Bright Highlights from BEA 2017

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Illustration by Jennie Poh 

Readers, exhibitors, and authors alike came in droves to this year’s Book Expo of America. We had a fabulous time bolting from meeting to meeting, spotting trends and Bright Books in the wild, and reconnecting with old industry friends! 

The Javits Center was all abuzz with exciting new literary prospects on the horizon. There’s a great feeling that children’s books are on the rise — publishers and booksellers are excited about their important role as shapers of America’s youth.

And Bright USA showed up to do our part, representing our cast of incredibly talented illustrators. Here are some of the highlights from the show:

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Trade agents Alli Brydon and Anne Moore Armstrong toted around a packet of author/illustrated pitches, which publishers reviewed with enthusiasm, with several projects in the works following Anne and Alli’s stellar presentations

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Our friends at Capstone were big advocates of Bright books. Three of our top titles — Katy Hudson’s Too Many Carrots and the highly anticipated A Long Winter’s Nap and Kelly Canby’s Fuchsia Fierce were featured prominently on their main bookshelf.

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Savannah Guthrie’s signing of Princesses Wear Pants was a major highlight. Everyone wanted to get their copy signed!

Trends Spotted at BEA

In addition to meeting with top-tier publishers, the agents at Bright find that BEA is also an opportunity to observe industry trends on the rise. This year, stories about kindness and diversity owned the exhibition hall. Other trends included interactive novelty and non-novelty books, non-fiction picture books (particularly biographies), stories about the environment, strong female characters, and art styles which don’t look digitally rendered, even if they are. Here are a few examples of a range of art that caught publishers’ eyes:

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Jen Hill

Daniel Duncan
Daniel Duncan

Vivien Mildenberger

Vivien Mildenberger


Tony Neal
Tony Neal


Suzie Mason
Suzie Mason

Mark Chambers
Mark Chambers

Bright Books in the Wild

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All in all, BEA 2017 was not only productive, but also inspiring. With the number of passionate, talented professionals in our industry, it’s hard not to be. As we continue to foster relationships with editors and art directors at top publishing houses, we can only expect our influence in the book industry to grow–and that’s a wonderful feeling. As agents, we see the start of the project, and it was brilliant to see the finished products come to life in the publishers’s hands.

To see more of our BEA highlights, head on over to our Twitter page: @BrightGroup_USA.


If you missed us at the fair, don’t miss out! Get in touch with one of our agents any time.