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Book author for young adults Deeba-Zargarpur

DEEBA ZARGARPUR enthusiastically joined the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Salaam Reads editorial team in March 2020.


A graduate of Drexel University, Deeba began her editorial career at Disney-Hyperion and Freeform, where she worked on both middle grade and young adult titles. Then, she took a detour into book packaging, where she created and edited a wide range of children’s and adult literature.


Her aim is to acquire commercial books that empower young people from diverse backgrounds. As a self-taught polyglot, Deeba’s love of literature across various languages stemmed from the tales spun throughout her childhood.

She is always on the hunt for stories that inspire a sense of magic and wonder, plot lines that challenge traditional assumptions about morality, and strong character arcs that redefine what it means to be the hero of your own story.


Deeba is always striving to champion and uplift underrepresented voices in picture books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. She gravitates toward commercial, high-concept premises that spark a feeling of magic and wonder.


Some of her favorite books that do exactly that: The Astonishing Color of After; The Young Elites; Girl, Serpent, Thorn; The Night Circus.


As a first-generation Afghan-Uzbek American, family plays a central role in stories Deeba is interested in, and she is always interested in stories that feature big, multigenerational, immigrant families with strong cultural and religious ties. She is also looking for stories that explore the complicated dynamics between friends and family (biological and found) and how characters navigate break ups between friends, siblings, cousins, and parents in MG and YA.

In YA, she is looking for lush, non-Western settings that are epic in scope with grand magic and technology systems. Something treacherous but alluring ala The Cruel Prince or Daughter of the Burning City. In addition to new worlds, she also loves getting lost in stories that are inherently eerie and atmospheric, classic whodunit murder mysteries in contained settings, and suspenseful thrillers with fresh twists.

In MG, Deeba is looking for commercial, fast paced, and high-concept premises. She's a kid at heart, and still believes there is magic and adventure right around the corner. She'd love to find something as cinematic as The School for Good and Evil. She's always been drawn to villain origin stories and narratives that explore the perspective of the anti-hero. Lastly, fairytales hold a special place in her heart, and she is always looking for fresh takes on classics, as well
as introducing fairytales from underrepresented communities.

In picture books, she gravitates toward premises that inspire imagination and mischievous creativity, like How to Catch a Monster. She'd love something laugh-out-loud funny and tongue-in-cheek clever with a huge re-readability factor. She also loves stories that draw out the extraordinary in the ordinary, like The Paper Kingdom, and stories that bring kids together, like Our Favorite Day of the Year.

Deeba is not the best fit for paranormal, issue-driven books, pandemic books, stories set in space, animal protagonists, and horror.

Please note: Deeba can only accept agented submissions for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. For Salaam Reads, Deeba can accept both agented and unagented submissions. For unagented submissions, please submit through the Salaam Reads site.

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