Stefanie Molina is a literary agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency.
I became an agent in January 2021 and joined Ladderbird Literary Agency in April 2021 after spending my early 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. I am one-half Mexican, one-quarter Japanese, and one-quarter Irish. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, both from the University of California at Davis. Aside from reading, I enjoy hiking, swimming, baking strange new things, and playing the piano. My favorite place in the world is Yosemite National Park
Across the board, I’m extremely passionate about increasing representation for Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities in publishing, and have a soft spot for stories about mixed people of color. I’m 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.
I am only interested in working with people who are invested in representing the diversity of our world on the page.
Right now, in MG, YA, and Adult, I badly want a story that pulls from ancient legends and cultures written by someone with connection to and knowledge of those legends and cultures. If you have an #ownvoices book that fits this, I want to see it.
In all works, I love redemption arcs, especially those that result in enemies-to-lovers.
It’s hard, though not impossible, to sell me on a sad ending.
In children’s and 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.
In middle grade and young adult:
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: I’m looking for 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 me combine elements of humor, romance, and adventure into emotion-forward works full of feeling and excitement. I’m 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: Again, I’m looking for emotion- and story-heavy writing with a trackable narrative, diverse and inclusive cast, and mindful worldbuilding. (Circe is a big favorite of mine.)
Historical fiction and fantasy that explores diverse experiences and cultures (Fifty Words for Rain)
Solarpunk, hopepunk, and silkpunk
In memoir and nonfiction:
I’m very selective with nonfiction, but I am interested in deeply moving memoirs and business/personal development by people of color.
I’m 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. I love fusion cuisines and I get most excited about dessert!
Fun facts about me:
I’m a pianist and saxophonist (alto and tenor). I love running, volleyball, and swimming (I used to race butterfly!). I’m an avid baker and food is my love language. It is possible that I am a dog in a human body!