Welcome agent Hannah VanVels!

First and foremost, I’m building an inclusive list with a variety of voices and genres. I love working with #OwnVoices authors, and I’m looking for voices from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, regardless of genre.

In a nutshell, I am looking for fresh voices and fresh takes in the following categories:

Picture Books

  • Funny and quirky books!
    • I’m a sucker for puns and clever rhymes. Kids want to laugh, and I do too!
  • Family
    • Cultural and family traditions and how they shape us
    • Celebrating the messiness and complexity of family
  • Creative books that pique curiosity and imagination
    • Think Ish or The Book with No Pictures
  • Author/illustrators

Middle Grade

  • Fantasy
    • Give me a story with a magical school where the MC is a POC. Something with humor and heart and, of course, magic!
    • Stories inspired by myths, folklore, or legends, particularly those that are non-western in origin
  • Adventure
    • I would love to find a MG version of The Mummy (the Brendan Frasier version, of course)
    • Characters that are on the spectrum, but their story is not centered on that; it’s just who they are. Because characters on the spectrum can fight dragons and save the world too!
  • Horror or paranormal
    • Give me the ghosts, creepy crawlies, and witches.
  • Animals
    • I’m a giant animal lover and a total sucker for beautiful emotional stories that involve animals like Pax and The One and Only Ivan    

Young Adult

  • Fantasy
    • My first love is character-driven fantasy (urban, contemporary, high—all of it!). A new retelling of an old trope? A mythical setting inspired by a non-European culture? A reluctant hero who inevitably shouts, “I never asked for any of this!”? Sign me up! I’m looking for strong world-building, strange magic, empathetic villains, morally gray heroes, and subversive fantasy tropes
  • Thrillers/horror/paranormal
    • Creeptastic thrillers with a tightly-knit, well-paced plot, clever and nuanced characters, and a twist that readers will never see coming. I generally steer clear of excessive on-page violence
    • Ghosts, vampires, witches, and the otherwise macabre are very much welcome in my inbox
  • Contemporary
    • High concept contemporary fiction aimed at all genders. Bonus points if it makes me laugh and/or cry. Evergreen themes: self-love, coming-of-age, girls supporting girls, friendship and friendship breakups, and slow-burn romances
    • Topical contemporary fiction addressing real issues that teens face
  • Science Fiction
    • Accessible science fiction. Think Star Wars or superhero movies. I’m looking for a strong grounded story in which you do not need to understand the ins and outs of time travel and quantum physics in order to follow along
  • Young YA
    • Fiction aimed at younger YA audiences to fill the space where MG ends and traditional YA begins. Great writing is a must. Great character development and an unforgettable voice really drive it home

New Adult/Adult

  • Horror
    • Dark and devious stories like Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House. Paranormal aspects welcome!
    • Stories that are gothic and witchy
  • Fantasy
    • The key for adult fantasy for me is accessibility and intrigue. More Patrick Rothfuss than J.R.R. Tolkien. I am not a good fit for epic fantasy. I’m looking for a well-developed world and magic system with very real stakes. Bonus points if your MC isn’t the typical “Chosen One”
  • Commercial women’s fiction and chick lit
    • I’m particularly interested in the adventures of twenty-something women navigating the start of professional life after college. Think a slightly younger version of Sex and the City
    • Romantic comedies! A story that will make me laugh and swoon at the same time

Can’t wait to hear from you!

©2024 Belcastro Agency

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few are to be chewed and digested” – Francis Bacon