Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Meet the Emma Press editors: Emma Wright

The Emma Press is introducing a new element to pamphlet submissions: authors get to choose the editor they would like to read their submission in the first round. This doesn't mean that you have to have this editor if your book is chosen, and nor does it guarantee that your chosen editor will be the one who reads your manuscript in the first round, but we will try our best.

We've put together profiles of all four Emma Press editors, to help you decide which editor might look most favourably on your manuscript. We do recommend that you read all four profiles and give them some thought, but don't agonise over your decision – if the editor reading your manuscript thinks it's good but might appeal to another editor more, they will pass it on to them.

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Hello, I’m... Emma Wright.

Mandatory editor selfie
in front of bookcase
I'm hoping to find... deft, crisp writing that charms and delights. Prose and poems where I lose all sense of time while I’m reading them and then feel like I’m floating when I’ve read the final line. I’ll be focusing on the prose pamphlets, and I hope to find some cracking short stories, essays, novellas, and who knows what else. I'll also be looking out for poetry that is wild, angry and full of colours and rich imagery.

Three of my favourite books are... I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, Stranded at the Drive-In by Garry Mullholland and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

I wish I'd published... The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits.

I wish I'd written... All but a Few by Joan Aiken.

I've got a soft spot for... dabs of humour in most kinds of writing. Writing that screams ‘THIS IS SERIOUS TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT AND SAD’ the whole way through makes me want to blow raspberries.

I'm a stickler for... prose that scans well. I want my authors to be in command of the rhythms of their sentences, using the beats and stresses to communicate with the reader just as much as the choices of words.

Recently I edited... Leanne Radojkovich’s cool, twisty fairytales in First fox, Jan Carson’s warm, lightly surreal Postcard Stories, and Daina Tabūna’s alarmingly honest coming-of-age stories in The Secret Box (translated by Jayde Will).

My advice to anyone thinking of submitting is... Think about what your pamphlet will bring to the readers’ lives. Sometimes writers are advised to write for themselves and no one else, but when you’re at the stage of sending out a manuscript it’s probably helpful to put yourself in the editor’s shoes and think about what will make them decide to devote months towards bringing your manuscript into print. At the Emma Press, it’s most likely to be because the editor believes your book will bring comfort and/or joy to the reader. Also, if you're nervous about submitting, go for it! Other people have books – why shouldn't you?

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This round of pamphlet submissions ends on 10th December 2017. See the Emma Press website for guidelines.

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