New Literary Agent Alert: Molly O’Neill of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

UPDATE: Molly O’Neill has moved to Root Literary. The submission information in this post is no longer applicable. When Molly opens to queries, we’ll update her information.

ReminderNew literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Molly O’Neill of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


About Molly: Prior to becoming an agent, she spent thirteen years working in various roles inside the publishing industry: as an editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she acquired Veronica Roth’s juggernaut Divergent series, among many other fantastic projects; as head of editorial at Storybird, a publishing/tech start-up; and in school and library marketing at both HarperCollins and Clarion Books. She loves the creative process and early-stage project development, is invigorated by business strategy and entrepreneurial thinking, and is fascinated by the intersections of art, commerce, creativity, and innovation. Molly is especially passionate about the people behind books, and she takes pride in discovering and evangelizing talented authors and illustrators, expanding the global reach of their work, and finding new ways to build connections and community among creators, readers, stories, and their champions.

Molly is an alum of Marquette University, an erstwhile Texan, and a current dweller of Brooklyn, New York. She is drawn to authors and artists who constantly challenge themselves, who are adept at communicating with their audiences, who are creative and flexible thinkers, and who have as much enthusiasm for their readers as for their own successes. Wit, strong writing, vivid settings, a passion for craft, or a well-timed reaction gif will always catch her eye.

 (Read tips on writing a query letter.)

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Currently Seeking: Currently, Molly is most actively seeking young adult and middle-grade fiction. She is also seeking a select number of children’s illustrators (illustrators who write are especially welcome), as well as authors of kidlit nonfiction, early readers/chapter books, and kidlit graphic novels. She is not currently seeking picture book texts unless the author is also a professional illustrator, a writer of nonfiction, or a direct referral from an industry contact that she knows personally.

How to Submit: To submit a project, please email your query to mollysubmit [at] with the word “Query” as the first word in the subject line. Your short email query should include a description of your project; biographical information (including details about any relevant credentials, subject area expertise, stats, or existing platform); and a summary, if applicable, of prior published works, agent representation, and/or publisher submission history. If you don’t have special credentials or previous publishing history, no worries: Molly welcomes debut talent! Please also be sure to include your phone number, email address, and any relevant Internet/social media links. Below your query letter paste the first 10 pages of your manuscript, or entire picture book text.

(Can you re-query an agent after she’s rejected you in the past?)


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2 thoughts on “New Literary Agent Alert: Molly O’Neill of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

  1. Rebecca Jones

    Hello Molly, I have written several children’s books that I would like to have someone take a look at for me. They are faith based, Christian books in poetry form designed to help children to overcome fears, and want to read. I believe they are appropriate for children under 7. I am not the best artist, yet, so I took the liberty of adding scrapbook characters from my Pinterest boards as a general idea, not to take away from anyone’s work. I would need an illustrator. If you would be interested in reading one or know someone who would be, I would appreciate an e-mail. Thank you for the opportunity to chat with you, i hope you are blessed with a wonderful clientele as an agent.

  2. Debbie

    Molly, thank you so much for this opportunity to communicate with you. I noticed you are interested in nonfiction and some picture books. Well, I recently self-published a picture book about three Labrador Retrievers I rescued. For the past 30 years, I have rescued and adopted both dogs and cats. Currently, I mainly rescue senior Labs. The picture book I wrote is about three of these Labs that, one by one, came to make my house a home. I did not do the illustrations; I was lucky enough to run into someone at a book fair. Neither of us have done anything like this before. Regarding the “self-publishing,” my book is on the website. I found it to be the most user friendly for someone new, like me. My main reason for doing this book was to share with family and friends; however, future books about my other adoptions/rescues may interest me also. If this is something you may be interested in, you can find my book on The title is “Bailey, Cricket, and Puck.” Or, if you want any other information from me, please let me know. Your feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Debbie Weinstein


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