Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Allyson Heller- associate editor Aladdin

Hello from the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference in Sandy, Utah. First off, if you live in Utah, I have two book signings today and tomorrow. Please come!

1. (Today)Wednesday, June 19 Sugarhouse Barnes & Noble, Salt Lake City, 7pm
2. (Tomorrow)Thursday, June 20 Salt Lake City Costco (1818S 300W) 10- noon.

Now, for some fun stuff. Our kick off speaker at the conference was Aladdin associate editor, Alyson Heller. Allyson deals with picture books through middle grade. For PB she likes short, snappy text that makes her laugh. In chapter books, she likes to find characters that can live on in a series. She wants fun, sweet and commercial stories. Regarding MG, Allyson is looking for boy books, contemporary and clean chick-lit.

Allyson is plenty busy, working on at lest 45 titles a year-that includes the Summer, Spring and Fall seasons. She just launched her Summer 2014 list. Her days consist of meetings, meetings, more meetings, and paperwork. At her desk, she spends most of her time on emails. Her editing is done on the weekends and her manuscript reading is done on the train ride home.

She originally wanted to be a journalist, and even went to school to earn a journalism degree. However, one day a Simon and Schuster associate program flyer crossed her path, and she signed up to intern. When all was said and done, she had discovered her true love, editorial work, and the rest is history. She has been with S&S ever since.

The main topic of her speech was about using social media as a writer. Her three big musts were Twitter, Facebook and blogging. Though she emphasized that you should only do that which you feel comfortable. She did mention that the first thing the editors do at S&S is check an author's social media presence to see what they are doing, and who they are connected too. A bit of sage advice- don't pitch online using twitter or Facebook!

That's all for now. More to come soon.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing, Dorine! Sounds like a great conference!

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  3. I saw Allyson at WIFYR today and briefly talked to her about my book. Unfortunately, it probably wasn't quite a good match for her, but it was delightful to talk to her. :) I would love working with her as an editor.

  4. Thanks for introducing us to Allyson. It was especially great to hear what she looks for when she receives a manuscript. :) Thanks!