Storymakers: Tim Travaglini, Putnam Editor

Notes from the 2008 LDStorymakers Conference

Workshop: Getting Out of the Slush Pile
Presenter: Tim Travaglini, Keynote Speaker on Friday
Submitted by: Karlene Browning

There are 10,000 new children’s books published each year in the U.S. Here are a few tips for getting out of the slush pile and becoming one of those 10,000.

  • Talent, Training, Perseverance—You need to be strong in two of the three to be successful; and always be working on improving the third area.
  • Collect and be proud of rejections. They are an indication of your perseverance; that you’re not giving up. (Kate Dicamillo, author of Because of Winn Dixie got 400 rejections.)
  • Luck—the harder you work, the luckier you get.
  • #1 thing to be a topnotch writer is to read in your genre—lots!
  • Join a writers group. Find one that you like with good support and honest feedback
  • Take classes and read books on writing.
  • Dont be afraid to revise. “Your words are not gold.” (Richard Peck goes through his finished manuscript and deletes his favorite sentence because he knows if he can cut that, he can do what needs to be done for the good of the story.)
  • Know who you’re submitting to; who you should be submitting to. Consider submitting to a junior editor. They are hungry and eager.
  • Attend writers conferences where editors and agents are presenting. Any agent or editor who attends that conference is “fair game” for submission. Include mention of the writers conference in your query/cover letter.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

3 thoughts on “Storymakers: Tim Travaglini, Putnam Editor”

  1. That last item was probably my best take-home advice from the conference. He said something like, an agent or editor’s appearance at a conference is basically a solicitation for submissions.

  2. Yes, I agree. I was really excited when he said that he figured it was an open invitation for us to submit to him and others. Especially after all the registration stuff talked so much about not approaching, pitching, etc to the visiting wonder-people. 🙂

  3. I thought he was very personable and gave some great advice.

    One of the best benefits of attending a conference with an editor is that you can then submit to him/her even if the house is closed to unsolicited submissions.

    I loved the story/advice about double-checking your submission packet to make sure nothing embarrassing accidentally ended up in the packet.

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