Friday, August 9, 2019

Editor's Panel: Sara Sargent

Sara Sargent is a senior executive editor at Random House Books for Young Readers, where she publishes fiction and nonfiction in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories. She has worked with many bestselling and award-winning authors.

Sara started in publishing at 17 years old as an intern for a publishing company and she became obsessed with fact checking. After getting a degree in journalism, she found herself back in publishing.

Within Random House they do everything within the children's book cannon, and Sara acquires the same. Her biggest focus lately involves issues in our current world: mental illness; addiction; women's rights; domestic violence; social and emotional learning within the picture book space. Sara thinks back to what she would have wanted as a young reader and is eager to find those kinds of books.

Sara tries to urge writers whose goal is to be published, to think about that fact that they are writing for children--today's children. Consider what is meaningful to the children living their experience in 2019. At a foundational level, the books she acquires feel like books written with today's young people in mind?

Sara recommends being able give comp titles, ones that truly give a sense of your story and that you know the industry.

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