Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 2, 2019

Editor Alex Borbolla – Atheneum

Alexandria Borbolla – Attending the Avalon (Full Manuscript Critique) Writer’s Retreat September 25th to September 29th in Avalon, NJ.

Alexandria Borbolla’s life as an editor began with her own name—please, call her Alex.

Alex joined Simon & Schuster in April 2015 as managing editorial assistant but was drawn more to story editing than copyediting, so she moved down the hall to Atheneum in May 2016. As assistant to Caitlyn Dlouhy and Richard Jackson, Alex has been lucky enough to work with award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Jason Reynolds, William Joyce, Ashley Bryan, Cynthia Kadohata,  Alison McGhee, Kathi Appelt, An Na, Sharon Draper, Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin, Ian Falconer, Judith Viorst, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and Brian Floca—just to name a few. Alex is drawn to quirky, irreverent picture books; middle grade that balances tough subjects with light, accessible narratives; YA with a strong voice that has something to say; and humor in everything. She is particularly interested in acquiring literary stories featuring characters with disabilities, LatinX representation, and unusual storytelling structures.

She earned a B.A. in English and Communications from Rollins College, and holds a M.S. in Publishing from NYU. Follow her on Twitter @Alex_Borbolla.

Young Adult

For YA, I love thoughtful projects with real depth; nothing super fluffy. I also tend to veer a little darker–even a little weird (think Andrew Smith’s 100 Sideways Miles and Mindy McGinnis’ The Female of the Species). Give me a strong voice with something to say that really makes me stop and think.

Middle Grade

For middle grade, I like a lighter voice with a story that has some heft; hijinx and heart, I call it. Think Kathi Appelt, Kate DiCamillo, and Rebecca Stead.

Chapter Books

Give me something clever and goofy like Doreen Cronin’s Chicken Squad series!

Picture Books

For picture books, anything that makes me laugh is a go. It can be dry humor like Jon Klassen, or silly like Ben Clanton (specifically Rot, the Cutest in the World—who knew a rotten potato could be so charming?). I don’t like anything TOO sentimental or message-y, but I’m open to sweeter texts, as well.

Across the Board

  • Disability representation. I have a younger sister with Down Syndrome, so this is a topic near and dear to my heart.
  • LatinX representation. My father was born in Cuba, and my grandparents moved the whole family to the United States shortly after Castro came into power.
  • Make me laugh! My sense of humor extends from the driest, darkest, most British humor to the completely absurd.
  • Psychological. This includes psychological thrillers, unreliable narrators, and stories that cover mental illness.
  • Unique storytelling structures. I love anything that plays with structure; I’m probably the only person who actually enjoyed having to read Catch-22 in AP English. I love books that play with timelines, have multiple character perspectives, et cetera. Surprise me!

I Am Not a Good Match For

  • Sci-fi
  • Fantasy
  • Heavy historical fiction
  • Sports stories

More Info to follow about the Avalon Writer’s Retreat later this week.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. It sounds like this year’s workshops will be awesome. Thanks for all you do.


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