I’m so very excited to announce that beginning July 1st, I will be joining the team at Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management. I couldn’t be more thrilled about this new chapter. I am so grateful to Sarah Davies and Greenhouse Literary for the incredible experience I’ve had over the past few years. It’s been a privilege to work so closely with one of the most insightful, gracious, and prolific agents in the business. I’ll continue to fan-boy from the sidelines for all of Greenhouse’s amazing clients and their work.
At Folio I’ll continue to represent my team of critically-acclaimed, bestselling authors. I’ll also be seeking innovative, stand-out picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels.
You ready? Let’s do this thing.
WHAT I’ll BE LOOKING FOR: I’m seeking unique voices in fiction for young people, stories that move readers, moments that make me look up and say “Wow, yes. I’ve felt that.” I want books that keep me turning the page. I love proactive protagonists, kids and teens chasing a dream or a hero who swings in with a song in her heart and a knife in her teeth.
In teen and middle-grade I’m drawn to contemporary realistic stories with strong hooks, as well as fresh fantasy set in our world and others. I love stories told in alternate formats (letters, texts…sticky notes?). Give me villains with vulnerability, bad decisions made with the best intentions, flawed heroes, and impossible odds. I love stories about siblings, the arts, and I have a particular soft spot for anything set in the culinary world (restaurants, diners, food trucks).
I’m also seeking innovative, funny, quirky, and vibrant illustrators and author-illustrators. In picture books I’m seeking unforgettable characters, as well as story-driven texts. Some favorites (not represented by me) are Secret Pizza Party (Adam Rubin, Daniel Salmieri), Sparky! (Jenny Offill, Chris Appelhans) and That’s Not a Good Idea (Mo Willems).
WHAT I’M NOT LOOKING FOR: Picture book texts. I also tend to shy away from novels with talking animals, sports stories, and poetry.
HOW I WORK: As an author myself, I bring both a creative and commercial sensibility to my agenting style. I’m an editorial agent who works closely with my clients, whether by developing a debut project with a young writer, or helping a long-time author achieve that breakout novel. My goal is always to match authors with their dream editor, to secure the best deals possible, and grow an author’s readership over a long career.
HOW TO SUBMIT:
Please send your query along with the first 2500 words and the word QUERY in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. I try to respond to all queries, however if you do not hear from me within thirty days, please consider it a pass.
You can also find me online at johnmcusick.com and at twitter.com/johnmcusick