Hi's Eye

An editor who is Everything, Everything

Westfield's Wendy Loggia achieves publishing success with children's literature

Madison Pena, Longform Editor

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​A few blocks from Central Park, near the end of Broadway, a windowed building scales the sky of New York, demanding attention. Upon entering the building, you’re greeted by a burnt-orange sign, lined with a silver silhouette spelling out Penguin Random House. The high ceilings are lined from top-to-bottom with novels, new and old. The employee cleaning the glass is the only evidence that the publications have been touched.​

In this hustle and bustle of New York City, senior executive editor Ms. Wendy Loggia can be found in her eighth-floor office—which, to no surprise, is stacked with publications she not only edited, but also wrote herself. Shelves filled with hardcover and paperback copies of her recent editing success, Everything, Everything, line the wall to her right, along with the movie poster and other memorabilia.

Loggia, the mother of Olivia ’16 and Will ’20, didn’t always dream of being a publisher. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and international studies at the University of Buffalo, Loggia had her sights set on law school.

“The summer before law school I had attended a program at NYU for publishing,” she said. “I was three weeks away from law school, we had already sent the deposit, and I said I couldn’t do it. I wanted to move to New York and go into publishing.”

Loggia packed her bags, moved into the city and immediately began applying for jobs. She recalls finding work the “old-fashioned” way, without any contacts or connections to big publishing houses. She landed her first job at Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint at Penguin, and later moved to Bantam Doubleday Dell, which acquired Random House, before the merger of Penguin and Random House in 2013. “I’ve pretty much worked at the same company for my entire career,” Loggia said.

Loggia now finds herself as an acquiring editor in the children’s division at Penguin Random House, dealing with middle grade and young adult novels. “People often mistakenly believe that I must have perfect grammar, or that I’m a copy editor,” she said. “But it’s really a creative position where you’re working directly with authors, illustrators and various departments around the publishing company. You really have your hands on all of the aspects of the books.”

Her typical day is filled with meetings discussing cover design, making the case for books worth publishing, and interacting with authors and editors alike. Though, according to Loggia, she rarely has the time to read at the office. “I usually read at home or on the bus on my way into and out of the city,” said Loggia. This fast-paced business requires that the publishing company begin working on books 18 months to two years ahead of their release date, starting with picking the right manuscripts.

“I read manuscripts as a fan, so I try and look for novels that I can connect to and ones that engage me as a reader,” Loggia said. “Voice is something that comes up a lot; we often try to find that unique voice that can tell a story we haven’t heard before.”

This approach led her to Nicola Yoon’s first 60 pages of Everything, Everything. After being approached by Yoon’s agent, Loggia decided to act quickly. Two hours after reading the manuscript, she was gathering a team from marketing, publicity, sales and rights staff to put together an offer.

“I just loved the first paragraph, and the entire premise of the book,” Loggia said. “I think we’ve all seen the forbidden love tale before, but in this story there’s a very dramatic element to it. After being contacted by practically every New York publisher, Yoon narrowed down her top five, with Penguin Random House making the cut.

According to Loggia, honesty really is the best policy, and it may have been her ticket to being picked to edit the novel. “I, of course, told her how much I loved it and why we wanted it,” said Loggia. “However, I also made sure to include a few things that may have needed to be tweaked or reworked.”

Whether it’s picking the right cover, finding the right illustrators, or selecting the right manuscripts, Loggia is setting the bar higher with every novel.

“Publishing is a fantastic career if you’re looking for a job that’s creative and keeps you on your toes,” she said. “I’m truly never bored.”

About the Writer
Madison Pena, Longform Editor
Madison Pena is thrilled to be the first ever Longform Editor of the Hi’s Eye. When she’s not going over stories in room 111, she can be found running circles around Tamaques park with the Cross Country and Track team. She can’t wait to see what the Hi’s Eye has in store!
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An editor who is Everything, Everything