Do you drink coffee or tea?

Take a moment to think about it. No pressure, but this could be the question that defines your writing career. Well, perhaps I am being just a tad bit dramatic, but it is an important question. And it was a great way to start a fantastic night! I, for one, am a coffee drinker. I cannot get enough of it. Nectar from the gods, I call it. Without it, I literally cannot function. And it seems that Michelle Madden (Commissioning Editor at Penguin Radom House) agrees with me… Unlike Shivaun Plozza (author of Frankie and Tin Heart), who has never touched the stuff. Perhaps that is the secret to being a successful writer. If so, I don’t think I am cut out to be an author — I am just not ready for that level of commitment. Now, with that out of the way, lets begin…


If you were unable to attend this event, then allow me to enlighten you on some words of wisdom from our two leading ladies:

 “You don’t want to overdo it, you can destroy an idea and over edit.” – Michelle on how you know your manuscript is done.

Tell me about it, I don’t know about you guys but I have a nasty habit of continually editing my work, freaking out about every little detail. Its exhausting. I think I just need to calm down and drink more coffee.

 “Be wary of giving your manuscript to family to read for feedback. You have to live with them!”

“You want feedback to be negative. Then you can act on it.”

I could have done with these words of advice years ago. I always give my latest WIP (work in progress) to my mother, asking for her opinion. Last time, she told me that she loved every single word. Like, how is that even possible? There has to be something wrong with it. But when I pushed her for some constructive feedback she just told me she couldn’t possible dislike anything I write. Love you mum, but gosh… not helpful lol.

That reminds me, if you guys are in this position too (using your mum as your go to reader) perhaps try joining a writers group. A little bird told me it is a fantastic way to get constructive feedback.

And one final quote for all you aspiring authors:

“Be aware that any feedback you receive from an agent or publisher is an enormous compliment, even if it’s a rejection.” – Michelle

No matter how hard it gets, no matter how many times you get rejected, never give up! All of us, at the YA Room, cannot wait to see your debut book in local book store, libraries and on our bookshelves.

A big thank you to everyone who came to the Ask About…YA Publishing Event, we had an absolute blast learning from two industry professionals, Shivaun Plozza and Michelle Madden. There was a lot to learn from these two amazing women. I hope all of those who attended this event left inspired, to either finish their latest WIP or send a query letter off to a agent in order to get their first book published!


Happy writing from all of us at The YA Room


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