Yes, January 17th was Editor's night at S.C.B.W.I and like many other desperate authors I was there to hear the pearls of wisdom.
The Society of Children's book writers and illustrators for those of you who don't know is a fantastic organisation I joined a year ago. They run many events like this where members can meet the great and good of the publishing world.
The Editor's attending the event were ;
Barry Cunningham from Chicken House
Emily Lamm from Gullane
Lauren Buckland from Randon House
Ruth Knowles from Andersen Press
Stephanie Stansbie from Little Tiger Press
Emily and Stephanie specialise in picture books and were very keen to find books with humour, animals (but not dogs or bears!) and something that can appeal to a worldwide market.
Lauren was interested in thrillers, fantasy and science fiction but is keen to find humour for the eight to twelve market.
Ruth who normally works at Random House is covering maternity leave at Andersen says they have a much smaller list but a more personal touch.
Barry told us that Chicken House published around twenty to twenty five new titles a year, about eight or nine of those would be from a new author. They are the independent arm of Scholastic and have good success publishing across the world.
While they are all keen to find new voices none of them take unsolicited submissions so finding an agent is still key. Apparently though if you do send in something it will be read but it could take a long long time. None of them appreciate being hassled for a response so be prepared to be patient.
All the editors said that when sending in a submission letter we should mention membership of SCBWI as they are well regarded as an organisation and they will know we are serious about what we are doing.
It was all together an excellent night and I bravely managed to talk to a couple of editors as well as meet up with some fellow scoobie's.
Much gratitude to those who organised it and to all the editors for giving up their time.