Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Editor Interview with Amanda Broder, Ripple Grove Press

First things first—

A reminder: Our Rate Your Story Writing Contest opens next week Wednesday (Jan. 15, 2014) to submissions! Read more about our contest and the manuscript and submission guidelines here. Good luck!

Now, to our Writing Wednesday post. Last month, we sent our PRO members an exclusive interview with picture book editor Amanda Broder. Ms. Broder has asked us to spread it to all of our followers because she's looking to acquire new books for their list and wants to reach as many people as possible. (We love to hear that, don't we?!)

And now, a revival of our Writing Wednesday series, which features the full interview!

Editor Interview with Amanda Broder, Ripple Grove Press 

When Chuck Sambuchino, author of the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Guides and editor behind the Guide to Literary Agents blog recently posted about a NEW picture book imprint, our ears perked up. We know how many of our users write for children!

We visited the site for Ripple 
Grove Press, and discovered how very, very new it was. We wanted more information. And now, we share that information with you!

Please welcome Amanda Broder, editor at Ripple Grove Press.

RYS: What's the story behind Ripple Grove? When did it start? Why did it start?

Ms. Broder: My husband, Rob, and I started Ripple Grove Press in January 2013. We've always wanted to start our own business and went through years of ideas that we just didn't feel passionate about. One day in 2012, Rob came home with the idea to start our own children's book publishing company. Rob was in early childhood education once upon a time and worked to develop a board game presented to Hasbro and started a children's magazine in the San Francisco area. I have a background in art. And of course, we both love children's books. After reading every book we could get our hands on about publishing and publishing for children, researching publishing websites and blogs, and talking with people we know in the industry, we decided to jump in! It was the first and only idea we felt passionate about.

RYS: You're website is pretty vague as to who you are. Who is Ripple Grove? (Editors/Staff)? 

Ms. Broder: As of right now, my husband, Rob, and I are Ripple Grove Press! As with other small businesses we have to take on many roles. That means we are the editors, art directors, designers, marketing team, accountants, and secretarial staff, and on and on. However, one job we believe in hiring free-lancers for is copy editing! Nothing is worse than a poorly edited book.

RYS: (We agree on that last point!) What are some of your favorite children's books or authors (past and present)?  

Ms. Broder: We love the classics like Maurice Sendak, Ruth Krauss, and Bernard Waber. For newer authors we love Philip and Erin Stead's A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead's If You Want to See a Whale, and Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen's Extra Yarn. Rob's favorite book of 2013 is Mark Pett's The Boy and The Airplane and mine is Aaron Becker's Journey.

RYS: What are you looking to acquire? (and have you acquired anything yet?) 

Ms. Broder: We are looking for stories. We love a story for the sake of story, something that does not push a message at the reader. We believe that picture books are a child's first introduction to literature, art, and storytelling and we want to provide the best of those. 

We currently have two books under contract for 2014 and one, so far, for 2015. Both of our books for 2014 are by the same author with different illustrators. All are by first time authors.

RYS: What AREN'T you looking to acquire? 

Ms. Broder: We are not looking for nonfiction, early reader chapter books, or young adult. Please no religious or holiday themed stories. We have received many great submissions for board books and while we believe strongly in the value of board books we're not quite ready to dive into them. Right now we're focusing on establishing ourselves and working on story-driven books.

RYS: One or two quick tips for authors who may want to submit to you? 

Ms. Broder: Please read the submission guidelines. And read children's books! Read everything you can!

RYS: Submission guidelines-anything more specific than what's on your site? Prefer email or snail mail?  

Ms. Broder: We have no preference; we accept either way. 

(Addendum: Ripple Grove is open to working with agents or unagented authors. And their submission guidelines are posted online at

RYS: (Disclaimer: I asked Amanda to make up one more question and answer it.) Where does the name Ripple Grove come from? 
Ms. Broder: Back in Rob's preschool teacher days he used to tell his kids a story about a magical place with fairies and trolls and magical trees with blue leaves called Ripple Grove. When we were thinking of a name for our company it was the perfect fit. It encompasses the feelings of natural wonder we want to inspire in our books.

RYS: Great! Thank you! I'm sure you can expect some submissions from our fabulous Rate Your Story members who feel that your house is a good fit for their work.
BIOGRAPHY: Rob and Amanda Broder started Ripple Grove Press in 2013. It's their mission to make timeless picture books that inspire a love of stories in children and adults. They want their stories to be the last ones read before bedtime. When they aren't making books, they like to spend time at home with their 3-year old daughter and little dog. 


  1. Thanks, Miranda...for writers who are passionate about what they've written, it is always good to hear of new avenues in publishing.
    Congratualtions, Amanda and Rob - I also have a background in ECE (kindergarten teacher) - and LOVE writing for children. I will check out your submission guidelines and see if anything I write might be appropriate for you.:)

  2. I have contracted with Ripple Grove Press for 2015 and I am so excited to be working with two people who are as passionate about picture books as I am.

  3. It's wonderful meeting Ripple Grove on the Internet. I have been working on picture books which I hope will be published, soon. So here I am, Ripple Grove!

    Best to you for 2014 and to my fellow children's writers.



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