Query Ayla Zuraw-Friedland at The David Black Literary Agency

Hello! Welcome to my QueryManager page. I appreciate your interest in representation, and am looking forward to hearing more about your work. As a preliminary housekeeping note, I will no longer be receiving queries at my email address, and will only acknowledge queries received via this form from November 16, 2020 forward, with the exception of any author I have met at conferences before this date.

To learn more about the David Black Agency and our client list, please go to www.davidblackagency.com.

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. She is interested in literary fiction and nonfiction that inspects queer experiences and narratives, and would love to see pitches from BIPOC and disabled writers from a diversity of backgrounds. A few of her 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.


If you are submitting FICTION: Please include the first ~30 pages as a PDF, a query letter that includes a bio and links to past publications, and a brief synopsis (no longer than a paragraph) that provides the arc of the story. A link to your website and social media would be helpful as well

If you are submitting NONFICTION: Please include a PDF of your proposal that includes a summary of the project, marketing contacts you would reach out to, information about your platform, and approximately 50 pages of sample writing (a chapter or two should cover it).

If you are submitting ILLUSTRATED WORKS: Please include all of the aspects of either the fiction or non-fiction requirements, plus samples of your art. Please note that I don't currently represent any illustrated titles, and will likely only sign a select number of them.

If you are submitting YA/MIDDLE GRADE: No you're not, I don't currently represent either of those genres, but I thank you again for your interest!

As someone who has spent the entirety of her career in the publishing industry, I am aware of the ways in which white supremacy, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and other discriminatory practices and biases have shaped the way I and all of my colleagues do business. As we've seen in the past year--both through the #PublishingPaidMe hashtag and the $Book Money$ spreadsheet, the financial impacts and investments of these practices have had a tangibly negative effect on the landscape of what books are published, which stories get told.

I am consciously working to undo the toxic lessons I've learned, and am actively looking to break away from the common wisdom about "what works" as a book, and how that logic is based in harmful ideas. I am committed to not representing any person who has done damage to any marginalized group or individual, and invite any person who sees that I have connected with someone who has done harm to be in touch with me directly so that I have this information, and can proceed accordingly--there are so many talented writers who do not do harm, and are in fact invested in pushing the needle in a more radical direction.

Even if we do not end up being the right match artistically or personality-wise, I thank you for sharing yourself and your work with me, and I don't take it lightly that you contacted me. Even if I end up passing on your project for subjective reasons, it does not mean that it does not have a place in the world, merely that I do not feel I am the best possible person to shepherd the book through to publication. Every author deserves a strong, dogged advocate, and I truly wish that for everyone. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to reading.

About The Author

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About The Book

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This agent only represents the genres shown in this list. Selecting an inaccurate genre will result in a rejection. If your book's genre is not shown here, please go to QueryTracker for a list of agents who do represent your genre.
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If the recipient of your query would like to read more, they will contact you through that page as well as through email.

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