Chelsea Eberly represents authors of middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and women’s fiction, as well as illustrators who write picture books. As a former Senior Editor at Random House, she edited the Newbery Medal winning When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller as well as numerous New York Times bestsellers by Tamora Pierce, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas, Mark Siegel, and Kim Johnson to name only a few. She has a deep understanding of how publishers think and is an expert advocate for her clients. Chelsea is also a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree, which recognizes “the rising stars of the US publishing industry.”
A Midwesterner turned New Yorker, Chelsea regularly presents at writing conferences across the country and enjoys teaching craft. Follow her on Twitter at @chelseberly and discover more about her taste on her Publishers Marketplace page.
What Chelsea is seeking: High-concept, commercial and literary reads with unforgettable characters and a unique voice. Projects by BIPOC creators, as well as those marginalized identities that include sexuality, gender identity, and disability. She is actively building her list and looking for:
• Middle Grade across all genres except for horror
• Young Adult across all genres except for horror
• Graphic Novels for all ages except for adult
• Illustrators of Picture Books
• Non-fiction Children’s Books with a timely point of view and/or platform-driven project
• Upmarket/Book Club Women’s Fiction
In MG, she is looking for: An unforgettable voice and an uplifting take on the problems that middle-school readers face, especially if the story is told from a diverse point of view. She loves when authors tackle Big Truths in a heartfelt way. Send her your school stories and found family tales with strong hooks and memorable characters. She would love a mystery like THE WESTING GAME. And she is also on the lookout for memorable characters in action-packed fantasy adventures (similar to Rick Riordan Presents titles) and humorous voices that can grow to become series juggernauts. If you have a humorous main character with a voice like comedian Mitch Hedberg, send your project her way! She also loves when kids are connecting with animals in a BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, bring-your-tissues kind of way. Unique structures and interesting, ambitious POV choices are right up her alley.
In YA, she is looking for: A great love story with fantastic banter and/or a unique fantasy world with high stakes. Stories that sit at the crossroads of literary and commercial. She would love a mystery/thriller that features teens being teens in school similar to ONE OF US IS LYING rather than a mystery where the teen is mostly working with adults, e.g. interning at the FBI. Chelsea loves when authors are thoughtful about structure and voice; e.g. a ticking-clock timeline, a closed setting, a journal-entry format, Death as a unique narrator, and so forth. Ambitious projects with multiple commercial hooks and an empowering, uplifting, and hopeful sensibility with feminist and social justice angles are a plus. A voracious YA reader, she falls head over heels for any voice or plot that can surprise and delight her. And, as always, she is looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.
In the Graphic Novel medium, she is looking for: Middle grade and YA contemporary, fantasy, magical realism, humor, slice-of-life romance, and select historical/non-fiction projects if they have clear hooks. She loves when creators are mining their own experiences in an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical way. Send her projects with side-busting humor and/or box-of-tissues feels. She has a soft spot for cats. And, as always, she is looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.
In Picture Books, she is looking for: illustrators who can also create a strong character, a clear conflict, and write with a silly, laugh-out-loud voice and/or a surprising twist at the end. She loves creators who understand the power of the page-turn and the heartwarming sense of community that being read a book aloud delivers. She is open to non-fiction if the story has multiple hooks and an evergreen, contemporary delivery. And, as always, she is looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.
In Adult Women’s Fiction, she is looking for: upmarket fiction featuring female main characters that are perfect book club reads. Think QUEENIE, ANXIOUS PEOPLE, ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE, WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE, AYESHA AT LAST, BIG LITTLE LIES, and WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING as examples of her taste. And, as always, she is looking for underrepresented and marginalized voices.
Chelsea is not the best fit for stories centered on suicide, sexual assault, or eating disorders.
She does not represent the following:
• Picture Book Authors (unless you are already a client)
• Poetry Collections
• Short Story Collections
• Christian/Inspirational Market