ART CONTEST JUDGE
Saho Fujii is an art director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She has designed a wide range of books including picture books, board books, activity and novelty books, middle grade and young adult novels. She currently oversees the LBYR’s picture book list. She has worked with many award-winning illustrators including Jerry Pinkney, Sophie Blackall, Javaka Steptoe, Molly Idle, Bryan Collier, Mordicai Gerstein and John Rocco. She lives in New York City. http://sahofujii.squarespace.com
NOVELS CATEGORY JUDGE
Caroline Abbey, Editorial Director, Random House Books for Young Readers, acquires chapter books, middle grade, and YA, loves contemporary stories, humor, and magical realism at all age levels. Looking for a great school-based chapter book or middle-grade series (think Louis Sachar’s Sideways Stories from Wayside School). Some of my recent and upcoming titles at Random House include chapter book series Purrmaids, by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen; an empowering middle grade Property of the Rebel Librarian, by Allison Varnes; Stacy McAnulty’s middle grade debut that turns math into a super power, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl; a new interactive series by Bill Doyle and illustrated by Sarah Sax that puts kids in the middle of history starting with Escape This Book! Titanic; and the genre-bending Glitter, a teen novel that is Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette by #1 New York Times bestseller Aprilynne Pike. I sometimes refer to myself as a“reluctant reader” because I need a strong hook to go along with strong writing. But beyond that, I’m open to most genres! That said, I’m not the best fit for high fantasy.
PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY
Liz Kossnar enthusiastically joined the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers editorial team in November 2013. She mostly acquires middle grade but occasionally works on young adult novels, chapter books, picture books, graphic novels, and nonfiction. While working at Simon & Schuster, she has had the privilege of working with authors such as Stuart Gibbs, Whitney Gardner, Jessica Lawson, Michelle Hodkin, and many others. She most enjoys reading whimsical, diverse middle grade, and subversive, contemporary young adult fiction, or any work of fiction that inspires a sense of empathy or makes her learn something she didn’t know before. Anything feminist is a plus. Liz is not the best match for animals, sentimentality, or traditional romance. You can follow her on Twitter @liz_adventures