Little Brown Editor, Jennifer Hunt

Continuing my reports from the 2008 Winter SCBWI conference in New York City:

Fire in the Hole

Jennifer Hunt, Executive Editor, Little Brown Books
Molly O’Neill, Assistant Editor, Bowen Press
Reports on other blogs about the 2008 conference.

Jennifer Hunt, Executive Editor, Little Brown Books

Little Brown in a mid-sized, boutique publisher, which means editors acquire based on their tastes and the list is small enough that titles don’t get lost on the list. They do NOT accept unsolicited manuscripts; all manuscripts must be submitted by an agent, or you must meet an editor at a conference. Their imprints include these:

  • Poppy, the trade paperpack teen imprint, run by Cindy Egan (whom Jennifer dubbed the Chick Lit Queen). Series include Gossip Girls, Pose, A-Girls.
  • LBKids, the novelty imprint, which included some licensing from companies such as Cranium, Alex Toys and DC Comics.
  • Imp Press, the new graphic novel imprint.
  • Little Brown Books for Young Readers, the trade imprint, which includes twelve acquiring editors. (Especially note that the assistant editors are also acquiring editors. Jennifer’s assistant editor is T.S. Ferguson.

Jennifer was asked to give a Wish List of manuscripts she could like to acquire. This is her take on the question.

3 Foundations of a Manuscript regardless of Genre/Length

  1. Voice. Jennifer asks herself, “Do I fall in love with the book in the first ten pages?”
    If so, the voice is probably distinctive, and believable.

    Example of humorous voice: To Catch a Mermaidmermaid by Suzanne Selfors.

  2. Original Characters and Plot Lines.

    Possible plot ideas taken from newspaper articles

    • From a PBS documentary, the story of a Girl Scout troop that meets in a prison because all the scouts’ mothers are in prison.
    • A boy with a rare deformity is having an operation to fix the deformity. What is he giving up/what is he gaining?
    • Family dynamics/challenges of US immigrants
    • Modern day thirteen year old
    • South American boy, very young, travels alone to the US to find his mother.

  3. Craft. Skill, proficiency in writing. She is looking for writers who will have a long career, who have a dedication to excellence and for a person she would enjoy working with. These qualities are open to everyone! Looking for the WOW factor.

Finally, Jennifer gave her Mondo Biondo Wish List, not to be interpreted literally, but as a guideline to what she might acquire:

  • Narrative nonfiction for teens, something along the lines of the adult titles of Confederates in the Attic and Devil in the White City. A journalistic type story that reads like a novel. The protagonists need to be kids. Perhaps a look at weight issues, interviewing teens at fat camp, teens with anorexia or bulimia, wrestling teams who must maintain certain weights, etc.
  • Middle grade, child of color, who must save the world. (Please don’t send her slave narratives, just because she if African American). Kids out of the boxes that try to restrict them.
  • YA or MG books with good craft.
  • A book which will become a cultural phenomenon, that everyone will talk about. Example: Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight Saga book 1(which is published by Little Brown).
  • High quality books that kids enjoy.
  • She’s not looking for any more picture book authors, although she will continue to publish those with the authors she’s already publishing.

As Always, It’s Easy to Stay Connected

One thought on “0

Comments are closed.

Previous post Fire in the Hole
Next post Reports from 2008 SCBWI Conference