Dark fantasy is an alluring genre that combines elements of horror, gothic fiction, supernatural themes, and often a touch of romance.
So you've just finished writing your dark fantasy manuscript and you're ready for the next step—time to submit your work to literary agents who might be interested in representing you. But where do you find these elusive creatures?
In this post, we'll take a deep dive into the world of literary agents looking for dark fantasy manuscripts.
Remember three names: Jennifer Chevais (agent extraordinaire), The Bent Agency (a powerhouse in the publishing industry), and Ali Herring (your guide to all things bright). Now let's meet our experts:
- Jennifer Chevais: Building a List of Authors Specializing in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror
- The Bent Agency: Seeking Romance-Driven Dark Fantasy with Vivid World-Building
- Ali Herring: Searching for Bright YA Fantasy with a Solid Hook and Story Problem
- What to Include in Your Query Letter for Dark Fantasy Literary Agents
- Grabbing Attention: Crafting Your Dark Fantasy Manuscript's Synopsis
- Creating Unique Magic Systems Tailored to the Tastes of Literary Agents Specializing in Dark Fantasy
- Finding Lush Settings That Appeal to Both Readers and Literary Agents
- Crafting High-Stake Adventures That Will Keep Your Audience and Literary Agent on Edge
Jennifer Chevais: Building a List of Authors Specializing in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror
Jennifer Chevais is on a mission. She's actively seeking authors with manuscripts that fall within her favorite genres—including dark fantasy—to help build up her client list.
Besides speculative fiction like yours', she also has an eye out for other interesting works like thrillers or even graphic novels.
In any case, if your manuscript checks these boxes, it could be worth reaching out to Jennifer with a well-crafted query letter outlining what makes your work unique.
The Bent Agency: Seeking Romance-Driven Dark Fantasy with Vivid World-Building
The Bent Agency isn't just looking for any old dark fantasy tale—they have specific needs only certain manuscripts will satisfy.
If your story incorporates romance as its driving force along with lush settings reminiscent of Gothic literature filled with mystery or horror elements (or both!), then this agency could be perfect for representing your novel!
But hold up—that's not enough! You must also have an unusual magic system intricately woven into high-stakes adventures, and a hooky premise to pique their interest.
Ali Herring: Searching for Bright YA Fantasy with a Solid Hook and Story Problem
Are you sitting on a brighter, more cheerful dark fantasy story that still packs some punch? Ali Herring is your go-to literary agent!
She's not actively seeking the darker side of dark fantasy but is hunting for young adult (YA) fantasies that burst with color while maintaining an engaging plotline.
If your manuscript explores compelling story problems and boasts intriguing hooks, Ali could be just the right person to help bring it into bookstores.
Now that we know what these agents are looking for, let's talk about how you can make your work stand out before reaching out to them!
What to Include in Your Query Letter for Dark Fantasy Literary Agents
All things considered, literary agents receive countless query letters daily. You need yours to stand out from the crowd by clearly detailing why they should represent you as a writer.
Start by discussing:
1. The length of your manuscript.
2. The genre or subgenre of your novel.
3. A brief synopsis conveying what makes it unique among others.
4. Any publishing credits or writing credentials.
5. Why are you submitting this particular manuscript to this specific agent? Show them you did some research!
In any case, keep it concise—you'll have more opportunities later in the process if requested further information.
Grabbing Attention: Crafting Your Dark Fantasy Manuscript's Synopsis
You see, nailing down an enticing synopsis is crucial when connecting with literary agents who specialize in dark fantasy—or any other genre—that presents significant competition within the publishing industry.
Here are some tips:
1. Keep it concise; aim for one page maximum—unless specifically asked otherwise!
2 Offer glimpses into each major plot point without giving away too much detail—less is more.
3. Showcase the stakes: what's at risk for your protagonist (emotionally or physically) and why should we, as readers, care?
4. Don't forget to mention your gripping hook!
Creating Unique Magic Systems Tailored to the Tastes of Literary Agents Specializing in Dark Fantasy
Let's see how you can make a literary agent fall in love with your dark fantasy magic system:
1. Establish clear rules and limitations within the world for both readers and characters.
2. Avoid clichéd or overly familiar systems, such as elemental magic without some unique twist.
3. Create a sense of wonder by introducing exotic creatures, items or powers that will captivate readers (and agents).
Finding Lush Settings That Appeal to Both Readers and Literary Agents
A key ingredient in successful dark fantasy is creating an immersive setting:
1. Incorporate elements of gothic horror fiction—decaying mansions, twisted forests, etc.—to give an atmospheric backdrop for paranormal romance scenes with speculative fiction elements.
2. Utilize intricate descriptions of landscapes that are desolate yet filled with life; think wild moorlands under stormy skies.
Crafting High-Stake Adventures That Will Keep Your Audience and Literary Agent on Edge
To keep viewers engaged in your story—and win over potential representatives—you need cleverly paced sequences:
1. Ensure stakes continue escalating from start to end along with tension building throughout each chapter or segment.
2 Offer consequences should main characters fail—they must face real peril consistently throughout events.
In any case—good luck on this epic journey called publishing! With research into appropriate literary agents' preferences paired alongside efforts crafting perfect manuscript submission materials—you're well on way securing representation leading towards landing coveted book deals potential amongst cozy spots reading lists aplenty nationwide!