Adult Fiction / Literary Fiction / Magical Realism / Middle Grade / MSWL Paragraphs / Pop Culture / Psychology / Women's Fiction / Young Adult

Lydia Shamah, Carol Mann Agency

In fiction I’m open to Adult, YA and MG. I’m looking for edgy and enchanting page-turners written with a light hand. I always enjoy complex female characters, and have a thing for unreliable narrators.

I love fiction that explores social issues or is inspired by the headlines, like ROOM by Emma Donahue and THE HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown, but I also like to escape the real world with magical realism such as NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro, THE NIGHT GUEST by Fiona McFarlane and THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman (suspending disbelief must be effortless!) I’m also looking for psychological thrillers/mysteries set in small communities or dysfunctional family units like the movie FARGO or GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn (no CIA/FBI/MI5 style thrillers, please.)

In YA I’m looking for big hooks and modern themes such as WHY WE BROKE UP by Daniel Handler and THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher.

In MG I’m looking for diversity and smart takes on difficult issues such as R.J. Palacio’s WONDER, and THE THING ABOUT LUCK by Cynthia Kadohata.

In nonficiton I’m looking for disruptors–authors who are challenging the conventional thinking in their area of expertise or industry whether that’s business, health, relationships, psychology, etc. Examples include #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, YOU ARE A BADASS by Jen Sincero, THE NEW I DO by Susan Pease Gadoua and Vicki Larson, QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS by Susan Cain. I’m particularly interested in feminism and women’s issues and am looking for books such as FULL FRONTAL FEMINISM by Jessica Valenti and EVERYDAY SEXISM by Laura Bates. I also love thoughtful essay collections like BAD FEMINIST by Roxanne Gay and THE EMPATHY EXAMS by Leslie Jamison. I enjoy most things on the Urban Outfitters book table and am always looking for blogs, Tumblrs and Instagram profiles with book potential.


Fiction Query guidelines: An intriguing query letter with a short author bio and the first 25 pages.

Non-Fiction Query guidelines: A query letter and synopsis of your project. Please include your bio, target audience and competitive titles. Hook me with a strong concept and your platform. If you have an Urban Outfitters-worthy blog/Twitter/Instagram please include site stats.

Follow me on Twitter @lydiashamah and Goodreads:

See all of Lydia’s #MSWL tweets. 

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