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Editor for life: Marnie Lamb, freelance editor, indexer, and writer

Interview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

A career as an editor is often a solo adventure, especially if you’re a freelancer. So we thought one way to better connect with fellow editors was to ask them the W5: who, what, where, when, and why. Read on for some thought-provoking, enlightening tidbits from those of us who choose to work with words to earn our keep.

Marnie Lamb
 

Please tell us a little about yourself, Marnie, the kind of work you do, and how long you’ve been an editor.

My first paid editing job was at the, then named, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, in Hull, Quebec. I was hired during the summer when I was doing my master’s degree in English literature. (I won’t tell you how many years ago that was!) The job was quite a coup for a student, considering that most of my classmates stacked books at Chapters or worked as teaching assistants in mandatory English courses for unruly engineering students.

After I graduated, I left Indian Affairs and pursued other goals over the next few years (including a second master’s degree, this one a combined creative writing and English literature program). I then worked for a year as an editor for a professor at the University of Ottawa before moving to Toronto. I freelanced for a few months and then landed a position as a catalogue editor for an advertising agency that produced all of Sears’s advertising. I remained in that job over five years before making one of the best decisions of my life in September 2009, when I left the agency to start my own freelance editing business, Ewe Editorial Services.

Since then, I’ve completed a Publishing certificate at Ryerson University and watched my business blossom. I work mainly in book publishing, with scholarly, educational, and trade publishers. My specialties are permissions research, indexing, copy editing, and proofreading. Like most other freelancers, I love the variety and the freedom that comes with being my own boss.

Outside of editing, I have many hobbies and not enough time to pursue them! My passion is writing fiction. Several of my short stories have been published in Canadian literary journals. My first book, a preteen/teen novel named The History of Hilary Hambrushina, has just been published by Iguana Books, the publishing company of Editors Canada past president Greg Ioannou. (more…)

Seminar: A is for author: An introduction to editing picture books

Editing picture books for children is a uniquely creative undertaking. Children’s book editors need to understand how words and pictures work together to tell a story, so they must possess not only a facility for language but also an appreciation for illustration and a keen eye for design.

This seminar will introduce you to some of the special skills needed to edit picture books, with a particular focus on the relationship between the editor and the illustrator. We’ll take a close look at the process of creating these types of children’s books, from concept to illustration roughs to final layouts. How does this work differ from other types of editing? What kind of feedback should the editor offer the illustrator? What roles do type, layout, and other design choices play? How do you know where the page breaks go, and how can those decisions support the storytelling?

In this seminar, you’ll get a thorough overview of this unique area of book publishing. (more…)

Editor for Life: Suzanne Sutherland, author and children’s books editor at HarperCollins in Canada

Interview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

A career as an editor is often a solo adventure, especially if you’re a freelancer. So we thought one way to better connect with fellow editors was to ask them the W5: who, what, where, when, and why. Read on for some thought-provoking, enlightening tidbits from those of us who choose to work with words to earn our keep.

Suzanne Sutherland

Suzanne, please tell us a little about yourself, the kind of work you do, and how long you’ve been an editor.

I’m incredibly fortunate to work with a roster of phenomenal authors as part of HarperCollins Canadian children’s program. Because our list is quite small, I’m able to take on an active role in each stage of a book’s development—from acquisition through to publication, working both with internationally bestselling authors as well as with first-time novelists. It’s not a bad gig at all! (more…)