Deeba Zargarpur

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Salaam Reads

My Manuscript Wish List

I am a children's book editor looking to acquire picture books, middle grade, young adult and graphic novels for S&S BFYR and Salaam Reads. I am a first generation Afghan-Uzbek American, so searching for Central Asian stories is one of the things I'm most passionate about. I am always striving to champion and uplift underrepresented voices.

I gravitate toward commercial, high concept premises that spark a feeling of magic and wonder. Whether it be on a football field or a high fantasy realm, I want to be swept up in the free fall of an epic journey. As a child of immigrants, family means everything to me, and I’m a sucker for stories that feature big, multi generational, immigrant families with strong cultural and religious ties. I am always looking for stories that explore love between friends and family (biological and found) and how characters navigate break ups between friends, siblings, cousins and parents in MG and YA.

In YA, I primarily look for stories I can escape into. Fantasy and sci-fi have always been my first loves. I’m looking for lush, non-Western settings that are epic in scope with grand magic and technology systems. Give me something treacherous but alluring ala The Cruel Prince. In addition to new worlds, I also love getting lost in: settings that are inherently eerie and atmospheric; classic whodunit murder mysteries in contained settings; suspenseful thrillers with fresh twists.

In MG, I’m looking for commercial, high concept premises that feed my inner child. I’m a kid at heart, and to this day, I am convinced there is magic right around the corner, waiting to sweep me up on the adventure of my life (and conquer some villains who maybe had nice hearts once upon a time). I’ve always been drawn to villain origin stories and stories that explore the perspective of the anti-hero. Lastly, fairytales hold a special place in my heart and I am always looking for fresh takes on classics, as well as introducing fairytales from underrepresented communities.

I am not the best fit for:

  • paranormal
  • issue-driven books
  • pandemic books
  • stories set in space
  • horror
  • animal narrators
  • deportation stories

Submission Guidelines

For Books for Young Readers, agented submissions only.

For Salaam Reads, writers and illustrators without representation check out for submission guidelines.

Vital Info

Fiction: Children's, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Picture Books, Young Adult

Favorite sub-genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Fairytale Retellings, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Science Fiction YA, Speculative Fiction, YA thriller/mystery, non-Western fantasy
I'd like the next...

My favorites include...
  • The Cruel Prince
  • Legend
  • The Night Circus
  • Daughter of the Burning City
  • The Young Elites
  • The Selection
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me
  • Bloom
  • Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
  • The Astonishing Color of After
  • The Weight of Our Sky
  • Love, Sophia From the Moon
  • Mother Bruce
  • Emergency Contact
  • Monstress


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