Who We Are


Headquarters Staff



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 (and CFO), 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, has financial oversight, 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.




linLin 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.  She did not become a salaried employee until the organization was well over 25 years old.  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 esteemed 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 contributes regular articles and papers to all our publications.  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, oversees our social media presence, 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.


sarahSarah 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.






brandonBrandon 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.






SDiamond  Sarah Diamond, Administrative Assistant

  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.






kaylaKayla 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 and SCBWI monthly INSIGHT.  She manages the content on the SCBWI 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.





sararutSara Rutenberg, Chief Operating Officer

Sara is responsible for day to day administration, conference coordinator, negotiates hotel deals, assists members and regional team with general legal questions, liason with author and illustrator organizations, insurance, . She was been the outside legal counsel for the SCBWI for many years as well as writing the column “Legally Speaking”.  Sara has held various business affairs positions in the entertainment industry for over 20 years including Universal Television, Fremantle  Media and National Lampoon. Prior to that, she was a teacher and received her bachelor's in early childhood education from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena.






Joshua Smith, Webmaster and Database Manager

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. Maintains directory of children’s publishers, editors and agents. Works closely with Lin and conf. coordinator on the conference program. Oversees manuscript consultations for both of our National Conferences, including reading, logging and scheduling all consultations. Compiles and reports on SCBWI success stories. Editor-in-chief of our yearly publication, The Book: An Essential Guide to Children’s Publishing. Oversees SCBWI’s social media platforms.  
Background: Worked as a production assistant and coordinator at Universal Studios and Sony. Produced  and wrote an award-winning web series. Director of Development for Lin Oliver Productions. BA from Florida State, Masters degree in
Interpersonal and Intercultural Communications.





Regional Leadership

As a member of SCBWI you are automatically a member of your local region. The SCBWI has over 80 regions around the world, each headed by volunteers. A Regional Advisor (RA) or two co-RAs run each region and larger regions may also have an Assistant Regional Advisor (ARA), Illustrator Coordinator (IC) and an advisory committee. Regional leaders oversee all the regions.


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-SMRachelle 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.