Margaret K. McElderry Books
Vice President and Publisher
Justin Chanda joined the editorial staff at Simon & Schuster in 2005 after an eight-year stint at HarperCollins. A graduate of New York University, Justin was named publisher of the S&S Books for Young Readers imprint in 2007 and McElderry Books and Atheneum Books for Young Readers in 2009. He oversees the publication of nearly three hundred and fifty titles per year ranging from the youngest picture book to the edgiest YA. He is keenly interested in publishing books that are equal parts commercial and literary, books that make a contribution to the tradition, while truly entertaining kids. Aside from having the honor of working with the best editorial staff in the industry, he also has the opportunity to edit some of its best talent, including the likes of: Patricia MacLachlan, Peter Brown, Jessie Sima, E.R. Frank, Mike Lupica, SJ Kincaid, Carter Goodrich, Aaron Reynolds, Michael Ian Black, Karma Wilson, Debbie Ohi, and Morgan Matson. Justin is also an adjunct instructor for the NYU Graduate Publishing Program.
Vice President and Deputy Publisher
Anne Zafian spent many years with the Time Warner Book Group (now known as Hachette) selling both adult and children’s books to every kind of domestic customer. She cut her teeth on children’s books with TW’s Little, Brown Books for Children, as well as TW’s distribution client, Hyperion Books for Children. Together these experiences fostered her love of children’s publishing, and in 2004, she joined S&S’s sales team, once again overseeing sales of both adult and children’s books, eventually managing our entire Distributor Sales and Retail Marketing team. In 2008, Anne made the move from sales to the Publisher’s office, where, as Deputy, she focuses largely on working with the Publisher and the sales, marketing, publicity and supply chain teams to help usher our books into the world, from cradle to… NOT the grave. Working to get books into the hands of booksellers, children, parents, teachers, and librarians—and doing so with a dynamic list of books and authors—is her favorite job, ever.
Vice President and Editorial Director
Karen Wojtyla edits picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. She is attracted to works with strong dialogue, vivid settings and characters whose journeys move readers to laughter and tears. Karen has worked with many brilliant writers, including New York Times bestselling author Cassandra Clare, National Book Award winner William Alexander, Newbery winner Susan Cooper, Newbery Honor winner Holly Black, Whitbread Award winner Hilary McKay, Printz winner David Almond, Newbery Honor winner Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Locus-award winner Catherynne Valente, Erin Bow, Emily Carroll, Robert Cormier, Susan Fletcher, Annette Curtis Klause, Margaret Rogerson, Deborah Ruddell, and Peternelle van Arsdale.
Ruta Rimas edits and acquires fiction and nonfiction, picture books, middle grade novels, and teen novels. She’s had the honor and privilege of working with some of the most talented authors and illustrators in the industry including Amber Smith, Ellen Hopkins, Brendan Kiely, Tessa Gratton, Jim Averbeck, Yasmeen Ismail, Steven Weinberg, Mike Boldt, Charles Smith, Jr., and many others. Ruta loves characters that come to life on the pages, stories that resonate long after the last page is read, and books that challenges our preconceived notions of the world.
Nicole Fiorica joined Margaret K. McElderry books as an editorial assistant in May 2017, and assists both Karen Wojtyla and Ruta Rimas. She has the pleasure of working with a number of talented authors, including Cassandra Clare, Ellen Hopkins, William Alexander, Amber Smith, Susan Cooper, and Brendan Kiely. Prior to joining S&S, she graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University, and has had internships with St. Martin’s Press, W.W. Norton, and the Crown Publishing Group. Nicole loves to read stories that are voice driven, laced with humor, and vividly imagined.
Alyza Liu joined the Simon & Schuster team in August 2017. As assistant to Justin Chanda, she is excited to be working with such incredible talents as Aaron Reynolds, S.J. Kincaid, Morgan Matson, Tony DiTerlizzi, and many, many more. Prior to Simon & Schuster, Alyza interned at Roaring Brook Press, Foundry Literary + Media, and InkWell Management. She graduated magna cum laude from NYU, majoring in East Asian Studies and minoring in English and Studio Art.
She loves reading tender, inclusive books that feature spirited protagonists, distinctive voices, and daring conceptual backbones across a wide range of genres, ages, and formats. She’s also a fan of translated genre fiction with a postcolonial bent. You can find Alyza tweeting about subversive YA, lowbrow television, and wuxia as praxis @muguiyings.