Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Digital Workshops Faculty: Slate 2

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Tracey Baptiste is the New York Times bestselling author of Minecraft: The Crash. She is also the author of the popular Jumbies series including The Jumbies, Rise of the Jumbies, and The Jumbie God’s Revenge. She has written several other fiction and nonfiction books for children. Find Tracey online at and connect on Twitter @traceybaptiste and on Instagram @traceybaptistewrites.
Lesa Cline-Ransome’s first book was the biography Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year.” She later created a number of picture book biographies including Young Pele, Words Set Me Free, Just a Lucky So and So, and Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams.  Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet received five starred reviews, was nominated for an NAACP image award, and received a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration.  Her debut middle grade novel, Finding Langston, was the 2019 winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and received the Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor.  The sequel, Leaving Lymon will be released in Spring 2020.  Many of Lesa’s books have been illustrated by her husband and frequent collaborator, James Ransome.
Deborah Halverson is the award-winning author of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies and Writing New Adult Fiction, the teen novels Big Mouth and Honk If You Hate Me, the picture book Letters to Santa, and three books for struggling readers. Formerly an editor at Harcourt Children’ Books and now a freelancer specializing in young adult/middle grade fiction, new adult fiction, and picture books, Deborah has been working with authors for twenty-five years. She is also founder of the popular writers’ advice site and serves on the advisory board for the UC San Diego Extension Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating certificate program., @Dear_Editor
Vashti Harrison is the author-illustrator of the New York Times best-selling book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and the illustrator of the Cece Loves Science series and Sulwe, written by Lupita Nyong’o. Vashti earned her MFA in Film/Video from CalArts and her BA from the University of Virginia. She has a background in cinematography and screenwriting and a love for storytelling. She is passionate about crafting beautiful stories in both the film and kidlit worlds.
Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of nearly thirty books, an award-winning teacher of memoir and fiction at the University of Pennsylvania, and the co-founder of Juncture Workshops. Her essays appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Catapult, Literary Hub, Ninth Letter, North American Review, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. More at
Tiff Liao is a senior editor at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. Some of her recent titles include the New York Times bestseller Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and its bestselling sequel Children of Virtue and VengeanceThe Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen, The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg, I Am Perfectly Designed by “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown and Jason Brown, and the Peasprout Chen series by Nebula Award finalist Henry Lien. Prior to joining Holt, Tiff was an editor at Penguin Young Readers. You can follow her on Twitter for (mostly) bookish musings @tiff_liao.