photo courtesy of morguefile.com
If you're on twitter, you've probably seen the hashtag #MSWL. If you've read the SCBWI Insight, you're aware of it, too. Maybe you're still wondering though how useful it is. Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. In either case, keep reading.
On the webpage itself you can find a collection of wish lists from a specific agent or editor. For example, here's a sampling from editor Cheryl Klein who has recently gotten involved with #MSWL.
@chavelaque (her twitter handle)
After long thought and much perplexity, to be very brief was all that she could determine on with any confidence of safety. All tweets here my own. (her twitter bio)
She's interested in MG, YA, Nonfiction, Women, Diverse, Picture Books.
July 29th: I also want more MG/YA narrative nonfiction in history & science. Again: stakes, characters, good writing. Women & diversity a plus. #MSWL
July 29th: But the idea has to unfold thru v. real characters & a story w/ stakes, action & smarts. Ex OPENLY STRAIGHT, MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD #mswl
July 29th: I always want Big Idea books -- PB/MG/YA whose story shows the character exploring a philosophical/political/personal idea or problem #MSWL
Interesting quick look at Cheryl and what she wants to see, right?
As of today, July 30th, there are 255 agent profiles listed on this website. There are also 130 editor profiles, 44 editorial assistants, and a number of other categories. Go here to see who they are. Once you have clicked on the type of person you are interested in, you can use the sort for categories such as Children, MG, Humor, etc. Editors, Agents, etc. are listed alphabetically by first name or by Agency name.
Does a listing on this site mean you can submit to that agent or editor? If you have something that fits their wish list, by all means. But if not, don't. Look at this query tip:
aba Sulaiman @agentsaba · 21h
"Although this isn't what you asked for, I hope y--" Stopstopstop. Pointing out that your book isn't on my wishlist won't help you. #querytip
Which reminds me, you can also click on Pub Tips, which will give you publication tips, including the query tip above.
There's also a Queries tab, which lets you get a look at some query responses such as these:
Eric W. Ruben, Esq. @EricRubenLawyer · 2d
Q1 YA: Dark subject matter and gritty MC. Not my style but might be good for someone else. Pass. #tenqueries
Laura Zats @LZats · 2d
Q456:C MG. Too introspective and not enough of a romp for me. #500queries #everyquery
There's also an Ask Agent tab. Here are a few samples:
Linda Epstein @LindaEpstein · 1d
@CharleyPearson Only resend a "completely revised" ms if it's "COMPLETELY revised." Otherwise it's just annoying. #askagent
Do you have to be on twitter to use this site? Yes, and no. If you want to see more tweets related to a specific tweet, yes, you'll be directed to twitter. Do you have to have your own twitter account to read tweets? No. Do you have to have your own twitter account to read this website? No.
If you have more questions about the #MSWL hashtag, feel free to ask.