Levine Querido is an indie publishing house started by Arthur Levine, the editor of Harry Potter. This post is about the magic he’s manifested through authors Liza Wiemer and Debbi Lakriz who support the voices of underrepresented writers from diverse backgrounds.
In 2008, I was working as an assistant editor at Raising Arizona Kids magazine. But I wanted to do more in terms of working with words, and I was fortunate to manifest a friendship with editor and publicist Lynn Wiese-Sneyd of LWS Literary Services in Tucson. “I want to be an editor like you,” I told her. She gave me some great advice and introduced me to her friend, a former employee at Hachette, Jerry Simmons, who gave me my first two clients.
When Lynn sent an email to me on September 6 asking if I would join her in support of Levine Querido, an indie publishing house founded in 2019, of course I said yes. This publisher launched their first books in 2020 — Struggle Number One — and because their mission is to “amplify voices of underrepresented and marginalized groups,” they have been the target of book bans and shadow-banning. Struggle Number Two.
Liza Wiemer and Debbi Lakritz launched this campaign, an online auction, to support Levine Querido. They explained their motivation in this podcast: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2023/08/friends-for-lq-auction.html
My offering in this auction is two hours of manuscript editing, and a copy of an antique children’s book: Belle River Friends in Wings and Feathers, by Bertha Clark, illustrated by Alexander Key; published by Lyons and Carnahan (copyright 1928–1938).
I want to see this this indie publisher thrive because I believe in the power of words from voices of all kinds of people in a country where freedom of speech must be upheld, respected, and honored.
Thanks for reading this post. My motivation in writing about this event is to highlight the unique way these two authors found to give support, and to express thanks to my friend Lynn for giving me the opportunity to participate.