Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kortney Price of Belcastro Agency

Kortney Price is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency.

“I work primarily on children’s books — stories from board book up through young adult. My tastes in stories are pretty broad, but here’s a rundown of what I’m most excited about seeing in my inbox…

“I am committed to building a list that reflects the diversity of our world and so I am passionate about diverse representation in the books I work with. I would love to see a vast array of characters and own voices writers writing them. Because of my experience working with the special needs community, I’m especially excited for books featuring all of those uniquely special brains or bodies that don’t operate like everyone else’s.”

In Nonfiction:

Categories: PB, MG, YA, Graphic Novel

“How to” books for kids such as cooking, art, science, computers, mindfulness, handiness skills, wilderness skills, etc. I’m looking for a unique take on these kinds of books, especially one that evokes the imagination in some way.

Books for girls (or boys!) featuring body image, body changes, lifestyle, stress management/mindfulness or health

Picture books that introduce readers to new concepts such as baking, music, yoga, mindfulness, dance, etc.

In Fiction:

Categories: PB, Early Reader, Chapter Book, MG, YA, Graphic Novel

Board Books:

Simple, engaging, movement type books that introduce young readers to new things such as cooking, musical instruments, animals, etc.

Picture book specifics:

I love picture books that are either emotionally poignant or hilarious. I have a soft spot for unique retellings and holiday stories. Family traditions, love, self-acceptance and empowerment are also my favorites. Some of my favorites growing up were: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Heckedy Peg, Tacky the Penguin, and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.

Early Reader & Chapter Book specifics:

For early reader and chapter books, I am looking for just about anything. Amelia Bedelia was my all time favorite. Magic Tree house-type books are also a favorite. I love history in these stories and would love to see more books geared toward boys in this realm.

Middle Grade specifics:

In middle grade, I’m still more than a little obsessed with finding a wilderness survival story. Show me kid versus nature, whether it be mountains, desert islands, or jungle, I’m dying to find something in this realm. Otherwise I’m looking for super creepy horror, poignant contemporary, historical adventures and troublemakers on the space station type of sci-fi.

Young Adult specifics:

In young adult, I’m looking for the same kind of survival stories as I am in middle grade. Contemporary YA would be either lighthearted romance with a good dose of comedy, or a much more serious contemporary tackling topics that are much heavier such as dealing with trauma.

My MAIN wish in YA is for more horror, magical realism, psychological thriller, genre blending historical… basically all of the stories you avoid reading when home alone. I adore stories with a distinctly gothic feel, hauntings, psychological cat and mouse games, or other dark and twisty elements.

Fun facts about me:

My first ever job was showing cattle at the county fair for a cut of the winnings.
I have volunteered/worked in the special needs community since I was 9 years old. The first thing I taught was swim lessons.

I “played” 9 sports at various times growing up. I was never any good at any of them, but enjoyed dance, swim and track the most. I loved jazz and tap, swam the 400m IM and ran the 400m sprint.

I tell people I’m from Saint Louis, but I’m actually originally from a teeny farm town in Southern Illinois, about an hour’s drive east of the city.

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