Amara Hoshijo of Soho Press, an independent book publisher based in Manhattan’s Union Square, will make a return visit to the GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™ on March 24, 2018, where she will be taking pitches (advanced registration is required).
Founded in 1986, Soho publishes 90 books a year across its Soho Press, Soho Crime and Soho Teen lists, and is known for introducing bold new literary voices, award-winning international crime fiction, and compelling young adult mystery and thrillers.
Amara took the time to tell us about herself.
I was first drawn to New York at the age of five, based on little more than that it was the biggest city I knew. (I’ve always preferred big cities—more specifically regarding the above, I’ve lived in Honolulu, Paris, and LA.) Hawaii remains a special place for me, but growing up, I didn’t see any industries there that I wanted to be a part of. I came to New York the summer after college with no prospects and the sole objective of breaking into publishing. It is certainly a literary epicenter, which was the deciding factor in my cross-country move, but I was lucky in that my personality meshed well with the city itself. New York has the diversity and integration I’ve craved my entire life; I’d say the people there have been brought together by a similar drive.
As an editor at a traditional publisher, I do believe that authors benefit greatly from having an editor and publicist, but I do not consider the self-publishing movement counter to what I do; rather, I feel it’s complementary to it, and has a rightful place in the industry. (The closest comparison I can think of is crowdfunding’s role in general commerce.)
What we read shapes our perspective. This means that agents and editors act not only as “gatekeepers” of their own industry, but of a piece of broader culture. While I initially became an editor simply because I loved to help others express their ideas in a clear, engaging way, I’ve discovered that I also have a penchant for diverse literature. I would love to bring more work by writers of color, women writers, and writers in translation out into the world.
Amara is a graduate of University of Southern California and has been with Soho Press since August of 2012, first as an intern, then as an editorial assistant, and since May of 2015 as assistant editor.