Meet The Judges: Silvia Molteni

Feb 8, 2023

In our second interview in the series ‘Meet The Judges’ for PFD’s Queer Fiction Prize, we talk to Silvia Molteni, Head of Children’s Books at Peters Fraser + Dunlop.

What makes a standout entry, in your opinion?

A unique and strong voice from the very start; the kind of writing that hooks you in and makes you want to drop everything and keep turning the page. Characters we can root for and outstanding plots. A concise pitch that is straightforward and original, with a clear selling point.

What kind of new writers would you love to find through the prize?

I’d love to find writers that have the potential to have a long-term career in writing children’s books. They don’t have to be working on multiple ideas right now, but it’s the potential I’m looking for; the unputdownable writing and the ability to craft stories that children and young adults will love to read, with a careful eye on representation and diversity.

What are your favourite works of queer fiction?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Every Day by David Levithan, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz on the YA side. Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean in the Middle Grade space. On the adult side: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg, The Hours by Michael Cunningham and Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin.