Editors O to S
All the information contained in this list can be found online, and I therefore presume that it can be made public. Please use this list responsibly. Think very carefully before sending manuscripts to a listed editor. Not all of them are open to unsolicited manuscripts. Check another source, such as CWIM and the publisher’s guidelines, for additional information about how and if to contact each person.
LIZ SZABLA is editor-in-chief of Feiwel and Friends, a children's imprint at Macmillan that launched in 2006 with the New York Times bestseller, On the Night You Were Born. From 1998 – 2006 she was editorial director of Scholastic Press, and worked with both new and established talent, including Ann M. Martin, Walter Dean Myers, Karen Hesse, Suzanne Collins, and Alice Hoffman, and oversaw the publication of bestselling titles including Aquamarine, The Underland Chronicles, Chasing Vermeer, The Grapes of Math, and The Three Questions.
**KARI SUTHERLAND, Assistant Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books. Kari focuses primarily on commercial teen fiction—both paranormal and realistic. She co-edited Firelight by Sophie Jordan, and was part of the editorial team for the bestselling Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. She is currently editing several supernatural projects as well as the next suspenseful mystery series from Sara Shepard, The Lying Game. She is not acquiring PBs or MG fiction, but is interested in YA novels with fresh voices, likeable characters, and compelling plots. While she is not adverse to nonfiction or historical fiction, it would need to have an exciting hook that will appeal to teens and an engaging narrative style.
ERICA SUSSMAN-Senior Editor, HarperCollins. She acquires and edits middle grade (tween) and teen novels. She is the editor of the #1 bestselling Warriors series by Erin Hunter, and works with Aprilynne Pike, the nationally bestselling author of Wings. She also edits books by Joseph Bruchac, Jill Kargman, and Carrie Karasyov, and series including Magic Pony Carousel by Poppy Shire and My Sister the Vampire by Sienna Mercer. She is also closely involved with the Little House program. Erica is interested in Middle Grade (especially girl focused,) Young Adult, paranormal, fantasy, and edgy books. She likes strong protagonists, heartfelt narratives, humorous and realistic dialogue.
KATE SULLIVAN–editor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and the commercial young women’s series imprint Poppy. Currently for Little, Brown, Kate edits the Darren Shan program and Ash by Malinda Lo, an ALA William C Morris YA Debut Award finalist. At Poppy, some of Kate’s projects include New York Times bestselling The A-List series, Jen Calonita’s stand alones and Secrets of My Hollywood Life series, and, The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by debut teenaged author Kody Keplinger. She is primarily looking for novels that make her laugh aloud on a crowded subway, show a cynical or quirky worldview, are smart without being boring, or have strong, defiant characters (who may or may not have a penchant for monstrous behavior).
TESSA STRICKLAND, Editor-in-chief, Barefoot Books. Barefoot Books has a very small young fiction program and its emphasis is on original stories of no more than twenty-thousand words which offer children a window into different ways of life. They also work a lot with rhyming picture books for under fives and with stories of between 1,500 and 2,000 words that carry a simple message without moralizing. Barefoot offers a large collection of stories from around the world.
JULIE STRAUSS-GABEL is Associate Editorial Director at Dutton Children's Books. Julie acquires MG and YA and is drawn to strong, literary voices with commercial appeal. She is probably not the best fit for nonfiction, high fantasy, or historical. Some of Julie's books include The Milkman and Market Day by Carol Cordsen,Easy Street, by Rita Gray, Printz Medalist Looking for Alaska, and Printz Honor Book An Abundance of Katherines, John Green, Edgar Award Winner Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready, Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus; Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen and The Fashion Disaster that Changed My Life, by Kauren Myracle, and Safe by Susan Shaw.
KIFFIN STEURER is an Assistant Editor at Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA Creative Writing program, Kiffin has been an editor with Philomel Books since 2006. He edits and assists senior editors with picture books, and middle-grade and YA novels. He has contributed to such books as the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, the Accidental Adventure series by C. Alexander London, and the novels of Mike Lupica, Anthony Horowitz, and T. A. Barron. He is the lead editor on the superhero series Super Human by Michael Carroll and the picture book Pirates Don’t Take Baths and the upcoming The World’s Greatest Lion. While open to books for all ages, he is interested in contemporary literary as well as action/adventure novels with strong protagonists and a unique voice—all the better if they have boy appeal. He is also looking for graphic novels and picture books with humor and heart. Generally speaking, Kiffin is probably not the best match for high fantasy or sci-fi.
ANDREA SPOONER is Editorial Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She acquires and edits picture books and fiction for children and young adults as well as select nonfiction titles. She has worked with such authors as Patrick Carman, Gail Giles, Robie Harris, Alice Hoffman, Johanna Hurwitz, James Patterson, and Stephenie Meyer, as well as artists like Molly Bang, Marc Brown, Holly Hobbie, Patrick McDonnell, and Jerry Pinkney. Her current areas of acquisitions interest include a full range of picture book, middle grade, and young adult fiction; boy appeal, literary fiction, mystery, fantastical/supernatural tales, historical fiction, humor, and inspirational/gently religious themes. She is particularly keen on growing a fuller range of hardcover middle-grade fiction. Sample edited projects: The MAXIMUM RIDE series and THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X by James Patterson; ATHERTON series by Patrick Carman; WHAT HAPPENED TO CASS MCBRIDE by Gail Giles; THE DAY LEO SAID I HATE YOU! By Robie Harris and Molly Bang; DEAR FISH by Chris Gall; HUG TIME by Patrick McDonnell.
KELLY SMITH is nonfiction editor at Scholastic Press. While at Sterling Publishing. Kelly edited a varied list of books—everything from easy readers to sticker books, activity books, and board books. She edited the Sterling Biographies series and co-edited the Mysteries Unwrapped series. She previously was interested in nonfiction projects that relate to natural history topics. Kelly is fascinated by giant squids.
NANCY SISCOE, Senior Executive Editor, Knopf. She prefers strong stories over concept books. She’s looking for stories of ‘high literary quality,’ and for an author they can take on and work with over a long term. She looks for a main character who is multi-faceted, has an unusual perspective, has had a difficult past, faces a difficult future, and doesn’t give up easily. She has a hard time finding good middle grade fiction, something you can hand to a pre-teen, in which the content is not too mature. She gave SHREDDER MAN as an example of a "young middle grade for ages 7-10." Nancy said she loves mysteries, and a snappy pace. "I love story!" She said that 60% of her stuff comes through agents. She strongly advocates getting an agent. Nancy is the editor of Scat, by Carl Hiaasen, Surface Tension: A Novel in Four Summers by Brent Runyon, the Sammy Keyes mysteries by Wendelin Van Draanen, A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann, London Calling by Edward Bloor, One Naked Baby by Maggie Smith and Runemarks by Joanne Harris.
REKA SIMONSEN--Executive Editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (as of August, 2010). Titles she has edited include The Surrender Tree by Margarita Engle, The Wager by Donna Jo Napoli (upcoming),The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio by Lloyd Alexander, The Hollow Kingdom by Clare Dunkle, Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell, Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman with illustrations by Julie Paschkis,The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale, and the Melvin Beederman series by Greg Trine. Ms. Simonson has edited coffee table books, assisted with college textbooks, and worked at New York's premier children's bookstore, Books of Wonder. In 2004, she said, "...my favorite things to work on are what I call upper middle-grade novels - books for well-read, bright kids that are 11-13 or so but are not necessarily interested in reading about YA topics."
SARAH SHUMWAY is senior editor at Katherine Tegen Books. Sarah’s list includes both fiction and non-fiction for the full range of ages, but she is most interested in contemporary, humorous young adult and upper-middle grade fiction, the occasional historical or inspirational fiction, and her favorite picture book manuscripts are always character-driven. She fills out an acquisition memo for potential books, which include: 1. Information- title, author, category, ages + grades, pages, format etc. 2. Sales Handle- A tag line that can be used to excite the customer to buy your book. One sentence-your pitch. 3. Book Description- A short summary of the book's plot and appeal. Ending included. 4. Selling Points- Popularity of genre (who is the audience?), hooks, strengths of the manuscript, will the audience identify with the work and how? Lastly, any previous author history that would help promote the book. 5. Competition and comparison- Is this book like any other recent and successful books. 6. Author's profile 7. Author's previous writing history. Sarah likes stories involving 1st love, angst and serious choices.
**REBECCA SHORT, Editorial Assistant, Random House Children’s Books. Rebecca attended the Columbia Publishing Course in 2008 and began working at Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, immediately afterward. Ms. Short works on MG and YA novels. She has co-edited the upcoming Black Radishes, a suspenseful and poignant MG story of a boy growing up in France during World War II, which will come out in November 2010. She particularly enjoys books with a classic feel and likes MG adventure stories, mysteries, and literary YA. But if the writing is good, she will read anything.
SARAH SEVIER, Editor, HarperCollins. MG and teen fiction. Looking for contemporary fiction. Quirky and offbeat stories hold a particular appeal as well as those with boy appeal. Sarah is looking for YA fiction with fun quirky characters. A good manuscript should show and not tell. Sarah enjoys writing that doesn’t just tell us that it’s a hot summer day, but makes us feel the sweat trickling down the character’s neck. .The story arc of a manuscript is important: the story has to have a beginning, middle and end.
GINEE SEO, publishing director, Chronicle. Chronicle is adding in some middle grade and YA fiction, and Ms. Seo is looking to boost that and additionally will add narrative nonfiction and even comics to the list. When she was at Atheneum she was moving toward visual storytelling.
EMILY SEIFE, Associate Editor, Scholastic. She works mainly on middle grade fiction of all kinds. Previously at Schartz & Wade, Emily is looking to acquire PBs, MG fiction, and literary YA. But her primary interest is middle grade. She is the editor of The Puzzle Box by McCormick Templeman, and has worked on books by Anne Isaacs, Polly Horvath, Jill McElmurry, Marisabina Russo, and others. Emily is very interested in well-written, character-driven PBs, and is not looking for science fiction of fantasy.
YOLANDA SCOTT (LEROY) is Editorial Director at Charlesbridge. Charlesbridge accepts unsolicited manuscripts and continues to maintain its partnership with the Global Fund for Children to publish books with a global social consciousness. Most Charlesbridge books are nonfiction, and about 90% are picture books, but they did start expanding into young reader, early chapter, and middle grade books in 2004. Right now, Yolanda is looking for quality, stand-alone nonfiction, which comprises about 70% of their list. Also, manuscripts with a social conscious or global perspective and books about the arts. Sales for picture books split evenly between retail and the school and library market.
EMILY SCHULTZ is an editor at Disney-Hyperion. She is the editor for Alexa Martin Pruit's novel due out in 2010 and Megan Frazer's debut Secrets of Truth & Beauty (July 2009). PB, MG, and YA. Loves humor. Avoids gritty, serious or ghostly stories.
JANET SCHULMAN has worked in children's book publishing for nearly forty years and is currently Editor-at-Large and Division Vice President of Random House and Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. She is the author of many books for children and is the editor of The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury: Celebrated Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud. Ms. Schulman has edited Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, Traction Man is Here! By Mini Grey, and The Road To Oz by Kathleen Krull/Kevin Hawkes. She was also Dr. Seuss's editor and colleague at Random House.
LINDSAY SCHLEGEL (WINGET) is an Editorial Assistant at Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Lindsay works on Atheneum’s spread of literary fiction, ranging from PBs, to MG, to YA. She also works on the editorial team for Margaret K. McElderry Books authors Ellen Hopkins, Alan Katz, and Karma Wilson. Lindsay is interested in younger picture books with spare texts and contemporary literary fiction, particularly middle grade with a strong voice. She is not the best match for high fantasy.
JULIE SCHEINA, Little, Brown, Senior Editor. She’s looking to acquire quirky character driven picture books, commercial and literary fiction. Likes unique fairy tale retellings. Also historical fiction, mystery, adventure, supernatural, and narratives with rural perspectives. Has worked with Mary Ann Hoberman and Stephanie Meyer. Scheina’s recent acquisitions include J, a novel about a transgender teen by Chris Beam and Beautiful Creatures, a paranormal romance by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
SARA SARGENT, Associate Editor, Balzer & Bray. Sara is looking to acquire YA and middle-grade novels with romantic, dystopian, and coming-of-age themes; she is admittedly partial to nerdy protagonists and stories about summer camp. Good books should have a mix of action, dialogue, and what’s in the character’s head. Middle grade books should include family, friends, and school (all three things). Sara couldn’t think of a single author on their list who came through the slush pile. The reason the picture book market is down is because publishers don’t know what a successful picture book will be. The market is so fickle they really have no idea what will work and sell. Editors are sick of paranormal and vampire books! This is mostly because the books that they see are lacking in “World Building.” A successful book has a lot to do with really fleshing out your world. The world must be vivid with clear rules. Create your own world! Make it rich. Balzer and Bray does all types of kids books from PB to YA. However, Harper Teen may be better for Teen submissions. Balzer and Bray does look for more literary books and less commercial books, while Harper Teen is more commercial.
JILL SANTOPOLO, Philomel. Jill is currently looking for empowering books with strong writing, strong characters and strong concepts—mostly for middle graders and mostly for a girl audience. She looks for three main things when she’s scanning submissions. The first and most important is good, solid writing. The second is a really compelling character and voice. And the third is a story that's new, different, and surprising. She’s a big fan of quirky middle grade novels and YA manuscripts with strong female protagonists. One of the things that she thinks the books she writes and the books she edits have in common is a sense of empowerment. She loves it when readers can leave novels feeling stronger. A good beginning is critical. She is mostly looking for novels with high concept or high literary merit for middle grade girls. She edits a broad spectrum of books—everything from funny picture books to novels for teenagers (but, probably, mostly middle grade). She’s edited books by edited books by Peter Abrahams, T.A. Barron, Felicia Bond, Andrea Cremer, Olivier Dunrea, Lisa Graff, Mary Lindsey, C. Alexander London, John Madormo, Jane Manning, Erin E. Moulton, Jennifer Plecas, Shawn K. Stout, and Jane Yolen.
LISA ANN SANDELL, Executive Editor, Scholastic. Lisa acquires and edits middle grade and young adult hardcover novels, and she manages the Dear America series. Looks for an amazing, engaging voice, or a compelling plot line, or characters she falls in love with. She needs to have some kind of personal connection to it. She sees lots of paranormal stories for YA–books with ghosts, witches, and vampires. She is the editor of Does My Head Look Big in This?, a novel introducing readers to the contemporary Muslim-teen living in Western society.
LEILA SALES is associate editor at Viking Children’s Books, where she edits literary fiction and nonfiction for children of all ages. She is particularly drawn to clever, thought-provoking fiction with strong voices and unique characters. Some of her upcoming projects include The Creature from the Seventh Grade, by Bob Balaban, a humorous middle-grade series about a boy who, instead of going through puberty, spontaneously morphs into a giant sea creature; Red Thread Sisters, a powerful middle-grade debut of friendship and promises; and Until It Hurts to Stop, a new YA novel by Jennifer Hubbard, author of a THE SECRET YEAR.
JEFFREY SALANE is a Senior Editor at Cartwheel/Scholastic. He focuses on novelty books and picture books. Some of his projects include the bestselling You Are My Sunshine illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church, Rock & Roll: Colors by Salina Yoon, the How Do Dinosaurs Novelty Series by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, and Silly Doggy, a petperfect picture book by Adam Stower.
STEPHEN ROXBURGH acquired his first hardcover children's book (Lassie Come Home) at the age of ten by winning a bet that he rigged. It was the first crime he committed for a good book, but not the last. Roxburgh is the founder of namelos, an e-book publishing company, which also offers editing, design and marketing support for writers and artists. He has been involved professionally with children's books and publishing for more than thirty-five years, first as an academic, then as senior vice president and publisher of Books for Young Readers at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and as president and publisher of Front Street, a small, independent press which he founded, deliberately, on April Fool's Day of 1994. In 2004 Front Street was acquired by Boyds Mills Press, where Stephen was publisher until September 2008.
SHAUNA ROSSANO (FAY) is an Associate Editor at G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. Shauna works on everything from PBs to YA novels. She has edited the PB book, Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby, and has worked on Jack Higgins’ YA action series written with Justin Richards, as well as Jan Bret’s Snowy Treasury, and Goodnight Goon and Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex. While open to books for all ages, she is particularly interested in MG fiction with a strong narrative voice, historical fiction, and is a sucker for a romantic ending. She is also interested in young funny, simple picture book texts and is open to rhyme.
MARY RODGERS, Editor-in-Chief, Lerner Publications, has been in children's book publishing for nearly 25 years. In that time, she has edited dozens of books, both fiction and nonfiction, for young children to young adults. Since 1998, she has been editor in chief of Lerner Publishing Group, which houses five imprints: Twenty-First Century Books (middle and high school nonfiction), Lerner Publications (elementary nonfiction), Carolrhoda Books (picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction), Millbrook Press (artwork-driven nonfiction), and Graphic Universe (fiction and nonfiction graphic novels).
ANICA RISSI, Editor, Katherine Tegen Books. Anica acquires commercial, high-concept, and literary fiction that appeals directly to teen readers. She looks for quirky humor, smart writing, compelling storytelling, and characters that she can’t get out of her head. Anica especially enjoys nurturing and building the careers of debut novelists. Her acquisitions include The Hollow by Jessica Verday, What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook, Crash Into Me by Albert Borris, Pure by Terra Elan McVoy, Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick, Beautiful by Amy Reed, Swoon by Nina Malkin, and a new YA trilogy from Orson Scott Card. A Maine native and a graduate of Yale University, Anica now bakes, sleeps, and flosses in Brooklyn, New York.
RUTA RIMAS is an Associate Editor at Athenuem/McElderry. Recently, as an editor at Balzer and Bray, she acquired across the spectrum of children’s literature--picture books, middle grade, and YA (though she did tend to shy away from chapter books, which are not her style). Her tastes range from punchy/snarky (á la Lemony Snicket) to thriller sci-fi (Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins) to perfectly poignant (Jerry Spinelli) and ridiculously goofy (Mo Willems). She likes fresh, funky, different. Ideally a nice blend of commercial and literary. If you have an MG or YA about a cat or doughnuts, you might be in!
ANN RIDER, Executive Editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Ann Rider publishes only 12-15 picture books a year, leaving her with the unpleasant task of rejecting 98 percent of the submissions she receives. Partial to books that celebrate nature, she has edited Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin with illustrations by Mary Azarian; Grandmother Winter by Phyllis Root, with art by Beth Krommes; and Song of the Water Boatman by Joyce Sidman, with art by Beckie Prange. She also was the editor of Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh; Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez; Runner by Carl Deuker; The Troll With No Heart in His Body by Lise Lunge-Larsen, with art by Betsy Bowen; The Klipfish Code by Mary Casanova; and Carmine by Melissa Sweet.
**EMILIA RHODES, Assistant Editor, Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse. Emilia works on commercial YA fiction at Simon Pulse. She has edited NY Times bestsellers Christopher Pike (Thirst and Remember Me) and Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel and Dark Secrets), as well as Dia Reeves, Kelly Keaton, Jason Myers, and Kate Kingsley. Emilia is drawn to dark and twisted stories, both in the paranormal world, and set in reality. She also can’t resist a good romance, and loves new and different voices.
KRISTIN DALY RENS–senior editor, Balzer and Bray. Kristin is looking for picture books, middle grade novels, and YA that ride the line between literary and commercial: Her ideal book is one that has a great hook that will make it stand out in the market AND has wonderful writing, and also has something fresh to say. If a picture book makes her laugh out loud, she's sold! But she's also looking for YA with a fresh narrative voice and strong female characters. Doesn't matter if it's fantasy or contemporary realistic—she likes both—but if it features a kick-ass girl protagonist with a memorable voice, she's in. She really, really doesn't like it when people put "e"s in either her first or last name. Kristin has worked with Michael Bond, Valeri Gorbachev, Charles Santore, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jack Prelutsky, and Barbara McClintock. She has also worked with Sudipta Bardhan, on Pirate Princess and Hampire!; Audrey Vernick, on the biography She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story and the humorous picture books Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? and Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums; also with Diana Peterfreund, on the YA unicorn hunter fantasy Rampant and its upcoming sequel, Ascendant; and debut author Crystal Allen, on the middle-grade novel How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy. She is very selective with non-fiction and historical novels, but does do some.
JENNIFER REES, Senior Editor at Scholastic Press in New York. She acquires and edits fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade and YA novels. A sampling of the projects she’s edited include Looking for Miza by Craig Hatkoff, Jibberwillies at Night by Rachel Vail and Yumi Heo, Chicken and Cat Clean Up by Sara Varon, Sunny Holiday by Coleen Murtagh Paratore, 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass, Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener’s Bones by Brandon Sanderson, Purge by Sarah Darer Littman, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. She likes stories that keep her guessing — in a good way. Stories that are out of the box — surprise, storyline, blended genres, etc. Risky writing. Write the story that keeps you awake at night. Make your writing sing. NOT flowery, but something you can’t put down. Professional packages. She suggests you workshop your cover and query letters, too. She wants manuscripts that are a good match for her and for Scholastic — no blind submissions. Satisfy your inner child and it will satisfy her inner child. Write a love letter to yourself as a child. Query letters should read like flap copy or an elevator pitch. They should make her excited to read the entire manuscript. Pitch a stand alone book, not a series. If the first does well, you can talk series.
ABBY RANGER-senior editor, Harper's Children. PB, MG, and YA. Abby works on a broad range of genres and formats, from picture books through middle grade and young adult fiction. At Hyperion, she acquired original and accessible picture books, as well as chapter books and novels with distinctive voices and broad commercial appeal. She looks for characters that steal hearts, strong emotion conveyed with a light touch, fresh perspectives, and riveting storytelling –- in other words, writing that makes her cry, gasp, or laugh out loud. MG with quirky, winsome characters and elements of mystery and adventure.
ALYSSA PUSEY, editor at Charlesbridge. She is always on the lookout for strong picture books, early readers, and middle grade chapter books. Most intriguing are nonfiction books with a unique approach and voice. Many topics interest her. Recent acquisitions include books on spiders, mummies, illuminated manuscripts, George Washington, and black holes.
BETH POTTER, Associate Editor, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Books for Young Readers. Beth Potter edits children's books for all ages, from picture books to young adult novels. She looks for emotionally resonant, smart, well-crafted YA and MG projects that bridge the commercial and literary worlds by combining stellar writing with an irresistible hook. A few items on her acquisition wish-list are: a really gripping YA murder mystery, a project involving food or cooking or restaurants, and a gorgeously-imagined fairy-tale retelling. On the picture book side of things, she's looking for simple, fun, and funny.
NEAL PORTER, Editorial Director of Neal Porter Books at Roaring Brook Press. Many of the books he publishes are award winners. About 60 percent are agented; 20 percent are by authors or artists whom he admires who don't have an agent (that usually involves a phone call or query on his part), and the rest have been referred by people he already publishes. Books he's edited include: Gathering Sparks by Howard Schwartz, The Last Train by Gordon Titcomb, and There's a Princess in the Palace by Z.B. and R.W. Alley. He’s also worked with Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Yuyi Morales, Charles R. Smith and Shane Evans, and K.A. Holt (Brains For Lunch).
LYNNE POLVINO, editor, Clarion Books. Lynne Polvino started working at Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Company, about eight years ago as an administrative assistant. She has worked with many highly respected authors, including Marc Aronson, Eileen Christelow, Karen Cushman, Russell Freedman, Jim Murphy, Katherine Paterson, and Linda Sue Park. Her projects range from picture books and poetry to fiction and nonfiction, for infants through grade twelve. She is very interested in acquiring young adult novels. She describes the market for picture books as “challenging” and said a PB manuscript would have to be really special in order to make it through acquisitions. Two books she’s excited about are: Two at the Zoo by Danna Smith and When It’s Six O’Clock in San Francisco by Cynthia Jaynes Omololu..
ANNETTE POLLART is an Assistant Editor at Simon pulse, Simon and Schuster. Annette acquires contemporary, commercial teen fiction and the occasional nonfiction title. Working with and editing paranormal romance writers like NYT bestselling author L.J. Smith and Jeri Smith-Ready, she is always interested in reading manuscripts in that genre that have inventive hooks and distinctive voices. Annette also edits the Once Upon a Time line, a series of novel-length retold fairy tales. She is interested in books based in—or out—of reality with complicated, engaging protagonists. Make her laugh—mesmerize her with your awesome manuscript! (No high fantasy please.)
CYNTHIA PLATT – editor Houghton Mifflin is a former teacher, and the author of several children’s books including: A Little Bit of Love, Panda-Monium, Curious George Goes Bowling, and Curious George and the Pizza Party.
STEPHANIE PITTS – is an Assistant Editor at Schwartz & Wade Books. She works mostly on picture books and middle grade novels including SOPHIE’S SQUASH by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf—which was published by S&W in August 2013 to four starred reviews. Stephanie is also the editor of a forthcoming middle grade British novel, MY BROTHER’S SHADOW by Tom Avery, and a picture book tall tale tentatively titled JACKET MCCABE AND THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH by Lucy Rozier. She’s always on the look out for highly original picture book manuscripts, particularly smart humorous titles and picture book biographies. She is also interested in character-driven middle grade novels with a strong voice, and non-traditional non-fiction for young readers. She is not a good match for high fantasy.
KRISTEN PETTIT is executive editor at HarperCollins. Previously she was at Razorbill, where she acquired Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Influence by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen; before that she worked at Parachute Press.
JOY PESKIN JOY is the Editorial Director of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. At Viking, Ms. Peskin edited the New York Times bestseller Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, After by Amy Efaw (winner of the Borders Original Voices Award), and Rikers High by Paul Volponi. Previously, she was an editor at Scholastic. In addition, Joy established and taught a therapeutic writing program at Streetwork, a drop-in center for homeless teenagers. She has also taught memoir and other forms of writing at Bayview Women’s Correctional Facility in New York City.
NANCY PAULSEN – President and publisher of Nancy Paulson Books. Her list consists of half picture books and half fiction. She’s especially interested in acquiring more middle grade fiction. “I am fortunate that I work for a company with a lot of imprints and plenty of them are on-point with trends (and hopefully leading some of them!) I am looking for the kind of books that I hope will backlist. I want picture books that are eye-opening and beautiful; novels with memorable characters who have hope in their lives. I think the best thing a new writer can do is read a lot to see what distinguishes great writing; and stay curious and open to the wonder of daily life.” Authors and illustrators she works with include Tomie dePaola, David Ezra Stein, and Jacqueline Woodson.
CHRISTY OTTAVIANO–Henry Holt. Christy Ottaviano Books publishes approximately 20 books per year ranging from preschool picture books to middle-grade and young adult fiction, as well as some nonfiction. Of particular interest--picture books: humor; curriculum-focused; books that explore childhood milestones and feelings; nature; history. Middle-grade and young adult fiction: adventure; mystery; urban fantasy; coming of age; historical; commercial and edgy YA fiction. Books Ms. Ottaviano has edited include: Girl, Stolen by April Henry, Eggs Over Evie by Alison Jackson, and My Life As A Book by Janet Tashjian. Submission policy: agents only and by author/illustrator referral.
KRISTIN OSTBY is senior editor at Simon and Schuster. Previously she was an editor at Albert Whitman and before that an editor with the Penguin Young Readers Group working on the Grosset & Dunlap/Price Stern Sloan imprints; she was the editor of Mad Libs for three years, editing more than 30 Mad Libs titles. Her focus is on middle grade fiction, especially for boys, along with picture book projects.
MOLLY O'NEILL--Assistant Editor, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins – acquires everything from picture books through YA, but right now, most of all, she’s looking for middle grade--a vivid voice and inventive storytelling are the thing she’s hoping for every time she opens up a manuscript. In YA, she’s a sucker for a good romance, and for stories about connectivity and the choices that we make and the way they trickle down to affect others--and the person we ultimately become, too. Other sweet spots: ballet/theatre/other artsy, backstage stories; a strong setting and a sense of place that shapes a story; and her inner 10-year-old reader wants her to tell you, "Orphans! Anything with orphans!" Books published in 2011 include: A Dog’s Way Home by Bobbie Pyron; Divergent by
Veronica Roth; and A Christmas Goodnight by Nola Buck & illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright.
CATHERINE ONDER–Senior Editor, Disney-Hyperion. Catherine focuses on teen and tween novels and also edits some picture books. Authors she works with include Geraldine McCaughrean, Jenny Valentine, Georgia Byng, Allan Stratton, Lynn Messina, Eric Carle, Robert Sabuda, and Jane Yolen. She conceived of and edited the first literary monster mash-ups aimed at teens: Little Vampire Women and Romeo & Juliet & Vampires. Catherine was also the editor for The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean, winner of the 2008 Printz Award. Whether funny and light or dark and mysterious, traditional or edgy, she looks for strong narrative and voice, and a clear vision in all manuscripts.
JANINE O'MALLEY-editor, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Looking for smart MG and YA. Books that straddle both the literary and commercial worlds. wants a story to make her laugh or cry. Strong voices. Books she has edited include: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski.