Anita Daher was my choice for presenter for the Prairie Horizon's conference. (Hey, as organizers that was our big thrill - choosing the presenters). I know from the general reaction that Anita disappointed no one. She's the author of seven books - most recent being On the Trail of the Bushman (Orca). She's also an editor at Great Plains in Winnipeg, where she's been a past marketing director. So Anita knows the children's publishing business inside and out.
Her presentation focused on the 'macro' and 'micro' edit and on the author/editor relationship. Everyone took notes. There was a lot of information. As I glance through mine, a couple of things stand out.
- Perfect your 'elevator pitch'. What is the story about?
- Remember the editor is on your side.
- If at all possible talk to the editor on the phone - not just through email.
- You need to trust - not just your editor's love of the story - but yourself to challenge the editor's suggestions.
I also got to watch Anita in action at a local library. I wish I'd video-taped it so I could see again how she managed to keep two grade five and six classes so focused and involved in her talk. It was the kind of presentation where I'm sure the kids went home to talk to family over dinner (families still do that, don't they?) - or in the car - about 'that interesting author we got to hear.'
Anita's next writing project involved summer research of wild horses. No wonder kids love her.