Fuse #8

Thursday, October 19, 2006

We Are Young, Heartache To Heartache We Stand

Our topic today is youth.
Specifically youth in today's hot editors in the kidlit field. Whenever I attend a publisher function I am continually astounded by the veritable plethora of intelligent young women (and occasional handsome man) in their twenties and thirties who run their field like there was no tomorrow. I'm not one to talk, considering I fall into their age range, but it really is a fascinating fact. Books are edited these days by many a sweet young thing, so how does that affect what we see on our shelves later down the line?

The Analytical Knife had some smart thoughts on the subject, but it's a funny question. Librarians, by and large, span a much larger age range than their editorial counterparts. How do we account for this? And which, in the end, is the better deal? I have my suspicions...


At 1:15 PM , Blogger Gail Gauthier said...

As far as YA is concerned, yes, young editors have the advantage of still being close to the teen experience.

On the other hand, to my knowledge there are no "editing" college majors. Presumably, editors learn on the job. People go into editing with all kinds of backgrounds. A young person could easily end up in YA or children's editing without much YA or kidlit background. They won't be aware, then, of what's been happening in the last decade or so in their field, so everything is new and exciting to them. Which it's not.

At 4:04 PM , Blogger alvinaling said...

I wonder what the actual demographics for children's book editors are. I'm one of the relatively young 'uns (but I'm not as young as I look--I'm much older than 15!), but I know of many editors who are over 35, over 40, even over (gasp) 50. But I think it's the young editors who may not yet have an established list and are more actively acquiring new projects, going to more publishing events and conferences, etc. So they're more in the public eye.

I don't think age matters much, but I do think experience matters. I think I'm a better editor now than I was 3 years ago, but there are pros and cons that come with editors of different ages and experiences.


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