From First Draft to Final Book

How an Author and Editor Work Together with Talia Benamy and Julie Hedlund

How does a book get from here to there?

In From First Draft to Final Book: How an Author and Editor Work Together, 12 x 12 challenge founder Julie Hedlund and Philomel Books Editor Talia Benamy discuss how Julie's picture book, OVER, BEAR! UNDER, WHERE?, went from a first draft to being acquired and then to a final book. They share the revision process of the art as well as the text. Plus, Talia discusses her editorial approach to picture books in general, and Julie reveals marketing strategies she utilized for the book's launch.

"This has been an absolutely wonderful webinar. With such in-depth and frank conversation about the process! Congratulations on this collaboration and all the great reviews so far! Thank you Julie [and] Talia!"

- Nadia Salomon

Your Instructor

Talia Benamy &  Julie Hedlund
Talia Benamy & Julie Hedlund

Talia Benamy, editor at Philomel Books, joined Penguin Random House in 2013. She graduated with a BA in English from Cornell University. Talia edits everything from picture books through YA, fiction and nonfiction. Her list includes books like the She Persisted chapter book series, You Can Be ABCs by Robert Samuel White II, Robert Samuel White III, and Robert Paul Jr., Cramm This Book by Olivia Seltzer, My Love for You Is Always by Gillian Sze and Michelle Lee, Dream Big by Abigail “Astronaut Abby” Harrison, Please Don’t Read This Book by Deanna Kizis and Sam Boughton, Folktales for Fearless Girls by Myriam Sayalero and Dani Torrent, The Heart of a Whale by Anna Pignataro. She is constantly on the lookout for books that will help readers understand the world around them and their place in it, as well as books that embrace feminism, celebrate wordplay, and focus on Judaism, politics, or space. When she’s not editing books, Talia can be found engaging in political activism, winning bar trivia nights, eating all the pizza, and planning her next trip.

Julie Hedlund is an award-winning children's book author, the founder of the 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge, which boasts more than 1,700 members. She is a co-founder of Picture Book Summit, an annual online conference, and the co-creator (with Emma Walton Hamilton) of The Complete Picture Book Submissions System.

Julie's picture books include OVER, BEAR! UNDER, WHERE? (Philomel), MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN (Little Bahalia Publishing) and A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS (Little Bahalia Publishing). Her picture book biography SONG AFTER SONG: THE MUSICAL LIFE OF JULIE ANDREWS is slated for release in Fall 2023.

Julie lives in Boulder, Colorado with her son and daughter and one hound dog high-maintenance enough to be considered a third child.

Frequently Asked Questions

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"Thank you for this very personal and inside look at the process."

- Marie Prins

"This is real nuts and bolts with heart - thanks Julie and Talia."

- Sheila Lewis

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