Sally Apokedak

Sally Apokedak - Editor

Atlanta, GA, USA

Literary agent specializing in children's lit. I edit and sell General Market (big NY houses) and Christian Market (Tyndale, etc.) books.

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Overview

I'm an agent, publisher, and freelance editor with over 20 years experience in General Market children's books, and in books for all ages in the Christian market. Books I've edited have won major awards and one series has sold over a million copies.

If you are writing novels, I can help you


1) find a vibrant voice that will make your books sing

2) build rich story worlds that will draw readers in and hold them captive

3) create active characters your readers will love (even long after they finish reading)

4) plan and execute twisting plots that will surprise and delight your readers

5) weave in meaningful themes so your readers will finish your books with a satisfied sigh.


I also have tons of experience editing board books and picture books. With these I can help you with plot (or concept), character development, voice (rhyme and meter and words that wow!), page turns (pace), and theme.

And, after reading tens of thousands of query letters, I can tell you very quickly if your query letter is going wrong and help you shape a letter that will grab an agent or editor's interest and make them flip to the manuscript and give it a read.

I do work on adult nonfiction and novels, but my first love is the children's market. Great children’s books entertain and also teach. The best books show children how to love well, cherish beauty, and think deeply; and they give children the courage to live heroic lives. With every edit I do, I strive to help authors write and publish books that are excellently crafted--books that will entertain children and also encourage them to live large.

Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Children’s Non-Fiction
Christian Non-Fiction
Fiction
Christian Fiction
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Picture Books
Science Fiction
Young Adult

Awards

  • SCBWI WIP grant 2008
  • ECPA bestselling books over a hundred times
  • Edgar nomination
  • Realm Award Debut Winner
  • Foundations Scholarship
  • ACFW Genesis Spec-fic Winner
  • ACFW Genesis YA finalist
  • Sunshine State Young Readers Award
  • Georgia Children's Book Award nomination
  • Christian Book of the Year nomination
  • YAYOMG! Award
  • Creative Child Preferred Choice Award
  • Realm Award Book of the Year Finalist
  • Realm Award YA Finalist

Work experience

Publisher

My Company
March, 2017 – Present (almost 6 years)

A boutique publishing company with an eclectic list, including YA fantasy, MG poetry, picture books, novels, and even nonfiction.

Writing Instructor

Udemy
December, 2015 – Present (about 7 years)

I have four writing courses up on Udemy that cover Voice, Plot, Punctuation, and Query Letters. I have over 7000 students enrolled who live in over 90 countries.

Literary Agent

My Agency
September, 2012 – Present (over 10 years)

Specializing in children's books, I have a select few authors, including the award-winning and best-selling Hannah C. Hall and Taryn Souders.

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
September, 2001 – Present (over 21 years)

--I’ve done editorial assessments for SCBWI conferences for years. I'm honest, but I've never made a writer cry. I point out where the writer excels, as well as areas needing improvement.

--In developmental edits I focus on story world, character, plot, pace, and theme. These all work to pull readers in, keep pages turning, and provide satisfying endings.

--In copy edits, I focus on voice. I look for places to use figures of speech, I consider how words sound, and I look at pacing and description.

--I’ve gotten tens of thousands of queries. I can help you write a strong query letter.

--When editing picture books, I look all of the above—character, plot (or structure in concept books and nonfiction), voice, theme, pacing (page turns), descriptions, and so on. I also consider what kind of opportunities the author has given the illustrator.

Portfolio (46 selected works)

The Button Girl

Apokedak, Sally

Coop Knows the Scoop

Souders, Taryn

Feelings Bouquet

Yordy, Janine, Vandenburg, Charlotte Hill

Fairies and Chimneys

Fyleman, Rose, Apokedak, Sally

God Bless My Family (A God Bless Book)

Hall, Hannah, Whitlow, Steve

Penguin & Moose Brave the Night

Hall, Hannah C., Curtis, Stacy

God Bless My Boo Boo (A God Bless Book)

Hall, Hannah, Whitlow, Steve

That's What Love Is

Hall, Hannah C., Kearney, Brendan

Jelly Bean Summer

Magnin, Joyce

God Bless Our Baby (A God Bless Book)

Hall, Hannah, Whitlow, Steve

Daddy Snuggles

Hannah C. Hall, Aleksandra Szmidt, Aleksandra Szmidt

Mommy Cuddles

Hannah C. Hall, Aleksandra Szmidt, Aleksandra Szmidt

Grandma Hugs

Hall, Hannah C., Szmidt, Aleksandra

God Bless My Friends (A God Bless Book)

Hall, Hannah, Whitlow, Steve

Sunrise, Easter Surprise!

Hall, Hannah C., Jatkowska, Ag

God Bless My School (A God Bless Book)

Hall, Hannah, Whitlow, Steve

God Bless Our Fall (A God Bless Book)

Hall, Hannah, Whitlow, Steve

Grandpa Love

Hall, Hannah C., Szmidt, Aleksandra

Star Bright, Christmas Night

Hall, Hannah C., Jatkowska, Ag

Would a Worm Go on a Walk?

Hall, Hannah C., Bolton, Bill

Penguin & Moose

Hall, Hannah C., Chernyshova, Anna

The Healer's Rune

Matuska , Lauricia

The Case of the Absent Answers (Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective Book 1)

Fink, R. L., Wooten, Antony , Delhauer, James , Wilson, Samantha , Apokedak, Sally

The Big Birthday for Blue Whale

Hlavaty, Jane, Hlavaty, Jane

Lotti and the Big Dream

Froh, Charly, Andreu, Meritxell

Sally has 155 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Andrew Midgley
Sally was warm and friendly in conversation, and direct and incisive in collaboration. She was quickly responsive to questions, and patient over the process of refining submissions material. I am grateful for her input to my work!

Andrew Midgley, January 2023


E.F. Smith
Sally went above and beyond and provided me with valuable feedback on my query letter!

E.F. Smith, January 2023


Eleanor Ann Peterson
Sally is a wonderful person to work with.

Eleanor Ann Peterson, January 2023


Donald Wehmeyer
Sally is excellent sharing tough love! She tells you about your warts, in a nice way and gives you suggestions about how to improve.

Donald Wehmeyer, December 2022


Deisy Becker
I truly enjoyed working with Sally. She helped to see my work from a different perspective. Thank you, Sally!

Deisy Becker, December 2022

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