Webinar: Debut Author & Illustrator Panel

Aug 31, 2023

Online event

Webinar Description: Join us as we celebrate just a few of our recent Eastern PA SCBWI success stories. Listen to their journeys and ask questions to help you on your own path to publication. The presentation will be recorded and the recording link provided to all participants who have registered prior to the event. *The link to attend the webinar live will appear in your Events listing AFTER you register. **Optional: A limited number of critiques are available for purchase. See below for more information.

Meet the Panelists

Untitled design (1).png

Dana Kramaroff

Dana Kramaroff has been teaching elementary school readers and writers since 2001, has been a mom since 2005, and serves as a teacher-leader of her local National Writing Project site. She is a collector of children’s books, stickers, and has a severe pen problem which leaves her unable to resist a new pack of colorful ones. THE DO MORE CLUB (Penguin Random House) is her debut middle grade novel with a second book coming in 2025!

Untitled design (1).png

Amy Neeren, PhD: critiquing Chapter Book manuscripts

Dr. Amy Neeren is a licensed clinical psychologist, researcher, and clinical trial manager. She is a former Visiting Assistant Professor at nearby Haverford College and has taught psychology courses at several Universities. Dr. Neeren has written several short stories in literature magazines as well as numerous academic papers. “Nellie in Knots” is the first in a collection of her debut chapter book series! There are at least five more books in the series that will be released soon. Dr. Neeren is also writing several other children's books, as well as an adult auto- fiction book in the genre of humor. She adores her two spunky girls and husband, and is always looking for fun!

Untitled design (2).png

Laura Parnum: critiquing MG manuscripts

Laura Parnum is an author with a penchant for quirky characters, creepy settings, and lots of humor. She's dabbled in playwriting and screenwriting, but her true passion is for middle-grade fiction. Her debut novel, Peril at Price Manor (August 8, 2023; HarperCollins), follows an aspiring horror movie actress as she pairs up with twin children of a legendary horror filmmaker to defeat mysterious creatures that have taken control of the staff at Price Manor.

Untitled design (6).png

Heather Pierce Stigall: critiquing PB manuscripts

Heather Stigall uses her experience with children and her degrees in Child Development, Psychology-based Human Relations, and Social Work to create stories that speak to kids. She is the Critique Group/Meet & Greet Coordinator for the Eastern PA SCBWI Chapter, a member of the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge, and a parent to five children and one pup. When she’s not writing, you can find Heather hanging out with her kids (hopefully at the beach), reading, eating chocolate, baking, or creating all sorts of treasures. Her debut picture book, PAISLEY’S BIG BIRTHDAY (Clavis Publishing), is out now in Dutch, will soon be published in Romanian, and will be released in English in August 2023. Her second picture book, GILBERT AND THE GHOST, (Beaming Books) is due out fall 2024. You can connect with Heather through her website, HeatherPierceStigall.com, and her social media links at https://linktr.ee/HeatherStigall.

Untitled design (7).png

Ellen Ramsey: critiquing PB manuscripts

Ellen L. Ramsey loves reading and writing humorous stories that celebrate imagination and creativity. Her debut picture book, A BOOK FOR BEAR (Flamingo Books/Penguin Young Readers), reflects these themes. Bear, with assistance from his friend Ellen, tries imaginative disguises in his search for a book of his very own. Kirkus Reviews concludes, “the book conveys a terrific message about the love of books and the joy of reading,” and the book will encourage children to create books of their very own. Details are available on her website: www.ellenlramsey.com. Ellen’s success in publishing this book is a tribute to the power of SCBWI conferences and the support of SCBWI friends. Ellen’s jobs—as an English teacher, technical editor, and author—have focused on her love of reading and writing. Her stories, articles, and poetry have appeared in Highlights, Spider, Ladybug, Muse, and Fun for Kidz. Her poem "Hippity Zippity," published in Highlights High Five, won an SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Poetry. Connect with Ellen: Instagram: @ellenlramseybooks Facebook: EllenLRamsey Twitter: @ellenlramsey1

Untitled design (5).png

Berrie Torgan-Randall: critiquing PB dummies & illustration portfolios

I have been passionate about children’s literature since I was a little girl and have fed my desire by becoming a children’s librarian and by pursuing a career as an illustrator and writer of children’s books. I majored in art as an undergraduate and later pursued a Master’s Degree in Information Studies which enabled me to become familiar with current trends in publication related to children’s literature. It also confirmed my desire to write and illustrate books for children. My illustrations have appeared in Ladybug Magazine (May/June 2022 and Nov/Dec 2022), and Bella & Blue: Bella Meets Blue, my debut early reader graphic novel, was released on October 1, 2022 by The Little Press.

PB, CB, MG & Illustration Critiques available (at an additional cost)

Please see panelists bios above for the types of submissions that each is critiquing.
Formatting Critique Submissions
1. For all submissions\, format your work in 12 point font\, with one-inch margins\, and double spacing.
2. Please include your name on every page of your work as a header or a footer, as well as identifying information on page one: first & last name, email address, title, genre. If your work is a translation into English, please also provide the original title, language, and author’s name on page one, as well as the English rights status if known.

For picture books, send one full manuscript* plus a 2- to 3-sentence pitch in the same document (as a PDF or DOC or DOCx)

For chapter book/middle grade/young adult, send up to 10 pages of your manuscript, plus a one-page, single-spaced synopsis. (US Letter paper size-Include synopsis in the same document; please don’t send two documents for the same manuscript; as a PDF or DOC or DOCx)

For a dummy/portfolio pieces [Portfolio=Six or fewer portfolio ready illustrations/sketches medium resolution JPG or PDF to be reviewed.] Send your portfolio JPGs as separate files; send dummies as one file.

3. Please SAVE YOUR FILE as either Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT OR Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_PORTFOLIO
Example: Parnum_Strocchia_PURPLE CARROTS
4. Then send your submission file to Kristen at epa-ara@scbwi.org. The subject should read the same as the file name: Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT OR Faculty Last Name_Your Last Name_PORTFOLIO
Submission Deadline: All critique submissions due Friday, September 1, 2023.