Query Me


Please send your query along with the first 2500 words of your manuscript to john@foliolit.com. Please include the word QUERY in the subject line. I try to respond to all queries, however if you do not hear from me within six weeks, please consider it a pass.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR: I represent picture books, middle grade, young adult, and everything in between.

I’m seeking unique voices, 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 young adult 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, etc.).

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 by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri, Sparky! by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans, and That’s Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems.

WHAT I’M NOT LOOKING FOR: I am not currently seeking picture book texts. I also tend to shy away from novels with talking animals, sports stories, and poetry.


  1. Hey John,
    This is Terry Jennings (Cuba book). Liked your Am I a good writer piece on your blog. I was about to leave a comment on that and update you on what’d been happening with Scott (nothing!) when lo and behold, something happened. Seems as much time as he spent with me and as much as he likes the story, my story telling is not compelling. To him. Funky thing is Jon, his assistant (I’m guessing he’s doing what you used to do for Scott) sent me an email saying how disappointed he was at Scott’s decision and how he thought my story was adorable and had impact and he couldn’t understand. Oh, well. May I send you my complete manuscript? After all this time, at least you’ll get to see the whole thing you asked. I must admit it’s better, lots better because of Scott. But perhaps if you’d gotten a hold of it then, it would be that much or even better and probably earlier. If you can, let me know what I should do. If not, I guess I’ll brave the slush pile.
    It was great seeing you in NY again. You are always so generous with your time and advice.
    All the best,

  2. Hello John,

    I would like to clarify if you accept only young adult and middle grade fiction or are you open to adult fiction as well?

    Thank you,


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