Friday, July 7, 2017

Editor's Panel: Arianne Lewin & Sara Sargent

Arianne Lewin is an Executive Editor at G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She edits picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult fiction.

Rubin asks if management or sales and marking ever say to the editors, we need more diverse voices.
Arianne says that all areas of G.P. Putnam support publishing diverse voices. As editors they are always looking.

On authentic voices and what that means:
For Arianne that means a very particular voice that reflects how different and unique characters are.

On the upsurge of nonfiction books being published:
Publishers want to publish stories about what has actually happened in history, what has actually taken place.

Rubin asks each editor to share a narrative nonfiction title they have edited.
While Arianne has not edited a narrative nonfiction title, the conversation with the other editors makes her excited to possibly find a great one.

Rubin asks about the role of a sensitive reader:
As an editor Arianne doesn't want to put anything out there that is narrow or wrong, so it's important to have a sensitive reader to be sure all is working within the story.

"We are all here to share our knowledge, to help you cultivate success and as you evolve as writers we evolve as editors."

Sara Sargent is an Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children's Books, where she publishes platform-driven fiction and nonfiction in picture books, middle grade, and young adult categories.

Rubin asks Sara if a book would be would be given an extra boost of support if it's a diverse book that might have a more narrow market.
Sara says that they want to support diverse voices and that they also want and need to publish books that are relevant for the particular time and place. Regardless the book needs to be merit publication.

On authentic voices and what that means:
For Sara it's two things: the actual way a voice sounds and at the same time there's a feeling. What does a voice feel like? Is there an emotionality that feels authentic, and does the voice, on a line level, represents that as well.

Rubin ask each editor to share a narrative nonfiction title they have edited.
Sara shares GIRL CODE: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser.

When thinking about writing narrative nonfiction, Sara says to ask yourself: What's an interesting story that's relevant today?

Rubin asks about the role of a sensitive reader:
Sara says that there is an effort as a community to bring more of diverse experiences/people/abilities stories into publishing. A challenging element is that there are writers who want to tell these stories and yet haven't lived the actual experience. Publishers (and writers) are being aided by sensitivity readers to ensure the experiences are accurate when an author is writing outside his/her own experience.

"Editors exist in our own bubbles...All of the difficult questions Rubin has asked us, we are thinking about every day...Help us figure out the path forward...We can't publish books that you don't write..."

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