You Are A Writer, Hear from the Editors: Kokila Books, Joy Revolution, & Tu Books
Publishing a book sometimes takes a village–a village which includes editors. This session provides writers the opportunity to ask questions and hear from the editors of new children’s and YA book imprints. In this session, learn more about the editing process, what the featured editors look for in a manuscript, what it means for these imprints to focus on publishing diverse perspectives, and more.
Stacy Whitman is the founder and publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books that publishes diverse middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, including graphic novels. She has worked with acclaimed authors and illustrators including Guadalupe García McCall, David Bowles, Tony Medina, John Jennings, G. Neri, Axie Oh, Supriya Kelkar, Yamile Saied Méndez, Traci Sorell, and many others. Stacy founded the New Visions Award, which honors a new unpublished writer of color, which has now run for ten years. She holds a master’s in children’s literature from Simmons University.
Bria Ragin is an Editor at Delacorte Press, where she acquires middle grade and young adult fiction. She also edits novels for Joy Revolution, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books that was co-founded by critically acclaimed authors Nicola and David Yoon, which focuses on young adult romances written by and about people of color. Her list for Joy Revolution includes Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by New York Times bestselling author Talia Hibbert, Queen Bee by USA Today bestselling author Amalie Howard, and Sinner’s Isle by debut novelist, Angela Montoya. Her growing Delacorte list includes debut author Lisa Springer (There’s No Way I’d Die First). Prior to joining the Delacorte team in early 2021, she worked at HarperCollins for several years. She is always looking to uplift marginalized voices in the publishing community. Find her on X @BriARag.
Associate Editor Sydnee Monday joined Kokila in May of 2018. Their list includes Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown and Sharee Miller, I Want to be Spaghetti! by Kiera Wright-Ruiz and Claudia Lam, and the forthcoming Bless the Blood: A Cancer Memoir by Walela Nehanda. Prior to Kokila, she worked at NPR, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, and Sankofa Bookstore in Washington, D.C. They’re a graduate of Howard University.
Laurent Linn, moderator, Art Director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, collaborates on picture books, middle grade, and teen novels with both celebrated and new illustrators such as Rosemary Wells, Bryan Collier, John Parra, Raúl Colón, and Vashti Harrison. He is also the author/illustrator of the critically acclaimed young adult novel, Draw the Line. Laurent is on the SCBWI Advisory Council and is the Artistic Advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York. Laurent began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, creating characters for productions including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films, and eventually becoming the Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award.
This virtual program will be co-presented by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is made possible in part by the support of the Pasadena Literary Alliance and the Authors Coalition of America.