Tova Seltzer

Holiday House Publishing

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m an editorial assistant to the Neal Porter Books imprint of Holiday House. I’m a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course, and a former freelance developmental editor and sensitivity reader.

Though my heart isn’t fully closed to middle grade, I’m primarily working on picture books only.

First and foremost, I generally look to be surprised by an unfamiliar premise or an approach I haven’t seen before. I value beauty and precision of language, every word chosen with purpose. I’m finding myself drawn to eclectic, story-forward projects more than ones that start from a place of wanting to teach a certain lesson. It’s difficult to tell you where the magic comes from, but I love seeing creativity that is off-leash and unapologetic. I’d rather see a big swing than a safe play!

In picture book nonfiction, I’m recently finding myself especially drawn to books relating to design, artisan crafts, and off-the-beaten-path creative pursuits. My childhood dream job was interior designer, and I never really grew out of it (although my dream job later changed to children’s book editor!)

Some things I’m NOT the ideal reader for:

-I’m not looking for Christmas or Hanukkah books. I would love to see books about other Jewish holidays and traditions!
-Despite my love of “weird” stories, I’m not the biggest fan of macabre Halloween energy or of gross-out humor.
-Stories with anthropomorphized protagonists OTHER than animals (i.e. concepts, inanimate objects, etc.) are a tough sell for me.

A small sampling of features that will automatically increase my interest in a book:
-Questioning the government/dismantling capitalism
-Miniatures (e.g. dollhouse)
-Aromantic and/or asexual identities
-Families with two moms

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Submissions from this site can be sent to my primary email address.

Please include #MSWL in the subject line of your email and include a short summary in the body of your email. Submissions can be attached as a Word document or a PDF. For picture books, please attach all materials; for novels, please attach the first 30 pages.

Please note that I’m typically not able to respond to submissions that are pitch-only, without sample work attached.