Just a quick note that I’m closed to queries until September 1st, 2018 so I can catch up on submissions and read some published books from this year! Have a safe, happy summer!

Come see the KT Literary ladies on 6/16 at 1pm – ask us all your burning agent/publishing questions!


Just a quick note to let you know that I’m once again open to queries. I’m on the hunt for middle grade – all genres, though I’d really love a wildly original middle grade fantasy right now (the darker the better!) – and YA contemporary, though don’t let that stop you from sending me your project if it’s outside those categories. As always, diverse projects are welcomed with open arms. Looking forward to reading your lovelies!

Submission guidelines here: ktliterary.com/submissions

MSWL here: http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/hilary-harwell/

Just a quick note – I’ll be closing to unsolicited queries November 1st, reopening January 1st. Any unsolicited queries will be deleted, unread. I’ll catch you all in the New Year.

I’m now open to queries, so please send me all your lovely middle grade and young adult projects. I have a penchant for fully-developed characters who leap off the page and into my heart (even if they’re not always the most lovable), for tightly plotted stories that show me new ways to look at the world, and for elegant prose. It is incredibly important to me to find stories told from diverse perspectives so that more children and young people can find themselves inside the pages of the books we help create.

Our query guidelines can be found here.

Some of my favorite stories can be found here.

Coming soon: my official MSWL page. Stay tuned.

I can’t wait to read all of your amazing projects!

I don’t officially open to queries until August 1st of this year, but if you’re curious about my tastes you can check out the following site: http://hilaryharwellwrites.tumblr.com/

Until then I’ll be managing the general KT Literary query inbox (queries@ktliterary.com) and taking referrals from the other KT agents.

I’m looking forward to reading all of your beautiful projects when I do open in August! Have a great summer!

Once again I’m sharing some insights on constructing successful query letters. This week the focus is on clarity in your query, both in terms of your line-level writing and also in terms of conveying the meat of your story in a clear, concise way. Too often the important plot elements get bogged down in explanation, backstory, too much world-building, etc., so it’s important to really hone the focus of your pitch before querying. The most important things to convey in your query are the protagonist’s main goal, what’s keeping him/her from achieving it, and what’s at stake if he or she doesn’t succeed. If an agent can’t see this clearly, it will likely lead to a pass. To review the actual query letter and my critique, please visit the KT Literary blog!

One thing I’m asked most often by new writers, aspiring writers, and folks who are simply curious about my process is this: “How do you find time to write?” Sure I have three children and an amazing job. Sure the reading for that does take up a good bit of my day. But my answer is always the same – I make time. It’s really that simple.

With the New Year upon us many of us have resolutions to lose weight, save more, do that thing we’ve always wanted to do. And I think it’s important to be reminded that when things are important to us, we don’t find time for them (we never will), we make time. Carve out an hour to sit down and draft that book you’ve always wanted to write. Make time to catch up with people who are important to you. Prioritize the things that are important so life can be as fulfilling as possible.

Each week at KT Literary, one of the agents or myself takes on a query critique for writers who’ve volunteered for assistance. This week, I addressed the issue of tackling dual POV projects in the clearest way possible. Here’s the link if you’re looking for insight on how best to do this. If you’d like to have your query critiqued, please send it to AboutMyQuery@ktliterary.com, and we’ll get back to you shortly!

I’ve been on the writing roller coaster for quite some time now, having started the draft of my very first book in Spring of 2010. After a cross-country move and a third kid, I picked things back up in 2013 and since then have enjoyed the highs of signing with an agent, the lows of deciding to part ways and realizing just how brutal the query trenches can be, getting into Pitchwars in 2015 (with that very first book no less, though there were a few written in between!), not getting an agent with that project, winning reputable contests with a couple different manuscripts, but still finding that perfect agent match to be quite the elusive beast. I’ve had dozens of manuscript requests, a healthy smattering of revise and resubmits, and more rejections than I care to admit. But that’s all part of the game. And that’s what I’m talking about today.

Controlling what you can. Your writing.

I’ve been at this long enough to know that sometimes it feels like The Day will never come. Whether you’re waiting for an offer of representation or an offer from a publisher on your project, it often feels like the stars are aligning for everyone else and the Universe has somehow misplaced the memo about the hard work you’ve done to level up your writing and hone your craft. And those thoughts can drag you down into the depths of despair (ok, being a little melodramatic here, but some days it really DOES feel that way!).

That’s when you have to shift your focus to the ONE THING you can control. Your writing. All along this path to publication, and even after your babies are out in the world, there will be ups and downs. Your revisions aren’t quite there yet and there will be no offer of rep. Your agent moves to a new agency and has to trim his/her list, leaving you behind. Your editor leaves and your project is suddenly homeless. Your sales aren’t strong and a particular house may not want your next project. At every turn, there’s the possibility for setbacks.

One of my dearest CPs always says to me, this is a lifestyle choice. You have to take the good and the bad and focus on what you can control. Put your heart on the page and tell the best story you can. And keep doing that until YOUR stars align. Eventually, they will.