Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Lisa Rodgers


Lisa grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento. In 2012, she moved to New York City to attend NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute and joined the JABberwocky team soon after. She’s previously worked at San Francisco Book Review and Barnes & Noble, interned at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency, and was a submissions reader for Lightspeed Magazine. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Queries should be sent to querylisa [at] awfulagent [dot] com. Please include your query letter and a 1-3 page synopsis. Both should be pasted into the body of the email; queries with unsolicited attachments will be deleted, unread. If you would like to make my life a little easier, you may use this formula for the subject line: “Query: Title (Genre)”.


Fantasy and Science Fiction: Complex magical/technological/political/social systems and cohesive worldbuilding are all good things in my book, as are moral quandaries and ambiguity. I’m also very interested in seeing female protagonists, non-Western settings, and protagonists from marginalized groups. I’m particularly drawn to characters whose struggles include not just “the quest”, but also choices that challenge their beliefs or values, or how technology/magic can affect what it means to be human. I love SFF of all stripes, from epic fantasy to grimdark to space opera and military SF. Large-scale stories are fantastic, but I’m also very interested in smaller-scale stories, where the focus is on a particular group of characters and not necessarily the fate of the galaxy.

Horror: You know that scene from Friends where Rachel is reading The Shining and nearly brains Joey with a potato masher when he startles her? I’m looking for horror submissions that evoke that feeling. I love horror that goes a little left of center, whether it’s mostly contemporary with a hint of supernatural or more firmly speculative. Birdbox (the book), Get Out, A Quiet Place, and The Haunting of Hill House are all great examples of what I’m looking for. I want to read these under the covers with a flashlight and be terrified!

Romance: The heroine and hero’s developing relationship and how they overcome obstacles in order to achieve their happily-ever-after really drive these stories for me. I like to see heroines and heroes with equal power and respect for one another. While I prefer historical settings, I’m looking for that special contemporary romance.

I’m also interested in YA fantasy, horror, science fiction, thriller, and romance.

I’m particularly fond of non-traditional narrative structures: epistolary, non-linear, found-document, etc.

Non-fiction: I would love to see non-fiction proposals for craft-related subjects! Knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, or other sorts of handicrafts are very much in my wheelhouse. I’m interested in both pattern collections and reflections on crafting (a la YARN HARLOT). I’m also looking for select gift book projects.

It should go without saying, but: I am happy to consider queries by persons, or featuring protagonists, of any race, color, creed, religion, national citizenship/origin, gender or sexual orientation, disability, age, or physical appearance, in any and all of the above genres.

A few of my favorite (non-client) books, in no particular order:

BLACK SUN RISING (C.S. Friedman), SPIN STATE (Chris Moriarty), THE COMPANY (K.J. Parker), MAGIC’S PAWN (Mercedes Lackey), THE BLACK PRISM (Brent Weeks), THE WHITE DRAGON (Anne McCaffrey), THE DUKE AND I (Julia Quinn), THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS (Rae Carson), THE MARTIAN (Andy Weir), ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE (Robin Hobb), HAMMERED (Elizabeth Bear), WINTERGIRLS (Laurie Halse Anderson), THE GIVER (Lois Lowry), PERSUASION (Jane Austen), FOREIGNER (C.J. Cherryh), DRAGON PRINCE (Melanie Rawn), A WOMAN ENTANGLED (Cecilia Grant), WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (Shirley Jackson), THE FIFTH SEASON (N.K. Jemisin), ANCILLARY JUSTICE (Ann Leckie), ABSOLUTELY ALMOST (Lisa Graff), THE HATE U GIVE (Angie Thomas), BIRDBOX (Josh Malerman).