Welcome!

Welcome to the Bookshelf Detective, a site for readers and writers of children's literature. Thank you for visiting, and please let me know how this blog served you.
Cheers,
Kim Tomsic

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Confessions of a Conference Junkie

Confessions of a Conference Junkie
Jerilyn Patterson
A guest post by Jerilyn Patterson

I became hooked on writer’s conferences after attending my first one in 2010. Now, I attend an average of three per year, and I always look forward to the wealth of knowledge they provide, the encouraging community, and the opportunity to meet interesting authors and industry professionals. Over the years I’ve honed some strategies for making the most out of my conference experience. Read on for my tips!

Focus on Craft

First and foremost, I go to conferences to learn. When I consider the accumulative experience of everyone in attendance, including fellow writers as well as faculty members, conference tuition is a steal. I try to absorb every single drop of information and take nothing for granted.

Before going, I reflect on the specific areas of my craft I want to improve, and then peruse the conference schedule in search any sessions and keynotes relating to that. While most conferences don’t require advance registration for specific break-out sessions, I prefer to have a game-plan from the get-go, instead of leaving all the decision-making until I’m standing in the crowded lobby of a potentially unfamiliar place.

While there, I take copious notes like I’m back in college and yes, everything will be on the final exam. I read somewhere that information is best absorbed when taking notes by hand, and I’ve found this to be true. I bring a shiny new notebook, stock up on my favorite pens,
and keep a bottle of ibuprofen ready to alleviate any hand cramps.

When I get home after the conference, I type out all my notes and save them in a file on my computer. This might seem extreme—why don’t I just use my laptop for note-taking at the conference to eliminate the extra step? Because typing them forces me to revisit what I’ve learned, which helps gel all that new information. After my last conference I ended up with seventeen single-spaced pages, and that was just for the first day! (I’m still working on transcribing day two.)

Cultivating Community

Throughout my years attending conferences, I’ve discovered an invaluable community that cheers me on and buoys me up. Yet I’ll admit that’s the last thing I expected when I stepped into my first conference. I was a brand-new, baby writer with nothing more than an intriguing idea and a can-do attitude and I had my game face on. My background is in music, a highly competitive field—even MORE so than writing, believe it or not! I expected everyone in the room to size me up and make snap judgments about my skills based on my outfit and hair-do. That had been my experience in the music industry, and I assumed writing wouldn’t be any different.

Nothing was farther from the truth. Everyone I talked to was warm and welcoming. I met new writers like myself who were eager to make friends, and veteran writers who were incredibly generous about sharing their wealth of knowledge. I left that conference with profound gratitude that I had finally found My People.

If you’re attending a conference for the first time, discovering your own community might seem daunting, especially if you’re an introvert like me. The good news is, every single person in attendance has something in common with you: Writing! Most will welcome the chance to talk about their latest project, their favorite books, or how their pitch session or manuscript consultation went. Don’t be afraid to reach out. And remember that while not everyone you encounter will become your BFF, everyone is a colleague. The children’s writing community is small and you never know who you’ll end up sitting with on a panel someday.

Connecting with Professionals—AKA Agents and Editors are people, too!

While I value craft and community immensely, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I also hope to someday make a connection with my future dream agent or editor. I know I’m not the only one—in my role as registrar for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI, I often receive inquiries about appropriate behavior when approaching industry professionals.

My first strategy is to sign up for a manuscript consultation or pitch session. Not only do these offerings allow for an authentic reason to talk with an agent or editor, they also provide invaluable feedback from individuals who have made a career of selling books.

In casual settings, my rule in approaching industry professionals is to remember they are people too and to put myself in their shoes. Would I prefer a stranger to walk up and start pitching out of the blue while I’m enjoying my lunch? Or would I instead want a writer to introduce themselves respectfully and maybe even chat about the latest Captain America movie? Option B hands down! Sometimes the conversation will naturally progress to what I’m working on. If not, I don’t fret and remember I’ve made a positive connection.

Or not. There was that one time on the last day of a conference when I rode down an elevator with a Very Big Editor from a Very Big Publishing House. Though the editor had sat on many panels throughout the weekend, I didn’t recognize them. Assuming the editor was a writer like me, I asked how long they’d been writing and if this was their first conference. I received a lifted eyebrow in response, noticed their nametag, and flushed bright red. I certainly left an impression! If something similarly embarrassing happens to you, laugh and move on. Agents and editors know that we’re people too.


If you’re thinking about attending a conference, give it a try! With a little preparation and a genuine interest in meeting and making friends with other writers and publishing professionals, you, too, can become a conference junkie.

Jerilyn Patterson has been writing almost since she could talk. No joke--she dictated her first journal entry to her mother when she was four years old. Eventually she learned how to hold her own pen and years later she's still keeping a journal. She also writes young adult fiction and serves as registrar for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI. A native of Colorado, she lives on the front range with her family and two neurotic gerbils. You can find her on twitter, (@jerwrites)  occasionally tweeting about writing, legos, kickboxing or whatever else strikes her fancy. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fast Five: An Interview with Author Richard Peck

Fast Five with Richard Peck

by Kim Tomsic

It’s no secret I have been a longtime fan of Richard Peck—the author, the word wizard, the genius. Imagine my joy when the man who has been the single biggest influence in my writing career agreed to a phone interview! Here's how it went:

KT— As you know, I’m your biggest fan. In 2009, I decided to pursue a writing career, because I ran out of your books, and I craved more Richard Peck style tales to read to my son.  What/who influenced you to become a writer?
Answer: “Mark Twain.” When Peck was in fourth grade, his teacher gave him a copy of ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN. Peck “knew that’s where [he] wanted to be.” Furthermore, Mark Twain was from his part of the country, Decatur Illinois, and seeing someone who was like him and from his area helped paint the possibility of becoming an author in young Richard’s mind. He wanted to be “words on the page,” and yet he waited—he studied literature, became a teacher, and when was 37 years old he wrote his first book. Why?  "To fill a need." He couldn’t find a book to satisfy the needs of his high school students (a contemporary story that reflected them), and so in 1971 he wrote DON’T LOOK AND IT WON’T HURT (it was later turned into a movie called Gas/Food/Lodging.)

KT—Mr. Peck, you possess the magical ability to write humor and heart in a story—I’m laughing, I’m crying, I’m buying your books for my friends. Your characters are real and fleshed out, so here’s my FREAKY FRIDAY question:  If you had to switch places for a weekend with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
With an air of whimsy, Mr. Peck said he would be Joey from A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO, because Joey’s Grandma Dowdel is the grandma he always wishes he’d had. Very much like grandma Dowdel, Peck’s own grandma was six-foot plus, with a shock of white hair, and she wore Lane Bryant dresses. But unlike his own grandmother, Grandma Dowdel was nice. He said, “When we write as authors we don't write about our family, we write about the family we might have had.”

KT—At an event where I heard you speak, you talked about “first chapters” and how you rewrite your first chapter many times and still again after you’ve completed your manuscript. My biggest take-away was your statement, “The first page of a book is a promise to the reader.” You also said, “The first page is the last page in disguise.” What other elements do you believe make a successful first page?
Mr. Peck said authors often start in the wrong place. We need to find a place “to start nearer to the action. Hit the ground running. Don't start too early and don't wander around.” He also said, “The first page is the table of contents for your story. It has every element of the book; the reader just doesn't know it yet.”

KT—HABITS:  I look forward to reading your newest upper grade novel THE BEST MAN (Dial Books, September 20, 2016). First, I must know--did you write it on your electric typewriter?

RP: “Yes! I have to feel that page in my hands.” 

KT—Awesome. I remember hearing you say you type out your first page, pull out the paper, write notes all over it, and then when you can’t find any additional writing space (or you can no longer read your own writing) you start over—and you do this at least six times! Then when you get to the end of your manuscript, you return to the first page and write it again from scratch. What other writing habits do you have?
 Mr. Peck says that after he’s rewritten the first chapter six times and rewrites the tightest first page possible, he forces himself to remove twenty words from his first page. Twenty words, people!  The aspect Peck loves most about writing is dialogue. He says "A novel is conversation overheard.” His method for making dialogue lively is practicing his dialogue away from his desk. He also practices it standing up! He rehearses the lines and then acts them out with full movement,as if he’s in a play. If something strikes him, he rushes to his desk, types it on his IBM Selectric, and then his one-man show continues until the dialogue is electrified and alive.

KT—INSIDER INFORMATION: What is a little-known fact about you?
little-known fact is that Richard Peck was a soldier during the war. Because he could type like the wind, he was assigned to be the chaplain’s assistant and part of his job as the chaplain’s assistant was to interview American soldiers who wanted to marry German brides. In the course of the interviews he would get to know the bride and groom and was often asked to serve as best man. The groom always buys the best man a present, so at the end of the war, Richard Peck was probably the only soldier who came home with 37 pairs of new cuff links!

Meet Richard Peck! 

Richard Peck will be a keynote speaker at the RMC SCBWI Letters and Lines Fall Conference September 17-19, 2016. He will also do a reading and signing of his latest book THE BEST MAN (Dial Books, September 2016) at Tattered Cover in Denver on September 20, 2016. THE BEST MAN has received a starred review from Kirkus, from Publisher's Weekly, from the Horn Book and others!


ABOUT THE BEST MAN from  the Penguine Random House website:
Newbery Medalist Richard Peck tells a story of small-town life, gay marriage, and everyday heroes in this novel for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jack Gantos

Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one eye out in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be. Along the way he finds a fourth—Mr. McLeod, a teacher. In fact, the first male teacher in the history of the school.

But now here comes middle school and puberty. Change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does. He doesn’t see too far ahead, so every day or so a startling revelation breaks over him. Then a really big one when he’s the best man at the wedding of two of his role models. But that gets ahead of the story.

In pages that ripple with laughter, there’s a teardrop here and there. And more than a few insights about the bewildering world of adults, made by a boy on his way to being the best man he can be.
Hardcover
Published by Dial Books
Sep 20, 2016 | 240 Pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | Middle Grade (8-12)| ISBN 9780803738393

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SCBWI Crystal Kite Winners 2016

THE SOCIETY OF CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS Announces the winners of the annual  
CRYSTAL KITE MEMBER CHOICE AWARDS 
The SCBWI is excited to announce the winners of the 2016 Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards for the fifteen regional divisions:

Atlantic (Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey/Wash DC/Virginia/West Virginia/Maryland)
Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by April Chu - Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books)
Australia/New Zealand


California/Hawaii








Canada


International Other

(Kansas/Louisiana/Arkansas/Tennessee/Kentucky/Missouri/Mississippi)

Middle East/India/Asia












New England (Maine/Vermont/New Hampshire/Connecticut/Massachusetts/Rhode Island)
Lynda Mullaly Hunt Fish in a Tree (Nancy Paulsen Books)


New York

Southeast (Florida/Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina/Alabama)
Rob Sanders, illustrated by Brian Won - Outer Space Bedtime Race (Random House)

Southwest (Nevada/Arizona/Utah/Colorado/Wyoming/New Mexico)

(Side note from blogger...take a look at the starred review from Kirkus regarding Melanie Crowder's AUDACITY:
KIRKUS REVIEW
A novel in verse featuring the real-life Clara Lemlich, a courageous, tenacious warrior for workers’ rights in turn-of-the-20th-century New York City.
Newly arrived in New York from Russia, she finds employment in a sweatshop, where young immigrant girls toil in dangerous conditions, cheated and harassed by bosses, earning pennies for long hours of work. Sacrificing her dream of an education and in spite of her family’s dire economic straits, she devotes her energy to supporting these girls, fighting for the inclusion of women in the all-male garment union and winning them their own local. She organizes strikes against individual sweatshops and leads the Uprising of the 20,000, during which she and the other young women strikers are repeatedly beaten by police and hired thugs, arrested and jailed. From her constricted life in a Russian shtetl and difficult journey to America to the choices she makes in her new life, readers hear Clara’s strong, clear voice in action-packed verses that convey with intense emotion her conflicts and conviction, her deepest thoughts, and her doubts and triumphs. Crowder breathes life into a world long past and provides insight into the achievements of one determined woman who knows she will “give / without the thought / of ever getting back, / to ease the suffering of others. / That, / I think, / I will be doing / the rest of my life.”Compelling, powerful and unforgettable. (historical note, interview, glossary, sources) (Historical fiction/poetry. 12-18)
Texas/Oklahoma

UK/Ireland




West (Washington/Oregon/Alaska/Idaho/Montana/North Dakota/South Dakota)


The SCBWI would also like to thank Christopher Cheng, the International Awards Coordinator for all his help and hard work with the Crystal Kite Awards.

About the Crystal Kite Awards
The Crystal Kite Awards are given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to recognize great books from the seventy SCBWI regions around the world.  Along with the SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, the Crystal Kite Awards are chosen by other children’s book writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers.

About SCBWI
Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 22,000 members worldwide. It is the only organization specifically for those working in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. The organization was founded by Stephen Mooser (President) and Lin Oliver (Executive Director), both of whom are well-published children’s book authors and leaders in the world of children’s literature.  For more information about the Crystal Kite Award, please visit www.scbwi.org, and click “Awards & Grants.”


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Students: Learn More About Children's Publishing


Students: Learn More About Children's Publishing 
With Help From SCBWI
Picture Books    Young Adult    Middle Grade   Nonfiction   Graphic Novels
The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals writing and illustrating for children and young adults in the fields of children's literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. 

We're here to help students of library science and information management learn more about the authors, illustrators and publishing industry around children's books. SCBWI is a great resource for information about children's book publishing.

Our mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children's books around the world. The SCBWI accomplishes this by fostering a vibrant community of individuals who bring books for young readers to the public; membership includes writers, illustrators, translators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers, bloggers, enthusiasts and others. 
Member Benefits:
  • Digital versions of member content (quarterly magazine, exclusive monthly newsletter, FAQ videos)
  • Student discounts on member events
  • Online critique groups for illustrators and writers
  • Grants and awards for writers and illustrators
  • Online student discussion group
  • Networking opportunities with publishing professionals
  • Display space in the online Illustrator Gallery
  • Book Launch Party Page
Eligibility Requirements:
  • Must be 18 years old or older to join
  • Full-time undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited university - domestic or international
  • Copy of current student ID must be submitted for verification 

Special Student Rate: $65/join 
 $55/renew

To join, or for more details, students should go to scbwi.org/join
SCBWI scbwi.org

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

SCBWI Summer Conference USER-FRIENDLY Faculty Line-Up


SCBWI International Summer Conference
FACULTY SUMMER 2016


Divided into three categories:
Agents ☼
                           Authors/Illustrators ☼

                              Editors, Art Directors, Advisors☼


Agents:

Victoria Wells Arms started as an editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, and then Putnam. One day, she spotted an ad for an editorial director at Bloomsbury and was chosen to set up Bloomsbury USA’s children’s division. Starting with three people (and a dog), Bloomsbury grew quickly, soon hitting the bestseller lists and acquiring major awards. In 2013, Victoria opened her own agency, Wells Arms Literary, where she represents authors and illustrators for the full range of children’s books, from board books to young adult, as well as some nonfiction. Visit: www.wellsarms.com and follow her on Twitter: @VWArms and @WALiterary

Ginger Clark has been a literary agent with Curtis Brown, LTD. since the fall of 2005. She represents science fiction, fantasy, paranormal romance, literary horror, and young adult and middle grade fiction. In addition to representing her own clients, she also represents British rights for the agency’s children’s list. Previously, she worked at Writers House for six years as an assistant literary agent. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Chair of the Contracts Committee of the AAR, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the AAR. 

Kirsten Hall is President of Catbird, a boutique children’s literary and illustration agency. She has brokered many hundreds of children’s book deals between authors, illustrators, and all of the major American publishers. She is also the author of many books for kids. Her first trade picture book, The Jacket, was a 2014 New York Times Notable). Kirsten opened Catbird's wings in March 2014, and she likens her agency to a creative playground. Her focus is debut talent, and she works intimately with her clients to create and develop original story pitches—especially picture books. According to Publishers Marketplace, Kirsten reported more new picture book deals in 2015 than any other agent. Visit: www.catbirdagency.com

Natalie Lakosil is an agent at the Bradford Literary Agency. Her specialties are children’s literature (from picture book through teen and New Adult), romance (contemporary and historical), cozy mystery/crime, upmarket women’s/general fiction, and select children’s nonfiction. Her interests include historical, multicultural, magical realism, sci-fi/fantasy, gritty, twisted and darker contemporary novels, middle grade with heart, and short, simplistic, quirky or character-driven picture books. A few of her recent sales include:Twas Noche Buena by Roseanne Thong, Trains Don't Sleep by Andria Rosenbaum, You Throw Like a Girl by Rachele Alpine, Island of Stars And Bone and Piper Morgan Joins the Circus. Visit Natalie’s blog www.adventuresinagentland.com.

Steven Malk is the third generation of his family to be involved in the children's book industry. The son and grandson of children's booksellers, he worked as a bookseller for six years before becoming an agent.  He opened a West Coast office for Writers House in 1998, where he represents a wide range of best-selling and award-winning authors and illustrators, including Jon Klassen, Ruta Sepetys, Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Marla Frazee, Matt de la Peña, Mac Barnett, Kadir Nelson, Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis, Jennifer Donnelly, Jillian Tamaki, Molly Idle, Jory John, Cynthia Rylant, Adam Rex, Loren Long, Sara Pennypacker, Deborah Wiles, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Sonya Sones, Christian Robinson, Bob Shea and many others.  Follow him on Twitter @StevenMalk.

Kathleen Rushall is an agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, representing authors for all age groups of children’s literature, including picture books (fiction and nonfiction), middle grade, and young adult novels. Kathleen also represents illustrators. The most important element that draws Kathleen to any project is a strong voice and unforgettable characters. A few of Kathleen’s recent published books include Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban, Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell, Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating, The One Thing by Marci Curtis, Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk, Mira Tells the Future by Kell Andrews, and Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields. On Twitter: @KatRushall

Brooks Sherman is a literary agent with the Bent Agency. He is a hands-on editorial agent who delights in developing projects with his clients before bringing them to the attention of publishers. Brooks seeks projects that balance strong voice with gripping plot lines. (Stories that make him laugh earn extra points!) He is looking for middle grade fiction of all genres (particularly fantasy adventure and contemporary), humorous projects from author/illustrators, and young adult fiction of all types except paranormal romance. He would especially love to get his hands on a creepy and/or funny contemporary young adult project. Follow him @byobrooks on Twitter.

Erica Rand Silverman is an agent at Sterling Lord Literistic primarily interested in books for and about children.  She represents some of the most exciting new talent and treasured mainstays in the industry. Forthcoming books include Moo in a Tutu by Tim Miller,Shivers! The Pirate Book You’ve Been Looking For by Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White, Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco, The Wizard’s Dog by Eric Kahn Gale, Monkey Brother by Adam Auerbach, Starring Cindy Sherman by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, Hey, Wall! by Susan Verde, The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbott, Tea with Oliver by Mika Song, and Max by Alice Provensen. Before joining SLL Erica was a teacher and dean at a NYC public high school. Twitter and Instagram: @ericarsilverman

Tina Wexler is a literary agent at ICM Partners, specializing in middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction. Noteworthy titles include Sid Fleischman Award Winner Teddy Mars: Almost A World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham, YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Honor Laughing at my Nightmare by Shane Burcaw, Michael L. Printz Award Winner Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, and National Book Award Longlist Selection The Real Boy by Anne Ursu. She has an MFA in poetry.  @tina_wexler


Authors/Illustrators:

Caroline Arnold is the author of 160 books for children. Recent titles include A Polar Bear’s World, illustrated with her own cut paper art, which won the Eureka Award for Nonfiction from the California Reading Association; A Day and Night in the Rain Forest in her Habitats series; Living Fossils, Clues to the Past; and Wiggle and Waggle, five stories about two hardworking worms. A noted science writer, Caroline  has had thirty-three books on the NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books list including Too Hot? Too Cold? and A Warmer World. Her books are inspired by her travels, her love of animals, fossils, and the out-of-doors.www.carolinearnoldbooks.com

Jessixa Bagley, is an author/illustrator who has a BFA in painting and printmaking and has worked as fine artist, comics creator and illustrator since 2002. Her acclaimed debut picture book Boats for Papa was released June 2015, shortly followed up by her second book Before I Leave in February 2016-both Neal Porter books published by Roaring Brook Press. Her upcoming picture books with Neal Porter are Laundry Day (February 2017) and Vincent Comes Home (Winter 2018). Vincent Comes Home is a collaboration with her husband Aaron Bagley.  Boats for Papa was just awarded The Golden Kite for picture book text.

Susan Campbell Bartoletti writes poetry, short stories, picture books, novels, and nonfiction for young readers.  A former teacher, her students inspired her to start writing. Her award-winning books include They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group (HMH, 2010), Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow (Scholastic 2005), and The Boy Who Dared (Scholastic 2008.) Learn more at www.scbartoletti.com

Sophie Blackall is a Brooklyn-based Australian artist who has illustrated over thirty books for children, including Ruby’s WishBig Red LollipopThe Baby TreeA Fine Dessert, the Caldecott-winning Finding Winnie and the New York Times bestselling series, Ivy and Bean. She has won the Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Founder’s Award from the Society of Illustrators, a Horn Book Honor, and a Golden Kite Honor, and two books have been New York Times Top Ten Picture Books. Learn more at www.sophieblackall.com.

Martha Brockenbrough is the author the outstanding YA novels The Game of Love and Death and Devine Intervention, and The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy, a picture book. Both are with Arthur A. Levine at Scholastic, as is her forthcoming picture book, Love, Santa, as well as two Bigfoot picture books written jointly with Samantha Berger. Martha also wrote the nonfiction middle grade Finding Bigfoot for Feiwel & Friends. In addition to her work on SCBWI's Team Blog, she is the founder of National Grammar Day and author of the hilarious grammar guide Things That Make Us [Sic]. Martha is both a journalist  and content strategist and marketer. Visitwww.martha-brockenbrough.squarespace.com and on Twitter @mbrockenbrough.

Peter Brown studied Illustration at Art Center College of Design and moved to New York City to pursue a career as an author and illustrator of children's books. Since then he has written and illustrated seven picture books, including Mr. Tiger Goes Wild and My Teacher is a Monster, and illustrated two others. His books have earned numerous honors, including two E.B. White Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, two Irma Black Honors, five New York Times bestsellers, and his illustrations for Creepy Carrots, written by Aaron Reynolds, earned Peter a 2013 Caldecott Honor.  His first novel for young people is The Wild Robot. Visit www.peterbrownstudio.com.

Priscilla Burris is an author/illustrator and native Californian of Hispanic descent. Creating characters and images from ink, whether in the real world or digitally, Priscilla delights most in bringing out the element of expression, emotion, and what’s bursting to be shared from heart and soul and life! She is enthusiastically involved in the SCBWI as National Illustrator Coordinator and advisor, as well as a member of their Board of Advisors, and the SCBWI Illustrator Committee.  Learn more about Priscilla at www.priscillaburris.com.

Molly B. Burnham is the author of the Teddy Mars series and this year’s winner of the Sid Fleishman Humor Award.  At one time she studied theater but gave it up to write. She holds a Masters in Elementary Ed., and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She has taught emotionally challenged high school students, as well as kindergartners and third graders. Before that she walked dogs, scooped ice cream, and worked at a number of record stores and bookstores. At various times during the day, she can be found eating pie at The Florence Pie Bar, which is just around the corner from where she lives. Visit: www.mollybburnham.com

Bruce Coville is the author of over a hundred books for children and young adults, including My Teacher is an AlienInto the Land of the UnicornsJeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, and Diary of A Mad Brownie. His books have appeared in a dozen languages, and have won children's choice awards in numerous states, including twice in California. Bruce is also the founder of Full Cast Audio, an audiobook publishing company devoted to producing full cast, unabridged recordings for family listening. Bruce is a member of the SCBWI Board of Advisors and a noted SCBWI speaker. You can visit him at www.brucecoville.com.

Pat Cummings is the author/illustrator of over thirty-five books for young readers.  She also edited the award-winning series, Talking With Artists, which profiles prominent children's book illustrators. She teaches at Parsons and Pratt, and her children's book illustration class has a growing number of notable illustrator/authors among its graduates.  Pat serves on the SCBWI Board of Advisors as well as on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Authors League Fund, The Authors Guild Foundation, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  Learn more about Pat at www.patcummings.com.

Drew Daywalt is an award-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling children’s author. His books
include The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home and the upcoming The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors (2017). He likes peanut butter. A lot. If pressed to live on it for the rest of his life, he could easily do so. His mother once told him when he was ten, that if he kept this up he’d turn into a peanut. As a matter of fact, she knew this was going to happen. And briefly on the evening of October 19, 2008, he did turn into a peanut, but it quickly wore off. The lesson here? Moms are always right. Also, Drew is a writer.  www.crayonspicturebooks.com

David Diaz was awarded the 1995 Caldecott Medal for illustrating Eve Bunting’s Smokey Nights, a story about a boy’s point of view of the Los Angeles riots in 1992. He received Pura Belpré Honor Awards for Diego: Bigger Than Life by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, César: ¡Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We Can! By Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, and The Pot That Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel. Recent books includeSharing the Seasons by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Before You Came by Patricia and Emily MacLaughin, Ocean’s Child  by Christine Ford and Chris Holland, and Me Frida by Amy Novesky. 

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, including the Newbery Honor winner, The Surrender Tree, and PEN USA Award winner, The Lightning Dreamer.  Her verse memoir, Enchanted Air, won the Pura Belpré Award, Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction, WNDB Walter Award Honor, Arnold Adoff Teen Poetry Award, Lee Bennett Hopkins/Penn State Poetry Award, California Gold Eureka! Award, and was a finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.  Margarita’s other books have received multiple awards and honors; they include  such titles as Mountain DogSummer Birds, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award winner, Drum Dream Girl. Margarita’s 2016 books are Lion Island and Morning Star Horse/El Caballo Lucero.  www.margaritaengle.com

Marla Frazee was awarded a Caldecott Honor for All the World and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Picture Book for her wordless book The Farmer and the Clown. She is the author-illustrator of Roller Coaster,Walk On!Santa Claus the World's Number One Toy Expert, The Boss Baby, and Boot & Shoe, as well as the illustrator of many other books including The Seven Silly EatersStars, the NYT bestselling Clementine series, God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant, and Is Mommy?by poet Victoria Chang. Boss Baby is currently in production as a major animated feature film. Visit www.marlafrazee.com.

Bruce Hale is the author/illustrator of over thirty-five seriously funny books for kids.  This Edgar-nominated author’s series include the popular Chet Gecko MysteriesSchool for S.P.I.E.S., and Clark the Shark, which recently turned up in a McDonald’s Happy Meal (not the way you’re thinking).  His Murder, My Tweet won a Little D Award for Humor Writing, and Snoring Beauty was one of Oprah’s Recommended Reads for Kids.  A recovering actor and Fulbright Scholar (in Storytelling), Bruce is in demand as a speaker at conferences, universities, and schools nationally and internationally.  Peak authorial experiences include visiting India, riding a parade float, and judging a chocolate chip cookie bake-off. 

Kate Hannigan is the author of The Detective’s Assistant, winner of this year’s Golden Kite Award for middle-grade fiction and inspired by the rollicking adventures of America’s first woman detective. It was a Booklist “Best of 2015” pick, an Amelia Bloomer Project title, a Bank Street College “title of distinction,” and a Nerdy Book Club winner. Kate is also the author of the humorous cooking-caper series Cupcake Cousins and Cupcake Cousins: Summer Showers (Disney-Hyperion). Look for Book 3, Cupcake Cousins: Winter Wonders, coming this fall, as well as non-fiction picture book biographies with Calkins Creek in 2018. Kate joined SCBWI back in 2003 and started the Hyde Park/South Side Chicago Network not too long after. Say hello online at www.KateHannigan.com.

Jennifer L. Holm is a New York Times best-selling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels Our Only May AmeliaPenny From Heaven, and Turtle in Paradise. Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on three graphic novel series—the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series, the best-selling Squish series, and My First Comics. Her upcoming novel isFull of Beans. Visit: www.jenniferholm.com

Ellen Hopkins is a poet and the award-winning author of eleven New York Times best-selling young adult novels-in-verse and three adult novels. Her twelfth YA is Traffik (McElderry Books, November, 2015) and her third adult novel, Tangled, was released spring 2015. She is a current SCBWI Board member. Visit: www.ellenhopkins.com

Deborah Halverson is the award-winning author of Writing New Adult Fiction and Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, as well as the teen novels Big Mouth and Honk If You Hate Me, the picture book Letters to Santa, and three books in the Remix series for struggling readers. Formerly an editor at Harcourt Children's Books and now a freelancer specializing in Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction, New Adult fiction, and picture books, Deborah has been working with authors—bestsellers, veterans, debut, and aspiring—for twenty years. She is also the founder of the popular writers’ advice site DearEditor.com. Learn more at www.DeborahHalverson.com.

Jon Klassen grew up in Niagara Falls, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator of I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat, as well as the illustrator of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; The Dark by Lemony Snicket; House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser; Cats' Night Out by Caroline Stutson; and the first three books in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.

Linda Sue Park began her writing life as a poet and believes that the many years of composing poetry have had a greater effect on her work than anything other than reading. She is the author of A Single Shard, awarded the Newbery Medal in 2002, and A Long Walk to Water, which has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year and a half, as well as many other titles for young readers, including rhyming picture books.  Her newest works are Wing & Claw, and Yaks Yak.  Learn more at www.lindasuepark.com.

John Parra is an award-winning illustrator, fine artist, designer, and educator, best known for his illustrated Latino themed children’s books such as Waiting for the Biblioburro, Green is a Chile Pepper, and Gracias/Thanks. His books have earned numerous starred reviews and ALA’s Notable designations. He’s also received ALA’s Pura Belpré Honors, The Christopher Award, and The Golden Kite Award from SCBWI. John also illustrates for commercial clients including: United Airlines, Hitachi, National Geographic, and PBS. Parra’s original artwork has also been showcased and displayed in numerous gallery shows and museum exhibitions internationally. He regularly speaks at schools and literary conferences advocating art and reading education. Recently John was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to present a special story-time event.  Visit www.johnparraart.com.

Elizabeth Partridge is the author of more than a dozen books, including Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary, and Dogtag Summer, a novel. Because she loves nothing better than doing research on complicated, creative people, she's done several biographies: Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea LangeThis Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie, and John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth.  Her work has received many honors, including the Golden Kite, National Book Award Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. www.elizabethpartridge.com.

Richard Peck was the first young people's author to receive the National Humanities Medal in 2002.  He is a Newbery medalist for A Long Way From Chicago, (the Newbery Silver Medalist in 1999) and A Year Down Yonder (the Newbery Gold Medalist in 2001).   Universally acknowledged as a master of the art form, RIchard’s body of work is one of the true gems of contemporary children’s literature. His newest book, forthcoming in September and dedicated to Lin Oliver, is The Best Man, a twelve-year-old boy’s view of same sex marriage when one of his role models wants to marry another of his role models.

Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, Echo, a 2016 Newbery Honor Book, and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She has written over forty books for young people—picture books, early readers, and middle grade and young adult novels. She the author recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, the Willa Cather Award, the Pura Belpré medal, the PEN USA award, and many others. Her novels include Esperanza RisingRiding FreedomBecoming Naomi León,Paint the WindThe Dreamer, and Echo. She was born and raised in Bakersfield, California and holds a bachelor's and master's degree from San Diego State University.  www.PamMunozRyan.com

Barney Saltzberg is an author/illustrator and musician.  He has written and illustrated close to fifty books for children, including the best-selling Touch and Feel Kisses series, which has over one million copies in print.  After deciding he wasn’t going to join the Beatles, he took a class at Otis/Parsons in children's book writing and illustration. The teacher, Barbara Bottner, was terrific!  Some of his picture books include Arlo Needs GlassesBeautiful Oops!, and All Around the Seasons.  Learn more at www.barneysaltzberg.com.

Pamela S. Turner is one of our mossy-acclaimed writers of nonfiction for young people, the author of the Golden Kite Honor books Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog and The Dolphins of Shark Bay, as well as the Golden Kite book A Life in the Wild: George Schaller’s Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts.  Her 2016 releases are Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune, recipient of four starred reviews, and the upcoming Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird. You can visit her atwww.pamelasturner.com.

Carole Boston Weatherford is an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty books, mostly for young people. Her books have won two NAACP Image Awards, two Caldecott Honors, and a Coretta Scott King Award. Her best-known titles includeMoses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to FreedomVoice of Freedom: Fannie Lou HamerSpirit of the Civil Rights Movement; Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins; and Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America. Her latest release is You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, a collaboration with her son, debut illustrator Jeffery Weatherford. She is an English professor at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. Visit www.caroleweatherford.com.

Suzanne Morgan Williams has given hundreds of school and library presentations across the U.S. and Canada. A former teacher, she creates programs for pre-K through adult—from demonstrating Chinese inventions, to writing with veterans, to assemblies on sharing your story—that actively connect her books to her readers. Suzanne doesn’t wait for invitations or funding to come to her. She finds them. www.suzannemorganwilliams.com

Lisa Yee’s debut novel, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, won the first Sid Fleischman Humor Award in 2004. She now has sixteen books in print including Stanford Wong Flunks Big-TimeSo Totally Emily Ebers, and Warp Speed, about a Star Trek geek who gets beat up every day at school. The Kidney Hypothetical – Or How To Ruin Your Life In Seven Days is Lisa's latest novel for teens. Her 2016 books includeWonder Woman at Super Hero High, and Supergirl at Super Hero high, part of DC Super Hero Girls middle grade series and American Girl's 2016 Girl of the Year books.  A Thurber House Children’s Writer-in-Residence, Lisa's books have been named a NPR Best Summer Read and USA Today Critics’ Top Pick. For the past three years Lisa has selected and written reviews for NPR's Best Books of the Year. Visit: www.lisayee.com

Paul O. Zelinsky has illustrated thirty-odd books for children, written some of them, and been awarded numerous honors, including the Caldecott Medal for Rapunzel and three Caldecott Honors. His most widely-known book is probably the movable Wheels on the Bus; the most recent is Z is for Moose (written by Kelly Bingham), which received a star from all six star-giving trade journals. Visitwww.paulozelinsky.com.



Editors/Art Directors or SCBWI Advisors:

Bonnie Bader is the former Associate Publisher/Editor-in-chief at Grosset & Dunlap/Penguin Young Readers, where she edited many best-selling series including Here's Hank by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, George Brown, Class Clown by Nancy Krulik, and The Fantastic Frame by Lin Oliver. In addition, Bonnie has edited many nonfiction picture books and leveled readers. She is also the author of several biographies including Who Was Martin Luther King Jr., Who Was Christopher Columbus, and Who Was Alexander Graham Bell. She is currently the Publishing Advisor for SCBWI as well as a member of the Board of Advisors.

Stacey Barney is a Senior Editor at Penguin/Putnam Books for Young Readers. She acquires middle grade, young adult and select nonfiction and picture books. She has edited the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh as well as the 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award-winning Firebird by Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers. Stacey has edited award-winning authors Kristin Levine (The Lions of Little Rock), Tara Sullivan (The Bitter Side of Sweet) and Sheila O’Connor (Sparrow Road). Some recent and upcoming publications include Free Verse a tale of a girl who loses her family and then her voice to the coal mines of West Virginia; The Reader by Traci Chee, a fantasy set in a word where reading is unheard of; and Our Chemical Hearts, a story of unrequited first love. Stacey is looking for rich and memorable stories with pacey plots and writing that sparkles and shines.


Kat Brzozowski is an Associate Editor at Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin's Press, where she has worked since 2009. She works on a wide range of young adult fiction, including new Fear Street books in R.L. Stine’s best-selling series, which has sold over eighty million copies worldwide; Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, The Weight of FeathersIn Real Life, and Firsts. Kat is looking to acquire young adult fiction across a wide range of genres, especially contemporary, realistic YA with a strong hook; dark, contemporary fiction (not too issues-y), mysteries, suspense, and thrillers; and sci-fi that’s mostly rooted in this world. She is especially interested in YA with crossover appeal. When she’s reading YA, she looks for a strong sense of voice, multi-dimensional characters, and realistic dialogue.

Justin Chanda is Vice President & Publisher of the four flagship children's imprints at Simon & Schuster: S&S Books for Young Readers, McElderry Books, Atheneum, and the new Salaam Reads. He oversees the publication of two hundred and fifty titles per year ranging from the youngest picture book to the edgiest YA. Justin continues to edit, working with the likes of Jon Sciezka, Loren Long, Kenneth Oppel, Patricia MacLachlan, Peter Brown, Michael Ian Black, Karma Wilson, Dan Krall, Morgan Matson, Mike Lupica, and Debbie Ohi. He is also the publisher of Saga press, a newly minted adult Sci-Fi-/Fantasy imprint. Follow him on Twitter @jpchanda. 

Emma D. Dryden is the co-author of What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur? (Little Pickle Press) and founder of drydenbks, a premier children’s editorial and publishing consultancy firm after twenty-five years as a highly regarded editor and publisher. She consults with authors, illustrators, agents, editors, publishers, start-ups, and app developers. Emma’s edited over 1,000 books for children and young readers. During her tenure with Atheneum and McElderry Books, many of her titles hit national and international bestseller lists and received numerous awards and medals, including the Newbery Medal, Newbery Honor, and Caldecott Honor. Emma’s on the Advisory Board of SCBWI; her blog “Our Stories, Ourselves” explores the intertwined themes of life and writing. Follow her Twitter @drydenbks, Facebook, and Pinterest.


Saho Fuji is an Art Director at Little, Brown Books For Young Readers. She has designed a wide range of books including middle grade and young adult novels, activity and novelty books, picture books, and board books. She currently oversees the LBYR's picture book list. She has worked with many award-winning illustrators including Jerry Pinkney, Sophie Blackall, Bryan Collier, Mordicai Gerstein and John Rocco. She lives in New York City. www.sahofujii.com

Deborah Halverson is the award-winning author of Writing New Adult Fiction and Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, as well as the teen novels Big Mouth and Honk If You Hate Me, the picture book Letters to Santa, and three books in the Remix series for struggling readers. Formerly an editor at Harcourt Children's Books and now a freelancer specializing in Young Adult/Middle Grade fiction, New Adult fiction, and picture books, Deborah has been working with authors—bestsellers, veterans, debut, and aspiring—for twenty years. She is also the founder of the popular writers’ advice site DearEditor.com. Learn more at www.DeborahHalverson.com.


Allyn Johnston is VP & Publisher of Beach Lane Books, a San Diego-based imprint of Simon & Schuster. Among the authors and illustrators with whom she works are Mem Fox, Lois Ehlert, Marla Frazee, Jeanette Winter, Linda Davick, Cynthia Rylant, Debra Frasier, Arthur Howard, Jan Thomas, Lauren Stringer, Liz Garton Scanlon, Amy Schwartz, Avi, and M. T. Anderson. Books she has edited include the New York Times bestseller Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury; and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee and the New York Times bestseller All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee, both of which received a Caldecott Honor. Allyn is especially proud of the fact that Beach Lane has bought twenty-five projects from unpublished writers and illustrators since it began in 2008!

Arthur A. Levine Books launched in 1997, a literary imprint of Scholastic Inc. This imprint introduced North American audiences to the work of great writers such as Markus Zusak, Francisco Stork, Lisa Yee, Dan Santat, Trent Reedy, and of course, J. K. Rowling, and continues that tradition with such fabulous newcomers as Mike Jung, Martha Brockenbrough, Greg Pincus, Erin Bow, and Eric Gansworth. About thirty percent of the books the imprint publishes are fully-illustrated, working with a group of artists that include the incomparable Shaun Tan, well-known masters such as Richard Egielski, David Small, Komako Sakai, and Axel Scheffler, and talented illustrators at the start of their careers such as Israel Sanchez, Shino Arihara, and Bethany Murguia.  Arthur is also an author whose recent books include Monday is One Day, illustrated by Julian Hector and  A Very Beary Tooth Fairy, illustrated by Sarah Brannen.  Find out more about Arthur at www.arthuralevinebooks.com.

Alvina Ling is VP and Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she’s worked since 1999. She oversees Little, Brown’s core publishing program (including picture book, middle grade, and young adult), and edits children's books for all ages. She has worked with such authors and illustrators as Peter Brown, Bryan Collier, Ed Young, Grace Lin, Wendy Mass, Justina Chen, Chris Colfer, Laini Taylor, Libba Bray, Barry Lyga, Holly Black, and Matthew Quick. She is the co-founder and former chair of the CBC Diversity Committee. She is on Twitter as @planetalvina.   

Laurent Linn, Art Director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop, creating characters for various productions.  With Henson over a decade, he worked primarily onSesame Street, becoming the creative director for the Sesame Street Muppets and winning an Emmy Award. Currently, at Simon & Schuster, Laurent art directs picture books, middle grade, and teen novels, including The Blessing Cup, by Patricia Polacco; All Different Now, by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis; DRAW!, by Raúl Colón; Better Nate Than Ever, by Tim Federle; and the Rot & Ruin YA series by Jonathan Maberry. Laurent is on the Board of Advisors for SCBWI, and is Artistic Advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He is also an author; his debut teen novel, Draw the Line, released May, 2016 (Margaret K. McElderry Books). Twitter/Instagram: @LaurentLinn and www.laurentlinn.com.

Melissa Manlove is an Editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She has been with Chronicle for 12 years. Her acquisitions tend to be all ages in nonfiction; ages 0-8 for fiction. When acquiring, she looks for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her. She has 17 years of children’s bookselling experience.

Krista Marino is an Executive Editor at Delacorte Press (Random House Children's Books) where she acquires and edits young adult and middle grade fiction. Some of the books on her list include the Maze Runner series by James Dashner, the Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson, and the Nightmares! series by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. Other books she’s published include The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson, These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly, The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas, and the young adult works of Matt de la Peña. Krista is always looking for strong new voices, innovative concepts, and great stories for her list. @KristaMarino on Twitter.

Stephen Mooser, President of the SCBWI, is the author of nearly sixty books for children. He began as the author of a number of reading programs including those for SWRL/Ginn, ABC and Harcourt, but most readers know Stephen for his trade books, which began with the publication of 101 Black Cats (Scholastic) in 1975, and continues through his most recent series, Goofball Malone, Ace Detective. He has written in every genre: picture books (The Ghost with the Halloween Hiccups), to series books (The Creepy Creature Club; It's a Weird, Weird School), to nonfiction (Lights! Camera! Scream!), to novels (Elvis Is Back and He’s in the Sixth Grade).

Sandra Nickel has presented workshops on writing for children and young adults throughout Europe, including in Paris, Amsterdam, and Switzerland. She has published in both creative and academic journals, holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and blogs about writers and illustrators by asking, What Was on . . . their minds, desks, refrigerators, play lists, and more. Learn more about Sandra and her blog at www.sandranickel.com.

Lin Oliver is a children’s book author and writer-producer of television series and movies for children.  With Henry Winkler, she writes the New York Times best-selling book series, Hank Zipzer: World’s Best Underachiever, which is also a hit television series on the BBC, and its spin-off chapter book series, Here’s Hank.  She is also the author of the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk quartet, Sound Bender andThe Shadow Mask, adventure/science fiction middle grade novels she coauthored with Theo Baker.  Her picture book debut was the highly praised poetry collection Little Poems for Tiny Ears, illustrated by Tomie dePaola.  Lin’s newest work, the high-octane chapter book series, The Fantastic Frame., is just out this Spring.  She is the co-founder and Executive Director of SCBWI, and a recipient of The Christopher Award. Learn more at www.linoliver.com.

Neal Porter is the publisher of the Neal Porter Books imprint of Roaring Brook Press. He has been in the book publishing business for decades. His work has spanned both the editorial process and the marketing departments of the industry. Neal has worked with a number of Caldecott Medal–honored illustrators, including Eric Rohmann, Ted Lewin, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner, Erin Stead, in her book A Sick Day for Amos McGee.

Susan Rich is Editor-at-Large for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She publishes the work of Lemony Snicket, Sophie Blackall, Jon Klassen, Frank Viva, Maira Kalman,Dav Pilkey, Christoph Niemann, children’s poet laureate Kenn Nesbitt, Daniel Handler, and inaugural poet Richard Blanco. Susan earned a Masters Degree in Children’s Literature from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, began her publishing career in New York, and now lives and works in Toronto.

Lauren Rille is an Associate Art Director at Simon & Schuster, where she works with the Beach Lane, Atheneum, and McElderry imprints. Before joining S&S, Lauren was a designer at Sterling and Harcourt Children’s Books. Some books she’s designed include Are You There God, it’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume; Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff; Scraps by Lois Ehlert; One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, and the New York Times best-selling Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman. Lauren loves the collaborative process of working with editors and illustrators, and she’s always on the lookout for fresh new talent.

Matt Ringler is a Senior Editor at Scholastic specializing in chapter books, middle grade and YA fiction. He has worked on the Little Rhino series by Ryan and Krystle Howard, the Game Changers series by Mike Lupica, and The Puppy Place series by Ellen Miles. He has also been editor of all the Goosebumps series published by R. L. Stine since 2009. Matt is on the lookout for books with humor, diverse voices, and general weirdness. Twitter: @doesntmattr

Sara Sargent is an Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, focusing on fiction and nonfiction in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories. Previously she was an Editor at Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Sara has worked with New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines, National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti, Jennifer Echols, Julie Cross, Aaron Karo, and Martina Boone, among others. She also received her Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern University. You can find Sara online at www.sarasargent.wordpress.com and on Twitter and Instagram @Sara_Sargent. Sara lives in Brooklyn.

Reka Simonsen is an Executive Editor at Atheneum Books for Young Readers, where she edits all across the age range, though her favorite books to work on are middle grade and younger YA novels. She is looking for believable, engaging characters and stellar writing with the power to move her in some way. She works with such amazing authors and illustrators as Margarita Engle, Carole Boston Weatherford, Melanie Crowder, Julie Paschkis, Evan Turk, Patrice Kindl, Lloyd Alexander, Rafael Lopez, and Sean Qualls, among others. Books she’s edited have received Newbery, Geisel, Coretta Scott King, Walter Dean Myers, and Charlotte Zolotow Honors; Pura Belpré Awards and Honors; Americás Awards and Honors; Jane Addams Peace Awards and Honors; and a Christopher Medal, and have been finalists for the YALSA Nonfiction Award, the Morris Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the Edgar Award. 


Kate Sullivan is a Senior Editor at Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House, where she works on middle grade and young adult content. Previously, she was at Little, Brown, where she edited many bestselling and award winning authors, including Malinda Lo, Darren Shan, Kody Keplinger, Gail Carriger, Carrie Ryan, and Margaret Stohl. She’s a sucker for speculative fiction, humorous realistic, happy endings, animal books, and anything that gives voice to marginalized perspectives or people who can’t speak for themselves. 
Don Tate is an award-winning author, and the illustrator of The Cart That Carried MartinHope’s GiftDuke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, and Ron’s Big Mission. He is also the author of It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor winner. His most recent titles include The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch  and Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award and Christopher Award. Don is a member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. Visit www.dontate.com.


Harold Underdown is an independent editor and publishing consultant; he critiques and develops manuscripts and provides other editorial and consulting services for individuals and publishers. As an in-house editor, he worked at Macmillan, Orchard, and Charlesbridge, and has experience in trade and educational publishing. Harold wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Children's Book Publishing, now in its third edition. He founded and runs "The Purple Crayon," a respected web site with information about the children's publishing world at www.underdown.org. He also speaks and gives workshops through the Highlights Foundation, SCBWI's national and regional conferences, and Kid’s Book Revisions. www.kidsbookrevisions.com.

Andrea Welch is a Senior Editor at Beach Lane Books, a San Diego-based imprint of Simon & Schuster. She has the pleasure of working with a long list of wonderful authors and illustrators, including Douglas Florian, Robert Neubecker, and Angela DiTerlizzi. Recent books she has edited include the New York Times best-selling LMNO Peas by Keith Baker, Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff, and the Brownie & Pearl series by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brian Biggs. Andrea acquires projects for children of all ages—especially those that are filled with heart, humor, and irresistible characters.

Cecilia Yung is Art Director & Vice President at Penguin Books for Young Readers where she oversees illustration and design for two imprints, G. P. Putnam's Sons and Nancy Paulsen Books. She is fortunate to have worked with some of the major illustrators of children’s books, but the highlight of her work is to discover and develop new talent. She is on the Board of Advisors of SCBWI, as well as a member of its Illustrators’ Committee.

Bloggers:
Martha Brockenbrough is the author of a growing collection of books for young readers: the YA novels The Game of Love and Deathand Devine Intervention, and The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy, a picture book. Both are with Arthur A. Levine at Scholastic, as is her forthcoming picture book, Love, Santa, as well as two Bigfoot picture books written jointly with Samantha Berger. Martha also wrote the nonfiction middle grade Finding Bigfoot for Feiwel & Friends. In addition to her work on SCBWI's Team Blog, she is the founder of National Grammar Day and author of the hilarious grammar guide Things That Make Us [Sic]. Martha has worked as a journalist for over twenty years and as a content strategist and marketer for more than a decade. Visit www.martha-brockenbrough.squarespace.com and on Twitter @mbrockenbrough.

Jolie Stekly is a freelance writer and novelist, teacher, fitness instructor, and former SCBWI co-Regional Advisor of the Western Washington Chapter. She now directs the fall retreats for the region. One of Jolie’s greatest honors was being awarded SCBWI’s 2009 Member-of-the-Year.

Don Tate is an award-winning author, and the illustrator of The Cart That Carried Martin (Charlesbridge), Hope’s Gift (Penguin), Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (Charlesbridge), and Ron’s Big Mission (Penguin). He is also the author of It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (Lee & Low Books, 2102), an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor winner. His most recent titles include The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Eerdmans, 2015) and Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton (Peachtree, 2015), winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award and Christopher Award. Don is a member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. Visit www.dontate.com.

Jaime Temairik’s debut picture book, How to Negotiate Everything, written by award-winning novelist Lisa Lutz, was published in 2013. She’s part of SCBWI’s TEAM BLOG, which covers SCBWI International Conferences (TEAM BLOG also covers Smothers Brothers songs). During the summer, Jaime teaches Illustrating Children's Picture Books for the University of Washington Extension program and she plans to blog about the class (and the doughnuts she brings to class) at www.cocoastomp.blogspot.com.

Lee Wind, M.Ed., is the official blogger for SCBWI (www.scbwi.blogspot.com) and Captain of SCBWI’s Team Blog. His award-winning personal blog, I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read? has had over 1.3 million visits and is one of only four sites linked from the American Library Association’s Rainbow Books website. His interviews and articles about children’s literature, social media and diversity are widely published, and he has moderated panels at KidLitCon, the CA School Library Association, The LA Times Festival of Books and SCBWI Conferences. A writer of picture books through young adult, he is represented by Danielle Smith of Red Fox Literary. Visit www.leewind.org.