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The Editor-Writer Mentorship: promoting voices from the margins

Our 2024 Editor Mentors!


Pantheon Books
2024 Adult Fiction Mentor
Naomi Gibbs is an Executive Editor at Pantheon Books. Previously, she worked in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt trade division. She acquires literary and upmarket fiction, both American and international, as well as some select memoir, essays, and narrative nonfiction. Some of her recent and forthcoming titles include the National Book Award finalist Chain-Gang All-Stars and Friday Black by New York Times-bestselling author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree; Mina’s Matchbox by Yoko Ogawa, finalist for the National Book Award; How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by nationally bestselling author Alexander Chee, winner of the Publishing Triangle Award and Lambda Literary honoree; Thin Skin by Jenn Shapland, finalist for the National Book Award; No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin, winner of the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay; Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen, one of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year; and The Dream Hotel by Laila Lalami, finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

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2024 Adult Romance Mentor
Charlotte Peters joined Dutton in May 2022. In fiction, she is interested in commercial, genre, and literary fiction, especially anything in unique, atmospheric settings that involve gothic, fantastical, or magical elements, escapist romance imbued with magic (in the literal and figurative sense!), and immersive, character-driven fantasy and romantasy with a feminist bend and clever takes on unique perspectives and experiences. In nonfiction, Charlotte gravitates towards relatable pop culture-focused works that appeal to enthusiastic fanbases, publicity-driven memoirs, and fun, quirky history. Upcoming titles include Cats of the World by Hannah Shaw and Andrew Marttila and The Knox by Karen Winn.


Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
2023 Picture Book Mentor
For the nearly 30 years I’ve been in the business, I’ve had a special interest in artistically distinctive picture books. I’m drawn to substantive stories with strong voice, re-readability, and emotional resonance; my dual background in art and creative writing makes me particularly fond of working with author-artists. As Editorial Director for LBYR trade picture book list, I can consult with agents on matching proposals with editors. I’m also seeking high-caliber middle-grade novels, especially literary or historical fiction and genre-bending narratives. Science, environmental, and socio-political themes tend to resonate with me, as does absurdist humor! 

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G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
2023 Children’s Chapter Book Mentor
Simone Roberts-Payne (she/her) works as an Assistant Editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. Prior to working at Penguin, she worked with Jacqueline Woodson, where she did historical research and proofreading for various writing projects. Simone is looking to build a list that includes commercial young adult fiction and literary picture books. She is drawn to dynamic and diverse fiction, with complicated familial or romantic relationships, a hint of mystery, a touch heartbreaking, and all things adorable.

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Ink & Willow (WaterBrook)
2023 Middle Grade Mentor
Leslie Calhoun is an Associate Editor with Ink & Willow, WaterBrook’s creative line of gift products, Leslie’s primary focus is on inspirational, activity, self-help, and mindfulness books. She acquires, edits, and contributes to a wide range of titles, from coloring books and card games to planners and devotionals. The authors on her roster include Jennie Allen, Tama Fortner, Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young, Anthony Russo, Jackie Brewster, and Mark Batterson. Before joining the editorial team, Leslie served on both the marketing and publicity teams for WaterBrook and Multnomah, working with numerous award-winning and bestselling authors, including Andrew Peterson, Nancy Naigle, Dave Connis, Carlos Whittaker, Robin Jones Gunn, and Mitali Perkins. In addition to her work with Ink & Willow, she also has an advisory role on the children’s editorial team, because of her passion for middle-grade and children’s literature. A native of Washington state, she now lives in Colorado.

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