Photography by JWC Portraits.
“Seek out the stories readers want to hear.”
Lara Paparo is a lover of literature and books. She started her own publishing house, Owl Publishing, in 2015 to “empower authors and create engaging books for readers of all ages.” She was born and raised in Philadelphia and currently resides in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. “I get to enjoy the best of both worlds since I work in the city, but live in the country,” Lara says. Owl Publishing has two offices: one in Philadelphia and one in Lancaster County. Along with Owl Publishing, Lara is the associate director of the Penn Literacy Network (housed in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education). Penn Literacy works with educators and school districts to promote literacy and numeracy programs across the United States and internationally.
Seeing children’s enthusiasm towards reading is one of the reasons Lara set out to create her own publishing house. “I love seeing children excited about a new book, and love using my own children (ages 7 and 10) as beta-testers of new books. I get to be really selective in the authors I work with, so that is also a great privilege,” she explains.
Lara Paparo teaching a class on literacy for
middle and high school teachers in China.
Owl Publishing had a successful 2019, publishing more than 15 books, seven of which include the Mr. Business children’s book series by our co-founding editor and founder, BK Fulton. “These stories are an absolute joy to publish and have authentic, relatable stories that shine a light into BK’s childhood,” she says. “They have amazing, vibrant illustrations that speak to children of all ages.” 2020 is looking to be an even more successful year.
With changing demographics, Lara and Owl Publishing have developed a bilingual literacy initiative and are expanding it for 2020. “Bilingual literacy is near and dear to my heart,” she says. “The initiative will continue through our imprint company, Creo En Ti Media.” Creo En Ti Media publishes bilingual children’s books written and illustrated by high school students. Lara says during the summer, they will host their second annual bilingual literacy festival that celebrates newly released books. No matter what Lara and Owl Publishing put together, readers will know it will be worth their time.