February 2021

No Nonsense Revision


This presentation will discuss ways to determine when your manuscript is ready for revision; different revision approaches and techniques (from tearing it all down to the bones to hand-polishing for submission) and when to use them; and tips for using feedback to guide your revision. This is the true story of what happens when authors stop being polite, and start getting real about their manuscripts. Sean will share client examples to show the evolution of a book after being shared with him, changes with his feedback, and changes with editor revisions. This talk will focus on picture books, but the concepts will apply to writers in other categories.

Event Materials

About Lecturer

About Sean McCarthy

Sean McCarthy began his publishing career as an editorial intern at Overlook Press and then moved over to the Sheldon Fogelman Agency. He worked as the submissions coordinator and permissions manager before becoming a full-time literary agent. Sean graduated from Macalester College with a degree in English-Creative Writing, and is grateful that he no longer has to spend his winters in Minnesota. He is drawn to flawed, multifaceted characters with devastatingly concise writing in YA, and character-driven work or smartly paced mysteries/adventures in MG. In picture books, he looks more for unforgettable characters, off-beat humor, and especially clever endings. He is not currently interested in issue-driven stories or query letters that pose too many questions.