December 9th Chapter Meeting: Lessons Learned on the Path to Publication

Dec 09, 2023

Online event

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2023 Debut Authors and Illustrators share their different experiences.

Get to Know Our Speakers

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Heather Buchta

Heather Buchta is the author of BEYOND THE BREAK, CHASING AFTER KNIGHT, and KEEP THE FAITH MAD LIBS, published with Penguin Random House. She loves sports, the bible, and a good glass of whiskey. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in communications, Heather taught high school English for twelve years in South Central LA before becoming a full-time author. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, obstacle-course racing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and playing soccer. She lives in the beach cities of Los Angeles, where she dotes on her two dogs and writes stories from her indoor porch.

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Jilanne Hoffman

Jilanne Hoffmann is the author of A RIVER OF DUST, THE HONEY BEAR HIVE, and HAPPY CAMPER. She has a BS in Industrial Engineering and an MFA in Creative Writing, is a children's book blogger, has been a 2nd round CYBILS judge for picture and board books, is a San Francisco Coordinator for the SCBWI South Bay region where she helps facilitate a discussion group about the craft of the picture book, and has been a freelance writer for over 25 years. She was also a bookseller at an SF indie bookstore for three years while earning her MFA. She participates in three book marketing groups, is a member of 12x12 and the Writing Barn's Courage to Create Community, and for the past eight years co-produced Kidquake, the elementary school program for Litquake, San Francisco's annual literary festival. Jilanne lives with her husband and son in San Francisco.

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Isabel Estrada O'Hagin

Isabel Estrada is the author of LA MARIACHI. She grew up in the desert borderlands of Arizona dancing and singing her way through life. Always a dreamer, she blends her life experiences as an educator with her love of Mexican-American culture and folklore into stories. Isabel currently lives among the rivers and lakes of green Michigan with her husband, amazing son, and two cats, who all love to sing, dance, and eat! Muchas gracias a Señora Luna for making the musical wishes of girls and women everywhere come true. Viva la mariachi!

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DK Ryland

DK Ryland is an author/illustrator who loves creating funny and subversive picture books. Before she started writing and illustrating, she filmed wildlife in Africa, was a collegiate All-American and professional athlete, and was a teacher and coach. DK received a PBChat mentorship with Cori Doerrfeld in 2019 and was a PBParty finalist in 2020. Her debut picture book, GIRAFFE IS TOO TALL FOR THIS BOOK, released October 17, 2023 (Page Street Kids) and was a Target Book Club pick. Her second picture book, HAVE YOU SEEN MY ACORN?, comes out Fall 2024 (Flamingo Books) and her third picture book, THE DANGEROUS ALPHABET BOOK, comes out Fall 2025 (Astra Young Readers). DK lives in San Diego with her super awesome husband, 2 brilliant kids, and lots of pets. She is represented by Kaitlyn Sanchez at Bradford Literary.

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Berrie Torgan-Randall

Berrie is the author/illustrator of BELLA AND BLUE: BELLA MEETS BLUE, her debut early reader graphic novel, released on October 1, 2022 by The Little Press and released in hardback, September 15, 2023. She has been passionate about children’s literature since she was a little girl and has fed her desire by becoming a children’s librarian and by pursuing a career as an illustrator and writer of children’s books. Berrie majored in art as an undergraduate and later pursued a Master’s Degree in Information Studies which enabled her to become familiar with current trends in publication related to children’s literature. It also confirmed her desire to write and illustrate books for children. Berrie's illustrations have appeared in Ladybug Magazine.

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Seina Wedlick

Seina Wedlick is author of the NAMING CEREMONY. She believes children should see themselves in books. She enjoys writing stories that touch on culture and tradition, and especially loves stories centered around family and community. When she’s not writing or working on special projects, Seina can be found exploring or spending time on the beach with her husband and children who each have several names. She also enjoys visiting bookstores and collecting postcards.

Check Out Our Speakers' Books - click the arrow to see them all