Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


M.T. Anderson is a New York Times best-selling author of books for children, teens, and adults. His books include Feed (a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the LA Times Book Prize), The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation (winner of the National Book Award), and most recently, with Eugene Yelchin, The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge (also a finalist for the National Book Award). His nonfiction book Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Visit him at



Elana K. Arnold is the author of many books for and about children and teens. Her novel Damsel was a 2018 Michael L. Printz Honor award winner. Her novel What Girls Are Made Of was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature and a recipient of SCBWI’s Golden Kit Award. Her middle grade novel A Boy Called Bat was a 2018 Global Read Aloud selection. Elana’s books have been listed on numerous best-of lists and earned many awards, including Junior Library Guild Selections, an ALAN pick, an Amelia Bloomer Project book, a Westchester Fiction Award, a Bank Street Book of the Year, and a Gold Medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. Elana teaches in the MFAC program at Hamline University and lives in Southern California.


Elaine Bay graduated from the University of Texas in El Paso with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and received her master’s degree from a university not worth mentioning. She is a video artist, printmaker, performance artist, and graphic designer. With Raul the Third, she has worked on countless posters, SpongeBob comics, and most recently Vamos! Let’s go to the Market and Vamos! Let’s go Eat from Versify Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Donna Beasley is president and publisher of KaZoom Kids Books, an interactive children’s digital publishing company. The company publishes KaZoom Kids iStoryBooks, an interactive reading app of multicultural books for children ages 3 to 8. Donna is also the author of the books Family Pride: The Complete Guide to Tracing African American Genealogy, The Family Reunion Planner, and the children’s books Music in the Family and Kason’s Kite.




Phil Bildner is the author of numerous children’s picture books, including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize-winning Marvelous Cornelius, Martina & ChrissieTwenty-One Elephants, The Soccer Fence, The Hallelujah Flight, and The Unforgettable Season. He is the author of the Rip & Red middle grade series and the co-creator of the New York Times best-selling middle grade chapter book series Sluggers. Phil spends much of the year visiting schools around the country conducting writing workshops and talking process with students. In 2017, he founded The Author Village, an author booking business that now features a roster of several dozen authors and illustrators.



Simon Boughton joined W.W. Norton & Company in 2018 to develop a new children’s and young adult publishing program, Norton Young Readers. Previously, he was senior vice president and publishing director at the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Simon also worked as an editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Crown Books for Young Readers. In 1994, he was made publishing director of Alfred A. Knopf and Crown Books for Young Readers, where he published Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. In 2000, he started Roaring Brook Press, where his list included the Caldecott Medal winners My Friend Rabbit and The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, as well as books by Lane Smith, Marcus Sedgwick, Steve Sheinkin, and others. He oversaw the launch of the First Second graphic novel imprint and in 2009 was made Publishing Director of the newly created Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, where he continued as Publisher of the Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, First Second, and Roaring Brook Press imprints until leaving in 2017.


Amy Brewer is a senior agent at Metamorphosis Literary Agency and co-author of the Texting Prince Charming series. She represents contemporary YA and fantasy authors, as well as authors of middle grade historical fiction and humor. She is actively looking for all kinds of YA and middle grade fiction with a specific interest in LGBTQ topics and stories from underrepresented minorities.

Peter Brown has written and illustrated many best-selling and award-winning picture books, including Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, Children Make Terrible Pets, and The Curious Garden. His illustrations for Creepy Carrots, written by Aaron Reynolds, earned Peter a 2013 Caldecott Honor. He is the author of The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes. His newest picture book is Creepy Pair of Underwear, another collaboration with Aaron Reynolds. For more information, visit



Bethany Buck is editor-in-chief of Pixel+Ink, an imprint of Trustbridge Global Media, where she acquires and edits series with the potential to translate into various platforms. Bethany was previously editorial director at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, VP and publisher at Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin and Simon Pulse imprints, and associate editorial director in Scholastic’s trade division. She also worked as a literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.  Bethany has edited New York Times best-sellers such as The Baby-sitters Club by Ann M. Martin, the Uglies and Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, and Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorn and Roses series; and has published many best-sellers including the Dork Diaries series.


Priscilla Burris is an author/illustrator and the SCBWI US illustrator coordinator and advisor, as well as a member of the SCBWI Board of Advisors. Priscilla has illustrated many books and is the author-illustrator of Hello School!, published by Nancy Paulsen Books, and the illustrator for both the Heidi Heckelbeck (Simon & Schuster) and Humphrey’s Tiny Tales series (G.P. Putnam’s Sons).



Ben Clanton is the Eisner award-winning author and illustrator of such books as the Narwhal and Jelly series, Rot: The Cutest in the World!, and It Came in the Mail. He is also an editor-at-large for the Little Bigfoot imprint of Sasquatch Books. Ben lives in Seattle, WA with his family. Find out more about him at




Brandy Colbert is the author of the Stonewall Award–winning novel Little & Lion, the critically acclaimed novels Pointe and Finding Yvonne, and the forthcoming The Revolution of Birdie Randolph. Brandy graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in print journalism. She also minored in English literature, where she was exposed to a diverse slate of writers whose work would change her reading (and writing) life forever—most notably Toni Morrison’s Sula. Brandy has worked as an editor for numerous national magazines focused on health and fitness, food, and entertainment. She currently works as a copy editor for magazines and books, and is a faculty member in the MFAC program at Hamline University.


Pat Cummings is the author and/or illustrator of over thirty-five books for young readers. Along with teaching children’s book illustration and writing at Parsons and Pratt, she holds a summer Children’s Book Boot Camp that brings writers and illustrators together with top editors and art directors. She sits on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Authors League Fund, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and also serves as Chair of the Founders Award Jury for the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show. Her most recent picture book is Beauty and the Beast, retold by her husband, H. Chuku Lee, a founding member of NABJA. Her first middle grade novel, Trace, was published this year. Both titles are with HarperCollins.


Erin Dealey is a children’s author, whose slush-pile success story, Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox (Atheneum/ 2002) is STILL in print–along with titles including K is for Kindergarten (Sleeping Bear, 2017), Grandma’s Favorite and Grandpa’s Favorite (+ Spanish editions, Kane Miller, 2018-19). Forthcoming: Snow Globe Wishes (Sleeping Bear, September 2019); Dear Earth: From Your Friends In Room Five (Harper Collins, 2021); and Peter Easter Frog (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum, 2021). Visit and follow @erindealey on Twitter and Instagram.       


Lori Degman writes in rhyme most of the time—but not always. She is the author of the award-winning picture books 1 Zany Zoo (illustrated by Colin Jack), the 2010 winner of the Cheerios New Author Contest and the 2013 Illinois Reads featured title, and Cock-a-Doodle Oops! (illustrated by Deborah Zemke), the 2014 International Literacy Association Honor Book. Other titles include Norbert’s Big Dream (illustrated by Marco Bucci), Just Read (illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov), and Like a Girl (illustrated by Mara Penny). Visit her at


Adriana Dominguez is an agent at Full Circle Literary Agency, where she represents children’s books for all ages. She has a long trajectory of publishing underrepresented authors and illustrators and welcomes submissions that offer diverse points of view. Books that she has edited or represented have been awarded the Pura Belpré Medal, the Coretta Scott King Honor and the MPIBA’s Reading the West Award. Her list includes national and international bestsellers, and titles counted among the “Best of the Year” by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, The New York Public Library, The Chicago Public Library,,, and others. Adriana represents fiction and narrative nonfiction as well as author/illustrators. Her growing list of author/illustrators includes Jacqueline Alcantara, Ana Aranda, Tania de Regil, Rafael López, John Parra, Tony Piedra, Lorena Siminovich, and Lila Quintero Weaver. Her author client list includes award winners and best sellers such as Michaela and Elaine DePrince, Katheryn Russell-Brown, and Angela Cervantes.


Emma D. Dryden is the principal of drydenbks LLC (, a premier children’s editorial and publishing consultancy firm she founded after twenty-five years as a renowned editor and publisher. Emma has edited over one thousand books for children and young readers and consults with authors, illustrators, agents, editors, publishers, start-ups, and app developers. She is the co-author of the award-winning picture book What Does it Mean to be an Entrepreneur? (Sourcebooks) and is on the Board of Advisors for SCBWI. She is a sought-after teacher of writing craft, revision, the art and business of children’s books, and all aspects of children’s book writing and publishing. Follow Emma and drydenbks online at Twitter @drydenbks, on Facebook at, and through her blog “Our Stories, Ourselves.”


Alice Faye Duncan is a writer and school librarian from the city of Memphis. Her most popular picture books include Honey Baby Sugar ChildA Song for Gwendolyn Brooks; andMemphis, Martin and the Mountaintop. Her lyrical poetry and prose texts are written to be spoken aloud. Memphis, Martin and the Mountaintopwas awarded a 2019 Coretta Scott King Honor Medal and it was voted a “Best Picture Book in 2018” by Booklist, Kirkus Review, School Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library. As a beneficiary of Dr. King’s freedom movement, Alice Faye writes books to inspire and educate children—who are the future leaders and Drum Majors for Justice. Visit her website at


Debbi Michiko Florence is the author of the Jasmine Toguchi chapter book series (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017, 2018) about a spunky Japanese American eight-year-old girl. Debbi’s books have been Junior Library Guild selections, on the Amelia Bloomer list, on the CCBC Choices list, and a Cybils award winner. She is also the author of two early chapter book series, Dorothy and Toto (Capstone, 2016) and My Furry Foster Family (Capstone, August 2019). A native Californian, Debbi writes chapter books, picture book biographies, and middle grade novels in her studio in Connecticut. Website:


Mem Fox was born in Melbourne, grew up in Africa, went to drama school in England, and returned to Australia in 1970.In 1983 she became and remains Australia’s best-selling picture book writer. Possum Magic,her first book, is still available in hardback after thirty-six years.She has written over forty children’s books including the classic, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Where is the Green Sheep? Her books have been translated into twenty-two languages, and many have been international best sellers. Mem is a retired associate professor of literacy studies from Flinders University, South Australia, where she taught teachers for twenty-four years. She has received many civic honors and awards, and three honorary doctorates. Her latest book, Roly Poly, illustrated by Jane Dyer, is due for publication in October. Mem and Jane were the creators of Time for Bed, published twenty-six years ago, to great acclaim, and recently voted one of the ten best bedtime books of all time.


Jane Friedman is a full-time freelancer with twenty years of experience in the publishing industry. She is the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. In addition to being a columnist withPublishers Weeklyand a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at Jane’s newest book is The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), which received a starred review from Library Journal.


Karen Grencik became a literary agent in 2001 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 is still in print in hardcover. 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 Hogglesberrywent 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.


Bruce Hale has written and illustrated over fifty seriously funny books for young readers, including his award-winning series The Chet Gecko Mysteries, Class Pets, and the Clark the Sharkpicture books, one of which ended up in a McDonalds Happy Meal. His book The Malted Falcon was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, and Murder, My Tweetwon a Little D Award for Humor Writing. Bruce’s fractured fairytale, Snoring Beauty, landed on Oprah’s Recommended Reading for Kids list. Visit him at


Michael Hale has over thirty years of experience as a creative director, entrepreneur, writer, and Illustrator. His first illustrated picture book, UP UP UP, was written by Phoebe Fox and published by First Edition Project Books in conjunction with Southwest Human Development, a nonprofit organization and affiliate of Easter Seals that promotes child literacy for low-income families. Since then, he has illustrated many picture books, including Bad Monkey Business. This independently published book, which he both wrote and illustrated, was awarded a Spark Honor by SCBWI in 2018. He also serves as the Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI’s Arizona Region. When he is not writing or illustrating, he devotes his time to coaching others looking to forge their own path in children’s publishing. You can see more of his work by visiting


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’s 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 almost twenty-five years. She is also the 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


Carol Hinz is editorial director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, divisions of Lerner Publishing Group. She acquires and edits picture books as well as photo-driven nonfiction, publishing about thirty titles a year. Recent books she’s edited include Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko; Let ’Er Buck: George Fletcher, the People’s Championby Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by Gordon C. James; Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson;and If You Were the Moonby Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Jaime Kim. Find her on Twitter: @CarolCHinz.


Sarah Hokanson is an associate art director for the trade imprints of Random House Children’s Books. She designs and art directs approximately thirty to forty picture books, board books, and chapter books a year. She attended Tyler School of Art / Temple University, where she earned a BFA in graphic design. Sarah has had the honor of working with many wonderful illustrators such as Julia Sarcone-Roach, Dan Yaccarino, Boris Kulikov, Harry Bliss, and Patrice Barton during her twenty-year career.


Ellen Hopkins is a journalist, poet, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction books for young readers; fourteen NY best-selling young adult novels, including the best-selling, Crank trilogy (Crank, Glass and Fallout); and four novels for adult readers. Her fifteenth YA and first middle grade novel-in-verse will publish in 2020. Visit her at


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 ten years old in 2019.


Julie Kane-Ritsch is head of the Animation and Family Entertainment division at The Gotham Group, a Hollywood-based management and production company. Julie represents creators of top-rated television series, experienced show runners, Emmy award-winning writers and directors, and New York Times best-selling authors. She also served as the co-producer of The Spiderwick Chronicles, and as a co-executive producer on the Hallmark Channel’s Dear Dumb Diary movie.  A “recovering” lawyer, Julie learned the secret ways of the studios before switching sides to promote and defend talent rights. 
Suzanne Kaufman is the illustrator of the New York Times best-selling picture book All Are Welcome. She has written and illustrated the books Confiscated and I Love Monkey. Her previously illustration work includes Take Your Pets to School Day, 100 Bugs, Naughty Claudine Christmas, and Samanthasaurus Rex. She is the recipient of The Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Memorial Fellowship and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Mentorship and Portfolio Honors. Suzanne has lectured about illustration and animation around the US, England, Japan, and Peru. Visit her at


Adib Khorram is the award-winning author of Darius the Great is Not Okay, his much-heralded debut novel. If he’s not writing (or at his day job as a graphic designer), you can probably find him trying to get his 100-yard freestyle under a minute, learning to do a Lutz Jump, or steeping a cup of Oolong. You can find him on Twitter (@adibkhorram), Instagram (@adibkhorram), Tumblr (@adibkhorram), or on the web at


Jennifer Laughran is a senior agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (ABLA). She comes from a bookselling background and has been with ABLA since 2007. Jennifer represents select author-illustrators of picture books and graphic novels, and authors of middle grade and YA fiction. Her favorite stories have a classic feel, inspire genuine emotional reaction (laughter or tears—but preferably both!), and reflect the gorgeous diversity of our world.


Arthur A. Levine is the former head of Arthur A. Levine Books, a literary imprint of Scholastic, Inc. In 2019, he left Scholastic to form his own independent publishing company, Levine Querido, with the mission of creating books that center on diversity, including people of color, Indigenous people, and LGBTQ individuals. Arthur is responsible for introducing 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. He has proudly published books by Emma Donoghue, Daniel José Older, Mike Jung, Martha Brockenbrough, Sarah Moon, and Eric Gansworth, and has worked with 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. 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 twenty-five 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.


Tiff Liao is an editor at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. She’s had the pleasure of editing authors including New York Timesbest-selling author Tomi Adeyemi, Jess Rothenberg, Margaret Owen, K.D. Halbrook, Henry Lien, Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, and Tochi Onyebuchi, among others. She acquires young adult and middle grade fiction of all stripes, with a particular love for fantasy. A Bay Area native, Tiff now resides in Brooklyn where she continues to pine for a good avocado. She (mostly) tweets about bookish things at @tiff_liao.


Laurent Linn, art director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, collaborates on picture books, middle grade, and teen novels with both celebrated and new illustrators such as Tomie dePaola, Vashti Harrison, and Raúl Colón. He is also the author-illustrator of the critically acclaimed young adult novel Draw the Line. Laurent is on the SCBWI Board of Advisors and is the artistic advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in New York. Laurent began his career as a puppet designer and builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, creating characters for productions including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films. He eventually became the creative director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award.


Corinna Luyken is the author-illustrator of My Heart (which won an SCBWI Don Freeman Work-in-Progress Grant) and the award-winning The Book of Mistakes, which received an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, a Bologna Ragazzi Opera Prima Honorable Mention, a Society of Illustrators Silver Medal, The International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award, and the PNBA Book Award.  It also received four starred reviews and has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and more.  She is also the illustrator of Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse, written by Marcy Campbell.



Sarah Maizes is Vice President of Family & Kids Television at The Jim Henson Company where she oversees production and develops original, toy-based, and book-based properties for TV. She is a twenty plus-year veteran of the children’s entertainment and publishing industries, and a former literary agent with the William Morris Agency where she represented many award-winning authors including Judy Blume, Dav Pilkey, Cynthia Rylant, and Paul Zindel. Sarah is co-executive producer of DOT, the preschool show based on Randi Zuckerberg’s picture book, and has developed numerous books for the screen including George and Martha, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, Corduroy, and most currently, Harriet the Spy. In addition to being a TV producer, Sarah is also an award-winning children’s book author. Her latest picture book, Atticus Caticus, is due out from Candlewick in 2020.


Melissa Manlove is a senior editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She has been with Chronicle for fifteen years. Melissa acquires books for all ages in nonfiction and ages 0-8 for fiction. When acquiring, she looks for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her. She also has nineteen years of children’s bookselling experience.


Hannah Mann is a junior agent with Writers House. Shereceived her BA in narrative studies from the University of Southern California. As Steven Malk’s assistant since 2013, she has had the privilege of working closely with a variety of extraordinarily talented best-selling and award-winning authors and illustrators. In 2017 she began building her own client list of authors and illustrators, focusing on character-driven children’s work, from the youngest picture books to mature YA.


Michelle Markel is the author of several acclaimed picture books, including The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, winner of the PEN Steven Kroll Picture Book Writing Award, Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 (winner of the Jane Addams Flora Stieglitz Award and an Orbis Pictus Honor), and Balderdash: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books. Her latest book is Out of This World: The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington. Michelle gives lectures, workshops, and school presentations, and is a founding member of the Children’s Authors Network. Website:


Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for La Princesa and the Pea (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin), and the2019 Caldecott Honor for Alma and How She Got Her Name (Candlewick 2018). She is also the illustrator of La Madre Goose (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin 2016), Babymoon (written by Hayley Barrett, Candlewick 2019), Fry Bread: A Native American Family Tradition (written by Kevin Noble, Roaring Brook Press 2019), and Swashby and the Sea (written by Beth Ferry, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020). Juana was named to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor list in 2014, and was awarded the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012.


Meg Medina writes picture books, middle grade novels, and teen fiction. Her work features strong Latino characters, and it examines the places where culture, family, and growing up intersect. Meg’s work has earned several distinctions, including the 2018 Newbery Medal for Merci Suárez Changes Gears (Candlewick 2018), which was also a Kirkus Prize finalist and a Charlotte Huck 2018 honor book; the 2016 Pura Belpré Honor medal for her picture book, Mango, Abuela and Me; the 2014 Pura Belpré medal for her young adult novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass; and the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers Medal for her picture book Tia Isa Wants a Car. Her 2016 YA novel, Burn Baby Burn, was long listed for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize. Meg is active in community projects that support girls, Latino youth, and writing. Meg serves on the advisory board of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators and also serves on the Advisory Committee for We Need Diverse Books, the grassroots organization working to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.


Denene Millner is the editor of Denene Millner Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint that publishes books featuring African American children. In its debut year, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, won Newbery and Caldecott honors and the Kirkus Prize for Children’s Literature. Her latest offering, The Fresh Princess, inspired by Will Smith’s iconic character, debuted in April. Denene is also the New York Times best-selling author of twenty-nine books, including Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, co-written with Steve Harvey; Around the Way Girl, a memoir with actress Taraji P. Henson; and The Vow, the novel on which the hit Lifetime movie, With This Ring, was based. Denene is the founder of, a blog about parenting and race, and co-host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “A Seat at the Table,” a talk show about black women.


Heather L. Montgomery writes for kids who are wild about animals. Her subjects range from snake guts to snail tongues. An award-winning educator, Heather uses yuck appeal to engage young minds. She has a BS in biology and an MS in environmental education, has volunteered with Southern Breeze SCBWI for thirteen years, and has published fifteen nonfiction books. Her recent titles include Bugs Don’t Hug: Six-Legged Parents and Their Kids (Charlesbridge), Little Monsters of the Ocean: Metamorphosis Under the Waves (Millbrook Press),and Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill (Bloomsbury Children’s). Inquiry is her life. 



Yuyi Morales was born in Xalapa, Mexico, where she currently resides. A professional storyteller, dancer, choreographer, puppeteer, and artist, she has won the prestigious Pura Belpré Award for Illustration five times, for Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book (2003), Los Gatos Black on Halloween (2006), Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book (2008), Niño Wrestles the World (2013), and Viva Frida (2014), also a Caldecott Honor Book. Her latest book, Dreamers, won this year’s Pura Belpré Award and was also named a New York Times Best-Illustrated Book.


Andrea Morrison is a junior agent at Writers House where she started at as an intern in 2009. She’s had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators in genres ranging from picture books to middle grade and YA. Having studied Literature/Writing at the University of California, San Diego and having earned her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, Andrea is hands-on editorially. She’s hungry for YA that appeals to all ages and blends crazy-beautiful language with characters navigating the nutty, magical, and hard parts of being a teen. She’s also particularly excited about author/illustrator picture books and funny, heartfelt middle grade novels. Most importantly, she’s looking for characters that need to be heard—for stories that grab your heart and don’t let it go. For more info: She’s also on Twitter at @AndreaAgency.


Lesléa Newman is the author of more than seventy books for readers of all ages, including the picture books Heather Has Two MommiesSparkle BoyGittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story; and Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed; the middle grade novel Hachiko Waits; and the teen novel-in-verse October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. Her literary awards include creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation; two American Library Association Stonewall Honors, the Association for Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award, the Massachusetts Book Award, the Cat Writers Association Muse Medallion, and the Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell Medallion. From 2008 – 2010, she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA. Currently, she is a faculty member of Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing.


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. This year marks the debut of their new series, Alien Superstar, from Abrams Books. Lin’s two collections of poetry, both illustrated by Tomie dePaola, are the highly praised Little Poems for Tiny Ears and Steppin’ Out: Jaunty Rhymes for Playful Times. Her chapter book series The Fantastic Framefive illustrated adventure books set in the world’s great paintings, will come out in paperback next month. 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.


Molly O’Neill is an agent with Root Literary. She loves the creative process and early-stage project development, is invigorated by business strategy and entrepreneurial thinking, and is fascinated by the intersections of creativity, commerce, and community. She has been the editor of #1 New York Timesbest sellers, a marketing expert, and a start-up executive, all of which now power her work as an agent with Root Literary. Her client list is comprised of authors, illustrators, and cartoonists, including Ellen T. Crenshaw (Kiss Number 8), Sophia Glock (Passport, forthcoming), Emmy Kastner (Nerdy Babies series), Lynne Kelly (Song for a Whale), Adib Khorram (Darius the Great is Not Okay), Blythe Russo (One More Wheel), John Schu (This is a Story, forthcoming), and Colby Sharp (The Creativity Project).; Twitter: @molly_oneill; Instagram: @mollyoneillbooks.


Linda Sue Park has spent her whole life hunting for tools and tactics to trick herself into writing and revising stories—a quest that has resulted in more than two dozen books, including the 2002 Newbery Medal winner, A Single Shard, and the New York Times best seller A Long Walk to Water. She now shares those strategies at schools and conferences to help others delude themselves into becoming better writers. The daughter of Korean immigrants, she lives in western New York and is honored to serve on the advisory boards of SCBWI and We Need Diverse Books. Find Linda Sue on Twitter @LindaSuePark and at her website,


Elizabeth Partridge grew up in a bohemian family of photographers in the San Francisco Bay Area. From a very early age she learned the power of images, and often combines words and photographs in her nonfiction books for young adults. Her latest book, Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam, was longlisted for the National Book Award and awarded the SCBWI Golden Kite. Partridge is the author of six picture books, with three more coming out in 2021. She loves to have an illustrator take her words and bring them to life.


Ann Whitford Paul is the author of the revised and expanded Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication and of over twenty picture books, including the popular series If Animals Kissed Good Night, If Animals Said I Love You, If Animals Celebrated Christmas, andIf Animals Went to School, with two more titles coming. Other books include Word Builder, Manaña Iguana (three more in this series), and, in print over twenty-six years, Eight Hands Round a Patchwork Alphabet. Inspired to write by years of bedtime reading to her children and grandchildren, when she isn’t at her computer, Ann can be found watching spiders spin webs, following snails’ twisty trails, and listening to cats’ mumbled purrs.


Alexandra Penfold is an agent with Upstart Crow Literary Agency. She is also the New York Times best-selling author of All Are Welcome, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman. She represents works for all age ranges and across genres. Some of the books Alexandra has represented include SCBWI Golden Kite winner Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley, Be the Change by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Evan Turk, and Quackers by Liz Wong. Clients include New York Times best selling illustrators, Elizabeth Baddeley and Suzanne Kaufman, and authors, Bethany Hegedus, Adam Lehrhaupt, and Stephanie Ledyard, among others. 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, The Littlest Viking, illustrated by Isabel Roxas, and Food Truck Fest, illustrated by Mike Dutton. Find her on Twitter @agentpenfold or at


Lara Perkins is an agent and digital manager at Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She represents authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction. Her clients include Tami Charles (Like Vanessa), Ross Burach (I Am Not a Chair, The Very Impatient Caterpillar), Natalie C. Parker (the Seafire series), Shelli R. Johannes (the Cece Loves Science series), and other exciting debut and award-winning authors and illustrators. In picture books, Lara is seeking humor-driven stories (primarily by author-illustrators), narrative nonfiction, and lyrical picture books that feel heartbreakingly beautiful and true. Lara is actively building her middle grade and YA fiction list, and she is primarily on the hunt for underrepresented voices and perspectives, a page-turning pace, and either gorgeous writing or a funny and compelling voice (or both!) She loves nuanced and layered friendship stories (especially friendship “break up” stories), nontraditional family structures, swoon-worthy romances that are also innovative and insightful, and unreliable narrators of all kinds.


Beth Phelan has been an agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary since 2017. She represents authors of middle grade and young adult books and gravitates toward stories and characters that inspire, and anything with a touch of humor and the bittersweet. Beth is also the creator of #DVpit, a Twitter pitch event for marginalized creators, which she launched in April 2016. Twitter: @beth_phelan, @DVpit_.


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 Strikeitself eventually also became available to order, fulfilling a childhood dream. He can be found online at and as @GregPincus on Twitter.


Matt Ringler is a senior editor at Scholastic specializing in chapter book, middle grade, and YA fiction. He works on the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, The Puppy Place series by Ellen Miles, and the Two Dogs in a Trench Coat series by Julie Falatko. His YA list include New York Times best-selling author Goldy Moldavsky’s Kill the Boy Band and No Good Deed, plus It’s Not Me, It’s You  and The Date to Save by Stephanie Kate Strohm.


Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams (Simon & Schuster, March 2019) and The Education of Margot Sanchez (Simon & Schuster, February 2017), available in bookstores everywhere. Her work has appeared in Elle, Lenny Letter, the Los Angeles TimesTin House, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.


Christian Robinson studied animation at The California Institute of the Arts and would later work with the Sesame Street Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios before becoming an illustrator of books for children. His books include the #1 New York Times best seller Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, which was awarded the Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and the Newbery Medal.


Jennifer Rofé is an agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, where she represents projects ranging from picture books to YA. Middle grade is her soft spot and she’s open to all genres in this category–literary, commercial, magical, fantastical, historical, contemporary, and everything in between. As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to stories that shed a unique light on the adolescent experience. In picture books, she likes funny, character-driven projects; beautifully imagined and written stories; and milestone moments with a twist. Jennifer also represents illustrators and author-illustrators. Her clients include Meg Medina, author of the Newbery Medal winner Merci Suárez Changes Gears; Amber Ren, illustrator of the New York Times best-selling picture book Becauseby Mo Willems ; New York Times best seller Eliza Wheeler, author-illustrator of the forthcoming Home in the Woods; and Sid Fleischman Humor Award winner Crystal Allen, author of the middle grade series The Magnificent Mya Tibbs.


Darcey Rosenblatt writes for middle grade and teenage people because she believes that, for them, stories can be life changing. Her debut novel Lost Boys (Henry Holt for Young Readers) was released in August 2017 and received a Crystal Kite Award and was named a NCSS notable book. Darcey is a cofounder of the annual Better Books Workshop for middle grade and young adult writers. She will be presenting the annual Crystal Kite Keynote address. Learn more at darceyr.comor follow on Twitter @Darcey_r and Instagram @Darceomatic.


Abigail Samoun was an in-house children’s book editor for over ten years before transitioning to agenting and opening Red Fox Literary with Karen Grencik in 2011. In her eighteen-year career in children’s books, Abi has worked on just about every format and genre imaginable, from novelty books to graphic novels, nonfiction to young adult novels. Books she’s worked on have received such honors as the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, the New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats award, and the Pura Belpré. Her clients include established names such as Betsy Franco, Matt Faulkner, Hannah Harrison, Deborah Blumenthal, and Carlyn Beccia, along with many rising stars. She is the author of What’s in Your Purse? (Chronicle Books, 2014) and the Little Traveler board book series (Sterling Publishing, 2014). Abi also created the card game Old Mummy, illustrated by Red Fox’s Archana Sreenivasan, available from Chronicle Books this August. Visit


Sara Sargent is a senior executive editor at Random House Books for Young Readers, where she publishes fiction and nonfiction in the picture book, middle grade, and young adult categories. She has previously held positions at HarperCollins Children’s Books and Simon & Schuster. Sara has worked with #1 New York Timesbest-selling authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, as well as New York Times best-selling authors Laurie Hernandez, Abbi Glines, StacyPlays, Ainsley Earhardt, Rosamund Hodge, and Lisa Maxwell; internationally best-selling author Lily Collins; National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti; and social media influencers Matthew Espinosa, Baby Ariel, and Arden Rose. Sara received her Master of Science in journalism from Northwestern University.


Anna Shinoda was raised in a mountain town so small it lacked a stoplight. She used to escape into the high branches of trees to read and dream of stories. Eventually she climbed down with her debut novel, Learning Not to Drown (Atheneum 2014), a story about a young girl who struggles to preserve her own identity amidst a chaotic, dysfunctional family unit.  Anna married musician Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park in 2003 and has led efforts with the band’s nonprofit, Music for Relief, in the US and abroad. As a mental health advocate, she serves as a senior advisor to The Campaign to Change Direction. Visit her at, on Twitter @AnnaShinoda, or Instagram @AnnaShinoda. Learn more about The Champaign to Change Direction at


Alexander Slater has been with Trident Media Group since 2010. For many years he oversaw the foreign rights sales of all of Trident’s young adult and children’s projects, which includes the work of R.J. Palacio and Louis Sachar. Now with his own list, he’s kept his focus on YA and middle grade with an eye towards contemporary fiction, light fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and any work in general that expands the ideas of representation in children’s literature. His manuscript wish list includes graphic novels, stories that blend genres, and historically underrepresented voices. Some of his clients today include Keah Brown, Jodi Kendall, Adam Perry, and SCBWI’s 2017 Emerging Voices Award Winner Anuradha D. Rajurkar.


Cynthia Leitich Smith is a New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling, multiple award-winning children’s-YA author and writing teacher. Her acclaimed books for teens include the Tantalize series, the Feral trilogy, and Hearts Unbroken (all Candlewick). Her acclaimed books for children include Jingle Dancer, Rain is Not My Indian Name, and Indian Shoes (all HarperChildren’s). She also is well published in short-form writing. Her latest appears in The Hero Next Door (Random House); Thanku Poems of Gratitude (Millbrook); and I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage (Lee & Low). Cynthia is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, a core faculty member on the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts, an honorary advisory board member of We Need Diverse Books and a member of the SCBWI Board of Advisors. In 2014, the Austin SCBWI chapter instituted the Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award.


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.


Scott Sussman’s picture books include Silly the Seed, Weird the Beard, Lerky the Handturkey, the Mark and the Molecule Maker trilogy, as well as Fred and the Monster, which was an Independent Publisher Award Winner. He has also written a middle grade novel, The Shining Adventures of Shelpa McStorm, and is currently working on more middle grade stories.


Raúl the Third (aka Raúl Gonzalez) is the Pura Belpré Medal award-winning illustrator of the dynamic graphic novel Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, as well as the other graphic novels in the series, Lowriders in Space and Lowriders Blast from the Past. His new picture book, Vanos! Let’s Go to the Market, is getting rave reviews. Raul is now working on a YA graphic Novel with David Bowles.


Renée Watson is a New York Times best-selling author, educator, and activist. Her young adult novel, Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury, 2017) received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. Her children’s picture books and novels have received several awards and international recognition. Her poetry and fiction often center around the lived experiences of black girls and women, and explore themes of home, identity, and the intersections of race, class, and gender.


Ken Wright is the president and publisher of Viking Books for Young Readers and Philomel Books, two imprints in the Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House. In overseeing these two large publishing programs, both of which span all categories of children’s books, Ken works closely with the imprints’ editorial and design teams to develop the lists. A sampling of authors and illustrators who Ken has worked with include Max Brallier, David Arnold, Ruta Sepetys, John Flanagan, Gianna Marino, Oliver Jeffers, Chelsea Clinton, Gayle Forman, Julie Berry, Mac Barnett, Greg Pizzoli, Elizabeth Partridge, Frank Cammuso, Deborah Freedman, and many, many others.  Before joining Penguin, Ken was a literary agent at Writers House in New York. Previous to that, he held editorial and publishing positions at Scholastic, HarperCollins, and Henry Holt.


Lisa Yee’s debut, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, won SCBWI’s first Sid Fleischman Humor Award in 2004. Since then, she has written nineteen more novels, including Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, andWarp Speed, about a Star Trek geek. In addition to her BobbyEllis Chan books, illustrated by Dan Santat, Lisa also writes YA, including The Kidney Hypothetical, featuring a high school senior who cheats to get into Harvard. Lisa was a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, USA Today Critics’ Top Pick, and Washington Post Book(s) of the Week. She has written series for American Girl and, most recently, six DC Super Hero Girls novels.You can visit her at


Eugene Yelchin, an equally adept author and illustrator, is a National Book Award finalist for The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge, co-authored with M. T. Anderson, and the recipient of the Newbery Honor for Breaking Stalin’s Nose. He received the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for The Haunting of Falcon House, the National Jewish Book Award for illustrating The Rooster Prince of Breslov, and SCBWI’s Tomie DePaola Award.


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.