Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Conference Home




Marcie Flinchum Atkins is a teacher-librarian and an author of children’s books. She holds an M.A. and an M.F.A. in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature (Millbrook Press, 2019) is her most recent book. Marcie has also written work-for-hire books for Scholastic Children’s Press, ABDO, Nystrom, SRA/McGraw-Hill and more. Marcie serves as the nonfiction event coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI region. She muses about mentor texts and making time to write at Follow her on Twitter and Instagram as @MarcieFAtkins.
Jill Corcoran is the Director of Licensed Publishing at Smithsonian where she manages licensing sales, strategy, and product development for the Smithsonian brand and assets in the following categories: adult and children’s trade books, e-books, text books, supplementary educational materials, higher education instructional materials, courseware, online publications, study guides, workbooks, K-12 curriculum, online courses, and digital games.  From 2008 to 2018, Jill was a literary agent first at Herman Agency and then at her own agency, Jill Corcoran Literary Agency.
Kandace Coston is the assistant editor at Lee & Low Books, an independent, multicultural children’s book publisher in New York City. After graduating from Barnard College, Kandace won an internship grant from We Need Diverse Books, a nonprofit organization that advocates for change in the publishing industry and joined the Lee & Low team. Kandace enjoys working with new authors and illustrators by helping their projects evolve into published picture books. Professionally and personally, Kandace loves books that feature strong, female protagonists as well as any story that can make her laugh.
Eduardo Díaz is the director of the Smithsonian Latino Center and a 30-year veteran of arts administration. He is responsible for the management and delivery of exhibitions, public and educational programs, and the Latino Center’s Latino Virtual Museum. During his tenure, Eduardo has spearheaded several projects, including the exhibitions “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” and “Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed.” Current research initiatives include the Caribbean Indigenous Legacies Project and the Latino D.C. History Project.
Emily Feinberg is an editor at Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.  After graduating with an M.A. in Children’s Literature from Simmons University, Emily joined the editorial team at Roaring Brook where she’s worked for over eight years. Books she’s edited include Caldecott Honor winner Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper, the If Sharks Disappeared series by Lily WIlliams, Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari (illustrated by Brian Floca), and Jane Against the World: Roe V. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights by Karen Blumenthal.
Carrie Heflin is a program manager at the National Museum of American History. She draws on her decade of experience in management to ensure that the museum is an imaginative, challenging, and welcoming place for young children and the adults who accompany them. Carrie is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins’ Master’s program in Museum Studies. She has helped to create early learning curricula at both the state and national levels, worked extensively as an editing consultant for the Smithsonian Kids imprint of Smithsonian Books, and is excited to be publishing her first two children’s books (slated for release this summer) in collaboration with Smithsonian Books and Cottage Door Press.
Carol Hinz is editorial director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, divisions of Lerner Publishing Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She acquires and edits picture books as well as photo-driven nonfiction, publishing about thirty titles a year. Books she’s edited include Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson; One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon; All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing after the Oklahoma City Bombing by Chris Barton, illustrated by Nicole Xu; and Tracking Pythons: The Quest to Catch an Invasive Predator and Save an Ecosystem by Kate Messner. Find her on Twitter: @CarolCHinz.
Farrin Jacobs is editorial director and VP at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She has edited a variety of fiction and nonfiction, including New York Times bestsellers Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World, and Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by author/illustrator Vashti Harrison;  I Am Malala and We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai, as well as the picture book Malala’s Magic Pencil;  I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Aliferenka and Martin Ganda with Liz Welch; and Printz-winner Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
Kevin Noble Maillard is a professor of law at Syracuse University and writes for the New York Times and The Atlantic. He is originally from Oklahoma and is a member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey Band. His debut picture book,  Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story (illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal) is the winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal and a 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Picture Book Honor Winner.
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.
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 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 launch of their new comedy series, Alien Superstar, from Abrams Books, which debuted at #5 on the New York Times best seller list. Lin’s collection of poetry, illustrated by Tomie dePaola, the highly praised Little Poems for Tiny Earsis a becoming a perennial for babies and toddlers.  The fifth and final volume of her Fantastic Frame chapter book adventure series from Penguin Workshop was a Christmas, 2019, release. A much-credited film and television writer-producer, Lin is also the recipient of the prestigious Christopher Award and the Eric Carle Mentor Award. Learn more at or follow Lin on Twitter @linoliver, or on Instagram @linoliver22.

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 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.

Elizabeth Rusch is the author of twenty books for young readers, as well as more than a hundred magazine articles. Liz’s works are frequently honored by the Junior Library Guild, have received multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, The Horn Book, Booklist, School Library Journal, the BCCB, and have been named best book or notable book of the year by ALA, Bank Street, SLJ, Kirkus, the NSTA, CCBC, Nonfiction Detectives, and the New York Public Library, among others. New in March and April are: You Call THIS Democracy? How to Fixour Government and Deliver Power to the People; A Search for the Northern Lights; and Gidget the Surfing Pug. Learn more at  Connect on Facebook at authorelizabethrusch and on twitter at @elizabethrusch.
Amanda Shih is an associate editor at Scholastic. She acquires middle grade and young adult nonfiction, including Into the Clouds: The Race to Climb the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain; True Hauntings: Deadly Disasters; and NAACP Image Award finalist Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight to Walk. Amanda is always looking for narrative nonfiction with a particular focus on underrepresented voices and history, and accessible general nonfiction that combines the educational with the entertaining.
Steve Sheinkin is a former textbook writer who is now making amends by writing history books that kids and teens might actually want to read. Nonfiction titles include The Notorious Benedict ArnoldBombLincoln’s Grave RobbersThe Port Chicago 50Undefeated, and his most recent book, Born to Fly. He is the recipient of the 2020 Margaret A. Edwards Award, and his books have received many awards, including a Newbery Honor and three National Book Award finalist honors. He lives with his family in Saratoga Springs, New York. Visit Steve online at
  Matt Shindell is curator of Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian’s, Air and Space Museum. He is a historian of science whose work focuses on the history of the earth, planetary sciences, and the development of research programs in these fields during the Cold War. Matt curates the Museum’s collection of spacecraft, instruments, and other artifacts related to the exploration and study of the solar system. Matt received a BS in Biology from Arizona State University (1999), an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop (2001), an MS in Biology: Biology and Society from Arizona State University (2004), and a Ph.D. in History of Science from the University of California, San Diego (2011). He has taught at the University of Southern California and Harvard University.
Elayne Silversmith is the librarian for the Vine Deloria, Jr. Library at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Over her 25 years of librarianship, Elayne has worked in special, research, academic, and public libraries with specialization in Native American and Indigenous Studies, history of the American southwest, and contemporary Native political activism. Throughout her career, Elayne has focused on Native American children and young adult literature, Native-based scholarly publications, and ephemera. Prior to NMAI, Elayne was a tenured Librarian at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and served as President of the American Indian Library Association (2000-2001). Elayne is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, and was raised in Shiprock, northwestern New Mexico.
Michelle Smith is the media and communications director of the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, where she oversees, develops, and produces websites, online interactives for children, and a variety of products. The Center’s signature website, Smithsonian Learning Lab, won a Webby Award as the “best education website” of 2019. Michelle’s Smithsonian career began in the 1980s when she worked as a book editor at Smithsonian Institution Press, and she has produced instructional and informational materials of all kinds since then. She has a master’s degree in English from Pennsylvania State University.
Melissa Stewart has written more than 180 science books for children, including the ALA Notable Feathers: Not Just for Flying, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen; the SCBWI Golden Kite Honor title Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs, illustrated by Stephanie Laberis; and Can an Aardvark Bark?, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Steve Jenkins. Melissa co-authored the upcoming title 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children’s Books and edited the anthology Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep: 50 Award-winning Authors Reveal the Secret of Engaging Writing. Melissa maintains the award-winning blog Celebrate Science and serves on the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators board of advisors. Her highly regarded website features a rich array of nonfiction writing resources.

Carole Boston Weatherford’s books (three dozen and counting) have received many literary honors. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (2006), illustrated by Kadir Nelson, won a Caldecott Honor, the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration and an NAACP Image Award. Becoming Billie Holiday and Before John Was a Jazz Giant won Coretta Scott King Honors. Birmingham, 1963 won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Jane Addams Children’s Literature Honor and the Jefferson Cup from Virginia Library Association. The Sound that Jazz Makes won the Carter G. Woodson Award from National Council for the Social Studies and an NAACP Image Award nomination. Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins (2005) and Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People (2002) both won the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award. Dear Mr. Rosenwald and Before John Was a Jazz Giant received Golden Kite Honors from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. And, in 2007, Carole received the Ragan-Rubin Award from the North Carolina English Teachers Association. In 2010, she received the North Carolina Award for Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor.
Chris Wilson is the director of the African American History Program at the National Museum of American History where he works to engage visitors in conversation about our nation’s rich and diverse history. Chris founded three major program series at the museum: History alive! , an interactive and emotional presentation of stories of America’s past; the National Youth Summit series, a program that engages high school students about relevant history; and the History Film Forum, an annual exploration of history on the screen. Chris also oversees the African American History Program’s rich collection of oral histories, interviews, and recordings. He strives to use programming to enrich the experience of every visitor by offering them a glimpse into the history and culture of black Americans and an understanding that the American experience springs from many diverse stories.