Carol Hinz

Millbrook Press + Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m associate publisher of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, imprints of Lerner Publishing Group. I acquire and edit picture books (both fiction and nonfiction), poetry, and photo-driven nonfiction for grades K-3, and MG nonfiction.

For picture books, I’m looking for:

  • Thoughtful fiction that prompts children to see the world in new ways, and those with strong SEL connections such as A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang and Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
  • Quirky humor along the lines of I Got a Chicken for My Birthday by Laura Gehl and A Is for Another Rabbit by Hannah Batsel
  • Standout nonfiction picture books with a strong voice, such as Let ‘Er Buck: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton
  • Curricular topics presented in lyrical, playful, or unusual ways, such as If You Were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas or Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate by Sara Levine
Please note, our picture books tend to skew toward the older/more sophisticated end of the spectrum. Books aimed squarely at toddlers and preschoolers are not a good fit. I look for books with strong concepts under the surface; it’s not enough for a manuscript to be cute. Word count can be anywhere from 100 words to 1,000.

For nonfiction photo books, I’m looking for:

  • STEM-themed books for grades K-3 that combine excellent writing with enticing photography such as Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature by Marcie Flinchum Atkins
  • Middle grade science books that present a specific idea or theme while also connecting with a larger  idea along the lines of Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead by Rebecca L. Johnson (larger idea: parasites!), Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem by Patricia Newman (larger ideas: how scientific inquiry works! trophic cascades!). Word count for these is 6,000 to 12,000 words.
  • Very occasionally, a highly ambitious work of middle grade nonfiction that has crossover appeal to the trade market and the potential to be a breakout book, such as Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson and Monstrous: The Lore, Gore, and Science behind Your Favorite Monsters by Carlyn Beccia

I enjoy working with both experienced and debut creators, and I’m particularly interested in nonfiction projects from BIPOC authors and those from other traditionally underrepresented communities.

If you write MG or YA novels, I’m not the person you want to submit to! Instead, please check out the profile of my lovely colleague Amy Fitzgerald.

Fun facts about me:

I’m passionate about the work I do, and I value working collaboratively with authors, illustrators, and photographers to make each book the best it can be.

I enjoy knitting, baking, and dancing (especially ballet!). I love studying languages and speak some French, a little bit of Japanese, and a smattering of Wolof. During my senior year of high school I couldn’t decide whether I was more interested in focusing on English or on science; I love that in this job I can stay connected to my interest in science along with my interest in writing and language.

Submission Guidelines

I accept manuscripts and nonfiction proposals from agents via email; I’m unable to accept submissions directly from unagented authors except during open calls, which are periodically announced on our blog, and in conjunction with conferences.

Vital Info