Adria Goetz is a senior literary agent and illustration coordinator with KT Literary.
Adria got her start in publishing as an intern at Martin Literary Management in 2013. She represents picture books, middle grade, graphic novels (all ages including YA), and adult fiction.
She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, as well as the Columbia Publishing Course. In 2019, she was selected as a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree. Adria has eclectic taste but particularly enjoys projects that are tinged with magic, have so much heart you can practically hear their heartbeat, and have a compelling, commercial hook. In her spare time she can be found rewatching Gilmore Girls for the millionth time, listening to Taylor Swift, and dreaming about the mossy stone cottage in the woods she would like to live in one day.
“I look for books that delight readers, that help readers escape, that make readers feel seen, that help inspire wonder and imagination, that cultivate empathy and compassion, that comfort readers and make them feel safe, that take the reader on an adventure, that uncover fascinating stories from history’s footnotes, that make people laugh or cry or jump from fright, that ask nitty gritty questions and don’t settle for easy answers, that inspire reflection and conversation, that make people disappointed when they have to close the book and go to bed, and books that add a touch of magic to readers’ lives.”
PICTURE BOOKS WISHLIST:
- Picture book author/illustrators—I’m definitely open to receiving PB submissions from authors, but I am primarily looking for author-illustrators right now. I’m open to many different illustration aesthetics from hand-drawn to digitally rendered to collage/cut paper to more unconventional mediums. I love having a wide range of styles on my list, and the main thing I’m looking for is a unique, distinctive look. Some of my favorite illustrators include Juana Martinez-Neal, Vashti Harrison, the Fan Brothers, David Litchfield, Anne Lambelet, Brian Selznick, Carson Ellis, Frank Morrison, and Emily Winfield Martin.
- Humor—I want the next hilarious, commercial-feeling, NYT Bestseller. It’s important to me that kids really love and are delighted by the books I represent. Since humor is a great entry point into reading for kids who are intimidated by books, I take silly books seriously. 🙂 Some of my favorite humor-driven books are: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, Dragons Love Tacos, The Bad Seed series, Where Bone?, A Spoonful of Frogs, The Day the Crayons Quit, Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats, and Rot: the Cutest in the World.
- Family Narratives—I love books about families and their everyday experiences, especially when the story shows nurturing adult characters. For me, the more specific the story, the better. Examples: Hair Love, Bedtime Bonnet, My Papi Has a Motorcycle, Under My Hijab, Alma, Julian is a Mermaid, Halal Hot Dogs, Tell Me a Tattoo Story, The Ocean Calls.
- Magical books—I love magical stories that feel like the type of book that will stick with a child throughout their life. I love stories that feel like original fairytales/folktales, if that makes sense. Fairies, mermaids, elves, and ghosts are all friends of mine. Anything by The Fan Brothers, David Litchfield, and Emily Winfield Martin. A few of my favorite magical books: The Night Gardener, The Antlered Ship, The Bear and the Piano, The Cloud Spinner, The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore, and Lights on Cotton Rock.
- Adventures—I would love to see more adventure stories in my inbox! Examples include The Greatest Adventure, It’s Not a Bed It’s a Time Machine, Ocean Meets Sky, Stella’s Stellar Hair, and the upcoming masterpiece In the Groves.
- Mermaids—Send me all of your mermaids!! What kind of mermaid have you not seen before? I love when fantastical stories are pure fun but can also provide meaningful yet whimsical representation. I was so excited to get to work on Mermaid and Pirate and am eager to have more mermaid stories on my list.
- Karaoke—I’d love a joyful picture book about karaoke, sort of like the karaoke equivalent of Hip-Hop Lollipop.
- Traditions—I love picture books about family traditions/cultural traditions, especially when there is food, cooking, baking, or recipes involved. I’d also love to see other family traditions, like holiday traditions (loved Night Tree, Mooncakes, The Christmas Book Flood), faith traditions or rituals, house-cleansing or blessing ceremonies/traditions, etc.
- Food—I love picture books about food! Some of my favorites are Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, Fry Bread, Tomatoes for Neela, Halal Hot Dogs, and Anni Dreams of Biryani, Plátanos are Love.
- Atmospheric—I love a unique atmosphere/strong sense of place in books across the board. Because picture books are fully illustrated, they create the unique opportunity to create a really visually dazzling atmosphere. I think Hello Lighthouse is a great example of this.
- Spooky—I love spooky stories! (And I loved them as a kid too.) Ghosts, haunted houses, cobwebs. Some of my favorites include How to Make Friends with a Ghost, and The Ugly Doodles.
- Creativity—I love picture books about art and creativity, like the The Dot, Ish, The Ugly Doodles, The Wonder, The Storytellers Rule, and Beautiful Oops.
- Sisters—I grew up in a household of four girls, so any stories about sisters will have a special place in my heart!
- Cats—It’s honestly upsetting (to both me and my two cats) that I don’t have a cat picture book on my list yet. Somebody please remedy this for me!
MIDDLE GRADE WISHLIST:
- Magical Realism or Fantasy—I love any stories with light touches of magic or fantasy that are still accessible to readers who aren’t “genre readers.” I tend to prefer fantasy that is grounded in the real world. Some of my favorite magical MG tales include Circus Mirandus, No Ordinary Thing, and The Elephant’s Girl. I’d be delighted to work on a fresh-feeling mermaid story. And I’d love to see anything that is set at a magical boarding school or academy.
- Graphic Novels—I am open to taking a look at anything here, especially contemporary realistic, magical realism, fantasy, and historical fiction. I’m really eager to work on a historical fiction GN. Some of my favorite MG graphic novels: Pashmina, Witch Boy, and Measuring Up. I’d also like to put out into the universe: I would love to find the next Brian Selznick type of creator that doesn’t shy away from hybrid, unconventional formats.
- Historical Fiction—I am a history lover and enjoy historical fiction that feels like it’s shining a spotlight on a historical footnote type of story that was glossed over by textbooks. I want to see a hook/premise that I think will appeal to young readers, and an engaging voice. I’m open to epistolary novels or novels in verse as well. Examples: Brown Girl Dreaming, Ship of Dolls, House Without Walls, and Indian No More.
- Mystery—I’m hungry for a good mystery! I will never forget reading The Dollhouse Murders when I was in fifth grade and having to close the book for a moment because I was so scared. (But I loved it.) I want to work on books that inspire that same level of book-induced fright! Give me an Agatha Christie-esque whodunit. I especially love mysteries that have a little cheekiness to them.
YOUNG ADULT WISHLIST:
- Graphic Novels—Right now in the Young Adult space, I am exclusively focused on graphic novels. (I do represent YA novels if preexisting clients write them, though!) I’m open to a wide range of genres and art styles here. I’d especially love to find something very atmospheric where the setting is a crucial element to the story. My favorites include Pumpkinheads, The Prince and the Dressmaker, The Girl from the Sea, Isla to Island, and Batter Royale.
ADULT FICTION WISHLIST:
- Upmarket/Book Club Fiction—If you dream of Reese Witherspoon ushering you into her book club, then I want to see your work! When I think of upmarket/book club fiction, I think of stories with wide appeal that are engaging and accessible reads, but still have enough layers to lend themselves well to discussion. I love the feeling when I finish reading a book and immediately need to talk to someone about it. I love interesting voices/POVs, rhythmic language, and I’m a sucker for a dual timeline. The biggest thing I’m looking for is a good hook and a compelling writing style. I always love humor and heart too. Some of my favorites include Lessons in Chemistry, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Violeta, Where’d You Go Bernadette, Daisy Jones & The Six, Room, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, All the Lonely People, and A Man Called Ove.
- Thrillers/Mystery—I love pageturning thrillers, and want to work with people who want to build their careers around writing them. I’m really looking for a hook here. I love Gillian Flynn, Jessica Knoll, and Lisa Jewell. I would love to see a fresh take on the genre from a POV we haven’t seen featured as prominently. Some of my favorite thrillers include Luckiest Girl Alive, The Woman in Cabin 10, Final Girls, Verity, Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Then She Was Gone. I’d love to work on something as atmospheric as Lavender House and The Only One Left. I would also love to see something more in the mystery category that has a cheeky tone and engaging voice and feels very smart like The Maid or Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murder.
- Romance/Romantic Comedies—I’d love to receive more rom com submissions! I’m especially looking for something with a great commercial hook and an interesting protagonist. I welcome tropes of all stripes, especially enemies to lovers, slow burn/friends to lovers, fake relationships, grumpy/sunshine, forced proximity, and so on. Some of my favorites: Beach Read, The Unhoneymooners, Real Men Knit, Maybe in Another Life, The Flatshare, The Rosie Project, Waiting for Tom Hanks, Red, White, & Royal Blue, and The Suite Spot. I’d love to see some speculative rom coms too, like The Ex Hex and The Dead Romantics.
- Cozy Fantasy/Magical Realism—I love stories with light touches of magic/speculative elements such as magical realism, grounded fantasy, cozy fantasy, and magic-tinged rom coms. Think “a little bit of magic and a whole lot of heart” like The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries, The House in the Cerulean Sea, The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic.
- Unique Format—I love stories that are told in unique formats, whether that be epistolary (Love & Saffron), e-epistolary/mixed media (Where’d You Go Bernadette), transcripts (like Daisy Jones & The Six), a unique POV (think Room), or a mix of things like Acts of Violet. If it’s slightly outside a traditional novel format or voice, send it my way!
NOT QUITE MY CUP OF TEA:
Sports stories (I quit tee-ball when I was 4 and faked stomach aches to get out of P.E., so I’m afraid I am not your gal.)
Ancient historical fiction
Arthurian legend-inspired projects
High/Epic SFF (Several of my fantastic colleagues at KT Literary do work in this space though—check them out!)