Get Your #PitchOn Editor Interview Part I

Today I’m talking to Commissioning and Managing Editor of Hardie Grant Egmont, Marisa Pintado, will be poised and ready to take your pitches both here on Down Under Wonderings and on my group blog YAtopia on October 15th. Submission window times are at the bottom of this interview.

Marisa is looking for YA in any genre and is accepting submissions from any where in the world. It’s your chance to skip the slush pile and put your pitch right under the nose of a fantastic editor. There’s even better news – there is no limit on how many requests Marisa will make from the contest.

Sharon: What did you want to be when
you were young?

Marisa: Definitely either a teacher or a
journalist or a world-famous scientist or a writer. I feel like my job now as
an editor borrows a little from all these professions.

Sharon: How did you get into

Marisa: I got very lucky. I knew that I
wanted to be an editor, and also that my chances of finding work were limited without
any experience. So I started off as a volunteer proofreader for publications
like Voiceworks, and that gave me
enough experience to land a job as an editorial assistant/dogsbody at a
religious magazines publisher.

I hated that
job, except for the proofreading and copyediting bit – it allowed me to start
developing my editorial eye and pick up some other technical skills. Then when
Hardie Grant Egmont advertised for a junior editor, I had just enough
experience to land a job with my now-publisher (and editor extraordinaire) Hilary
Rogers. She trained me beautifully from the ground up.

Sharon: You wear a couple of hats at
the moment with editorial duties and working with festivals. How do you balance
your workload?

Marisa: I think every editor struggles
sometimes to manage their time and balance their workload. On a typical day you
might be working on the structural edit for a seventy-thousand-word manuscript,
drafting a ten-page editorial letter, checking endless printer proofs, trying
to squeeze the publishing schedule, stalking interesting writers online, worrying
about your colleagues’ workloads, proofreading final pages or wondering who the
hell stole your hole-puncher – all the while eyeing the ever-growing pile
of manuscripts on your desk. Most of the editors I know simply work incredibly
hard to make sure everything urgent and important gets done, and try not to let
the other stuff slide too long.
writers’ and literary festivals is a really fun and rare privilege, though – a
nice break from ‘real’ work. It’s a great opportunity to step back and observe
how the children’s publishing world looks on the outside, and review the work
that other houses are doing with their authors. And if you crash the schools’
program, it’s also fun to eavesdrop on kids and teenagers and remind yourself
of how they experience the world.
Sharon: I know you loved that Family
Circle childhood ailment guide when you were young, but what fiction did you
enjoy reading?
Marisa: Ha! I loved the What Katy Did books, The Secret Garden and Little
Women –
although now that I think of it, these books also involved sick
children. As a kid, I thought the notion of bed-rest was so romantic. Just imagine
all the reading time you’d get! (I was obviously pretty healthy and robust,
despite being so silly.)

I read up
and down a lot, and didn’t feel too restricted by recommended reading ages. I moved
between Aussie classics like Seven Little
Australians, Playing Beattie Bow,
and Cuddlepie
and Blinky Bill, and
modern American series like The
Babysitters Club
, Animorphs, Sweet
Valley High,
as well as anything by R.L. Stine and Judy Blume.

Part II of this interview is on YAtopia.

Window submission times for October 15

Submission Window 1
Down Under Wonderings:
New York: 12 am
London: 5am
Brisbane: 2pm
Sydney: 3pm

Submission Window 2
October 15:
New York: 8 am
London: 1pm
Brisbane: 10pm
Sydney: 11pm

Remember – there will only be 100 entries per blog.

If you want to enter your own pitch to the workshops then this post will tell you all about how to submit your pitch. It’s a good idea to do this if you’re planning to enter the competition.


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