Today I'm talking to Commissioning and Managing Editor of Hardie Grant Egmont, Marisa Pintado, will be poised and ready to take your pitches both here on Down Under Wonderings and on my group blog YAtopia on October 15th. Submission window times are at the bottom of this interview.Marisa is looking for YA in any genre and is accepting submissions from any where in the world. It's your chance to skip the slush pile and put your pitch right under the nose of a fantastic editor. There's even better news - there is no limit on how many requests Marisa will make from the contest.
Sharon: What did you want to be when you were young?Marisa: Definitely either a teacher or a journalist or a world-famous scientist or a writer. I feel like my job now as an editor borrows a little from all these professions.
Sharon: How did you get into publishing?Marisa: I got very lucky. I knew that I wanted to be an editor, and also that my chances of finding work were limited without any experience. So I started off as a volunteer proofreader for publications like Voiceworks, and that gave me enough experience to land a job as an editorial assistant/dogsbody at a religious magazines publisher.
I hated that job, except for the proofreading and copyediting bit – it allowed me to start developing my editorial eye and pick up some other technical skills. Then when Hardie Grant Egmont advertised for a junior editor, I had just enough experience to land a job with my now-publisher (and editor extraordinaire) Hilary Rogers. She trained me beautifully from the ground up.Sharon: You wear a couple of hats at the moment with editorial duties and working with festivals. How do you balance your workload?
Marisa: I think every editor struggles sometimes to manage their time and balance their workload. On a typical day you might be working on the structural edit for a seventy-thousand-word manuscript, drafting a ten-page editorial letter, checking endless printer proofs, trying to squeeze the publishing schedule, stalking interesting writers online, worrying about your colleagues’ workloads, proofreading final pages or wondering who the hell stole your hole-puncher – all the while eyeing the ever-growing pile of manuscripts on your desk. Most of the editors I know simply work incredibly hard to make sure everything urgent and important gets done, and try not to let the other stuff slide too long.
Attending writers’ and literary festivals is a really fun and rare privilege, though – a nice break from ‘real’ work. It’s a great opportunity to step back and observe how the children’s publishing world looks on the outside, and review the work that other houses are doing with their authors. And if you crash the schools’ program, it’s also fun to eavesdrop on kids and teenagers and remind yourself of how they experience the world.
Sharon: I know you loved that Family Circle childhood ailment guide when you were young, but what fiction did you enjoy reading?
Marisa: Ha! I loved the What Katy Did books, The Secret Garden and Little Women – although now that I think of it, these books also involved sick children. As a kid, I thought the notion of bed-rest was so romantic. Just imagine all the reading time you’d get! (I was obviously pretty healthy and robust, despite being so silly.)I read up and down a lot, and didn’t feel too restricted by recommended reading ages. I moved between Aussie classics like Seven Little Australians, Playing Beattie Bow, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and Blinky Bill, and modern American series like The Babysitters Club, Animorphs, Sweet Valley High, as well as anything by R.L. Stine and Judy Blume.
Part II of this interview is on YAtopia.
Window submission times for October 15
Submission Window 1
Down Under Wonderings:
New York: 12 am
Submission Window 2
October 15: New York: 8 am London: 1pm Brisbane: 10pm Sydney: 11pm
New York: 8 am
Remember - there will only be 100 entries per blog.
If you want to enter your own pitch to the workshops then this post will tell you all about how to submit your pitch. It's a good idea to do this if you're planning to enter the competition.