My Brilliant Young Editors - and How to Be One

Sarah with some young readers
Sarah with some young readers

Since my first book for age 10+ (Ask Amy Green: Boy Trouble) I’ve been working with young editors. My first young editors were Emma and Kate. They read an early manuscript of Boy Trouble and gave me some valuable feedback. They are both now in first year at college and Kate is studying English and hopes to be a writer some day.

For the past two years I’ve held a Young Editor Competition to find new readers to help me edit the Amy Green books. In 2011 Yazmin and Anna won the competition and gave me useful feedback on Ask Amy Green: Dancing Daze.

I asked Anna about her experience and this is what she said:

1/ Did you enjoy being one of my Young Editors?

Yes, it gave me a chance to see what it’s like and helped me decide if I want to take writing up as a career choice.

2/ Was it hard work?

I didn’t think it was especially hard; the only worrying/hard bit was reading the book in time and giving the feedback that I thought would be useful.

3/ What did you learn about writing a book?

I learnt that it’s not as easy as I thought as you have to do multiple drafts and changes before getting to the final copy.

4/ Would you like to edit another book in the future?

Yes, or maybe even write one of my own . . .

5/ Do you have any tips for Amy Green fans entering the new Young Editor Competition (2013)?

My tips are to give your honest opinion and say lots of likes and dislikes - some people might be afraid of telling the dislikes but don’t be afraid as it helps the writer a lot. (She’s quite right too!)

This year I had five young editors as they all sent in such good entries to the Young Editor Competition - Alice, Niamh, Iseult, Ellen and Sophie. Here is some of their feedback (they worked on Wedding Belles):

The Latest Amy Green Book
The Latest Amy Green Book

Niamh: First of all, this was actually my favourite book out of the series. I think it was because you could see how all the characters have developed since the start of the series. Amy has grown up a lot. We can see this through her relationships with all the characters in the book but especially with Seth and Clover. Amy's a great character because she's not perfect but she tries to do what's right and you still root for her.

Iseult: I really enjoyed the experience of being a young editor for this book. I have to admit it was really hard work and sometimes I felt like giving up. The way I have edited is I read it once and then I read it again and if I found anything that I found confusing or something I didn’t understand I’d write a note about it. Overall the book was really great and brought a tear to my eye at the end.

girls jumping
girls jumping

 How Would You Like to be One of My New Young Editors (2013)?

All you have to do is to log onto www.askamygreen.com and click on the Young Editor Competition button and tell me in 300 words or less why you like Wedding Belles (the new Ask Amy Green book), who your favourite character is and why. Enter before 30th November. Good luck!

Yours in books, Sarah X

(This blog first appeared on the Girls Heart Books website)