Monday, October 8, 2012

Get Your #PitchOn Editor Interview Part II

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 YAtopia and on my blog Down Under Wonderings  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 books do you wish you could have read as a teen?
Marisa: Oh, so many. Looking back, I needed more fiction like Judy Blume’s Forever to prepare me for real life and love. I would have loved Paper Towns by John Green, Pink by Lili Wilkinson and All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield. I also wish I’d read more thoughtful, visceral, wild fiction like How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff and the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness; more dangerous urban-magical-realism like This Is Shyness by Leanne Hall. And I would have been obsessed with Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I’m reading now. As a teen, I would’ve dyed my hair blue before I was ten pages in.

Sharon: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Marisa: Work really bloody hard is the first thing. Write and re-write a lot, and remember that everyone’s first (sometimes the first twenty) drafts are crap. The point is to keep reworking and redrafting until your work has been prodded and pushed polished to their limits and all the weak bits are worked out.

Have a million ideas and the energy to work through each and every one, testing them to see whether they’re good enough for an innocent reader to invest in.
Study classic story design and understand why the rules exist before you try to break them. Read widely, and take notice of how other writers build their scenes, line by line, to build their chapters, to build their stories.

And accept that rejection is a part of being a writer – you will always face rejection, whether it’s an editor turning down a query or a reviewer saying that they didn’t like your published novel. Learn to be resilient.
Sharon: What trends would you like to see flourish in YA and what would you like to see less of?

Marisa: I like to keep an open mind, but right now I’m especially hungry for bright romantic comedies, old-school Stine-esque horror, and urban fantasy with a distinctly real-world feel. I’m also after dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction that imagines the future as it could really be; I think we’re still missing this decade’s Tomorrow When The War Began or Z for Zachariah. 
I’d also love to see writers not writing to the market. Forget what is selling, forget what else is being done, and write what you would have wanted to read as a teenager. Give me something weird and wonderful that challenges what we’ve now come to expect from YA.

Sharon: What are you hoping to find in the Get Your Pitch On Contest?
Marisa: A pitch that makes me stop and go: ‘Huh! I want to see how the writer pulls that off.’

Part II of this interview is on Down Under Wonderings

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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