Paige Carlson

Paige Carlson - Editor

Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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 . . .

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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.
English (US)
Middle Grade
Picture Books
Young Adult


  • University of Pittsburgh Certificate in Children's Literature
  • Masters in Children's Literature, University of Roehampton London


  • Carol Gay Award, Children's Literature Association
  • Ossip Award, University of Pittsburgh

Work experience

Fantasy Writing Workshop Leader / Coordinator

University of Pittsburgh
September, 2019 – Present (over 2 years)

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.

Assistant to the Vice President

Penguin Young Readers
April, 2013 – October, 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.

Portfolio (8 selected works)

Lost in the Sun

Graff, Lisa

The Wild Ones

London, C. Alexander

Dilly Dally Daisy

Fearing, Mark

Play with Me!

Lee, Michelle, Lee, Michelle

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