Valentina Sainato

Valentina (she/they) is an associate agent at JABberwocky assisting Eddie Schneider. She also handles all merchandise and third-party licensing proposals.

They graduated from Cal Poly SLO with a B.A. in English and have lived in New York City ever since. Outside of her literary interests, Valentina is a dancer of many different styles, a video game lover, and a ~very~ amateur digital artist.

Before joining JABberwocky, Valentina worked as an Events Manager with Barnes & Noble on the Upper West Side, where they hosted a huge variety of author events, book clubs, children’s activities, and more. She has also interned at Foundry Literary + Media, Folio Literary Management, and the Feminist Press at CUNY.


How to Query Me

Please visit my submissions page over on Query Manager: http://QueryManager.com/ValentinaSainato. I do not take queries over email or on the phone, so this is the best (and only) way to submit to me.


What I’m Looking For

Horror: Horror is my favorite genre to read, and I’m looking for lots of different flavors here. If it’s spooky, eerie, disorienting, thrilling, existential, or horror-lite, I want to read it. Blends with sci-fi/fantasy are also welcome, but it should still feel at home on the horror shelf!

I love stories featuring monsters, witches, and demons, but I really want to see fresh takes on them with unexpected twists. A good ghost story or haunted house will always catch my attention; Carmen Maria Machado’s work is among my all-time favorites. Other elements I enjoy: body horror, cults or secret societies, natural phenomena like fungi and flora, and settings that make me feel claustrophobic.

While I tend to gravitate more to supernatural or suspenseful horror over serial killers, I do like self-aware homages to slasher & cult films like Stephen Graham Jones’ brilliant My Heart is a Chainsaw. Survival horror or horror with thriller elements are also categories that I like but don’t read as often.

Horror media I love: 

  • Books: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix, My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, The Route of Ice and Salt by José Luis Zárate, The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
  • Film/tv: Get Out, Scream, Hereditary, Ringu / The Ring, Midnight Mass, The Haunting of Hill House
  • Other media: video games like Oxenfree and Slay the Princess, the podcast Welcome to Night Vale

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Science fiction / speculative fiction: I’m more selective about science fiction and speculative fiction; I’m a big character reader and want stories with an emotional core that drives them. I was absolutely blown by Sequoia Nagamatsu’s How High We Go in the Dark as well as Simon Jimenez’s The Vanished Birds; projects in those vein are what I’d love to work on. I also love narratives that play with time and/or space as part of the plot. Sci-fi books that deep-dive into spaceship mechanics or battle sequences generally are not for me.

I also like reading more grounded contemporary books that have a speculative or off-beat twist such as Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks. Absurdity is also welcome but it has to mesh well with the voice, like in Hilary Mantel’s Temporary.

Sci-fi / speculative media I love: 

  • Books: How High We Go In the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu, The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar, Scythe by Neil Shusterman, Temporary by Hilary Mantel, We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
  • Film/tv: Everything Everywhere All At Once, Severance, Gravity Falls, The Twilight Zone, Sense8
  • Other media: games like I Was a Teenage Exocolonist and Neo Cab

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