Another report from Bogona on the ris of realism and the fall of dystopia:
I’ve been coming [to Bologna] for 12 to 15 years, and I’ve never had as many European publishers asking for middle-grade,” said Steven Chudney of the Chudney Agency. In terms of realistic YA fiction, one of Chudney’s major titles is Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay, which HarperCollins will publish in 2015; German rights to the project have sold.
“There will be room again in the market for realistic YA, especially with the Fault in Our Stars and If It Stay movies coming out later this year,” said agent Brenda Bowen of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She added that she’s “pleased” with the picture book market, too. “We’re selling foreign rights, and people are still looking for them.”
Alexander Slater, foreign rights agent at Trident Media Group, also felt that “contemporary realism” is having a moment, with “international publishers moving away from fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal.” On the middle-grade side, Trident represents R.J. Palacio, and Slater said that the Wonder phenomenon continues to grow (rights have sold in 40 territories). Thus, he said there had been “definite interest” in the author’s follow-up book, 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Brown’s Book of Precepts, which is due out from Random House in late August.
And David Fickling has been there with his own special agenda:
British publisher David Fickling, whose company went independent last year, was back in Bologna after a three-year absence, with a backpack filled with books. “I’ve got five fantastic novels I’m shopping,” he said. He wants to publish for all age ranges, and one category he’s excited about publishing is nonfiction: “I want to bring the effort that people put into picture books into nonfiction,” he said.