No Better Audience

Children's book editor and Southern New Hampshire University MFA writing board member Michelle H. Nagler takes on a new job at Penguin Random House.


MANCHESTER, N.H., July 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The new associate publishing director for Random House/Golden Books, a division of the world's largest English-language trade publisher, is convinced that she serves the very best segment of the book-buying market.

"I consider myself very lucky to have spent my entire career in children's books," said Michelle H. Nagler, who is also a member of the advisory board of Southern New Hampshire University's low-residency MFA program in creative writing, and who stepped into her position at Random House on July 15. "There is no better audience than children and teens."

Of course Nagler is used to high-profile work with this audience. For the past six years she has been editorial director at Bloomsbury Children's Books. There she developed a diverse program of award-winning and New York Times best-selling books, including NAACP Image Award-winner "Our Children Can Soar," Carrie Jones's Need series, Georgina Bloomberg's A Circuit series, the Printz Award-winner "In Darkness" by Nick Lake, Shannon Hale's "Princess Academy: Palace of Stone," and Jessica Day George's "Wednesdays in the Tower."

The notable authors whom she edited and worked with at Bloomsbury include Sarah J. Mass, E.D. Baker, and Jean Reidy. Nagler began her career, though, in the trade book group of Scholastic, working there on several best-selling commercial paperback series.

From Scholastic she went to Simon & Schuster's Children's Publishing, where she helped successfully relaunch the Simon Pulse imprint. That involved building an edgy list of commercial teen books and series by R.L. Stine, Francine Pascal, Robin Wasserman, and others.

What's so great about the young audience? "Well, they're so eager, open, and appreciative," said Nagler. "They engage with authors and books—and especially series—in a way that is singular."

Southern New Hampshire University's MFA writing program has a well-regarded Young Adult track that was just starting to take shape when Nagler joined the program board in 2012. She played an important role in fostering that program by helping to bring to the faculty one of her most popular Simon & Schuster writers, Robin Wasserman.

"I'm so happy to have had a hand in the development of this program, and now its faculty is richer and more talented than it's ever been," said Nagler. Wasserman is the author of such acclaimed works as the "The Waking Dark," the Cold Awakening trilogy, and the Seven Deadly Sins series. She has recently been joined on the SNHU MFA faculty by Jo Knowles, author of best-selling YA titles "See You at Harry's" and "Pearl." And program director Diane Les Becquets is herself the author of award-winning YA novels.

"Michelle is entirely right about the passion of the children's and YA book audiences," said Les Becquets. "Our students who work in that track are no less passionate, and are so fortunate as well to benefit from the insights and advice of an editor as skilled as Michelle."

Nagler has assumed oversight of Random House/Golden Book's entire fiction program, from chapter books through YA novels. "I consider it a huge privilege," she said, "and a great joy to be an editor and publisher of children's books."