query letters

9 result(s) found.

Do I Cite My Magazine Writing in My Query Letter?


Dear Editor…

I’m currently doing a lot of writing for a trade magazine and have written for other mags in the past. Nothing published in the children’s market, though, which is the market for my middle grade novel. Some sources say mention all writing experience in cover letters to agents and editors. Other sources say only mention writing experience if it’s in the children’s market. I would appreciate your advice on this.

Mag Writer

Dear Mag Writer…

Presuming the magazines are editorially discriminating and of professional quality, I support mentioning them in the credentials portion of your query letter. You’re seeding confidence in your professionalism and your writing chops. Ring this bell extra loudly if the magazines’ subject matter jives with that of your book—this establishes your expertise with the topic. A caveat: If the magazines are political or in some other way topically sensitive, only mention them if the topics are relevant to the book you’re pitching.

Happy writing!
The Editor

Cursed by a Crappy Query Letter

Dear Editor…

I am beginning my writing career and am trying to sell my first children’s book. I feel like my stories are great but are not getting read due to my cover or query letter. How can I make my letter stand out better?


Dear Megan…

You’ve heard of the dreaded “saggy middle,” that condition in which an ms with a strong opening and finale goes all limp noodle in between? Query letters can suffer saggy middles, too. Paragraph 1 may be swell, with its announcement of the genre and title and clues that the author has researched the agent’s interest. But then Paragraph 2 delivers a brief summary of the story. *sag* Summarizing is for synopses. Agents don’t care how the plot plays out yet. They want to know that this project has a ready audience/place in the market, but that it offers that audience something new. Paragraph 2 positions the book. Introduce your character and his goal/dream/need, state the antagonist/conflict that will hinder him, and sprinkle in a few of the unique details that make your story different from all others sharing your theme. Mention comparative titles if you like, but otherwise be done. Positioning accomplished, no sag in sight.

Happy writing!
The Editor

Query Quandary


Dear Editor…

I have written a few query letters for my picture books, and sent them off to many editors, with no
success. I decided to write a Middle grade novel and try to get it published first… Question is: Can I query it before I finish? And is it bad to query the editors I have already queried for my picture book?



Dear Christina…

It’s not unheard of to query before you finish your manuscript. This is one way to lessen your waiting time between query and response. You’re not really waiting if you’re still writing, right? However, while the logic is there, there’s risk in this maneuver. Should you get a speedy reply asking for materials, you wouldn’t have anything to send and would have to hem and haw or make up excuses for your delay. Or worse, you’d rush out with something before it’s thoroughly cooked. Leaving a request for more dangling is always a little hinky. The agent may wonder if you’re flaky or not as serious about him/her as you claimed to be in the query, and the last thing you want to do is give agents a reason to narrow their eyes suspiciously. Most writers send in their material within hours or days of the request for more.  If you’re going to query before your manuscript is done, make sure the ms is really really darned close to being done.

If the editors you queried for your picture book also handle MG fiction, then yes, query them for your novel. They didn’t reject you, just that particular picture book.

Happy writing!

The Editor

Help with Hooks

Dear Editor…

I am having trouble with query letters. Any tips on writing an awesome tagline or hook? I’ve recently started my second project and I already have that hook down. But my first eludes me, I think I may be too close to it. Please help!


Dear Danielle…

Don’t try to nail “awesome” on the first try. As with a story itself, awesome hooks are built through multiple drafts. Start by drafting a pretend CIP summary line. That’s the utilitarian description of a story that appears in the CIP data on a novel’s copyright page. CIP summaries always state the main character, that character’s situation/conflict/goal, and specific details that distinguish the story from all the others in the library—such as era, age of the protagonist, location, that sort of thing. CIP summaries are bland but good at pinning down the details that give each story its unique context. When you’ve nailed that one key element that really makes your story different from the others in its genre, then you can get funky. Rework the wording to emphasize that core distinguishing element, making it tempting, surprising, or in some way intriguing. You’ve struck “awesome” when you can intrigue your hook reader.

Happy writing!

The Editor

Salvaging Submission Slipups


Dear Editor…

Will agents forgive ignorant query mistakes made by a passionate new PB writer? (My learning curve is still quite vertical, but flattening out slowly.) When should I move on from Literary Agency “X” to Agency “Y” or should I simply try the small publishing houses directly for PB manuscripts submissions?

Thank You,

Dear Robert…

Learning curves can be slippery, and passion intensifies the potential for a crash-and-burn. Agents know that and recognize minor slips for the newbie boo-boos they are. If yours was a thorny transgression, well, what’s done is done. There are plenty of agencies out there; move on without looking back. First, though, force Passion into a seat in front of your computer and intensely research submission strategies and query letters. FORCE that learning curve to flatten! Publishing may deal in creativity, but it’s still a business, so commit to becoming an informed professional. Start by clicking “Submissions” in the CATEGORIES tab on DearEditor.com. When your new submission package is ready, submit to Agency Y—and to A, B, C, and D, too. By submitting in small batches, you can adjust your submission strategy or revise your manuscript based on agent response. Just note “simultaneous submission” in your query.

Happy writing!
The Editor


Check here for the latest news about DearEditor.com…

May 10, 2023: Listen to the Editor on the How Writers Write podcast

The Editor was interviewed on the writing craft podcast HOW WRITERS WRITE – Episode 111. She and host Brian T. Murphy talked YA fiction, establishing productive writing routines, and getting yourself unstuck when writers block strikes. Brian’s traditional end-of-interview Six Questions are wonderfully creative, so you don’t want to miss those. Question #3: “If you could pick a spirit book—this is the book you would choose to be reincarnated as—what book would it be?” How would YOU answer that? Here’s the link to the podcast to hear what book The Editor would be: https://bit.ly/3WEcApq. Or type How Writers Write episode 111 in your favorite podcast app.

May 1, 2023: Join The Editor for May 13th On-Line Picture Book Workshop

Join The Editor on May 13, 2023, for a virtual three-hour workshop “Kit and Caboodle: Crafting Irresistible Picture Books From Idea to Query,” hosted by the writing group Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles. Learn the features of irresistible picture books and strong query letters and elevator pitches. Attendees will put pen-to-paper during the workshop, applying the learned techniques to their work-in-progress picture book manuscript(s) or to brainstorm a new project, and crafting a pitch and query letter. Current WIPs NOT required for attendance. For details and sign-up, visit the event page.

April 29, 2023: The Editor on SCBWI Podcast

The Editor enjoyed a great conversation with SCBWI Podcast host Theo Baker in the episode “From Slush Pile to Stand Out Manuscript with Deborah Halverson.” They got into the nitty-gritty of her editorial approach, the challenges and joys of writing, and her journey in publishing. Listen on your favorite podcast app, including these (click to listen): Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts.

September 14, 2022: The Editor Is Featured in Writers’ Forum Magazine

The Editor is honored to be invited to present to the Redwood Writers chapter meeting on September 17, 2022. The online event, “You’ve Written a Book, What’s Next?”, will be an hour-long webinar for beginners as well as advanced writers — published and pre-published — looking to perfect their submission package and strategy. The Redwood Writers is the largest branch of the California Writers Club.

August, 2022: The Editor Is Featured in Writers’ Forum Magazine

The Editor was honored to be Writers’ Forum magazine’s “Where I Write” feature this month. The feature focused on her writing (and editing!) visits to the San Diego Public Library’s public reading room, which is a gorgeous space. Her default writing spaces are the lake and fields by her home, but at least two days each week she picks a beautiful San Diego location like Balboa Park or the beach at the famous Hotel Del Coronado. She  chooses her locations sometimes by mood, but usually with some thematic link to what she’s writing or editing that day, then she shares photos on her social media to share the inspiration of the space. “Just give me a travel mug of hot cocoa, a beautiful space, and an engrossing project to write or edit and I’m happy.”

August 14, 2022: The Editor Talks Trends in Children’s Books with SCBWI Nebraska

The Editor spent an afternoon at a virtual meeting of SCBWI Nebraska. She talked about how the various categories of children’s books are performing, how some audience and market expectations are changing while others remain constant, and what trends seem to be playing out in the market and in acquisitions and in reader reception. Always wonderful to talk books with book folk.

June 2, 2022: The Editor Interviewed in “How Writers Write” Podcast

“How Writers Write” podcast host Host Brian Murphy and The Editor (aka Deborah Halverson) discuss what makes fiction “Young Adult Fiction,”  writing practice and process, and what it’s like to think like an editor. It’s a fabulous discussion — they dig deep into it! To listen to the podcast: Apple: https://apple.co/3m9kAhZ; Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3m8rpQR1.

December 6, 2021: The Editor Auctioning Picture Book Edit & Call for #WeNeedDiverseBooks Holiday Auction

The Editor is honored to be contributing to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign by offering a picture book edit and phone call with me in their Holiday Auction. Visit https://bit.ly/3HZPItU to bid on this and check out all the other offerings. The Holiday Auction ends 10pm Eastern 12/6/21.

October 1, 2021: Spend the Weekend with The Editor and SCBWI-SoCal Los Angeles for Writer’s Retreat 2021

Join The Editor, 2 agents, and 2 editors for a 2-day Virtual Writer’s Retreat for creatures of chapter books and middle grade/young adult fiction October 9-10, 2021. Between critique sessions with agents and editors, Deborah will do Craft Workshops on four story elements — character, plot, setting, and voice… plus revision techniques! bit.ly/3lz4Q7i

September 1, 2021: The Editor To Share How to Find the Right Editor for Your Book

Join The Editor on Sept 11, 2021, for an inspiring and informative market report and learn about new imprints and what they are requiring. She will also share her tips on researching editors to find the perfect fit for your book. Register at www.sandiego.scbwi.org.

August 22, 2021: The Editor Featured in Publishers Weekly!

Publishers Weekly covered The Editor in their article “2021 SCBWI Conference: Significant Market Transformation Due to COVID-19.” The article provides a peek into Deborah’s Market Report for the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators summer conference. http://pwne.ws/3lwpczD.

September 1, 2021: The Editor to Share How to Find the Right Editor for Your Book

Join The Editor on Sept 11, 2021, for an inspiring and informative market report and learn about new imprints and what they are requiring. She will also share her tips on researching editors to find the perfect fit for your book. Register at www.sandiego.scbwi.org.

August, 2021: The Editor at UCLA’s Writers Symposium

The Editor joined 11 amazing YA authors at UCLA’s writing symposium “The Young and the Reckless: Writing for Teens. She was in the a panel with award-winning, best-selling YA novelists Aiden Thomas and Adam Sass. “Put characters in unexpected settings to provoke surprising dialogue, unpredictable action, and stress.”-Deborah Halverson https://www.uclaextension.edu/ya-symposium

April 31, 2021: The Editor Teaches Submissions Strategies Twice in April

The Editor taught children’s book wrters and illustrators the ins and outs of submitting their manuscripts to agents and publishers twice this month. First for Children’s Books Writers of Los Angeles (CBW-LA), and then for SCBWI’s South and Central Ohio chapter. The session was called “SUBMISSION STUDIO: Writing Queries, Strategizing Submissions, and Ten Ways to Translate “No” to “Yes!”

January 15, 2021: The Editor’s Predictions for the 2021 Children’s Lit Market are Published in SCBWI INSIGHT

The Editor shared some predictions for children’s literature market in the January edition of SCBWI INSIGHT, a monthly enewsletter for members of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. INSIGHT features current children’s book hot topics, helpful hints, exclusive interviews and monthly contests. When talking about likelihoods for 2021, emerging trend-lines are intriguing to extend forward. The Editor appreciated the challenge and opportunity to do so. For an excerpt of the members-only article “What Will the Children’s Literature Market Look Like in 2021?: A Crystal Ball Prediction,” click here.

November 24, 2020: The Editor Edits a Book Benefitting Victims of Domestic Violence & Abuse

The Editor was honored to edit the Purple Projects picture book PENNY’S ADVENTURES IN SAN DIEGO. Sales benefit victims of domestic violence and abuse. For this book, thirteen San Diego County mayors and a deputy mayor each penned a chapter of a story about a kind-hearted purple butterfly named Penny visiting their respective cities and doing a good deed. Per the San Diego Union-Tribune,  “Deborah Halverson, an editor and publishing consultant, wrote chapter transitions and edited the book at no cost, while Danielle Ramirez created colorful illustrations…. The 85-page illustrated book, “Penny’s Adventure in San Diego,” is now available for pre-order for $25 and due for release in early December.”

October, 2020: The Editor Offering New Class for KidLit Writers

The Editor is honored to be offering a new class for Children’s Book Insider: “10 Things That Get Kidlit Manuscripts Rejected – and How to Avoid Them.” It will be 90 minutes of deep-digging writing tools for writers of picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young adult — fiction and nonfiction. The class will be live online Tuesday, Oct 13, 2020, with lifetime on-demand rewatching. Jump on over to the class page for the full details and sign-up. Children’s Book Insider is a place to take classes on all aspects of writing and publishing books for young readers.

May 29, 2020: The Editor to Offer a Digital Workshop for SCBWI (Free & Exclusive to SCBWI Members)

The Editor will present the fifth workshop in the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators‘s second Digital Workshops series. The series is for current SCBWI members, and is free — an offering for members during this unusual summer of lockdown and creative challenge. The Editor’s workshop will be “Submissions Studio: Writing Queries, Strategizing Submissions, and 10 Ways to Translate ‘No’ to ‘Yes!’” It’s for writers of all children’s book categories — beginners as well as advanced writers — looking to perfect their submission package and strategy. The workshop will include a master handout, sample query letters, and a quick-reference sheet for translating editorial feedback. Workshop date:  Thursday, July 2 , 2020, 1:00pm-2:00pm, Pacific Daylight Time. Registration opens Monday, June 29 , 2020, 10am PDT.

March 2, 2020: The Editor’s Article about E-Book Lending in SCBWI’s “Insight”

The Editor’s article “The E-Book Lending Battle Between Libraries and Macmillan, and What It Means to Authors” has been published in the March 2020 issue of  INSIGHT, the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrator‘s monthly enewsletter featuring current children’s book hot topics, helpful hints, exclusive interviews and monthly contests.

Feb 7, 2020: The Editor’s Children’s Book Publishing Overview Article in SCBWI’s “The Bulletin”

The Editor’s article “2019: A Year in Review” has been published in SCBWI’s Winter 2020 edition of THE BULLETIN, a biannual publication provided to members of the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators. The article is a children’s publishing industry overview, examining events and trends of 2019.

Jan 6, 2020:  The Editor to Ring in the New Decade with a Submissions Webinar

The Editor is excited to be asked by SCBWI – Texas: Austin to ring in the new year with a  submissions webinar. WRITING QUERIES, STRATEGIZING SUBMISSIONS, & INTERPRETING EDITORIAL FEEDBACK is for writers of all children’s book categories, and beginners as well as advanced writers looking to perfect their submission package and strategy. Deborah will do some critiques as part of the webinar: query letters, 1st 10 pages of a YA/MG novel, or a submission package of a query letter, synopsis, and 1st 10 pages.  The webinar will be January 14, 2020, 7-8:30pm CT (5-6:30pmPT, 8-9:30pmET). Details and registration at bit.ly/2N5pXNV. 

Oct 29, 2019:  The Editor to Present a YA/MG  Technique-Focused Webinar
oin The Editor for a technique-focused, hour-long Webinar designed to make YA/MG writers stronger self-editors and novelists on Nov 14, 2019.  THE ULTIMATE CHECKLIST FOR SUBMITTING YOUR MG/YA TO EDITORS: 10 Tests Your Manuscript Must Pass to Prove It’s Ready to Submit. “How can you know when your Middle Grade/Young Adult manuscript is ready to submit to agents or editors? You think it is, but how can you know for sure? Learn ten actionable tests for knowing when a novel is really, truly ready to submit . . . along with ways to whip the manuscript into shape if it fails a single one of them.” Hosted by SCBWI-Texas: Southwest.  Details and registration at  http://bit.ly/2pnztn1 

Sept 3, 2019: Interview with the Editor and Giveaway
The fabulous resource website for teen writers TipsForTeenAuthors.com is GIVING AWAY a signed copy of The Editor’s writing craft book WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES to go with her in-depth interview about freelance editing as a career. You can read the interview and enter the giveaway at bit.ly/2lxDbrV.

June 15, 2019: The Editor to Teach YA/MG Webinar July 16, 2019
On July 16, 2019, 7-8:30pm CT (5-6:30pm PT / 8-9:30pm ET), Deborah will present the webinar Subtext & Subplots: How to Deepen and Energize Your YA/MG Fiction.” She’ll teach techniques for using subtext and subplots to build rich, satisfying stories and fix common storytelling “problems.” She’ll also be critiquing for those who choose that additional item for the event. It will bosted by SCBWI-Texas: Austin. Details & registration at bit.ly/2ZgH2bs.

June 10, 2019: The Editor Teaches YA all day at SCBWI-Florida’s Orlando Mid-Year Workshop June 7-8, 2019
The Editor was honored to be in Orlando presenting a full-day YA workshop with editor Hannah Milton of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and author/agent Eric Smith of P. S. Literary. The workshop had additional tracks for middle grade fiction, picture books, and illustration, plus full-day intensives and one-on-one critiques.

April 1, 2019: The Editor to Critique and Consult at SCBWI-Nebraska’s Writing Retreat Sept 27-29 2019
The Editor will be meeting with attendees and critiquing manuscripts for this wonderful weekend of writing and industry talk in beautiful Mahoney State Park. Cabins, a stunning park, and book talk–SCBWI’s Nebraska chapter is putting on an inspiring, supportive event for writers of picture books and middle grade/young adult fiction.

March 2, 2019: The Editor Celebrates Read Across America Day with 4th Graders
2019’s Read Across America Day was a blast for kids and their readers across the country. The Editor
read to two 4th-grade classes at a local elementary school as part of that school’s celebration. In fact, she was doubly honored: Not only was she asked to read to them that special day, the kids asked her to read one of her works-in-progress. Huzzah!

February 20, 2019: The Editor to Be a Guest Reader for NEA’s Read Across America Day 2019
On Saturday, March 2, 2019, schools, libraries, and communities across America will celebrate literacy with the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day. The Editor will be an honored Guest Reader at an elementary school in San Diego the Friday before.

October 18, 2018: The Editor Guest Posts a Character Development Tip at Cynsations Blog
The Editor is honored to be a Guest Blogger on the amazing Cynsations blog today, with her post “Deborah Halverson on Viewing Narrative Beats as ‘Revelatory’ Beats in MG/YA Fiction.” A snippet: “Perhaps we writers drop in those generic actions because we’re so focused on getting the first scenes in place; perhaps we’re just not seeing those beats for the opportunities they are. ‘Oh, what treasure troves those little actions can be!'”

October 14, 2018: New Look for DearEditor.com
The Editor and her website designer have been hard at work all summer, and today they unveil the fruits of labor: a fresh new look for DearEditor.com. To celebrate, The Editor is giving away a free edit of a picture book manuscript and a free partial edit of a novel manuscript via Rafflecopter — the giveaway entry deadline is October 22, 2018. 

September 8, 2018: The Editor Spoke at SCBWI-San Diego about the State of the Children’s Book Industry
In an hour-long up-to-the-minute report, The Editor shared insights and information about the state of the children’s book industry with the members and guests of the San Diego chapter of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. 

April 3, 2018: The Editor on Faculty at SCBWI Southern Breeze WIK ’18
The Editor will present two sessions at the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators‘ Annual Summer Conference in L.A. August 3-6, 2018:

  • “Up-to-the-Minute Market Report: Industry Updates, Submissions, and New Imprints”
  • “Subplots & Subtext: How to Deepen and Energize Your MG/YA Fiction”

She’ll also critique manuscripts one-on-one. Conference registration opens April 17th @10am PT. Manuscript Consults are limited so if you’re interested, register asap on the 17th.

March 12, 2018: The Editor on Faculty at SCBWI Southern Breeze WIK ’18
The Editor was honored be a part of the faculty at SCBWI-Southern Breeze’s 2018 writing-and-illustrating for kids (WIK) conference, presenting sessions on non-rhyming picture books, revising young-adult and middle-grade novels for submission, and the state of the children’s book industry. The Southern Breeze chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators offers support to writers and illustrators in Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida panhandle. It’s an amazing group of creative and supportive people, attendees and conference organizers alike. If you live in that area and write/illustrate for young people, do yourself a solid and check out the group.  

September 23, 2017: The Editor Interview in New MG/YA Online Writing Course at Children’s Book Insider
The Editor is proud to contribute an interview called “Writing for Tweens, Teens and New Adults” to Children’s Book Insider’s Blueprint series, for their new Middle Grade/Young Adult Writing Blueprint. CBI always presents great content. Other fabulous interviews are a part of the new Blueprint — editor Mary Kole and author Matthew J. Kirby. Author Alice Kuipers is the instructor. You can check it out at writing blueprints.com

March 22, 2017: The Editor in Faculty at SCBWI 46th Annual Summer Conference July 7-10, 2017
The Editor is excited to present the annual Market Survey as well as a 3-hr writing intensive “How to Talk Like a Teen When You’re So Not One: Writing Dialogue in YA/MG Fiction” at SCBWI’s 46th Annual Summer Conference in LA. She will also be doing one-on-one critiques throughout the conference.

Expand your skills regarding Craft, Storytelling, Character, Genre Studies, Getting an Agent, Getting Published and Revision. The Editor’s sessions: “Crafting a Youthful Narrative Voice and Authentic Dialogue for Young Adult Fiction,” “Writing Riveting New Adult Fiction”, and “Panel: Connecting With Middle-Grade and Young Adult Readers.”

Sept 28, 2016: Join The Editor at Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conf Oct 28-30, 2016
Please join The Editor at Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference October 28-30 in LA. Expand your skills regarding Craft, Storytelling, Character, Genre Studies, Getting an Agent, Getting Published and Revision. The Editor’s sessions: “Crafting a Youthful Narrative Voice and Authentic Dialogue for Young Adult Fiction,” “Writing Riveting New Adult Fiction”, and “Panel: Connecting With Middle-Grade and Young Adult Readers.”

June 8, 2016: The Editor on YA Author Panel June 11 at Barnes & Noble in Santee, CA
The Editor will be a part of a YA author panel at Santee, California, Barnes & Nobel Saturday, June 11, at 2pm. The panel is “Writing a Book Is Like Riding a Roller Coaster!” Fellow panelists—fabulous YA writers—and The Editor will share stories of our writing ups and downs, and answer questions about writing and publishing: Debra Driza (MILO 2.0 series), Barrie Summy (I SO DON’T DO series and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY H.), Karri Thompson (MIRROR X, ASCENDENCY), and Matthew Ward (THE FANTASTIC FAMILY WHIPPLE, THE WAR OF THE WORLD RECORDS). Come join them!

May 30, 2016: The Editor Contributes “Believable Dialogue” Chapter to New Writer’s Digest Book 
The Editor is proud to have contributed Chapter 10 “Believable Dialogue” to Writer’s Digest’s new book CRAFTING DYNAMIC DIALOGUE, a comprehensive guide to writing compelling, authentic dialogue in fiction. The craft book is filled with advice and instruction from best-selling authors and instructors like Deborah Halverson (The Editor), Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Sims, Steven James, James Scott Bell, Donald Maass, Cheryl St. John, and many others. Covered in the book: bend the rules to create a specific effect; understand the role of dialogue in reader engagement; use dialect and jargon effectively; give every character a believable, unique voice; set the pace and tone; reveal specific character background details; generate tension and suspense; and utilize internal dialogue.

May 3, 2016: Join the Editor at SCBWI 2016 Summer Conference
Join The Editor at the SCBWI 2016 Summer Conference in Los Angeles July 29-31 (optional craft intensive a on Aug 1). She’ll be presenting the breakout “Crafting Swoon-Worthy Young Adult Romantic Relationships”, the “An Up-to-the-Minute Market Report” on the main stage, and the craft intensive “Crafting Plots that Push, Pull, and Provoke Characters… and Readers, Too.” She will also do 1-on-1 critiques.

Author/blogger Lee Wind is well known for caring deeply about writers, so his recommendation of WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES on the SCBWI blog makes The Editor especially proud: “Deborah Halverson (who I’m always so impressed with) has put together a really useful guide… Her book is packed with good stuff.”

August 10, 2015: The Editor’s WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION wins San Diego Book Award
The Editor’s book WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION won the San Diego Book Award for 2014 Best Published Business Book. To celebrate, she is giving away a Free Full Manuscript Edit on DearEditor.com August 10, 2015 – August 14, 2015, with the winner to be announced on DearEditor.com August 15, 2015. Click over to the DearEditor.com announcement post for entry details.

April 3, 2015: The Editor to Present Market Report at SCBWI Annual Conference
The Editor will be at the 44th Annual SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles July 31- August 2.  She’ll be presenting the “Up to the Minute Market Report,” the breakout sessions “Techniques in New Adult Fiction for YA Writers” and “The Ultimate Checklist for Submitting Your MG/YA Novel to Editors,” the 3-hr intensive “Voice in MG/YA: How To Create an Authentic Teen Narrator,” and critiques. Registration opens April 9. For more info: http://www.scbwi.org/2015-summer-conference-in-los-angeles/

April 1, 2015: The Editor to Talk NA Fiction with Librarians
The Editor is looking forward to talking about New Adult fiction and its distinct traits and marketplace at the Mid America Library Alliance’s Workshop on New Adult Fiction on April 28. Librarians looking to be as informed as possible for the sake of their patrons. Love it!

Feb 12, 2015: The Editor Interviewed on Adventures in YA Publishing Blog
The Editor is honored to be featured on the fabulous blog Adventures in YA Publishing this week. The blog covers Young Adult Fiction in general, gives away YA books (several giveaways going on this week!), features advice from YA authors, and shares writing tips, and publishing information. Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “With the current enthusiasm for contemporary realistic stories, I see too many manuscripts that showcase above-average writing but fail to deliver a fresh angle on the contemporary teen experience. What makes your story about a regular kid in high school stand out from all those other well written stories about regular kids in high schools? I want to see more great writers find their distinct angles so that they can find publishers and places on bookstore shelves.

Jan 15, 2015: The Editor to Lead Simi Valley Writing Retreat January 16-18
The Editor is leading a fun and informative three-day intensive for SCBWI Cen-Cal Writers’ Retreat: An Editor’s Strategies for Reaching Fabulous Final Drafts. This intensive will consist of lectures, hands-on exercises, informal discussions, and the option of a small group critique session. For an additional fee, you can register for a manuscript critique and private consultation with The Editor.

Oct 8, 2014: Blog Tour and Tourwide Free Full Manuscript Edit Giveaway
The blog tour celebrating the publication of Writing New Adult Fiction is under way! From October 6 – 31, bloggers will be posting reviews of the book, interviews with The Editor, and guest blog posts written by The Editor covering craft, promotion, and the business of publishing New Adult fiction. All of the posts have giveaways, and there’s a tourwide giveaway of a free full manuscript edit. Here’s the link for the tour schedule, updated with excerpts and direct links as each post goes live: https://www.deareditor.com/?p=6644 And here’s the link for the free manuscript edit giveaway’s Rafflecopter entry form: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5440a354204/.

Oct 3, 2014: Be a Writing New Adult Fiction Blog Tour Host
The Editor is honored to be featured at literary agent Jill Corcoran’s blog, discussing what makes NA different from YA fiction: ““What’s the difference between ‘new’ adult and ‘young’ adult? My answer usually starts with a single word: sensibility.” Plus, Jill is running a contest for the feature, the winner of a signed copy of WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION being chosen by October 15, 2014.

Sept 17, 2014: Be a Writing New Adult Fiction Blog Tour Host
Want to be a host on The Editor’s WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION blog tour, featuring reviews, author interviews, spotlights, guest posts, and giveaways? The tour runs Oct 6-31. Sign up: http://bit.ly/1v19GIK

Sept 15, 2014: Interview with The Editor and Signed Book Giveaway on KC Maguire’s Blog
Stop by KC Maguire’s blog for an interview with The Editor and to enter the giveaway for a free signed copy of The Editor’s new book WRITING NEW ADULT FICTION. From the interview: “NA has become established and is pushing for a greater range of stories and thematic exploration, there seems to be a call for fiction that doesn’t necessarily get into the nitty gritty of body parts and movements. After all, not everyone who wants to read about the NA experience wants such graphic detail, and not every writer is comfortable writing it. Ultimately, the details of the sex acts aren’t necessary in order to explore love at this stage of life. Serve up emotionally satisfying relationships. Craft stories that build up sexual anticipation through love denied, teased, and toyed with. A much-anticipated kiss can be more dramatically powerful than a perfunctory graphic groping. That’s why I dedicate a full chapter of my book to the crafting believable, satisfying romance. And it’s why I say that explicit sex scenes are currently expected but maybe not so essential in the long run. The degree of explicitness in NA fiction is an evolving element.”

Sept 2, 2014: The Editor Joins Faculty of  SCBWI-Missouri Fall Conference Sept 6-7, 2014
The Editor will present the “State of the Market” and lead the intensive “How to Build Your Own Teenager” at the SCBWI-Missouri Fall Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, September 6-7, 2014.

Sept 2, 2014: The Editor’s Article “NA Fiction for the YA Writer” in Sept/Oct Issue of SCBWI’s The Bulletin
“Writers see an overlap between ‘mature YA’ and NA and wonder what it means for their own stories about older teens…. There are essential differences in story content, though, and knowing those can help you determine if your mature YA is actually an NA offering.” From The Editor’s article in the Sept/Oct issue of SCBWI’s THE BULLETIN. If you’re an SCBWI member and want to read it, log into your profile page and click on resource library, then on Bulletin in the dropdown menu.

July 1, 2014: The Editor to Join Faculty of  Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference Aug 15-17, 2014
Join The Editor for her 3-hour Boot Camp “Writing Riveting New Adult Fiction” and her 1-hour breakout session “How to Hide the Seams for Smooth, Flowing Fiction” at the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza – Los Angeles August 15-17. For details about the sessions and other award-winning, bestselling authors and publishing professionals at the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference, click here.

May 12, 2014: The Editor’s Interview about the SCBWI Conference, Uses for Setting, and the Difference Between NA and YA Fiction
“Saying NA fiction is just YA with sex is akin to saying YA fiction is just stories of high school romance.” Insightful interviewer Lee Wind asks The Editor about being on the faculty of SCBWI’s upcoming summer conference in Los Angeles (Aug 1-4) and also about the difference between “voice” and “sensibility” in writing, characteristics of New Adult Fiction, and other writing advice. Check out the full interview here.

April 18, 2014: The Editor Presenting Market Keynote at SCBWI 43rd Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, Aug 1 – 4
Join the Editor and other authors, agents, and publishing professionals at the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators annual info-packed 4-day summer conference. In addition to presenting the market keynote, the Editor will present the session “New Adult Fiction for the Young Adult Writer” and the intensive “Crafting a Youthful Narrative Voice and Sensibility in MG/YA Fiction.” She’s also available for one-on-one critiques. Join the fun! Registration opens Monday, April 21, 10am PST. Intensives fill up FAST.

December 6, 2013: Meet the Editor at the New Adult Sleepover Weekend in Savannah, GA, December 6 – 8
Check out the inaugural New Adult Sleepover Weekend, an event for readers and authors of New Adult fiction. Panels about NA characters and publishing, swag, meet-and-greets, parties . . . a fun and informative weekend! The Editor will be there, meeting and greeting and taking in all things NA. Savannah Riverfront Marriott, 100 General McIntosh Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31401.

November 22, 2013: Meet the Editor on YA Panel at San Diego’s Mira Mesa B&N on November 22
As part of Barnes & Noble’s Discovery Friday event Friday, November 22, at 6pm, the Editor will be part of a lively panel about books for young people with Shannon Messenger, author of the middle grade series Keeper of the Lost Cities and the teen trilogy Let the Sky Fall, and Debra Driza, author of the YA thriller Mila 2.0, the first in a series currently being developed as a series for ABC. The panel will be moderated by fabulous Full Circle Literary agent Taylor Martindale. It’s Discovery Friday at the B&N that day, so there will be giveaways all day, including Catching Fire posters, John Green posters, Legos, etc. There will also be a special musical performance by Stacey Leathersich at 8:30. B&N: 10775 Westview Pkwy, San Diego, CA 92126.

August 22, 2013: The Editor Interview Delves Into How Writers Can Succeed in Publishing
In an interview by N.W. Harris, author of Joshua’s Tree, which currently tops the Goodreads 2013 Summer Reading list, The Editor talks about writing fiction versus nonfiction, her path to publication and editorial career, and three things new writers must do to compete in the current, highly competitive publishing industry: “Publishing is an industry, as unartful as it is to admit that, and writers who want their books out there for readers to buy must consider themselves players rather than pawns.” Full the full interview, visit NWHarrisBooks.

August 5, 2013: The Editor Presents State of the Market Keynote at SCBWI Summer Conference
Publishers Weekly included The Editor in its coverage of the 42nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference: “Deborah Halverson, founder of DearEditor.com, delivered a keynote titled Market Report: An Up-to-the-Minute State of the Industry, which compiled the results of interviews with 17 publishing insiders…. Halverson reported that sales are up for picture books, but editors are still cautious about the category. Chapter books and early readers remain challenging….” For more highlights from The Editor’s keynote, click over to PW’s article.

May 7, 2013: The Editor to Pen ‘New Adult Fiction’ Craft Book
The Editor will publish Writing and Selling New Adult Fiction with Writer’s Digest Books in Fall 2014. Writing and Selling New Adult Fiction is a hands-on guide featuring essential information, steps, and techniques necessary to turn a clever concept into a top-notch novel for 18- to 26-year-olds as well as the teen and adult crossover audience. The book will include advice on self-publishing into the New Adult marketplace, insider tips for finding the right agent and/or editor and preparing a stand-out submission package for traditional publishers, and an extensive chapter on self-marketing to help writers move boldly into the realm of self-promotion.

April 20, 2013: The Editor to Deliver Keynote at SCBWI 42nd Summer Conference
The Editor will deliver the “Market Report: An Up-to-the-Minute State of the Industry” keynote at the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators 42nd Summer Conference in Los Angeles August 2 – 5, 2013. She will also teach an intensive called “How to Build Your Own Teenager: Techniques for Writing Believable MG/YA Characters, and two one-hour breakout sessions called “The Read-Aloud Factor: Achieving Rhythm without Relying on Rhyme in Picture Books” and “Setting, Wherefore Art Thou?: The Surprising Benefits and How-To’s of Setting in MG/YA Fiction.” For information about attending the conference, click over to the conference home page.

March 18, 2013: Susan Stevens Crummel Joins Revision Week Lineup
The Editor is thrilled to announce that award-winning picture book author Susan Stevens Crummel will be joining the Revision Week lineup! Loved for her solo books as well as her collaborations with author/illustrator (and sister!) Janet Stevens, Susan will shed light on the ins and outs of working through a highly collaborative revision process.

March 15, 2013: Announcing DearEditor.com’s Revision Week 2013, March 24-30
It’s almost time for DearEditor.com’s second annual Revision Week. March 24-30 The Editor will host five authors—who have published a combined 270 best-selling and award-winning books—for a week of revision tips, insights, and stories from the trenches at DearEditor.com. Who’s stopping by? Bestselling and award-winning authors Laura Griffin (romance novels), Matthew J. Kirby (YA novels), Bruce Hale (chapter book series and picture books), Peter Economy (non-fiction), and Larry Dane Brimner (picture books, chapter books, easy readers, nonfiction… you name it!), that’s who! The Editor will add to the excitement with daily drawings for Free Partial Edits and a grand prize Full Manuscript Edit giveaway.

Jan 26, 2013: OnText Blog Features DearEditor.com
DearEditor.com gets the thumbs up in the OnText blog feature “Writing Children’s or Young Reader Books? Great Source of Publishing Help.” OnText is hosted by ghostwriter Maryan Pelland. Pelland calls The Editor “a wealth of information for writers, authors, and ghostwriters to ask questions about the craft of writing or about the very confusing and frustrating publishing industry. Her answers are concise and pull-no-punches.”

Dec 1, 2012: The Editor Celebrates Her First Picture Book with a FREE EDIT Giveaway
The Editor believes writers should celebrate every milestone—and she’s got a milestone to celebrate with her readers. Her first picture book, Letters to Santa, has just published and she’s feting it by giving away a FREE edit of a picture book manuscript up to 2,000 words. Deadline: December 4, 2012. Read the giveaway post for full entry details.

Oct 17, 2012: The Editor Announces Three New Books
The Editor’s three books for Rubicon’s Remix struggling readers series have launched! Brave New World: Cyber World, Brave New World: Meltdown, and Brave New World: Robotic World. To page through previews of the books electronically, visit the Remix: Brave New World series page.

Sept 17, 2012: Finding Bliss Blog Hosts the The Editor, Holds Free Book Giveaway
Excerpt: “Revision can be daunting. . . . Why not give your brain a break by breaking your task into focused chunks? With this approach, you’d pick a writing element, say plot, and ignore everything but that. Working Big Picture chunks to small detail chunks rather than page by page, you’d focus not on revising the story but on honing single elements. Gone is that scattered, overwhelmed feeling.” Read the rest of The Editor’s guest post “Chunking Your Revision” on Laura Howard’s blog Finding Bliss, and enter her giveaway for a free copy of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies.

August 27, 2012: An Interview with The Editor
Excerpt: “The trick is to make something big happen in the story to create a big emotional impact that would raise the emotional temperature of the story and keep it from being too quiet.” You can the full interview with The Editor on Natasha Yim’s blog “I Must Be a Masochist – A Writer’s Life.”

August 23, 2012: Coverage of The Editor’s SCBWI conference Market Trends Keynote
The Editor complied the “2012 SCBWI Market Survey: Publishers of Books For Young Readers” report for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and gave a keynote at the recent SCBWI Summer Conference about what she learned from her survey – giving attendees the current market needs and trends. To read coverage of her keynote, click over to “SCBWI Summer Conference: Market Keynote Follow-Up with Deborah Halverson” on the SCBWI Blog.

June 28, 2012: The Editor Advises How to Use Subtext as a tool on Quirk and Quill
The Editor’s advice about using subtext to puff up a “flat” fiction manuscript is featured today on Quirk and Quill, a blog hosted by 10 alumni of the Vermont College of Fine Arts writing program. To read the post, click over to “Serving Up Subtext” on Quirk and Quill.

May 25, 2012: The Editor Visits Stanford…Virtually
The Editor talked books and writing during an online chat session today with a Stanford writing class that uses her Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies as their text. The Editor is honored that schools continue to adopt the book for their classes.

Mar 23, 2012: Join The Editor at SCBWI National Conference in L.A. Aug 3-6
The Editor will be at SCBWI’s 2012 Summer Conference in Los Angeles Aug 3-6. She’ll be presenting the Current Market Report keynote, a breakout session on writing dialogue, an intensive on revising your MG/YA novel, and an intensive on creating youthful narrative sensibility. Registration starts April 18 at 10am. Check out the full info on the SCBWI conference page.

Mar 4, 2012: DearEditor.com’s Revision Week with 8 Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors
DearEditor.com brings together eight prolific, bestselling, award-winning authors for Revision Week, 7 days of revision tips, insights, and stories from the trenches. Learn from writers who turn first drafts into lauded books every day:

  • Cynthia Leitich Smith, bestselling YA gothic novelist, picture book writer, short story writer, and popular children’s lit blogger.
  • Kathleen Krull, author of more than 60 books, especially picture books and biographies for young readers.
  • R.L. LaFevers, author of the 13 novels for young people.
  • Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, and Theo Baker, popular chapter book collaborators.
  • Mark A. Clements, horror/suspense author, screenwriter, and prolific ghostwriter.
  • Nathan Bransford, top blogger and former literary agent-turned-author of the Jacob Wonderbar middle grade books.
  • Rachel Caine, New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of more than 30 novels.

Feb 26, 2012: DearEditor.com Now on Google+
DearEditor.com is pleased to announce the DearEditor.com Google+ page, sharing industry news, creative inspirations, and writing tips to keep you in the publishing know. The new page complements the DearEditor.com Facebook page and the @Dear_Editor Twitter feed.

Feb 26, 2012: DearEditor.com Goes Mobile
DearEditor.com is now mobile-friendly. With the new mobile design, you can easily read new posts and comments on your mobile device of choice, and you can post your own comments on-the-go. With a simple click on the arrow at the top of your mobile display, you can access archives, categories, and any page on the DearEditor.com website.

The Editor to appear on “Writers Voices” Radio Feb 17, 2012
The Editor will appear live on “Writers Voices” 1-2pm CST, Feb 17, 2012. “Writers Voices” airs on KRUU FM 100.1, an open source, solar-powered community radio station that broadcasts to the larger Fairfield, Iowa, area and has worldwide listenership via the web. Each week they air an hour-long interview with a writer, agent, editor, publisher, or someone else connected to the world of writing. To listen to the show live, tune in to KRUU FM radio or go to online at http://www.writersvoices.com. Hear the rebroadcast Monday Feb 20 8 AM on KRUU FM or download it from the archives: http://www.writersvoices.com or http://www.kruufm.com/station/archives/61.

Free Online Workshop with The Editor Feb 21-23, 2012
The Institute of Children’s Literature website is hosting an online YA workshop featuring The Editor. The drop-in Q&A-format workshop takes place on the ICL’s message board, which anyone can read (no registration required). If you want to post a question, you do need to register (for FREE) by sending email to jan.fields@forums.institutechildrenslit.com with the username you want. Check out the ICL’s Guest Speaker archives while you’re there.

Feb 7, 2012:The Editor on “How to Promote Your Book” Podcast
As part of her blog tour for her book How to Promote Your Children’s Books, author/illustrator Katie Davis focused her regular podcast on “Promoting Your Book.” The Editor has a guest appearance. See the episode description here: http://katiedavis.com/how-to-promote-your-book/. Or click here to hear it directly.

Feb 6, 2012:DearEditor.com to host How to Promote Your Children’s Book Blog Tour
Author/illustrator Katie Davis is a tireless promoter whose 9 children’s books have sold over 250,000 copies. On February 6, 2012, Katie shares what she’s learned about promoting books–and she’s giving away a free download of her new eBook How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller. Follow Katie’s full blog tour for more promo insights & giveaways:

Dec 4, 2011:YA Fusion blog Interviews The Editor
YA Fusion, a blog written by YA fiction writers about the amazing world of young adult fiction, interviewed The Editor and hosted a giveaway of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies. The interviews spans the writing, editing, and reading realm, and offers tips to writers about gauging market trends and walking the line in “edgy” fiction. http://bit.ly/viGL8O

Oct 19, 2011:More Spotlight Week at The Writing Nut: An Interview with The Editor
Spotlight Week at The Writing Nut blog cointinues with an interview with The Editor, covering what makes YA fiction so popular, what aspiring writers should do, and what young readers should know: http://bit.ly/qEOyqs.

Oct 17, 2011:The Editor Featured During Spotlight Week at The Writing Nut
The Writing Nut blog features The Editor and her book Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies all week. Stop by for a review of the book, an interview with The Editor—aka Deborah Halverson—and a giveaway: http://bit.ly/r0l1Ht

Sept 25, 2011:San Diego Union-Tribune Dubs Writing YA Fiction For Dummies “Tremendously Helpful”
The San Diego Union-Tribune dubbed The Editor’s new Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies a Recommended Read, calling it, “Fun, insightful and tremendously helpful.”

Sept 24, 2011:The Editor Presenting at San Diego Public Library Book Festival Oct 1
The Editor is honored to be a part of the SAN DIEGO COUNTY LIBRARY BOOK FESTIVAL Saturday, Oct 1, at the Encinitas Library. Speakers include YA great Ellen Hopkins, bestseller Lisa See, and Skinny Bitch series author Kim Barnouin. The Editor will be presenting in the community room 5 to 6pm. Check out the festival website for a full list of great speakers.

Sept 24, 2011:The Editor Teaches YA at SCWC Conf in Newport Beach Sept 24
The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, will be presenting “Writing for Teens? Then Think Like One” at the Southern California Writers’ Conference – LA on Sept 24, 2011. Here’s her session description: “Whether your narrator is your young main character or an all-knowing omniscient being, there are ways to convince young readers that you understand them and their view of the world—and to hook’em good and hard in the process. This session teaches techniques for creating a narrative sensibility that reflects the way teens think, resulting in teen fiction that “clicks” with young readers.” Click on over to the SCWC website for details about this conference, which runs Sept 23-25.

August 3, 2011: The Editor featured on Writing on the Sidewalk Blog
The Editor,aka Deborah Halverson, talks writing, Legos, and banging on drums in “Writing on the Sidewalk”, the blog of authors Suzanne Santillan and Sarah Wones Tomp.

August 3, 2011: The Editor on The League of Extraordinary Writers Blog
The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, is an interview guest on The League of Extraordinary Writers, a blog hosted by dystopian authors Jeff Hirsch, Elana Johnson, Julia Karr, Beth Revis, and Angie Smibert. With Q-and-A about the most common pitfalls for writers, the current rise in YA lit, a list of must-reads for writers, and the viability of self-publishing as an alternative pub path for writers, this interview is full of great information. Check it out!

June 11, 2011: Announcing WYAFFD Blog Tour
Please drop in on this 8-stop blog tour celebrating the publication of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies. Interviews, guest blog posts on craft, promotion, and chapter books, and a grand finale free webinar. Full schedule:

July 18: Shrinking Violet Promotions
July 19: SCBWI Children’s Market blog
July 20: QueryTracker.net
July 21: Elizabeth O. Dulemba Blog
July 22: Cheryl Rainfield Blog
July 25: Story Connection
July 26: The Got Story Countdown
July 27: Free “Meet the Editor” webinar w/ Katie Davis

June 29, 2011: Interviews, Guest Blogs, Podcasts, & Giveaways in Support of the WYAFFD Virtual Book Launch
Visit these websites and blogs for exclusive content and giveaways in support of the Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummiea Virtual Book Launch from June 29 to July 5 here on DearEditor.com:

June 29, 2011: Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies Virtual Book Launch Begins!
Celebrate the publication of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies from June 29 to July 5 here on DearEditor.com with daily “Free First Chapter Critique” giveaways, free downloads, excerpts from the book, and profiles of the 13 amazing authors, editors, and agents who so generously contributed sidebars to the book. As the grand finale, The Editor is giving away a “Free Full Manuscript Edit” on the final day. Click here for details about the 7-Day Virtual Book Launch.

June 21, 2011: Announcing the Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies Virtual Book Launch
Celebrate the publication of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies from June 29 to July 5 here on DearEditor.com with daily “Free First Chapter Critique” giveaways, free downloads, excerpts from the book, and profiles of the 13 amazing authors, editors, and agents who so generously contributed sidebars to the book. As the grand finale, The Editor is giving away a “Free Full Manuscript Edit” on the final day. Click here for details about the 7-Day Virtual Book Launch.

June 20, 2011: Video Writing Tip from The Editor
Click over to Tina Nichols Coury’s blog Tales from the Rushmore Kid for a one-minute video tip from The Editor. The topic: Checking to see if your protagonist has completed a full character arc.

June 8, 2011: Free Webinar with The Editor July 27, 2011
The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, will be conducting a free webinar with author Katie Davis on July 27, 2011, 9:00-10:oo pm EST. For details or to sign up, visit the webinar information page!

June 6, 2011: Writing YA Fiction for Dummies Virtual Book Launch June 29-July 5
DearEditor.com will be the site of a huge 7-day virtual book launch for the publication of The Editor’s new book WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES. Visit every day for exclusive free downloads, book excerpts, profiles of lauded MG/YA author contributors, and daily Free Critique/Full MS Edit Giveaways. More details to come!

June 6, 2011:The Editor to Critique at SCBWI-LA National Summer Conf.
The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, will be critiquing manuscripts at the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators 40th Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles, August 5-8, 2011. Click on over to SCBWI’s conference site for details about this incredible event.

May 16, 2011:The Editor Gives Setting Tips in Hunger Mountain
The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, is honored to have an article featured in the summer 2011 issue of HUNGER MOUNTAIN, the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ wonderful journal of the arts. In “Where the Teens Are: 5 Ways to Freshen Up YA Fiction’s Favorite Settings,” Deborah offers writers tips for making familiar teen fiction settings like school and the main character’s room feel provocative instead of inevitable. Click on over to Hunger Mountain for more.

May 11, 2011:The Editor Featured in Anderson Valley Post
Anderson Valley Post, the local paper of Anderson Valley, California, ran an article featuring The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, and her co-faculty for the Cottonwood Intensive Revision Workshop. To read about Edgar Award-winning author Charlie Price, author/illustrator Dr. Mira Reisberg, and Deborah, click over to Anderson Valley Post. To learn more about the May 21, 2011, conference, go to the conference website.

April 11, 2011:Registration Now Open for Cottonwood Intensive Revision Workshop
Registration is open for the Cottonwood Intensive Revision Workshop, to be held May 21, 2011, in Cottonwood, CA (17 miles south of Redding, CA, and approx. 2 hours from Sacramento). The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, will be teaching at the event, which is dedicated to helping children’s book writers revise their young adult novels and picture books. The 1-day workshop is hosted by SCBWI‘s California North/Central chapter, with Edgar Mystery Award nominee author Charlie Price and award-winning picture book illustrator, art director, designer, and educator Dr. Mira Reisberg filling out the faculty. For more information or to register (deadline May 1, 2011), contact scbwicanorthcentral@gmail.com or go to the Conference website.

Mar 2, 2011:SCBWI Chapter Features The Editor in Kite Tales
The Editor (Deborah Halverson) lays down some scene advice in the 2011 Spring Issue of Kite Tales, the newsletter for the SCBWI Tri-Regions of Southern California. The chapter has shared a link to the newsletter, which is full of fantastic information: Kite Tales, Spring 2011. For more information about SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators), go to SCBWI.org.

Jan 26, 2011:The Editor to Talk to Teachers about Supporting Young Writers
June 20-23, 2011, teachers earning their MAs will gather at the 32nd San Diego State University Summer Conference, and The Editor (Deborah Halverson) will be there with them. Her session, “BIF! BAM! POW!: Helping Young Writers Release Their Inner Heroes,” focuses on helping young writers tap into the heroes within themselves in order to write about characters who overcome their fears and flaws for heroic outcomes.

Jan 25, 2011:The Editor at Cottonwood Revision Intensive
On May 21, 2011, The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, will be helping children’s book writers revise their young adult novels and picture books at the Cottonwood Revision Intensive in Cottonwood, California. The 2-day workshop is hosted by SCBWI‘s California North/Central chapter, with author Charlie Price filling out the faculty. For more information or to register, contact scbwicanorthcentral@gmail.com

Nov 29, 2010:The Editor Goes In Between Scenes for FictionNotes
The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, wrote a guest post today about why it’s crucial that a writer knows what happens in the white space between scenes for author Darcy Pattison’s information-loaded blog “Fiction Notes.” Darcy is a writing teacher and the author of The Book Trailer Manual (www.booktrailermanual.com), several picture books, and the teen fantasy novel The Wayfinder.

Nov 29, 2010:Author Mary E. Pearson Becomes 1st Guest Editor for the Day
As DearEditor.com’s first Guest Editor for the Day, author Mary E. Pearson stepped in to help a frustrated writer battle back against writer’s block. Mary is the award-winning author of five novels for teens, including the new The Miles Between.

Nov 27, 2010:New Feature Added to DearEditor.com – Guest Editor for the Day
DearEditor.com is adding a new feature: Guest Editor for the Day. Starting Monday, November 29, The Editor will occasionally hand over her editorial pen to a publishing colleague who will field a question that falls within his or her realm of expertise. In this way The Editor hopes to add to the depth of the knowledge bandied about DearEditor.com. The more voices we hear, the wiser we become. First up: award-winning author Mary E. Pearson.

Nov 24, 2010:The Editor Answers Callers’ Questions on “Brain Burps About Books” Podcast
Deborah Halverson, aka The Editor, answered listeners’ questions about publishing children’s books on author Katie Davis‘s podcast Brain Burps About Books.” If you’ve got a question you’d like Deborah to answer in a follow-up podcast, call Katie’s toll free line at 888-522-1929 and leave a message.

Nov 11, 2010:One Week to Phone In Questions to The Editor
On November 18th, author Katie Davis will tape an interview with Deborah Halverson, aka The Editor, for Katie’s podcast “Brain Burps About Books.” If you’ve got a question you’d like Deborah to answer in the podcast, call Katie’s toll free line at 888-522-1929 by November 18th and leave a message. DearEditor.com will post an update when that podcast is available for listening.

Oct 11, 2010:Six-Month Free Picture Book Edit Giveaway Winner Announced
Congratulations to Jennifer Carson, the winner of the FREE EDIT giveaway celebrating DearEditor.com’s first six months. Jennifer’s manuscript is entitled Stinking Beauty. To the rest of DearEditor.com’s readers, thanks for a fun first half year. Keep those questions, comments, and anecdotes coming! The more we hear, the more we learn.

Sept 20, 2010:GIVEAWAY! a FREE EDIT of one Picture Book Manuscript
The Editor is giving away a FREE EDIT of one picture book manuscript to celebrate the six-month anniversary of DearEditor.com. To enter more than once, spread the word! See the DearEditor.com giveaway announcement for rules and to enter. Deadline: October 10, 2010.

July 29, 2010: The Editor to Write “Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies”
The Editor, Deborah Halverson, has signed on to write “Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies” for Wiley Publishers’ For Dummies… line, to hit stores June 2011. To learn more about the For Dummies… books, go to www.ForDummies.com.

June 18, 2010: The Editor Guest Posts about Setting in Novels on “Cynsations”The Editor, Deborah Halverson, wrote a guest post today about setting in novels on author Cynthia Leitich Smith’s fabulous blog “Cynsations.” Cynthia is a New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of YA Gothic fantasies, including Tantalize and Eternal, as well as several picture books for children. Here’s a teaser from Deborah’s guest post, “Setting, Wherefore Art Thou?“: “We need setting in our stories. We need the richness that makes up setting, the sensual engagement that can only come from hearing the crunch of frosty grass under the protagonist’s bare feet, or feeling the sudden whispery kiss of a spider’s web dangling from the eaves. We’d just have a girl walking across a lawn and a creepy old house. Where’s the joy in that?” Check out Cynthia’s blog for the whole post. To learn more about Cynthia, go to CynthiaLeitichSmith.com.

May 31, 2010: The Editor’s Article about Teen Fiction & Melodrama Appears in “The Inside Story

The Editor, Deborah Halverson, wrote the feature article “Melodrama Isn’t a Four-Letter Word” for this month’s “The Inside Story”, a monthly newsletter by Bruce Hale, author of two hilarious chapter book series—the Chet Gecko series, and the Underwhere series. Here’s a teaser from Deborah’s article: “So, you’re thirty-something writing a teen novel, and you want your narrative voice to sound convincingly youthful? That’s an outstanding goal. A believable voice makes all the difference in the success of a manuscript. But how do you actually do it? The answer might surprise you.” To subscribe to “The Inside Story” and read Deborah’s full article, go to http://bit.ly/b3yXd5. To learn more about Bruce Hale, go to BruceHale.com.

May 25, 2010: The Editor Interviewed for SCBWI’s “Industry PROfiles
The Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators has just posted an on-line interview with DearEditor.com’s resident Editor, Deborah Halverson. The interview focuses on Deborah’s literary journey from playroom to publishing house to author’s chair, and explores how she balances her roles as Author/Editor/Mom. The full interview appears in SCBWI’s “Industry PROfiles.”

May 3, 2010: The Editor to Speak at SCBWI-San Diego Chapter Meeting
The Editor, Deborah Halverson, will present “How Do You Know Your Manuscript Is Ready for Submission?” at the season-opening meeting of the SCBWI-San Diego chapter, on September 11, 2010, from 2-4pm, in Hahn Nursing Hall on the University of San Diego campus. For details about the meeting and the chapter, visit their website.

April 15, 2010: One-Month Anniversary Edit Giveaway Winner Announced
Congratulations to Annemarie O’Brien, winner of the giveaway of a free substantive edit of a YA/MG manuscript. Annemarie’s manuscript is an upper middle grade novel titled Dance with Borzois. Congratulations, Annemarie! To the rest of DearEditor.com’s readers, there will definitely be more giveaways like this in the future. Thanks for your enthusiastic support during DearEditor.com’s inaugural month!

April 7, 2010:GIVEAWAY! a FREE Substantive Edit of one YA or MG Fiction Manuscript
The Editor is giving away a FREE Substantive Edit of one Young Adult or Middle Grade fiction manuscript to celebrate the one-month anniversary of DearEditor.com. To enter more than once, spread the word! See DearEditor.com home page for rules and to enter. Deadline: April 14, 2010.

April 6, 2010:The Editor Interviewed on SellingBooks.com
The Editor, Deborah Halverson, talks writing, editing, and why half of females aged 18 – 25 want to be run over by a truck in a new interview on SellingBooks.com. Check it out!

March 13, 2010:Interview on Writers’ Waiting Room about the Creation of DearEditor.com
An interview with The Editor, Deborah Halverson, was posted today on Writers’ Waiting Room. The interview focuses on the creation of DearEditor.com. The Writers’ Waiting Room was launched on the premise that all writers are waiting for something–the next idea, an agent, a publishing contract or the type of quiet that happens when the kids go to bed. It is run by writer Tami Casias, who interviews authors to get their take on living a writer’s life.

March 24, 2010: The Editor to Present Workshop at SCBWI’s Summer 2010 Conference
The Editor, aka Deborah Halverson, will be presenting a workshop at the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators’ 39th annual summer conference, which will be held at the Century Hyatt in Los Angeles July 30 through August 2, 2010. Deborah’s session is “The Ultimate Checklist for Submitting to Editors: 10 Tests a Novel Must Pass to Prove It’s REALLY Ready for Submission to Editors.” Registration for the conference starts April 28th at www.scbwi.org.

March 3, 2010: DearEditor.com Utters Its First Tweet
DearEditor.com just tweeted its first Gr8 1st Line: “The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship.” from Stiff by Mary Roach. For more DearEditor.com tweets, go to http://twitter.com/Dear_Editor or just tweet to @Dear_Editor.

March 3, 2010: DearEditor.com Launches
DearEditor.com has just gone live! The first post answers a writer’s question about how to sound like a teenager. Special thanks to this site’s designer, Theresa Stanton at Blogs for Photogs, who took the vision for DearEditor.com to a fantastic new level.

Average Wait for Agent Response?

Dear Editor…

I wonder what the current wait for a response to a pb submission is? I have waited five months, and sent a sase.



Dear Lisa…

I know you’re up to here with waiting, so here’s the quick answer: three to six months. The longer version: At three months, it’s fair to send a follow-up letter asking about the status of the submission. Do that now if you haven’t already. If you’ve had no reply after six months, consider this a “no deal” and move on. It’s possible you’ll hear back after that, but not likely. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already done so, multiply submit that ms to other agents pronto, noting “multiple submission” in the query letters. No need to keep your future agent waiting on an agent who isn’t replying.

Happy writing!

The Editor

But Aren’t Proposals for NON-Fiction?

Dear Editor…

Please settle a point for me: Don’t proposals only apply to non-fiction? Thanks.



Dear Robyn…

There’s a time and place for everything—even proposals for fiction submissions. Two such scenarios: 1) You’re previously published, proving you’ve got the stick-to-itiveness to finish what you start and the skills to realize what you promise; it helps if you come with confidence-inspiring credentials like significant awards, a solid platform, and strong sales. 2) Your proposal offers something irresistible enough to make the editors take a chance on something that’s not yet written, such as with a celebrity connection or a hot, timely topic. Generally, though, fiction editors require query letters instead of proposals, and they expect to buy completed manuscripts.

Happy writing!

The Editor

Can I Use a Symbol in My Title?


Dear Editor…

The title of my current WIP is the name of a fictional corporation, followed by ™. I’m concerned that, in queries, this will look like I’m trying to protect my title from the agent or editor — which I know is a very unprofessional thing to do. How do I clearly communicate that the ™ is part of the title?


Dear Darin…

Using a symbol in the title could be an issue for your book long after query stage: How will people type the title into their search engines? How will the symbol translate in databases like Goodreads and Amazon, considering databases are notorious for converting non-letters to random symbols? Even simple apostrophes in titles can get warped in email subject lines for launch announcements, etc. Is the trademark symbol vital to understanding the concept of your book and thus worth the potential hiccups in online promotion and book listings? Consider leaving it out of the official title and using it only as a design element on the final book cover. Can you skip it during submission, at least? You can discuss its necessity with your editor and marketing team later. If it must stay in the official title through all stages, add an asterisked line to the ms cover page or somewhere in the query letter’s body text, such as: *Trademark symbol is part of official book title. That may raise eyebrows for being unusual, but it’s unlikely to sabotage the manuscript.

Happy writing!
The Editor