Mission Statement

Kokila (pronounced KO-ki-la) brings together an inclusive community of authors and illustrators, publishing professionals, and readers to examine and celebrate stories that reflect the richness of our world. 

By centering stories from the margins and making space for storytellers to explore the full range of their experiences, we deliver books that inspire and entertain readers, and add nuance and depth to the way children and young adults see the world and their place in it.

Kokila will publish work for children and young adults across all formats and genres.

Submissions Window

We’re excited to hear from new voices and accept unagented submissions that fit our mission from September 1st to December 1st of every year. Our priority will be with stories for and from marginalized communities.

Educator Guides

Meet Kokila

Namrata Tripathi

Vice President and Publisher

Namrata Tripathi is Vice President & Publisher of Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers dedicated to centering stories from the margins. Previously, Namrata held editorial positions at HarperCollins, Disney-Hyperion, and Simon and Schuster. She is the editor of the picture books Islandborn by Junot Díaz and Leo Espinosa and The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken; the middle grade novels The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, and Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley; and the YA novels Where Things Come Back, Noggin, and Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley. Namrata grew up in Afghanistan, India, Canada, Pakistan, Germany, and Poland, and has happily called New York City home for the last twenty years. Follow her on Twitter: @Tweetpathi

Jasmin Rubero

Art Director

Art Director Jasmin Rubero has designed books by critically-acclaimed and bestselling artists and authors, including the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series by Jacky Davis and David Soman; Pura Belpré Award winner Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Raul Colón; and Junot Díaz’s debut picture book Islandborn, illustrated by Leo Espinosa.

Zareen Jaffery

Executive Editor

Executive Editor Zareen Jaffery joined Kokila in January 2020, and will continue to publish books across age groups. She has acquired and edited a number of New York Times bestselling, award-winning, and critically acclaimed books over the course of her publishing career. Most recently, she was an Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers where she worked with authors including Jenny Han, Lupita Nyong’o, Mary H.K. Choi, Siobhan Vivian, Hena Khan, Lilliam Rivera, Hanna Alkaf, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, and S.K. Ali. In 2016, she co-founded Salaam Reads, an imprint at Simon & Schuster that focuses on publishing books about Muslim children and families. Prior to Simon & Schuster, Zareen worked on commercial teen fiction at HarperCollins Children’s Books and adult fiction and non-fiction at Hyperion books (Walt Disney/ABC). Zareen served for two years as a member of the Children’s Book Council (CBC) Diversity Committee, and was appointed co-chair of the Diversity within ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children) Task Force from 2016-2017. She is a graduate of New York University, and currently lives in California.


Meet More

Joanna Cárdenas

Senior Editor

Senior Editor Joanna Cárdenas has worked on such critically-acclaimed award-winning books as The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez and The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya. She is on the steering committee for Latinx in Publishing, a nonprofit organization that promotes literature by, for, and about Latino/a/x people. Joanna also is co-founder of the Representation Matters Mentorship Program for aspiring editors of color. Follow her on Twitter: @joannananamc.

Sydnee Monday

Assistant Editor

Assistant Editor Sydnee Monday was born on a Monday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She wants to read about the façade of capitalism, how your community holds you, and what it feels like to live in your skin. An alum of Howard University, she mentors NYC students with Read Ahead and the Governor’s Committee on Scholastic Achievement. She also serves on People of Color in Publishing’s Communications & Events Committee. Follow her on Twitter: @sydneemonday.