Atria Books will launch a new imprint, Primero Sueño Press, dedicated to publishing Latinx/Latine/Hispanic authors in both English and Spanish.

Primero Sueño will publish works of fiction and nonfiction “with universal appeal that honors and plays with genre” by authors from the United States and in translation from around the world, according to a release, written “for English and Spanish speakers seeking identity, culture, inspiration, entertainment, wellness, and personal development.” The imprint aims to acquire 16 English-language frontlist titles and 20 Spanish-language backlist titles per year, which it will “publish organically,” a representative of Atria told PW.

Michelle Herrera Mulligan, who has been promoted to v-p and associate publisher at Atria, will lead the imprint, which is named after the poem of the same name by Juana Inés de la Cruz, “celebrating the soul’s search for absolute knowledge.” Since joining Atria in 2018, Herrera Mulligan, who was the founding editor-in-chief of Cosmo for Latinas and a founding editor at Latina magazine, has published books by authors including Susan Abulhawa, Reyna Grande, Gabrielle Lyon, Vanessa Marin, Chiquis Rivera, and Danny Trejo.

“Government research shows that only 7% of authors and editors who publish books in the United States identify as Latino, in a country where 18% of the population—some 61 million people—consider themselves Hispanic,” Herrera Mulligan, who is bilingual, said in a statement. “Latine writers have been disrupting thought leadership behind the scenes for years. I’m beyond thrilled to showcase and project their voices in a major light and help bring them to new audiences.”

Joining Herrera Mulligan as acquiring editors at the imprint are editor Yezanira Venecia, formerly an agent at JABberwocky Literary Agency, and associate editor Norma Perez-Hernandez, formerly an assistant editor at Kensington Press. Venencia worked at Melville House and Soho Press before moving into agenting; at Soho, she helped lead the Mexico in Translation Project, which focused on acquiring Mexican literature for translation, and she has worked with authors including Stephen Mack Jones, Sujata Massey, Marcie R. Rendon, and Camilla Trinchieri. Perez-Hernandez, while at Kensington, acquired The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes, and has edited works by the authors Alyssa Cole, Yamile Saied Méndez, and Amy Spalding.

Primero Sueño will kick off its inaugural list with a new edition of Keila Delgado Shaheen’s previously self-published The Shadow Work Journal, to be published in English in April of 2024 and Spanish in the fall; two more journals by Shaheen, The 369 Journal and The Lucky Girl Journal, will follow. Also coming this fall are Roar, an English translation of Mexican self-help influencer Daniel Habif’s Ruge, and the debut novel The Witches of El Paso by New School creative writing professor Luis Jaramillo. Writing Home, a memoir-in-essays by Reyna Grande, will be published in spring 2025

The launch of the imprint comes amid a hiring spree at Simon & Schuster, of which Atria Books is an imprint, following its purchase by private equity firm KKR last year, including for positions across the company that require candidates to be bilingual in English and Spanish. In an interview with Bloomberg Television earlier this month, S&S CEO Jonathan Karp noted that the publisher would be expanding efforts to reach the Latino market, and cited audiobooks, distribution, sci-fi and fantasy, and international business books as areas with particular opportunities for growth.