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Founded in 2016, Salaam Reads is an imprint that aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works. The imprint, which takes its name from the Arabic word for “peace,” plans to publish books for young readers of all ages, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult.
In addition to publishing works acquired through literary agents, Salaam Reads will also consider for publication unagented and/or unsolicited manuscripts. Submissions can be sent to SalaamReads@SimonandSchuster.com.
Meet the Team
Zareen Jaffery | Executive Editor
Zareen joined S&S Books for Young Readers in February 2011, continuing her focus on commercial and literary young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as teen nonfiction. Zareen works with a number of New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed authors including Jenny Han, Becca Fitzpatrick, Siobhan Vivian, Christina Lauren, Sarvenaz Tash, Lilliam Rivera, Sonya Mukherjee, Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne, and Octavia Spencer. Her nonfiction acquisitions include The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez, Hidden Girl by Shyima Hall, and Far from the Tree: The Young Adult Edition by Andrew Solomon. In 2016, she began acquiring for Salaam Reads, an imprint that focuses on publishing books about Muslim children and families. Her upcoming projects with Salaam Reads include books by Awakening Media recording artist Harris J, poet and TEDx speaker Mark Gonzales, as well as debut authors Karuna Riazi and H.A. Raz. Zareen served for two years as a member of the CBC Diversity Committee, and is currently a co-chair of the Diversity within ALSC Task Force. Prior to Simon & Schuster, Zareen worked at HarperCollins Children’s Books and Hyperion books. Zareen is a graduate of New York University.
Justin Chanda | Vice President & 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, McElderry Books and Atheneum Books for Young Readers in 2009, and Salaam Reads in 2016. He oversees the publication of 250 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.
Alexa Pastor | Associate Editor
Alexa Pastor joined Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in August of 2014. First assisting Justin Chanda, and now working with Zareen Jaffery, Alexa has been fortunate enough to work with some of the most celebrated voices in the industry. She completed her master’s degree in Children’s and Young Adult Publishing at Rosemont College in 2015. She enjoys working on a wide range of picture books, middle grade, and teen that open up younger readers to new experiences and possibilities.
Select Online Press Coverage
The New York Times
New York Post
The Christian Science Monitor
School Library Journal
Salaam Reads is actively seeking to publish books that center on Muslim children and families. Submissions can be works of fiction or nonfiction, from picture book (for ages 4+) to young adult (protagonists 18 or under). There are no genre restrictions—historical, contemporary, speculative, memoir, etc., are all welcome, as long as their content is suitable for a young reader. Please note: we are not looking for books about Islamic theology or history, just books where a Muslim child is the protagonist. The goal is to have more positive and well-rounded portrayals of Muslim kids and families in mainstream children's media.
If you have a project in the works that fits this description, please consider submitting (no literary agent required at the moment). Guidelines are below:
• In the subject line of your email, please include the title and the format (picture book, middle grade, teen, etc.)
• In the body of the email, please include:
– The format (picture book, chapter book, novel), Word count, and one sentence pitch: “I have written an approx.
(word count here) word middle grade novel (or picture book, teen novel, etc.) titled, “Title Here.”
– A short (one paragraph) synopsis with plot and character descriptions. Essentially your book’s sales pitch.
– A final paragraph that lists any publishing credits, specific to children’s writing preferred. If you have a special
degree, or a skill that makes you the perfect author for the subject of your book, include that. If you have a
literary agent, please share that information here.
• Attach your manuscript as a Word document, preferably in 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced.
*We are only considering finished manuscripts*
SUBMIT YOUR MANUSCRIPT >