Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Middle Grade / Science Fiction / Young Adult

Stephanie Stein, HarperCollins

I’m looking for YA and middle-grade fiction in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, historical, and everything in between. I love stories that play with narrative structure (non-linear timelines, unconventional POVs, quirky or unreliable narrators) and/or twist the rules of genre. And there’s a special place in my heart for all things speculative, from high fantasy to magical realism, and from space opera to high-concept contemporary fiction with a slightly unreal twist.

In YA, I look for smart, atmospheric, voice-driven stories, whether they’re witty and full of snappy dialogue or lyrical and literary. I’m a fan of slow-burning romantic tension, stories of friendship and sisterhood, and new twists on old stories.

In middle-grade, I’m interested in multi-layered humor that kids of all ages can enjoy, a great puzzle or mystery, and stories about friendship and family. I love a MG book with a warm heart wrapped in sadness, action and adventure, zany humor, or all of the above.

For all age groups, I’m currently looking for contemporary fiction that engages an aspect of geek culture (fanfiction, cons, video games). Think Rainbow Rowell’s FANGIRL or Steve Brezenoff’s GUY IN REAL LIFE.

I am actively seeking diversity in both characters and setting. I’d love to see more fantasy that draws on non-European mythology, and while I’m always interested in books that tackle difficult issues head-on, I’d like to see more underrepresented characters in every kind of story.

Some tropes I always fall for: parallel universes, magical schools, disaster epics, heists, underdog sports teams, tournaments, magical undercities, “found families,” best friends who become lovers, and wisecracking fantasy/SF protagonists who are up on their pop culture and can play off the tropes of the genre they find themselves in.

See all of Stephanie’s #MSWL tweets. 

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