Welcome to day 2 of the #DVpit spotlights on participating agents!
Adriana Dominguez is a literary agent with Full Circle Literary and former Executive Editor at HarperCollins’ Rayo imprint with a long trajectory of helping diverse authors and illustrators get published. Her books have been awarded the Pura Belpré Medal and the Coretta Scott King Honor, and been finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the NAACP Award, among others.
“I have been a passionate advocate for diversity in all of its forms for a very long time, and am always looking at the types of books by diverse authors that are being published. In my mind, there is not enough diversity in virtually every category, but the ones that I find myself most drawn to are both fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade novels, and (literary) young adult novels. I know that there is a very strong need for diverse illustrators, and have been growing my list of those with a particular emphasis on diverse artists. I’d love to find more humorous diverse material to lift a bit of the burden that the “diverse” label can sometimes place on writers and readers, and because all kids like to laugh!”
Louise Fury at the Bent Agency. A native South African, she lives in NYC, but travels to Cape Town every year to meet with writers and publishers.
“I am looking for all kinds of diverse stories, especially character-driven YA or MG. I love unusual formats, unique timelines and unpredictable endings.
My maiden name is De Faria—my father was Portuguese and struggled with English and I never understood a word my paternal grandparents said. So I’m very interested in reading about characters who have out-of-place immigrant parent/s and the experience of being caught between two very different worlds.”
Linda Epstein is an Agent at Emerald City Literary Agency. Prior to that she was at Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency for 4 1/2 years. Linda represents picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. She speaks at writing conferences throughout North America and you can find her on the Internet at her agency website EmeraldCityLiterary.com, on Facebook, on Twitter @LindaEpstein, and talking about writing and publishing on her blog theblabbermouthblog.com.
“I’ve always been interested in representing all kinds of voices and I’m lucky to currently represent some fantastic GLBTQ authors. I’m very interested in seeing more stories featuring people of color and written by people of color. They don’t have to be about diversity; I just want great stories that draw me in so much that I forget I’m reading.”
Penny Moore of FinePrint Literary Management represents middle grade and young adult fiction. She’s particularly interested in inventive works with beautiful writing and memorable voices.
“I’m currently looking for own voices projects in children’s literature. I’d love to discover the next Jenny Han, a writer of color who writes about diverse characters that appeal to the inner romantic in all of us. I’m also looking for great multi-cultural MG projects in which the culture is an organic part of the story but not the “issue,” meaning I want young minority readers to be able to see themselves in the stories the way a non-minority would. Finally, I am dying for a spectacular LGBTQ project in the vein of More Happy Than Not.”
Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency works with picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels, and with select commercial, speculative, and fantasy fiction. Prior to starting his career in publishing, he worked in theater and television, and spent two years with the Peace Corps in West Africa.
“I am seeking stories that middle grade and young adult readers can relate to, rather than ones they can escape into. I love fully fleshed-out, “perfectly imperfect” characters in books that touch on issues, rather than “issue books.” I’m particularly drawn to tales dealing with a character’s crush or first love, cross-ethnic/cultural relations, and prejudices (whether others’ or their own).”
Emily S. Keyes is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. She works with young adult, middle grade, science fiction and women’s fiction.
“I started more actively seeking non-western stories after seeing King Arthur retellings too many times. I love stories that haven’t been told already, or are being told from a new perspective. During DVPit, I am particularly looking for things by non-white authors, or about people with disabilities.”