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We Make Fire


One look at the #manuscript wish list from X (formerly Twitter) and you get something like this: "Looking for escapist romantic mystery police procedural" (huh?) or "Something in the neighborhood of Sisters of the Traveling Pants meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (now, we're showing our age. Might wanna update that "about the agent" web copy).


There's a new kind of censorship, and it's called "I only publish people who could become my 'besties.'" According to the article "Literary Agent Statistics" on the WordsRated website, over eighty percent of literary agents in the US are Caucasian women. On average, they are under 35 years old; not surprisingly, the highest-grossing genre of fiction is Romance.


We get worked up when we see books removed from library shelves, and rightly so. The image of the book going up in flames is meant to be ironic, of course. A book only comes to life if it is discovered, goes around the world, catches fire. But censorship comes in many forms, and a dangerous kind is "gatekeeping," or keeping the door closed on, say, authors that fall outside the purview of the young, white-girl-literary-agent demographic. This means we are missing out on, for example, culturally authentic historical fiction. Is there room for a man who writes about Cuban orphans coming to the U.S. in the Sixties? Would the twenty-something interns even pass along a work of magical realism set during the Vietnam War? A time-traveling hangman from the 1850's who can predict the acts of 21st Century criminals? What about fantasy trilogies with a male character who is young and black -- written by an author who watched the Klan march up his neighborhood street?


Bach. Paper. Fire. It's for the marginalized. You don't have to think like us or look like us (good thing, actually) to get our undivided attention. We don't like to have our voices silenced, and we figure you don't like that either.


Send us your manuscript. We'll do a global read and review at no charge.


Then we'll talk about the possibilities.


Send manuscripts via Google Docs or Microsoft Word to:




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