CWIM has now landed in the capable hands of Chuck Sambuchino, who's got a few years at WD under his belt, first working on WRITER'S DIGEST magazine, then going onto edit GUIDE TO LITERARY agents and maintaining a popular and terrific blog covering all things agent. Chuck is also a humor book writer, with his book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK to be released in September 2010 from Ten Speed Press/Crown. His first book was writing-related: the third edition of FORMATTING & SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT. He's a produced playwright and a writer for both national and regional magazines with more than 600 articles have in print. He's represented by Sorche Fairbank of Fairbank Literary Representation.
In addition, Chuck is a husband, cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie fiend, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham. He's also a good pal of mine. (I wouldn't trust my baby with just anyone.) We recently chatted about CWIM.
The former editor of CWIM worked on the book for nearly two decades and I hear she was pretty awesome and everyone liked her. How do you plan to fill her stylish shoes?
I know that you have been bitten by the writing for young readers bug, right?
My personal writing at this point has been a lot of nonfiction and some fiction scripts (stage plays, screenplays). But I would love, love, love to write kids stuff--MG and YA--as I go along. I’ve already conspired with some co-writers on projects, and it just becomes a matter of carving out time to write and polish work.
Any favorites books for young readers you've read recently?
I’m reading THE DUFF right now (like everyone else, it seems). Besides that, I’ve been reading a lot of adult narrative nonfiction. I kind of go in waves.
Are you open to queries for the 2012 CWIM?
I am open to queries for CWIM, but I warn you that I will not review them for 4-10 weeks, depending. But people are free to submit article ideas to me. Send them to chuck.sambuchino(at)fwmedia(dot)com with “Query” in the title. I urge people to query about helpful and unusual topics. I also accept pitches for my other book, GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS, though I buy fewer articles for that title. Besides that, if you’ve written a book and are looking for ways to promote your work, consider a guest column of any kind for my GLA blog: www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog.
Are you looking for debut authors?
I assume you mean the recurring “First Books” feature that runs in CWIM and I would say I currently have no plans to change/overhaul that feature--so that’s a yes. People should send me material about their debuts. I also feature debut writers for the “Breaking In” section of WRITER'S DIGEST, so there are multiple options--though be advised I get a LOT of publicists banging down my door to get their people in.
You've got a great blog for GLA. Why should children's writer's read your blog?
Simple--I interview kids agents all the time and also let people know when new kid agents pop up. I delve deeper into what agents want. If an agent wants “YA,” I try to find out what kind of YA they really want to receive (e.g., “no vampires, but more contemporary stuff”). Also, lots of published kids writers do guest columns for me and share their wisdom in the process.
Are the new 2011 market books out yet?
Almost! The 2011 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS and the 2011 CHILDREN'S WRTIER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET both land in the first 10 days of August. You can find them at any major bookstore, or online at our shop (which offers the same discounts as Amazon). The new GLA is packed with new agencies and is as awesome as awesome can be. I assume the 2011 CWIM rocks, too, but you can speak to that better than me. [Alice says: It does]
Will you be at any upcoming conferences where writers can meet and pitch you?
I just spoke the Northern Ohio SCBWI (maybe you were there and we met!). Other than that, I’ll be at the following in 2010: Clarksville Writers Conference in Clarksville, TN (July 30-31); Wrangling With Writing in Tucson, AZ (Sept. 24-26); Surrey International Writers Conference in Surrey, BC, Canada (Oct. 22-24); Vegas Valley Book Fair in Las Vegas, NV (Nov. 6); and San Francisco Writing for Change in San Francisco, CA (Nov. 12-13).