Liese Mayer, interviewed by Stefan Merrill Block
Near the end of the workshop I lead at The Center for Fiction, "The Story Laboratory," I invite one or two publishing professionals to visit the classroom. Having spent months or years obsessing over electronic documents on their word processors, my students often tell me what a relief it is to speak with our visiting book editors and agents—a passionate, upbeat lot who can demystify the dream of turning a manuscript on a hard drive into an actual published book. Gearing up for the next edition of my workshop, I asked one of my regular guests to share some of her advice. Liese Mayer is an editor at Scribner, where she acquires both fiction and narrative non-fiction.
Liese Mayer joined Scribner as an editor in 2013, having previously worked at The Overlook Press, where she edited The Facades by Eric Lundgren, How to Disappear Completely by Kelsey Osgood, and Beautiful Fools by R. Clifton Spargo, and Little, Brown and Company, where she worked on the publication of books by bestselling authors such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Jake Tapper, Evan Thomas, James Bradley, and Mary Gabriel, among others. She acquires literary and upmarket commercial fiction, and narrative nonfiction in the areas of social and cultural history, memoir, and investigative journalism. Her forthcoming titles include War of the Encylopaedists by Chris Robinson and Gavin Kovite, Barefoot Dogs by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, Flannery O’Connor and Rona Jaffe Award winner Lori Ostlund’s After the Parade.
Stefan Merrill Block grew up in Plano, Texas. His first book, The Story of Forgetting, was an international bestseller and the winner of Best First Fiction at the Rome International Festival of Literature, The Ovid Prize from the Romanian Writer's Union, the 2008 Merck Serono Literature Prize and the 2009 Fiction Award from The Writers’ League of Texas. The Story of Forgetting was also a finalist for the debut fiction awards from IndieBound, Salon du Livre and The Center for Fiction. Following the publication of his second novel, The Storm at the Door, Stefan was awarded The University of Texas Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, as well as residencies at The Santa Maddalena Foundation and Castello Malaspina di Fosdinovo in Italy. Stefan's stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR’s Radiolab, GRANTA, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. Stefan lives in Brooklyn.