Bestselling Author Jacquelyn Mitchard to Head F+W Media Young Adult Fiction Imprint
Mitchard’s ‘The Deep End of the Ocean’ was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and named one of the most influential books of the past 25 years by USA Today
F+W Media is proud to announce that Jacquelyn Mitchard will head the company’s newest fiction foray, Merit Press Books, an imprint solely for young adult titles. The imprint joins the company’s current fiction lines – including Tyrus Books, Prologue Books, and Crimson Romance. F+W plans the release of five original Young Adult titles through the remainder of the 2012, as well as twelve titles planned for 2013. Other imprints currently are under development and will be announced in coming months. F+W Media is a community-focused, content creator and marketer of products and services offering a diversified portfolio of books, ebooks, magazines, events, competitions, ecommerce, education, video, and more. The Company’s fiction strategy aligns with the overall F+W mission to meet the needs of its communities in all forms, creating an exceptional consumer experience.
“The mission of the line is to provide an abundance of intensely readable, highly suspenseful and unforgettable fiction for readers aged thirteen and up, with a particular emphasis on strong, savvy, female heroes rising to conquer sometimes stunning challenges thrown at them by a very real contemporary world,” said Karen Cooper, Publisher. “We knew we needed expert guidance for the creation and growth of the line. Jacquelyn is the ideal partner for this new initiative, and we are thrilled to work with her.”
Mitchard is the author of 24 novels and books of non-fiction for adults, young adults, and children, including ‘The Deep End of the Ocean,’ the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, named by USA Today as one of the most influential books of the past 25 years. A longtime journalist and teacher, Mitchard is a faculty fellow at Southern New Hampshire University, and a contributing writer for Parade Magazine and More magazine, among others. She lives on Cape Cod with her family.
“Young Adult books just bewitch me. The privilege of returning to the self I was thirty years ago, and experiencing the world through that self, is so heady and satisfying,” said Mitchard. “The better the book, the more profound the experience. Some of the books we think of as part of the canon, the books dearest to us all our lives, are young adult books – ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,’ ‘Where the Red Fern Grows,’ really, even ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ I’ve written seven YA novels myself, the last two much like what we’ll be doing, filled with shuddering suspense and passion,” she added. “When they close the books we’re going to publish, I want young people and adults to feel changed forever.”
Prior to being approached by F+W, launching a fiction imprint was not exactly something Mitchard had considered. “I was on the brink of accepting a job teaching at the college level, which I love. Karen and I were introduced by Ben Leroy of Tyrus Books, also part of F+W,” she explained. “I’d wanted to be an editor for years, but didn’t see myself in a huge box in Manhattan. F+W made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: the chance to work with new authors and established authors on something so important. It’s exactly where I want to be at this point in my career. Something in me said – you’re home.”
“I’ve been privileged to work with some legendary editors,” she added. “I’ve seen how deeply they care about stories going out there with all their colors blazing. I have great role models to live up to. It will be very hard for me, but I know I’ll be a great editor. I have the compassion and understanding of how exhausting and exhilarating it will be for our authors to see a book through to the end.”