Carly Heath is a writer and illustrator originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a B.A. from San Francisco State, and an M.F.A. from Chapman University. Her work has been published in Meridian, named first runner-up for New Letters’ Alexander Cappon Fiction Prize, shortlisted for an Aeon Award, and selected for Best Gay Stories 2017. Her writing tends to explore complex friendships, feminism, social justice, and identity. When not writing, she rescues animals and is an avid equestrian with a passion for Dressage.
I pursued short fiction prior to attempting my first full-length manuscript. That book went through several drafts (we’re talking page-one re-writes) before I attempted querying. My current agent is my second agent and my second journey through the query trenches taught me the importance having a systematic and well-researched approach to querying, which I look forward to sharing with my mentee.
I’ve taught writing, literature, and storytelling at the college-level for many years and was mentored by Academy Award-winning screenwriter David S. Ward. I love helping friends craft their query letters and synopses and have interned at Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope and Zoetrope: All-Story.
I love connecting with writers who are motivated and determined to produce amazing work. I’m especially interested in being of service to marginalized voices. Let’s work together to get you agented!
I’m open to all stories that give me big feels. I especially like subversive characters and themes! Intersectionality! Marginalized voices! If your book is populated with complex teens, unconventional relationships, and an awareness of social justice issues, then I want to read it. I love protagonists who are soft, anxious beans with unshakeable convictions. I also love narratives that explore issues of representation and decolonization. Most importantly, if you’re a writer with a really strong desire to dismantle the imperialist white supremacist capitalist allo-cis-heteronormative patriarchy, then I want to work with you.
- Magical Realism/Fabulism
- Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
If hetero, the romance needs to be very very feminist or confront social justice issues in some way. (i.e. protagonists who are ownvoices indigenous, disabled etc…) I’d be so onboard with an asexual/aromantic protagonist or love interest.
Queer romances with partnerships that are supportive, healthy, and uncomplicated are awesome.
For Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Mystery/Thriller: I really need a unique character, with a lot of heart, and a lot of internality and emotion. More Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, and Kazuo Ishiguro than George Lucas.
For Horror: I need there to be a lot of heart in the story. The main character should care deeply about something as the horrible scary stuff is happening — think Stephen King.
All Genres: I love soft, nurturing male characters (I love all genders that are soft and nurturing but since there’s a shortage of cis-male characters who are soft and nurturing, give me those). If you have a cis-het male character who is smol, femme, wears make up and likes traditionally feminine things, then I am so your target demographic.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Freestyle in chat
I will mark up and comment on your word doc and provide you with an edit letter that lays out a revision plan I’d recommend. Be prepared for re-structuring if it’s needed. Myself and most agented authors I’ve known have had to do major overhauls on their work prior to landing an agent and/or book deal, so it’s something you’ll need to get used to. It’s important for both of us to be upbeat and positive throughout the process! I’m a Virgo (super nit-picky perfectionist) with Libra rising (fair, sensitive, diplomatic), an INFJ and a Ravenclaw if you get my drift 🙂
Determined, enthusiastic, friendly, with a mission that’s about more than just landing the book deal. Do you care about teens and want to heal the world? ‘Cause that’s my jam.
- Teens who drop out of high school but have good lives anyway because high school isn’t for everyone and that’s okay.
- Teens who become emancipated from their parents and forge positive relationships with other adults/older teens who are not related to them.
- Child-free teens who go through the process to obtain permanent birth control/sterilization.
- Animals. Especially horses. Also zebras. Unicorns? Yes.
- Anything that gives me Song of Achilles feels.
- Anything that’s comp-able to Yuri!!! On Ice.
- Anything Queer History, POC History, Disabled History, Indigenous History
- I repeat: Cis-het boys who are smol, femme, wear make up, and like traditionally feminine things
- Also: A scene where a very femme male character has to perform masculinity (doing a sportsball or whatever) and then is relieved when he gets to return to his formerly femme self.
- Witchcraft, astrology, paganism, animism, metaphysical stuff
- A character that’s tokophobic, not evil, is never “”cured”” of their tokophobia—they remained liked and admired by their supportive friends
- Fancy costumes, pretty locations, architecture
- A female character who is like the Chris Pratt character in Jurassic World
- A land like Themyscira
- A pre-colonial matriarchy
- Teens running for political office
- Supportive, non-romantic friendships between people of different genders
- Non-toxic masculinity in all its forms
DO NOT SEND ME:
- Emotionless badasses
- White authors writing a POC main character
- I’m mostly not down with love triangles
- The book begins with the main character waking up
- Love interest male characters who are jerks but “hot”
- Friends who are terrible to each other
- Main characters who are power-hungry
- Killing animals, hunting, breeding animals, rodeo, or using animals exploitatively
- Yuri!!! on Ice
- Song of Achilles and Circe
- Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
- Miyazaki movies
- Les Mis
- Phantom of the Opera
- Harry Potter
- Peaky Blinders
- The Knick
- Game of Thrones
- Black Panther
- Interview with a Vampire
- Becky Abertalli
- Shaun David Hutchinson
- Adam Silvera
- Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- Caleb Roehrig
- Sam J. Miller
- Justina Ireland