Tag Archives: John Jacobson

October 2022 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Maori author Rebecca K Reilly’s GRETA AND VALDIN, a humorous slice-of-life family saga that follows the titular siblings as they navigate queerness, multiracial identity, and their eccentric Maori-Russian-Catalonian family, all while flailing their way to love in contemporary Auckland, to Amy Guay in her first acquisition for Avid Reader Press, for publication in spring 2024, by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency on behalf of Martha Perotto-Wills (NA).

Author of FERAL CITY and VANISHING NEW YORK under the pen name Jeremiah Moss Griffin Hansbury‘s SOME STRANGE MUSIC DRAWS ME IN, exploring the 1980s friendship between a young trans woman and a teen who will grow into a trans man, as he looks back on his youth from 2019, where he grapples with middle-age, the death of his mother, and the troubles of his right-wing sister amidst his own gender-related scandal, to Tom Mayer at Norton, by Douglas Stewart at Sterling Lord Literistic (NA).

Kate Young‘s EXPERIENCED, about a 30-year-old woman whose blissful happiness is shattered when her first girlfriend insists she go explore the queer dating scene she missed out on before recently coming out, leading her to awkward dating mishaps, a few memorable nights, a found family, and unexpected love along the way, to Marie Michels at Pamela Dorman Books, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, by Zoe Ross at United Agents (NA).

Author duo Kit Rocha‘s THE HIGH COURT OF DREAMERS, the first book in an epic fantasy romance series, in which a princess and her assassin handmaid are sent to kill an ancient dragon god, plunging all three into a darkly sensual world of secrets, power, and love, to Lauren Plude at Montlake, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2023, by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (world English).

Karmen Lee‘s THE 7-10 SPLIT, pitched as a Black sapphic, second chance romance between two high school teachers forced together to coach the school’s bowling team to victory amidst their long-standing rivalry, a group of meddling kids rooting for their HEA, and memories of that searing-hot kiss they shared as teens, to Errin Toma at an unnamed new imprint at Harlequin, in a three-book deal, for publication in February 2024, by Taj McCoy at Rees Literary Agency.

Courtney Smyth’s THE UNDETECTABLES, a queer fantasy murder mystery in which three witches and a ghost form a supernatural detective agency to track down the magical serial killer who is stalking their town, to George Sandison at Titan Books, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2023, by Zoe Plant at The Bent Agency (world English).

Winner of the 2021 Sewanee Review Fiction Prize Allen Bratton‘s HENRY HENRY, pitched as a queer, contemporary reimagining of Shakespeare’s Henriad that transposes the legend of Henry V’s wayward youth into 21st-century Britain, following the troubled relationship between 22-year-old English Catholic aristocrat Hal Lancaster and the father whose dukedom he will inherit, to Brandon Taylor in his first acquisition at Unnamed Press, by Martha Wydysh at Trident Media Group (NA).

Oisin McKenna‘s EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS, set over the course of one transformative weekend during a heatwave in London when a whale is beached on the banks of the Thames, following a group of friends coming to terms with the sexual, political, and economic challenges they must endure to exist in a 21st-century city, exploring issues of community, polyamory, environmental ruin, and housing instability, pitched for readers of Sally Rooney, Raven Leilani, and Torrey Peters, to Jessica Vestuto at Mariner, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Olivia Maidment at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency (NA).

Adib Khorram‘s Wine Pairing series, pitched as a modern, BIPOC-and queer-centered Sex and the City, following the fierce friendships and many bottles of wine that sustain three gay, Iranian American millennial men as they navigate misguided meet-cutes and steamy second-chance romances, career-altering crushes, serious choices about commitment, and high-heat hookups gone terribly wrong…and occasionally exactly right, to Sam Brody at Forever, in a significant deal, at auction, in a three-book deal, for publication in fall 2024, fall 2025, and 2026, by Molly O’Neill at Root Literary (NA).

Children’s Fiction

A.J. Sass‘s JUST SHY OF ORDINARY, in which a 13-year-old nonbinary homeschooler attempts to find a “new normal” post-pandemic as they start public school, struggle to control their anxiety, meet new friends, and learn about their Jewish identity, to Lisa Yoskowitz at Little, Brown Children’s, with Caitlyn Averett editing, for publication in winter 2024, by Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media (world English).

James Laughlin Award-winning poet and lecturer at Stanford University Sam Sax‘s YR DEAD, a queer Jewish diasporic bildungsroman told through the eyes of a young person as their life flashes in lyric fragments across time and geography during their final act of protest, exploring how historical memory shapes our political and emotional present, to Amanda Uhle at McSweeney’s, with Rita Bullwinkel editing, for publication in spring of 2024, by Rob McQuilkin at Massie & McQuilkin (NA).

Meka James‘s LOVE AND SPORTSBALL, a Black sapphic romance in which an athletic trainer who doesn’t like sports has an accidental one-night stand with the point guard of the women’s basketball team she’s about to work for, to John Jacobson at an unnamed new imprint at Harlequin, in a two-book deal.

Young Adult Fiction

Auburn Marrow’s debut 30 DAY TRIAL PERIOD, an LGBTQIA+ YA romance about two polar opposites who are challenged to date for 30 days to fix their bad dating habits, to Rebecca Sands at Wattpad, for publication in summer 2024 (world).

Matthew Hubbard‘s debut LAST BOYFRIENDS, a coming-of-age novel pitched as Heartstopper meets THE FIRST WIVES CLUB, featuring three queer teenage boys in small-town Alabama who set out to get revenge on their ex-boyfriends and end up fighting their school’s anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives, to Alison Romig at Delacorte, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2024 and summer 2025, by Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

Bessie Flores Zaldivar‘s LIBERTAD, set in Honduras, where the protagonist must come into her queerness and to terms with her country’s history of violence, heading into an unprecedented presidential election, to Rosie Ahmed at Dial, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2024, by Beth Phelan at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency (NA).

Non-Fiction

Author of WHAT ARE YOUR WORDS: A BOOK ABOUT PRONOUNS Katherine Locke’s GENDER REBELS, an illustrated history of important trans/nonbinary/gender nonconforming trailblazers for a Middle Grade audience, illustrated by Shanee Benjamin, to Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids, in an exclusive submission, for publication in 2023, by Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency for the author (world).

Cultural worker and stem cell transplant survivor Walela Nehanda‘s BLESS THE BLOOD, a poetry collection exploring what it means to be a young, queer, Black nonbinary medical patient facing racism and abuse within and outside of the hospital, meditating on traumas both physical and unseen, and celebrating the courage to grieve and the strength it takes to go on, to Sydnee Monday at Kokila, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in spring 2024, by Katherine Latshaw at Folio Literary Management (world).

September 2022 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Senior marketing executive at Vintage UK Carmella Lowkis‘s SPITTING GOLD, a queer historical debut, set in 19th-century Paris, following two sisters—on the outside, gifted mediums, but in reality, astute con-artists—and when they reunite for one last con at an aristocratic family’s old estate, they begin to question whether they really are at the mercy of a vengeful spirit, and wonder just what other deep, dark secrets the family are hiding, to Loan Le at Atria, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, by Ginger Clark at Ginger Clark Literary, on behalf of Rachel Neely at Mushens Entertainment (NA).

Author of THE CHARM OFFENSIVE Alison Cochrun‘s HERE WE GO AGAIN, a queer road trip rom-com in which two childhood best friends-turned-rivals team up to help fulfill their former teacher’s dying wish by driving him across the country—only to end up wildly off course, to Kaitlin Olson at Atria, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Bibi Lewis at Ethan Ellenberg Agency (world).

Charlie Castelletti writing as C. A. Castle‘s THE MANOR HOUSE GOVERNESS, pitched as a love letter to the British Classics—and particularly JANE EYRE—in which a young, queer, nonbinary teacher takes a job as a governess for an eccentric family and becomes swept up in the family’s tangled past while also navigating an inconvenient attraction to his employer’s adult son, to Jess Verdi at Alcove Press, for publication in fall 2023, by Caroline Eisenmann at Frances Goldin Literary Agency (world, excl. UK).

Essayist and author of Lambda Literary Award Finalist SOME HELL Patrick Nathan‘s THE FUTURE WAS COLOR, about a gay Hungarian immigrant working as a studio hack writing monster movies in 1950s Los Angeles, facing the McCarthy-era studio system filled with possible Communists, spies, and the life of closeted men along Sunset Boulevard, whose friendship with a famous actress unlocks memories of his postwar life in Manhattan, pitched as a narrative mix of GODS AND MONSTERS and Eve Babitz, spanning from sun-drenched Los Angeles, to corners of working-class New York, to a virtuosic climax in the Las Vegas desert, to Dan Smetanka at Counterpoint, in a nice deal, for publication in 2024, by Erik Hane at Headwater Literary Management (world English).

Authors of THE VERY NICE BOX Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman‘s TRUST & SAFETY, about a newlywed straight couple who leave NYC in an attempt to buy their way into a “wild and precious” existence in the Hudson Valley, where they encounter—and quickly become entangled with—a queer couple living the dream analog life; examining questions of authenticity, betrayal, paternity, and entitlement, while poking fun at contemporary fear of the “gay agenda,” moving with Pilar Garcia-Brown at Dutton, by Faye Bender at The Book Group (NA).

Colombian poet Fatima Velez‘s GALAPAGOS, following a group of bohemian artists who are dying of AIDS as they embark on a final voyage through the Galapagos islands, their decaying bodies cloaked in the skins of their dead; a lyrical novel in which the alliance between female and queer male bodies is deeply fraught, and the intersection of AIDS and motherhood are interrogated in love, friendship, and abjection, to Deborah Ghim at Astra House, in a pre-empt, for publication in fall 2024, by Maria Lynch at Casanovas & Lynch Agency (world English).

Elaine Tipping‘s PATHWAYS: CHRONICLES OF TUVANA, a queer fantasy epic graphic novel that takes place in a world under siege by an ancient empire bent on restoring its perceived rightful control, following a small band of characters and the journey they take to become heroes, pitched as perfect for fans of Lord of the Rings, The Adventure Zone, and Monstress, to Brett Israel at Dark Horse, in a three-book deal, for publication in fall 2024, by Claire Draper at The Bent Agency (world English).

Sex and culture critic Ella Dawson‘s THE REUNION, about a burned-out bisexual young woman who attends her five-year college reunion only to encounter her estranged chosen family, old demons, and the ex she maybe shouldn’t have walked away from, to Maya Ziv at Dutton, in a pre-empt, by Jamie Carr at The Book Group (NA).

Author of NEVER BEEN KISSED and YOU’RE A MEAN ONE MATHEW PRINCE Timothy Janovsky‘s THE GAMES WE PLAY, a queer romance where a man auditions for a Supermarket Sweep-style reality show with a fake boyfriend following a breakup and falls head-over-heels in the process, to John Jacobson at Harlequin Desire, in a three-book deal, by Samantha Fabien at Root Literary.

Author of the Lambda Award-winning THE SAVAGE KIND and the Macavity Award-winning DODGING AND BURNING John Copenhaver‘s HALL OF MIRRORS, the second book in the Nightingale Trilogy, pitched as a twist on the traditional noir exploring LGBTQ issues, race, and corruption during Eisenhower Era DC, in which the suspicious death of a famous mystery author forces the tenacious heroines of THE SAVAGE KIND to face difficult truths about themselves amid the darkest days of McCarthyism and the Lavender Scare, to Claiborne Hancock at Pegasus Crime, by Annie Bomke at Annie Bomke Literary Agency.

Author of PAPER IS WHITE Hilary Zaid’s FORGET I TOLD YOU THIS, about a queer artist who, while toiling away in obscurity, stumbles into a scheme to upend a social media giant gone berserk, to Courtney Ochsner at University of Nebraska Press, in a nice deal, for publication in September 2023 (world).

Karelia Stetz-Waters and wife Fay Stetz-Waters’s SECOND NIGHT STAND, about a high-strung former ballerina and a burlesque dancer who have a memorable one night stand on a lesbian cruise and then meet again when their dance companies make the cut on a reality TV show, to Madeleine Colavita at Forever Yours, by Jane Dystel at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (NA).

Jane Kindred’s MASTER OF THE GAME, the third book in the queer Demons of Elysium series, set in a Russian-inspired heaven, to Rachel Haimowitz at Riptide Publishing, in an exclusive submission, for publication in 2023, by Sara Megibow at kt literary.

Rae Valtera’s HER DARK GRACE, in which a woman, in a queer-normative world of magic, battles gods who despise having a shadow-marked rule their realm, and in order to survive the gods’ wrath, she must find allies among those who sanctioned the killing of her kind, to Brittany Weisrock at Lake Country Press, for publication in fall 2025 (US).

Children’s Fiction

National Jewish Book Award winner Nancy Churnin‘s  picture book THE RAINBOW BRIGADE, pitched as inspired by true events, the story of kids who stood against hate and rallied their neighborhood together to support a lesbian couple whose pride flag and home were vandalized, illustrated by Izzy Evans, to Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books, for publication in spring 2024, by Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary for the author, and by Lucie Luddington at The Bright Group for the illustrator (world).

Young Adult Fiction

Debut author Anthony Nerada‘s SKATER BOY, a queer spin on an Avril Lavigne classic that follows resident a bad boy and his star-crossed romance with a ballet dancer, to Alexa Wejko at Soho Teen, for publication in spring 2024, by Rena Rossner at Deborah Harris Agency (NA).

Author of SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND David Valdes‘s FINDING MY ELF, a queer rom-com about a boy who’s trying to find the “the one” and also trying to find himself while spending winter break working at a hectic Santa’s Village, to Stephanie Guerdan at Harper Teen, for publication in fall 2023, by Annie Bomke at Annie Bomke Literary Agency (world).

Lambda finalist author of CAMP Lev Rosen’s EMMETT, pitched as a queer contemporary take on Jane Austen’s Emma, to Alvina Ling at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in fall 2023, by Joy Tutela at David Black Literary Agency (world).

Author of MANU Kelly Fernandez‘s PRINCE FELIX AND LA PLUMA MAGIA, a queer YA romantic adventure featuring a prince who receives a magical feather from the bird of many colors and is led to a hunter instead of a princess, to Cassandra Pelham Fulton at Graphix, in a good deal, in an exclusive submission, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2024, by Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon Literary (world).

Leslie Vedder‘s THE CURSED ROSE, the third and final book in her debut LGBTQ+ fantasy trilogy that began with THE BONE SPINDLE, pitched as a gender-flipped retelling of Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones, in which a cursed treasure hunter and an axe-wielding huntswoman must team up in the treasure hunt of a lifetime to save a lost prince—and now the kingdom, to Ruta Rimas at Razorbill, for publication in early 2024, by Carrie Hannigan and Ellen Goff at HG Literary (NA).

Erin Baldwin‘s debut WISH YOU WERE(N’T) HERE, pitched as THE HATING GAME for teens, a f/f rom-com following childhood rivals who are forced to be summer camp cabin mates and must decide what they want more: to kill each other, or to kiss, to Aneeka Kalia at Viking Children’s, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2024, by Lauren Spieller at TriadaUS Literary Agency (world English).

Emily Riesbeck and Bayleigh Underwood‘s LUCKY 555, a queer sci-fi YA graphic novel pitched as The Expanse meets Paper Girls, where the citizens of the sky resign themselves to a slow, miserable decline, and a self-centered orphan teen meets a stowaway android who is hiding a secret that could turn the sky upside down, but her wealthy and domineering father won’t let her—or his secret—go that easily, to Charlotte Greenbaum at Amulet, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2024, by Claire Draper at The Bent Agency (world).

Nita Tyndall‘s HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL, a thriller about a North Carolina teen whose father is a notorious imprisoned serial killer, and when another girl is murdered, and signs point to the girl they love being next, they’ll have to confront their father as well as the ghosts that haunt them, to Stephanie Stein at Harper Teen, for publication in winter 2024, by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary Agency (world English).

Author of BEAUTY AND THE BESHARAM Lillie Vale‘s HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST CHARM, a sapphic paranormal adventure pitched as YA THE EX HEX by way of Casey McQuiston, where a skeptic accidentally hexes her romantic rival (and secret crush) with dangerous bad luck and must team up with her rival’s exes on a quest to undo the damage she’s done, to Dana Leydig at Viking Children’s, for publication in fall 2024, by Jessica Watterson at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (world English).

Non-Fiction

Dr. Angelo Robinson PhD’s NOT THE BOY FOR YOU, using both literary and epistolary forms to chart the author’s journey to unapologetic wholeness as young, Black, and gay in the 1960s South and finding internal acceptance after being rejected from all sides via country, culture, family, and religion, while examining the complex reality of how the Black male body has been perceived, exploited, and explored through the lens of James Baldwin’s political and narrative thought, to Alicia Sparrow at Chicago Review Press, for publication in fall 2023 (world).

Poet, director, and songwriter W.J. Lofton‘s SUE CITY, a memoir of the author’s childhood experience of family separation via Chicago’s foster care system, the bond that persevered between him and his sister Willette as they relocated to the South, his discovery of his queer identity, and his development as a young Black queer artist, to Catherine Tung at Beacon Press, by Kent Wolf at Neon Literary (world).

Mark Jason Williams and Amy Scher‘s untitled LGBTQIA-focused travel guide, highlighting inclusive destinations around the world, with itineraries that highlight what to do, where to go, what to see, where to stay, what to eat, and more, to Allyson Johnson at National Geographic, in a pre-empt, by Steve Harris at CSG Literary Partners (world).