To continue our focus on this year’s Fall Philly Faculty, we’re happy to have Beth Phelan, literary agent from The Bent Agency, to answer our questions.
Hi Beth! What’s on your wish list right now?
I’m always most drawn to the bittersweet. I love anything that makes me smile sadly, laugh with tears in my eyes, or cry because my heart is so full. I want books that push boundaries and challenge our thinking. More specific things on my wishlist right now: YA and MG fantasy and magical realism inspired by underrepresented cultures (especially by #ownvoices); queer protagonists in MG fiction (and YA too); and a YA with a completely new, game-changing spin on vampires. And like a lot of the industry, I was charmed by Netflix’s Stranger Things and would love to find MG or YA in that vein.
What’s your best tip for creating a strong pitch?
This is really just my own opinion, but I find it’s most effective to treat it like a conversation. I find it hard to focus on pitches that are recited to me, though I don’t fault anyone for bringing notes to make sure they hit every point they need to! But if you allow it to be a conversation, I think it’s more memorable and easier for me to ask questions that will make me want to know more.
Thanks so much, Beth! We’re looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.
If you’d like to meet Beth and our other fabulous Fall Philly faculty, be sure to register today!