstart Crow
- Submit a QUERY and TWENTY PAGES of your manuscript to one of the agents listed below.
- Please put your query and sample in the body of the email. We will not open emailed attachments.
- Author/illustrators: NB—Please include a link to your online portfolio and/or to your downloadable dummy. (Thank you!)
If your submission is received by our system, an automated response will be emailed to you.
Upstart Crow runs a nearly paper-free office (or that’s what we aim for, anyway), and trust that we are serious when we tell you: we do not accept hard copy submissions via the US mail. We consider only electronic submissions. Mailed submissions will be thrown unread into the recycle bin.
Agents currently accepting submissions
A bit about Kayla's tastes
Kayla is seeking everything from heartfelt or humorous picture books (she has a soft spot for animal protagonists) to dynamic, unpredictable YA (she loves a good murder mystery or a clever rom-com). Kayla’s taste lies squarely in that sweet spot between commercial and literary, and she is looking for captivating voices and rich worldbuilding—whether it’s a seaside town in Maine or a fantastical other world. Kayla welcomes dark humor, suspense, magical realism, awkwardly adorable romance, and everything in-between. She is not seeking sci-fi or horror. Kayla is also open to representing illustrators. Some of her favorite illustrators include Mike Boldt, Amber Ren, Vashti Harrison, and Eliza Wheeler.
Some favorite titles that provide a sense of her tastes:
Picture book: Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon; Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown; I Don’t Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty; Bad Dog by Mike Boldt
Middle grade: Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina; The Year the Swallows Came Early by Katherine Fitzmaurice; Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Young adult: Dumplin by Julie Murphy; The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman; To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han; The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
[Some browsers will not launch the email client; in that case, know that the submission address for Kayla is kayla.submission care of gmail. Thx.]
A bit about Susan's tastes
Susan represents work for children and teens only: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult, along with some non-fiction for young readers. She doesn’t represent adult projects.
Susan believes that books can change lives — inspire a passion for reading and story; unlock imagination and empathy; move readers to feel, think, wonder, examine, explore, to laugh really hard. Books invite joy.
Books that tell the stories of people, places, and cultures that have been overlooked and ignored for too long are at the top of her list.
She’s drawn to projects that are character-driven, tightly plotted, and have a singular, specific voice; always on the hunt for:
- Layered, flawed, completely human characters.
- Writing that’s confident, vivid, addictive; work that’s both ambitious and wise.
- Humor is important, even in a narrative that’s dark or sad or edgy.
- Sense of place matters—precise, expressive settings delight her.
- Both literary and commercial work. Send her your high-concept and hooky; your award-winners; the books that will become backlist gold.
- She wants to be surprised—there’s nothing like the feeling that you’re reading something entirely new.
She looks for projects that know kids are smart and perceptive and feeling deeply; that make the reader feel seen. If you’re creating work that could be described as generous, nuanced, and at ease with complexity, she’d love to read it.
A bit about Danielle's tastes
Danielle is actively seeking fresh young adult and middle grade fiction across all genres. She is drawn toward gorgeous writing and strong, flawed characters. Her dream project for young readers is one that challenges and inspires, with a compelling voice that will make her stay up all night reading.
Good examples of this are A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti, Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Chime by Franny Billingsley, Swing by Kwame Alexander, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, Still Life With Tornado by A.S.King, The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
For adult fiction, Danielle is seeking upmarket commercial fiction. She prefers books that explore deep emotional relationships in an interesting or unusual way. Good examples of this are The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea, Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal, Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer, The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty, and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.
For nonfiction, she is looking for compelling, voice-driven projects that shed a humorous or thought-provoking light on a previously unknown topic in the areas of narrative nonfiction/memoir, lifestyle, relationships, humor, current events, food, wine, and cooking (think Cool Beans by Joe Yonan, Cook Something: Recipes to Rely on by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, and Drinking French by David Lebovitz). Recent favorites include Margaret Renkl’s Late Migrations, Coventry by Rachel Cusk, and H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. She is also interested in healthy living, lifestyle, culture, parenting and select self-help topics (think Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker).
She is not considering the following adult categories: romance, mystery/suspense/thriller/political thriller, science fiction, horror, or erotica.
[Some browsers will not launch the email client; in that case, know that the submission address for danielle is danielle.submission care of gmail. Thx.]
Any agents not listed above are CLOSED to submissions. Manuscripts sent to them will be discarded unread.
We respond to most queries within twelve weeks. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming number of submissions received, personal responses are only very rarely possible. But if we are interested, we will request your full manuscript.
Many writers fear writing queries, but it shouldn’t frighten you off! They’re easy. If you don’t know how to write a query, please read the Writer’s Toolbox post “How to write a query letter” for a quick tutorial. Thank you for trying us, and all good luck! We’ll try to get back to you as quickly as possible.