In 2016, Andrew Eliopulos (then Andrew Harwell), senior editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, was celebrated as the top honoree for the second annual PW Star Watch, a partnership between Publishers Weekly and Frankfurter Buchmesse.
In his acceptance speech, Eliopulos said, “For me, the most pressing issue is that we just have to do better at acquiring, marketing, and selling books by marginalized authors—authors of color, authors who are LGBTQIA, authors who are disabled or who practice marginalized religions.” And, three years later, he continues to focus on bringing those voices to the world and celebrating diverse writers.
“I was honored to be part of the We Need Diverse Books Walter Grant judging committee for another year,” said Eliopulos. “After taking 2017 off, the returning committee members agreed that we’d all felt the absence of that opportunity to come together and celebrate the incredible writing from diverse voices that we receive every time we do it, and we were thrilled to award five grants in 2018.”
Eliopulos describes the last year as an “absolute whirlwind,” with projects such as the New York Times bestseller What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, which he co-edited with Donna Bray; Ethan M. Aldridge’s debut, Estranged, a YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens; and New Kid by Jerry Craft, which received five starred reviews and has been on the Indie Bestseller list since February.
With the success of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, Eliopulos continues to grow his graphic novel list for Harper, with the recent acquisition of Squire by Nadia Shammas and Sara Alfageeh, a YA fantasy graphic novel about a 14-year-old girl who trains to become a knight for a war-torn empire while hiding her true background as a member of the subjugated rebel class.
And, as if his publishing career isn’t enough, Eliopulos also finished writing his new novel, entitled The Fascinators, which will be published by Harper in 2020.
About his Star Watch honor, Eliopulos said, “people do reference it! And to my mind, the line is quite clear from the opportunities that arose in the immediate wake of the Star Watch program to the books that are just starting to exist in the world now. I’m not sure I would have received the fantastic graphic novel submissions I’ve received if the program hadn’t helped to get out the word that I was the editor on Nimona. Certainly, I find myself referencing and thinking of things I learned in Frankfurt that year; I received a real education in thinking globally about publishing during that trip, and that perspective has helped me make many decisions since.”
To nominate someone for Star Watch 2019, go to publishersweekly.com/StarWatch19.