SCBWI staff at our offices in Los Angeles
Stephen Mooser | President
Stephen Mooser is the author of more than 60 books for children from picture book titles such as The Ghost with the Halloween Hiccups, to nonfiction, Lights! Camera! Scream!, to series and chapter books, The All-Star Meatballs, The Treasure Hounds, The Creepy Creature Club, Goofball Malone, and novels such as The Hitchhiking Vampire and It’s A Weird, Weird School. His most recent title is Class Clown Academy which accompanies his interactive online virtual school at www.classclownacademy.com. A former filmmaker and treasure hunter many of his adventures have found their way into his books. Among his awards is The Christopher Medal for The New York Kids Book and a 2010 Eric Carle Honor Award as a Mentor. He is co-founder, with Lin Oliver, of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and currently serves as the organization’s President. He feels fortunate to be a part of an organization that has become such a crucial contributor to the excellence found in children’s books today.
Lin Oliver | Executive Director
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 four million copies. They also write Here's Hank, a chapter book series prequel to the Hank Zipzer novels. Lin is the author of four comedic novels, Who Shrunk Daniel Funk? from Simon and Schuster, which feature the comedy misadventures of a shrinking boy and his identical tiny twin brother. Another series, Almost Identical, six books from Grosset & Dunlap, centers on identical twin tween girls and their search for identity. With Theo Baker, she is the co-author of Sound Bender and The Shadow Mask, two high-concept science fiction adventure novels from Scholastic. Also from Scholastic is Ghost Buddy, a four-book middle grade series co-authored with Henry Winkler. Her latest book is a picture book poetry collection from Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, called Little Poems for Tiny Ears, written by Lin and illustrated by Tomie de Paola. In television, Lin produced the long-running series, "Harry and the Hendersons" for Universal, for which she wrote over 30 episodes. She also executive produced the animated series "Corduroy" for PBS, "Wayside" for Nickelodeon and "Hank Zipzer" for the BBC. In the feature film arena, she has produced "The Trumpet of the Swan," based on E.B. White’s award-winning novel. She is also the co-founder of the SCBWI, with her life-long friend Steve Mooser, and serves as the organization's Executive Director. Every aspect of the SCBWI gives her enormous pleasure and satisfaction.
Sarah Baker, Director, Illustration and Artist Programs
Sarah oversees all illustration and design and assists with regional illustration events. Sarah is also in charge of layout and design of the Bulletin. She also coordinates the SCBWI awards for illustrators.
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.
Kayla Heinen, Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Kayla is assistant conference coordinator for the New York and LA International Conferences as well as copyedits the SCBWI Bulletin. She manages the content on the website, coordinates the awards and grants, and helped to establish the Student Writer Scholarship. She is also the manager of publicity and handles all press releases and marketing correspondence.
Sara Rutenberg, Chief Operating Officer
Sara is in charge of the financial, legal, and logistical operations of SCBWI. She approves publishers for PAL status, works with regions on upholding the regulations of our non-profit status, advises on intellectual property matters, and handles logistics for New York and Los Angeles Conferences.
Joshua Smith, Webmaster and Database Manager
Josh oversees the production and operation of the website and database. Josh also manages the membership database.
Kim Turrisi, Director of Special Projects
Kim helps organize the New York and Los Angeles Conferences. In Los Angeles, she oversees the manuscript critiques. In New York, she coordinates Writer’s intensive day and the round table critiques. She is also the editor-in-chief of The Book, the newly re-vamped SCBWI publications guide. Kim is also a liaison with the publishing community as well spearheading efforts to involve new editors in regional SCBWI events and coordinating SCBWI success stories.
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.
Rachelle Meyer, International Illustrator Coordinator
Rachelle was born in Texas and spent most of her childhood with her nose in a book. Reading became the wellspring for her continuing passions in life: drawing, storytelling and traveling. She graduated with a degree in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin and then spent eight years in New York City working as a graphic artist and designer. She has since moved to Europe and launched a successful career as an illustrator, specializing in children's books and editorial work. Some of her children's books include Mijn Grote Sprookjesboek/My Big Fairy Tale Book, My Favourite Children's Songs (both published by Kid's Marketeers), and Paniek in het Dierenziekenhuis/Panic in the Animal Hospital by Ingrid Bilardie (Uitgeverij Delubas). Her work appears in the 2013 New York Times bestseller, The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner (Hay House). She’s also contributed an impressive number of designs to LITographs, which are prints made from the texts of classic books into posters, t-shirts and totebags. She designed LITograph’s booth for Book Expo America in 2013 and 2014. She also writes and illustrates her own picture books and graphic novels. She now lives in Amsterdam with her family.