W. W. Norton & Company Welcomes Editor Simon Boughton to Launch Norton Young Readers


New York, April 16, 2018—Simon Boughton, formerly Senior Vice-President and Publishing Director, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, joins W. W. Norton & Company today as Publishing Director of a new imprint: Norton Young Readers. With this imprint, Norton will expand its mission to offer "Books That Live"—enduring works of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and anthologies, and now even picture books and series—to a notably younger set of discerning readers than before.

In announcing the news, Norton President Julia A. Reidhead noted, "Simon Boughton brings deep experience in building a children’s publishing program from the ground up as well as a passion for narrative—in words and images—in perfect sync with Norton’s editorial values. As we approach our centennial, Norton Young Readers enables us, uniquely among publishers, to grow readers for life, from preschool through middle school, high school, college, and beyond."

Mr. Boughton commented, “The opportunity to create and oversee a young-readers’ imprint at a house like Norton is beyond thrilling. Norton’s longstanding reputation for excellence sets the bar high, but its independent, collaborative spirit and spectacularly welcoming people provide all the creative freedom and encouragement one could hope for. I will look to convey this sense of excitement and enthusiasm for reading on every page of Norton Young Readers books.”

Simon Boughton has extensive experience founding and directing children’s-book publishing concerns. In 2000, he founded Roaring Brook Press, and in 2006 oversaw the launch of its First Second graphic-novel imprint. He was responsible for the strategic and business development, creative direction, and management of these imprints, and is credited with significant growth to the business as well as heightened critical and awards recognition. He played a central role in integrating the various Macmillan children’s businesses into one company, the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, in 2009, when he became Senior Vice-President and Publishing Director of the group as well as Publisher of Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers.

Mr. Boughton has acquired and edited Caldecott Medal–winning books by Eric Rohmann and Mordicai Gerstein; Caldecott Honor and New York Times best-selling books by Lane Smith; Printz Medal and Honor books by Marcus Sedgwick; and award-winning books by Steve Sheinkin, David Macaulay, Barbara McClintock, Sally Ride, and many others.

Before his years with Roaring Brook Press and Macmillan, Mr. Boughton served at Random House Inc. from 1994–2000, where he was Vice-President and Publishing Director, Alfred A. Knopf and Crown Books for Young Readers. While at Random House, he integrated Knopf’s and Crown’s children’s publishing programs, launched a paperback imprint, and acquired or published award-winning works by Jennifer Armstrong, Faith Ringgold, Philip Pullman, Jerry Spinelli, and others. Before that, he served in roles including Editor-in-Chief, Crown Books for Young Readers and Editor, Simon & Schuster Children’s Books. He began his career as Assistant Editor at Kingfisher Books in London.

In addition to his work at these publishing houses, he has served with the Children’s Book Council in a number of capacities, including Chair and Treasurer; with the Every Child a Reader board of directors; with the Connecticut Center for the Book; and with the Association of American Publishers Freedom to Read Committee.

Mr. Boughton holds a BA in English from Cambridge University and an MA in History & Theory of Art from the University of Essex. He lives in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Norton and Liveright have published select books with appeal for young readers, such as Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales (2002) and Stitches: A Memoir by David Small (2009). They have also published annotated, illustrated editions of classic works including The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Martin Gardner, ed., 1999), The Annotated Wizard of Oz: Centennial Edition (Michael Patrick Hearn, ed., 2000), The Annotated Brothers Grimm (Maria Tatar, ed., 2004), The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories (Leslie S. Klinger, ed., 2004), The Annotated Secret Garden (Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, ed., 2007), The Annotated Little Women (John Matteson, ed., 2015), and The Annotated African American Folktales (Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar, eds., 2017), among others. In the 1960s, Norton briefly published books for children. The firm has never before, however, devoted an imprint to young readers.

W. W. Norton & Company is the nation’s largest independent, employee-owned book publishing firm. Founded by William Warder Norton in 1923, the firm now publishes approximately 450 books annually in its combined divisions and continues to adhere to its original motto, “Books That Live,” striving to publish works of enduring distinction in the areas of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and textbooks.