Stephen Mooser | President
Stephen is the co-founder of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, having begun the organization with Lin Oliver in 1971. As President, he is responsible for overseeing all the affairs of the organization: he creates and edits all its publications (print and digital), creates policy, manages the staff of ten, communicates with members and advises them on issues of publishing (both business and creative), is the liaison between the organization and the ACA, maintains relationships with other professional writers’ organizations like The Author’s Guild, and is the chief liaison with the group of over 120 regional advisors domestically and around the world. He travels to regional conferences and delivers addresses on the state of children’s publishing, being a recognized authority on the subject. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in film and Master’s degree in Journalism both from UCLA, has published over sixty children’s books, and is the recipient of The Eric Carle Mentor Award, The Southern California Children’s Literature Council Dorothy McKenzie Award and the Christopher Medal for The New York Kids Book. He is a frequent speaker at domestic and international conferences on issues related to children’s literature, and in particular the digital revolution and what it means for the future of children’s books.
Lin Oliver | Executive Director
Lin is the co-founder of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. For much of her career, she was an executive in the film and television industry, having served as Executive Vice President of MCA Universal Studios for over 12 years. She is the writer and executive producer of over 300 episodes of television and three feature films directed at the family audience. During her career in film and television, she served as Executive Director of the SCBWI as a volunteer spending nights and weekends and vacations in the service of SCBWI while earning her living in filmed entertainment. Since 2000, she has not only led the SCBWI as Executive Director but simultaneously has pursued her career as a children’s book author. She has published over 35 books for children including a best-selling series about a child with learning differences that has sold over four million books. Her books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and her work has been recognized with The Christopher Award, the National Council of Teachers of English citation, and PEN International Special Award of Recognition. As Executive Director of SCBWI, she organizes, plans and directs the two major SCBWI national conferences. She is the liason with the major publishing houses and maintains close working relationships with leading professionals and executives in the field. She speaks at regional, national and international conferences on subjects ranging from the craft of creating children’s books to marketing and promotion and sales. She advises our members on creative matters, reviews selected manuscripts, sets policy, reviews and creates member benefits, and establishes new initiatives to benefit our members (e.g. online book launch events, speakers bureau, community bookstore events). She also manages staff and personnel matters, establishes programs with partner organizations (such as First Book or We Need Diverse Books or The American Library Association) and oversees much of the work of the regional advisors. She has a BA in English from UC Berkley, a Masters in Educational Psychology from UCLA, and has completed course work for an EdD from UCLA. She is recognized as a leading voice in promoting literacy and children’s literature.
Tammy Brown, Director, Community Marketing and Engagement
Tammy Brown is a media and entertainment executive with expertise in marketing, sales and promotion in television, publishing and digital media services. Tammy served in senior-level marketing leadership positions at the globally known brands of Disney, ESPN and Fox. As part of the creative marketing, sales and promotions teams at Nickelodeon, Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Ballantine Books, Tammy created B2B and B2C programs across multiple types of media from digital to video to print. Tammy held positions in content marketing and entertainment digital services marketing at digital content delivery market leaders Vubiquity and Technicolor. As a marketing consultant, Tammy has created and managed social media programs and digital advertising for a number of clients in the health and fitness and film/ visual effects fields. A supporter of non-profit cultural organizations, Tammy sits on the board of directors of LA Commons, a cultural organization that brings the diverse communities of Los Angeles together via arts and culture programs. Tammy is also an active pro bono consultant with the Taproot Foundation as an account director on projects ranging from health and human services, arts and culture, and advocacy organizations.
Sarah Baker, Director, Illustration and Artist Programs
Sarah is the Director of Illustration and Artist Programs at SCBWI. She manages and develops the illustrator grants, awards and scholarships, advises and mentors SCBWI illustrator members, and serves as the designer and art director for the Bulletin, INSIGHT, and all other SCBWI publications.
Brandon Clarke, Logistics Coordinator
Brandon is in charge of all membership packets and mailing. He also coordinates logistics for all the conferences and assists with social media for SCBWI.
Sarah is the first voice on the telephone, serving as liaison between the organization and its members. She handles a variety of administrative duties, including membership renewals and awards & grants coordination. She is also an active contributor to the website.
Kayla Heinen, Conference Coordinator, Awards Manager
Kayla is the Conference Coordinator for the New York and LA International Conferences, handling logistics, programming, and operations for faculty, staff, and attendees. She is also the Awards Manger for the over thirty awards and grants SCBWI offers. Kayla writes all SCBWI press releases, copyedits the SCBWI Bulletin and SCBWI monthly INSIGHT, and manages all web content. She also helped to establish the Student Writer Scholarship and marketing for student memberships. An avid reader, Kayla is always looking for a new book suggestion. Follow her on Twitter @seriouskayla
Joshua Smith, Web Developer and Database Administrator
Josh oversees the production and operation of the website and database. Josh also manages the membership database and advises the Regional team members on technical logistics for regional events and websites.
Kim Turrisi, Director of Special Projects
Kim is responsible for developing relationships and maintaining relationships within the children’s publishing community. She’s Editor-in-chief of our yearly publication, The Book: An Essential Guide to Children’s Publishing. She oversees manuscript consultations for both of our National Conferences, including reading, logging and scheduling all consultations. She works closely with Lin to program the conferences.She also writes the monthly “Exclusive Interview” column in INSIGHT showcasing editor and agents as well as compiling SCBWI success stories. Kim oversees SCBWI’s social media platforms.
Background: Kim is a young adult author. Her debut novel JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY, edited by Kate Egan for new YA imprint KCP Loft, debuts in 2017. She also wrote and produced an award-winning web series. Kim was the Director of Development for Lin Oliver Productions. She earned a BA in Child Development from Florida State University and an MA in Interpersonal and Intercultural Communications from FSU.
Tracy Barrett, Regional Advisor Coordinator (US)
Tracy is the head coordinator of the regional advisors in the United States and serves on the SCBWI Advisory Board. Tracy oversees all the Regions within the United States. She is the author of numerous books for young readers, including the award-winning biographical novel, Anna of Byzantium (Delacorte, 1999). Her most recent publications are two young adult novels, Dark of the Moon (Harcourt, 2011) and King of Ithaka (Henry Holt, 2010), and the four books in the middle grade series The Sherlock Files (Henry Holt). Nonfiction includes The Ancient Greek World and The Ancient Chinese World (The World in Ancient Times, Oxford University Press). Before becoming the Regional Advisor Coordinator, Tracy was the Regional Advisor for the Midsouth from 1999 to 2009. She was awarded the SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grant in 2005 and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1994. She holds a B.A. with Honors in Classics from Brown University, and an M.A. and PhD in Medieval Italian Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she recently retired from teaching at Vanderbilt University.
Kathleen Ahrens, International Regional Advisor Chairperson
Kathleen is the head of the international regional advisors and serves on the SCBWI Advisory Board. She is the Director of the International Writer’s Workshop and Professor and Head of the Language Center at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches courses in creative writing, children¹s literature, and linguistics. She has two bilingual picture books, Numbers Do and Ears Hear, published with Sun Ya Press.
Patricia Wiles, Assistant Regional Advisor Coordinator
Patricia assists Tracy Barrett in coordinating the US regions. She also organizes the RA volunteers at the New York and Los Angeles Conferences. She is the author of four novels for young readers and is a member of the Author’s Guild. Her essays have aired on public radio and appeared in Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and in the 2001 Writer’s Handbook. She has received several awards from the Kentucky Press Association for her work in print journalism.
Angela Cerrito, Assistant International Advisor
Angela is a recipient of the Kimberly Cohen Memorial Grant. Her debut novel, The End of the Line, received many awards including VOYA’s top of the top shelf, YALSA quick pick, Winchester Fiction Honor Award and Librarians’ Choice Award. Angela serves as SCBWI’s Assistant International Advisor and is the co-organizer of SCBWI events at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
Priscilla Burris, US Illustrator Coordinator
Priscilla was born and raised in Southern California, and has been an artist from a very early age. Her education experience includes degrees in Fashion Illustration and Early Childhood Education. Priscilla has illustrated numerous books and materials for children, parents and teachers. Her works include Five Green and Speckled Frogs (Scholastic), which she wrote and illustrated, I Love You All Day Long, and Daddy All Day Long (HarperCollins), written by Francesca Rusackas. Since January 1998, Priscilla has held the position of National Illustrator Coordinator for the SCBWI. This position allows her to plan for, work with, present, and speak to illustrators and author/illustrators.
Mina Witteman is a published author with books out in the Netherlands and Colombia. To hone her storytelling and writing craft, Mina attended the 4-year course Writing for Children at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. She completed the Master program Book Editing at the University of Amsterdam. She is an accredited teacher Creative Writing, trained at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Dividing her time between Amsterdam and all the good writing spots in the world, she writes in Dutch and English, moonlights as a freelance editor, translator and ghostwriter. She teaches creative writing to children and adults and she coaches aspiring and accomplished writers. Previously, she was the Regional Advisor for the Netherlands and Chairman of the Working Group Children’s Books of the Dutch Authors Guild.
Christopher Cheng, International Awards and Publications Coordinator
Chris is on the International Advisory Board for the SCBWI, and is Chair for the Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards. He and was named SCBWI member of the year in 2010. This year his publications include the picture book Sounds Spooky (illustrated by Sarah Davis) and the libretto for the children’s musical Pa’s Christmas Star. Chris is currently writing the storyline for a twenty-six part television animation series. A former primary school teacher, he holds an M.A. in Children’s Literature, was awarded the Lady Cutler Award for Services to Children’s Literature, and is on the Advisory Board and writes for the online journal First Opinions, Second Reactions about Children’s and Adolescent Literature. He was Ambassador for the Australian Government’s National Literacy and Numeracy Week program for four years and is a National Ambassador for the 2012 Year of Reading initiative.