Saturday, October 27, 2012

On Editors

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.


Marcia said...

I love this idea of gratitude toward editors. We shouldn't go into it with the idea that it's an adversarial relationship, which I think was too common in the industry for a while there.

Mirka Breen said...

Not all professionals are created equal. But the good editors are golden. Stephen Roxburgh edited many MGs of a writing friend, when he headed Front Street. He’s a great editor.
To my mind what makes a great editor is their passion for books, period. This distinguishes the real ones from the bean-counters.
I hope you get to work with your dream editors. All of them.

Anonymous said...

Everyone at Highlights is wonderful!

And even though I have only had one book editor, I would stil list her as a fave: Shari Greenspan at Flashlight Press!

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Molly/Cece said...

Eve Adler, Wayne Barr, Nick Healey, Jill Kalz, Christianne Jones, Shelly Lyons, Sue Thies, a special mention to Patty Gauch from Chautauqua. These are a few of the smart folk I've had the pleasure of working with.

Here is my wish list: Molly O'Neill, Diana Gill, Caitlyn Dlouhy, Wendy McClure, Elizabeth Law. Might as well leap over the moon: David Fickling.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I hope you get to work with those editors you mentioned. I met Andrew Karre at the Western Wa conference. He seemed amazing.

And what a blessing to work with editors, Vijaya. You have so much experience - I'm glad you've delved into the novel-writing world. :D

Vijaya said...

Marcia, that's it exactly! Writers and editors have the same goal -- to make the best book, the best story possible.

Mirka, thanks! Your comment about passion is so true. I still have SR's notes to me.

Donna, agreed about Highlights. I've only rec'd rejections from your editor, but they were very thoughtful.

Molly, I'd say all the folks at Capstone were wonderful to work with. And I heard both Wendy McClure and Elizabeth Law -- yes, dream eds. Patti Gauch is amazing. I still think of some of the things she said. Oh, I hope you will get to work with your DEs. Shoot for the moon!

Amy, thank you. So I missed you and Andrew Karre at the WWA conf. Boo hoo!

Bish Denham said...

A good editor is worth his/her weight in gold.

You won something on my blog, Vijaya! Come check it out.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I don't have any editor experiences to share, but I enjoyed hearing about yours. And now I will have to find out more about that Dear Genius book...

Vijaya said...

So true, Bish. Hey, we shared Mel Boring, didn't we?

I'm rubbing my hands in glee at the book win!

Ruth, you'll love Dear Genius, and I hope one day you get to work with a dream editor of your own.