Paige Carlson

Paige Carlson – Editor

I am a children's and Young Adult book fanatic. I've worked on them at Penguin, studied them in graduate school, and even wrote one . . .


I specialize mostly in children’s through Young Adult manuscripts. I worked for several years at Penguin Young Readers in New York City where I worked on manuscripts for some of the best Editors in the world including Nancy Paulsen and Jill Santopolo. I am excellent at what I do and have a deeply grounded knowledge of children's through Young Adult literature from BOTH industry experience and intense academic study, something few editors can match. My academic background allows me to understand and communicate WHY different aspects of your work are or are not working instead of only going on industry experience. This insight will help provide literary depth to your work as well as help improve self-awareness of your craft going forward. I also intend to offer below-market prices as I build a reputation and a client base on the site.

My approach is detail-oriented and collaborative. My goal is to not only help you with a single manuscript, but to provide resources, tools, and ideas of how to improve your craft overall as you move forward in your writing. I am a big fan of structure and pacing, which I find neglected in much of the adult market and absolutely essential in the children's through Young Adult market. I can help you structure your work to accomplish your goals, tighten your prose, and craft vibrant characters and settings that will make an impact on your readers for years to come.

A little more about me- I recently completed a Masters in Children’s Literature through the University of Roehampton in London, home of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature. I have studied writing for a child audience at a graduate level there, as well as extensive coursework and workshopping as an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt I completed the Certificate in Children’s literature, won international acclaim through the Children’s Literature Association’s Carol Gay Award, and studied fantasy literature. I currently run a fantasy writing workshop for students at Pitt. I’ve found working with my students there so intensely satisfying over the past year. I had missed the work of helping to make a manuscript the best it can be after leaving NYC. The workshop reminded me how much I love that work. So that’s why I’m here on Reedsy!

I am also a writer who has written her first book and is working on her second. In other words- I understand the challenges and the tremendous work that goes into the act of creation. I would love to help you at any stage of development, from concept to outlining, from inspiration to drafts, and from fine-tuning to pitch letters. I am especially interested in working on manuscripts with a literary and imaginative streak to them. I also have a real love of a good thriller. My favorites are the Agent Pendergast series by Preston and Child. If you have something like that cooking, I would love to help you with it.
Middle Grade Picture Books Young Adult
English (US)
  • Carol Gay Award, Children's Literature Association
  • Ossip Award, University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh Certificate in Children's Literature
  • Masters in Children's Literature, University of Roehampton London

Work experience

University of Pittsburgh

Sep, 2019 — Present

I created a writing workshop for students studying fantasy literature at the University of Pittsburgh. We discuss various topics such as visualization techniques, writing as practice, and 'rules for writing dialogue' among others. My one-on-one work with students on their writing has received glowing feedback, leading to one student being accepted into an international literary studies program and another student being offered multiple literary agency internships. Over the summer I am leading the group in workshopping novel-length projects together.

Penguin Young Readers

Apr, 2013 — Oct, 2017 (over 4 years)

My experience at Penguin was life-changing and incalculable. I met and worked with some of the best publishing professionals in the business. I read and critiqued manuscripts, wrote jacket copy and editorial letters, and learned the ins and outs of the publishing process from experts like Nancy Paulsen (Nancy Paulsen Books), Jill Santopolo (Philomel and NYT Best Selling Author), and Steve Meltzer (Dutton). I also sorted through mounds of incoming manuscripts in what is know as the 'slush pile' of works submitted without an agent. That experience helped me understand what publishing-ready quality manuscripts looked like.

Paige has 7 reviews





Colleen B.

Colleen B.

Jul, 2022

Paige has been wonderful and professional to work with. Her suggestions have been extremely helpful.
Paige C.
Thank you, Colleen- I look forward to our next collaboration! :)
Scott M.

Scott M.

Jul, 2022

This was my second time hiring Paige and once again I am impressed with her input and grateful to have her helping with my project. Highly recommend!
Paige C.
Thank you so much, Scott :) It has been great working on this project with you and I look forward to seeing where it goes in the future.
Harriet D.

Harriet D.

Jun, 2022

I actually can’t praise Paige’s work too much. She was insightful and very helpful. Not only did she tell me how much she enjoyed my writing, but she also gave me any number of excellent choices to make when I re-edited my story. It’s a story about a horse, about which I knew very little when I started writing, and she complimented me on how much I seemed to know about horses – research! She l...
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Paige C.
It was a delight to work with you, Harriet! :)
Media M.

Media M.

May, 2022

Paige provided valuable feedback and I found her notes to be constructive and understandable. Her expertise exceeded my expectations and I would recommend her to a writer at any stage.
Paige C.
Thank you so much, Medía! It was lovely working with you.
Gayla S.

Gayla S.

Apr, 2022

Paige was super helpful in editing my first manuscript. I was not really sure how the process works between writer and editor, but she guided the process of "back-and-forth" in a way that was reassuring and resulted in a positive experience for me. Paige gave specific suggestions for the overall structure and development of my manuscript, as well as provided accurate and thorough formatting an...
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Paige C.
Thank you so much for your review, Gayla. It was a pleasure working with you.

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