Zabé Ellor joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in August 2018, after previously interning at the agency and at Inklings Literary, and serving as a publications assistant at IOP Publishing. He graduated from Cornell University in 2016 with a dual degree in biology and English. An avid reader and writer, his non-literary interests include running, travel, and finding the perfect dim sum in his home city of Washington D. C.
What I'm looking for
Middle Grade: I'm now open to MG and excited to find clients writing exciting, adventurous, hilarious books for preteens! My favorite middle grade books weave voice, whimsy, and heart together to meet young readers where they are, instead of talking down or patronizing. I love all things speculative, from wild new worlds to small hints of magic, and my dream would be to find something that innovates at world building how Gregor the Overlander does. I also love stories grounded in the contemporary world, but prefer humorous tones to the very serious. Projects with graphic elements always welcome. I'm especially interested in seeing submissions from diverse voices.
Young Adult: I love all genres of YA: swoonworthy romances, electrifying thrillers and mysteries, heartbreaking contemporaries, and SFF that sweeps me off to a new world. Whatever you’re writing, give me flawed characters who struggle with the complexities of growing up and tangled networks of relationships binding them together. Books with messy, real, and consuming emotions are my kryptonite; recent favorites include Three Dark Crowns, Burning Glass, The Astonishing Color of After, When Dimple Met Rishi, Eliza and her Monsters, When the Moon was Ours, and The Love Interest.
Adult Fiction: My first love is adult SFF, in which I’m drawn to expansive worlds inhabited by unforgettable characters. Favorites of mine include the Emberverse series, The Broken Earth trilogy, An Unkindness of Ghosts, and Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos novels. I’m also looking for commercial and upmarket contemporary fiction, especially projects that contain elements of literary mystery and thriller, or voice-driven projects that would make a fun beach—think Little Fires Everywhere, Crazy Rich Asians, or Big Little Lies. Any project that involves rich people, secrets, and tragicomic misbehavior is quick to catch my eye!
Graphic novels: I’m interested in graphic novel projects for all age groups. Give me children’s projects that will make me laugh, cry, or both: think The Prince and the Dressmaker, The Witch Boy, or anything by Dav Pilkey. Give me adult projects that can ONLY be told in graphic novel format—stories like Saga and Low where the art creates the world. Author/illustrators strongly preferred.
Nonfiction: In nonfiction, I want proposals for books about science and history that teach and entertain in equal measure. If you want to dive deeply into an intriguing quirk of our world—and can do so with voice, wit, and an eye for the human—I want to see your proposal! As a former evolutionary biology/Renaissance literature major, my interests are wide, but I’ll always be interested in projects about fossils. Show me your platform and your passion for the subject
Diversity is incredibly important to me. I strongly encourage marginalized authors to self-identify, if they are comfortable, especially if their identity is related to their project.
How to submit
Please query me online via QueryManager: http://queryme.online/ZabeEllor Queries sent elsewhere will be deleted unread.
For fiction, send a query, a 1-2 page synopsis, and the first 25 pages of your project. For nonfiction, send a query and a sample chapter. For graphic novels, send a query with a link to your portfolio website. I strive to respond to all queries in 4-6 weeks.