Jordan Hamessley (@thejordache) joined JABberwocky as an agent in 2023 with over 15 years of publishing experience both as an agent and an editor at Penguin Young Readers (Grosset & Dunlap), Egmont USA, and Adaptive Studios. After graduating from The New School with a BFA in Musical Theater and spending time performing across the country, Jordan made the leap to publishing and loves continuing to help new stories get into the world across various mediums.
She represents a list of diverse children’s fiction from picture books through YA and select adult genre and pop culture writers. She also represents a growing list of graphic novelists and illustrators. She is always looking to find stories that bring the queer experience to the children’s space across all age ranges.
She currently lives in Southern California where she frequently heads up to Los Angeles for meetings with studios and producers. Living a short drive from Disneyland, she has become a full-fledged “Disney Adult” who loves to talk about the parks and her favorite rides (Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion). And she occasionally has been known to pick up her tap shoes and perform in a show now and then to keep those musical theater muscles strong.
How to Query Me
Please submit to me via my page at Query Manager (https://querymanager.com/HamessleyQuery).
What I’m Looking For
At this time, I am only looking for author/illustrators in the picture book space (no text-only authors). I would love to find a picture book where the art drives the reader’s experience like Brendan Wenzel’s THEY ALL SAW A CAT and I adore the way Jillian Tamaki’s OUR LITTLE KITCHEN brings the reader into the cooking experience. If you have the next PINKALICIOUS or PETE THE CAT, I want to see it! Mo Willems’s ELEPHANT AND PIGGY and Pigeon books are frequently in the bedtime rotation in my house and I’d love to have something in that space. I love an art style that pops and makes me pay attention like A PATCH OF SKY by Nic Yulo. I’m known for working on picture books that make you weepy and would love to have more that make you laugh out loud!
Middle Grade and YA:
When it comes to fiction across all ages, I have a deep affection for contemporary stories with heart and humor. I represent a broad range a queer creators and want to feature stories that celebrate queer joy.
That said, I’m open to genre fiction, as well. I lean more into cozy, romantic fantasies more than sword and sorcery. Give me all of those Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki fantasy vibes. And I love a good horror story. Bring on your ghosts, creepy forests, haunted houses, and murder.
I have a deep love of space travel and NASA and would love to see children’s projects that explore space exploration. SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS by Jack Cheng will eternally be on my “I wish I’d worked on that” list.
I’m a big fan of novels-in-verse and believe they are a great way to hook reluctant readers and explore tough topics for kids. Sharon Creech’s LOVE THAT DOG and HATE THAT CAT are big favorites.
I’m always on the hunt for new graphic novel illustrators who can bring a visual angle to the interests listed above!
I’m primarily looking for non-fiction in the middle grade and YA space that brings STEM to life for young readers. What is THE RIGHT STUFF for kids? (Space nerd, remember?) How can we make math and science FUN for kids? QUEER DUCKS (AND OTHER ANIMALS) by Eliot Schrefer is a perfect example of the kind of non-fiction I’m looking for in my inbox.
I also love bringing to light history that is underrepresented. I’d love to highlight more queer history in the youth space.
Top five books of all time? A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving, CONTACT by Carl Sagan, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson, THE EGYPT GAME by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and CARRIE by Stephen King. Gabrielle Zevin’s TOMORROW AND TOMORROW AND TOMORROW and Richard Osman’s THURSDAY MURDER CLUB series are quickly making their way into my all-time favorites list.
Top five favorite musicals: GUYS & DOLLS, FALSETTOS, GYPSY, BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. That said, I hold a special play in my heart for JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and can name all those many colors to this day.
I played French Horn all through middle school and high school and genuinely thought I was going to be a Texas high school band director for a moment there. As a result, I have strong opinions on marching band and I can tell you the best French Horn lines in multiple orchestral pieces and Broadway scores (see the aforementioned JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR when looking for epic French horn parts and give the Overture to CANDIDE a listen).