Asian American Voices and the Path to Publishing

Asian American Voices and the Path to Publishing

Wednesday, October 12th, 2:00pm CDT

Join us for an inspiring conversation between authors Kelly Yang and Kat Zhang, alongside their editors Deeba Zargarpur and Krista Vitola, as they share their unique paths to publishing children’s books, and discuss the importance of filling classrooms and libraries with diverse Asian American voices, experiences, and histories.

A Certificate of Attendance will be issued to those who attend this webinar. A recording will be posted to for those who cannot participate in the live session.

Watch the Webinar


Kelly Yang


Kelly Yang is the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk (winner of the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature); ParachutesThree Keys; Room to DreamNew from Here; and Finally SeenFront Desk also won the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal, was the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and has earned numerous other honors including being named a best book of the year by Amazon, The Washington PostKirkus ReviewsSchool Library JournalPublishers Weekly, and NPR. Learn more at

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Kat Zhang


Kat Zhang loves traveling to places both real and fictional—the former have better souvenirs, but the latter allow for dragons, so it’s a tough choice. A writer of books for teens and children, she spends her free time scribbling poetry, taking photographs, and climbing atop things she shouldn’t. You can learn more about her at

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Krista Vitola

Editor at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Krista Vitola is a senior editor at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. Before coming to S&S in 2016, Vitola had been an editor at Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, for nine years. A few of the authors she is lucky to work with are Anne Bustard, Donna Gephart, Kelly Yang, Shanna Miles, Shirley Marr, Supriya Kelkar, and Stuart Gibbs. When Krista is not reading, she is running outdoors with her son, eating whatever delicious treats are available, and drinking red wine (most times in that order, sometimes all at once). She is a graduate of Villanova University. Follow her @Kav_Tepedino.

Krista Vitola Square
Dainese Santos

Associate Editor, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers & Salaam Reads

An alumna of NYU’s publishing program, Dainese (“day-niece”) joined Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers as an editorial assistant in 2019. Since then, she’s had the pleasure of working with authors like Jenny Han, Mary H.K. Choi, S.K. Ali, and Julie Falatko in both support and editorial roles. Mary Choi’s Yolk was the first book she edited in her career. She is also the editor of the upcoming Spring 2023 YA romance, The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim. She deeply cares about stories that center historically underrepresented folks, particularly when those said stories are warm, joyful, fun, and frothy. Find her on Twitter @chanceofdain.

Kia Heise, Ph.D. – Host

Mackin Learning

Kia Heise holds a doctorate in Sociology and taught in Los Angeles and the Twin Cities for several years before joining Mackin Learning. Her approach is informed by thousands of hours learning how to navigate discussions of social inequality with diverse groups of young people. She is also the author of the Little Sock picture books.

Kia Heise