Q. What do you look for in a submission?
A. The author’s platform matters, especially for non-fiction—I always want to know if the author has been published before and where, and (for fiction) if he or she has an MFA. But the main thing I’m looking for—which is so hard to describe—is voice. I want to be sucked in by the characters, or the setting. I want to keep reading. I want to know what happens next.
Q. One thing every author could be doing better?
A. I’m constantly shocked by how many authors don’t read new books. If you want to be published, in today’s market, you have to know what today’s market looks like! If you’re writing a memoir, read other, popular, NEW memoirs. If you want to write women’s fiction, read women’s fiction. Know who is selling. Read reader reviews. It’s the best way to understand the market and your potential place in it.
Q. Hottest reads of the summer?
A. The Regulars in paperback of course! I also have to plug my author Anne Helen Petersen’s book Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, analyzing how female celebrities—and women in general—are pushing boundaries of “acceptability,” which feels so timely and important right now. Janklow & Nesbit author Rachel Khong’s novel Goodbye Vitamin is everywhere this summer. Zinzi Clemmons’ What We Lose and Matthew Klam’s Who Is Rich are on my “to read” list. Finally, I absolutely loved Grant Ginder’s hilarious novel The People We Hate At The Wedding.
Q. Can readers of this blog submit to you?
A. Please do! Send a query and the first 15 or so pages to firstname.lastname@example.org.