Saturday, February 2, 2013

Molly O'Neill, Editor at Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins

Editor Molly O'Neill works at Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins where she publishers picture books, middle grade, and Young Adult novels. Molly's breakout session came with a handout (my favorite!) about the types of manuscripts she's looking for, as well as some upcoming titles she's excited about.

Inside the Editor's Head

When reading a submission, Molly asks herself several questions when determining whether to acquire:

* Do I love it as a reader?
* Am I fascinated by it as an editor? As an editor, Molly has to commit to reading a book (or series) for years to come. Would she want to? 
* Who is the audience for this book?
* Can I publish this book successfully?

These questions lead to a discussion on timing, and Molly stated that she looks for high-quality writing with an interesting plot and compelling characters. They publish books, not just ideas. 

I think the best advice came when she talked about the key to writing: Authenticity, heart, respect for the experience and key moments of being a child, tween, teen.

It was also interesting to the hear the publishing stories of several of her authors, and see the different paths to publication. Inspiring workshop!

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