Paul Stevens joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2016. Before that he worked as an editor for 15 years, primarily at Tor Books, where he edited science fiction, fantasy, and mystery.
Paul is an Ohio native and a graduate of the Ohio State University. He also grows carnivorous plants.
Paul is looking for science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, suspense, and humorous fiction.
(Paul is not looking for young adult or middle grade books at this time. If you have a YA or MG project, please consider submitting to one of the other agents at this agency.)
He’s looking for strong stories with interesting characters. Well-rounded LGBT characters and characters of color are a plus.
Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror:
Paul would love to see stories that take tried-and-true genre tropes and turn them on their heads in an inventive way.
Epic fantasy should stretch the boundaries and shake things up. For example, if your book is about a group of characters going on a quest, be sure you have an inventive take on the quest fantasy subgenre. Show us something that we’ve never seen before.
Mystery and Suspense:
Ideally your book should have an intriguing concept that makes the reader think, “Oh, that’s a cool idea.”
Paul is interested in historical mysteries (set in both the past and the future), mysteries with a speculative element (ghosts, magic, monsters), and mysteries with an unusual setting. Again, strong, memorable characters are key.
Paul is interested in humorous fiction. Humor is very subjective, but if he’s inspired to rush into a coworker’s office to show them a funny passage, that’s a very good sign. Think Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, and A. Lee Martinez.
Paul is not looking for short story collections, poetry, memoirs, screenplays, picture books, chapter books, young adult or middle grade.
Paul only accepts email queries.
Please query at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the following three items:
- a cover letter pasted in the body of the email.
- a synopsis pasted in the body of the email.
- the first 5 pages of your manuscript pasted into the email. No attachments. (Don’t stress if the pages you post in the email don’t have perfect formatting. Some email services like to mess with the formatting, and it can be impossible to make it perfect.)
This information is current as of July 15, 2017.
Query letters – Paul is currently reviewing queries received on January 19th. (If you submitted your query after this date, you’re still in the queue. Paul is reviewing queries in the order received.)
Partial manuscripts (50 pages) – Paul is currently reviewing 50-page partials received on December 4th. (If you submitted your partial after this date, you’re still in the queue.)
Full manuscripts – If Paul has requested a full manuscript, these are often read out of date order. Please email if you need an update on your submission.
For all other matters, email Paul at email@example.com. (Please do not send queries to this address. Use the query address above.)
July 20-23, 2017: PNWA Summer Writers’ Conference (Seattle, WA)
July 27-29, 2017: Realm Makers Conference (Reno, NV)
August 19, 2017: Writer’s Digest Pitch Slam (New York, NY)
October 19-22, 2017: Florida Writers Conference (Altamonte Springs, FL)
February 1-3, 2018: Superstars Writing Seminars (Colorado Springs, CO)