Over the next few weeks (in addition to my Friday postings) I will be having interviews with some of the faculty of the 2013 Write-to-Publish Conference which will be June 5-8 on the campus of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. To view the schedule or to register go to the website.
To kick this off, I welcome Shaina Turner, Acquisitions Assistant, Fiction, Tyndale House Publishers. She has graciously answered a few questions about writing and Tyndale House.
You are representing Tyndale House, specifically looking for those who write fiction. Could you give more detail?
At Tyndale House, we look for fiction that is distinctive, entertaining, hopeful, purposeful, and thoughtful. No matter the genre, we aim to acquire literature in tune with our company’s mission statement along with excellent writing and an engaging hook.
How would you encourage writers so they can get as much from the conference as possible?
I think when many writers attend a conference, their main goal is to get published. While that’s a good goal, it shouldn’t be the main one, because it’s not likely to happen at that conference. Instead, look at it as a way to improve your craft and network with other writers and publishing professionals. Try to take at least one thing away from each class/lecture that you can use to sharpen your skills. Introduce yourself to editors and if they ask, tell them about your project; otherwise, just be content to have made connection. If you’re so focused on landing a contract, you’re likely to miss out on these important things.
Any advice on how writers can best prepare to pitch their ideas to editors who intimidate them?
Focus on portraying the hook of the story and what sets your tale apart from the other novels already within the genre; it’s all about confidence in your work. Also, remember that you’re selling yourself as an author as much as your story. How will you market yourself to potential readers? How will you connect with them? For fiction, though it’s not necessary to have a platform or audience in place, it will go a long way with an editor if you can show that you have ideas for how to build one.