Welcome to the Passion Project column, where Amanda Johnson Moon and Lea Beresford, co-directors of the Passion Project, will be keeping you in the loop throughout every stage of the game!
AMANDA: If you’re a member of She Writes, there’s a good chance you’re passionate about the written word. Maybe you find that it’s simply impossible to walk by a bookstore without going in and flipping through the pages of a random title on display. Maybe you are writing a new, cutting-edge blog about tomatoes. Maybe you delight in jotting down some stellar haikus on your ten minute morning commute to your day job. Whatever it is, you know passion when you feel it.
It’s time to celebrate our collective lust for words with She Writes’ first-ever contest. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Passion Project as it embraces this unique feeling of adoration that we all know and love.
From the moment of its inception, She Writes’ mission has been to support the efforts of women who write. As most of you know, here on the site you can pick the brains of like-minded writers in various groups; share your writing with a community of women who are both supportive and driven; download webinars on topics ranging from the inner workings of the publishing industry to building a platform with Twitter; and enlist the help of She Writes Services’ Preferred Providers (of which we are two) to make your writing life a little bit easier.
The Passion Project will enable one lucky winner to work with many of our Preferred Providers, including the two of us, Christina Baker Kline, Erin Hosier, Sarah Wilson, Twanna Hines, Courtney Martin, Rebecca Rodskog, and Sharon Avnon, to create and polish a dynamite book proposal, ready to be submitted to agents and/or publishers...and survive the process. It’s so hard to sell a book these days, and consultations with these experts will bring the winner closer to doing so.
LEA: Amanda and I have both worked at publishing houses, and we know that “Passion Projects” are few and far between. As the publishing industry struggles to grow in a confining market sector, there just isn’t much room for projects that don’t seem likely to be BIG books. We always pushed to buy the projects we were passionate about, but the books we loved in a BIG way weren’t always the same ones that had BIG sales potential.
The prize of the Passion Project is wonderful. I think any author would love to have a cadre of experts to call on. But it’s a prize for us, too. Here’s our opportunity to work on something we love. How will an entry win? It will be one that we’re over the moon about. One we can’t stop thinking about. One we believe in PASSIONATELY.
We can’t wait to read your entries. We’re on the lookout for projects that bring you—and us—great joy. We’ll keep you updated throughout the process as we comb through your submissions on our quest to find a winner!
For all the details, please check out the Passion Project page.
AMANDA has worked as an editor in the publishing industry for over ten years. She began her career as an intern at Yale University Press and Writers House. She has served as an editor at Palgrave Macmillan and Basic Books. She has worked with authors including Deborah Siegel, Alice Miller, Tony Wagner, Mary Daly, John Merrow, Henry Giroux, Leonard Sax, Malina Saval, Nancy Rappaport, Sue Barry, and Andrea Tone. She has acquired, edited, and managed many award-winning and positively reviewed books for the trade and academic markets in psychology, women's studies, education, science, memoir, and more. She is a freelance editor based in New York City.
LEA earned a BA in English and psychology “with Distinction in All Subjects” from Cornell and attended the Publishing Course at Columbia. She worked under the illustrious Irene Skolnick at the Irene Skolnick Literary Agency and was then hired at Random House, where Kurt Vonnegut gruffly called her a sweetheart and John Updike praised her ad copy. She has worked with Michelle Maisto, Gayle Brandeis, Jon Katz, Jennifer Mascia, Hilma Wolitzer, Amity Gaige, Margaret Cezair-Thompson, Gemma Townley, and many other authors. She left Random House in the fall of 2009 to pursue a career as a freelance editor, on her own terms.