Diverse Publishing Landscapes: A Q&A with Felice Laverne, Agent, Editor & Writer
In conversation with Amber Wheeler Bacon
Join us as Felice and Amber discuss the role of a sensitivity reader, how to write against stereotypes when writing characters of color, what "diversity in publishing" actually means, the kind of bold and diverse work Felice is looking for as an agent, how to maximize tension in every scene, what turns her on and off in a query, AND MORE. Her twitter handle is @bookgurufelice and a book guru she is!
FELICE LAVERNE'S publishing career has always been rooted in championing bold voices and writers from marginalized communities. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in English, Creative Writing, from Georgia State University, she started her career at About Words Agency directly after college where she worked as an agent until leaving to complete her master’s degree in Publishing at Kingston University in London, England. There, Felice specialized in Diversity & Inclusion in Publishing, which drove her career-long passion for marginalized voices the world had never heard before. After years of then partnering with major houses as a book editor and ghostwriter, including having edited phenomenal big-name books such as Zerlina Maxwell’s The End of White Politics (Hachette) and Paola Ramos’ Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity (Vintage), among so many others, she is now back to her roots as a literary agent with a growing list of bold titles. In addition to being an agent and editor, Felice is also a writer represented by Amanda Orozco at Transatlantic Agency.
AMBER WHEELER BACON is a writer, editor, teacher and literacy coach. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is on the board of directors of the South Carolina Writers Association. Her work has appeared in Five Points, Post Road, New Ohio Review, Crazyhorse and Witness. You can find her writing online at Ploughshares, CRAFT, Fiction Writer’s Review and New South. She is the recipient of the 2018 Breakout 8 Writers Prize sponsored by The Author’s Guild and a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. Her story collection, We Were Vessels, was one of five finalists for the 2020 Hub City Press’s C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize and a finalist for Moon City Press’s 2020 Short Fiction Award. She is Assistant Fiction Editor at Four Way Review and teaches English at Coastal Carolina University. She is represented by Amy Bishop at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.
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