Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Emerging Editorial Voices Panel…

The last day of the SCBWI conference opened with a great panel of emerging editors, featuring four editors relatively new to the industry—Nancy Consescu of Little, Brown; Amalia Ellison of Abrams; Gretchen Hirsch of HarperCollins; and Namrata Tripathi of Hyperion/Jump at the Sun.

Krista Marino of Random House moderated, and opened by saying that, just as each writer has her own voice, each editor has her own unique voice in terms of what she acquires and how she acquires. Publishing, she said, is an industry based on apprenticeship. Editors start as editorial assistant (honing their Xeroxing and mailing skills), all the while learning from their mentors who pass their philosophies onto them.

Gretchen Hirsch include Allyn Johnston and Liz Van Doren among her mentors, and she currently works under Farrin Jacobs at Harper. She said she’s learned different skills from each of her mentors. She signed up two picture book authors at a recent regional SCBWI conference. She learned from Allyn Johnston that even when you think you’re done working on a book, you might not quite be there. She’s interested in smart teen chick lit, paranormal YA, and offbeat picture books. She said Harper is currently growing their picture book list. Books about dogs are an interest.

Amalia Ellison started as an intern at Scholastic before moving to Random House and now Abrams. She’s been working in publishing for three years and describes her interests as eclectic/commercial. She feels that writers should be really plugged into what kids are into—it’s valuable in abstract ways. She’s just recently completed her fist acquisition which was through an auction. She’s interested in “just something good.”

Namrata Tripathi describes herself as part analytical and part nurturing. She works on picture books through YA fiction and describes her style as eclectic/literary. She learned from Brenda Bowen that “interesting people make interesting editors.” Her interests are varied, including picture books, nonfiction, fiction, and funny, quirky, truthful, and heartbreaking all appeal to her.

Nancy Conescu started working on paperbacks at Penguin then mass market books. Now she’s at Little, Brown working with Andrea Spooner, Liza Baker and Megan Tingley. She favors books that are ultimately somehow hopeful when it comes to fiction, and irreverent when it comes to picture books. She sometimes finds new talent (illustrators) online in places like blogs or She’s interested in a strong chapter book voice, which she says is missing on her list.


Narda said...

I attended part of Amalia Ellison's session. I was sure that I heard that she doesn't like queries or E-mail submissions. And I thought she said that she wanted full manuscripts. Can anyone confirm?

SCBWI said...

Sorry--I don't have that info. I hope someone else can help.