We had the pleasure of talking with Kendra Levin, the executive editor at Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, about her multifaceted career and views on the industry. In addition to editing all ages in the children’s market, which means everything from picture books to young adult novels, Levin is also an author, teacher, and life coach to writers around the world. “Everybody has to have a side-hustle,” she laughs softly. Side-hustle or full-time, it is clear Levin is fulfilling her passion.
Our interview begins with Levin in the midst of telling So Booking Cool how she landed in publishing, which would become a profession she’d have for more than a decade. A devoted writer in her teens–she won a Scholastic Art and Writing Award, and eventually caught the attention of author and editor David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy, Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist, anyone?)
Press play to hear Levin’s perspective on young writers, whether she would write another book, an upcoming title she’s editing by Matt Killeen, and the Representation Matters Mentorship Program, which aims to foster ethnic-diversity in publishing. Contact Levin at http://kendracoaching.com/ and Twitter @kendralevin. Her book the The Hero is You: Sharpen Your Focus, Conquer Your Demons, and Become the Writer You Were Born to Be is available on Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.