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The Ever-Changing Aspects of #MSWL

For years I have been posting #MSWL on the blog and Twitter. This is my manuscript wishlist, those books I’m hungry for right now and usually a more specific list than that found on our submissions page. The difference between my #MSWL and the list of genres I represent is that #MSWL is ever-changing depending on my list or even my mood.

I’m an agent for mysteries, suspense, thrillers, women’s fiction, and upmarket or literary fiction. I also represent nonfiction–most specifically business and personal-empowerment books. Those genres, while they will evolve and change with the market, will do so slowly over time. Right now my #MSWL is for a mystery featuring a transgender protagonist and women’s fiction featuring the struggles of a mom. I want strong business books like START WITH WHY or DRIVE, but written by women. My #MSWL could change next week. Maybe I’ll sign that mom book and then I won’t need another, or maybe one of my clients will write that transgender protagonist and then I won’t be as hungry for another.

To further define: #MSWL is what I’m in the mood for and the genres I represent are what I am an expert in–usually my #MSWL should fit into my genre list.

Category: Blog



  1. Interesting list… but what about a psychic medium detective with a background in forensics who actually chronicles their journey of solving cold case murders by using both hard evidence and information from the victims to do so. NON_fiction, real time progressive revelation?
    This touches on sciences, the law, paranormal, crime, issues of faith, psychology/profiling and critical victimology. ..all done by real middle aged women who have found a different kind of calling.
    And if not you, perhaps someone you know in the industry who is curious enough to discover why over 80% of patronage for all CSI and crime related programming is now middle-aged, Kindle toting women. There’s a reason why.
    I think the level of intrigue and intellect brought to the table to solve these cases would you and would be happy to discuss or entertain your thoughts or advice.
    The Thin Gray Line: A True Crime Investigation Memoir
    Lords of the Harvest: A True Crime Investigative Memoir

  2. I can understand that, you enjoy mysteries but sometimes you want something a little different.
    Cosy purple alien mystery?

  3. For some (not so strange) reason I have a justified expectation that one day in the near future Bookends will be representing me! I have sent a query in the past to you Jessica, specifically, and yet I remain totally undaunted. I have since self published my debut literary fiction, so now I leave it up to my new unpublished WIP to take the reigns. I am looking forward to sending you a new query in the very near future.

  4. Reading about agents’ wishlists makes me wonder about my own wishlist and those of readers in general. What would millions of readers like to read right now that they cannot currently find? Just a thought!

  5. Ah, another agent who enjoys torturing the souls of insecure writers. Why tease authors with requests for stories you don’t represent?

    Writing is a business, act professional. If you don’t represent it, don’t ask for it.

    1. My dear Ernest,
      I’m not sure I understand your comment. These are books Jessica wants. They may not be on her “I’ll take as many as I can get” list. However they are still stories she is looking to represent at this time.
      Just like the magical realism and food that isn’t on the list anymore, but I’m writing anyway.

  6. I have to say, I discovered a new addiction–Robert Galbraith’s The Cormoran Strike series. Robert Galbraith is a pen name of JK Rowling, to set the work apart from magical realism. Guys, the books are so amazingly good! The detective is a former soldier now a private eye and amputee, whom Rowling manages to make incredibly sexy despite the bearish appearance, heavy smoking and other things that could make a guy not even remotely attractive. It’s like the author blindfolded herself to show her skill under even extreme conditions. The last book, Lethal White, has–let me check–around 700 pages, and I read it in less than a week. I want mooooore, and soooooooooon. Do you guys know of anyone who writes in a similar vein? I’d love recommendations.
    Jessica, I know you represent mysteries, and I DEVOUR mysteries, but they don’t necessarily have to do with crime (I’m kind of tired of Who Dunnit). Can you disclose some of your favorites? Big hugs!

  7. LORDS OF THE HARVEST:A TRUE CRIME INVESTIGATIVE MEMOIR…I know you said you wer getting over them, but this has so many real life ywist and the author is a psychic medium detetive who works with the dead.

  8. T.A. Powell,
    Your stories do sound really interesting, but I’m a bit confused as to why you are telling the blog of an agent about them and not sending them to said agent?

  9. I yried sendimg things to agents who claimed to love the gente and intrigue, but cold casrs cannot wzot forever to be solved…cpurt of opi ion os sometimes the ony way to get to court!

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