Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Editing Process - Kate Angelella at MWG Conference

Today's forecast for St. Peters, MO: Partly cloudy, high 71 degrees, chance of thunderstorms. Some wicked storms blew through this area last night, mostly to the north and east.

While I have my notebook handy from last month's MWG conference, I thought it would be a good time to share some notes I took during a presentation on "The Process" by Kate Angelella. Kate is an acquiring editor at Alladin, a division of Simon and Schuster. Kate's area of expertise is the 'tween market, ages 9-13, which she calls "an untapped market . . . for readers who have graduated from Nancy Drew but not ready for Gossip Girl."

Here are some of her answers to frequently asked questions:

What should I write?
Don't write into a trend because they change
Write what you want--because when you do, it shows

How do I submit?
Find an agent
S&S does not accept unsolicited manuscripts--must be through an agent or invited by an editor
Know whom you are submitting to--make sure that's what they represent
Know their tastes and what they're looking for (hint--look at acknowledgements in books)

What does she want to see?
Voice must be authentic
The "hook" is critical
The first page is the most important
Complete manuscript (through an agent or by editor's request only)

Other words of advice:
It's all about the author's drive
Have an on-line presence
Be passionate about what you write


  1. Hi Donna--
    Thanks for sharing those tips. I missed that session at the MWG conference. More and more, I am hearing about having an on-line presence, so it must be important to our careers. But it's a lot of work, isn't it?

    Thanks for the great information!
    Margo Dill

  2. I've heard that before, too - don't write into a trend because it'll be passe when you're done with the manuscript (unless you're a really fast writer). Publishers sure make us think those trends are important to write to, though, when they want to grab all the vampire and dog books they can these days.

  3. The book I'm getting ready to send out is in this "untapped" market, but I think there's a reason why it's untapped: it kinda falls between the cracks of picture books and middle grade fiction. It's so hard to find publishers for books geared to 8, 9, and 10 year old readers...thanks for the tips-gives me hope :-) (Of course, now I have to find an agent)

  4. Hi Margo,
    I'm glad you found the comments helpful.
    Having an on-line presence can turn into a lot of work, but I think it's worth it. Already I've made some good friends I would never have known had I not started a blog or opened a Facebook page.

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  6. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for your comments about trends. I guess the best way to be on top of a trend is to create one.

  7. Hi Cathy,
    Thanks for your comment. Good luck with your book and with finding an agent!


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