Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Illustrators’ Intensive (SOLD OUT)

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Friday, February 10


The Art of Collaboration

Making Sense of Feedback and Incorporating Alternate Viewpoints


8:30am–8:45am         INTRO


8:45am–9:45am        COLLABORATION CASE STUDY: ILLUSTRATOR + EDITOR                                                   

                                Peter Brown, Author/Illustrator and Alvina Ling, VP and Editor-in-Chief, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


9:45am–9:50am        Break



                                Debbie Ohi, Author/Illustrator and Laurent Linn, Art Director, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


10:50am–11:00am    Break



                                Sean Qualls, Author/Illustrator and Selina Alko, Author/Illustrator


12:00pm-1:30pm      LUNCH  


1:30pm–2:30pm       PANEL: DECODING THE COMMENTS, Making Sense of Feedback

                                The SCBWI Illustrator Committee


2:30pm–2:45pm       Break


2:45pm–3:45pm       PANEL: FINDING PEER SUPPORT, Building and Maintaining Your Network

                                Panelists: Authors/Illustrators Lisa Anchin, Peter Brown, Brian Floca, Debbie Ohi
                                Moderator: Pat Cummings, Author/Illustrator


3:45pm–3:55pm       Break


3:55pm-4:45pm        KEYNOTE

                               Yuyi Morales, Author/Illustrator


4:45pm–5:00pm       Wrap up




DEADLINE: Jan 31, 2017

Please share a list of 5 things that concern you about collaboration and external input via email to —These will be helpful to the Faculty in preparing the day’s discussions.


For the day of the Intensive, Bring a brief written description (in three sentences or less) on two separate sheets of paper a CHALLENGING experience you have with collaboration a HELPFUL experience you have with collaboration that positively changed the way you work.


Faculty Bios:

Selina Alko Born in Vancouver, Canada, Selina Alko moved to New York City over 20 years ago to pursue a career in illustration. Selina began her career by illustrating the New York City-themed children's books My Subway Ride and My Taxi Ride. She then tried her hand at writing and discovered she loved it! She is the author/illustrator of B is for Brooklyn, I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother and Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama. Selina wrote (and co-illustrated with her husband Sean Qualls) The Case for Loving; The Fight for Interracial Marriage, which received three starred reviews and the NAIBA Award for Free Speech. Selina and Sean’s most recent collaboration, Two Friends; Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass, came out in January. The couple currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with their two children. 

Lisa Anchin owes much of her career to SCBWI. After receiving an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, she won the SCBWI Student Scholarship. The following year, her portfolio was selected for the SCBWI Illustration Mentorship program. She currently volunteers as the IC for the Metro NY chapter. Lisa lives in Brooklyn with her husband and studio cat. When not working in her studio, she can be found haunting one of the many cafes of the five boroughs, sitting with a bucket of tea and scribbling in a sketchbook. Lisa is the illustrator of A Penguin Named Patience by Suzanne Lewis (2015) and I Will Love You by Alyssa Satin Capucilli (2017). For more information, visit her at and on Instagram @lisa.anchin.

Peter Brown studied Illustration at Art Center College of Design and moved to New York City to pursue a career as an author and illustrator of children's books. Since then he has written and illustrated seven picture books, including Mr. Tiger Goes Wild and My Teacher is a Monster, and illustrated two others. His books have earned numerous honors, including two E.B. White Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, two Irma Black Honors, five New York Times bestsellers, and his illustrations for Creepy Carrots, written by Aaron Reynolds, earned Peter a 2013 Caldecott Honor.  His first novel for young people is The Wild Robot. Visit

Priscilla Burris is an author/illustrator and native Californian of Hispanic descent. 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! She is enthusiastically involved in the SCBWI as National Illustrator Coordinator and advisor, as well as a member of their Board of Advisors, and the SCBWI Illustrator Committee.  Learn more about Priscilla at

Pat Cummings is the author/illustrator of over thirty-five 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 of Advisors as well as on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Authors League Fund, and the Authors Guild Foundation.  Learn more about Pat at

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. He received Pura Belpré Honor Awards for Diego: Bigger Than Life by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, César: ¡Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We Can! by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, and The Pot That Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel. Recent books include Sharing the Seasons by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Before You Came by Patricia and Emily MacLachlan, Ocean’s Child by Christine Ford and Chris Holland, and Me, Frida by Amy Novesky. 

Brian Floca was born and raised in Temple, Texas, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author and illustrator of numerous award-winning books for children, including Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal and a New York Times bestseller; Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11Lightship; and The Racecar Alphabet. He has illustrated Avi's Poppy, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan's Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring; Kate Messner's Marty McGuire novels; Lynne Cox's Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas; and the forthcoming Princess Cora and the Crocodile, by Laura Amy Schlitz. In addition to the Caldecott Medal, Brian's books have received four Robert F. Sibert Honor awards, a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators, and have twice been selected for the New York Times' annual 10 Best Illustrated Books list. Visit

Alvina Ling Alvina Ling is VP and Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she’s worked since 1999. She edits children's books for all ages. She has worked with such authors and illustrators as Peter Brown, Bryan Collier, Ed Young, Grace Lin, Wendy Mass, Chris Colfer, Laini Taylor, Libba Bray, Barry Lyga, Holly Black, Sherman Alexie, and Matthew Quick. She is the co-founder and former chair of the CBC Diversity Committee. She is on Twitter as @planetalvina.

Laurent Linn, Art Director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop, creating characters for various productions, including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films. With Henson over a decade, he worked primarily on Sesame Street, becoming the Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award. Currently, at Simon & Schuster, Laurent art directs picture books, middle-grade, and teen novels, including Moon’s Almost Here, by Tomie dePaola; DRAW!, by Raúl Colón; Better Nate Than Ever, by Tim Federle; and the Rot & Ruin YA series by Jonathan Maberry. Laurent is on the Board of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and is Artistic Advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He is also an author and illustrator: his illustrated teen novel is Draw the Line. Find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: LaurentLinn, and 

Yuyi Morales was born and raised in Mexico, and has been a radio producer and children's book creator since coming to the United States. Her books which have won numerous awards and honors include Little Night and its Spanish edition, Nochecita, a 2008 ALA Notable Children's Book, and Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and the Spanish Alphabet Book, both published by Roaring Brook Press. Ms. Morales lives in Northern California. Visit

Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s career as a children’s book author/illustrator began at the 2010 SCBWI-LA conference, where she was chosen for the Mentorship Program and discovered by Justin Chanda. Her illustrations have since appeared in books by Michael Ian Black, Judy Blume, Lauren McLaughlin, Rob Sanders and Aaron Reynolds. Debbie is author/illustrator of Where are My Books? (2015) and Sam & Eva (2017), both with Justin Chanda and Laurent Linn at Simon & Schuster. Debbie lives in Toronto with her husband Jeff, and is an avid board gamer and food doodler. Debbie was founder of Inkspot, one of the first websites for writers. Represented by Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown Ltd., Debbie writes middle grade novels in addition to creating picture books. For more info & her four upcoming 2017 books, see Debbie posts about reading, writing and illustrating books for young people at and on Twitter at @inkyelbows. 

Sean Qualls is an award-winning, Brooklyn-based, children’s book illustrator, artist and author. His books include: Giant Steps to Change The World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis-Lee, Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and her son Slade, and Before John Was a Jazz Giant, for which he received a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. Sean also created the art for Dizzy by Jonah Winter and most recently Freedom Song (The Story of Henry “Box” Brown) by Sally Walker. His work has received two Blue Ribbon citations from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and has created illustrations for magazines, newspapers, and advertisements. Sean draws inspiration from an array of influences such as movies, television, childhood memories, aging and decaying surfaces, architecture, old buildings, nature, folk art, fairy tales, Americana, black memorabilia, outsider art, cave paintings, collectibles, African art, golden books, vintage advertisement graphics, psychology, mythology, science fiction, music, and literature. He lives in lives in Brooklyn with his wife, illustrator/author Selina Alko and their two children Ginger and Isaiah. Visit

Cecilia Yung is Executive Art Director & 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, as well as a member of its Illustrators’ Committee.



                Printable 2017 Winter Illustrator's Intensive Schedule