Category: Publishing
In Which I Somehow Manage to Be the First to Learn Something…

If my casual google search for “penguin canada, lynne missen” is correct, this news has yet to hit the internets …

UPDATE: a smart reader (read: my mother) observed that the press release is marked “January 20, 2010.” I’m pretty sure that’s a typo, but if not then I’m actually the LAST person to learn this news. Which would be par for the course.



Toronto, January 20, 2010 … Nicole Winstanley, Publisher, Penguin Canada, announced today that Lynne Missen will take on the role of Publishing Director, Penguin Canada Young Readers, effective January 31st.

Missen will take responsibility for the publishing strategy and editorial direction of Penguin Canada’s illustrated children’s, middle grade and young adult titles; including brand and licensed properties.

“We are very excited,” said Mike Bryan, Penguin Canada President. “Lynne’s appointment comes at an exciting time, as the growth of commercial middle grade and teen fiction series continues unabated.”

Nicole Winstanley commented, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Lynne. Her dedication and commitment to publishing the very best in children’s literature is recognized by authors and agents in Canada and throughout the world. Lynne’s industry knowledge and keen judgment have led the authors she works with to great critical and commercial success and I am confident that under her leadership, the children’s program with grow and thrive.”

Lynne Missen said, “I look forward to this new challenge, working with Nicole and the great team at Penguin Canada, and following on the success of Penguin’s international Young Readers divisions.”

Lynne Missen has been editing books for over twenty years, and children’s books for the past thirteen. In 2002, she joined HarperCollins Canada as children’s book editor and was promoted to Executive Editor, Children’s Books, in 2004. Lynne has worked with bestselling and critically acclaimed authors such as Kenneth Oppel, Susan Juby, Eric Walters, Arthur Slade, Kit Pearson, Helen Dunmore, John Marsden, and Lemony Snicket.

The authors on her list have won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Fiction, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the CLA Young Adult Book Award, the Saskatchewan Book Award (young adult), the Arthur Ellis Award (Juvenile Fiction) and many children’s choice awards. She has been nominated for the Libris Editor of the Year Award three times in the past five years.

Missen will oversee the highly anticipated publication of Lesley Livingston’s Once Every Never in July 2010. In the novel, Livingston, the critically acclaimed author of Wondrous Strange, introduces Clarinet Reid, a typical teenager who unknowingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse in her veins. With a single thoughtless act, what starts off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, save a Celtic warrior princess, and right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born.

She will also shepherd Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, by Canadian screenwriter Jonathan Auxier (for publication in Fall 2011); Queen of Pyres, an epic series inspired by India’s swayamvara ritual, a sorcerer king and the reincarnation of his seven deadly queens; and The Wildlings, a three book series from Charles de Lint, to Canadian readers.

I should also add that she once edited a fine collection of Canadian ghost stories that included a piece from my favorite adult author, Robertson Davies (among others). Welcome to the Penguin family, Lynne!

ALA Midwinter: Awesome Jokes and Free Books

As some of you know, I attended my first ever American Library Association (ALA) conference this weekend in San Diego. I’d been warned that the Midwinter conference  is more about closed-door awards deliberations than hobnobbing. Still, there was some hobnobbing.

Abrams brought out a few authors with forthcoming books1 and were kind enough to let me join the fun. We ate a bunch of food at a bunch of restaurants with a bunch of librarians and booksellers — all of whom were  delightful people. Even better, I learned a brand new joke from blogging librarian Stacy Dillon:

Another highlight included getting drinks with Travis Jonker and John Schu, both of whom were kind enough to meet with a total stranger and give sage advice about how to run a book blog. The other thing they did was talk about all the exciting free books they had gotten while wandering around the floor. This led to me spending several hours, shuffling between booths, trying to figure out the difference between a free book (called an “ARC”) and a not free book (called a “Stop, thief!”).

At the end of the day I had collected exactly zero ARCs. Why? Because I am a big chicken. During an event titled “A Special Afternoon with Neil Gaiman and Nancy Pearl,” Mr. Gaiman spoke of the English as having “a pathological fear of public embarrassment.”2 I’m pretty sure that characterization extends to Canadians as well. At least it applies to me, which explains how I spent five hours in the Land of Free Books without getting so much as a brochure.

On the following day, I forced Mary to join me so she could gather ARCs on my behalf. Not my proudest hour as a husband. But hey! Free books!

The last big event of ALA Midwinter was the Youth Media Awards ceremony, which began very early Monday morning. Sadly, I was unable to attend. I’m told it was a rollicking good time. For a list of winners and honorees, you can check the ALA’s twitter feed, or better yet Betsy Bird’s lively rundown.

Now go away. I’ve got reading to do.

  1. 1. David Ward and Lauren Myracle were especially great about making me feel welcome. Thanks, guys!
  2. 2. In this same conversation Mr. Gaiman said a number of interesting things about his novel The Graveyard Book, which I plan to address in a future post
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