Friday, August 4, 2023

Editors and Agent Panel: Foyinsi Adegbonmire

Editors & Agents Panel: The State of Children's Publishing

Moderated by Laurent Linn

Foyinsi Adegbonmire

Foyinsi Adegbonmire is an Editor at Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. She acquires Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction—from contemporary to mystery to grounded science-fiction—and enjoys lighthearted stories with conversational narrative voices. She was named a 2021 PW Star Watch Honoree and her acquisitions include New York Times-bestseller Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.

After the great introductions of all of the fantastic panelists, the group dove into the question at hand

What is the current state of children's publishing?

With the Q&A chat box open, attendees were given the chance to ask their pressing questions! Here is some insight from Foyinsi!

Q: If any of you are open to getting submissions/ limited submissions or are not accepting submissions, how can attendees submit to you?

She is currently accepting agent-represented work only. She encouraged you to include that you attended the SCBWI conference. She does not accept Picture Books or Graphic Novels but LOVES Middle Grade and Young Adult!

Check out her wishlist!

Q: On book bans: There are many bans happening all over the country and the world. Is it affecting the books you are inquiring or submissions?

When it comes to submissions, publishers are seeing more books about book banning/ characters who are dealing with them. But when it comes to inquiring, it is not a deterrent. The publishers are aware of the ban but are willing to navigate it. Their marketing and publicity teams have been creating resources for authors who are affected to help authors.
As we know, it disproportionally affects marginalized authors/ communities but we encourage conversation within the community (schools, libraries, etc) to help reach a point of understanding.

Q: On myth busting: What are some myths or assumptions in publishing that are not true?

Some people really focus on trends but DON'T WRITE TO TRENDS. Be aware of trends but know that what you see now maybe two years old when your book enters the market. Most of the time, the publishers are throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks when it comes to what the market will connect to. It's about the work, the writing, and the craft.

Also, social media.
Generally speaking, your # of followers or level of social media platform does not affect how publishers view your work. If you have many followers and/or are connected to many bookmakers/industry professionals, it is truly just icing on the cake but there is no minimum of followers.

Q: On Mentor Advice:

Foyinsi said that her mentor, Liz Szabla (VP, Associate Publisher at Feiwel and Friends), has given her some wonderful advice that she uses time and time again.

1. "It's okay to be curious"
Liz encourages me to always ask questions.

2. "If you're interested in it, others will be too"
"You're not a magical unicorn!" If something sparks joy or interest, it most likely will for others. Trust your taste.

3. "Trust your editorial instincts"
If it is unclear to me, the readers will feel it too. Trust what your gut tells you!

It was a remarkable panel, with so much insightful information and perspectives!
If you want to view this session to hear the full content, along with the rest of the conference, register at Replays of the conferences will be available until September 10, 2023. 

Check out the SCBWI Bookshop!

No comments:

Post a Comment