Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 30, 2009

Princeton Mentoring Writing Workshop

Catherine Onder, editor at HarperCollins,
Caroline Meckler, editor at Random House (Wendy Lamb Books),
Kate Sullivan, editor at Little, Brown & Company,
Michael Bourret, agent at Dystel and Goderich and
Sean McCarthy, agent at Sheldon Fogelman Agency shared their expertise with a group of 45 children’s authors and illustrators today.  The five critiqued manuscripts and shared their thoughts on everyones first pages.  The day ended with a Q & A session where an author asked what places would the editors/agents suggest to visit on the Web to find information about writing. 
Sean McCarthy said he visited Cynsations a blog written by author Cynthia Leitich Smith
I’ve visited Cynthia’s blog before, but I went to see what she had posted
recently and found an interview with Brian Farrey, the new acquistion editor at Flux, the young adult imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide.  Brian took over when Andrew Karr left Flux and became editorial director of Carolrhoda Books, the trade children’s book imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. Carolrhoda publishes
a small, select list of fiction and nonfiction for children of all ages, picture books through YA.
 The interesting part for me was that Brian said, “I’m dying to see a really well-written YA steampunk.”  Now that was the 4th time I read something where they mentioned Steampunk in the last week.  Maybe Steampunk is mentioned all the time in articles and I never noticed, but I don’t think so.  I’m leaning towards thinking maybe this is the next new trend.  Either way, there
are editors and agents mentioning this genre and maybe you have a
Steampunk Manuscript you should revise and get out there.

For those of you who are not quite sure what Steampunk is, here is the answer:
Steampunk simply embodies a time and a place. The time… the late 19th century. The place…
a steam powered world, where air travel by fantastical dirigibles is as common as traveling by train or boat (or submarine). A place where national interests are vastly different than our
own version of history. A place where the elegant and refined are as likely to get pulled into a
grand adventure, as the workers, ruffians, and lower classes. A place where the idea of space travel is not so far fetched. A place where lost civilizations are found and lost again. A place where anything is possible, and science can be twisted to meet ones own ends. That to me is
essence of Steampunk. It can have political overtones and commentary, or it can be straight escapist fiction. Either way, if it meets these criteria. It is Steampunk.

:-Joshua A. Pfeiffer a.k.a. Vernian Process
 To read more of Cynthia’s Interview with Brian Farrey use this link.

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