Winning the Newbery—along with the Caldecott the biggest award in children's books—not only changes the lives of the authors and illustrators who receive them, but also affects the careers of their editors. Here, we speak with the editors of the past five

Newbery winners, on the eve of next Monday's announcement of the 2007 medals.

Caitlyn Dlouhy, editorial director, Atheneum Booksfor Young Readers

Book edited:Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (2005 Newbery)

Hearing the news: I was in my hotel room. Cynthia had just moved and I was the only one who had her number, so they called me for it. I started bawling—I was so happy for Cynthia. She had taken a real chance, to switch to writing a children's book [her first novel, The Floating World, was published for adults to much acclaim], and it was such an amazing validation for this choice she had made.

Impact: It was an out-of-body experience—it took months before it felt real. It's given me more autonomy to take chances on projects that are quirkier, more esoteric, less traditional. I feel like I can publish any book I fall in love with.

Kara LaReau, executive editor, Scholastic Press

Book edited:The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2004 Newbery)

Hearing the news: I was at my desk at Candlewick. The call came in to Karen Lotz, whose office was on the other side of the floor. I started hearing screams and mass hysteria, and slowly the wave of hysteria made its way to my desk.

Impact: I feel like I'm more known in the industry—I'm receiving a whole new level of projects now. And to have one of my authors get that kind of award is very motivating to me: we did such great work and it makes me want to do more of that great work.

Virginia Duncan, v-p and publisher, Greenwillow Books

Book edited:Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (2006 Newbery)

Hearing the news: I was in my hotel room [at ALA]. The ALSC representative called me to get Lynne Rae's number, and told me Lynne Rae had won. I remember asking if it was the gold medal, just to be sure. My whole body just started to shake.

Impact: An editor always dreams of this happening. I think Greenwillow has gotten some submissions we might not otherwise have gotten. And it's given me a tiny bit more confidence in editing.

Donna Bray, editorial director, Hyperion Books for Children

Book edited:Crispin by Avi (2003 Newbery)

Hearing the news: The morning of the announcement I was up way too early, which I couldn't blame on jet lag—we were in Philadelphia. I headed downstairs to the Starbucks in the hotel lobby to kill some time. The only other people there happened to be most of the Newbery committee! I said hello to one normally very friendly committee member, but she could hardly look at me and scurried away. I thought, how terrible, she's embarrassed for me, I guess we're not getting anything this year. I figured there was no rush to get upstairs so I sat and finished my coffee. And I wound up missing the fabled phone call altogether!

Impact: Winning the Newbery does raise your profile with agents and authors, as well as within your own company. But it's also great to see what it does for the publishing house—Crispin was Hyperion's first Newbery. But the best thing about winning is that it means the book—and your accomplishment—live forever.

DinahStevenson, v-p and publisher, Clarion Books

Book edited:A SingleShard by Linda Sue Park (2002 Newbery)

Hearing the news: I was in my hotel room, on the phone with Malore Brown [former head of ALSC], who told me that David Wiesner's The Three Pigs had won the Caldecott Medal. I thanked Malore tearfully and she said, "Wait, don't hang up. There's more good news." For Clarion to get both medals was unbelievable.

Impact: It didn't change the way I work, but I feel the Newbery made a difference in how others perceive my role. I have more credibility in-house and more visibility outside. Unfortunately, some people now expect that every novel I bring in will win.