Everyone has a story. When I became the editorial director of West 44, I set out to find talented authors with authentic, compelling stories—and I wasn’t disappointed. Each time a pitch hits my inbox, I get a little thrill. This kernel of an idea could grow into a novel, one that could change the life of a young reader.
West 44 is always accepting pitches from authors of all backgrounds and levels of experience. Whether you’ve published multiple novels in the past or you’re new to the publishing world, I’m interested to hear your ideas. We publish many unagented first-time authors!
I’m always on the lookout for fresh, authentic voices. I want to know why you are the best person to write this book. What do you have to say? What experience do you have to back it up? Diversity and inclusivity are top priorities at West 44 Books, so I’m especially looking for own-voice stories from authors of marginalized communities. I’m looking for pitches about real issues and concerns young people deal with in today’s world. While West 44 is known for tackling tough topics, I appreciate stories that are more than mere issue books, stories that set themselves apart with an interesting hook, three-dimensional characters, fantastical elements, or complex drama.
In a writing sample, I like to see that an author can write clearly and succinctly. Our books are shorter than most novels, but we pack rich plots into our abbreviated word count. Most West 44 books are hi-lo, which means a high-interest plot with a low reading level. This allows young readers of all reading abilities to enjoy a good story. As such, I love to read samples that show an author can write big ideas with simple language. Most West 44 books are in verse, so I appreciate when authors have already adapted or written their sample in the verse format. It may help to check out some of our West 44 verse books before sending in a pitch. Many are available to read on NetGalley!
Our books are written to a specific word count and format, so we don’t accept full unsolicited manuscripts. However, if you have a proposal for a verse novel, you may send a brief pitch, author bio, and sample of 500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m currently interested in both young adult and middle grade verse pitches. Please check out our Submissions page at www.west44books.com for more information!
If you think you’d be a good fit for West 44, I’d love to hear from you. Your story is important to me.
Associate Editorial Director
West 44 Books