SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Exclusive with… Kat Brzozowski, Editor at Swoon Reads/Feiwel & Friends

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Kat Brzozowski is an editor at Swoon Reads/Feiwel & Friends. She has edited a wide range of young adult fiction, including Anna-Marie McLemore's When the Moon was Ours, which received a Stonewall Honor and was longlisted for a National Book Award, and new Fear Street books in R.L. Stine’s best-selling series, which has sold over eighty million copies worldwide. Kat is looking to acquire young adult fiction across a wide range of genres, especially contemporary, realistic YA with a strong hook; dark, contemporary fiction, mysteries, suspense and thrillers; and sci-fi and fantasy that’s mostly rooted in this world. She is especially interested in YA with crossover appeal and diverse characters. 

 

What is Swoon Reads?

Swoon Reads is a publishing imprint within the Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Writers – both agented and unagented! – can submit their YA novel of any genre to our site, SwoonReads.com, where fellow writers and readers rate, review, and comment on their manuscript.

 

How do you select the books you publish?

Three times a year, we read the manuscripts that readers love the most and choose which ones to publish in hardcover. Our books are published the same as any Macmillan book, with a full staff, including an editor, marketer, publicist, and more working to produce a great book.

From the moment a manuscript is submitted to the day when the book hits the shelves, our Swoon Readers are involved in every step of the process, including helping us come up with the perfect title, voting on their favorite cover directions, and contributing blurbs to the back of the book. By the time our books come out, we have a built- fan base of readers, many of whom loved the book before it was even selected! We love finding new voices, untold stories, and fresh perspectives. 

 

Since there are so many submissions, what does it take to catch your eye and make you say, “this is the one!”?

One great thing about Swoon Reads is that the books we publish aren't just chosen because I love them; they're also chosen because our Swoon Reads community, as well as the great team of readers we have in-house from various departments, love them. Because we have so many readers, both in-house and on our site, there are a lot of chances for us to fall in love with a new book. Personally, I am drawn in by a strong sense of voice first. I want a character that comes alive and who I want to read about for many pages. I also love multi-dimensional characters that are flawed and complex, just like real people, realistic dialogue, and manuscripts that keep the plot moving forward at a steady clip.

 

What’s on your wish list?

We're eager to publish more diverse authors and books about diverse characters. I'm always looking for something in the vein of "Veronica Mars," one of my favorite shows, or something like "Minority Report" that shows our world in the near future with one big (but realistic) modification. We have a group of editors at Swoon Reads who love books of all genres, so whether you write sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, historical, or contemporary YA, we hope you'll submit to Swoon Reads!

 

Submit on SwoonReads.com