getting into the publishing business—our conversation at Penn

Friday, March 18, 2016

Yesterday afternoon, in the faculty lounge of Penn's English Department, we talked about editing, agenting, and publishing with students who are intrigued by the career possibilities. Alyssa Eisner Henkin (Trident Media), Alison Weiss (Sky Pony Press), Dave Borgenicht (Quirk Books), and Josh Getzler (Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency) sketched the paths they've taken toward the positions they currently hold. The entrepreneurial spirit that is required to foster and launch ideas. The courage one needs to follow a hunch, and to proceed with passions. The ability to listen for trends but to know (no matter what the big chains might say) what has the power to disrupt publishing-as-usual. I know how much I learned sitting there. I was grateful on behalf of the students, whose questions inspired us. Many thanks to Penn, to Zack Lesser, and to Deb Burnham, our host for the day.

I'm off now to New York City, where so much (but, talk to Dave of Quick, not all) of publishing happens, to join David Levithan and those dozens upon dozens of teen authors for the final days of New York City Teen Author Festival. This afternoon, at the New York Public Library, 4:40,  I'm joining Francisco X. Stork, Luanne Rice, Carolyn Mackler, and David Levithan for a conversation about perspective—how we adults return to and tap into our teen selves as we write. On Sunday, I'll be joining dozens of other writers for a mass signing at Books of Wonder (I sign at 2:30).

We'd love to see you there.


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