What is the name of your publishing house/imprint and what is your official title?
I am an Assistant Editor for Scholastic Paperbacks.
What does a typical day at the job look like for you?
In the morning I like to read kid-lit blogs to see what other people are reading and talking about. After that, I like to break up my day into Big tasks and Little tasks—so I’ll work on editing a manuscript, or reading submissions for a chunk of time and then switch to doing a few less time consuming tasks like writing cover copy, running P&Ls, or concepting cover and interior art.
What sorts of books do you edit, and what are a few of the titles you’ve worked on in the past?I do a little bit of everything at the moment, from early readers to teen. I really enjoy getting to work on a variety of topics and age levels. I manage the early reader arm of Scholastic’s Rainbow Magic publishing program. The next one due out is The Fairy Treasure Hunt, in March. I’ve also edited the middle grade novel Winner Takes All by Jenny Santana, which is part of Scholastic’s Candy Apple line of books. I’m also working on some school based mysteries for next year.
What made you decide to become an editor? What was your career path?I’ve always loved to read, and after a brief flirtation with journalism, I knew I wanted to be in an environment that was all books all the time. I majored in English during undergrad and then got my masters degree in Children’s Literature at Simmons College in Boston. While there, I worked at the fantastic Children’s Book Shop (go visit and buy a book!) and interned at Charlesbridge Publishing. I eventually made the jump to New York and got a job at Scholastic.
What are your favorite aspects of your job? Your least favorite?I love editing a variety of projects. I love my co-workers. I love my favorite purple pen. I love talking about books everyday. I hate Excel. I hate getting behind on submissions.
I know that you work on some books that are generated in-house (i.e., not submitted by outside authors). Can you tell us generally how this works, and what the process is for creating and editing these books?Usually someone in-house will note a particular content area and/or age level gap in the market and decide there’s an opportunity to reach new readers. We’ll then come up with a description for a book or series—it might be anywhere from a paragraph to a few pages. After we’ve discussed and tweaked it in-house, we’ll approach an author/s we think would be a good fit for the topic and reading level. If they are interested, they’ll take our brief idea, make it their own, and expand it into a book outline. After the author and editor discuss the outline and modify it if need-be, the author will proceed to write the whole draft. After the project gets acquired, it gets edited and produced as usual.
What is your favorite middle-grade novel from your childhood?
I loved (and still love) Tuck Everlasting. I remember feeling entirely consumed by Natalie Babbitt’s writing. I also loved Paula Danziger and Babara Park as a middle grader. After my class read Park’s Dump the Chump as a group, I immediately borrowed it from the library so that I could take it home and read my favorite parts out loud to my mom. Yeah, I was that kind of nerd.
The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winner, Elizabeth!