Martin Biro

MARTIN R. BIRO is a native of Northern California and a graduate of the University of Iowa. He has been with Kensington Publishing since 2008, where in his role as Editor he acquires a wide range of commercial fiction for their many diverse imprints. He serves as editor for a large list of authors for print (hardcover, trade, and mass-market) and digital formats, including #1 New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels and New York Times bestselling author Marie Force. Martin also oversees both Lyrical Press, Kensington’s digital-first imprint, and Rebel Base, Kensington’s new science-fiction and fantasy digital imprint. For more information on his areas of interest please visit the Kensington website at

Steve Saffel

Steve Saffel is a Senior Acquisitions Editor at Titan Books, the world’s premiere popular culture publisher, acquiring original science fiction, fantasy (epic, heroic, and dark), horror, art books, and media tie-ins such as AlienPlanet of the Apes (new and classic), The FlashMass Effect, and more. Some of his recent and upcoming projects include the epic fantasy The Dragon’s Legacy by Deborah Wolf, the contemporary fantasy adventures Relics by Tim Lebbon, Split Feather by Deborah Wolf, and The Spawn of Lilith by Dana Fredsti, the heroic fantasy Robin Hood: Mark of the Black Arrow by Debbie Vigue and James Tuck, a Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu trilogy by Lois Gresh, the space opera anthology Infinite Stars edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, the mystery novels starring Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse, and The Art of Robert E. McGinnis by Robert E. McGinnis and Art Scott. A documented Dark Editorial Overlord, Steve is a strong advocate for adapting modern media techniques that can be used to the advantage of prose fiction.

Kelsy Thompson

Kelsy Thompson is a writer and editor from Ogden, Utah. She has served as an editorial intern for best-selling author Robison Wells, copy desk chief at The Signpost, managing editor at distinguished literary journal Weber—The Contemporary West, and is currently a contract editor for Jolly Fish Press and YA imprint Flux.  She especially enjoys young adult literature, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mysteries, and historical fiction.

A graduate of Weber State University, Kelsy has worked on dozens of published novels, magazines, journals, and anthologies. When not worshiping the written word, she spends her time gardening, gaming, and wrangling her clowder of cats.

Deb Werksman

Deb Werksman has been at Sourcebooks for 19 years, before which she owned her own publishing company. She is the editorial director of romance fiction, and is acquiring single title romance in all subgenres: paranormal, historical, romantic suspense, contemporary, erotic romance with:

  • a main character the reader can relate to
  • a love interest she can fall in love with
  • an imaginative, credible world gets created into which the reader can escape
  • a hook she can sell within 2-3 sentences
  • a career arc for the author.

Sourcebooks is known for its marketing, PR and sales, and its focus on building authors’ careers.

Stacy Whitman

Stacy Whitman is the founder and publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books that publishes diverse middle grade and young adult fiction. Books she has edited include American Indian Youth Literature YA Award and Top Ten Quick Picks title Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac, Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reid, and Summer of the Mariposas and Shame the Stars by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. In 2013, Stacy founded the New Visions Award, which honors a new unpublished writer of color. The first New Visions Award winner was Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani, which garnered a starred review from Kirkus and Shelf Awareness, was on the Lone Star Reading List and Kirkus Reviews’ Best Teen Books of 2015, and won the Asian/Pacific American Award Honor for Literature from APALA. The most recent New Visions Award winners to be published are Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh (Sept 2017) and Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar (October 2017), both of which have received multiple starred reviews. Her first graphic novel, I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings, was published Oct. 2017.

Stacy is a founding member of the CBC Diversity Committee and currently serves as a Publisher Liaison to We Need Diverse Books. She holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College. You can find her on Twitter at @stacylwhitman.

Submission guidelines for the New Visions Award: