Tanya Anderson

Eric B. Anderson

Tanya Anderson is an award-winning editor of books for young readers. Her particular passion is to create engaging nonfiction books for reluctant readers, those who are capable readers but who have become uninterested in reading. Anderson discovered this need when she taught high school history and English. She continues in her role as a teacher and guide through the books she edits and writes.

Anderson graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, after a dozen years in the education field, she followed her dream of joining the children’s book publishing world. She has worked for more than twenty years in various editorial functions for Pages Publishing Group/Willowisp Press, Guideposts for Teens, SRA/McGraw-Hill, Darby Creek Publishing, and now has her own book packaging company, School Street Media. Besides working with some of the most wonderful authors and illustrators in the business, Anderson has also had more than thirty books published in the children’s and educational book markets.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I loved the very first Boxcar Children book, as well as the Betsy-Tacy book series.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

I don’t usually memorize lines from books. I just enjoy the whole story and savor the pieces as I read.

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

This is a tough one to answer because I read many different kinds of books. In the children’s/YA arena, I always enjoy reading books by Patrick Ness, Gary Schmidt, and Louise Erdrich. 

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I’ve always loved books, and I think being a reader made me want to become a writer. I love language in general, so my work as an editor is also a part of that. Playing with words can be just as much fun as playing anything: a musical instrument, a sport, a video game. It’s like a puzzle to make the words say exactly what you want them to say.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Read good books. By “good,” I mean books that make you think, that cause you to feel something deep inside, that speak to you and make you want to talk about them with your friends. Don’t be afraid to write. I think a lot of writers of all ages have a fear that they aren’t any good at writing. That fear is normal. I feel it. Most writers who care about what they are writing feel it. When you feel like you’re not good enough, write anyway. It’s just a pesky bug that’s whispering lies. The best way to swat the bug is with your pen.