Editors: You’re on the Same Team

Footballer, Football, Sport, Game, Boy, Jersey, CleatsI have to admit — I just don’t understand how some writers view editors.  Some see them as mysterious powers on high.  Mmm.  No.  They’re just people although some of them amaze me with their talent.  (I can be irritatingly egalitarian, sorry.)

Then there are the writers who see them as The Enemy.  Every interaction with an editor is approached with caution and/or dread.  Again, no.  Still people and they have, astonishingly enough, the same goals that you have.

Whoa!   What?  The same goals?

That’s right.  They aren’t trying to mess with you.  They don’t want to destroy your voice, steal your ideas, or mess with your vision.

Seriously.  They don’t.

They just want to make your work sing.  That want this, because when it sings it will be that much more likely to find its way into the hands of eager readers.  So keep the following things in mind when you interact with editors.

They are people.  That means that they are quirky, flawed and fabulous just like you.

They have likes and dislikes just like other people.  This part can be tricky because when an editor tells me that she likes quirky — wooo-who!  I can do quirky.  Oh, wait. That’s what you call quirky?  Cause that seems pretty vanilla to me.  Don’t just go by whan an editor says that they want.  Tastes vary.  Read what they publish.  Learn what funny, quirky and character driven mean to them.

They love children’s literature.  This isn’t an easy field.  No one is going to do it because they think they are going to strike rich. They do it because they love it.

They want to publish the best work for their readers.  They know what they’re readers like.  This means that if they reject your piece, it simply isn’t right for their readers.  It doesn’t mean that its bad.  And if the editor says something upsetting (and some of them will), remember that they are just people.

They aren’t super-villains. They’re editors.  For more on how an editor is your greatest ally, check out Editor: Ally or Adversary today at the Muffin.



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