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Ask an Editor: What's on Your #MSWL?

If you live in the bookish internet, you’ve probably seen the hashtag #MSWL (which stands for manuscript wish list) show up on Twitter, tumblr, and elsewhere. It’s an awesome way for agents and editors to let the world know exactly what manuscripts they wish would appear in their inbox.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what would be on my #MSWL for Swoon Reads. I love commercial fiction with strong female characters, high stakes, and though I enjoy contemporary YA, I won’t say no to something with a hint of magic.

But the biggest thing I’ve had my eyes peeled for is diversity, particularly intersectional diversity. And when I say “diversity,” I’m using a broad definition (see We Need Diverse Books’ definition of diversity).

We frequently get emails asking if we accept books with more diverse backgrounds because someone came to the site and didn’t necessarily find it—and the answer is YES. We want more of this!

I’d love to see commercial books with diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and more. Lately, I’ve been loving books like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secret of the Universe, Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and comics and graphic novels like Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel, and SuperMutant Magic Academy. (I list the comics and graphic novels because I think they’re awesome examples of commercial storytelling featuring diverse characters. But of course, you know we don’t publish graphic novels here at Swoon Reads.) I want to see many, many more books featuring characters with diverse points of view, like these, and my fingers are crossed that we find more on Swoon Reads.

So what’s on my own personal #MSWL for Swoon Reads? Commercial, tightly-plotted YA (of any genre) featuring diverse characters. Kick-butt heroines are a plus.

Of course, I’m just one editor. And I’m only one part of the Swoon Reads team. The awesome thing about being a crowdsourced imprint is that you, our readers, can let us know what you want to see more of on Swoon Reads. So please let us know what’s on your #MSWL for Swoon Reads! Sound off in the comments below, or tweet to us @SwoonReads with the hashtag #MSWL.    

Author spotlight

Christine Barcellona

Editor / I blog and edit for Swoon Reads, plus I'm the editor for our paperback line, Square Fish. Find ...

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