Children's agent, Jodell Sadler, sadly had to bow out of the retreat to focus on current projects. We're sad to see her leave the faculty lineup, but Laura Whitaker, editor of "all things written," has accepted the challenge to step in and run with it. We are excited to have Laura join us for this inaugural year! Here's a greeting from her:
Hello new friends! Formerly an Associate Editor at Bloomsbury Children's Books, I edit all manner and ages of children's and YA books and am available to do developmental and copy edits, as well as coaching services across all areas of the acquisitions process.
A few things about me:
I grew up in Northern Virginia and once spent a summer in high school reading the entire children's book section (picture books through YA) from A to Z. I then traded DC for Wisconsin to attend Marquette University where I not only double majored in English literature and Broadcast Journalism, but also quickly learned that long johns and thermal underwear in general are NOT just for people who live in Alaska. After graduation, I moved to NYC where I worked in marketing at HarperCollins Children's Books, edited several award winning children's books at Bloomsbury Children's Books, and received my masters in publishing from NYU. However, I will always first and foremost consider myself a Southerner at heart . . . as my best friend of several decades is Southern, and therefore I must be southern as well. (That's how that works, right?!)
Included in the many projects I worked on while at Bloomsbury are literary YA thrillers The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman, Insanity by Susan Vaught, and Hold Me Like a Breath and Break Me Like A Promise by Tiffany Schmidt. I also edited the Jim Henson Company's Enchanted Sisters chapter book series and several titles in the Bloomsbury If Only romance line, including Red Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan, andEverything But The Truth by Mandy Hubbard. Other titles I worked on include contemporary coming-of-age novels When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan and This Side of Home by Renee Watson, as well as picture book titles Ruthie and the (Not So) Very Busy Day by Laura Rankin, Time for Bed, Fred by Yasmeen Ismail, and the Penguin series by Salina Yoon.
When I'm not reading, editing, or talking about children's books, I can be found trying to teach myself how to cook (and failing miserably, even though my friends kindly say my food tastes delicious), dreaming about someday owning a miniature schnauzer, avidly trying to catch up on my favorite TV shows, and training for her first Tough Mudder race.
You can follow me on twitter @laura_gemma.