Dial Books Team

Penguin: Because Reading Matters

Zora Squish Pruitt, Editorial Assistant

Zora Squish Pruitt (they/them) is a genderqueer pun specialist full-time editorial assistant. After graduating with a BFA in Creative Writing from Ringling College of Art and Design, they were a 2021 We Need Diverse Books internship grant recipient and editorial intern with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group before starting at Dial. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, they spent their…

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Michelle Lee, Assistant Editor

Michelle Lee (she/her) received her M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the New School before joining Dial in 2019 and is a junior mentor with the Representation Matters Mentorship Program. She acquires picture books, novels, and graphic novels, and is looking for stories that present the world through a clever lens, have…

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Rosie Ahmed, Associate Editor

Rosie Ahmed (she/her) graduated with her master’s in creative writing from the University of South Dakota and joined Dial in 2018. She was a We Need Diverse Books internship grant recipient, a Representation Matters Mentorship Program mentee and junior mentor, and a co-instructor for the Children’s Book Academy summer 2020/spring 2021 middle grade and picture…

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Ellen Cormier, Senior Editor

Ellen Cormier (she/her) is an editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, acquiring picture books, novels, and graphic novels with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ stories and creators. She is always on the lookout for voicey, character-driven books, especially ones that explore universal themes through the lens of hyper-specific experiences. She has a soft spot…

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Jessica Dandino Garrison, Executive Editor

Jessica Dandino Garrison (she/her) is an alumna of Emory University and joined Dial in 2004. She has edited bestselling authors, including Jandy Nelson and her Printz Award–winning I’ll Give You the Sun, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and her Newbery Honor–winning Fighting Words, Deborah Underwood, author of The Panda Problem, and David Soman and Jacky Davis, creators of the Ladybug Girl series. Newer to…

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Kate Harrison, Senior Executive Editor

Kate Harrison (she/her) spent much of her childhood in a tiny town in Southern Missouri that is best known for its “Throwed Rolls” restaurant, where you actually have to catch your bread in order to eat it. It inspired a strong work ethic, a true love of carbohydrates, and maybe a weird sense of humor.…

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Lily Malcom Vice President and Executive Art Director

Lily Malcom (she/her) is the VP and Executive Art Director of Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. As an art director, she has had the privilege to work with many talented, award-winning artists, among them David Small, Jon Agee, Jerry Pinkney, Judy Schachner, Erin E. Stead, Tao Nyeu, Zachariah OHora, William Wegman, and Corinna Luyken to name a few.

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Nancy Mercado, Associate Publisher and Editorial Director

Thrilled to continue in the Dial tradition of publishing books that will have a lasting impact on the canon of children’s literature, Nancy is especially looking for diverse perspectives that remain underrepresented. She’d love to see more first- and second-generation immigrant stories, joyful stories featuring characters with disabilities, a MG or YA novel that explored white privilege or colorism in the Latinx community, a school-based story about an ICT or an ELL classroom, and overall more humorous family and friendship stories with a hopeful quality to them.

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Lauri Hornik, President and Publisher

Lauri Hornik (she/her), President and Publisher of Dial Books for Young Readers, began her career as an editorial assistant at Houghton Mifflin Children’s Books in 1988, right after graduating from Harvard.

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