Kait Feldmann

Kait Feldmann

Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic

My Manuscript Wish List

I’m building a list of picture books and graphic novels and am looking specifically for underrepresented voices and stories, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+, genderqueer/non-binary gender identities, differently abled, neurodiversity, and characters of color and Native descent. I prefer slice-of-life, character-driven narratives with humor and heart; like a little whimsy, light layers of magic; and am a fan of dark humor.

Check out my Goodreads shelf for a living list of my favorite picture books!

Specific areas that interest me:

  • Stories MUST be written by a diverse writer and/or centered on a diverse character.
  • Radical joy – I’m looking for stories that are universally fun and silly, featuring kids who don’t get to see themselves represented in the media often enough. In the words of Andrea Davis Pinkney, “we need to see more Black kids riding dragons.”
  • Fairy tales with LGBQ+ romance.
  • Mixed race kids/families.
  • #ownvoices – coined by Corinne Duyvis.

There’s a need for all kinds of stories, and I encourage people to write their passion and write what is important to them (always with an open-mind towards sensitivity!). However, these are a few topics that would NOT be right for me:

  • Friend of the “other” – stories centered on a protag who unlearns prejudice(s) through the introduction of and connection to a character the protag is initially biased against.
  • White feminism – there are so many badass ladies in the world who deserve to have their stories told (whether they exist IRL or only in your mind)! I just want to note that I do not consider feminism in and of itself to be a diverse category and feel that cis-females writing stories with female protags does not fall under #ownvoices. My particular interest is in stories with intersectional feminism!
  • Animals or anthropomorphized objects – If it’s necessary to the story for your characters to be animals (i.e. I Want My Hat Back or They All Saw a Cat), that’s fine. But if you’re writing about gender, race, etc., I prefer humans, please!
  • Moral/message-driven – If kids catch a whiff of a “good for you” story they immediately lose interest, and so do I! I don’t want to learn anything from your manuscript. I just want to feel something–whether it’s funny, sad, inspiring…
  • Broad concepts – I have a stone-cold heart the size of a pea and am not moved by sweeping texts that explore ideas like love, family, community, diversity, etc. through a glimpse into many different kinds of experiences. Instead, I prefer to see specific narratives that focus on a particular character’s emotional journey. Universality through the specific!

Submission Guidelines

I am only accepting unagented submissions from LGBTQ+, PoC/American Indian, differently abled and neurodiverse writers and illustrators at this time*. Please send your query letter and manuscript to kfeldmann@scholastic.com under the subject header “#MSWL query: [title of your submission]”. Due to inbox avalanche, I’m afraid that my response time is slothfull.

*I recognize that asking writers and illustrators to self-identify as belonging to a marginalized background is imperfect at best, and problematic at worst, but am being direct about my ask because I feel strongly that editors need to do better at representing diverse creators in publishing. It is important for young readers not only to see themselves reflected in the stories they love, but also to know that should they want to tell their own stories one day, there is a space for that. *steps down from soap box* If you wish to discuss this further, I am always open to dialogue (though still slow at responding). I am listening and learning.

Vital Info

Editor
Fiction: Graphic Novel, Picture Books

Favorite sub-genres: #ownvoices
I’d like the next…

My favorites include…

Books: Shaun Tan; Yasmeen Ismail; Suzy Lee; Eloise; Where the Wild Things Are; Snowy Day; Madeline; Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson; Frida by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Ana Juan; Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco; The Giver by Lois Lowry; Inkheart and The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park; Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie; Beverly Cleary; E.B. White; Frances Hodgson Burnett; A.A. Milne; Roald Dahl; Shel Silverstein; Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy; Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet; J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series; Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family series; Rita Williams-Garcia’s Gaither Sisters trilogy

Movies: Hayao Miyazaki, Harold and Maude, Hook, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Memento, Pan’s Labyrinth, Where the Wild Things Are

Shows: Atlanta, Insecure, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, How to Get Away with Murder season 1, Jane the Virgin, The Get Down, Arrested Development, Parks & Rec

Comics/webcomics: Calvin & Hobbes, Hyperbole and a Half, Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel, Nimona, Rat Queens, Saga, Scott Pilgrim

Theatre: Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, A Chorus Line

My Upcoming Events: