Writing my first book, Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid, was a huge milestone for me. It allowed me to document my entrepreneurial journey and inspire other young entrepreneurs to dream big and reach for the stars. Bee Fearless was so incredibly special to me, I wanted to make sure it landed in the right hands.
Meet Ms. Stacey Barney. The Editor of my book BeeFearless and the Executive Editor at G.P. Putnam’s Books for Young Readers. She is a true trailblazer and I wanted to share her unique story in honor of Women’s History Month.
With editors having so much influence over which books get published and which ones don’t, I am so glad Ms. Barney ‘beelieved’ in my story. From our very first meeting, I knew she was the right one. She was patient, kind, and wonderful to work with. I wanted to spotlight Ms. Barney this month and introduce her to our hive.
Ms. Barney discovered publishing after taking an introduction to publishing class at Emerson College, while pursuing her Master of Fine Arts degree at night, and working as a high school English teacher. She fell in love with publishing and was determined to make that her life’s work.
She received the Bill Konigsberg Award for Acts and Activism for Equity and Inclusion. According to a New York Times article, there is a huge lack of diversity in the publishing world. Ms. Barney actively promotes diversity through young adult literature and, as an African-American, represents less than 5% of executive editors in the commercial publishing industry.
When I asked her what in Bee Fearless resonated with her, she said, she loved the “initiative” and “ingenuity” I had. She believed my “admirable sense of certitude” would make me very successful. With a career filled with publishing LA Times bestselling authors and New York Times bestsellers, she chooses books that inspire her and are always memorable. It’s so important to have editors like Ms. Barney to shape our culture through the power of books. Diversity cannot be heard if it’s not accurately represented. We are so honored to have a champion like Ms. Barney on our side.
I asked Ms. Stacey what she would say to young women aspiring for greatness and she said, always have a vision for yourself and consistently present your best self and work. I know I try to work towards this every day and encourage you all to do the same!