Coffee and Conversation with Ariane Szu-Tu

Hello friends! Can anyone tell me what today is? Yes, it’s Friday August 22nd, which means…

IT’S DEADLINE DAY! You have only a few hours left to get your submissions in for the critiques and portfolio reviews. No more waiting. Get it done.

Being a Friday and with our conference fast approaching, it’s also time for another intervview with one our amazing faculty members. Today we’re tickled to have editor Ariane Szu-Tu.


Ariane graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she had a full scholarship for creative writing and was Managing Editor of her university paper.  She is responsible for project managing and editing about 20 books per year for National Geographic.  In her spare time she leads National Geographic Student Expeditions to Alaska where she teaches students wildlife and conservation. Ariane is teaming with author John Micklos, Jr. on Saturday to present 125 True Stories of Amazing Pets: Behind the Scenes and again on Sunday to give the intensive He Said, She Said: Double Your Idea’s Chance of Success with Proven Development Approaches from an Author and Editor.

Welcome to the Cyber Cafe, Ariane! Let’s get started.

First off, what’s your favorite coffeehouse beverage? 

Most days it’s just black coffee.

And your favorite snack? 

Chips and salsa.



What was your favorite book as a child?

AMELIA BEDELIA!  Hands down. She was the best. So silly, and her pies looked amazing. Even though I must say, now that I’ve actually tried it, I think lemon meringue is kind of gross.



Delightful book! And now, what’s your favorite book as an adult?

It’s so hard to choose! At the moment, my favorites are CORALINE, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, THIS IS NOT MY HAT, NINJA by Aree Chung, and ANIMAL POETRY.  I also think that the BabyLit books are very clever.

You magically find a $100.00 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it? (Key word: Frivolous!)

A ukulele – and new strings, and some chord charts. By the time the conference happens, I might actually have all of these things!




Here you go…take your pick! So, you’ve been locked in a bank vault Twilight Zone style, so you finally have time to read!  Your glasses are fine (whew!) so what’s the first book you crack open?

Most likely some new teen romance novel that my boyfriend says rots my brain.

If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?

Working as a field biologist.  I was really into biology in high school and I love wildlife.

For one day, time travel is a reality and you can visit any famous deceased author you want.  Who do you pick?

Madeleine L’Engle.

I may have to tag along on that visit. What’s your favorite motivational quote?

“Nothing will work unless you do.” –Maya Angelou

If you could sum up your best advice for new writers or illustrators in only four words, what would it be?

Think of your creation as what it is – a work of art.  If it’s really good, it doesn’t matter how many publishers turn you down.  I believe that someone will see the beauty in it eventually.

Fabulous inspiration! Thanks so much Ariane. Can’t wait to hear more from you at the conference!

Have a great weekend everyone!


About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
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3 Responses to Coffee and Conversation with Ariane Szu-Tu

  1. Pingback: Coffee & Conversation with Sarah Sullivan | As the Eraser Burns

  2. Pingback: Coffee & Conversation with Miranda Paul | As the Eraser Burns

  3. Pingback: Conference Interview Round Up | As the Eraser Burns

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