October 2023 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Sunday Times-bestselling author of A MARVELLOUS LIGHT Freya Marske‘s SWORDCROSSED, pitched as Ellen Kushner’s SWORDSPOINT meets LEGENDS & LATTES; a second novel pitched as Grey’s Anatomy meets A DEADLY EDUCATION; an untitled novel; and an untitled novella, to Ruoxi Chen at Tor, in a six-figure deal, in a four-book deal, for publication in fall 2024, by Diana Fox at Fox Literary (US).

A.T. Napoli‘s BITCHCRAFT: THE WITCH’S ASSISTANT, a queer underdog tale about glamour, betrayal, romance and surviving the American Dream pitched as The Devil Wears Prada, but with witches; this anti-fairytale lives in the magic realism, occult horror realm of THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert, to Stephanie Beard at Podium Publishing, for publication in fall 2024 (world).

Ruthie Knox and Annie Mare‘s BIG NAME FAN, in which a pair of former TV detectives notorious for their characters’ never-realized sapphic chemistry reunite for a rewatch podcast, only to find themselves investigating the real-life murder of their show’s makeup artist and reigniting the romance that made them an iconic ship, to Shannon Plackis at Kensington, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2025, by Tara Gelsomino at One Track Literary Agency and Pamela Harty at The Knight Agency (world).

Author of Indie Next Pick and New York Times Editors’ Choice I KEEP MY EXOSKELETONS TO MYSELF Marisa (Mac) Crane‘s untitled coming-of-age novel about obsession, ambition, and the intimate, erotic connection between two teammates, pitched as Call Me By Your Name meets Love and Basketball, set at a Pennsylvania high school in the early 2000s; and a story collection centering queer and trans desire, performance, and the distance between who we are and what we want, to Katy Nishimoto at Dial Press, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Maggie Cooper at Aevitas Creative Management (NA).

Kris Ripper‘s SNOWED IN WITH THE SOCCER STAR, a queer romance in which three years after impulsively outing a brilliant soccer star in a bid to change the world, a former activist journalist gets snowed in with the now-retired athlete whose career he accidentally destroyed, to Lauren Plude at Montlake, for publication in fall 2024, by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary (world).

Coauthor of the forthcoming EVERYONE I KISSED SINCE YOU GOT FAMOUS Annie Mare‘s TIME AFTER TIME, a sapphic multiverse romance in which two women strike up a text flirtation that leads to an intense connection, only to discover one went missing six months earlier, and now they must prevent the disappearance and realign their timelines for a happy ever after, to Esi Sogah at Berkley, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2025, by Tara Gelsomino at One Track Literary Agency (world).

Ari Baran‘s COACH’S CHALLENGE, in which a former superstar hockey player turned head coach must learn to work with—and keep his hands off of—the resentful assistant coach who wanted his job, to Stephanie Doig at Carina Press, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency.

Author of SWEETHAND and DON’T GO BAKING MY HEART N.G. Peltier‘s THE DATING COUNTDOWN, the third book in the Island Bites series, about a single mom and a woman from her past who must figure out if their relationship is more than physical by the end of a series of dates, despite their fears, to Ellie Russell at Piatkus, for publication in 2024, by Anna Carmichael at Abner Stein, on behalf of Lauren Abramo at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.

Poet and author of the 2022 Rooney Prize-winning memoir ALL DOWN DARKNESS WIDE Sean Hewitt‘s OPEN, HEAVEN, the coming-of-age story of a shy 16-year-old living in a small village in northern England, alone in his newly discovered sexuality, who befriends and falls in love with a troubled, charismatic older boy; an examination of friendship, family, and the all-consuming power of desire, told over the course of one year that forever changes the lives of both boys; and a poetry collection, to Jordan Pavlin at Knopf, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Adam Eaglin at The Cheney Agency, on behalf of Matthew Marland at Rogers, Coleridge & White (NA).

Ivy Fairbanks‘s MORBIDLY YOURS, an opposites-attract romantic dramedy about a shy, demisexual Irish mortician who must marry by his 35th birthday to keep his beloved family business, and the Texan widow escaping her past who moves in next door, to Tara Singh Carlson at Putnam, at auction, in a three-book deal, by Caitlin Mahony at William Morris Endeavor (NA).

NYT-bestselling author Casey McQuiston‘s THE PAIRING, in which two bisexual exes accidentally book the same European food and wine tour and challenge each other to an international hookup competition to prove they’re over each other, to Vicki Lame at Griffin, in an exclusive submission, for publication in August 2024, by Sara Megibow at kt literary (world English).

Author of SEASON OF LOVE Helena Greer‘s HERS FOR THE WEEKEND, the third romance in the Carrigan’s Christmasland series, pitched as THE WEDDING DATE with lesbians, in which an archetypical big city fiancee, dumped for a small-town lumberjack, brings a fake girlfriend to her ex’s wedding, and may just find a true happily ever after of her own, to Sam Brody at Forever, for publication in 2024, by Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency (world).

M. Jane Worma‘s OF BEASTS, in which the antichrist and a priest walk into a church and fall in love in this queer horror love story, to Christoph Paul at Clash, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2025 (world English).

Author of THE BIGNESS OF THE WORLD and AFTER THE PARADE Lori Ostlund‘s ARE YOU HAPPY?, a story collection and novella that could be titled “guns, god, and gays,” which examines class, identity, and loneliness, as well as the specter of violence that hangs over women, the LBGTQ+ community, and all of us, with a novel to follow, to Emily Bell at Zando, in a two-book deal, by Henry Dunow at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner (world English).

Author of TURDUCKEN Lindz McLeod‘s SUNBATHERS, pitched as LET THE RIGHT ONE IN meets From Dusk till Dawn, in which a queer woman on the run from a horde of cannibalistic sun-vampires sacrifices everything she’s ever loved to become one of them, before realizing her new life as a perfect, straight immortal leaves no space for her true desires, to Caitlin Marceau at Hedone, in an exclusive submission, for publication in 2024, by Laura Zats at Headwater Literary Management.

Author of THE RED ZONE and forthcoming TRYING Chloe Caldwell’s WOMEN, previously published in 2014, which intimately explores one young writer’s whiplash emotional journey as she falls deeply in love with a woman for the very first time, exploring the feverish heartbreak of sapphic love, a stark picture of an identity in crisis, and the exploratory possibilities of queer life, to Em Kupor at Harper Perennial, for publication in summer 2024, by Rebecca Gradinger and Laurie-Maude Chenard at UTA (NA).

Young Adult Fiction

Debut author Lily Braun-Arnold‘s THE LAST BOOKSTORE ON EARTH, a post-apocalyptic novel pitched for fans of WILDER GIRLS and The Last of Us, about two teen girls who fall in love and fight for survival against the backdrop of a devastating climate disaster, to Hannah Hill at Delacorte, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in spring 2025, by Lily Dolin at UTA (NA).

Michelle Jing Chan‘s debut graphic novel SOMEWHERE IN THE GRAY, following a girl who is dating the most popular girl at school, and what seems easy for her friends—being intimate in any way with their partners—doesn’t feel quite right to her as she learns it’s more than okay to live somewhere in the gray of asexuality, to Grace Kendall at Farrar, Straus Children’s, in a six-figure deal, at auction, for publication in fall 2026, by Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world).

Intersex activist Hans Lindahl‘s I’M GOING THROUGH SOMETHING, following a 16-year-old artist navigating an adolescence in which puberty never happens, illustrated by cartoonist Chan Chau, to David Levithan at Scholastic, in an exclusive submission, for publication in summer 2027, by Jessica Regel at Helm Literary for the author, and by Molly O’Neill at Root Literary for the illustrator (world).

Reese Witherspoon Book Club 2023 LitUp fellow Margot Fisher‘s LEAVE IT ON THE TRACK, in which a queer teenage girl navigates loss, community, and love within the turbulent world of roller derby; and about accepting that sometimes great strides start out as humiliating stumbles, to Andrew Karre at Dutton Children’s, by Faye Bender at The Book Group (NA).

Author of THE DISTURBED GIRLS’ DICTIONARY, HAIR STORY, and YOUR MAMA NoNieqa Ramos‘s THEY THOUGHT THEY BURIED US, in which a 16-year-old proud queer Boricua native of the Bronx likes to make horror movies; they find themselves living in one when they’re sent to an elite boarding school that holds sinister secrets, to Amy Fitzgerald at Carolrhoda Lab, in a nice deal, for publication in fall 2024, by Laurie McLean at Fuse Literary (world).

Bridget Morrissey’s EVERYTHING SHE DOES IS MAGIC, a sapphic romance set in a Halloween-obsessed town, in which a local enlists the help of the new girl to plan the upcoming fall festivities, not realizing she’s recruited a real witch who needs something from her in return, to Hannah Hill at Delacorte, for publication in fall 2025, by Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary (world English).

Laura Steven‘s OUR INFINITE FATES, a fantasy romance that follows a reincarnated soul who has been killed before her eighteenth birthday in every past life, and must find the centuries-old enemy who hunts her, break the curse that binds their fates together, and try quite hard not to fall in love with them—again, to Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2025 (NA), and to Carmen McCullough at Puffin UK (UK/translation), in a major deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2025, by Chloe Seager at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency.

Leah Thomas and Kali Wallace‘s THE BLADE THAT BINDS US, a queer romantic fantasy set in a magical version of Iceland in which a village boy inadvertently saves the life of a stoic witch, inexplicably binding them and setting them on a search for his lost brother and mysterious mother’s family, and find an unlikely romance blossoming despite the unforgiving landscape and ever increasing dangers, to Joshua Dean Perry at Tiny Ghost Press, in a nice deal, for publication in the fall of 2025 (world English).

Camilla Raines‘s THE HOLLOW AND THE HAUNTED, a queer fantasy romance duology about a teenage psychic who foresees the murder of a boy he hates and is forced to work with him to save his life, pitched as perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series and CEMETERY BOYS, to Katie Dent at Titan Books, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in October 2024, by Kat Kerr at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

Gabe Cole Novoa‘s THESE VENGEFUL GODS, a dystopian fantasy, pitched as part The Hunger Games, part AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, following a teen descended from the god of death whose identity must be kept secret as they fight their way through a gladiator-style competition toward victory and rebellion against the gods who murdered their family, to Jenna Lettice at Random House Children’s, for publication in spring 2025, by Louise Fury at The Fury Agency (world).

Author of AND THEY LIVED Steven Salvatore‘s LEMON AT FIRST SIGHT, a romance pitched as loosely inspired by My Best Friend’s Wedding with a gay twist, about a budding TikTok food blogger who schemes to win back the love of his life at a family wedding in an Italian lemon grove on the Amalfi Coast, to Camille Kellogg at Bloomsbury Children’s, by Jessica Regel at Helm Literary (world English).

Zeena Gosrani‘s THIS DARK HEART, pitched as an Indian-inspired YA romantasy perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Tahereh Mafi, in which a princess has to learn control over her dark magic while racing across her demon-infested country to save her girlfriend, to Penny Thomas at Firefly Press, for publication in October 2024, by Gemma Cooper and Zoe Plant at The Bent Agency (world English).

Non-Fiction and Poetry

Nicole Melleby and Katherine Locke, eds.’s ATHLETE IS AGENDER: TRUE STORIES OF LGBTQ PEOPLE IN SPORTS, an illustrated collection featuring contributions from professional athletes and acclaimed authors, including Adam Rippon, Schuyler Bailar, A.J. Sass, Marieke Nijkamp, Vincent Tirado, and Erik Brown, among others, to Jessica Anderson at Christy Ottaviano Books, for publication in summer 2025, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret for Melleby, and by Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency for Locke (world).

Poet, editor, and mindful writing teacher James Crews with co-author poet, photographer, and organic farmer Brad Peacock‘s LOVE IS FOR ALL OF US: POEMS OF TENDERNESS AND BELONGING FROM THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY AND FRIENDS, a collection of 100 poems by a diverse group of poets from the LGBTQ+ community and allies, with “Notes of Hope,” ten short essays sharing the inspiring stories of LGBTQ+ people from all walks of life, from novelists to transgender lawmakers; a portion of the proceeds go to charities supporting gay and trans lives, to Hannah Fries at Storey, by Gareth Esersky at Carol Mann Agency (world).

Bronx Poet Laureate cofounder, Lambda Literary Award nominee for DAYLIGHT, and activist Roya Marsh‘s SAVINGS TIME, a poetry collection exploring both the Black rage and Black joy inherent to healing and grief, illuminating the power of mental health, queerness, solidarity, and storytelling, to Jackson Howard and Ben Brooks at MCD/FSG, by Amanda Orozco at Transatlantic Literary Agency (NA).

Vietnamese Canadian author and scholar Vinh Nguyen‘s THE MIGRANT RAIN FALLS IN REVERSE, a collection of linked essays that revolve around the death of a refugee and take different paths through displacement, language, memory, grief, love, war, joy, romance, race, queer sexuality, and family, to Janice Zawerbny at Harper Canada, at auction, for publication in spring 2025 (world).

Journalist and contributor to the NYT, the WP, and The Atlantic Stephanie Fairyington‘s UGLY, a missive from mother to daughter on the experience of queer motherhood and life on the margins of American culture as an “ugly” woman, interrogating cultural norms, how we form our aesthetic sense of selves, and how this impacts women as they make their way in the world, to Denise Oswald at Pantheon, in a pre-empt, by Albert Lee and Rebecca Gradinger at UTA (NA).

Author of THE WISHING FLOWER AJ Irving‘s THE BI BOOK, a picture book exploration of words with the prefix ‘bi’—and how bisexuality evolves its meaning, illustrated by Cynthia Alonso, to Marisa DiNovis at Knopf Children’s, for publication in summer 2025, by Jordan Hamessley at JABberwocky Literary Agency for the author, and by Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio for the illustrator (world).

Australian actress, director, comedian, singer, and producer Rebel Wilson‘s REBEL RISING: A MEMOIR, about the author’s unconventional journey to Hollywood success through her iconic roles in Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids, and Isn’t It Romantic, and loving herself, while sharing the most personal and important moments in her life—from fertility issues, weight gain and loss, sexuality, overcoming shyness, rejections and, well…okay there’s at least one story thrown in about Brad Pitt!, to Mindy Marques at Simon & Schuster, at auction, by Erin Malone at William Morris Endeavor (NA).

Author of the Sunday Times bestseller THE TRANSGENDER ISSUE and columnist at American Vogue Shon Faye‘s LOVE IN EXILE, a meditation on love, fulfillment, and connection in a lonely age that uses queerness as a lens to explore heterosexual society’s rigid rules for women, and the freedom that comes with escaping them, to Jackson Howard at Farrar, Straus, by Emma Paterson at Aitken Alexander (NA).

Author of WHEN BROOKLYN WAS QUEER and THE WOMEN’S HOUSE OF DETENTION Hugh Ryan‘s BECOMING HISTORY, a queer Gen X memoir in essays; a ’90s coming of rage story that charts what we lost, what we gained, and what we still carry with us, to Anu Roy-Chaudhury at Bold Type Books, by Robert Guinsler at Sterling Lord Literistic (world).

Speechwriter and political strategist Lauren Peterson‘s THIS WILL ALL BE WORTH IT, weaving together personal stories with interviews from doctors, legal experts, and policymakers to explore LGBTQ+ family building, birth, and parenting, to Sarah Robbins at Abrams Press, by Cindy Uh at CAA (world).

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