Sunday, May 10, 2009

Editors Day

On Thursday I received an email from my local SCBWI chapter that Off Campus Writers’ Workshop was hosting an Editors Day about an hour from where I live on Friday. It was only $10, so I scrambled to find a sitter for the next morning.
The editors featured were Wendy McClure from Albert Whitman Publishing (I had just sent a manuscript to her last month, so I primarily went to hear her speak), Sharon Woodhouse from Lake Claremont Press, David Gecic of Puddin’Head Press, and Sarah Lange of The Writer Magazine.
Unfortunately Wendy McClure had gotten her days mixed up and wasn’t present (I was so disappointed!), but I did get some good insights into publishing from the other editors.
Sarah Lange, the Associate Editor of Writer Magazine, gave the following advice about landing assignments at Writer magazine (and other magazines).
Be familiar with the magazine. Read recent issues.
Read Editor’s notes.
Read staff blogs.
Read and follow submission guidelines.
Don’t query on a topic recently done.
Write a compelling query.
-Get idea across quickly.
-Have an intriguing hook.
- State benefits of the article for the reader.
-Give a brief bio and include notable publishing credits
-Offer to send clips of previously published articles
Be willing to revise

Sharon Woodhouse, who happened to be a friend of my sister’s, spoke next. She was very friendly and approachable. Lake Claremont Press publishes nonfiction books about Chicago. She mentioned that out of 500 proposals she receives a year, only 30 are competitive, and they choose about 8 a year to publish. She stated that she receives so many proposals or manuscripts that is not related to what their company publishes. This is obviously a waste of time for the author and the publisher. Remember to do your homework about each publisher when sending out your manuscripts.
Dave Gecic started Puddin’Head Books in 1985. They publish 3-4 poetry books for adults a year. He said that he is looking for active poets that are willing to read their poetry publicly and are active in other journals, magazines, chapbooks. He is looking for collections that are narrative and descriptive, but no haiku collections.

REMNDER: Postage stamps go up today!


PJ Hoover said...

Sounds like a great time! I love conferences and Editor's Days, Etc! They are so much fun!
I'm glad you were able to go.

Solvang Sherrie said...

It's so rare to hear people talk about accepting poetry. What a great find for you!

Lori Degman said...

I'm sorry Wendy wasn't there but it sounds like you got a lot out of it anyway! I thought it sounded interesting but I had to work. Too bad my real job always gets in the way!

Kim Kasch said...

I love these kinds of editor days. Great info at a really good price.

Hope you had a great Mother's Day

Keri Mikulski said...

Great stuff! Glad you enjoyed EDITOR'S DAY and it was so close. :)

C.R. Evers said...

How awesome that you got to go to this!!!! How perfect!

Anita said...

All good info...thanks for sharing. And what fun for you to get out of the house spur-of-the-moment!

adrienne said...

I haven't heard of an Editor's Day around here - it sounds like a great event. Thanks for sharing the info!

Rena said...

Sounds like it was a great day!

Kelly H-Y said...

Thanks so much for sharing the information ... very helpful!!!

sruble said...

Sorry that Wendy didn't make it! It sounds like the rest of the talk was good though. Thanks for sharing.

Danette Haworth said...

Ten bucks! Better than a movie!