As reported by Publisher's Weekly two weeks ago, we've had two promotions at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (LBYR) recently. Connie Hsu and Kate Sullivan were both promoted to Associate Editor. Hurray!!! Extremely well deserved. Kate is the editor of the Morris Award and Lambda Literary Award finalist Ash by Malinda Lo, as well as the upcoming The Duff by Kody Keplinger. She had been assisting the Poppy imprint for over four years, and will now move over to LBYR to develop a fiction list, focusing on YA novels.
And as faithful readers of this blog probably know, Connie has been my assistant (first as Editorial Assistant, then as Assistant Editor) for over four years (read her Beyond the Book post about her first acquisition, Happyface, here), and she is absolutely fabulous. She has been invaluable in her editorial contribution to virtually all of my titles, especially Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Curious Garden, Wabi Sabi, and Shark vs. Train. Aside from Happyface, which, incidentally, has three starred reviews and is on its third printing, her second acquisition The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by Rachel Spratt is a hilarious, delightfully wicked Middle Grade adventure pubbing next week, and it also just received a starred review! So, you see, it's confirmed. Connie is a star. Connie will be focusing on picture books and novelty books in her new role, as well as selected Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction. She especially loves illustrated novels.
I don't mean this to be patronizing at all, but I couldn't help but think of that scene from the movie Swingers, "My little baby's alls growns up." Connie herself has been joking that she's a "grown up" now. I remember feeling the same way when I became Associate Editor.
For those of you not in publishing, just know that the promotion from Editorial Assistant to Assistant Editor is huge, because you go from "Assistant" as the noun to "Editor" as the noun. But the promotion from Assistant Editor to Associate Editor is really the most important jump, because the word "assistant" is completely gone now. You are no longer anyone's assistant. You are now an editor.
And with that comes some separation anxiety, admittedly. Especially on my part. But I'm very lucky to have a wonderful new Editorial Assistant, Bethany Strout, who comes to us from Writers House. I'm excited to have her on my team. We just discovered that Bethany coincidentally grew up in the town next to New Hartford, NY where Grace grew up, and where I lived for three years. She used to go to the same mall, even. Hurray for Sangertown Square! What a small world.
Here's to exciting new beginnings and chapters! I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of lists Connie and Kate both develop. And perhaps in a few years we'll be reading a guest "Beyond the Book" post from Bethany talking about her first acquisition!