What We Are Looking For

Willenfield Literary strives to represent the best in contemporary literary fiction. We look for novels and short story collections that stand out in terms of ambition, artistic vision, aesthetic sophistication and execution, and the vibrancy and quality of the prose.

Our preference is for literary fiction that is intellectually and emotionally demanding of the reader. We’re partial to works that say something original about the complexities of human experience and the human condition. We are drawn to the cerebral and erudite, the philosophical, the surreal, social realism, speculative realism, the darkly humorous, satire and absurdism, explorations of identity and belonging, environmental and climate themes, indigenous and postcolonial perspectives, the immigrant and refugee experience, and cultural and multicultural issues.

Examples of our taste in literary fiction:

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
Days by Moonlight by André Alexis
Tenth of December by George Saunders
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Florida by Lauren Groff
A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley
There There by Tommy Orange
Outline by Rachel Cusk
White Noise by Don DeLillo
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Please note that we are highly selective about literary fiction projects. We are looking for writers who have been published in well-known and reputable literary magazines, have completed a program in creative writing (such as an MFA), have received prizes for their writing, or have held writing fellowships or residencies.

We only consider queries for novels and short story collections written originally in English. Manuscripts should be finished and polished at the time of querying.

If you are interested in submitting your work for consideration, please refer to our Submission Guidelines page.