Publishers Lunch and mediabistro reported that Sean McDonald was promoted from senior editor to executive editor at Riverhead last week. According to a Publishers Weekly article, Penguin Group president Susan Petersen Kennedy complimented McDonald for “greatly to Riverhead’s success.” Kennedy also pointed out that the new exec’s “range of editorial interests is broad and compelling.”
McDonald, who edits writers such as George Saunders and James Frey, told mediabistro in an August 2005 interview that what grabs his attention in a submitted manuscript is “a pretty vague collection of things: a voice that I find compelling and engaging, usually characterized by a sense of honesty and authenticity; a sense of literary confidence and a willingness to push words, sentences, and stories in new and unusual directions; a feeling that this is not just one book, but the work of a real writer; and, finally, a conviction that this is a book that deserves and somehow needs to exist.”
So here are congratulations to a great editor, hopes that some Slushpile readers one day get to work with him, and a plug for both the excellent mediabistro and the informative Publishers Lunch. Those two sites are well-worth the subscription fees.