SCBWI Los Angeles Writers Day faculty member Matt Ringler is a Senior Editor at Scholastic where he edits chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction.
He got his start at Scholastic in 2001 as a summer intern during his freshman year of college and, minus a short stint as a freelancer, has been there ever since. He compares the internship to winning the lottery, landing him the opportunities to work with Scholastic Editorial Director and author David Levithan and to witness the height of Harry Potter domination.
His books include the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, the Game Changers series by Mike Lupica, the STAT series by Amar’e Stoudemire, and Sharon Robinson’s middle grade novel, The Hero Two Doors Down. His YA list includes Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky and It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm.
Matt talks to Kite Tales about his work and Writers Day in Los Angeles, taking place March 3.
Erlina Vasconcellos: Your books are so diverse and range from long-running series to debuts. How do you choose the books you edit?
Matt Ringler: A lot of that is a combination of luck and paying careful attention to the books I’m acquiring. With a long-running series, there’s always books to work on. That allows me to be really choosy with [the non-series books]. I always want to do something different from what I’ve just done. When I took over on Goosebumps, I sort of became the middle grade horror person. I like it, but I don’t always want to work on middle grade horror. The same thing happened when I acquired my first YA project—everything agents were sending me suddenly mirrored this one book I bought. But I like to read all age ranges; I read all genres.
EV: What are the elements of a strong series? And how should writers present that series to you? Do you want to see a whole plan?