Want to write a book? I moderated a panel at the SEJ conference in Flint, Michigan in October with three wonderful book editors. Here’s a recap, as it was printed in SEJ Journal.
By Meera Subramanian
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you don’t often get to the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conferences, you may be missing out on the signature SEJ “book pitch slams,” where attendees offer their ideas for a book to a panel of book editors for feedback in an open session. For reasons of privacy, these sessions are not recorded and are not available online. So SEJournal’s Karen Schaefer asked SEJ board member and book author Meera Subramanian to share some of what she learned from pitch slam editors at the most recent conference.
|Attendee at the 2018 annual SEJ conference, where prospective authors received advice from book editors. Photo: SEJ. Click to enlarge.|
True to tradition, the final session on the final day of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference in Flint, Mich last Oct. 3-7 was the “Book Slam.”
Set up in an elegant room at the Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, Michigan, participants stepped up to the microphone to pitch their book ideas in a mere 120 seconds.
Then three editors — Paula Ayer of Greystone Press, Scott Gast of University of Chicago Press and Emily Turner of Island Press — provided thoughtful and encouraging feedback.
Given the cloak of secrecy around members’ works-in-progress, only those present could witness the idea development in process.
But the editors did kick off the session by sharing some universalities that they wished every aspiring author knew before they ever approached a publishing house.