March 1, 2011


Kara, you’re a hard act to follow! What an image I was getting of an Oscar-winning script edit. Words we hope will be cut pile up under the author’s desk, akin to film clips on the editing room floor. But it’s true: respect the work, and our editing is invisible.

I’ll be the guest blogger here during March, talking about editing YA manuscripts. Whether or not you’ve had the experience of working with authors writing for this market, you’ve probably had queries. What do you need to know to say yes?

Things like the breakout of age groups for kids and teens, the current state of the marketplace, resources for you and your authors, pitfalls of an adult writing for children, using the developmental editing questions you already apply to adult fiction, with a special look at voice.

A side topic I hope we’ll get into is helping our clients fully develop any secondary kid characters who inhabit their adult fiction.

I’ve edited YA projects through my association with the Author-Editor Clinic and the Guild. I currently teach writing through the Institute of Children’s Literature, and I’ve published in this marketplace. A review of my first book, which the editor called a short novel for early readers, gave me a standard to work for: to know kids and respect them. That’s where we start with our clients. And if their projects are to ring true, that’s where they’ll start with their audience.

Hope you’ll join in the discussion. 


  1. I'm looking forward to hearing more about YA from you Pamela! I've edited a few YA works, but not many lately. Would love to know more about the young adult market, where to find the work, and issues unique to the YA edit.

  2. I'm looking forward to this too. I've edited one YA science fiction, and also a couple of novels with a protagonist who was a child during part or all of the narrative. How to write a child character for adult readers brought up interesting questions in my mind, so I'm looking forward to your "side topic" too.