Celia Johnson

#49: From the Reject Pile to the Bookstore Shelf, by Celia Johnson

Some manuscripts simply aren’t destined for publication. Then there are the surprises, the manuscripts that seem to follow the same trajectory, rejected time and again, and then end up finding homes at publishing houses. Three agents offer their own take on these success stories, each one answering the following question: Do you have any projects that started out with one (or many) rejects, but were ultimately published?


Encounters in Publishing #23: How Not to Buy a Book, by Celia Johnson

The weekly edit meeting where I used to work would take place on Monday morning for some obscure reason. It seemed far too early to make or break someone’s week. The entire editorial staff, along with a few people from publicity and sales, would crowd into a large conference room. Assistants propped themselves up on long counters on either side of the room, while the higher ups sat at the table.

Our editor-in-chief presided. After announcements, she went around the room, offering everyone (even assistants) the opportunity to bring up a new project. If you were sitting on the counter, there was no need to speak up. You could waltz in, sit back, and witness book acquisition at play (unless you had the awful job of taking minutes). But the editors at the table were under a great deal of pressure to acquire. They’d also receive the most viable book proposals. So, one by one, they’d pitch new projects


An Interview with Maurice Sendak, by Celia Johnson and Maria Gagliano

Maurice Sendak captured the power of a child’s imagination, to transport them into the wild recesses of dreams, in his most famous book, Where the Wild Things Are. We had the opportunity to chat on the phone with Sendak, who lived in Connecticut, a week before his eighty-second birthday.

During our interview, Sendak took us back to the wildest place he ever went to, the place that inspired the adventures of his mischievous character named Max. It was his childhood home, located in Brooklyn, the same borough as Slice’s headquarters. So it turns out that the wild can take root in your backyard, or if you don’t have one—as is the case for many city kids—in the nooks and crannies of your apartment.