Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TBA Monthly Wishlist -- June 2015

It's time again for the Monthly Wishlist!  Here's the ONE project that the TBA agents would love to see in their submission inbox. If you have something that fits with the below, please check out our submission guidelines and send it over. We can't wait to read!

High concept women’s fiction with lots of plot, emotion and heart, like THE LIFE LIST by Lori Nelson Spielman. – Jenny Bent

MG fantasy with an intelligent, contemporary feel, please! – Molly Ker Hawn

Be it YA, MG or Picture Book; contemporary, speculative or historical (I’m open to most genres), I want unique, smart, character-driven projects.  If you’re taking risks with your writing, I want to see it.  Surprise me!  – Susan Hawk

Would love to see a YA contemporary that follows a group of friends in a city during a sudden blackout. Something that happens over a very short period of time (like starting that evening and into the next morning). No contact with family or anyone and no idea what caused it or when it will end. Looking for something funny but poignant, where these kids have their own adventure for the night, and of course, their lives change.  – Beth Phelan

I would love to work on a speculative novel or thriller with supernatural elements, either YA or adult. Think THE ROOK by Daniel O'Malley, THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman, or HALF-RESURRECTION BLUES by Daniel Jose Older. I want to believe in (and be terrified by) magic! – Brooks Sherman

Historical fiction set during a momentous time or centered around the secret love affair of a historical figure. – Louise Fury

A domestic suspense novel with a really strong sense of place like MO Walsh's MY SUNSHINE AWAY. – Victoria Lowes

I’d love to see YA contemporary, with high-stakes romance. – Heather Flaherty

Gemma Cooper is currently closed to queries; she’ll reopen this August.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Meet TBA Authors at ALA!

Going to the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco this week? Be sure to meet the TBA authors who'll be there too:

Saturday, June 27, 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.  
Exhibit Hall, booth 1022
Sheila Grau, author of the popular middlegrade DR. CRITCHLORE'S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS series, is signing books at the Abrams booth and chatting about training minions for evil overlords. Need one? Ask Sheila.


Saturday, June 27, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.    

Exhibit Hall, booth 3001
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock will be at the Random House booth, signing ARCs of her powerful YA debut set in 1970s Alaska, THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES

Saturday, June 27, 3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Moscone Center, room 3009 (W)
Random House Children’s Books Fall 2015 Preview and Debut YA Author Panel, featuring Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.


Monday, June 29, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Exhibit hall, booth 3224
Tricia Stirling, whose haunting YA debut WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED is "uncanny, unexpected, unforgettable" (Kirkus), signs books at Scholastic's booth.

Monday, June 22, 2015

From the Archives: REVISION TIPS AND TRICKS

Revision. Does the word fill you with glee or terror?

My part of revision is to ask questions, point out inconsistencies, cheer for the writer, and ask more questions. It’s one of my favorite parts of being an agent. I love the work that goes into understanding characters, what they want, and how that must shape the plot.  There are as many ways to go about it as there are writers, but I’m lucky to work with a group that consistently amazes me with their ability to dig deeper into a story.  So, I thought I’d ask them how they go about revision – what tips and tricks they use, what keeps them going when they’re stumped, and what they enjoy the most.

Hope this inspires everyone working on a revision right now!


The joy of working with a great editor or agent is that most of the time revision comments are things that really resonate with me. Of course that's not always the case and it's often the comments that I don't agree with that I spend the most time considering. It's easy to just ignore them or go and complain to whoever happens to be nearby (probably why my husband and kids make themselves scarce when I get a revision letter). But I find that digging a bit deeper into the hard-to-swallow comments can really make a difference. I ask myself things like "why can't they see that I've already answered that question?" or "what makes them think that my character would ever do XYZ (of whatever their suggestion might be)." And normally what I find is that I haven't been clear enough in my motivation, or that I've hidden some insightful little nugget at the bottom of a paragraph and that it needs to be brought out more. – Amanda Ashby, Dating the Guy Next Door (Fall 2015), Sophie’s Mixed Up Magic, Demonosity, and more

I think being open to a revision is most important - even though it's a very counterintuitive process.  I feel like I want to fight every note but then once I let go of my resistance, the note often inspires something beautiful or something I never considered before.  The book has a chance to become deeper and I, as the author, have an opportunity to know my characters more fully.   And then after it's done, I can't imagine going back to the way it was! – Dana Middleton, currently revising a middle grade novel for submission this fall

Filling up a blank page to create a first draft is labor, but revision is a blast. It’s my favorite part of a project. I really enjoy getting ideas and feedback for making things better, and then I pretty much incorporate every single suggestion -- even the ones I disagree with -- to see what it does to the work. (When done in concert with an editorial letter, I make it a game called "Let's Pretend She's Right.") From there, I begin to put things into a shape that makes sense to me. At that point, I really discover what matters and even what’s going on in a story. (I also discover that I don't have to pretend that my editor is right. She usually is.) For me, no good writing takes place until the revisions start. With that thought in mind, the first draft becomes a lot easier too. It gives me permission to make a mess now because I know I am going to clean it up later. – Paul Acampora, author of I Kill the Mockingbird, Rachael Spinelli Punched Me in the Face and more

Just like a good manager for any skilled job, I'm rarely looking for solutions beyond suggestion. I'm looking for someone who can tell me "this isn't working" and why. Who can make observations about the broader strokes, the things that make a story exciting: character, scene or arc tension, richness of the storytelling. An editor who can not only tell me what the problem is, but help me understand it, is giving me tools to problem solve and make informed decisions for improving the work. – Christopher Baldwin, author/artist, Little Dee (Spring2015)

I guess the biggest obstacle I have overcome in terms of revision is distinguishing the original inspiration for the novel from believing that what I wrote first is itself the best way of expressing that inspiration. That is, I am no longer afraid to just write new stuff, cut characters, take a weird tangent, change the ending--see what happens. Now I trust that I can rewrite, build new structures, listen to others' thoughts and be the final arbiter of whether the revision is syncing with what I set out to accomplish. – Sarah Lariviere, The Bad Kid (Summer 2016)

What helps me revise: Susan's awesome notes. Oh, you meant once I have the notes ;)
If I don't have any ideas immediately, time spent doing other things - walking my dogs, reading, watching movies, taking a shower (I get a ridiculous amount of ideas in the shower) - is really helpful. So is brainstorming with my critique buddies. – Rachael Allen, 17 First Kisses and The Revenge Playbook, (Summer 2015)

Before I write the first revised word, I spend a LOT of time thinking. The first answer to my problem is almost never the one that ends up getting written. – Lisa Tyre, The Wars of Zollicoffer (Spring 2015)

My mantra: no one can help me revise that which is only in my head, but once the first draft is on a paper I can employ the troops!  Yeah, for me revising is not always solitary.  My process usually involves a lot of brainstorming (by myself and with others), bouncing several drafts of trial and error off of others' heads (ouch!) and marinating.  I've learned not to rush but to let myself enjoy the process.  My best work comes when I'm having fun. The second it isn't fun anymore I stick it in a drawer and work on something else. – Marcie Colleen, currently revising a new project for submission next month

If I'm stuck on a particular character (their motivation for something, making them more 3D), it really helps to highlight that character's sections and read them through all at once, almost like it's a mini-book about that character. – Rachael Allen, 17 First Kisses and The Revenge Playbook, (Summer 2015)

I like to do revisions in long stretches of time - no quick edits for me. This means I have to clear my schedule and find a quiet place free from distractions. My office tempts me to do other things, so I grab my coffee, a blanket and my computer and head out to the screened-in porch. I settle in and refuse to answer emails, phone calls, etc. until I have a few hours under my belt!
I've also been known to use http://anti-social.cc to ensure NOTHING gets my attention other than my novel. – Lisa Tyre, The Wars of Zollicoffer (Spring 2015)

Want to know the crazy change-up/choice that finally got my rough draft of Book Two moving forward more quickly? HAND-WRITING it!! Yes, with a pen, in notebooks. It immediately took care of my seemingly unbreakable urge/compulsion to revise as I went which the computer makes so alluringly easy.  An urge/compulsion which pen and notebook make effectively impossible to indulge in. It made me much more willing to let imperfect/ugly/prosaic lay where it fell with the knowledge that there will be a time for revisions. I recommend this method for anyone struggling with embracing the "rough" in rough draft. – Jen Swann Downey, The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand and Ninja Librarians book 2 (Summer 2015)

For more on these authors' books and upcoming projects, visit them online and on Twitter!

Amanda Ashby, also on Facebook
Dana Middleton on Twitter
Paul Acampora, also on Twitter
Christopher Baldwin on Twitter
Sarah Lariviere
Rachael Allen, also on Twitter
Lisa Tyre, also on Twitter
Marcie Colleen, also on Twitter
Jen Swann Downey, also on Twitter

Friday, June 19, 2015

Deal announcement: subsidiary rights

I'm thrilled to announce the following subsidiary rights deals for our authors:

AG Howard’s NYT bestseller ENSNARED sold in Brazil to Novo Conceito.

Becky Albertalli’s SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA sold in the Netherlands to Blossom Books and in Taiwan to Global.

Lori Nelson Spielman’s SWEET FORGIVENESS sold in Korea to Arumdri Media.

Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT sold in Taiwan to Global.

Francesca Zappia’s MADE YOU UP sold in France Collection R/Laffont, in a pre-empt.

Lynn Weingarten’s SUICIDE NOTES FROM BEAUTIFUL GIRLS sold in Germany to Fischer.

LH Cosway’s HEARTS OF FIRE sold to Amarin in Thailand.

Lori Wilde’s CHRISTMAS AT TWILIGHT sold in Germany to Weltbild.

Lori Roy’s LET ME DIE IN HIS FOOTSTEPS sold in France to La Masque.

Sam Garton's I AM OTTER, OTTER IN SPACE and OTTER GOES TO SCHOOL sold in China to CITIC.

Audio rights to Penny Reid's Elements of Chemistry series, ATTRACTION, HEAT, and CAPTURE, sold to Tantor.

Audio rights to Alwyn Hamilton's REBEL OF THE SANDS sold to Recorded Books in a three book deal, at auction.  

Audio rights to Harriet Hapgood Reuter's SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER sold to Audible.  

Congratulations to them all!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Interview with Regina Castillo, Copy Chief, Dial Books for Young Readers



In our continued focus on revision this month, we reached out to Regina Castillo, the Copy Chief at Dial Books for Young Readers, to get the scoop on all things related to the copyedit, an important part of the revision process, and one that I think many of us don't know much about.  Regina has been at Dial BFYR for over twenty years, so we're in very good hands…Enjoy!
 
I think lots of us don't really understand the difference between an Editor and a Copyeditor.  Can you explain that?
Editors acquire manuscripts and help develop stories. They work very closely with authors to get their manuscripts into great shape. The copyeditor then corrects grammar and spelling, and points out inconsistencies or plot issues. Because the editor and author go through multiple drafts and revisions, a fresh pair of eyes is quite useful!

Copy editors are grammar and usage mavens -- something I aspire to be!  Have you always enjoyed that part of reading and writing?
I have always been sort of a grammar nerd! But I never actually thought of it as a career. It never occurred to me that it was a job I could do, and love. 

How did you become a Copyeditor?  What would you recommend for someone who wants to follow that path now?
I began in college doing freelance proofreading for a small publishing house. Someone interested in getting into copyediting might benefit from taking a course, and also becoming familiar with style guides. There are definitely entertaining grammar books on the market that a person can read before moving on to the drier style manuals.  

I'd love to know about some entertaining grammar books and imagine that our readers will as well.  The Elements of Style, with illustrations by Maira Kalman is one of my favorites.  Which do you particularly like?
Woe Is I and Between You & Me, while not guides like the one Maira Kalman illustrated so brilliantly, are fun, entertaining books that people will learn things from without actually realizing they’re learning. 

What's the best part of your job?  the toughest?
The whole process of producing the books is wonderful—seeing something go from a few sheets of paper to a book in the bookstore is kind of amazing. The toughest part is the headache of deadlines. Sometimes a manuscript is a little late, or art is a little late, and that time has to be made up somewhere. 

What do you think people don't know about copyediting?
A lot of people think it’s simply a matter of reading and finding misspellings. There is a lot more involved than that. Besides also needing a good grasp of grammar, a copyeditor needs to watch out for plot problems, timelines, consistency of characters, etc. Copyeditors also have to be fact checkers.

What's the best way to work with a Copyeditor?
The same as working with anyone else—respect on both sides always makes a working relationship better. And authors shouldn’t take their work being “corrected” personally. Everyone involved is only interested in the final product being the best it can possibly be. 

Can you tell us about a particularly complicated issue that has arisen with a particular book?  Or, a book that you're particularly proud of having worked on?
It always makes me proud when a book that I’ve worked on has gotten excellent reviews and has garnered awards. It makes all the complicated issues that arise from time to time just fade from memory!

Were you a reader as a child?  Can you tell us about a favorite book?
We were all voracious readers as kids in my house. I always thought—and still do—that books are magical. It’s difficult to pick a favorite because there are so many that I love. When I was a child, my favorite book was a version of Thumbelina that had incredible art and an almost 3-D effect on the cover.

Monday, June 15, 2015

INTERNSHIP POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

Once again, we are looking for some readers to join our ranks. Specifically, we are looking for readers of adult fiction. If you are a primarily YA/MG reader, please hold tight... we will be posting about more of those positions quite soon.

The internship is a great way to learn more about an agent’s work and decision-making process. Past interns have been writers, teachers, MFA students, and passionate readers.

You do not need to live in New York—this is a remote internship. We ask for a ten-hours-a-week commitment. Please note that it is unpaid. 


The agency runs a monthly educational chat for all of our interns, led by a different agent/on a different topic each time. (Past and upcoming topics include: How publishers create marketing plans, Do we need literary agents anymore?, Digital and social publishing, Literary scouts: What do they do? What are the entry-level jobs in publishing?we try to make them as useful as we can.) These are optional, and the days/times vary because all the interns have different 'day job' schedules.



Adult Romance

TBA is looking for readers that love romance and all its super sexy subgenres, from contemporary to paranormal to historical and suspense—even young and new adult. Tell us which are your favorites as there are several positions open that require specific interests!


Interested?


1. Send an email to tba.reader@gmail.com and put "romance intern" in the subject line

2. Tell us why you want the internship and something about yourself. Please include a resume if you have one (although it's not necessary). 

3. Include two lists: the last ten romance books you've read and your top ten favorite romance books of all time.

General Fiction Reader 

We also have openings for readers of general fiction! We'd love to find people that love and are familiar with suspense, women's fiction, and historical fiction. If you enjoy works by the following list of authors, you're on the right track:


Tana French
Gillian Flynn
Lori Roy
Louise Penny
Lisa See
Lily King
Sarah Waters
Megan Abbott
Hilary Mantel


Interested?

1. Send an email to tba.reader@gmail.com and put "general reader" in the subject line

2. Tell us why you want the internship and something about yourself. Please include a resume if you have one (although it's not necessary). 

3. Include two lists: the last ten books of general fiction you've read and your top ten favorite books of general fiction of all time.

If you've applied in the past, you're welcome to apply again. We usually get a great many applicants and the application period will close fairly quickly; watch this space for details! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

From the archives: World Building (with Harry Potter Studio Tour Photos)--a post by Gemma

This post was originally from July 2013, and we are re-posting as this month on the blog we are focusing on editing. 
So this blog post isn’t just an excuse to post pictures of my trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, I promise. But I will post some of them, because it is a blog about world-building, and the Harry Potter books are a excellent example of this. 

The Great Hall
Dumbledore's Office





When we talk about world-building, it can be tempting for authors who write contemporary stories to switch off, but world-building isn’t just for fantasy and sci-fi writers. If your book is set on the street you live on, or at your old school, you still need to build a world on the pages of your novel and show it to the reader. He doesn’t know your school or its layout! This means that you need to know everything about your world and what its rules are, even if some of these details don’t appear on the page.
The trick with world-building is not to just give a laundry list of descriptions and overload the reader. I talked in an earlier post about ‘less is more’ – if you give the reader too much information in one scene, they’ll forget everything. Better to give them one key memorable description and then fill in little bits of information over time. 



Chamber of Secrets Door
Portraits




















Like all parts of writing a novel, as much as possible your world should be shown to the reader and not told. Describe how your character interacts with and fits into the world, rather than just being descriptive. Think of the world as a character itself and flesh it out like you would any other.
It might be a good idea to draw a map of your setting, so that you always know that if your character turns left out of English class, she will end up at French class next. Or that she has a shop on the corner of her street. If your book is set during school time, give your characters a timetable, so that when you have scenes happening after lunch on a Friday, you know what class they are in.
J K Rowling had enough of a world built to cover seven very long novels – all with new places to visit and things to learn. She developed her world by adding all the fantastic details like the titles of spell books, the rules of Quidditch, and famous wizards of old on the chocolate frog trading cards. She created Diagon Alley and filled it with shops – even one selling magical sweets (which really do have vomit flavour in them).



Buy your books in Flourish and Blotts
Bertie's Every Flavour Beans (which made me sick)

So, some key advice on world-building:


  • Keep a notebook handy when writing so you can easily refer back to complicated bits in your world (timetables, characters’ ages, dates of birth, locations, maps, etc.)
  • Give your secondary characters a back story (again in a separate notebook). You never know when you’ll need these, and adding in details about someone’s past can really make a 2-D character become a fully fleshed-out 3-D character. Also, this is helpful if you are writing a series, as you may decide you love a secondary character and want to use him more later. Creating the world that your secondary characters live in will develop and inform the world your main character lives in.
  • Give description in small doses so as not to overwhelm your reader. Show key details which will be memorable.
  • If you plan your book as a series, don’t give away all the best bits in the first book! Hold some information back.
  • Think through how the rules of your world work. For example, if your world has no men in it, where do all the babies come from? It’s okay if this is the case, as long as you convincingly explain to the reader how the world works without men.
  • Be aware of the geography of your world. If your main character spends time in different locations, how is she getting between these settings and is she doing this in realistic time? If you have your character meeting someone at 4:00 p.m., can she get there after school? Does she walk? Take the bus? If she takes the bus, does she have money?


Tom Riddle's Grave
Drinking Butterbeer outside Privet Drive (very yummy)


World-building, if done well, means the reader can really see the steps your character takes and picture the setting in his mind. And you never know — if it’s done really well, you might one day see it on the big screen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Share your favorite editorial note - TBA client post

This month on the blog, we are still talking about editing, so we asked a few agency clients to share their favorite editorial notes: 

Katy Cannon

Twitter: @KatyJoCannon

My agent, Gemma, always writes the best comments on my manuscripts. Some are insightful, some helpful, some just a row of question marks that let me know that something is wrong but we might need to talk it out to figure out what it is. Some of my favourite comments are the ones when she gets distracted and accidentally tells me hilarious anecdotes about her own life in the margins, but it probably wouldn’t be appropriate to share those here...

When I was writing Love, Lies and Lemon Pies, more than any other book I’ve ever worked on, Gemma and I sent drafts back and forth between us all the time. There would be hundreds of comments on every document. A lot of them had to do with her very inappropriate crush on my 16 year old bad boy love interest, Mac. Such as:

God I LOVE angry Mac. Can he have the remnants of a black eye somewhere in this also. Love a beat-up hot guy....sorry!

Or, in a scene where he was kneading bread:

LOVE THIS! God, I love Mac and want him to be my boyfriend.....

Or even:

How does Lottie feel now he’s here. Relieved? Breath quickening at the sight of him? (I am – hot mechanic underage boy!)

See? Inappropriate.

Still, as I was looking back through the drafts to pull out those comments, I realised that my all time favourite editorial comment had to be this one:

(Haven’t been writing comments because I’ve been enjoying it so much)

When even my own agent (who had read this book a hundred times by this point) could get lost enough in my world, with my characters and my story, to forget to make comments—even inappropriate ones—I knew I finally had a book that worked. And that felt incredible.

Marcie Colleen
Twitter: @MarcieColleen1

When I first decided to pursue writing, I enrolled in a class at Gotham Writer’s Workshop in New York City. I was terrified to “put myself out there” and share my work with the class, but my teacher, middle grade author Matthew Cody (The Supers of Noble’s Green Trilogy, Will in Scarlet) was so encouraging.

After reading and critiquing several of my stories over the course of the class, Matthew wrote a comment that has never left me.

“This is filled with your trademark wit and sense of absurd joy!” 

To this day I tear up when I read it. It meant so much to me to have someone “get” my work and perfectly describe my own personal style.

That manuscript with Matthew’s comment is filed safely away, tucked just behind my Scholastic check stub for that same story which went on to be my first sale, The Adventure of the Penguinaut.

Robin Stevens

Twitter: @redbreastedbird

My first book, Murder Most Unladylike, was filled with bunbreaks, teas and puddings. When it came to the sequel, Arsenic for Tea, of course I forgot to mention eating at all. My editor, though, saved the day with a typically brilliant editorial note: 'Put more food in this book'. I was delighted to oblige, and now Arsenic for Tea comes complete with macaroons, treacle tarts, buns, biscuits and chocolate creams. Thank goodness for that.

Heidi Schulz

Twitter: @HeidiSchulz

I love being edited.  It is a wondrous thing to see my words through someone else’s practiced eye.  I enjoy comments such as, “Without these additions, makes it sound like her eyes are ticking,”  “Three em-dashes in one sentence is too many,” and the ever wonderful, “LOVE THIS.” However, I think my all time favorite comments came near the end of THE PIRATE CODE: “Totally emotional here,” and, after another round of edits, “Emotional this time through too.” I had cried every time I worked on that chapter. It was a sweet feeling knowing the emotion transferred—and that the scene was made all the better by eliminating one of those em-dashes. 

Julie Hammerle

Twitter: @juliehammerle

Back in college, I fancied myself a screenwriter. Over one winter break, I wrote a script (that will never see the light of day). It was an updated retelling of Twelfth Night, because of course it was. 10 Things I Hate About You had just come out. I sent the script to my boyfriend, who was mostly complimentary, though he kept harping on one stupid line —“Hey, Toby. ¿QuĂ© pasa?

Fast forward a million years, and I’m married to that boyfriend, who is still my first reader. And “Hey, Toby” is now our very effective shorthand for “Change immediately. This is LAME.”

Dana Middleton

Twitter: @DanaKMiddleton

One of my favorite editorial notes came well into the process with (my agent) Susan Hawk. My main character's father is in prison during the span of the book.  And throughout, Avalon James (said main character) talked about him, thought about him but there was no actual interaction between the two of them.

Then Susan made the suggestion: "What if the dad writes her a letter?"  And that's what we did. I loved writing that letter. It made me cry. It gave me insight into their relationship and was a tool to deepen the experience between the characters, writer (me!) and hopefully, the reader. 

It was a great note with a great result and until Susan made that little suggestion, I had no idea it was missing.

Jamie K. Schmidt

Twitter: @Jamiekswrites

I had my hero, Reed, dressed in casual resort wear from the designer Tommy Bahama. Having been on a bunch of cruises, I really liked the look and feel of these shirts.  My editorial note was: "Change this. Only old men wear Tommy Bahama." This made my day. My husband wears Tommy Bahama. So I took great pleasure in letting him know he was an old man. And then I made my doddering Yale professor character wear Tommy Bahama instead as a private joke to him.

Ruth Spiro

Twitter: @RuthSpiro

In 2016, Charlesbridge will publish the first two books in my science series for the very youngest audience, Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering! and Baby Loves Quarks!  My goal in writing these books was to craft a simple, entertaining story that makes these complex concepts accessible by relating them to a toddler’s everyday environment. On a spread that presents the concept of “lift” using the example of a bird in flight, I read this editorial note from my editor, Alyssa Pusey, which literally made me laugh out loud:

“If this discrepancy is intentional due to the relative difficulty of aerospace engineering, that’s fine; such an explanation is, in that case, beyond the scope of the book. But if there’s a very simple way to convey just a little about how lift works - that might be really cool…”

I guess I’m amused by the irony—the full text of the picture book is 124 words! Still, the attention to each and every one of those 124 words is astounding. We’ve even engaged a physicist as an expert reviewer, both for the text and the illustrations. Mem Fox said, “Writing a picture book is like writing War and Peace in haiku.” And writing a picture book about aerospace engineering for babies? As Alyssa Pusey said, “… that might be really cool!”

Megan Frampton

Twitter: @meganf

"too effeminate"

A few years ago, I modeled a hero after my husband—handsome, a snappy dresser, with a sharp wit. I showed the first few chapters to an author friend. Her comment? "The hero is too effeminate, he needs to be much more manly." My husband was quite chagrined when I shared her feedback with him.

Kat Ellis
Twitter: @el_kat

"Quite possibly the hottest YA scene I’ve ever read. JESUS."


I'm lucky to have had fantastic edit notes from my editors and agent, but my favourite came from Molly, my agent. Mason from PURGE is not a sweet boy, and I wanted his first kissing scene to be one that would be totally, unapologetically Mason. So when Molly sent me this comment on it, I punched the sky like Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club.

Some wonderful answers here, I think you'll agree. Feel free you share your favorite editorial note in the comments!