Pub Rants

What They [Editors] Want (cont.)

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STATUS: To be honest, I’d love a nap before my evening commitments commence. Unfortunately I have to leave in about 45 minutes so that’s not going to cut it.

My tireless author Cheryl Sawyer, however, is running an amazing contest where participants get to create their own Shakespearean love sonnet for a significant other—not unlike what Prince Rupert does for Mary Villiers, Duchess of Richmond, in her novel THE WINTER PRINCE.

Fresh Fiction writes:
“History comes alive under the deft hand of Ms. Sawyer. She interweaves the vibrant history of the English Civil War with the love affair of Prince Rupert and Mary, giving the tale added poignancy. Fans of Philippa Gregory need look no further for an excellent historical novel.”

What’s playing on the iPod right now? BLUE by The Jayhawks

I had a chance to review some of my notes from yesterday and I realized I had left out a few things.

The Penguin Group is looking for Teens dealing with Faith stories (stuff that can crossover into the CBA market).

However, it doesn’t have to be just Christian. In can be any story where a teen is struggling with teen life and staying true to his/her religion. However, the editor was sure to stress that she’s not looking for conversion stories or anything preachy. Just heartfelt narratives were teen life conflicts with staying true to one’s beliefs.

And RWA members will love this tip. Penguin would love to see romance stories for the young adults. Dreamy heroes and happy endings very welcome.

And Penguin is still game for Chick lit with sassy main female protagonists (action-adventure works well).

Melanie Cecka at Bloomsbury Children’s shared a very inspiring story of signing a debut author (sans agent) from a recent writers’ conference she attended.

I know it sounds like a myth or a publishing urban legend that an editor plucks a manuscript out of a critique session and voila, it’s gets published.

Well, in this case, it was true. So hey, it still happens.

She also mentions that she has seen a lot of middle-grade works that showcase a plucky third grade girl. It’s potentially overdone at the moment, and she’s not really looking for that.

However, if it were a plucky third grade boy (Think a contemporary Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing), she would be very game.

20 Responses

  1. Megan said:

    Ooh, I’m glad that editors want YA romance. My next project is YA romance with a dreamy hero and a happy ending! I’m also glad to hear that YA chick-lit is not on its way out.

  2. Anonymous said:

    Does a story about a teen who sticks to her atheistic beliefs in spite of ridicule and rejection by her friends and community count as a “staying true to one’s beliefs” faith story?

  3. Anonymous said:

    welshcake – third graders are generally about nine years old, or eight going on nine.


  4. katiesandwich said:

    Yeah, third graders are usually 8 when they begin third grade and have a birthday before they leave it.

    Kristin, you client’s book sounds really awesome. I’m going to have to read it. I don’t write historicals, but I enjoy reading them.

  5. Brenna said:


    I was wondering which LINES Penguin is looking for these for. I was at their Penguin Group site…great site, but it’s not well organized. Some of the lines have great descriptions of what they take, but others don’t have anything but the history of the line. Some of the lines have their own sites, though. That’s my next stop. I was just wondering if you could give me information to narrow my search, since they have about a dozen children’s/YA lines at Penguin Group. Thanks in advance for any futher information.


  6. Mary Alice Pritchard said:

    How do you get your proposals in front of the editors looking? I haven’t been able to find a way to send mine to anyone at Putnam for the Daw or Firbird imprints. Information would be wonderful or should we send proposals to an agent? You? 😉

  7. Jane said:

    I read the Sawyer book, almost against my will, because I ordinarily shy away from the historical fiction. The story was so compelling and moved at such a fast pace, as if Sawyer felt she didn’t quite have enough time to tell the story completely.

    It’s like a history lesson for dummies. 🙂

  8. Anonymous said:

    I am also glad that they want YA romance. My WIP is a YA romance. I also have a chick lit that I am editing! YAY! Thank you Agent Kristin! You are my dream agent by the way 🙂

  9. Tracy said:

    Are there any examples already on the market of the sort of YA romance Penguin is looking for? Thanks for any insights you can add Kristin!

  10. EGP said:

    This is great stuff, Ms. Nelson. I wish I had these kind of details from some of the editors who specialize in my genre (thriller/suspense/mystery).

  11. Poor Struggler said:

    Can anyone give me an example of the chick-lit/action-adventure subgenre? It sounds interesting, but I don’t know what it exactly means.

  12. jax said:

    Is your agency willing to take queries and partials on teen / YA ideas even though the manuscripts aren’t completed for this market? Perhaps being possibly signed on proposal if the ideas are there?

  13. Anonymous said:

    No, anon #2. Atheists are not living out their faith. Atheism isn’t a faith. Don’t bother, because atheists are boring and I wouldn’t read a book about one.

  14. Anonymous said:

    I guess Albert Einstein, Aldous Huxley, Ernest Hemmingway, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ayn Rand are boring?