Have you said "thank you" to your editor recently?
Just this week, I finished a project that made me very appreciative of the good editors I've been blessed to work with. I started out writing for magazines and pretty much took my editors for granted ... until the time I worked with an editor who wasn't so very good. It made me realize how valuable and essential they are in helping me become a better writer, guiding me to say what I mean to say, untangling the messes I get myself into at time. Some of my favorites are ones I've worked with over and over again, like Paula Morrow, Beth Lindstrom, Marileta Robinson, Matthew Broadhurst, Sue Thies, and Mel Boring (RIP). Others I've worked with on only a single project, like Mary Jo Gediman, Sarah Schuette, Marianne Knowles, and others. Every one of them has taught me so much. If you ever get a chance to work with them, think of it as a great gift. Some of them are freelancing, so if you're in need of one, check them out.
Thank you, my dear editors.
Here I am working with one of my dream editors, Stephen Roxburgh, at Chautauqua. He's the only one I've ever met. Others I'd like to work with some day -- Molly O'Neill, Cheryl Klein, Andrew Karre, and Sharyn November.
And here's a book that every children's writer should read: Dear Genius: the Letters of Ursula Nordstrom. Great wit and wisdom.
In the meantime, do you have a favorite editor? Do share.