Dream Team: Introducing SLJ’s New Reviews Editors | Editorial

Our newest reviews editors join the people responsible for bringing you some 7,000 reviews of new books and materials each year to create a reviews dream team.

The Reviews Team, from top left: Stephanie Klose, Ashleigh Williams, Luann Toth, Katy Hershberger, Vanessa Willoughby, Mahnaz Dar, and Kiera Parrott.

We at School Library Journal are blessed to be among talented colleagues. It is my pleasure to introduce you to the newest reviews editors—they join the people responsible for bringing you some 7,000 reviews of new books and materials in multiple formats each year to create a reviews dream team. They sculpt the themed booklists that are so popular and useful, and inform SLJ’s trends coverage. The also comprise the Book Nerds, a Facebook video streaming your way every month.

Meet Katy Hershberger, who joined SLJ in February. She will focus on all things young adult as senior editor, YA. She brings to SLJ more than a decade of experience in children’s and YA publishing at houses such as St. Martin’s Press, Bloomsbury, and Simon & Schuster. A graduate of the New School, Hershberger has an MFA in Creative Writing.

Vanessa Willoughby joined us recently as associate editor in charge of nonfiction and Series Made Simple (SMS), our supplement of reviews dedicated to series nonfiction. Prior to a stint as communications administrator at the Brooklyn Waldorf School, she was a senior acquisitions editor at Tantor Media. Check out her first round of SMS.

Ashleigh Williams was just promoted from editorial assistant to assistant editor, middle grade. Just as it sounds, she will be responsible for assigning and editing reviews of chapter books and middle grade fiction and covering the market as it relates to this age level and material.

These three join reviews team members Kiera Parrott, reviews director; Luann Toth, managing editor; Mahnaz Dar, on reference, professional reading, and graphic novels; and Stephanie Klose, on audio. It’s worth noting that the reviews team’s work is complemented by that of other talented SLJ editors Daryl Grabarek, senior editor; Kara Yorio, news editor; Sarah Bayliss, editor, news and features; and Kathy Ishizuka, executive editor, who was just named one of Folio’s 2019 Top Women in Media.

You can expect continued excellence from all of these committed and caring editors. On the reviews side, specifically, look for changes as we continue to improve our digital platform and test new ideas in the reviews section. In the meantime, you are in good hands with these talented new people on board.

You’ll see them at conferences and at our events. And, of course, you’ll see their expertise in all things reviews from SLJ in digital and print. Reviews and beyond, SLJ’s is a dream team indeed.



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Rebecca Miller

Rebecca T. Miller (rmiller@mediasourceinc.com) is Editorial Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal.

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