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Tip of the Hat, #2


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Continued from yesterday–Example #2.  The hurricane is now downgraded to a tropical storm but still a problem in New England.  You probably know Honesdale, PA-based Highlights for Children magazine, either by subscribing or seeing it as the ubiquitous magazine in medical offices. Boyds Mills Press and Calkins Creek are also part of the Highlights publishing family.

When the hurricane was first announced as a major threat, Kent Brown, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus and Sylvia Kingston, Human Resources, sent an e-mail to what seems to be every writer/illustrator who ever attended a workshop (which are top quality, BTW) put on by Highlights and who might be in danger from the hurricane.  It said:  “Kent and I would like to offer you help during the hurricane.  We are opening the cabins, the house and the barn at Boyds Mills for you to use during this emergency.  Please call Sylvia Kingston or Kent Brown at the numbers listed below if you need shelter.”  From the responses, some are taking them up on the proposed shelter; all of us are touched by the offer.

Perhaps children’s book writers reading this will find their offer even more munificent than the average reader will.  When a writer submits a manuscript for a publisher’s consideration these days (after, bear in mind, spending months writing and revising, sharing with a critique group, then more revising, searching to find a company that publishes similar materials, and finally mailing the manuscript off), what is the response the writer receives?  Most of today’s publishers, according to their websites, respond in six months only if interested; otherwise mss are not returned or responded to.

Thank you, Kent and Sylvia and thanks to all the staff at Highlights. Writers truly appreciate a publisher who shows a human and humane face!

And tomorrow’s topic:  As teachers and students head back to school in the US–Integrity and ethics in education.

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