Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Deidra Purvis of Free Spirit Publishing

Deidra Purvis is the acquisitions editor for Free Spirit Publishing, the leading publisher of books to support young people’s social-emotional learning and wellbeing.

She’s looking for new board books, picture books, and nonfiction books for kids and teens.

Before joining Free Spirit Publishing, Deidra gained market insight as a bookseller of books for children and teens. Deidra has a B.S. in Secondary Education in English and is finishing up her MFA in Creative Writing, with expected completion in May 2023.

Wishlist and info:
• Books for ages 0-18
• Human characters only, please
• Narrative, high-interest, and lyrically written pictures books about experiences children find relatable and personally meaningful, especially stories and perspectives that are original and fresh
• Picture books that portray important stories and explore the truths of pain and joy from historically underrepresented voices
• Picture books exploring appreciation for the environment
• Picture books and board books grounded in place (might include elements of culture, music, food, family, nature, etc.)
• High-interest, original, and fun picture books with any of these themes: creativity, zest, patience, mindfulness, hard work, perseverance, grit, determination, friendship, gratitude, kindness, honesty, emotions, confidence, resilience, respect, empathy, growth-mindset, self-awareness, social-awareness, etc.
• Fiction and nonfiction books portraying social-emotional learning (SEL) skills applied to STEM
• Nonfiction picture books for younger kids about disabilities
• Nonfiction for older kids and teens applying SEL to youth activism
• Nonfiction books for kids and teens on physical and mental health (wellness) topics, especially written by experts in the field
• New and exciting biographical picture books

• Authentic voices from underrepresented authors
• Culturally relevant books written by Asian American and Latine/Hispanic authors

About Free Spirit:
Whether at home, in school, or out in the world, all kids face challenges. No matter the choices, changes, and opportunities young people encounter, Free Spirit has had the same mission since 1983: to provide children and teens—and the adults who care for and about them—with the tools they need to think for themselves, overcome challenges, and make a difference in the world.

Today more than ever, young people need social and emotional guidance. We aim to meet all kids—babies, teens, and everyone in between—where they are (not where we wish they were) and to support them in developing their talents, building resiliency, and fostering a positive outlook on life so they can reach their full potential.

We are currently focused on growing our list of culturally relevant and authentic picture books aligned with Social Emotional Learning themes.

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