Conference Reflections Continued...
Part 2 The Editors' Panel
August 6, 2014
The Editors' Panel was of special interest to me as I am researching various publishing houses for the submission of my new picture book dummy. Always enjoy these panels! I like to hear actual voices and get a sense of these individuals as real people and the companies they represent.
Lin Oliver moderated this panel of of 7 with the topic "3 + 3: Three Things Your Book Should Include and Three Things your Book Should Avoid."
This is a smattering of the editors' words, phrases and comments...
DO be a smart storyteller. Books need a voice. Be fresh, unexpected, cause goosebumps. Have an original point of view. Is it a boy, girl, how old? Perhaps the beginning should contain seeds of the end, or one could start with dialogue instead of narration. Show, don't tell. Have an interesting structure, a hook, a good middle arc and don't forget the final page turn.
DON'T waste editor's time by sending submissions arbitrarily. All concurred...
There must be a 'fit' with the imprint or editor! Do your research. Page numbers, bottom right. Don't be weird with submission tricks. Don't be boring, non-engaging, voiceless and pedestrian with 10,000 words. Don't teach or be predictable, overwhelming, familiar or humorless.
General publishers advice...Good storytelling comes from personal places. Write your story. Don't trend. Listen to your inner ear. Know your audience. Publishers like authenticity, thoughtfulness, unique elements, competence and confidence. School yourself in children's books. Makes you a better editor of your own work before you send it to them!
Thanks to a great panel for their expert advice and reminders!
More conference reflections to come...
Artist & Writer
Suzy Engelman Block