Atifa Begom

Atifa is looking for fiction that puts her into a different world, focusing on Middle Grade & Young Adult fiction in the fantasy, sci-fi, and historical fiction genres. She is ONLY open to Adult fiction by referral or request. Fantasy illustrators are welcome!

She loves dragons, horses, and cats and would love to see animal POV or animal-centered (in the vein of Saddle Club, Black Beauty, Warrior Cats, and Wings of Fire). Also, monsters and beasties! She's interested in anything that can comp to Redwall or the Chronicles of Narnia!

She coined the terms "Immigration/Diaspora Fantasy" (immigration-related experiences in the fantasy genre) and "goldenpunk" (aspects of the Islamic golden age in science fiction), both of which she wants to see.


Atifa represents the following*:

Middle Grade (9+), Teen Fiction (1318)

  • Fantasy and all subgenres

  • Science Fiction and all subgenres

  • Historical fiction (ancient or hundreds of years ago)

  • Genre-blends (e.g., science fantasy, historical fantasy)

Some topics/tropes she loves to read but not required:

  • Steampunk, goldenpunk, solarpunk, silkpunk (e.g., Of Jade and Dragons)

  • Princess and the bodyguard

  • Anything that comps to Studio Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki's work

  • Cozy/fantasy without magic (e.g., Dragon Slippers)

  • Islam/Muslim/religion in a positive way

  • Retellings without naming the original in the story

  • Character-driven storylines

  • Dragons and horses (e.g., Wings of Fire)

  • Select historical, bonus for speculative (e.g., The Red Palace)


  • Contemporary Romance (e.g., The Love Match, anything by John Green)

  • Romantasy/Romance main plot (e.g., Song of Achilles, ACOTAR, Legends and Lattes)

  • Witches/cults/fae as protagonists

  • Orientalist/lackluster Islamic elements (e.g., Aladdin, Dune, Miss Marvel, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Candle and the Flame, Hijab Butch Blues, anything by Khaled Hosseini)

  • Girls being boys and vice versa (e.g., Mulan, Alanna the First Adventure)

  • Contemporary Greek myth retellings

  • If it will make Muslim parents hate me, I’ll have to pass!

*Atifa may work outside these genres for Muslim writers.

How to submit

Method #2: EMAIL

✅Subject line: Query for [TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT] a [AGE GENRE] Novel (e.g., Query for SKYLIGHT a MIDDLE GRADE THAI FANTASY Novel)

✅Query must be in the body of the email.

✅Attach your FULL manuscript as a PDF.

A synopsis PRIORITIZES your query. Please attach along with your manuscript.

☪️ I review one project per person at a time, but feel free to mention in your query other stories you’re working on.

📧Send your queries to: atifa[at]crescentliterary[dot]com.

I usually send a receipt email to let you know your query is in my queue. Please note: I respond to every query, taking about two to eight months, insha Allah. If you've edited your manuscript and I haven't responded, you may send the updated version. And if you haven't heard from me after that, feel free to nudge!

Thank you for considering me! 😊

To ensure a quick turnaround, you may use ONE of the following methods to query me:

Method #1: PITCHED APP

Create and upload your manuscript in the Pitched app.

Dear Atifa,

I'm seeking representation for THE DRAGONET PROPHECY, a 65,000-word Middle-Grade epic fantasy novel in a world of dragons. I'm submitting to you because you mentioned how much you love animal protagonists, so I hope my novel starring a young dragon would interest you.

Clay is a young dragonet who lives under the mountain. A war rages outside between the dragon tribes, but a prophecy predicts that Clay and four other dragonets are destined to end it. But not every dragon wants such a destiny.

When danger threatens one of their own, Clay and his friends must escape those who want to harm them, traveling across the world where they slowly piece together the truth behind the prophecy and the war between the dragon queens.

THE DRAGONET PROPHECY is the first book in a series that would appeal to fans of Erin Hunter's Warriors series, Brian Jacques' Redwall books, and Kathryn Lasky's The Guardians of Ga'Hoole series.

I graduated from Williams College and have worked as an editor in the publishing industry. I currently live in Boston.

I've attached the first fifty pages of my manuscript.

Thank you for your time and kind consideration.

Best regards,

Tui T. Sutherland


How to Write a Query Letter

Writing a query letter can be daunting and there are many resources online that can overwhelm us.

You may use the FICTITIOUS example query letter to help you write yours: