Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stefanie Molina of Ladderbird Literary

Stefanie Molina is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary

​Stefanie has spent her career advocating for marginalized folks in publishing as a technical editor at a national laboratory, senior editor at the literary journal F(r)iction, and book coach and editor for women of color. She is one-half Mexican, one-quarter Japanese, and one-quarter Irish and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, both from the University of California at Davis. Aside from reading, she enjoys hiking, swimming, baking strange new things, and playing the piano. Her favorite place in the world is Yosemite National Park. You can find her on Twitter @fiction_tech.

She is seeking:

Across the board, she is extremely passionate about increasing representation for Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities in publishing, and has a soft spot for stories about mixed people of color. She’s also invested in increasing representation for other marginalized populations, including but not limited to LGBTQIA+ folks, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, and people who are neurodiverse.

In all works, she loves redemption arcs, especially those that result in enemies-to-lovers.

It’s hard, though not impossible, to sell her on a sad ending.

Picture Books: “I’m most interested in stories that tell the experiences of growing up as a person of color, especially as a mixed person of color. Think Rise and Shine, Mariko Chan!; Lucia the Luchadora; Grandma Says My Hair Has Flair; We Are Water Protectors; and Binny’s Diwali.

“I’d also love retellings of traditional folktales from all cultures, including stories that somehow reflect the oral storytelling tradition.”

Middle Grade and YA: Her top interests here are:

  • Historical fiction and fantasy that explores diverse experiences and cultures (think Percy Jackson or Flame in the Mist)
  • Funny, deep, and heartfelt coming-of-age stories, especially about and by people of color (Never Have I Ever (the TV show), American Panda, Becoming Naomi Leon, Finding Miracles), bonus if it has romcom elements
  • Fantasy and all its subgenres: emotion- and story-heavy writing with an easily trackable narrative, diverse and inclusive cast, and mindful worldbuilding. Favorites: Song of Wraiths and Ruin, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns.
  • Solarpunk, hopepunk, and silkpunk

​In adult fiction: The best books for Stefanie combine elements of humor, romance, and adventure into emotion-forward works full of feeling and excitement. She’s looking for:

  • Diverse romcoms, especially starring people of color and featuring interracial relationships between people of color, and/or starring LGBTQIA+ folks with an emphasis on bi and pan rep
  • Cozy mysteries, especially those that heavily feature dogs (Chet and Bernie, Andy Carpenter)
  • Steamy thrillers (think Sandra Brown)
  • Fantasy and all its subgenres: emotion- and story-heavy writing with a trackable narrative, diverse and inclusive cast, and mindful worldbuilding. (Circe is a big favorite.)
  • Historical fiction and fantasy that explores diverse experiences and cultures (Fifty Words for Rain)
  • Solarpunk, hopepunk, and silkpunk

In nonfiction and memoir: Stefanie is very selective with nonfiction, but is interested in deeply moving memoirs and business/personal development by people of color.

She is also looking for cookbooks and baking books that make rich culinary traditions accessible while keeping them authentic, especially those with recipes that have been passed down through generations. She loves fusion cuisines and gets most excited about dessert!

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