Ayla Zuraw-Friedland joined the David Black Agency in 2019. Previously, she worked as an editorial assistant and assistant editor at Beacon Press in Boston, and as a development editor for encyclopedias at Oxford University Press. She received her BA in English and Creative Writing from Connecticut College in 2015, and her writing can be found in GAY the Magazine and Publishers Weekly.
I am interested in acquiring adult literary fiction and nonfiction that inspect queerness, disability, race, class, and community in fresh new ways. I have a soft spot for short story collections with magical elements, and essay collections that look at identity through an interesting and specific cultural lens (motorcycles, rock climbing, pottery, you name it). Some pitches I've read and loved: a memoir of coming out as trans later in life, a case against high school football from a sociological standpoint, a collection of essays about mental health and climate change, a novel about immigrant ghosts.
A few of my favorite contemporary writers are Carmen Maria Machado, Kristen Arnett, Hanif Abdurraqib, Helen Oyeyemi, Daniel M. Lavery, Raven Leilani, Candice Carty-Williams, Kacen Callendar, Alexander Chee, Akwaeke Emezi, and Samantha Irby.
How to Submit
Writers can submit a 200-word query including a summary of their project and their bio to email@example.com. Please note that due to the volume of queries, there is a current waiting time of 2-3 months for responses. Please follow up only after that threshold has passed.
Writing strong first pages requires a great hook, a strong voice, and a clear premise. The first sentence should immediately catch the reader's attention, while the subsequent text should leave the reader wanting to dive further into the pages of the manuscript. But making the first pages of your story absolutely un-putdownable takes practice, patience, revision, and an eye for detail. Which is why we're here: to discuss what to do (and not to do) to make your opening pages stand out.