Marlo Berliner has been actively building her list as an Associate Agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency since 2018. She joined JDLA as an editorial intern after having completed a previous internship at The Bent Agency. Marlo has been involved in publishing in various capacities since 2007, first as a writer, then an award-winning young adult author, then a freelance editor, and finally a children’s lead bookseller at Barnes & Noble. She is a member of SCBWI. Prior to her career in the publishing world, Marlo was an accounting manager for a Fortune 500 company and holds B.S. degrees in Economics and Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Marlo lives in Northern New Jersey with her husband, two sons, and one rambunctious puppy named Max (who doubles as her puplicist).
What I'm looking for:
I believe the best stories have both compelling characters and tight, emotionally involving plotlines. If your writing can translate emotion to the page and give me a visceral reaction of humor, fear, joy, sadness, intrigue, or romance, then I will keep turning pages.
Across the board, I'm always looking for stories written by underrepresented authors.
Middle-Grade and Young Adult: I am interested in ALL genres of MG and YA fiction, with particular emphasis on adventure, fantasy, mystery, thriller, suspense, paranormal, urban fantasy, horror, speculative, sci-fi, contemporary, and romance. I enjoy ghosts, witches, magic, magical realism, unusual settings, dark elements, gothic stories, secrets or secretive characters, treasure hunts, puzzle-solving, and unreliable narrators. Basically, my tastes are varied, so even if you have something not mentioned on this list, try me! Also, if you can take a story or intellectual property (in TV or books) that is popular with the adult crowd and give me its MG or YA version, then I will give it a look because I believe these types of stories may have strong potential for the market. I am also open to coming-of-age stories set in college that walk the line between upper YA and new adult. While I do like contemporary tales, I may not be the best fit for “issue” books where the central conflict revolves primarily around rape/rape-culture, drugs, or illness. I will also consider some select non-fiction projects in MG and YA, particularly if they involve pop-culture, current events, or social awareness/commentary.
Picture book: Seeking submissions primarily from author-illustrators, though I will consider select text-only submissions. Please submit your query with a link to your portfolio and the entire text of the PB manuscript. Also, please query only one PB at a time! I am more drawn toward character-driven stories that are cute, funny, or heartwarming. I love twists on familiar characters or story lines, and unlikely friendship stories.
Adult: I am particularly interested in horror, mystery, thriller, and suspense, especially psychological suspense, supernatural suspense, and domestic thriller. I am also seeking women’s fiction with some heft and heart, and all genres of Romance, except inspirational and erotic. As far as historical romance, I prefer the Gilded Age and forward.
What I’m not looking for:
Political, true crime, or military/espionage thrillers
Books involving rape/rape-culture, drugs, or illness
Previously self-published books
Some recent favorite titles on my reading shelf include The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, and The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller.
My recent deals include:
Journey Beyond the Burrow by Rina Heisel (MG, Harper Children’s, July 13, 2021)
Frances and the Monster by Refe Tuma (MG, Harper Children’s, August 23, 2022)
Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse (YA, Denene Millner Books/S&S, Fall 2022)
For more insight into my tastes, check out the books I’ve authored, as well as the works of the authors I represent, and visit marloberliner.com for my #MarlosMusings blog posts. You can also follow me on Twitter @MarloBerliner and Instagram @MarloBerliner or check out my page on Manuscript Wish List - Marlo Berliner.
How to submit:
Please submit your query and the first 20 pages of your finished and polished manuscript via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
You will receive an automatic response from Query Manager, which lets you know your submission is in my inbox, and you can track your query’s progress. I usually respond to queries within six weeks. Requested full manuscripts may take longer than six weeks to read, so please be patient. All queries and requested material will get a response (if sent through the proper channels).
PLEASE NOTE: I only accept Query Manager submissions. Unsolicited queries sent to my email will be deleted unread, as will queries sent through Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Any queries sent by regular postal mail will also not be considered.