February 2023 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and a Lambda Literary Award, and author of BIG FAMILIA Tomas Moniz‘s ALL FRIENDS ARE NECESSARY, set in the Bay Area, following a late-30s bisexual man’s effort to reconnect to the world through misadventures in dating, Peloton, and OnlyFans after his marriage dissolves in the wake of his partner’s loss of a full-term pregnancy, to Evan Hansen-Bundy at Algonquin, in a pre-empt, by Eleanor Jackson at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner (world).

Steven Salvatore‘s THE BOYFRIEND SUBSCRIPTION, pitched as a steamy gay MLM retelling of Pretty Woman with a financial flip, where the sex worker has the power; when the owner and top-earning performer of an app for queer sex workers needs a date for his sister’s wedding, he hires a down on his luck horticulturist to be his fake date, but the terms of their agreement quickly become complicated by real feelings, to John Jacobson at for a new unnamed imprint at Harlequin, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2024, by Jessica Regel at Helm Literary (world).

Center for Fiction First Novel Prize nominee Celia Laskey‘s COVER STORY, a lesbian rom-com set against the tabloids and celebrity blogs of 2005 Hollywood, about an extremely anxious publicist tasked with keeping an openly gay starlet in the closet, who ends up falling for her instead, to Seema Mahanian at Grand Central, at auction, by Alexa Stark at Writers House (NA).

Author of A LOVE NOIRE and HUNGER Erica Simone Turnipseed‘s AMERICAN SIBYL, weaving together the present, past, and future of a Black family’s 250-year legacy as two oracles share memories across six generations, employing elements of speculative fiction and Afro-futurism to connect the characters of the past to a gender-fluid, non-binary future, to Gabrielle David at 2Leaf Press, for publication in spring 2024, by Liz Nealon and Mona Kanin at Great Dog Literary (world).

Author-illustrator of the forthcoming BOYS WEEKEND and associate editor of The Nib Mattie Lubchansky‘s graphic novel SIMPLICITY, about a psuedoreligion-cum-community organization which decamped to the Catskills when society collapsed and the trans man who leaves the “safety” of the urban surveillance state to study them; part dystopian science fiction, part folk- and body-horror, to Anna Kaufman at Pantheon, by Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency (world).

Ben Alderson’s HEIR TO THRONE AND FLAME, set in a world of elemental magic and mythical beasts, the series follows a young sorcerer forced to join a ruthless noble court and adopt the identity of its heir, including his betrothal to the handsome and dangerous heir of a rival faction, to Jack Renninson at Second Sky, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, in a three-book deal, for publication in July 2023.

Ben Chalfin’s THE PRINCE’S HEART, set in a world where homophobia and transphobia are nonexistent and queer relationships are normalized; after tragedy strikes, a prince quickly learns that royals can’t always afford to marry for love, and he’s no exception, to Alexandria Brown at Rising Action, for publication in January 2025 (world English).

NYT-bestselling author of HELL FOLLOWED WITH US Andrew Joseph White‘s YOU WEREN’T MEANT TO BE HUMAN, in which a pregnant trans man must stop a covert alien presence and rid their progeny from his body before the worms subsume all of humanity, to Joe Monti at Saga Press, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in fall 2025, by Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (NA).

NYU MFA student August Thompson‘s ANYONE’S GHOST, in which the transforming love and friendship between two young men that erupts during one unforgettable teenage summer in rural New Hampshire follows them into adulthood and reconnection over the tumultuous events of Hurricane Sandy in New York City, a few days that remap their lives and their very notions of how to live with oneself and what it means to truly love and trust another person, to John Burnham Schwartz at Penguin Press, by Duvall Osteen at Aragi Inc. (NA).

Archie Bongiovanni’s UNHINGED, following a self-proclaimed celesbian in rural Alaska who suddenly feels the solid footing of her identity fall away after she begins cruising online as a trans man, exploring the underground queer scene, and attempting to scratch an itch that they can’t quite name, to Charlotte Greenbaum at Abrams ComicArts, with Mariko Tamaki editing, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2025, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (world).

Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction

Rainie Oet‘s GLITCH, a novel-in-verse about a young person who processes the isolation of middle school, ADHD, confusion about their gender, and an overwhelming crush on a girl at school through playing a rollercoaster park simulation video game, to Sydnee Monday at Kokila, at auction, for publication in fall 2024, by Abigail Frank at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (world English).

QUEENS OF GEEK author Jen Wilde‘s PAIGE NOT FOUND, following a girl as she learns that her mind is under the control of an impulsive billionaire who thinks her autism needs a “cure”; she joins forces with the other children involved to shut the experiment down before it’s too late—all while exploring her queerness and gender identity, to Tiffany Colon at Scholastic, for publication in spring 2024, by Lauren Spieller while at TriadaUS Literary Agency (world).

Young Adult Fiction

Bill Elenbark‘s THE BEST HARDCORE BAND IN PA, a coming-of-age story of misfit teens in a place where they’ll never be considered “normal”—one boy for being gay, another for playing hardcore music and questioning his sexuality, and a girl for being Korean where anyone non-white doesn’t fit in; the boys navigate their complicated feelings with each other and their parents, while forming the best ever hardcore band in PA, their only hope of escaping this place, to Laura Robinson at Treehouse, with Kristina Blank Makansi editing, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in November 2023 (world).

Wen-yi Lee‘s THE DARK WE KNOW, pitched as Stephen King’s IT meets Rory Power’s WILDER GIRLS, in which a bisexual Chinese American art student, forced to return home for her abusive father’s funeral, must team up with her last surviving childhood friend to destroy the evil that has been lurking in her town—and refuses to let her escape twice, to Tiffany Liao for the first YA book at Gillian Flynn Books, at auction, for publication in spring 2024, by Isabel Kaufman at Fox Literary (world English).

Author of FORWARD MARCH Skye Quinlan‘s DON’T BE A DRAG, a sapphic contemporary about a depressed teen who, while spending the summer in NYC with her drag queen older brother, accidentally stirs up trouble by entering an annual drag king competition and kicking off a rivalry with an overconfident (and unfairly attractive) performer, to Tamara Grasty at Page Street Kids, for publication in 2024, by Moe Ferrara at BookEnds (world English).

Spouses Cory McCarthy and A.R. Capetta‘s DEAD SPACE TELLS NO TALES, about a family of young queer pirates sailing the High Voids, freed from the prisons of older generations and captained by literal star-crossed lovers; pitched as merging vibes from Our Flag Means Death and The Princess Bride with their own ONCE & FUTURE, to Miriam Newman at Candlewick, for publication in spring 2025, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret for McCarthy and Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties for Capetta (world English).

Fellow of Reese Witherspoon Book Club’s LitUp program Chatham Greenfield‘s TIME AND TIME AGAIN, a queer romance that follows two disabled teens in a time loop: one, who has been stuck for 26 days, and the other, who comes crashing in (literally) after hitting the first with their car; as the two enjoy endless days of no consequences, they start to fall for each other—but how do you plan for a future together when tomorrow may never come?, to Alex Borbolla at Bloomsbury Children’s, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Natascha Morris at The Tobias Literary Agency (world English).

E. Latimer‘s THE AFTERDARK, in which two girls at a secluded boarding school in the Canadian wilderness battle with their feelings for one another, all the while piecing together the mystery of the surrounding forest, which transforms into a nightmarish landscape at sunset, to Lynne Missen and Peter Phillips at Tundra Books, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2024, by Silvia Molteni at PFD (NA).

Christen Randall‘s debut THE NO-GIRLFRIEND RULE, a queer romance pitched as HEARTSTOPPER meets FANGIRL with the fat pride of DUMPLIN’, in which her boyfriend’s “no girlfriends at the table” rule prompts a high school senior to join an all-girls group of a roleplaying game, only for an in-game crush between her character and a charismatic girl’s to develop into a sweet real-life romance, to Feather Flores at Atheneum, in a six-figure deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Becca Langton at Darley Anderson (NA).

Author of DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY Adib Khorram‘s THE BREAKUP LISTS, in which a high school theater kid accustomed to stage managing his way through life with lists and plans finds his script turned inside-out by a new crush, who just happens to be his sister’s ex-boyfriend, to Ellen Cormier at Dial, in a six-figure deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in spring 2024, by Molly O’Neill at Root Literary (world).

Author of ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE George M. Johnson‘s and author of Reese’s Book Club Pick YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN Leah Johnson‘s THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR, pitched as for fans of WHAT IF IT’S US and DASH & LILY—and holiday rom-coms—a dual POV, double love story following two cousins who accidentally blow up their lives (and love lives) on New Year’s Eve and then race to put them back together again before New Year’s Day is over, to Asia Harden and Grace Kendall at Farrar, Straus Children’s, in a major deal, for seven figures, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2025, by Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary & Media (NA).

Sher Lee‘s LEGEND OF THE WHITE SNAKE, pitched as a gender-flipped reimagining of one of China’s four famous folktales, in which a teen boy must hide his true identity as a white snake spirit when he falls in love with a prince hunting for a white snake for the antidote to cure his dying mother, pitched with the xianxia vibes of A MAGIC STEEPED IN POISON and the queer romance of DARK RISE, to Alexandra Cooper at Quill Tree, in a significant deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2024, by Jessica Regel at Helm Literary (NA).

Jill Baguchinsky‘s SO WITCHES WE BECAME, a queer feminist horror pitched as THE WICKED DEEP meets Stephen King’s THE MIST, in which an out-of-control curse traps a group of friends on a barrier island, forcing them to harness the shared power of their traumatic secrets or risk being devoured, to Alexandra Hightower at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in summer 2024, by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary Agency (world).

Author of Amnesty International Book Club’s 2020 Reader’s Choice Pick, SEVEN Farzana Doctor‘s THE BEAUTY OF US, a campus-based YA that tackles the complexities of consent, racism, power-dynamics, social anxiety, and the struggles with sexuality faced by a feisty group of teens—all girls of color—while they solve a mystery at their boarding school in the 1980s, to Pia Singhal at ECW Press, in a nice deal, by Rachel Letofsky at CookeMcDermid (world).


Author of ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND THE MAKING OF PSYCHO, made into the movie Hitchcock Stephen Rebello‘s CRISS-CROSS: MAKING STRANGERS ON A TRAIN – ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MOST DAZZLING, DARKEST, QUEEREST MASTERPIECE, tracing how Hitchcock created a distinctly personal big-screen version of Patricia Highsmith’s homoerotic-tinged novel about two troubled men whose lives become entangled when one proposes that they swap murders, to Randall Lotowycz at Running Press, in a nice deal, for publication in 2025, by Lee Sobel at Lee Sobel Literary Agency (world).

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