Meet S.G. George, Acquisitions Editor

We’re proud to announce our newest crew member, S.G. George—known as Birdee to her fans on Twitch. We call her Sara and she’s agreed to take on the responsibility of acquisitions editor. Let’s learn a bit about her.

Sara’s Bio

S. G. George has an unnatural love for all things punctuation and can not only visually spot the difference between an em dash and a hyphen but also when to use the former rather than the latter. While also a traditional artist and tabletop player, she would rather be spending her time pouring over manuscripts and scribbling notes in the margins. We assume that she also likes rock music, her pet tortoise, mango drinks, her family, and long walks on the beach; but cannot confirm because she’s editing again. Weekly, she even edits live on her Twitch show!

Asked and Answered

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be an editor?

In high school I joined the writing club and had so much more fun marking up everyone else’s work than actually writing my own. One person was actually serious about writing his novel and ended up with an editor—not by choice. 

2. Why did you choose Cursed Dragon Ship Publishing?

The first job I did for Kelly wasn’t in proper English—shout out to Leather and Sage. Not only did I have a blast making that work, but it was a really good book. I consistently get high-quality and interesting projects from the authors with CDS. Now I just get to pick the best of the bunch!

3. What do you think makes good prose?

Clarity. Clarity makes good prose because without it, your reader isn’t going to be reading your story. That’s not synonymous with simple, mind. But you can create complex, interesting, very voice-y prose that is still easy to read with mindful wording and punctuation. 

4. As an editor, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Most often birds. They’re these beautiful, majestic creatures that are also noisy, annoying, and destructive. I like the videos of the budgies that shred paper into long strips to adorn their feathers. That’s what I’m doing to manuscripts. 

5. What’s the most difficult thing about editing other people’s work?

Keeping the author’s agency. Sometimes I have very strong opinions about the way a story should be told: both big picture and at the copy-editing level. Authors pour a lot of time and care and passion into their work, and I want to make it the best possible product without careening the thing into a whole different direction. Where there’s not a by-the-book answer, ultimately the author has the final say, even if it’s whether to use em dashes or parenthetical commas. 

6. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

In everything we make, there’s an “ugly stage.” It’s the end of the first draft, the sketch where your proportions are wonky, and even editing has that between passes where you realize you missed so much. It’s a step in the process but it can be demoralizing if you let it get to you. Too many times I’ve gotten tripped up and quit at the ugly stage. 

7. What do you hope authors get from your edits? 

Something they learned, on top of just a cleaner manuscript. A majority of my changes come with a blurb to explain it, even if it’s little things the author probably knows.

8. What’s the most difficult part of editing your own work?

I think it’s the same answer as any writer faces: knowing when to stop and what is “good enough.” And then keeping up the motivation to get to that point. And then not going back because one more pass can’t hurt. Repeat in perpetuity. 

9. What’s the most rewarding part of working with authors?

Getting a copy of the book we both worked hard on and being able to put it on my shelf. I’ve got a collection of all manuscripts that made it to print. They bring me much joy. 

10. What advice do you have for authors looking to submit their manuscripts?

Read your submission guidelines and properly attach your files, for CDS or anywhere. If you can’t follow these most basic steps, it doesn’t matter how good your novel is. It’s a red flag that you might be difficult to work with. Make sure your synopsis covers the entirety of your novel (it’s not the spoiler-free elevator pitch), that your first chapter has a strong promise, and that (while not perfect) your prose has as much character as your characters. 

Acquisitions All Caught Up

Thanks to Sara, our query folder is finally caught up and will likely stay there. She’s on it! Remember, if you send in a submission to CDS, address it to Sara. She’ll be right with you.

Our ship’s crew is filling out nicely. We’re just about done with our initial five-year mission and ready to set out for our next one. Thank you for riding along!