Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate Eliot Duncan’s PONYBOY, about trans masculinity, addiction, sex, family, self-destruction, and the pains—and inevitable joy—of becoming, documenting the narrator’s spiral into and out of his body, and set in Paris, Berlin, and the Midwest, to Mo Crist at Norton, by Ian Bonaparte and PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit (NA)
CJ Connor’s BOARD TO DEATH, the first in a queer cozy mystery series featuring a 30-something professor-turned-board game shop proprietor who juggles keeping his father’s Salt Lake City-based board game shop alive, a budding romance with the handsome florist next door, and a murder that threatens the game shop’s livelihood, to Elizabeth Trout at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds.
BOYSTOWN HEARTBREAKERS, in which a Chicago hairstylist has only three things to his name: a pair of $1,200 shears, a Boystown studio apartment, and a list of men who’ve broken his heart written on his closet wall; will this friends-to-lovers romance end in a happily ever after?, to Alexandria Brown at Rising Action, in an exclusive submission, for publication in spring 2024.
Recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters THE HUMBLE LOVER, about a rich older man who falls in love with a young star in the New York City Ballet and becomes something between his patron, friend, and lover, to Daniel Loedel at Bloomsbury, for publication in 2023, by Bill Clegg at The Clegg Agency (world English).
Author of THE GOLDEN SEASON Madeline Kay Sneed’s THE BEST DAY OF OUR LIVES, pitched for fans of Maggie Shipstead’s SEATING ARRANGEMENTS, a layered family drama starring an ensemble cast set at a big, splashy Texas wedding over the course of a weekend, in which a member of the wedding party is forced to reconnect—explosively—with her ex-wife, throwing several other relationships into chaos as a result, to Brittany Lavery at Graydon House, for publication in winter 2024, by Amy Elizabeth Bishop at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (world English).
Playwright Jeffrey Richards’s WE ARE ONLY GHOSTS, a psychological novel with LGBTQ+ themes about a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, who after the war, finds his way to New York City, where two decades later he is confronted by the man who was both his tormentor and his savior, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington, for publication in spring 2024, by Matthew Carnicelli at Carnicelli Literary Management (world).
SIZZLE REEL, a love triangle rom-com following an aspiring cinematographer and talent manager’s assistant who, after coming out as bi at 23, finds herself attracted to an ambiguously gay A-list actress who takes an interest in her career, complicating her already-complex friendship with her suave, nonbinary lesbian best friend, to Caitlin Landuyt at Vintage, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in spring 2023, by Janine Kamouh at William Morris Endeavor (NA).
University of Memphis professor and author of the story collection QUANTUM CONVENTION Eric Schlich’s ELI HARPO’S ADVENTURE TO THE AFTERLIFE, a coming-of-age story about a boy raised to believe he briefly went to heaven, whose religious doubts and questions about his sexuality start to emerge at the worst possible time—on his family’s road trip to Bible World to see the new attraction based on his near-death experience, to Abby Muller at Algonquin, by Rachel Ludwig at David Black Literary Agency (world).
Lesbian comic artist Ren Strapp’s HOW COULD YOU?, in which a group of college women must navigate platonic and romantic love through heartbreak, matchmaking, and a semester abroad, to Jasmine Amiri at Oni Press, in a nice deal, for publication in 2024, by Stephanie Winter at P.S. Literary Agency (world).
Co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Elements in Crime Narratives Series and Lambda Literary Award Finalist Margot Douaihy’s debut SCORCHED CROSS, the first in a series of hardboiled-inspired queer whodunits following a chain-smoking, heavily tattooed, queer nun, who puts her amateur sleuthing skills to the test after her convent becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, leading her down a twisty path of suspicion and secrets during the end of a sweltering New Orleans summer, to Gillian Flynn Books, in a pre-empt.
Artist, filmmaker, and poet Navid Sinaki’s MEDUSA OF THE ROSES, an Iranian noir steeped in Persian and Greek mythology that follows a queer petty thief and morbid romantic in a feverish search for answers and revenge after his boyfriend disappears, to Katie Raissian at Grove/Atlantic, by Mariah Stovall at Trellis Literary Management (NA).
DEPART, DEPART! author Sim Kern’s REAL SUGAR IS HARD TO FIND, a collection of stories exploring intersections of climate change, identity, reproductive justice, queerness, and family trauma, charting a path from climate despair toward resilience and revolutionary optimism, to Justine Norton-Kertson at Android, in a nice deal, for publication in August 2022 (world English).
David R. Slayton’s TO CATCH A GEEK, pitched in the vein of FANGIRL meets RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE, in which a man wants to reboot his favorite sci-fi show but the creator’s embittered son stands in his way; when the son plots to use his reboot to show the world who his father really was, he learns that being a geek isn’t a bad thing while he learns that meeting your heroes sometimes is, to Tera Cuskaden at Crazy Maple Studio, for publication in winter 2023, by Lesley Sabga at The Seymour Agency (world).
Poet SOLOMON’S CROWN, pitched in the vein of Madeline Miller’s THE SONG OF ACHILLES, a queer, alt-history reimagining of two medieval kings, Richard the Lionheart and Philip Augustus, who fall into a forbidden affair and must choose between betraying one another for the sake of their legacies, or following their hearts, to Jesse Shuman at Bantam Dell, in a two-book deal, by Tara Gilbert at Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency (world English).
Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction
STARTING FROM SCRATCH, about a girl whose new stepsister throws off her carefully crafted coping mechanisms, takes over her favorite activities and friends, and moves in with a cat even though she is scared of them—leaving her to figure out how to deal with a copycat sister and a stubbornly affectionate feline in their new blended home, to Olivia Valcarce at Scholastic, in an exclusive submission, for publication in spring 2023, by Holly Root at Root Literary (world).
Author-illustrator Elijah Forbes’s debut ANONG AND THE RIBBON SKIRT, a middle-grade graphic novel featuring a Two-Spirit nonbinary child who sets out to create and wear a ribbon skirt—a piece of clothing typically worn by women in the Anishinaabe tradition—at an upcoming powwow, to Cassandra Pelham Fulton at Graphix, for publication in fall 2024, by Nicole Geiger at Full Circle Literary (world).
Elizabeth Lee at Penguin Workshop has bought, in an exclusive submission, Playbook for Imperfect Planets by debut author Erin Becker. This contemporary, dual-POV middle grade novel is an enemies-to-first-crushes story following two 13-year-old girls whose fierce rivalry on the soccer field is complicated by their burgeoning feelings for each other. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Joanna Volpe and Abigail Donoghue at New Leaf Literary & Media negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Young Adult Fiction
Justin Arnold’s WICKED LITTLE THINGS, a campy horror in which a recently outed teen discovers he is a witch and returns to his small hometown to solve the murder of his cousin; in order to catch the rabbit-faced killer, he reluctantly joins a coven of fashion-forward mean girls and gets up close and personal with a werewolf, all while learning to embrace his power, to Joshua Dean Perry at Tiny Ghost Press, in a nice deal, for publication in fall 2022 (world English).
Author of NEVER KISS YOUR ROOMMATE Philline Harms’s LOVE AND OTHER WICKED THINGS, a witchy, sapphic romance set in a small, magical town, to Rebecca Sands at Wattpad, for publication in spring 2023 (world).
Dale Walls’s debut THE QUEER GIRL IS GOING TO BE OKAY, about a tight-knit group of three queer girls navigating love, friendship, and changes during their senior year of high school in Houston, to Meghan Maria McCullough at Levine Querido, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2023, by Garrett Alwert at Emerald City Literary Agency (world).
Alex Crespo’s SAINT JUNIPER’S FOLLY, a queer Gothic mystery pitched as CEMETERY BOYS meets THE DEVOURING GRAY, in which a straight-laced golden boy and a novice witch team up to rescue a Mexican American teen with a cryptic past who has become trapped inside a haunted mansion in Vermont, to Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer of 2023, by Mary C. Moore of Kimberley Cameron & Associates (world).
VENOM & VOW, a YA fantasy about a transgender prince doubling for his brother, and a bigender boy assassin/lady-in-waiting, who, thanks to their concealed identities, don’t realize they’re simultaneously falling for and trying to destroy each other, to Kat Brzozowski at Feiwel and Friends, for publication in spring 2023, by Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary (NA).
CAUGHT IN A BAD FAUXMANCE, a queer, Latinx rom-com pitched as TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE meets Schitt’s Creek, in which an aspiring artist’s winter vacation devolves into hijinks after his family’s affluent long-time rivals challenge them to a bet that could cost his family their beloved lake cabin; but when the enemy’s attractive son comes to him in desperate need of a fake boyfriend, he reluctantly agrees to set aside loathing for love to take down the other family once and for all, to Bria Ragin, Nicola Yoon, and David Yoon at Joy Revolution, for publication in fall 2023, by Uwe Stender at TriadaUS Literary Agency (world).
CITY OF VICIOUS NIGHT, the sequel to CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT, a queer, female-led cyberpunk adventure, in which an heiress-turned-smuggler and a gunslinger are forced to vie for leadership of an underworld faction after a mysterious hacker turns the city against them; meanwhile, a captured crew member must ally with an old enemy to find his way home, to Meg Gaertner at Flux, for publication in spring 2023, by Cortney Radocaj at Belcastro Agency (world).
Stacey Anthony’s MAKEUP, BREAKUP, an LGBTQ+ contemporary romance in which a self-taught, up-and-coming makeup artist competes against rival influencers—one of whom happens to be their ex—in a cosplay competition to win a scholarship to a prestigious special effects school, to Britny Brooks at Running Press Kids, in a nice deal, for publication in the summer of 2023, by Haley Casey at Creative Media Agency (world English).
Musician SECRET RULES TO BEING A ROCKSTAR, a queer debut about a teenage musician who jumps at a chance to play in her favorite rock band on their upcoming world tour, only to realize her heroes have their own agenda and might be leading her down a dark path, to Peter Carlaftes at Three Rooms Press, with Kat Georges editing, in a nice deal, for publication in April 2023, by Devon Halliday at Transatlantic Literary Agency (world English).
RILEY WEAVER NEEDS A DATE TO THE GAYBUTANTE BALL, in which a gay, femme 16-year-old hopes to enter the Gaybutante Society, a world-renowned organization full of queer tastemakers, and when he’s told by a gay cis classmate that gay guys aren’t attracted to femme gays, he bets he’ll find a boyfriend in time for the Gaybutante Ball, to Megan Ilnitzki at Harper Teen, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2023, by Brent Taylor at TriadaUS Literary Agency (world English).
Linda Cheng’s debut YA, GORGEOUS GRUESOME FACES (and its sequel), a supernatural sapphic YA horror novel pitched as WILDER GIRLS meets LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI set in the glittering, cut-throat world of Asian pop that follows a disgraced teen idol who comes face to face with a former bandmate and the demons of their shared past when the two enter a competition that devolves into a deadly nightmare, to Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook Press, at auction, for publication in 2023, by John Cusick at Folio Literary Management/Folio (world).
BETWEEN PERFECT AND REAL author THE SUMMER LOVE STRATEGY, in which two girls (one cis, one trans) decide to emulate romcoms to help each other find love and end up falling for each other, to Maggie Lehrman at Amulet, in a two-book deal, by Lauren Abramo at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (world English).
THESE BODIES BETWEEN US, pitched as The Craft by way of Nina LaCour, following four friends in a North Carolina beach town who spend their summer learning to become invisible until their newfound powers start to spiral out of control, to Hannah Hill at Delacorte, for publication in spring 2024, by Maria Bell at Sterling Lord Literistic (world English).
MY NAME IS MAGIC, set at a Finnish school for the magically gifted, in which a 15-year-old magically challenged nonbinary student must save their disappearing friends, to Joshua Dean Perry at Tiny Ghost Press, in a nice deal, for publication in September 2022, by Lindsay Leggett at The Rights Factory (world English).
Emmett Nahil and George Williams’s LET ME OUT, a queer horror graphic novel set during the Satanic panic, in which four friends must unravel a conspiracy involving secret government bureaus and strange rituals, while things take a turn for the hellish—literally, to Jasmine Amiri at Oni Press, for publication in 2023, by Tamara Kawar at ICM (world).
Dance photographer and journalist duo QUEER DANCE, a photojournalistic celebration of LGBTQ+ dancers, choreographers, companies, and collectives across the country who are challenging the heteronormative status quo of the dance world, pairing Malka’s images with Romack’s reported essays, to Mirabelle Korn at Chronicle, for publication in spring 2024, by Ayla Zuraw-Friedland at Frances Goldin Literary Agency (world).
Pop culture writer, video-maker, and queer geek extraordinaire
‘s untitled book, which traverses the history of sitcoms from the ’60s to the present to tell the story of how subversive queer comedy transformed the American sitcom—and how our favorite sitcoms transformed America, to Robb Pearlman at Smart Pop, by Lauren Abramo at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (world).
Filmmaker and cofounder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop EVERYTHING I LEARNED, I LEARNED IN A CHINESE RESTAURANT, about coming of age and coming out, tracing the author’s journey through 1980s Detroit, navigating rising xenophobia, the AIDS epidemic, and the Reagan revolution to find his voice as a writer and activist, set against the backdrop of his family’s popular Chinese restaurant, to Vivian Lee at Little, Brown, in a good deal, at auction, by Sonali Chanchani and Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management (NA).
NYT essayist, poet, and the first out active bisexual NFL player R. K. Russell’s THE YARDS BETWEEN US, which traces his experience discovering his sexuality alongside his career in football as it explores the defining people and moments in his life; a fresh look at masculinity, sexuality, race, sports, and how they intersect, to Jennifer Levesque at Andscape, with Kelli Martin editing, at auction, for publication in fall 2022, by Sarah Bowlin at Aevitas Creative Management (world).