The genre for the October 2021 round of Pass or Pages is...
While Diverse Voices isn't exactly a genre, Operation Awesome is looking to showcase historically underrepresented writers of YA and Adult fiction. To paraphrase from We Need Diverse Books: "The diverse book movement recognizes all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities." If that's you, then this round could be your place to shine!
Meet the agents who will critique your Diverse Voices entries!
After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. A literary agent and a freelance editor at her own company, Strictly Textual. She holds a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. She loves seeing contemporary from voices not already flooding our bookshelves, perspectives that not everyone can claim to be familiar with. Additionally, she is on the lookout for fantasy/urban fantasy/paranormal from non-American/non-European myths and legends, concepts relevant to the culture and plot. Some of Kaitlyn’s favorite books are Cornelia Funke (Inkheart series); Michael Buckley (Undertow series); John Green (more Looking for Alaska, less An Abundance of Katherines); Gayle Forman (Just One Year and Just One Day); Lois Lowry (The Giver series); and Scott O’Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins). Her favorite tv shows are Doctor Who, Buffy, Supernatural, Firefly, basically the nerdier the fandom the better.
Hilary Harwell is a literary agent with KT Literary. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Anthropology. Hilary enjoys fully-developed characters who leap off the page and into her heart (even if they’re not always the most lovable), tightly plotted stories that show her new ways to look at the world, elegant prose, strong emotional resonance, and stories told from diverse perspectives so that more children and young people can find themselves inside the pages of the books we help create. Her favorite books include Bridge to Terabithia, The Hobbit, Black Beauty, The Black Stallion series, Hatchet, The Call of the Wild, White Fang, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Westing Game, James and the Giant Peach, THE BFG, IT, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Secret Garden. And some favorite movies are: The Neverending Story, Willow, The Princess Bride, Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, Silence of the Lambs, Tommy Boy, Monty Python’s The Holy Grail, and Braveheart.
Michelle is an associate literary agent for Storm Literary Agency. Michelle is currently accepting young adult, middle grade, and select adult genres. She has a particular love of science fiction and fantasy as well as historical fiction, and is not the best fit for romance, though she does love a romance sub-plot. Please check out her full wishlist and submission directions at Storm Literary Agency. She likes positive, upbeat characters, quirky humor (or really any humor) and is always excited to see stories with diverse underrepresented voices. Other traits she likes in a story are: Characters with lots of backstory that is revealed slowly, villains with complex motivations and layers, and stories set on secondary worlds or settings that are other than American or European.
Carlisle Webber refused to major in English in college because she didn’t think there was anything fun to read on the required lists. No Stephen King? No R.L. Stine? No thanks! After college, she took her love of commercial, YA, and middle grade fiction to the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, where she earned a Master of Library and Information Sciences. She worked as a public librarian for years before deciding to move to the business side of publishing. She attended the Columbia Publishing Course and holds a Professional Certificate in Editing from UC-Berkeley. Carlisle is looking for high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities.
Cortney grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and after spending her undergraduate years in downtown Manhattan at NYU, has firmly decided that’s where she’s staying. As a member and advocate of both the LGBT and neurodiverse communities, Cortney adores seeing works that celebrate and normalize these experiences, particularly in YA. Compelling characters are what grab her the most; she loves books with strong, dynamic, complex characters that have complicated and nuanced relationships with others. She loves romantic threads that weave in seamlessly with the plot and characters’ motivations, particularly in SFF. In regard to POV, the closer, the better; she wants to live inside characters’ heads when she reads, and loves as little distance as possible. Some of Cortney’s favorite books: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare; The Shining by Stephen King; Tithe by Holly Black; Skinned by Robin Wasserman; This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab.
Details for October 2021 Pass or Pages:
Entry starts: Monday, October 4 at 6 a.m. Eastern
Entry ends: Friday, October 8 at 6 p.m. Eastern
Category/Genre: Diverse Voices!
How To Enter: Fill out the entry form on the contest post when it goes live on October 4.
What Is Required: Your query (NO BIO or personalization for agents), your first 250 words, a complete and polished MS
You can also read more about the rules here.
The winning entries with agent commentary will be posted on Operation Awesome the week of October 18th, one entry each day. If you aren't comfortable with having your entry (which will be anonymous) shared on the blog, please don't enter Pass or Pages!
If you have any questions, please ask in the comments or tweet @OpAwesome6. Also, feel free to chat about the contest with fellow participants with the hashtag #PassOrPages.