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— by Mariela Santos: From reading Harry Potter in a closet during a family vacation by the light of a flashlight to wanting to skip class at New York University to read books, Beth Phelan’s life has been wrapped in stories. Now she’s making sure the next generation of readers revels in the magic of a wider range of voices.

As a literary agent, Brooklyn-based Phelan is one of the most active online voices boosting work by traditionally marginalized authors. Not only is the list of authors she represents diverse, but Phelan also is helping unrepresented authors sign with other agents and revealing the truth about the finances of the industry.

Phelan, 32, created #DVpit (Diverse Voices Pitch) in 2016, a Twitter event for aspiring authors to pitch their books in the hopes of connecting with an agent. She was doubting herself at the time, trying to find her voice as a young agent and woman of color, and was met with rejection and skepticism about using Twitter as her primary channel…

Image courtesy of Alex Dupeux

May 28, 2019