Beth Phelan


mg & ya literary agent. INTP. she/her. creator of #DVpit (@DVpit_) and @DV_con . pronounced FAIL-inn. defund the police.

Brooklyn, NY

The Bent Agency

beth phelan @beth_phelan · 25 Nov 2019

Anup 📝📚 @anuponthenet

#askgzla I have wondered what you are trying to look at when you ask, "How you came to write that story"

Is there a deeper meaning?

Replying to @anuponthenet

I love knowing why a story is important to a writer! It’s something i usually ask when offering rep. I wanna know why they’re invested because i wanna be just as invested #askgzla

beth phelan @beth_phelan · 25 Nov 2019

Shannan Williams @enlightenedpen

How do we research agents? I’m aware of Manuscript Wish List but what other factors should we keep in mind besides what their wish list is? Recent Sales? # of clients?#askGZLA

Replying to @enlightenedpen

Try writer beware and absolutewrite but also remember that talking to other authors in like a FB group or whatever is a great way to get first person info if you feel comfortable asking #askgzla

beth phelan @beth_phelan · 25 Nov 2019

S. Beard @ABeardedScribe

How would one query with Multi-POV (more than 2-3) when each MC has equal time and importance to the plot? Or would it still just be to focus one of them and mention it is Multi-POV in the comp section?


Replying to @ABeardedScribe

When I’ve written pitches for those i put like two sentences for each one (status quo, stakes/obstacle), separate paragraphs. Then one paragraph connecting them all on the major plot. Then last is two lines hinting toward the climax. #askgzla

beth phelan @beth_phelan · 25 Nov 2019

Tiana Torres @tiananicole15

Hi all, question about word counts. I’ve heard that with debut authors in particular, it’s best to keep the word count in the lower end of the genre’s range to minimize the risk of taking it on. How true (and imperative) is this? #askGZLA

Replying to @tiananicole15

Oh weird I’ve never heard that! I think for debuts it makes sense to keep it within reason but it depends on the story and how much room it needs to be effective so it’s a balance. I wouldn’t adhere too strictly to that advice #askgzla

beth phelan @beth_phelan · 25 Nov 2019

LC Milburn @LCMilburn

Hope this Q makes sense! If you sign an author for a project (book A) and they have another MS you’re not as interested in (book B) would you still help them shepherd book B (presumably after book A) to publication because they’re your client and you love them?? 😂 #askGZLA

Replying to @LCMilburn

This is a hard question lol. I think it’s case by case but really if i think my opinion of the book will be a detriment to the author then i would let them go forth on that book with another agent. They don’t benefit from having an agent who doesn’t like their book. #askgzla

beth phelan @beth_phelan · 25 Nov 2019

Suz Page @SuzPageWrites

How important are comp titles. And what do you feel a comp title should convey. #askGZLA

Replying to @SuzPageWrites

They’re so hard. Supposedly they indicate two things: there is a market for it as evidenced by other similar books and also it’s a way to describe the book in a hooky way. They can be important for publishers to anticipate sales (and offers). #askgzla

beth phelan @beth_phelan · 25 Nov 2019

Taylor Kemper @Taylortac

#askGZLA What makes you automatically say “pass!” when you read the first few sample pages?

Replying to @Taylortac

It really depends! There can be a whole bunch of like clinical reasons but a lot of the time for me it’s a gut thing. I need to be able to read it again and again, so i have to LOVE it personally. #askgzla

beth phelan @beth_phelan · 25 Nov 2019

Michelle Lindo Rice @mlindorice

What are some reasons that an agent might reject a full manuscript request #askgzla

Replying to @mlindorice

Sometimes it’s a really strong opening that gets us to request, but maybe the rest of the book didn’t get enough polish or the plotting went somewhere that didn’t resonate ultimately #askgzla