Elana K. Arnold writes books for and about children and teens. Her young adult novel What Girls Are Made Of was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award and the winner of the Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Literature. Her middle grade novels, A Boy Called Bat and Bat and the Waiting Game, are Junior Library Guild selections. Some of her books have been included on School Library Journal’s Best Books list; Kirkus’ Best Teen Books list; the Bank Street Best Book list; the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list; and the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles Public Libraries’ Best Books of the Year list.
Jenny Bent founded The Bent Agency in 2009. The agency now has nine agents, offices in New York City and London, and a strong focus on international rights. Her authors include New York Times best-selling authors Stephanie Garber, Goldy Moldavsky, AG Howard, and Lynn Weingarten. She is actively looking for new clients across all categories of middle grade and young adult. Her website is www.thebentagency.com and you can find her on Twitter @jennybent.
Carin Berger is a designer, artist, and the author/illustrator of over ten books. Her cut-paper collages and dioramas are made with scraps of old books, letters, and receipts. Carin’s work has been included in numerous shows, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Bruce Museum. Awards include the Original Art Founder’s Award, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book. All of Us is a celebration of the power of family, community, and love.
Phil Bildner is the author of numerous children’s picture books, including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize-winning Marvelous Cornelius, Martina & Chrissie, Twenty-One Elephants, The Soccer Fence, The Hallelujah Flight, and The Unforgettable Season. He is the author of the Rip & Red middle grade series and he is the co-creator of the New York Times best-selling middle grade chapter book serial, Sluggers. Phil spends much of the year visiting schools around the country conducting writing workshops and talking process with students.
Karen Blumenthal is an award-winning author of nonfiction for older children and a co-founder, with Grace Lin, of #KidlitWomen—the initiative to highlight gender inequality in children’s and young adult publishing. Her books have won a Sibert Honor and Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and have been finalists three times for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. Her next book, Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend, will be out August 14.
Libba Bray is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; Beauty Queens (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist); and the Diviners series. You can find Libba at www.libbabray.com, on Twitter: @libbabray, and Instagram: libbabray.
Martha Brockenbrough is the author of several books for young readers, including Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary (Feiwel & Friends); The Game of Love and Death; and Love, Santa (both Arthur A. Levine Books). She is a faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children & Young Adults program. Forthcoming titles include Unpresidented, a biography of Donald Trump, and Cheerful Chick, a picture book about a resilient bird with a big dream.
Marc Brown considers himself an illustrator who began writing to have something to illustrate. He studied illustration at the Cleveland Art Institute, and went on to create more than 125 picture books for children. Among his most renowned books, the Arthur series became a #1 New York Times best seller and has won many awards. There are more than 66 million Arthur books in print in the United States alone. Marc is also the executive producer of the animated television show Arthur, winner of six Emmy Awards and now the longest-running animated children’s television show in history. Arthur is watched by children and families in over 100 countries around the world.
Jamie Weiss Chilton, Senior Agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, represents children’s books for all ages. Her clients’ recently published titles include YA novel Thief of Happy Endings by Kristen Chandler, middle grade series Tiny Geniuses by Megan E. Bryant, chapter book series Butterfly Wishes by Jennifer Castle, early reader series Duck Duck Porcupine by Salina Yoon, picture book Twilight Chant by Holly Thompson, and novelty book Quiet as a Mouse by Chiêu Anh Urban.
Jason Chin is the author and illustrator of many critically acclaimed picture books, including Grand Canyon, which received both a Caldecott Honor and Robert F. Sibert Honor in 2018. His other titles include: Redwoods (winner of the 2010 FOCAL award), Island: A Story of the Galápagos (winner of the 2013 Gryphon Award), and Gravity (a Gryphon Honor book). His next book, Pie is for Sharing, will be published in Spring 2018.
Brandy Colbert is the Stonewall Award-winning author of Little & Lion, Pointe, and the forthcoming Finding Yvonne. Her essays and short fiction have been featured in several critically acclaimed anthologies for young people. Her work has been named a Junior Library Guild selection, a Book of the Month Club selection, and has been included on ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list, as well as best-of lists from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Vulture, and more.
Mike Curato is the author and illustrator of everyone’s favorite polka-dotted elephant, Little Elliot. Since he (and Elliot) were discovered at the 2012 New York SCBWI Winter Conference, he has created a four-book series featuring Little Elliot and his beloved sidekick, Mouse, with a fifth title coming out this fall. His most recent work includes illustrating What If… by Samantha Berger, a mixed media celebration of the power of creativity and self-expression. Mike has also had the pleasure of illustrating All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, and has contributed to What’s Your Favorite Color? by Eric Carle and Friends. He is currently working on his first graphic novel.
Tina Dubois is a literary agent at ICM Partners, specializing in middle grade and young adult fiction. She’s looking for diverse voices/#ownvoices and is drawn to lyrical prose, complex family dynamics, a cutting sense of humor, feminist love stories, intricate plotting, and dangerous magic. Noteworthy titles include New York Times best seller The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain, Philip Stead and Caldecott Medal winner Erin Stead (representing Twain); Michael L. Printz Award winner Bone Gapby Laura Ruby; and National Book Award longlist selection Orphan Islandby Laurel Snyder. @tinaduboisny
Candace Fleming is the author of more than forty books for children, including picture books, middle grade novels,and biographies. Among her nonfiction titles are Giant Squid; Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart; The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia. Her most recent work is the illustrated novel Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen; and the nonfiction picture book The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Orbis Pictus Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the ALA Sibert Honor, and the SCBWI Golden Kite Award.
Meg Fleming is an award-winning children’s book author and Literary Art’s ambassador. Her books, I Heart You; Ready, Set, Sail!; and Ready, Set, Build! have been lauded by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, SLJand the Washington Post. Meg received the 2017 Children’s Fiction Honoree Award from the Society of Midland Authors for her text in I Heart You, and she was the 2017 winner of the SCBWI’s Most Promising Picture Book Award. Her anticipated picture book, Sometimes Rain, launches in October. Visit her at www.megfleming.net
Sue Fliess (“fleece”) is the author of over twenty children’s books, including Mary Had a Little Lab, A Fairy Friend, We Wish for a Monster Christmas, How to Trap a Leprechaun, and many Little Golden Books. Robots, Robots Everywhere! is now a best-selling Little Golden Book. Visit her at www.suefliess.com.
Marla Frazee was awarded a Caldecott Honor for All the World and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Picture Book for The Farmer and the Clown. She is the author-illustrator of Roller Coaster, Walk On!, Santa Claus the World’s Number One Toy Expert, The Boss Baby, and Boot & Shoe, as well as the illustrator of many other books including The Seven Silly Eaters, Stars, the NYT bestselling Clementine series, and God Got a Dog.
Eddie Gamarra is a literary manager and producer at The Gotham Group. He specializes in the development of animation, book, and graphic novel properties for film and television. Eddie Represents Oscar and Emmy winners and nominees as well as Newbery and Caldecott winners in addition to many New York Times bestsellers.
Stephanie Garber is the New York Times and international best-selling author of Caraval and Legendary. She grew up in northern California, where she was often compared to Anne Shirley, Jo March, and other fictional characters with wild imaginations and stubborn streaks.
Susanne Gervay has been awarded the Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award by the International Literacy Association and an Order of Australia for children’s literature. She writes picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels. Her YA novel Butterflies is acclaimed as outstanding youth literature on disability, while her picture book Elephants Have Wings is recognized for its engagement with inclusion, diversity, and peace. Her I Am Jack books have become a rite-of-passage on school bullying. An international speaker, she has addressed audiences from Delhi to London. www.sgervay.com
Laura Godwin is vice president and publisher of Godwin Books, an imprint of Macmillan publishers. She was the publisher of Henry Holt Children’s Books for twenty years and has worked with many fabulous authors and illustrators, young and old, beginners and veterans, including Mike Curato, T.L. McBeth, Kenard Pak, Margarita Engle, Nikki Giovanni, Bryan Collier, Karen Katz, Peter McCarty, Eric Carle, and Misa Saburi.
Karen Grencik became a literary agent because of a man she admired. She wanted the world to know his story. In 2001 she accomplished her goal when Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan, written by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White, was published by Holiday House. Double Luck received many awards, and it is still in print in hardcover to this day. Karen’s next sale, George Hogglesberry, Grade School Alien, written by Sarah Wilson, was acquired by a brand-new editor, Abigail Samoun, at Tricycle Press. George Hogglesberry went on to win the coveted Golden Kite Award for Best Picture Book Text in 2003. Many other award-winning titles followed. In February 2011, Karen and Abigail joined forces to open Red Fox Literary, LLC, a boutique agency that specializes in children’s books for all ages. Karen has been on the Top 10 Picture Book Agents list for the past five years.
Kirsten Hall is president of Catbird, a boutique children’s literary and illustration agency. She has negotiated many hundreds of children’s book deals between authors, illustrators, and all of the major American publishers. Kirsten is also an author. And her first trade picture book—The Jacket—was a 2014 New York Times Notable. Kirsten opened Catbird’s wings in March 2014. According to Publishers Marketplace, for the past several years Kirsten has been an industry leader in picture book sales.
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 in the Remix series for struggling readers. Formerly an editor at Harcourt Children’s Books, Deborah is now a freelancer specializing in young adult/middle grade fiction, new adult fiction, and picture books. She is also the founder of the popular writers’ advice site DearEditor.com. www.DeborahHalverson.com.
Deborah Heiligman is the author of 31 books. Her most recent, Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers,won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for nonfiction, the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for nonfiction, and a Printz Honor. Her other nonfiction books include: Charles and Emma: the Darwin’s Leap of Faith, a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award winner, Printz Honor book and a National Book Award finalist; The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos, which won the Cook Prize, the Annie Izard Storytelling Award, and an Obis Pictus Honor; From Caterpillar to Butterfly; and the National Geographic Holidays Around the World series.
Leslie Helakoski is the author, and sometimes illustrator, of eleven picture books that have garnered starred reviews and award nominations in over twenty states. Her newest release, Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School, is a follow-up to the best-selling Woolbur, and her forthcoming Are Your Stars Like My Stars launches September 2019. Her books, known for reader engagement, humor, and word play, also include Hoot & Honk Just Can’t Sleep, Big Chickens, and Big Pigs. Leslie has illustrated her four most recent books, including Doggone Feet! (A Best Math Choice by Scholastic Magazine).
Carter Higgins is a librarian at an independent school in Los Angeles. She is the author of A Rambler Steals Home (HMH) and two picture books from Chronicle Books, This is Not a Valentine (with Lucy Ruth Cummins) and Everything You Need For a Treehouse (Emily Hughes). She writes about picture books and graphic design at her blog, Design of the Picture Book. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @carterhiggins.
Ekua Holmes is an artist, an independent curator, and an illustrator of children’s literature. Voice of Freedom, Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement was released in 2015 featuring illustrations by Holmes. The book garnered a Caldecott honor, a Sibert honor, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. In addition, Holmes won the Society of Illustrators Silver medal and the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe award for New Talent. Most recently, Out of Wonder: Poets Celebrating Poets, featuring Holmes’ illustrations, received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. Currently Holmes serves as assistant director of MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships. She also serves as vice chair of the Boston Art Commission, which oversees the selection and care of public art in the City of Boston.
Lynda Mullaly Hunt is a New York Times best-selling author. Her novel Fish in a Tree is an ALA Schneider Family Book Award winner, an ALA Notable Book, a Global Read Aloud, a SLJ Best Book, a Nerdy Book, and a SCBWI Crystal Kite winner. Soon it’ll be a stage show in multiple cities, including NYC. Her first novel, One for the Murphys (both published by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin), is an ABA New Voices Pick, a Nerdy Book, and a Scholastic Book Clubs Editors’ Choice. Combined, Lynda’s books have appeared on 56 state award lists and are published in 26 languages. Her next novel, Shouting at the Rain,will be released in May, 2019.
Allyn Johnston is VP & publisher of Beach Lane Books, a San Diego-based imprint of Simon & Schuster. Among the authors and illustrators with whom she works are Mem Fox, Lois Ehlert, Marla Frazee, Jeanette Winter, Jonah Winter, Linda Davick, Cynthia Rylant, Arthur Howard, Debra Frasier, Jan Thomas, Lauren Stringer, Mary Lyn Ray, Amy Schwartz, and K. L. Going. Beach Lane will be 10 years old in 2019.
Erin Entrada Kelly is the author of 2018 Newbery Medal-winning novel Hello, Universe. She is also the 2016-2017 Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association award-winning author of The Land of Forgotten Girls and the 2016 SCBWI Golden Kite Honor-winning author of Blackbird Fly. Her latest novel is the highly acclaimed middle grade novel You Go First. Erin grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana and was raised by her mother, who was the first in her family to emigrate from the Philippines. Erin earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and liberal arts from McNeese State University and an MFA in creative writing from Rosemont College, where she is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs.
Barbara Kerley is the award-winning author of numerous books for kids, including The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, What to do About Alice?, A Home for Mr. Emerson, A Cool Drink of Water, and Following Baxter. Her upcoming work of narrative nonfiction is Tigers & Tea with Toppy (Scholastic Press, Sept 2018.) Visit her website at www.barbarakerley.com
Naomi Kirsten is a senior editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco, California. She acquires approximately twenty titles each year, ranging from picture books to games, stationery, and novelty formats, focusing on smart, art-driven projects with international appeal. Naomi’s titles include I Didn’t Do My Homework Because…; New York Times Notable Book and Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner The Bear’s Song; I Hate My Cats (A Love Story); When An Elephant Falls In Love; and You and Me, Me and You. She also develops publishing programs with Marc Boutavant, Taro Gomi, Richard McGuire, and Benjamin Chaud. On Twitter: @naomi_kirsten
Elizabeth Law is an editor at Holiday House who specializes in mining their backlist and acquiring middle grade fiction. She has worked in children’s and young adult publishing for thirty years, including most recently as publisher of Egmont USA and as a freelance book doctor and editor at ElawReads. Elizabeth was previously associate publisher at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Viking Children’s Books. She has edited and published every genre from picture book through nonfiction and YA and new adult. Some of the many authors and artists Elizabeth has worked with include Dan Gutman, Andrew Clements, Michael Grant, Tony diTerlizzi, G. Brian Karas, Holly Black, and the estates of Ludwig Bemelmans and Don Freeman. Check out Elizabeth’s blog at Elawreads.com and follow her on Twitter @Elawreads.
Arthur Levine is head of Arthur A. Levine Books, a literary imprint of Scholastic, Inc. This imprint introduced North American audiences to the work of great writers such as Markus Zusak, Francisco Stork, Lisa Yee, Dan Santat, and of course, J. K. Rowling, and continues that tradition, proudly publishing books by Emma Donoghue, Daniel José Older, Mike Jung, Martha Brockenbrough, Sarah Moon, and Eric Gansworth. About thirty percent of the books the imprint publishes are fully-illustrated, working with a group of artists that include the incomparable Shaun Tan and Kate Beaton, well-known masters such as Richard Egielski, David Small, and Komako Sakai, and talented illustrators at the start of their careers such as Tony Piedra, Caroline Hadilaksono, and Jean Kim. Arthur is also an author whose most recent book is What a Beautiful Morning, illustrated by Katie Kath (whom he met at SCBWI LA!).
Kevin Lewis is an agent with the Erin Murphy Literary Agency, primarily focusing on writer-illustrators and diverse voices. Kevin has been a publishing professional for more than 25 years and has held positions at Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Disney. He has edited such best-selling and award-winning writers and illustrators as Cynthia Rylant, Mark Teague, Dav Pilkey, Angela Johnson, Laurie Halse Anderson, Matt Cordell, Lauren Thompson, Derek Anderson, Jane Dyer, Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black, Loren Long, LeUyen Pham, and Kadir Nelson, to name but a few. In addition to editing, he has written close to a dozen picture books, including Chugga Chugga Choo Choo and My Truck Is Stuck.
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, where he was the creative director for the Sesame Street Muppets, which won him an Emmy Award. Currently, at Simon & Schuster, Laurent art directs picture books, middle grade, and teen novels, including the Andy & Sandy series by Tomie dePaola; DRAW! by Raúl Colón; the Anna, Banana series by Anica Mrose Rissi, illustrated by Meg Park; and the Rot & Ruin YA series by Jonathan Maberry. Laurent is the author and illustrator of Draw the Line, a YA novel the New York Times calls ‘epic.’ Find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: @LaurentLinn, and www.LaurentLinn.com
Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels, including most recently A Line in the Dark. Her novel Ash, a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s nonfiction has been published by The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Toast, The Horn Book, and AfterEllen. Her website is www.malindalo.com.
Lois Lowry’s more than forty children’s books are world-wide classics. Her books have been translated into twenty-seven languages, and two have been awarded the Newbery Medal; these, of course, are The Giver and Number the Stars.Several of her books have been adapted for film and stage, and The Giver has also become an opera in addition to a major motion picture. She is a mother, a grandmother of four, and has worked as a photojournalist as well as a writer of fiction and one of the most talented, beloved, and renown authors working on the field today.
Amanda Maciel is an executive editor at Scholastic, specializing in commercial fiction. Her projects include the New York Timesbest-selling Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland, the acclaimed graphic novel The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag, and the Enchanted Pony Academy chapter book series. She is also the author of two YA novels from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, Tease and Lucky Girl. She can be found on Twitter at @AmandaMaciel12.
Carolyn Mackler is the acclaimed author of the YA novel The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (A Michael L. Printz Honor Book) and its brand-new sequel, The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I. She is also the author of Infinite in Between, Tangled, The Future of Us, Vegan Virgin Valentine, Guyaholic, and Love and Other Four-Letter Words, and the middle grade novel, Best Friend Next Door. Carolyn’s award-winning books have received many starred reviews, appeared on best seller lists, and been translated into more than 25 languages. She is currently finishing a middle grade novel, midway through a new YA, and thinking about a novel for adults.
Lily Malcom is the V.P., executive art director of Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. As an art director, she has had the privilege to work with many talented illustrators, among them Corinna Luyken, Judy Schachner, David Small, Jon Agee, Jerry Pinkney, Erin E. Stead, Tao Nyeu, and Zachariah OHora. Lily enjoys working with long-time professionals as well as new first-time illustrators. She is always on the lookout for unique memorable characters and stories with a strong visual narrative. Some recent titles from Dial are The Book of Mistakes, All’s Faire in Middle School, Sarabella, Dory Fantasmagory, Blue Sky White Stars, Dragons Love Tacos 2,and Life on Mars. Lily is on Twitter as @lil_design.
Hannah Mann is a literary agent at Writers House. She received a BA in Narrative Studies from the University of Southern California, where her career goal morphed from doctor to writer to editor to agent. As Steven Malk’s assistant since 2013, she has had the privilege of working closely with a variety of extraordinarily talented bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators. In 2017 she began building her own client list, focusing mostly on character-driven children’s work, from picture books to YA.
Krista Marino is a senior executive editor at Delacorte Press (Random House Children’s Books), where she acquires and edits young adult and middle grade fiction. Some of the recent books she has published include Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow; One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Russell Ginns. Her list includes the literary, such as the young adult works of Matt de la Peña and Jennifer Donnelly; and the commercial, such as the Maze Runner series by James Dashner, the Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson, and the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott. She is looking for original and diverse voices and stories that young readers can’t put down.
Meg Medina is the author of numerous prize-winning works for children and teens, such as Mango, Abuela and Me; Tía Isa Wants a Car; Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass; and Burn Baby Burn. Her work has earned her the Ezra Jack Keats Award; the Pura Belpré Award and honor medal; and spots on the longlist for the 2016 National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her forthcoming middle grade novel is Merci Suárez Changes Gears(Candlewick Press, Sept 2018). Meg is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and serves on its advisory board. When she is not writing, she works on community projects that promote diversity in children’s literature, especially those with a focus on Latino youth and girls. Learn more at www.megmedina.com
Sangeeta Mehta was an acquiring editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Simon Pulse before starting her own editorial services company, which focuses on middle grade and young adult fiction. She has written several articles about self-publishing for Jane Friedman Media, including “The Business of Self-Publishing Children’s Picture Books,” “Shepherding a Self-Published Picture Book to Success,” and “Should Children’s Book Authors Self-Publish?” A Member-at-Large of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Sangeeta founded the organization’s Diversity Initiative. She also serves on the board of The Word, a nonprofit working to build a more inclusive publishing community. Follow her on Twitter @sangeeta_editor or visit www.mehtabookeditingnewyork.com.
Debbie Ridpath Ohi received many rejections before getting her first big break (and a book contract!) at the 2010 SCBWI LA Conference, where her art was discovered in the portfolio showcase by Simon & Schuster publisher and editor Justin Chanda. Debbie is the author and illustrator of Sam & Eva and Where Are My Books? (Simon & Schuster). Her illustrations and/or writing have appeared in two dozen books, including titles by Michael Ian Black, Aaron Reynolds, and Judy Blume. In 2018, her illustrations appeared in I’m Sad (author: Michael Ian Black / Simon & Schuster) and The Creativity Project (Colby Sharp / Little, Brown). Debbie is currently working on illustrations for new picture books by Michael Ian Black and Linda Sue Park. You can find out more about Debbie and her work at DebbieOhi.com as well as on Twitter at @inkyelbows and Instagram at @inkygirl.
Wendie Old is an award-winning author of over forty children’s books, including biographies, nonfiction, and picture books. All of her books have won awards, but her picture book biography, To Fly: The Story of The Wright Brothers, gathered the most—including a Boston Globe-Horn Book honor, an Orbis Pictus honor, plus was on many “Best Books of the Year” lists. Her longer, full-life biography of the Wright brothers also won awards. She is a retired children’s librarian and got ideas for many of her books from the parents and children who visited her library department. Her blog is at http://blog.wendieold.com.
Daniel José Older is the award-winning author of both young adult and adult books. His books include Star Wars: Last Shot (Del Ray, 2018) and the forthcoming historical fantasy Dactyl Hill Squad. His first middle grade book will be published by Scholastic in September 2018. His New York Times best-selling young adult novel, Shadowshaper (Scholastic), was a New York Times Best Book of the Year and has been optioned by Tony-winning actress Anika Noni Rose.Daniel’s other books include the Bone Street Rumba novels, including Midnight Taxi Tango and Half-Resurrection Blues (Penguin). He is the winner of the International Latino Book Award, and has been nominated for the Kirkus Prize, the Locus and World Fantasy Awards, and the Andre Norton Award.
Lin Oliver is the co-founder and executive director of SCBWI. She is also the author of over forty children’s books. With 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. Their chapter book series, Here’s Hank, is also a New York Times best seller.Her two collections of poetry, both illustrated by Tomie de Paola, are the highly praised Little Poems for Tiny Ears, and Steppin’ Out: Jaunty Rhymes for Playful Times. Her newest work is the chapter book series The Fantastic Frame—five illustrated adventure books set in the world’s great paintings. Lin is a recipient of the prestigious Christopher Award and the Eric Carle Mentor Award. Learn more at www.linoliver.comor follow Lin on Twitter @linoliver, or on Instagram @linoliver22.
Ammi-Joan Paquette is a senior agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing all types of children’s and young adult literature. She is also the author of The Train of Lost Things, the Princess Juniper series, and picture books including Ghost in the House, Elf in the House, Bunny Bus, and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies. With acclaimed author Laurie Ann Thompson, she is also the co-author of the ‘nonfiction with a twist’ series, Two Truths and a Lie. In her agent acquisitions, Joan is particularly drawn to richly voiced, unforgettable characters and settings, as well as tightly paced, well-plotted stories with twists and turns that keep you guessing right until the end. Visit her on the web at www.ajpaquette.com
Linda Sue Park sees the first draft as a necessary evil to be willed into existence so she can reach her true love, revision. She is the author of many books for young readers, including A Single Shard, awarded the Newbery Medal in 2002, and the long-running New York Times best seller, A Long Walk to Water. Her most recent works are the books in the Wing & Claw trilogy and Fatal Throne, a young adult collaborative novel. Twitter: @LindaSuePark. Website: www.lindasuepark.com.
Alexandra Penfold began her career in publishing as a children’s book publicist at Simon & Schuster. For eight years she served as an editor at Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster working on award-winning books for young readers of all ages. She is currently a literary agent with Upstart Crow Literary representing children’s book authors and illustrators as well as select adult projects. She’s especially drawn to projects that make her laugh, think, and feel. Alexandra is the author of several books for children: Eat, Sleep, Poop illustrated by Jane Massey; We Are Brothers, We Are Friends, illustrated by Eda Kaban; Food Truck Fest, illustrated by Mike Dutton; The Littlest Viking, illustrated by Isabel Roxas; and All Are Welcome, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman. Visit her at alexpenfoldbooks.com and follow her on Twitter @AgentPenfold
Rubin Pfeffer is the founder of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC, a literary agency focused on children’s content, representing industry luminaries, award winners, and exciting new talents. Previously, he has served as president and publisher of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Trade, working with world-renowned writers and illustrators of adult and children’s literature. As SVP and chief creative officer of Pearson, Inc., Pfeffer coordinated programs between Penguin and Pearson’s educational products and services. Later, he joined Simon & Schuster as SVP and publisher of children’s books, overseeing such fine imprints as Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Atheneum, McElderry Books, and the launching of Beach Lane Books.
Greg Pincus is a novelist, poet, screenwriter, blogger, speaker, and social media consultant. He and his work have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post and blogs and websites all around the globe. His latest novel, The Homework Strike from Arthur A. Levine Books, grew from a childhood fascination with oddball laws sparked by a book he ordered from a Scholastic Book Club flyer… where Strike itself eventually also became available to order, fulfilling a childhood dream. He can be found online at www.gregpincus.com and as @GregPincus on Twitter.
Andrea Davis Pinkney is vice president, executive editor at Scholastic Books. She has acquired and published a robust mix of titles by authors such as Christopher Paul Curtis, Patricia Polacco, Allen Say, Sharon G. Flake, and Lois Lowry. She has edited works by Toni Morrison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Walter Dean Myers. Pinkney is also the New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of numerous books for children and young adults. Her books have been awarded multiple Coretta Scott King Book Awards, Jane Addams Children’s Literature Honor citations, four NAACP Image Award nominations and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor medal. Pinkney was named one of the “The 25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives”by Children’s Health Magazine.
Brian Pinkney loved drawing pictures as a child. He also loved watching his father, Jerry Pinkney, illustrate books for children. Today Brian Pinkney is a New York Times best-selling illustrator who has created numerous books for young readers, including two Caldecott Honor Books: The Faithful Friend by Robert D. San Souci and Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney, his wife and frequent collaborator. Brian has been awarded the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for illustration on three occasions, and the Coretta Scott King medal for In the Time of the Drums by Kim Siegelson. He is a five-time NAACP Image Award nominee, the recipient of many American Library Association Notable Book citations, and was acknowledged by the National Council for Teachers of English for his vast contribution to children’s literature. Brian’s recent illustrated books include Martin Rising: Requiem for a Kingby Andrea Davis Pinkney; In Your Hands by Carole Boston Weatherford; and Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing, and Shout by Patricia C. McKissack.
Tanusri Prasanna is an agent at Foundry Literary + Media representing children’s books and adult nonfiction. On the children’s side, she represents picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. As an immigrant herself, with a family filled with people of varied backgrounds (including Slytherin), Tanusri is actively seeking diverse voices, protagonists, and settings across genres. Tanusri brings her legal background and experience into agenting. She holds a PhD in jurisprudence and human rights law from Oxford, and an L.L.M. from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining Foundry, her first publishing job was at the Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency.
Adria Quiñones is a wildly successful technical writer who began writing novels in order to have the experience of writing something that someone actually wanted to read. Adria is a regular contributor to the Metro-NYC SCBWI‘s blog and was a winner of the SCBWI 2014 Midwinter Conference’s prestigious joke contest. In January 2015, Adria was named one of the winners of SCBWI’s Emerging Voices Award for her middle-grade novel, The Disappeared.
Lauren Rille is an art director at Simon & Schuster, where she works with the Beach Lane, Atheneum, and McElderry imprints. Before joining Simon & Schuster, Lauren was a designer at Sterling and Harcourt Children’s Books. Some books she’s designed include the most recent edition of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume with cover illustration by Debbie Ohi; Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel; Scraps by Lois Ehlert; The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, illustrated by The Fan Brothers; and the New York Times best-selling Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman. Lauren’s debut picture book, I Feel Teal, illustrated by Aimee Sicuro, will be published in July 2018 by Beach Lane Books. Lauren loves the collaborative process of working with editors and illustrators, and she’s always on the lookout for new talent.
Jennifer Rofé is a senior agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, where she represents projects ranging from picture books to young adult, with middle grade being her soft spot. She also represents author-illustrators and illustrators. Some of her clients include Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass), Crystal Allen (The Magnificent Mya Tibbs series), Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Moving Target duology), Barry Wolverton (The Chronicles of the Black Tulip series), Dev Petty and Mike Boldt (I Don’t Want to Be a Frog series), and Eliza Wheeler (Wherever You Go). For more on Jennifer’s interests and query guidelines, visit the Andrea Brown Literary Agency website, www.andreabrownlit.com.
Sara Sargent is an executive editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she publishes fiction and nonfiction in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories. Previously she was an editor at Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Sara has worked with New York Times best-selling authors Laurie Hernandez, Abbi Glines, Ainsley Earhardt, Rosamund Hodge, and Lisa Maxwell; internationally best-selling author Lily Collins; National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti; and social media influencers StacyPlays, Matthew Espinosa, and Arden Rose.
Francesco Sedita is the president and publisher of Penguin Workshop at Penguin Young Readers. He focuses on creating a quality, affordable book program for children ages 0-12. Francesco is fortunate to publish authors like Ann Hood, Dolly Parton, Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead, Giada De Laurentiis, Nancy Krulik, Lin Oliver and Henry Winkler, LJ Alonge, and Carlos Aponte. He is also an executive producer of The Who Was? Show, based on the New York Times best-selling series that he publishes, airing on Netflix. Francesco is the author of the Miss Popularity series and is currently at work on a graphic novel series for Viking.
Dashka Slater’s children’s picture books include Escargot, Dangerously Ever After, and The Antlered Ship—a Junior Library Guild selection, a Parents Choice Recommended book that received four starred reviews. Her 2017 young adult true crime narrative, The 57 Bus, was a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist, an LA Times Book Award Finalist, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Young Adult Book of the Year, in addition to receiving four starred reviews and being named to more than eighteen separate lists of the year’s best books. Learn more at www.dashkaslater.com.
Kelly Sonnack is a senior literary agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She represents works for all age ranges and a wide assortment of genres. Some of the novels Kelly has represented include SCBWI Sue Alexander winner and NYT bestselling Sharon Cameron’s newest, The Forgetting (Scholastic), David Elliott’s novel-in-verse Bull which received seven starred-reviews (HMH/Houghton), and Courtney Stevens’ upcoming Dress Codes for Small Towns (HC/HarperTeen). Picture books she’s sold include Mustache Baby written by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Joy Ang (HMH/Clarion), Ashlyn Anstee’s Are We There Yeti? (S&S), and Alastair Heim’s No Tooting at Tea (HMH/Clarion). She also represents graphic novels including James Burks’ Bird and Squirrel series (Scholastic/Graphix) and Mike Lawrence’s Star Scouts series (Macmillan/First Second). She has a strong list of illustrator clients including Joy Ang, Kimberly Gee, Simone Shin, and Kim Smith. Kelly teaches and is on the Advisory Board for UC San Diego’s certificate in Writing and Illustrating for Children and is the founder of the City Heights Young Writers Workshop. @ksonnack agentsonnack
David Ezra Stein’s Interrupting Chicken was awarded a 2011 Caldecott Honor, as well as many state awards. His picture book Leaves won the Ezra Jack Keats Award and was a Publishers WeeklyBest Book of the Year, a Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice, and a School Library Journal Best Book. Booklist called his book Monster Hug!“ a cousin to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.” Pouch! (Putnam), was a 2010 Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book. His books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, French, and Finnish.
Jolie Stekly is a writer, instructor, and coach. She’s a long-time member of SCBWI and was recognized as SCBWI’s member of the year in 2009. She is a former regional advisor of the SCBWI Western Washington region. Her writing is represented by Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio.
Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 180 science books for children, including Can an Aardvark Bark?; No Monkeys, No Chocolate; and Feathers: Not Just for Flying. She is the co-author of Perfect Pairs: Using Fiction & Nonfiction Picture Books to Teach Life Science, K-2; and Perfect Pairs: Using Fiction & Nonfiction Picture Books to Teach Life Science, 3-5. Melissa maintains the blog Celebrate Science, and offers school visit programs as well as programs for educators that focus on nonfiction writing techniques, using children’s books to address curriculum standards, and creative ways to integrate science and language arts. melissa-stewart.com
Don Tate is an award-winning author and the illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children. He is also one of the founding hosts of the blog, The Brown Bookshelf – a blog designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers. Don’s books have won the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, The Christopher Award, a Texas Institute of Letters Literary Award, a Writers’ League of Texas Book Award, and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award.
Jaime Temairik is originally from Washington State and has recently moved to Philadelphia, PA, where she enjoys finding soft pretzels and colonial-era privy pits. Visit her online illustration portfolio at www.jaimetemairik.com to learn more about her books and work (but not her privy pits).
Namrata Tripathi is VP & publisher of Kokila, a newly-formed imprint of Penguin Young Readers dedicated to centering stories from the margins. Kokila publishes picture books, middle grade, YA, and graphic novels. The Kokila list will debut in summer 2019. Previously, Namrata held editorial positions at HarperCollins, Disney-Hyperion, and Simon & Schuster. She is the editor of the picture books Islandborn by Junot Díaz and Leo Espinosa and The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken; the middle grade novels The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, and Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley; and the young adult novels Where Things Come Back, Noggin, and Highly Illogical Behavior, by John Corey Whaley.
Deborah Warren founded East West Literary Agency in 2000, after 17 years at Harcourt. With over 35 years of experience in the publishing industry, and over 16 years at the helm of the Agency, Deborah represents authors and illustrators of picture books including Jim Averbeck (One Word for Sophia), Anna Dewdney (of the Llama Llama franchise), Kimberly and James Dean (of the Pete the Cat franchise), Gianna Marino (Night Animals) and Antoinette Portis (Best Frints in the Whole Universe). Deborah’s looking to fall in love with character-driven stories with heart, enhanced by a hook, told in a unique, fresh or distinctive way. Her sweet spots: short, quirky picture books and smartly layered, memorable and insightful MG and YA fiction. And she LOVES finding debut talent.
Andrea Welch is executive editor at Beach Lane Books, a San Diego-based imprint of Simon & Schuster. She has the pleasure of working with a long list of wonderful authors and illustrators, including Liz Garton Scanlon, Denise Fleming, April Pulley Sayre, and Ekua Holmes. Recent celebrated books she has edited include Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel; The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, illustrated by Terry & Eric Fan; and the New York Times best selling LMNO Peas series.
Eliza Wheeler is the author-illustrator of Miss Maple’s Seeds, which debuted on the New York Times best seller list. She has illustrated many picture books, including Fairy Spell: How Two Girls Convinced The World That Fairies Are Real (Marc Tyler Nobleman), The Pomegranate Witch (Denise Doyen), John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien (Caroline McAlister), Tell Me A Tattoo Story (Alison McGhee), and Wherever You Go (Pat Zietlow Miller). She has also illustrated several children’s novels, including the Newbery Honor-winning Doll Bones (Holly Black), The Left-Handed Fate (Kate Milford), and the CODY series by Tricia Springstubb. Eliza was a Sendak Fellowship recipient in 2017 and received the SCBWI National Grand Prize Award for best portfolio in 2011.
Nicole White is a Los Angeles-based sales manager for Penguin Young Readers, covering independent booksellers in Southern California and Utah.
Suzanne Morgan Williams is author of the middle grade novel Bull Rider and eleven nonfiction books for children. One of the founders of the SCBWI Nevada Mentorship Program, she has served as a mentor for that program as well as for SCBWI’s Emerging Voices. She is a Nevada Artist in Residence and has presented to adult and children’s audiences at schools, professional conferences, and literary events across the US and Canada. She often assists groups and schools in finding ways to make her programs affordable. Visit www.suzannemorganwilliams.com
Lee Wind is the official blogger for SCBWI (www.scbwi.blogspot.com) and is Captain of SCBWI’s Team Blog. His award-winning personal blog, I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read (www.leewind.org) has had over 2.5 million page loads and is a Children’s Book Council “Great Diversity Blog.” A writer of picture books through YA, his debut crowdfunded teen novel, “Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill,” publishes October 2, 2018.
Cecilia Yung is executive art director and 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.
Ibi Zoboi is the author of the 2017 young adult novel American Street, which was nominated for the National Book Award and received five starred reviews. Her young adult novel Pride arrives in 2018 and her debut middle grade novel, My Life as an Ice-Cream Sandwich, will be out in 2019. Born in Port-au-Prince Haiti, Ibi immigrated to New York when she was four. Raised by her mother first in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn and then the Cambria Heights section of Queens, Ibi grew up surrounded by the realities of the 1980s—poverty, violence, and crack. In college, Ibi studied journalism, but it wasn’t until she began participating in poetry slams and became part of the New York City spoken word community that she truly began to find her voice. Ibi then went on to earn an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can find her online at www.ibizoboi.net.