Alvina Ling, Senior Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, has a great guest post over at Justine Larbalestier’s blog (be sure you read the comments, too). It’s a nice complement to my interview a while back with former editor Laura Atkins. Here’s what Ms. Ling looks for when hiring an assistant or intern:
-passion for children’s books: you need to be well read, ideally in a wide variety of genres–not too helpful if you only read fantasy, or only read romance. Be able to speak about the books you’ve read in a way that goes beyond “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it”
-bookstore or library experience shows a commitment to working with books.
-internships with publishers or literary agencies also show commitment to working in publishing.
-working with children is a plus, too.
-taking classes specifically in children’s literature at college or otherwise shows passion/interest as well
As for critiquing mss from cultures not your own, again, READ a lot. Also, experience a lot. Live a diverse life, make friends from different cultures, travel.