SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

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Season Five

 

Episode 4: Marietta Zacker

Co-Founder and Agent at the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency Marietta Zacker speaks with Theo Baker about agenting, rejection, marketing, advice, and much more! (37:26)

A Conversation with Marietta Zacker SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 3: Jerry Pinkney

The Multi-Award winning illustrator of over 100 picture books, Jerry Pinkney speaks with Theo Baker about his childhood, the challenges and triumphs of his artist journey, and much more! (57:35)

A Conversation with Jerry Pinkney SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 2: Susan Dobinick

Senior Editor at Bloomsbury Kids Susan Dobinick speaks with Theo Baker about the lessons she’s learned as an editor, shares advice for nonfiction authors, and tells us what she’s hoping to find. (45:02)

A Conversation with Susan Dobinick SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 1: Jennifer Vassel

Self-Published Author and Entrepreneur Jennifer Vassel speaks with Theo Baker about her own career journey, and the lessons she learned in her first self-publishing venture that have catapulted her Children’s books to become a self-love and empowerment brand. (40:39)

A Conversation with Jennifer Vassel SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Season Four

Episode 12: Yuyi Morales

Yuyi Morales SCBWI Podcast graphic

Author/Illustrator Yuyi Morales has won the Caldecott Honor, The New York Times Best Illustrated Book, and Multiple Pura Belpré Awards. In this conversation with Theo Baker, Yuyi speaks of how children’s books became her companions and passion, offers insights into her creative process, and considers the impact joining SCBWI – and winning the Don Freeman Grant – had on her career. (51:41)

A Conversation with Yuyi Morales SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 11: Alex Slater

Agent Alex Slater of Trident Media Group speaks with Theo Baker about his career journey, his passion for representing historically underrepresented authors, building his own client list, and much more. (49:20)

A Conversation with Alex Slater SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Lesléa Newman SCBWI Podcast Graphic

Episode 10: Lesléa Newman

Lesléa Newman is the multi award-winning author and poet of more than 70 books for readers of all ages. In this conversation with Theo Baker, Lesléa discusses her writing journey, her apprenticeship with Allen Ginsberg, her creative process, and much more. (54:12)

A Conversation with Lesléa Newman SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Raul the Third SCBWI podcast graphic

Episode 9: Raúl the Third

Raúl the Third is a Pura Belpré medal award-winning illustrator of graphic novels and author/illustrator of picture books and soon, early readers. In this conversation with Theo Baker, Raúl discusses his connection to art, shares some of the strategies he uses in illustrating, and recounts his path to building his own universe of characters and stories. (41:22)

A Conversation with Raúl the Third SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Sara Sargent SCBWI Podcast graphic

Episode 8: Sara Sargent

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. In this conversation with Theo Baker, Sara discusses trends and readers, her career path, the evolution of her lists as an acquiring editor, and much more. (50:01)

A Conversation with Sara Sargent SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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MT Anderson - SCBWI Podcast Graphic

Episode 7: M.T. Anderson

New York Times bestselling author and winner of the National Book Award M.T. Anderson speaks to Theo Baker about history and time, experimentation, and literature. They also discuss research, switching between multiple projects, and much more! (58:12)

A Conversation with M.T. Anderson SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Juana Martinez Neal - SCBWI Podcast Graphic

Episode 6: Juana Martinez-Neal

In 2012, Juana Martinez-Neal won the Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize at the SCBWI Los Angeles conference. Today, she is a multi-award winning author/illustrator. In this conversation with Theo Baker, Juana shares about her childhood in Peru, her path to children’s books, the many media she’s worked with to create her illustrations, and balancing family responsibilities with creative time. (58:20)

A Conversation with Juana Martinez-Neal SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 5: Denene Millner

Denene Millner is the editor of Denene Millner Books at Simon & Schuster and a bestselling author herself. She speaks with Theo Baker about her own writing, her career path, and what her eponymous children’s book imprint is all about. (1:05:47)

A Conversation with Denene Millner SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 4: Mem Fox

International Best-Selling Children’s Picture Book Author Mem Fox speaks with Theo Baker about her drama school background, her writing and revising, and what it means to be an Australian writer. (53:42)

A Conversation with Mem Fox SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 3: Floyd Cooper

Author/Illustrator Floyd Cooper has created nearly 100 picture books, winning multiple awards along the way! In this interview with Theo Baker, Floyd shares early lessons from his career and discusses his artistic process. (19:21)

A Conversation with Floyd Cooper SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 2: Alvina Ling

Alvina Ling is Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. In this interview with Theo Baker, Alvina speaks of her career path, what’s constant in being an editor, the relationship between her and her writers and illustrators, and so much more! (53:52)

A Conversation with Alvina Ling SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 1: Marla Frazee

Caldecott Honor-winning and New York Times Bestselling Author/Illustrator Marla Frazee speaks with Theo Baker about her career, sharing insights, advice, and the fascinating stories behind creating some of her most popular and emotionally resonant books, including Boss Baby and The Farmer and the Clown. (55:42)

A Conversation with Marla Frazee SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Season Three

Episode 12: Christopher Paul Curtis

National Book Award finalist and Newbery Award winning author Christopher Paul Curtis speaks with Theo Baker about his own writing journey, and shares his advice on the craft of writing, offering insights into the process, and reflections on his works. Their conversation ranges from a writer’s power to the power of stories to surprise you to the role books can play in the world, and much more! (51:55)

A Conversation with Christopher Paul Curtis SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 11: Laurent Linn

Emmy Award-winning Laurent Linn is the art director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and the author illustrator of the YA Novel, “Draw the Line.” Laurent speaks to Theo Baker about the appeal of puppetry, his eleven years working with the Muppets, and the shift in his career path that led him to children’s books. Their conversation also explores cover design, working with new illustrators, how “every book is an experiment,” and much more! (57:05)

A Conversation with Laurent Linn SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 10: Elizabeth Partridge

Multi-award winning nonfiction author Elizabeth Partridge speaks to Theo Baker about how her upbringing impacted her storytelling, her way into oral histories, and the responsibility she feels towards the people she interviews. She considers how her work is “bearing witness” and shares what she’s learned about writing compelling nonfiction. (40:49)

A Conversation with Elizabeth Partridge SCBWI Podcast (full episode)

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Episode 9: Erin Entrada Kelly

Erin is the winner of the 2018 Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe. With many other awards and multiple books on the New York Times bestseller list, she is also a professor of children’s literature at Rosemont College. In this two-part interview with Theo Baker, Erin shares about her background in journalism, having the right mindset for feedback, how she developed her craft, and much more!

Part One: Erin speaks of her background in journalism, how to approach feedback, and how childhood challenges resonate in her writing. (31:18)

A Conversation with Erin Entrada Kelly SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Erin discusses what gets her excited, how self-doubt can be helpful, and shares her advice for others writing stories for young readers. (22:43)

A Conversation with Erin Entrada Kelly SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 8: Francesco Sedita

Francesco is the president and publisher of Penguin Workshop at Penguin Young Readers, as well the author of the Miss Popularity series. In this two-part conversation with Theo Baker, Francesco speaks of his vision for Penguin Workshop, his approach as a publisher, the influence of books like “Wimpy Kid,” and how co-writing a graphic novel has helped his own writing.

Part One: Francesco on Penguin Workshop, his career and reader journey, and his approach as a publisher. (33:57)

A Conversation with Francesco Sedita SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Francesco shares the range of categories he publishes, considers the influence of books like “Wimpy Kid”, and discusses how co-writing a graphic novel series has helped his own writing. (18:35)

A Conversation with Francesco Sedita SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 7: Malinda Lo

Malinda Lo is the author of several award-winning young adult novels, including most recently A Line in the Dark. Her novel Ash, a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award. In this two-part interview with Theo Baker, Malinda speaks about the difference between popular fiction and literary fiction, the role of research in her writing, revision, her dual coming out, and so much more!

Part One: Malinda on popular fiction vs. literary fiction, the role of research in her writing, and her dual coming out. (29:45)

A Conversation with Malinda Lo SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Malinda on revision, A Line in the Dark, and the “emotional excavation” needed to write some novels. (22:24)

A Conversation with Malinda Lo SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 6: Jenny Bent

Jenny Bent founded The Bent Agency in 2009. The agency now has nine agents, offices in New York City and London, and a focus on international rights. In this two-part interview with Theo Baker, Jenny speaks about the difference between Y.A. and Adult, what she’s looking for, the decision to launch her own agency, and what happened that changed her approach to agenting. She also  shares advice on what makes a book work better for film!

Part One: Jenny on Y.A. versus Adult, what she’s looking for, and, once she launched her own agency, what made her a different kind of agent. (24:36)

A Conversation with Jenny Bent SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Jenny on her editorial checklist, comp titles, and what makes a book work better for movie adaptations. (26:03)

A Conversation with Jenny Bent SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 5: Libba Bray

Libba Bray is a #1 New York Times bestselling and Michael L. Printz Award-winning YA author. In this two-part interview with Theo Baker, Libba speaks about her journey as a writer, her embrace of the absurd and surreal, and shares her writing advice!

Part One: Libba on music, journaling, and how playwriting lead her to writing books for teens. (30:32)

A Conversation with Libba Bray SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Libba shares about a breakthrough moment in her own writing, and offers us writing advice that she follows. (24:29)

A Conversation with Libba Bray SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode  4: Namrata Tripathi

Namrata Tripathi is VP & Publisher of Kokila, a newly-formed imprint of Penguin Young Readers dedicated to centering stories from the margins. In this two-part interview by Theo Baker, Namrata shares about her career as an editor, the lessons she’s learned on the way, and the vision behind her new imprint.

Part One: Namrata on naming her imprint, her journey as an editor of Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult books, and lessons she’s learned on the way. (29:03)

A Conversation with Namrata Tripathi SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Namrata speaks to the vision behind her new imprint, Kokila. (28:25)

A Conversation with Namrata Tripathi SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 3: Bruce Coville

Theo Baker chats with Bruce Coville, the celebrate author of over 100 books for children and young readers. In this two part interview, they speak about why some books don’t find their audiences and others become huge best-sellers, Bruce’s connection to audiobooks (and his audiobook production company, Full Cast Audio), openings, and much, much more!

Part One: Bruce speaks of audiobooks, covers and titles, and first lines. (32:33)

A Conversation with Bruce Coville SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Bruce shares how he’s “always attempting to write a book I would have wanted to read at age ten, or twelve,” offers some sage advice, and considers how literature can offer young people role models in a way that reality no longer does. (20:11)

A Conversation with Bruce Coville SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 2: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Theo Baker speaks with vice president, executive editor at Scholastic books and New York Times bestselling and multi-award winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney. In this two part interview, they discuss Andrea’s path to becoming a reader and an editor, how her background as a journalist has helped her both as an editor and author, the evolution of diversity in children’s publishing, and much more!

Part One: Andrea speaks of becoming a reader, shares the twist in her career journey that led to her becoming a children’s book editor, and reflects on the skills she gained in journalism that apply to her work. (25:44)

A Conversation with Andrea Davis Pinkney SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Andrea tells us about launching the Jump at the Sun imprint at Disney, and her mission at Scholastic. She speaks of her writing discipline, the growth of diversity as a focus in children’s publishing and what gives her “hope for a new day.” (20:07)

A Conversation with Andrea Davis Pinkney SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 1: Daniel José Older

Theo Baker speaks with award-winning and best-selling author Daniel José Older. In this two part interview, they cover craft, process, diversity, and so much more!

Part One: Daniel speaks about the difference between genre and literary, his background as a musician, and opens up about his process.

A Conversation with Daniel José Older SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Daniel considers the editorial process and how it shapes publishing, speaks of the movement towards a more diverse body of children’s literature, talks world-building, his embrace of bringing Civil War history to life (along with dinosaurs), and much more.

A Conversation with Daniel José Older SCBWI Podcast part 2

(Click to play or right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) to download or open in your iTunes)

 

 

Season Two

Episode 17: A Conversation with Peter Brown

Theo Baker speaks with best-selling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown. Their conversation includes Peter’s process, from creating characters to the evolution of his illustration style, how writing his novel was like writing multiple picture books, and so much more.

 

Part One: Peter speaks about his career, creating characters, and illustration. (32:58)

A Conversation with Peter Brown SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Peter shares about writing his novel, and details his creative process. (24:14)

A Conversation with Peter Brown SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 16: A Conversation with Connie Hsu

Connie Hsu, executive editor at Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Publishing speaks with host Theo Baker in a  conversation that spans Connie’s journey to becoming an editor, the evolution of her understanding of what an editor should do, how she judges new manuscripts, and what she’s looking for in a new book. (46:00)

A Conversation with Connie Hsu

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Episode 15: A Conversation with Sara Varon

 

Graphic novelist and children’s book author/illustrator Sara Varon coveres the evolution of her art, the challenge of time management, and the insight she gained on the Maurice Sendak Fellowship residency. (32:48)

A Conversation with Sara Varon

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Episode 14: A Conversation with Gail Carson Levine

Theo Baker’s conversation with award-winning and best-selling author Gail Carson Levine.

Part One: Levine speaks about her journey to writing, and shares about her writing process. (27:25)

A Conversation with Gail Carson Levine SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Levine tells us about her work-in-progress, revision, how poetry helps, and offers advice to other writers. (25:01)

A Conversation with Gail Carson Levine SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 13: A Conversation with Mike Curato

Mike Curato, award-winning author/illustrator, is in two parts talks with host Theo Baker,

 

Part One: Curato shares about his inspirations, his career journey, and the SCBWI breakthrough that changed everything (26:35)

A Conversation with Mike Curato SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Curato talks about the role of research, the evolution of his own style, and much more!. (27:36)

A Conversation with Mike Curato SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 12: A Conversation with Cheryl Klein

A conversation with Cheryl Klein, the editorial director of Lee & Low Books, and Theo Baker.

Part One: Klein speaks of the insights she’s gained as an editor and the importance of diverse voices. (31:56)

A Conversation with Cheryl Klein SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Klein shares the publishing and writing sides to the question “who can write what?”, talks genre and telling the story of your heart, and tells us about her own books, the writing craft “The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults” and the picture books “Things with Wings” and “Thunder Trucks.” (31:56)

A Conversation with Cheryl Klein SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 11: A Conversation with Nancy Paulsen

President and publisher of Nancy Paulsen Books, Nancy Paulsen, talks with Theo Baker is in two parts!

 

Part One: Paulsen shares about being an editor, her vision, her list, diversity, and more. (29:30)

A Conversation with Nancy Paulsen SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Paulsen speaks about the revision process for middle grade fiction, the challenge of first chapters, and the process of publishing picture books. (29:21)

A Conversation with Nancy Paulsen SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 10: A Conversation with Raúl Colón

Theo Baker’s conversation with Raúl Colón, multi-award-winning illustrator of over 30 books for children.

Part One: Colobn talks about his inspiration and the unique path that lead to his career illustrating children’s picture books.(33:52)

A Conversation with Raúl Colón SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Colon shares details of his technique and process, discussed the advantages of analog over digital methods of creating art, and offers his take on how to find your own illustration style. (39:04)

A Conversation with Raúl Colón SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Episode 9: A Conversation with Jennifer Laughran

Jennifer Laughran, senior agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency in discussion with Theo Baker.

Part One: Laughran talks about her running start as an agent, the importance of sharing a vision with her author and illustrator clients, and the elements of building a career. (29:20)

A Conversation with Jennifer Laughran SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Laughrabn shares her take on trends, what she’s hoping to find when she gets a submission, and tells us just what went into some “overnight” successes. (24:49)

A Conversation with Jennifer Laughran SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Stephanie Garber SCBWI Podcast logo

Episode 8: A Conversation with Stephanie Garber

 New York Times Bestselling Author Stephanie Garber sits down with host Theo Baker.  

Part One: Garber shares about her influences, her publishing (and emotional) journey, and her writing process. (32:34)

A Conversation with Stephanie Garber SCBWI Podcast part 1

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Part Two: Garber talks world-building, the evolution of writing Caraval, and shares her advice for other authors… (33:59)

A Conversation with Stephanie Garber SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Podcast_Javaka-Steptoe

Episode 7: A Conversation with Javaka Steptoe

Theo Baker’s discussion with Caldecott Medal-winning, Coretta Scott King Award-Winning, and New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Javaka Steptoe.

Part One: Steptoe shares about growing up in New York City, going to art school, his process, and the role of curioisty in everything he does.

A Conversation with Javaka Steptoe SCBWI Podcast Part 1

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Part Two: Steptoe speaks about building his career, how he moved forward from his first book winning the Coretta Scott King award, and the evolution of the idea and the art of Radiant Child, his picture book biography of Jean-Michel Basquiat that recently won the Caldecott medal.

A Conversation with Javaka Steptoe SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Podcast_Zareen-Jaffery_landing-page

Episode 6: A Conversation with Zareen Jaffery

Theo Baker’s discussion with  Zareen Jaffery, editor of Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,

Part One: Jaffrey shares about the challenges of being an editor, the importance of world-building, how to handle beginnings, and the impetus behind creating Salaam Reads.

A Conversation with Zareen Jaffrey SCBWI Podcast Part 1

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Part Two: Jaffrey shares her passion behind creating an imprint that focuses on publishing books about Muslim children and families, distinguishes between “accuracy readers” and “sensitivity readers”, and advises the thing to keep top-of-mind when writing diverse characters…

A Conversation with Zareen Jaffrey SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Podcast_Sean-Qualls

Episode 5: A Conversation with Sean Qualls

 Children’s book illustrator, artist, and author Sean Qualls sits down with host Theo Baker,. 

Part One: Qualls’ journey to becoming a children’s book creator, getting his first jobs illustrating picture books, and how working on Dizzy (a picture books about jazzy legend, Dizzy Gillespie) was “magical.” (31:18)

A Conversation with Sean Qualls SCBWI Podcast Part 1

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Part Two: Qualls speaks about sponteaneity, his creative process, collaborating with his wife Selena Alko, and  more with Theo Baker (29:00)

A Conversation with Sean Qualls SCBWI Podcast part 2

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Allyn Johnston podcast logo

Episode 4: A Conversation with Allyn Johnston

Theo Baker’s talk with Allyn Johnston, Vice-president and publisher of Beach Lane Books.

Part One: Johnston’s journey to become an editor, and then publisher, and her focus on long-term relationships with her authors and illustrators. (31:41)

A Conversation with Allyn Johnston SCBWI Podcast Part 1

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Part Two: Johnston shares the questions she asks of a project’s creator, the “high wire act” of editing, and shares stories of working with Beach Lane Books’ world-class authors and illustrators.

A Conversation with Allyn Johnston SCBWI Podcast Part 2

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Podcast_Neal-Porter

Episode 3: A Conversation With Neal Porter

Neal Porter, Editorial Director of Neal Porter Books at Macmillan’s Roaring Brook Press, has an indepth discussion with Theo Baker, 

Part One: On Porter’s start in the industry, and working with his authors and illustrators, including the story behind the Caldecott medal-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. (29:49)

A Conversation With Neal Porter SCBWI Podcast Part 1

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Part Two: On the different way Porter’s authors and illustrators work, including author/illustrator Antoinette Portis, author/illustrator Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and the pairing of author Patricia MacLachlan and illustrator Hadley Hooper on The Iridescence of Birds. Neal also discussed his many roles (and hats) as an editor, and shares his thoughts on the children’s book industry and how it’s changing. (23:07)

A Conversation With Neal Porter SCBWI Podcast Part 2

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Podcast_JulieStrauss-Gabel

Episode 2: A Conversation with Julie Strauss-Gabel

President and Publisher of Dutton Books, Julie Strauss-Gabel, speaks with Theo Baker about becoming an editor, YA, what makes it on her list, her “tough” reputation, and more.

The full episode (30:50)

A Conversation with Julie Strauss-Gabel SCBWI Podcast

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Podcast_LindaSuePark2

Episode 1: A Conversation with Linda Sue Park

Newbery award-winning author Linda Sue Park in conversation with Theo Baker.

Part One: Park on poetry, revision, her process, and more… (36:35)

A Conversation With Linda Sue Park SCBWI Podcast Part 1

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Part Two: Park on first versus third person, and the evolution of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement… (30:34)

A Conversation With Linda Sue Park SCBWI Podcast Part 2

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Season One

Episode 11: Jordan Brown

Jordan Brown is Executive Editor, Walden Pond Press & Balzer + Bray, at HarperCollins Children’s Books. He has worked with such esteemed authors and illustrators as Jon Scieszka, Anne Ursu, Gris Grimly, Steve Brezenoff, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Chris Rylander, Erin McGuire, and Laura Ruby. In this podcast Jordan discusses diversity, the state of publishing, and his road to publishing.

Jordan Brown Podcast

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Episode 10: Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is the Newbery Award winning author of The Crossover. In this is podcast, Kwame discusses developing a love of poetry in school, working trade shows for his father’s independent publishing company, and why he chose the writerly life.

Kwame Alexander Podcast

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Episode 9: Emma Dryden

Emma Dryden is the founder of drydenbks, a premier children’s editorial and publishing consultancy firm. Emma has edited over a thousand books for children and young readers and many of her titles hit bestseller lists in USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly. In this podcast Emma chats about how a creative upbringing shaped her life and career, and provides her expertise on editing for authors.

 

Emma Dryden Podcast

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Episode 8: Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is a poet and the award-winning author of ten New York Times best-selling young adult novels-in-verse and two adult novels. Her eleventh YA, Rumble, published in 2014; and her third adult novel, Tangled, recently released in spring 2015. She is a current SCBWI Board member. Learn more about her literary upbringing, writing inspiration, and methods of craft in this episode.

 

Ellen Hopkins Podcast

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Episode 7: Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos has written books for readers of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, the 2012 Newbery Award Winner, and the Scott O’Dell Award Winner for Best Historic Fiction. In this wide-ranging conversation, Jack Gantos delves into the heart of his craft, dispensing everything from practical writing tips to his thoughts on the fundamentals of why children read and why we write for them.

Jack Gantos Podcast

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Episode 6: Pat Cummings Pat Cummings is the author/illustrator of over thirty-five books for young readers. She also edited the award-winning series, Talking With Artists, which profiles prominent children’s book illustrators. She teaches at Parsons and Pratt, and her children’s book illustration class has a growing number of notable illustrator/authors among its graduates. Pat serves on the SCBWI Board as well as on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Authors League Fund, The Authors Guild Foundation, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 

In the latest SCBWI Conversations Podcast, Pat talks about growing up on a military base in Germany, her career as an author and illustrator, her creative process and adapting to change: “you’ve got to swim in the water the way you find it.”

Pat Cummings Podcasts

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Episode 5: Gill Evans

Gill Evans is an Editorial Director at Walker Books. She began her publishing career in 1980 at Heinemann Educational Books before moving on to Reed Children’s Books, where she worked on Blyton, Tintin, Winnie the Pooh, Miffy, the Little Prince, and Babar. She entered the world of digital publishing in 1997 with Ahlberg’s Jolly Postman, one of the earliest CD-ROMs. In 2000 she became Head of Publishing at Random House Children’s Books. She joined Walker Books in 2003 as Editorial Director and Fiction Publisher. Here she talks with Lin Oliver about the role of the editor in the life of a work of art, the changing publishing landscape, “360 degree publishing,” self-publishing and the future of bookselling.

Gill Evans Podcast

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Episode 4: Laurie Halse Anderson 

Theo Baker talks with Laurie Halse Anderson, a New York Times best-selling children’s book author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity.   Her work has earned numerous American Library Association and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also made the Carnegie Medal shortlist in the United Kingdom. Laurie was the proud recipient of the 2011 Free Speech Defender Award given by the National Coalition Against Censorship and presented to her by her hero, Judy Blume. In this episode of Conversations she talks about her writing path and the issue of diversity in children’s literature.

Laurie Halse Anderson Podcast

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Episode 3: Arthur A. Levine

Lin Oliver talks with Arthur A. Levine, vice president and publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, an Imprint of Scholastic Inc. While Levine has edited and published exceptional books for children of all ages including Erin Bow’s Sorrow’s Knot, Alan Say’s The Favorite Daughter, Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Corner Of White and Alaya Dawn Johnson’s The Summer Prince, he is perhaps most recognized as co-editor of the Harry Potter series by J. K Rowling. Levine is the author of A Very Beary Tooth Fairy, illustrated by Sarah Brannen, and Monday Is One Day, illustrated by Julian Hector. He takes special pleasure in launching the careers of authors he’s met through SCBWI.

Arthur A. Levine Podcast

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Episode 2: Matt de la Peña

In the second episode of SCBWI’s Conversations, we talk with author Matt de la Peña author of the young adult novels Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican White Boy, We Were Here, I Will Save You and his latest, The Living.
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Episode 1: Melissa Manlove

In this episode of SCBWI’s Conversations, we talk with editor Melissa Manlove, of Chronicle Books, about picture books, mythology, poetry and the power of the spoken word, and the life and work of a picture book editor.

(Click to play or right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) to download or open in iTunes)