Linda Epstein, Emerald City Literary

Speculative fiction

On Submission

Phoebe Low grew up in a magical (now, unfortunately arctic) land of corn known as Iowa, where she apparently had nothing better to do than devour copious amounts of books and plot her escape. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she moved to New York to live the publishing life and is currently a contracts assistant at Penguin Random House. When she’s not writing, she plays the violin, dreams of having dogs named after book characters, and spends far too much time on Tumblr.

I first started drafting with the intent to query in 2015, under the guidance of a creative writing teacher I had in college. After revising on and off for a couple years, I received an offer of representation Linda Epstein (who liked my pitch in #pitmad) and am currently on sub!

I’ve interned at Foundry Literary and Media, Dystel, Goderich and Bourret, and Samantha B. Literary, where I read and evaluated queries and manuscripts in a wide range of genres. I’ve given feedback in a variety of other settings as well, including as a beta reader for current editor at HarperCollins and at Young to Publishing and YA critique groups. I also work in contracts (see above), so I’m super down to talk about the business side of publishing.

My mentors and CPs are the reason my first book ever got finished, and why I can (semi-unabashedly) call myself a writer. If they hadn’t believed in me and encouraged me and squealed at the right places in my story, I’d probably be getting three hours of sleep a night at some architecture grad school somewhere. (Not that there’s anything wrong with architecture grad school. It just wasn’t for me.) I want to pay it forward and help someone else navigate the sometimes murky waters of revisions and querying.

I’m looking for diverse, passionate speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, or anything in between) with a fresh premise, sharp writing, and lots of angst. There is no such thing as too much angst.

  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Historical
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • #ownvoices
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
  • Horror

I love origin stories, non-Western fantasy, squad goals, angry girls with swords, morally ambiguous characters, the slow burn, and basically anything with Ye Olde Angst. Also, if it falls in that weird space in between genres and/or between YA and adult, I’m here for it.

I’m not the best fit for medieval European-ish fantasy.


  • Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
  • Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
  • Skype or phone call
  • Freestyle in chat

After the first big-picture edit letter, I’m open to providing whatever you think would be most helpful, be it bouncing off ideas, additional edit letters, inline comments on things I love and/or think could be improved, or chatting over email or Skype. I’m also super down to talk about query letters, researching agents, and the publishing industry in general. Editing strengths include character motivations, pacing, worldbuilding, and bad puns.

My ideal mentee is someone who’s open to constructive feedback, values open communication, and is truly passionate about their book and their characters.


  • Anything that throws shade at imperialism, colonialism, and/or the Chosen One trope, especially if it’s #ownvoices
  • If you’re comping to Six of Crows or anything by V. E. Schwab, I want it PLIS. Give me all your murder babies.
  • Along those lines: Knives! Thieves! Fight scenes! Scheming! Moral ambiguity!
  • Unlikeable girls. Angry girls. Girls who burn down the patriarchy.
  • Also, soft bois. More of those please
  • Characters who become the person they’ve always feared becoming. Humans who want to be monsters, and monsters who want to be human. (This is my Kryptonite.)
  • Squad banter a la the Dregs or Avatar: The Last Airbender. Also, Zutara.
  • Characters who are really, really good at what they do– and know it
  • Chips on shoulders
  • Hearts full of hate and swag
  • Anything dark and twisted and gory
  • High-concept premises, strange magic systems, alien civilizations
  • Mythology retellings and alternate histories, especially from non-Western perspectives
  • Demi/aro/ace rep, because Where Is It


  • the whole knights/castles/princesses thing
  • wilderness survival stories
  • prophecies and Chosen Ones, or that Momentous Event that happens on the MC’s sixteenth or seventeenth birthday
  • warm fuzzy feel-good stories– while I appreciate these qualities in doggos, they don’t quite describe my taste in books 🙂 


Books: VICIOUS, the Shades of Magic trilogy, and the Monsters of Verity duology by V. E. Schwab, SIX OF CROWS and CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo, THE ONLY HARMLESS GREAT THING by Brooke Bolander, EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire, SONG OF ACHILLES and CIRCE by Madeline Miller, GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow, THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F. C. Yee, EVERY DAY by David Levithan, GRACELING by Kristin Cashore, JADE CITY by Fonda Lee, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey, MONSTRESS by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness Short stories: “Scarecrow” and “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers” by Alyssa Wong, “Goddess, Worm” and “These Deathless Bones” by Cassandra Khaw, “How to Swallow the Moon” by Isabel.

Yap TV / Movies / Music: I’m a couple centuries behind on TV-watching / non-book-related media consumption, but I loved Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Star War, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Into the Spiderverse, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen. I swear I’ll watch Stranger Things when I finish drafting.