Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Workshop Home




  Sarah Albee is the New York Times bestselling author of nonfiction books for kids. Her latest title is called Accidental Archaeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries. Her book with Smithsonian/What on Earth Books came out last fall: North America: A Graphic Foldout Timeline. Some of her other titles include Dog Days of History; POISON: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines; Alexander Hamilton: A Plan for America, Why’d They Wear That? Bugged: How Insects Changed History; and Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up.
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.
  Martha Brockenbrough teaches MFA students at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has won a Washington State Book Award and a Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Award, and her novel The Game of Love and Death was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. Her biography of Alexander Hamilton was a Junior Library Guild selection. Her biography of Donald Trump, Unpresidented, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. A forthcoming picture book biography called I Am an American: the Wong Kim Ark story, co-written by Grace Lin and illustrated by Julia Kuo, will be published in 2021 by Little, Brown.
Jill Corcoran is the director of licensed publishing at Smithsonian.  Jill manages strategy, product development and sales of the Smithsonian brand and content focusing on adult and children’s books, text books, supplementary education, higher education instructional materials, digital games, audio rights,  and dramatic rights.  From 2008 to 2018, Jill was a literary agent first at Herman Agency and then at her own agency, Jill Corcoran Literary Agency.
  Lesa Cline-Ransome’s first book was the biography Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year.” She later created a number of picture book biographies including Young Pele, Words Set Me Free, Just a Lucky So and So, and Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams.  Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet received five starred reviews, was nominated for an NAACP image award, and received a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration.  Her debut middle grade novel, Finding Langston, was the 2019 winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and received the Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor.  The sequel, Leaving Lymon was released in January 2020.  Many of Lesa’s books have been illustrated by her husband and frequent collaborator, James Ransome.
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.
  Nathan Hale is the author and illustrator of the Eisner-nominated, New York Times bestselling graphic novel series on American history Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales. He also created the sci-fi horror comics One Trick Pony and Apocalypse Taco. He is the illustrator of the graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge and its sequel, Calamity Jack. He also illustrated Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody, The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas, and many others. 
Carrie Heflin is a program manager at Smithsonian’s 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 in collaboration with Smithsonian Books and Cottage Door Press.
  Deborah Heiligman is the author of 32 books, most of them nonfiction. Her latest, Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship” garnered four starred reviews, won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award and is a finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.  Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers (2017), won the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for nonfiction, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for nonfiction, and an ALA Printz Honor. Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith (2009) won the inaugural YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, was a Printz Honor and a National Book Award Finalist. The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos (2013) won the Cook Prize, the Anne Izard Storytelling Award, was a New York Times notable book.  For more information, please visit
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.
  Emily Key is the director of education at the Smithsonian Latino Center where she has developed the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Learning Continuum and Education Vision centering on creating opportunities for visitors to experience, learn, and transform by sparking curiosity and encouraging life-long learning. This continuum includes bilingual educational programming, community engagement, and publications for the Center, including the nationally recognized youth leadership program, the Young Ambassadors Program (YAP).   Ms. Key oversees and develops bilingual educational programming and publications for the Center. In addition, Ms. Key is responsible for the creation of the Learning Lounge and its correlative educational programming for the Molina Family Latino Gallery that will open in the spring of 2022 at the National Museum of American History. As part of her work, she has produced educational collateral and programming for the Center’s annual exhibitions as well as standalone curriculum aligned to K-12 National Teaching Standards. 
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.


Sydnee Monday is an assistant editor at Kokila Books an imprint of Penguin Random House. She wants to read about what it feels like to live in your skin, disillusionment with crumbling facades, and how we move towards utopia. A graduate of Howard University, Sydnee mentors young people with Read Ahead, spending every other week of the school year reading to elementary students. Follow her on Twitter: @sydneemonday.
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.

  Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of numerous books for children and young adults. Her work has received multiple Coretta Scott King Book Award citations. She is a four-time nominee for the NAACP Image Award and has been inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. Ms. Pinkney is the recipient of both the Regina Medal and the Arbuthnot Honor Award for her distinguished and singular contribution to the field of children’s literature. She has been named among the “25 Most Influential People in our Children’s Lives” by Children’s Health magazine and is listed among the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal.  
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.
  Laura Purdie Salas has written more than 125 nonfiction and poetry picture books for kids, including Meet My Family!If You Were the Moon, and Water Can Be…. She thinks the real world is every bit as fun as fiction, and her books have been named NCTE Notables, Junior Library Guild selections, New York Public Library’s Best Books for Kids, and more. She offers resources for children’s writers at Laura enjoys teaching and speaking at writing conferences around the country (but online only, for now). 
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 Science at the Smithsonian’s National 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 Smithsonian’s 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.
  Traci Sorell is a Cherokee Nation citizen and award-winning author. She writes fiction and nonfiction books, short stories, and poems for children. A former federal Indian law attorney and advocate, Traci lives with her family in northeastern Oklahoma where her tribe is located. Find out more about her work online at or @tracisorell via Twitter and Instagram. 
  Nicholas St. Fleur is a freelance science reporter who writes about dinosaurs, mummies, exoplanets, and other curiosities of the cosmos for children and grownups alike. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times for Kids, for which he has written features about feathered Tyrannosaurus rexes, misunderstood sharks, and a trailblazing Mars rover. He is the author of the children’s book Did You Know? Dinosaurs (DK, 2020). St. Fleur is currently a Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow with STAT covering issues of racial inequality in health and science. Previously he was a science reporter for The New York Times and The Atlantic. He has also worked for Scientific American, Science Magazine, NPR, and the San Jose Mercury News. St. Fleur received a B.S. in biology from Cornell University and is a graduate of the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Follow him on Twitter @SciFleur and check out his work at
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.

  Don Tate is an award-winning author and illustrator of books for children.  He has illustrated Carter Reads the Newspaper (Peachtree Publishing, 2019), No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and his Kingdom in Kansas (Knopf, 2018), Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions (Charlesbridge, 2016) The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Eerdmans, 2015); and many others. He is also the author of Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton (Peachtree, 2015); It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (Lee & Low Books, 2012). Forthcoming titles include William Still and his Freedom Stories: Father of the Underground Railroad (Peachtree Publishing Company, Nov. 2020), and Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters, written by Suzanne Slade (Little Brown, Nov. 2020). Don is a founding host of the The Brown Bookshelf –a blog dedicated to books for African American young readers; and a one-time member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature.
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 Smithsonian’s 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.
  Paula Yoo is an author, screenwriter, and musician. Her latest YA non-fiction book is From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement (Norton Young Readers, 2021). Her other books include the YA novel Good Enough (HarperCollins 2008), an Asian/Pacific American Award for Youth Literature honor book, and the IRA Notable picture book biographies Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story, Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story, and Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank from Lee & Low Books. Her TV credits include NBC’s The West Wing, The CW’s Supergirl, and her original drama pilot Olympic Boulevard for Peacock. Paula is also a professional violinist who has toured with No Doubt, Il Divo, Fun, and Love. Paula is a former journalist (The Seattle Times, The Detroit News, and PEOPLE Magazine). Website: