I’m honored to be helping out with #DVpit, a pitch contest specifically for diverse books created by literary agent Beth Phelan, by featuring the participating agents and their wishlists on my blog all this week! (For more information on #DVpit, click here.) And now, let’s get to the agents, beginning with Beth herself!
Beth Phelan (host and creator of #DVpit) is a literary agent at the Bent Agency, where she represents authors of YA and MG fiction, adult contemporary romance, adult suspense/thrillers, and cookbooks.
“I’m looking for many things and expect I’ll ❤ a lot of different pitches! But more specifically, I’m really hoping to find more Jewish and Muslim narratives in YA and MG fiction that demonstrate the diversity within those very groups. I’d love a sweeping literary novel or a laugh-out-loud contemporary. Also a big, splashy YA fantasy. I want it all! And especially considering my own experiences with these, I’d be thrilled to find any story with an author/lead that has trichotillomania and/or excoriation disorder.”
“I am particularly interested in finding raw and beautifully written Latino or Native Magical Realism or upmarket fiction in any genre that highlights Native erasure, especially in regards to cultural history (food, myths, sexuality, feminism etc.). If I could pick and choose, I feel that California Native voices are not as known in the literary world as compared to Navajo, Sioux, or Lakota (or Incan, Aztec, Mayan). However, I am interested in all voices from the Americas. I am white, so in these particular stories, I am looking for Native authors, to ensure authenticity of narrative and prevent accidental racism/further erasure.
I am also always on the look out for high fantasy with black female protagonists. Princesses or queens on the run, fighting the establishment, will really grab me.”
Jim McCarthy is a Vice-President and Literary Agent at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management where he focuses primarily on YA and adult fiction but is also seeking middle grade, children’s nonfiction, and limited adult narrative nonfiction.
“As far as #DVPit, I’m open to all voices but would be especially keen on sci-fi/fantasy or historical novels with non-Western locales and protagonists of color, romance with diverse protagonists, any author who can make me laugh out loud or quietly weep while reading on my commute, and queer narratives of any kind.”
Caitie Flum joined Liza Dawson Associates in July 2014. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2009 with a BA in English with a concentration in publishing studies. She was an Editorial Assistant then Coordinator for Bookspan, where she worked on several clubs including the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club.
“I am looking for all marginalized stories and voices, but will be particularly looking for more disability representation in all genres and age groups middle grade through adult. Would really love to see these stories with POC and LGBTQIA characters.”
Kirsten Carleton is a literary agent at Prospect Agency seeking upmarket YA and adult fiction across speculative, thriller, and literary genres.
“I’m looking for all kinds of representation, definitely in terms of racial diversity, but also diversity of sexuality, gender and gender identification, class, and disability. I’m especially interested in stories that feature more than one minority character in a way that shows the diversity of characterization within that minority, rather than having a single minority character as a de facto representative of their entire demographic. A noncomprehensive wishlist: multiracial protagonists; Chinese mythology-inspired fantasy; teen homelessness; characters coping with mental illness and/or chronic disability; trans and genderfluid teens; second generation immigrant stories that focus on culture clashes between generations; stories set outside the US/Europe (particularly Taiwan) that feature local characters rather than American/European visitors; historical fiction based on badass women like Pancho Barnes, Ada Lovelace, and Ching Shih.”
Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel Brooks worked as an agent apprentice to Louise Fury. In addition to her industry training, Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University-CC.
“I’d love a LGBTQ YA novel that is light in tone and/or funny with a happy ending, especially with an L or B protagonist, where how he/she identifies is a layer to the story versus the hook.
I’d like to find a contemporary YA where the MC has a stepparent/sibling(s) of a different race and culture, creating a blended family on multiple levels (also predominantly light or funny).
I’m also on the lookout for sexy adult romances with alpha heroes and witty heroines by authors from marginalized communities.”
That’s it for today – tune in tomorrow at noon EST for the next five!