Oct 7

Event: The World of Children’s Book Publishing with Alvina Ling (Yokohama)

Author Suzanne Kamata (Tokushima-ken, 1988-90) who also serves as the Publicity Assistant for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, shared the following, which she mentioned is, “a great opportunity for writers in Japan to meet one of the top editors in the world of children’s books.”

The World of Children’s Book Publishing


Alvina Ling, Senior Editor

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Saturday, November 14, 2009, 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Manuscript critiques 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Place:      Yokohama International School, Middle Building Cafeteria, Yokohama

For access information and maps, visit www.yis.ac.jp

Fee:         Advance Registration 4,000 yen SCBWI members; 7,000 yen nonmembers (contact info@scbwi.jp by November 5)

At the Door 5,000 yen SCBWI members; 8,000 yen nonmembers

Reservations: Required! Contact info@scbwi.jp to reserve your place.

This event will be in English.



8:30-10:00 Private Manuscript Critiques A limited number of private ten-minute manuscript critiques (up to 2,500 words) with Alvina Ling will be available by prior-registration. 3,500 yen SCBWI members; 4,000 yen non-members. Contact info@scbwi.jp for details.

10:20 SCBWI Tokyo Opening Remarks

10:30-11:15 My Path to Publishing; Your Path to Publication Alvina Ling will share the story of how she became an editor, from childhood influences to a methodical plan, and will offer advice to writers on their paths to publication. She’ll provide an inside view of an editor’s office, and will share mistakes to avoid in the quest to be published, tips for getting out of the slush pile, and her take on the importance of diversity in both the books that are published and the people who make them.

11:30-12:15 Thinking Like Your Editor Learn what goes on inside a publishing house through the eyes of a children’s editor with ten years’ experience. Ling will share a behind-the-scenes view of the publishing process and the challenges and editor has to deal with on a day-to-day basis. She will discuss tips on how to work with an editor through the editorial, production, and marketing stages.

Lunch Break Lunch will not be served. Please bring lunch or join other writers at one of the many nearby Motomachi cafes.

1:45-2:45 The Realities of Children’s Book Publishing in the U.S. In this talk Ling will explain what children’s book publishing in the U.S.is all about. Included will be insider’s information about publishing mechanics that writers might not normally hear about. Ling will cover auctions, profit and loss worksheets, how books are judged after they are published, some negatives of the business, where she thinks publishing is heading, and more—the good, bad, and the ugly of how the business works.

3:00-3:45 Matchmaking: Finding the Perfect Style and Illustrator for a Text: Alvina Ling with Alison Impey, Senior Designer, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers How do publishers match illustrators with text? Ling and Impey will discuss the matchmaking process for picture books, novel covers, and black and white interior illustrations. They’ll go over the general procedures at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and will offer advice on what illustrators can and should do to increase chances of being chosen for a certain project and what role authors play in this process.

4:00-5:00 Final Questions and Answers and SCBWI Tokyo Closing Remarks Written questions from attendees will be collected prior to this wrap-up Q&A session with Alvina Ling and Alison Impey.

Alvina Ling is a Senior Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she has worked for over ten years. She has also been a bookseller for Barnes and Noble, and interned at the Horn Book and in the children’s room of the New York Public Library. She edits children’s books for all ages, from picture books to young adult novels, plus some nonfiction. Books she has edited include Eggs by Jerry Spinelli; The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin; Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Caldecott Award winner Ed Young; Sergio Makes a Splash by Edel Rodriguez, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown; Firegirl by Tony Abbott; North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley, Sound of Colors by Jimmy Liao; Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Beatles, Beatlemania, and the Music That Changed the World by Bob Spitz; and The Devouring by Simon Holt. Alvina lives in New York City and contributes to the children’s book blog Blue Rose Girls (www.bluerosegirls.blogspot.com).

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