Josh Adams, together with his wife Tracey, runs Adams Literary, a boutique literary agency exclusively dedicated to the children's and YA markets. Adams Literary represents a number of bestselling and award-winning authors and artists, and prides itself on launching, developing and nurturing successful and enduring careers for its clients. While Josh represents a diverse group of clients and material, ranging from picture books to edgy teen novels, he is primarily focused on middle-grade and YA. In particular, he's looking for high-concept sci-fi and fantasy, dark contemporary or historical thrillers, adventure romance of any genre—and anything with samurais or ninjas.
Jay Asher's debut YA novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, spent over two years on the New York TImes bestsellers list. His second novel, The Future of Us, was co-authored with Carolyn Mackler. His books have sold to over 30 foreign markets, and both film rights were bought by major Hollywood studios.
Bonnie Bader, Editor-in-Chief of Early and Beginning Readers at Grosset & Dunlap is also the head of the U.S. arm of Fredrick Warne, which publishes Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, Flower Fairies, and Spot. At Grosset, Bonnie oversees all of Penguin’s leveled readers, which fall under the imprint, Penguin Young Readers. In addition, she is starting up an 8x8 picture book program, and a beginning/early chapter book program which will launch in 2013. She continues to edit and oversee several series including Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, Katie Kazoo Switcheroo and George Brown, Class Clown by Nancy Krulik, and Frankly Frannie by Amanda Stern. Upcoming series include Almost Identical by Lin Oliver (Fall 2012) and The Magic Bone by Nancy Krulik (Summer 2013). Bonnie is also a member of the SCBWI Board of Advisors.
Tracy Barrett is the author of numerous books for young readers, most recently Dark of the Moon (Harcourt) and The Sherlock Files series (Henry Holt). Tracy was the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Regional Advisor for the Midsouth from 1999 to 2009 and is currently SCBWI’s US Regional Advisor Coordinator. She was awarded the SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant in 2005. She lives in Nashville, TN, where she recently retired from teaching at Vanderbilt University.
Heather Biggs is the regional key account manager at Scholastic Book Fairs.
Jennifer Bosworth is a novelist and screenwriter lives in Los Angeles, CA, where she is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth. Her short films have screened at the Zero Film Festival, the Burbank International Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Film and Music Festival. Jennifer's YA debut, Struck, a post-apoclyptic novel set in earthquake ravaged Los Angeles, is part of Macmillan's Fierce Reads campaign. Before moving to California, Jennifer taught classes on writing horror, fantasy, and science fiction at the University of Utah.
Tamar Brazis is Editorial Director of Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.F.A. from the New School, with a concentration in poetry. After working at HarperCollins, Tamar moved to Abrams where she has focused on picture books and middle-grade fiction for the past eight years, along with a list of music-related adult titles. Some of her projects include the New York Times bestselling Jellybeans series by Laura Numeroff, the Pura Belpre Honor book Me, Frida illustrated by David Diaz, City I Love by beloved children's poet Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, the debut novel by Jonathan Auxier.
Jordan Brown is a senior editor with Walden Pond Press and Balzer + Bray at HarperCollins Children’s Books. He has been fortunate enough to work with such esteemed authors and illustrators as Jon Scieszka, E.L. Konigsburg, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Donna Jo Napoli, Anne Ursu, Dan Wells, Gris Grimly, M. Sindy Felin, and Greg Ruth. Amongst their books are ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, New York Times bestsellers, an Edgar Award nominee, and a National Book Award finalist.
Priscilla Burris is an author-illustrator and native Californian of Hispanic descent. She counts herself crazy blessed to have grown up right across the street from her local neighborhood public library in East Los Angeles, where her love and devotion for children’s books was born. 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! Enthusiastically involved in the SCBWI as National Illustrator Coordinator & Advisor, she is also a member of their Board of Advisors, and the SCBWI Illustrator Committe.
Jamie Weiss Chilton represents teen novels, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, picture books, and narrative nonfiction at Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Her specific interests include contemporary literary fiction with intense emotional content (character-driven, not issue-driven plots); smart thrillers and mysteries; reality-based science fiction; surreal stories and magical realism. Jamie's career in children's books began in 1998, with an editorial internship at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, followed by positions as Editorial Assistant and Assistant Editor at Bantam Delacorte Dell and Knopf & Crown Books for Young Readers, divisions of Random House Children's Books. After returning to Los Angeles, Jamie pursued her love of children's books as Conference Manager and Golden Kite Award Director at the SCBWI before joining the Andrea Brown Agency in 2008. Her recent sales include Struck, a debut novel by Jennifer Bosworth; Orchards, a YA novel in verse by Holly Thompson; The Beginning of After, a debut novel by Jennifer Castle; Bad for You, a graphic novel by co-creators Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham; Jammy Dance, a picture book by Rebecca Janni, to be illustrated by Tracy Dockray; and Tracey E. Fern's nonfiction picture book Barnum's Bones to be illustrated by Boris Kulikov.
Bryan Collier is the author and illustrator of the Coretta Scott King Award-winning book Uptown. He received Caldecott Honors for the books Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, which was also a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book; Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, which received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award; and, most recently, and Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill. Mr. Collier lives in New York.
Jill Corcoran is an agent with The Herman Agency representing PB, CB, MG & YA. Her current interests include high concept Young Adult and Middle Grade Thrillers, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Comedies, and Adventure manuscripts. With an English degree from Stanford University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago, Jill has marketed everything from sneakers to cereal at Leo Burnett Advertising, LA Gear, Mattel, and at her own consulting company, LAUNCH! New Product Marketing. Clients include Robin Mellom, Janet Gurtler, Martha Brockenbrough, Kelly Milner Halls, Ralph Fletcher, & Jen Arena. Jill is also the editor of Dare to Dream-Change the World (Kane Miller, 2012), a poetry anthology which includes Ellen Hopkins, Jane Yolen, J. Patrick Lewis, & Lee Bennett Hopkins.
Pat Cummings is the author and/or illustrator of over 35 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 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. Along with visiting schools, universities and organizations to speak about children’s books, she conducts a summer Children’s Book Boot Camp that brings writers and illustrators together with top editors and art directors from major publishing houses.
Karen Cushman lives, works, and procrastinates on a misty green island near Seattle. She has published seven books since she started writing at age fifty, including the Newbery Award winner The Midwife’s Apprentice and her newest title, Will Sparrow’s Road, out November 2012. Ms. Cushman loves the rain and when the weather turns warm and dry, she grumbles and blames the weatherman. She is crazy about anything soft and fuzzy and will someday likely be eaten by a grizzly bear she has tried to hug. Her husband thinks she is a bit nuts but he has stayed married to her for 43 years so how bad can she be?
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. Received Pura Belpre Honor Awards for Diego: Bigger Than Life by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand 2010, César: ¡Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We Can! By Carmen T. Bernier-Grand 2004, The Pot That Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel 2002. Some recent books, Sharing the Seasons by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Before You Came by Patricia & Emily MacLaughin, Ocean’s Child by Christine Ford & Chris Holland and Me Frida, by Amy Novesky.
Tony DiTerlizzi is a new York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has been creating books with Simon and Schuster for over a decade. From his fanciful picture books like, Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, G is for One Gzonk! and The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and The Search for WondLa, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in over thirty countries.
Tim Ditlow is Associate Publisher of Amazon Children’s Books. Prior to Amazon Publishing, Tim was Vice President of Brilliance Audio, a subsidiary of Amazon where he was responsible for the launch of their children’s audio division and led the publishing program for over 400 titles by such bestselling authors as Rick Riordan, John Green and Kate DiCamillo.Tim joined Amazon from Random House, where he spent eight years as publisher of Listening Library. During that time he acquired and produced numerous award-winning recordings including His Dark Materials, The Book Thief, Twilight, Eragon and all seven Harry Potter titles. His casting of Jim Dale as the narrator of J.K. Rowling’s series resulted in multiple Grammy awards and nominations.
Emma D Dryden, the founder and principal of the children’s book editorial and publishing consulting firm, drydenbks provides editorial and consultancy support to authors, illustrators, agents, foreign and domestic publishers, and eBook and app publishers. Her children’s publishing career began at Viking and Random House, followed by a position with Margaret K. McElderry Books. After McElderry retired, Emma became VP, Editorial Director of McElderry Books, and in 2005, VP, Publisher of Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K. McElderry Books. Emma has edited over 500 books for children,from board books and picture books to poetry, novelties, non-fiction, MG, and YA fiction and fantasy. As publisher, she oversaw the annual publication of over one-hundred hardcover and paperback titles. Authors and illustrators she has edited include Ellen Hopkins, Karma Wilson, Susan Cooper, Alan Katz, Raul Colon, Lee Bennett Hopkins, David Diaz, and Paul Zelinsky. Emma is also the leader of the Editorial Quality Panel for picture eBook platform uTales and is on the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Board of Advisors.
Greg R. Fishbone is an author of galactic fiction for young readers, including the Galaxy Game series of humorous middle grade novels from the Tu Books imprint at Lee & Low Books. Greg also serves as an Assistant Regional Advisor for the New England regions of the SCBWI, is a two-time NESCBWI conference co-director, founded of the Class of 2k7 group of 2007 debut authors, and has advised the followup Classes of 2k8 through 2k12.
Candace Fleming awarded herself the Newbery Medal in fifth grade after scraping the gold sticker off the class copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and pasting it onto her first novel—a ten page, ten-chapter mystery titled Who Done It?. Today, she is the author of more than 25 children's books, including Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, Boxes for Katje, The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School and The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! was named to the New York Public Library’s list of 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know. She won the 2009 Boston Globe-Horn Book award for Nonfiction for her biography of the Lincolns, which also was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times’ Literary Book Prize in 2009. The Great and Only Barnum: the Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum was a finalist for the YALSA 2010 Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Candace’s most recent title, Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, was named a Hornbook Best Book of 2011, as well as a School Library Journal Best Book, a Kirkus Best Book,a New York Times Notable Book, and an Orbis Pictus Honor Book. Clever Jack Takes the Cake and The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School, were named Parents’ Choice Books.
Eddie Gamarra is a literary manager/producer at The Gotham Group, which represents screenwriters, directors, animators, authors, illustrators, publishers, and animation studios. He specializes in children’s & family entertainment, including animation, live action and literature ranging across picture books, novels, anthologies and graphic novels. His clients include numerous New York Times best-selling authors and illustrators as well as Oscar, Emmy, Caldecott, Newbery, and Geisel award winners and develop and sell projects for all platforms ranging from online shorts to live action feature films. In addition to his work at The Gotham Group, he has consulted for Teen Magazine, National Geographic's TV series HOLLYWOOD SCIENCE, and MANswers on Spike. He has lectured at Vassar, North Carolina School of the Arts, and University of Arkansas, Little Rock. He received his BA in Psychology from Vassar College, a Masters in Cinema Studies from NYU and a PhD in Psychoanalysis & Film from Emory University.
Laura Godwin is Vice President and Publisher of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (a division of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group), where she has worked for over twenty years. Jackie Kelly, Eugene Yelchin, Deborah Heiligman, Eric Carle, Peter McCarty, Dave Milgrim, Bryan Collier, Denise Fleming and William Low are some of the many authors with whom she works. Laura likes nothing better than working with an author or illustrator at the beginning of his or her career, and has been thrilled to see five such newcomers go on to become either Newbery or Caldecott honor recipients. She grew up in Alberta, Canada and now lives in Manhattan.
Christina Diaz Gonzalez is a SCBWI conference success story (having met her editor and agent at regional conferences) and she is the author of the award-winning novel, THE RED UMBRELLA. Ms. Gonzalez’s debut novel (the story of a 14 year old Cuban girl who is sent to the U.S. in 1961 as part of Operation Pedro Pan) showcases the generosity of the American spirit and highlights the pain of losing one’s homeland. Her second novel, A Thunderous Whisper is to be released in October 2012. She lives in Florida with her husband and two sons.
Karen Grencik became a literary agent because of a man she admired. She wanted the world to know his story, so she set out to make that happen. Within a year she’d accomplished her goal, and Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan, written by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White, went on to win The Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Best Nonfiction. Karen’s next sale, George Hogglesberry, Grade School Alien, a picture book edited by Tricycle Press editor Abigail Samoun, went on to win the coveted Golden Kite Award for Best Picture Book Text. Doors opened up and Karen knew without any doubt that she was right where she was supposed to be. In June 2011 Karen joined forces with ex-editor Abigail Samoun to open Red Fox Literary, a boutique agency that represents picture books, early readers, chapter books, middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction
Dan Gutman was born in a log cabin in Illinois and used to write by candlelight with a piece of chalk on a shovel. Oh, wait a minute. That was Abraham Lincoln. Actually, he grew up in New Jersey. Like many boys, Dan hated to read but loved sports. That’s why he writes so many sports books aimed at reluctant readers. HE graduated from Rutgers in 1977 with a degree in psychology (which means, in Latin, "a total waste of time"). He never took a writing class in his life, which is obvious to anyone who has read his books. In 1994, Dan penned a novel about a boy who can travel through time with baseball cards. Honus & Me was published by HarperCollins which turned it into an 11-book series. In his insatiable quest for world domination, Dan dreamed up My Weird School in 2004, a series of easy readers about a school in which all the grown-ups are insane and has written 40 of them. Dan’s goal is to keep writing My Weird School until HarperCollins rips the laptop out of his cold, dead hands. He has also written The Homework Machine,Million Dollar Shot, The Kid Who Ran For President, and a bunch of other books that didn't sell. When he’s not writing books, Dan writes self-aggrandizing third-person bios like this one.
Deborah Halverson spent a decade editing books for Harcourt Children's Books before becoming the award-winning author of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies , two teen novels ( Honk If You Hate Me and Big Mouth with Delacorte/Random House), a forthcoming picture book about Santa, and three books in an upcoming series for struggling readers. She has been working with authors—bestsellers, veterans, debut, and aspiring—for over fifteen years. The books she’s edited have garnered awards and rave reviews, and many of the aspiring writers she’s coached have landed agent representation and lucrative book deals. Deborah is now a freelance editor, author, writing instructor, and the founder of DearEditor.com. She speaks extensively at workshops and conferences for writers and edits adult fiction and nonfiction while specializing in teen fiction and picture books.
Ellen Hopkins is a poet and the award-winning author of 20 nonfiction books for children and eight NY Times Bestselling young adult novels-in-verse. Her first novel for adults, Triangles, published in 2011. In the fall of 2012, her ninth YA novel, Tilt (a companion to Triangles) will publish, along with a crossover novel, Collateral. Ellen lives near Carson City NV with her husband and teenage son, a bottomless well of inspiration for her YA fiction.
Elise Howard joined Algonquin Books as editor and publisher of books for young readers in November 2011. Elise was previously senior VP and associate publisher at HarperCollins Children's Books, where she primarily provided editorial oversight for the HarperTeen and Harper imprint fiction programs. In addition to her program management, list development, and acquisitions responsibilities, Elise also edited many books on the Harper list, among them titles by Avi, Lynne Reid Banks, Chris Lynch, Rachel Vail, and Neil Gaiman, including the Newbery Medal winner The Graveyard Book. Before joining Harper, Elise headed the Avon Books for Young Readers program. She started her publishing career as a book packager, creating and editing YA and adult fiction series and a handful of practical non-fiction titles for adult readers.
Farrin Jacobs is an editorial director at HarperCollins Children’s Books, focusing on teen fiction. Her titles include the Pretty Little Liars and Lying Game series by Sara Shepard, the L.A. Candy series by Lauren Conrad, the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski, the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand, and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
Matthew J. Kirby has been making up stories since he was quite small. He was less small when he decided he wanted to be a writer, and quite a bit larger when he finally became one. He is the award-winning author of The Clockwork Three, Icefall, and book five of the forthcoming Infinity Ring series. He was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, won an Edgar for Icefall, has been nominated the Agatha Christie Award, and won the Parents’ Choice Award Gold Medal. With a father in the military, he has lived in many places, including Rhode Island, Maryland, California, and Hawaii. He and his wife currently live in northern Utah with their two therapy dogs and an overweight cat. Matthew attended his first SCBWI summer conference in 2008, which helped him tremendously in finding the right agent, and sold his first novel in 2009. He has attended every SCBWI summer conference since.
Jon Klassen has worked as an illustrator for feature animated films, music videos, and editorial pieces. He recieved Canada's Governor General's Award for Illustration for his work on Cats' Night Out by Caroline Stutson and is the author-illustrator of the New York Times Bestselling I Want My Hat Back. He has also illustrated Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser. Originally from Ontario, Canada, he now lives and works in Los Angeles.
Arianne Lewin is an executive editor at G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. She edits all kinds of books, with an emphasis on young adult novels and fantasy. Ari has worked with Mike Rex, Cinda Williams Chima, Rachel Hawkins, Katie Alender, Marie Lu and Jessica Spotswood.
Amy Goldman Koss is the author of four picture books and 14 highly acclaimed, contemporary teen novels including The Girls, Poison Ivy, Side Effects and The Not-So-Great Depression. She also writes for the Los Angeles Times and teaches writing. She lives in Glendale California with her family, pets, and phobias, and is currently chipping away at novel number 15.
Natalie M. Lakosil is an Assistant Agent at the Bradford Literary Agency. After nearly four years at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and a brief dabble in writing author profiles and book reviews for the San Diego Union Tribune, Natalie joined the Bradford Agency in February of 2011. Natalie’s specialty is commercial fiction, with an emphasis in children’s literature (from picture book-teen), romance (contemporary, paranormal and historical), upmarket women’s fiction and select nonfiction. Specific likes include historical, multi-cultural, paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, gritty, thrilling and darker contemporary novels, middle grade with heart, and short, quirky picture books. She is always drawn to an open and positive attitude in an author, good grammar, and fantastical, engaging and sexy plots.
Arthur A. Levine is Vice President and Publisher of his own imprint, Arthur A Levine Books, which is celebrating its 15th Anniversary at Scholastic Inc. While Levine has edited and published exceptional books for children of all ages including Shaun Tan's Lost and Found, Jonah Winter's Just Behave Pablo Picasso! !, Dan Santat’s Sidekicks! and Lisa Yee’s Warp Speed, he is perhaps most recognized as co-Editor of the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. Levine is the author of Monday is One Day , illustrated by Julian Hector, All the Lights in the Night (a Sidney Taylor Honor Books) illustrated by James Ransome, and the forthcoming A Very Beary Tooth Fairy illustrated by Sarah Brannen. Arthur takes special pleasure in launching the careers of authors he’s met through SCBWI including Martha Brockenbrough (Devine Intervention), Mike Jung (Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities) and many others.
E.B. Lewis has illustrated more than fifty books for children, including Nikki Grimes' Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner; Alice Schertle's Down the Road, an ALA Notable Book; Tolowa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins, an ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Bat Boy and His Violin by Garvin Curtis a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side, a 2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts.
Steven Malk is the third generation of his family to be involved in children¹s books. He opened a West Coast office for Writers House in 1998, and he¹s been involved in managing and building the careers of many bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators, including Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Marla Frazee, Kadir Nelson, Loren Long, Sara Pennypacker, Jennifer Donnelly, Sonya Sones, Adam Rex, Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen, and Cynthia Rylant.
Patricia MacLachlan is the celebrated author of many beloved books for young readers, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal, the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and the SCBWI's Golden Kite Award. Her picture books include Who Loves Me?, Three Names, What You Know First, All the Places to Love, as well as Bittle, Painting the Wind, Once I Ate a Pie, Fiona Loves The Night, and I Didn’t Do It, written with her daughter, Emily Charest. Her fiction includes Journey, The True Gift: A Christmas Story, Baby, Edward’s Eyes and Word After Word After Word. Her newest books are Before You Came (with Emily Charest), Waiting for the Magic, Your Moon, My Moon, Kindred Souls, Lala Salama, a Tanzanian Lullaby . The prequel to the Boxcar Children books will be published in the fall. She has taught Children’s Literature at Smith College as well as other writing workshops. In 2002, she was a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. She lives with her husband and two border terriers in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
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 Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott, and the Forest of Hands and Teeth books by Carrie Ryan. Other books include the young adult works of Frank Portman, Matt de la Peña, and Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly. Krista is always looking for strong new voices, innovative concepts, and great stories for her list.
Ed Masessa was born in nineteen something and is the second oldest of 10 children. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University – neither of which pertains to his current job. He has spent the past 15 ½ years at Scholastic Book Fairs as one of the people who selects the books that go onto the Fairs. Ed is also a writer with over a million books in print. The Wandmaker’s Guidebook, had a nine-week run on the NY Times Bestseller list, two weeks at #1. He is well respected in the field of Children’s Literature by librarians, reading specialists, teachers, parents, and children’s book writers. He attends and participates in library, reading, and writing conferences throughout the year. And he is an active member of the SCBWI and on the board of James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead initiative.
Kate Messner is the award-winning author of more than a dozen current and forthcoming books for young readers. Her titles include picture books like Over and Under the Snow , a New York Times and ALSC Notable book, E.B. White Read Aloud Award finalist, and winner of the 2012 Golden Kite Award for picture book text, and Sea Monster’s First Day EA, both from Chronicle Books; the popular Marty McGuire chapter book series and Capture the Flag with Scholastic; and several novels with Walker/Bloomsbury, including Eye of the Storm, Crystal Kite winner Sugar and Ice, and The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., which won the 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers. A former middle school English teacher, Kate also wrote Real Revision , a resource book with revision strategies for writers and teachers of writing. Kate was a featured speaker at the 2012 TED Conference in Long Beach. Follow her on Twitter @KateMessner
Stephen Mooser, President of the SCBWI, is the author of nearly sixty books for children and winner of the Christopher Medal for his role in The New York Kids Book. 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 is most recent series, Goofball Malone, Ace Detective. He has written in every genre: picture books (The Ghost with the Halloween Hiccups, illustrated by Tomie dePaola), 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).
Greg Neri is the Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty and the Odyssey Honor-winning Ghetto Cowboy. He was the recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award for his first book of verse, Chess Rumble.
Lin Oliver is a leading children’s book author and writer-producer of family films, television series and movies for children. With her co-author Henry Winkler, she writes the New York Times best-selling book series, Hank Zipzer: World's Best Underachiever, which has sold over three million copies. She is also the author of four comedic novels that comprise the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk? Quartet from Simon and Schuster. Lin’s newest releases are Sound Bender, an adventure science fiction middle grade novel she co-authored with her son, Theo Baker and Ghost Buddy, a four book comedic series from Scholastic she co-authors with Henry Winkler. She is the co-founder of the SCBWI and serves as its Executive Director.
Chintu Parikh is the CEO & Founder of SachManya, the creators of KiteReaders.com— award-winning children’s eBooks and apps creation platform and distribution network. Previously at Yahoo as the business lead for emerging advertising businesses, Chintu led successful launches of a niche publisher ad-network and a mobile advertising platform globally. He brings ten plus years of professional experience backed by an MBA, Enterprise Award with Distinction, from Carnegie Mellon University and graduate and undergraduate degrees with high honors in engineering. Follow KiteReaders @kitereaders on Twitter and facebook.com/kitereaders.
Linda Sue Park is the author of several novels and picture books, including A Single Shard, the 2002 Newbery Medal winner. She writes fiction and poetry for both adults and young readers. Her most recent titles are A Long Walk to Water (Clarion Books), winner of the Jane Addams Peace Prize, and Storm Warning, Book #9 in THE 39 CLUES series (Scholastic). Linda Sue knows very well that she will never be able to read every good book ever written, but she keeps trying anyway. Follow her on Twitter @LindaSuePark
Ann Whitford Paul has published many award winning picture books—both fiction and non-fiction—poetry and early readers for children, including Tortuga in Trouble, Word Builder, If Animals Kissed Good Night and recently a book for adults titled WRITING PICTURE BOOKS: A Hands-on Guide from Story Creation to Publication.
Rubin Pfeffer launched his career as a designer for Macmillan in 1974 after which he joined Harcourt Brace Jovanovich serving for more than 27 years with responsibilities spanning from entry level designer to President of the Trade division.In 2001, Rubin joined Pearson, Inc.as SVP and Chief Creative Officer of the Pearson Education companies where he coordinated cross-company product development. He served as SVP and Publisher for Simon & Schuster Children’s Books. Imprints reporting to Rubin included S&S Books for Young Readers, Atheneum, McElderry Books, and Aladdin Paperbacks.His imprints achieved the Newbery Medal and Honor and the Caldecott Hono. In 2008, he launched Beach Lane Books, a commercial children’s picture book imprint. Rubin joined the East West Literary Agency in December, 2009, as a partner and works with talents as David Diaz, Patricia MacLachlan, Richard Jesse Watson, Susan Cooper, Michael Hague, Jeff Mack, and a host of other published and new talents. He served as a judge of NAPPA’s annual round-up of best children’s books for the years 2010 and 2011and has consulted for the digital publisher Ruckus Media Group where he executive produced Ruckus’ first original story app for children, A Present for Milo, which quickly became a bestselling children’s app on iTunes.
Neal Porter has been in and around the children’s book publishing industry for more than 30 years, holding marketing, editorial, or executive positions at houses such as Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Atheneum, Orchard, Dorling Kindersley, and Walker Books UK. In 2000 he decided to step away from administration and focus exclusively on editing. That year he helped to found Roaring Brook Press, now an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Book Group, where he is Editorial Director of Neal Porter Books. Authors and illustrators he has worked with include Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Philip C. and Erin E. Stead, Nick Bruel, Ted Lewin, Ed and Rebecca Emberley, Ed Young, and Wendell Minor. Books he has edited have won numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal, two Caldecott Honors, two Theodore Geisel Honors, two Seibert Honors, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Orbis Pictus Award, and over 30 ALA Notable Citations.
Antoinette Portis graduated from the UCLA School of Fine Arts and then––since being a video performance artist paid her the nice round sum of nothing whatsoever––she worked as a graphic designer and advertising art director. She was a creative director at Disney for many years before she bolted to do what she had always wanted to do: be left alone in a room to write and make pictures. Her first book was the best-selling Not A Box, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book. A Penguin Story was also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. She was one of four recipients of the 2010 Sendak Fellowship. Antoinette lives in Southern California with her husband, Michael. They have a daughter who is also an artist.
Linda Pratt and her longtime colleague, Marcia Wernick, established the Wernick & Pratt Agency in January 2011 after working together for 20 years at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency. Their focus is not just on individual books, but the long term careers of their authors and illustrators in the ever-changing world of publishing. Linda’s clients work in all genres of children’s literature. Some of her clients are Leuyen Pham, Robert Neubecker, Lita Judge, Richard Peck, Kathryn Esrkine, Sharon G. Flake among others. She loves to introduce new talent to the industry, too. Several clients with recent or upcoming debuts are Augusta Scattergood (Glory Be, Scholastic, January 2012), Lisa Luedeke (Smashed , Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 2012), and W.H. Beck (Malcolm at Midnight , Houghton Mifflin, September 2012). Linda is a member of AAR and SCBWI, and she also volunteered on the Rutgers Council for Children’s Literature which plans the annual Rutgers One-on-One Mentoring Conference for five years.
Lissa Price's debut YA futuristic thriller, Starters, launched in March of this year. The LA Times called it "dystopian sci-fi at its best...readers who have been waiting for a worthy successor to Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games will find it here." Dean Koontz said, "Starters is a smart, swift, inventive, altogether gripping story." The second in the series, Enders, comes out in December. Lissa lives with her husband in the foothills with the occasional deer.
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; The Secret River by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon; Lots of Spots by Lois Ehlert, Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Heather Ross and the New York Times bestselling Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow, and Bear's Loose Tooth 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.
Jennifer Rofé handles children's fiction projects at Andrea Brown Literary Agency ranging from picture books to young adult. Middle grade is Jennifer's soft spot and she's open to all genres in this category, especially the tender or hilarious. She is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and "adorkable" heroes. As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to contemporary works; dramatic or funny romance; and urban fantasy/light sci-fi. She's especially interested in mind-blowingly smart projects that are layered, complex, and unexpected, and she appreciates big, developed worlds. In terms of picture books, early readers, and chapter books, she is interested in character-driven projects and smart, exceptional writing.
Chris Rylander is the author of the acclaimed Fourth Stall saga. He is a fan of wizard hats, blind squirrels, and the Chicago Cubs. He lives in Chicago with his wife and dog.
Dan Santat is an author and illustrator and true SCBWI success story. Dan was the first runner-up in the SCBWI Don Freeman Memorial Grant-In-Aid competition and that same year won the juried art portfolio display at the 2002 SCBWI Los Angeles Conference. His first book The Guild of Geniuses, was published by Arthur A Levine Books in 2004. He has since published numerous picture books, chapter books and the award-winning graphic novel Sidekicks. In addition he created the Disney animated hit, The Replacements.
Gary Schmidt is the author of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boywhich won Newbery and Printz Honors--and The Wednesday Wars--which won another Newbery Honor--and Okay for Now--which was a National Book Award Finalist. His most recent book is a picture book: The Rose in the Desert: The Story of Martin de Porres. He teaches in the English Department of Calvin College.
Ruta Sepetys is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Between Shades of Gray.” The debut novel is published in 30 countries and 26 languages, is a Carnegie Medal nominee, a William C. Morris finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, a Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book, iTunes Best Teen Novel, and the 2012 winner of the Golden Kite Award for Fiction. In 2007 Ruta won SCBWI’s Work-In-Progress grant for Between Shades of Gray. She credits SCBWI for her path to publication.
Sara Shepard is the author of the Pretty Little Liars and Lying Game series, both New York Times bestsellers and both TV series in ABC Family. She is also the author of The Visibles and Everything We Ever Wanted, two novels for adults. She got an MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College and loves to run, surf, and knit stuffed animals for her son.
Sonya Sones has written four YA novels in verse, which have received many honors, including a Christopher Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize nomination. She’ll be the first one to tell you that in 2010 her novel in verse, What My Mother Doesn’t Know, made the ALA’s list of the “Top 100 Most Challenged Books of the Decade.” Sonya’s latest book, the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, is her first novel in verse for grownups—a coming of middle-age story about learning to grow old disgracefully. She is this close to finishing her fifth YA novel in verse.
Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 150 nonfiction books for children, a member of the SCBWI Board of Advisors, and the PAL Cordinator for SCBWI's New England region. Her recent picture book Under the Snow was a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book, and a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year. It was also nominated for thirteen state book awards.
Melissa Sweet has illustrated many award winning children’s books from board books to nonfiction and jacket covers. Her collages and paintings have appeared in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living and for eeBoo Toys. She has written and illustrated Tupelo Rides the Rails, Carmine: A Little More Red, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, 2005 and the 2012 Sibert Medal winner, Balloons Over Broadway :The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. Melissa illustrated A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant, a 2009 Caldecott Honor book and a New York Times Best Illustrated, among other awards. When she is not in her studio, she can be found taking in an art class, hiking with her dogs or riding her bicycle. She lives with her family in Rockport, Maine.
Carol Tanzman is the author of the YA thrillers Circle of Silence (August, 2012) and dancergirl (both published by HarlequinTeen). She is a contributing author to the poetry anthology, Dare to Dream…Change the World (2012). Her previous YA novel, The Shadow Place was chosen by the American Library Association for the YALSA Quick Pick List of Recommended Books, the National Council of Teachers of English ALAN Best Books list, and the California Collection for Middle and Senior High Schools. For many years, Carol was a theatre director for Off-Broadway and regional theatres. In addition, she is a nationally recognized arts educator and has been honored (twice!) by the Bravo Awards for her work with LAUSD’s elementary drama program.
Deborah Underwood is the author of The Quiet Book and The Loud Book!, both New York Times best sellers. Her other books include A Balloon for Isabel, Pirate Mom, Granny Gomez & Jigsaw, and The Christmas Quiet Book (October 2012). She co-writes the Sugar Plum Ballerina chapter book series, and she has written over 25 nonfiction books on topics ranging from smallpox to ballroom dancing. Her magazine credits include National Geographic Kids, Ladybug, Spider, and Highlights.
Clare Vanderpool is the award-winning author of Moon Over Manifest, her first novel, which was awarded the 2011 Newbery Award. Clare is remarkably the first debut author in thirty years to win the Newbery Medal. Citing historical fiction as a favorite of hers, Clare set out in writing a historical novel set in the fictional town of Manifest, Kansas, which is based on the real southeastern Kansas town of Frontenac, where her maternal grandparents lived. Drawing on stories she heard as a child, along with research in town newspapers, yearbooks, and graveyards, Clare found a rich and colorful history for her unforgettable novel. She says “having lived most of my life in the same neighborhood, place is very important and for me true places are rooted in the familiar—the neighborhood pool, the sledding hill, the shortcuts, all the places where memories abound. Clare is a long-time member of SCBWI. Her second novel, Navigating Early, is forthcoming in 2013 from Delacorte Press.
Stefanie von Borstel Stefanie Von Borstel is a literary agent and co-founder of Full Circle Literary. She represents fiction and nonfiction children’s books from picture books to young adult. A boutique agency with offices in California and New York, Full Circle represents a number of award-winning authors and illustrators. Representative clients include New York Times best-selling author Toni Buzzeo, Charlotte Zolotow Award-winner Carmen Tafolla, Christopher Award-winner Monica Brown, Pura Belpre Award-winning artist Rafael Lopez and Pura Belpre Honor artist Sara Palacios. Recent sales include Jennifer Ward’s picture book Mama Built a Little Nest (Beach Lane Books), Diana López’s middle grade novel 500 Names to Pink (Little Brown), Sarah Burningham’s Girl to Girl (Chronicle Books), and Malin Alegria’s teen series Border Town (Scholastic).
Prior to agenting, Stefanie worked in editorial and marketing with Penguin and Harcourt Children’s Books. On the children’s side she is especially drawn to middle grade and is actively seeking all genres. For younger readers: author/illustrators, character-driven, high-concept, humor and picture books that celebrate cultures of all kinds.
Marianne D. Wallace - Sometime in elementary school, between catching skipper butterflies and raising rats, Marianne decided to become a biologist. She worked as a botanic garden tour guide and natural science educator before starting to write and illustrate kids’ books. Marianne is the author/illustrator of six middle-grade books on plants and animals and the illustrator of a picture book on geology. Other work has appeared on book covers, notecards, posters and pins as well as in newspapers, scientific journals, brochures, magazines and books for adults. She lives in the foothills near Los Angeles where black bear, mule deer, hawks and turkey vultures pass through or over the back yard.
Lee Wardlaw swears that her first spoken word was 'kitty'. Since then, she's shared her life with thirty cats (not all at the same time!) and published close to thirty award-winning books for children, tweens and teens, including Won Ton - A Cat Tale Told in Haiku (illustrated by Eugene Yelchin), which won the 2012 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. A former elementary school teacher, Lee earned her AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego and will receive her M.Ed. in Montessori/Child Development in 2013. Her books have sold over a million copies worldwide, and include the popular middle grade novels 101 Ways to Bug Your Parents, 101 Ways to Bug Your Teacher and 101 Ways to Bug Your Friends and Enemies. Her newest book Red, White and Boom! (illustrated by Huy Voun Lee) celebrates the many cultures and traditions of America's birthday.
Deborah Warren, founder of East West Literary, LLC, became an agent after 17 years at Harcourt, where she first met Rubin Pfeffer, now the "East," Boston-based arm of E/W Literary. With over 60 years of shared experience in the publishing industry, and over 10 years at the helm of the Agency, Deborah and Rubin represent children's authors of all genres, as well as illustrators, and author/illustrators. E/W Literary represents a wide range of New York Times bestselling and Best Illustrated, award-winning Newbery and Caldecott medalists…as well as a diverse list of accomplished, award winning adult authors and talent—including the 2010 Eisner Award co-Winner for best graphic novel.
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, Ashley Wolff, and Angela DiTerlizzi. Recent books she has edited include the New York Times bestselling LMNO Peas by Keith Baker and the multiple-starred-review recipients Rah, Rah, Radishes! by April Pulley Sayre and Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth! by Sarah Weeks. Andrea acquires projects for children of all ages—especially those that are filled with heart, humor, and irresistible characters.
Sara Wilson Etienne went to college in Maine to become a marine biologist. But when research on leatherback turtles transformed itself into a novel, she realized that she loved fantasy more than fact. Though she didn't become a scientist (or, luckily, publish that first story) the craggy coastline and wild seas stayed with her and became the YA psychological thriller, Harbinger (2012, Penguin/Putnam).
Pamela Wells is a young adult author with two books published by Scholastic. She is the author of the best-selling The Heartbreakers by Pamela Wells & The Crushes by Pamela Wells. The Friends by Pamela Wells is scheduled to be released summer 2012. Pamela currently works as a new media journalist while attending UCLA to get a degree in screenwriting. A movie adaption of The Heartbreakers is scheduled for theatres in 2013 featuring Disney actress Selena Gomez.
Ken Wright has been in book publishing for 25 years, as an editor and a publisher, and now as a literary agent at Writers House in New York. Ken represents a wide range of mostly children’s books authors and illustrators, but focuses mainly on YA and middle grade fiction and nonfiction. He has a small list of clients that includes David Macaulay, Allen Say, Ruta Sepetys, Deborah Heiligman, Elizabeth Partridge, Steven Sheinkin, Holly Goldberg Sloan, Marc Aronson, Ernie Altbacker, John Hendrix, and Ilene Cooper.
Dan Yaccarino has written and illustrated over fifty children’s books, most notably, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, Unlovable, Every Friday and Go Go America. His bold, stylized illustrations add wit and energy to the work of such prestigious authors as Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Kevin Henkes and Patricia MacLachlan in addition to his own stories. He is also the creator and producer of his own animated television series Oswald and the Emmy Award-winning Willa’s Wild Life, as well as the designer behind Nick Jr's Emmy-winning The Backyardigans. Dan lives in New York City with his family and vintage toy collection.
Eugene Yelchin is a Russian-born author and illustrator of children’s books. In 2012, Breaking Stalin’s Nose, his first illustrated novel, received a Newbery Honor award. That same year, Won Ton, A Cat Tale Told In Haiku, which Yelchin illustrated, became an American Library Association Notable Book, among numerous other awards. In 2010, his illustrated picture book Rooster Prince of Breslov received the National Jewish Book Award. Yelchin received a Tomie de Paola award in 2006 at the SCBWI winter conference. Since then his books received starred reviews and were included in the Best Books of the Year lists.
Cecilia Yung is Art Director and 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 (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) as well as a member of its Illustrators Committee.