Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 23, 2018

Page Street Kids Editor of the Month – Charlotte Wenger Interview

Charlotte Wenger is an editor at Page Street Kids. Prior to joining Page Street, she earned her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from Simmons College in May 2016 and worked as an editorial intern with literary agent Rubin Pfeffer. (In undergrad, Charlotte majored in theatre and English as well as spent a semester abroad in South Africa and Lesotho.)

She loves picture book biographies, sports narratives, and global stories. Additionally, topics and themes surrounding the performing arts as well as social awareness and justice pique my interest. She is especially looking for debut (or newer talent) authors and author-illustrators with strong writing skills and distinct art styles.

In narrative picture books (fiction and nonfiction), she looks for well-developed characters with distinct voices; a strong, well-paced plot with an earned resolution; and a clever, unexpected, yet satisfying ending. She is always open to stories that break formula and just work – that have that special something that you can’t quite put your finger on – either in the art or the words. She likes both prose and poetry, but typically not a fan of rhyming unless it feels authentic to the tone of the story.

Charlotte is always on the lookout for what hasn’t been done yet – stories that haven’t been told and voices that haven’t been heard.

HERE IS MY INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE WENGER

Do you accept unsolicited submissions?

Yes! They can be sent to childrensubmissions@pagestreetpublishing.com. Please include a query and attach the manuscript as a word document or a pdf sketch dummy, 32-40 pages, in spread layouts. Your query must contain: 1) synopsis, pitch, age range; and 2) an author bio that describes your occupation, publishing history, social media presence, and any other relevant information that pertains to your manuscript. If you are an illustrator, please also send your website. If you are represented by an agent or plan to be, please note this in your author bio.

 Is there a maximum word count for picture book submissions?

I’m not a big fan of word limits, because pacing is more important, but higher word counts can be a warning sign that the narrative could be tighter. Nonfiction tends to be longer than fiction, but I also recommend not including any back matter when listing the word count. 

What do you feel is a good word count for picture books?

If I’d have to put a number range to it, I’d say 0 to 700 for fiction and 500 to 1400 for narrative nonfiction (not counting back matter).

Are you open to an author using illustrator notes in their manuscript?

Yes, to a point. If used, they should be minimal and not too specific, providing helpful information (particularly if nonfiction) or helping inspire imagery without being creatively restrictive.

Does an author have a better chance securing a contract with you if they have an agent?

No. We are interested in working with debut talent, so we’re happy to work with authors and illustrators who don’t have agents. We also proactively seek out and establish connections with creators who we believe have distinct storytelling potential, and then work with them to develop projects.

How important is the query letter?

Query letters are helpful for getting a first impression, but the quality of the story-writing is more important to me. I appreciate when a query reflects the fact that the writer/illustrator has done research about Page Street Kids and me and submitted to us because she/he thinks we might be a good fit.

Would you be willing to work with an author on an interesting manuscript that needs changes?

Yes, we’re happy to work developmentally with both authors and author-illustrators. Often, having a creator work on some revisions before we make an official decision about acquiring helps us get a sense of how well the person takes feedback and revises.

Any pet peeves?

I’m a details person (and a former copy editor), so while I have some grace, typos are a pet peeve, particularly in manuscripts. You want to put your best foot forward when submitting, so take the time to make sure you’re sending out clean text.

Are you interested in writer’s conference invitations?

Yes, definitely! I love connecting and building relationships with people in the children’s book community.

Charlotte, thank you for taking the time to answer the question for our interview. I am sure it will help many writers and illustrators.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Thanks for this. Every informative.

    Like

  2. Excellent and informative interview with Charlotte Wenger, thanks Kathy and Charlotte. I look forward to learning more about you Charlotte and Page Street Publishing!

    Like

  3. Thank you!

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: