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Letter to the World

Arna Bontemps letter Over on Facebook, Penguin/Putnam Executive Editor Stacey Barney* led me to a great how-I-got-into-publishing-and-how-publishing-could-be-better piece by Random House adult editor Chris Jackson, best know for his publishing of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. I was especially struck by Jackson’s story about being in his first publishing job and not knowing how to type a letter, his point being that this is an easy enough skill to acquire.

“I was a recent high school graduate. I’d never worked in an office before. I didn’t have a résumé and didn’t even know how to type a letter. I’d read deeply in certain areas but in the style of an autodidact, not a scholar. But I was passionate about the work. I was willing to learn.”

I was recently quoted on Twitter as saying (at the recent HBAS colloquium) that children’s literature needs “Resistance with a big R and a little r,” and while I have absolutely no clue what I meant by that, I believe that Jackson’s essay truly speaks to both capital-D and small-d diversity. Have a look.

*And Stacey has documented her own publishing bildungsroman over here.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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Comments

  1. You forgot to edit this … “Chris Jackson, best know for his publishing of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me.” KNOWN, not Know. You’re welcome.

  2. Let’s try that again. You forgot to edit this … “Chris Jackson, best know for his publishing of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me.” KNOWN, not KNOW. You’re welcome … even I need a second, third, and fourth look-over.

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