Random House Children’s Books announces the debut of two imprints, each helmed by one of the publishers of the eponymous Schwartz & Wade Books, whose releases have garnered nearly 400 starred reviews and numerous awards since it was established in 2005. Launching in summer 2021 are Anne Schwartz Books, led by v-p and publisher Anne Schwartz; and Random House Studio, headed by v-p and publisher Lee Wade. The final Schwartz & Wade list will be released in spring 2021, yet that imprint’s team members will transition into new roles within RHCB. Maria Modugno, executive director, editorial, will join Wade at Random House Studio, as will senior editor Ann Kelley.
“These new ventures are an exciting and natural next step for us as we continue to build our picture book publishing program at Random House Children’s,” said Barbara Marcus, president and publisher of the division. “Both Anne and Lee had an enthusiastic appetite for the next chapter of their extraordinary careers to further hone their distinct creative styles, which you can see so clearly by the different titles they have each acquired over the years. Lee will now take on more solo editorial projects, as she has long been the design force for Schwartz & Wade. Anne Schwartz Books and Random House Studio will enable us to expand both our literary and commercial footprint in picture book publishing in a focused way, with two of the most seasoned experts in the field.”
At her new imprint, Schwartz, who has edited the debut picture books of such authors and illustrators as Raul Colón, Ian Falconer, Deborah Hopkinson, Patricia C. McKissack, Jerry Pinkney, and Brian Selznick plans to build a list that includes picture books as well as select middle-grade and YA fiction and nonfiction titles by veteran and previously unpublished creators. Already signed up are books from Chris Appelhans, Candace Fleming, April Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Eric Rohmann, and David Ezra Stein. Schwartz will report to Melanie Nolan, v-p and publisher of Knopf Books for Young Readers.
“I’m so excited to begin this new venture, and to build a strong, supportive, and nurturing home for authors and illustrators I’ve worked with over the years, as well as welcome new voices,” Schwartz noted. “My goal, as always, is to publish books that I believe children will love, and that they may share with their own children one day.”
Since she and Schwartz joined Random House from Simon & Schuster in 2005 to co-pilot the Schwartz & Wade imprint, Wade has acquired, edited, and art-directed such character-driven books as the Duck & Goose and Rocket series by Tad Hills and the Caldecott Medal–winning A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka. She has also sought out and developed new book creators like Chinese illustrator Guojing, whose 2015 debut work, The Only Child, was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book.
Already in the pipeline for publication by Random House Studio are books by Brigette Barrager, Leo Espinosa, Robin Preiss Glasser, Stephanie Graegin, Holly Hobbie, Jory John, Suzanne Lang and Max Lang, Andrea Pippins, and Lane Smith. In her new role, Wade will report to Mallory Loehr, senior v-p and publisher of Random House Books for Young Readers Group.
“I am thrilled to start this imprint with Maria Modugno and Ann Kelley,” Wade said. “Our tastes are wide-ranging, and our goal is to publish fresh, original, child-pleasing books, with an eye to what’s going on in the world—aesthetically, politically, and culturally.”