Susan Velazquez is the subsidiary rights director at JABberwocky, where she manages audio and translation rights in addition to her own growing client list. She was born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas and received a B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Gender Studies from SUNY Oswego in 2016. Her hobbies include visiting art museums, trying new restaurants, and practicing her French.
Before joining JABberwocky, Susan interned at Foundry Literary + Media, Coral Press, and Folio Literary Management.
You may contact her at susan[at]awfulagent.com.
How to Query Me
I am open to general queries starting September 1, 2021 via Query Manager and will close November 30, 2021.
This webpage will be updated if/when I close to queries. Please do not submit queries to my general email; those will be deleted upon receipt. Exceptions are if I requested your work before September 1st 2021 (via conference, pitch event, etc.), you may send your submissions to susan[at]awfulagent.com with the subject line “QUERY Conference/Pitch Request.”
To query me, you can follow the submission guidelines on Query Manager. I request a 1-2 page synopsis and the first 20 pages.
My Manuscript Wish List (#MSWL)
In general, I gravitate towards any story that details a complicated family dynamic, illustrates a transformative coming-of-age experience, and features unique voices like multicultural and LGBTQIA+ characters. To note, I’m open to stories where identity is the focus and also stories in which diverse identities play a secondary role to the main plot.
I’ve organized what I’m looking for by genre in hopes of making it easier for the right stories to find me. At this time, I am not looking for memoirs, middle grade, children’s books, or graphic novels.
Adult Fiction: I’m looking for upmarket/book club fiction and women’s fiction. I believe you can having a “coming of age” at any point in life so I love stories about protagonists discovering new parts of themselves or coming to terms with their past, whether they’re 25, 45, or 85. Additionally, I’m a huge fan of family sagas, especially if they’re centered on complicated family dynamics. I also love reading stories about the immigrant experience, especially if they question what it means to be an American. I gravitate towards both contemporary and historical stories, although I really love to see historical stories set in diverse, underexplored time periods and settings. On a lighter note, I love “girl power”/general empowerment stories about young people forging their way through the world and learning from their mistakes to become stronger people.
Favorites in these area include Guapa by Saleem Haddad, Right Back Where We Started From by Joy Lanzendorfer, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent by Julia Alvarez, amongst others. TV shows that I’d love to find their book equivalent are Hulu’s Casual, Netflix’s Gentefied, Netflix’s Galerías Velvet, Freeform’s Good Trouble, and Lifetime’s UnREAL.
For thrillers and horrors, I love unreliable narrators, twists and turns, and solving the mystery along with the main character. I’m not a huge fan of gore or graphic depictions; I believe sometimes that scariest things are the things left unsaid. Favorites in this area are Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic, HBO’s The Flight Attendant, Freeform’s Cruel Summer, and Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
For romance, I like stories that layer in social commentary or at least play with typical romance tropes in the vein of Netflix’s Set It Up or Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe, but I also enjoy good ol’ fluff like Crazy Rich Asians and Maid in Manhattan if done right. I especially enjoy feisty heroines and couples that help each other grow and change for the better.
Science Fiction: I’m looking for near-future/alternate worlds/dystopian in the vein of Black Mirror or Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton. I also love a good space opera like K. Eason’s Rory Thorne series and Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series. I love genre-mixing, whether you have a horror set on a space station, a love story blossoming against all odds in a dystopia, or a time travel adventure about a boy trying to find his birth mother and must team up with his future son to stop an evil bowler hat from taking over the world (yes, that’s the plot of Disney’s Meet the Robinsons and yes, I liked it!).
Fantasy: I’m looking for retold fairy tales and myths (especially if they are beyond the usual Grimm Brothers’ retellings) or stories set in worlds inspired by various cultures, both low and high fantasy. I’m also open to seeing fantasy that involves dragons, unicorns, mermaids, or any variety of magical creatures. I am usually not a huge fan of complex worldbuilding or magic systems but if you’ve got a way to explain it so the average reader can easily understand it, I’m willing to give it a shot. I would especially love to see unique magic systems, like magic based on beauty/makeup as in Dhionne Clayton’s The Belles series or the light/shadows magic system in Garth Nix’s The Seventh Tower series. Generally speaking, I prefer more light-hearted adventure style fantasy. I will consider grimdark or other grittier styles if you can give me a character to root for.
Young Adult: I’m looking for historical and contemporary young adult fiction. I basically love anything in young adult–thrillers, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, romance–especially if the main character has a thoughtful, sensitive voice. Essentially, you can look at my preferences in the categories above as I enjoy them for both YA and adult.
Favorites in these area include Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo, and Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix, amongst others.
Non-fiction: I’m looking for narrative non-fiction that explores little-known time periods, historical events, or historical figures. Additionally, I love examining pop culture and I’m a huge fan of drama so if you can tell me a juicy story about the rise and fall of a company or individual person, I will devour it. I’m a 00s baby who was plugged into Radio Disney so my dream project would be an examination of girl groups and boy bands from the early 2000s, especially through a feminist lens. And of course, as a Latina, I’d love a project that highlights the accomplishments and contributions from members of the Latinx community.
Favorites in this area include Hype by Gabrielle Bluestone, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in Silicon Valley by John Carreyrou, Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein, and As If!: An Oral History of Clueless by Jen Chaney, amongst others.