ʻOhana News

Do you have good news to share with our ʻohana? If you are an SCBWI Hawaiʻi member and have recently gotten an agent, had something published, signed a deal, won an award, received a grant, got into a juried show, have a book launch coming up, or anything else, we'd love to celebrate you! Click below to submit your good news.


Gael Abary: Book Release

MARCH 2024 — Congratulations to SCBWI Hawaii member Gael Abary on the release of If You Want to Ride a Horse, a picture book written by Amy Novesky, published by Neal Porter Books/Holiday House. In lovely, lyrical fashion, If You Want to Ride a Horse introduces young readers to the joys of owning, riding, and caring for horses. It only starts with imagination—from there, the possibilities are endless.


Druscilla Santiago: Book Release

FEBRUARY 2024 — Congratulations to SCBWI Hawaii member Druscilla Santiago for the release of her third book with author Lola M. Schaefer, Hands-On Science: Motion, published by Charlesbridge. In this interactive picture book, young scientists use their imagination to bring experiments to life. After predicting what will happen next, eager readers turn the page to see the results. Druscilla Santiago is an O‘ahu-based illustrator with a background in art direction and graphic design.


Gael Abary: Book Deal

DECEMBER 2023 — Anne Hoppe at HarperCollins/Allida has bought, at auction, world rights to Made for More by Chloe Ito Ward (I.), illustrated by Gael Abary, a picture book drawing on the creators' lives in Hawaii that speaks to the journey of immigration, loving one's skin, and how scars, freckles, and color share a story about who we are, where we're from, and where we've been. Publication is slated for winter 2025; Heather Cashman at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.


Akiko White and Kimberly Ratliff: Book Release

NOVEMBER 2023 — Congratulations to SCBWI members Kimberly Ratliff and Akiko White who jointly illustrated the recently published book Aloha Almighty, Alrighty!?! written by Dawn O'Brien. Dawn works for the nonprofit Choose Aloha, which is part of the Choose Love Movement. Choose Aloha stems from the founder, Scarlett Louis from Sandy Hook. Dawn has written three books with messages that lean into the Choose Love movement. She visits schools weekly around the state of Hawaii promoting Aloha while sharing this book series. You can find out more and connect with Akiko and Kimberly at their websites and social media. Akiko White akikowhite.com and IG, X, FB: @akikowhite || Kimberly Ratliff kimberlyratliffart.com and IG: @kimberlyratliffart


Scott Goto: Book Release

OCTOBER 2023 — Congratulations to Scott Goto on the October 2023 picture book release of Once Upon Hawaii written by Patricia McLean and illustrated by Scott Goto, published by BeachHouse Publishing. Visit their website to learn more about Once Upon Hawaii is a story that introduces kids to the early voyaging Polynesians who set out to find distant land and found the islands of Hawai‘i. Scott Goto, who was born in and still resides in Honolulu, Hawaii, is a published author and illustrator, numerous illustrated picture and text books.


Druscilla Santiago: Book Release

OCTOBER 2023 — Congratulations to SCBWI Hawaii member Druscilla Santiago for the release of her second book, Hands-On Science: Geology, written by Lola M. Schaefer and published by Charlesbridge. In this interactive picture book, young scientists use their imagination to bring experiments to life. They slide tectonic plates together to create earthquakes, blow on a mountain to make a volcano erupt, and press their hands in mud to make a fossil. After predicting what will happen next, eager readers turn the page to see the results.


Tammy Yee: Keiki Story Time

SEPTEMBER 2023 — Join SCBWI Hawaii member Tammy Yee on October 28th at 11 a.m. at the Honolulu Barnes and Noble for her Book Signing and Keiki Storytime of her latest board book Wake Up, Mermaids! By Tammy Yee, published by BeachHouse Publishing, released September 2023. In Wake Up, Mermaids! three keiki mermaids wake up for their daily routine in Hawaii's underwater world. After brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and making their beds, they're off to swim with seals and sing with whales...all except one sleepy mermaid.


Tammy Yee: Book Release

AUGUST 2023 — Congratulations to member Tammy Yee for the August 2023 picture book release Brave Mrs. Sato by Lori Matsukawa, Illustrated by Tammy Yee, published by Chin Music Press. In a little Hawaiian house with a mango tree, Cathy and her babysitter Mrs. Sato spend their afternoons arranging flowers, cooking, and having adventures. When Cathy has to move away, Mrs. Sato comforts her by sharing her own story of immigrating from Japan to Hawaii.  Brave Mrs. Sato tells a heartwarming story of intergenerational friendship, immigration, and bravery.


Angela Marise Johnson: New Agent

August 2023—Angela Marise Johnson has signed with with Literary Agent Janine Le from Janine Le Literary Agency. Angela Marise Johnson is a writer and illustrator from Los Angeles. She received her BFA from Otis College of Art and Design before moving to Hawai’i Island to live amongst the trees. Founded in February 2022 by Janine Le, Janine Le Literary Agency is a full-service agency representing authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults.


Druscilla Santiago: Book Release

August 2023—Druscilla Santiago makes her debut as a children’s book illustrator with her first in a series of three non-fiction picture books written by Lola M. Schaefer. Hands-On Science Matter was released on July 11th.


Vera Arita: Story Time

August 2023—Author Vera Arita read her picture book Alohasaurus for a story time at Mililani Public Library this week. She included some singing and dancing with bubbles to engage the students.


Mariko Miyake: Book Release

JULY 2023 — Mariko Miyake is an SCBWI author and illustrator from Oahu. Her self-published book, The Weeping Field was released on Amazon in July 2023. It's available in paperback and ebook versions. Mariko wrote, edited and designed the interior as well as illustrated the cover. It is a New Adult book, an often overlooked category, also in the categories of magical realism and women's fiction.The Weeping Field is a book about a young widow's journey to find home again after the tragic loss of her husband and the disappearance of her young daughter. She must find that inner strength to go on after finding herself in a parallel world with a guide who feels strangely familiar. But she must trust him if she's ever to see her daughter again.


Scott Goto: Book Release

MAY 2023 — SCBWI Hawaii congratulates Scott Goto for the May 2023 release of Wordsworth the Haiku Teacher by Author: Frances H. Kakugawa; illustrated by Scott Goto, published by Watermark Publishing. Wordsworth the Haiku Teacher makes the art of haiku engaging and introduces writing concepts such as simile, metaphor and personification in easy-to-understand terms. Scott Goto is an author/illustrator who was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he still resides. To learn more about Scott, visit his website ScottGoto.com


Catherine Payne: Book Release

May 2023—Catherine Payne, a SCBWI Hawaii member who lives on Guam, is excited about the release of a picture book that she and her brother, John Payne II, wrote. Mole and Tell was released in May 2023 by Science, Naturally! a small independent press in Washington, D.C. Catherine said, "I enjoy being a member of the Hawai'i chapter. I appreciate the resources and camaraderie!" Author Catherine Payne worked as a journalist after earning master’s degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities. After returning to her native Guam, she became an English instructor and tutor. Catherine especially loves writing books that transport children to happy places. The inspiration she draws from Pacific cultures helps her appreciate the interconnectedness of all things.


Kamalani Hurley: Book Deal

April 2023—We would like to congratulate Kamalani Hurley on her debut non-fiction picture book, Kahoʻolawe. This is a story of loss and erasure, of sacrifice and dedication, and, ultimately, of restoration and resilience. Created by Native Hawaiians Kamalani Hurley (author) and Harinani Orme (illustrator), this childrenʻs picture book is the story of aloha ʻāina — a deep love of the land. It explores the history of the island of Kahoʻolawe and how she is a beacon of hope for the Native Hawaiian people and for people everywhere who fight against social and environmental injustice. Kamalani Hurly was represented by her Agent James McGowan of BookEnds Literary. Carol Hinz of Learner/Millbrook acquired world rights for the book. Publication is set for Fall 2024.


Mirka Hokkanen: Book Release

March 2023—We would like to celebrate our previous IC, Mirka Hokkanen on her new debut book Mossy and Tweed: Crazy for Coconuts. And the sequel book, Mossy and Tweed: Double Trouble. Mirka also has two more books available on Preorder, Kitty and Cat: Opposites Attract and Kitty and Cat: Bent Out of Shape.


Elizabeth Carter: Tribute Fund Awardee

March 2023—Congratulations to Elizabeth Carter from Maui for receiving the Tribute Fund. This was Elizabeths first time to attend the New York Winter Conference. Find out more about Elizabeth on her website.


Druscilla Santiago: Portfolio Showcase Winner

March 2023—Congratulations to Druscilla Santiago for receiving the agented portfolio winner at this years in person winter conference. This was Dru's first time to attend the New York winter conference.


Rebecca J. Carlson: Book Signing

February 2023—Lets celebrate Rebecca at her upcoming book signing to celebrate the release of her 3rd book in the Barley and Rye series, "The Wizard of Frogsmire." It will be held Thursday, February 16th from 3:30 - 5:00 PM on BYU-Hawaii campus starting in the Aloha Center, room 155-156, then the book signing will be held in the Aloha Center lobby near the bookstore entrance. Rebecca J. Carlson lives in the country paradise of North Shore Oahu. She loves hiking in the jungle, snorkeling at the beach, and playing the harp in her Celtic folk band. In third grade she wrote her first story, about a girl who builds her own space ship and saves an alien planet from a tyrannical gold-eating monster. She's been concocting fantastic tales of adventure ever since.


Dorothy H Patent: Book Release

January 2023—I'm delighted to join SCBWI Hawaii! I'm a long-time member of SCBWI and have moved to Kaua'i from Missoula MT because my husband Greg and I love Hawaii and got tired of winter. I'm a zoologist and write nonfiction science and nature books for young readers. I love helping kids learn about the natural world and connect with nature. My book "The Lizard Scientists Studying Evolution in Action" just came out, 5 years from idea to book! You can find the book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Hsco8v The Horn Book is publishing a nice story about it in the Jan/Feb issue. FYI the usually brown outdoor lizards that are active during daytime on the islands are brown anoles; evolution in the anole family in the Caribbean is the subject of the book. Great scientists, fascinating research!


Regional SCBWI Teams Retreat

November 2022—New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do... The SCBWI Hawaii team had a meeting with all of the regional SCBWI teams in New York and are now inspired to bring what they learned back to our Hawaii region. The publishing house, art directors, editors and agents have all been working from home during the pandemic and some are still at home but coming in the office whenever necessary. For Illustrators they said keep sending out your postcards to keep your art on their radar and for writers to keep working on getting that polished manuscript for submissions. It has been difficult time during the pandemic with supply issues etc. but they are looking forward to things moving in a positive way. So continue to keep up with your good work!


Thao “Kale‘a” Le: Book Release

October 2022—Haʻahaʻa is the third book in Dr. Le's series designed to teach children about ALOHA and mindfulness. Publication of the book is sponsored by Department of Human Services, Office of Youth Services and supported by Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii. 800 copies are being freely distributed to various social service, youth and family serving agencies throughout Hawai’i. Proceeds go to making the book freely available to schools and public serving agencies. Thao “Kale‘a” Le, PhD, MPH, is professor and chair of the Family Consumer Sciences Department at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa. Her work and research are an expression of her love and gratitude for Hawai’i. Thao means sharing, and Kale’a (bestowed by Uncle Bruce Keaulani) means joy. The inspiration for writing these children’s books is to share the joy of practicing mindfulness and being aloha


Akiko White: Book Release

September 2022—Happy Book Birthday to SCBWI Regional Advisor, Akiko White on illustrating Aloha Allova. A fun adventure for keiki (children) from the heart of Hawaii! Authors Dawn O'Brien & Tony Silva are the Aloha Ambassadors of Hawaii who take the "Choose Aloha" S.E.L. Program to schools all around Hawaii & the world. This book weaves together Hawaiian language, Polynesian culture and social-emotional learning themes of brave breaths, mindfulness, gratitude and, most importantly of all, connection and aloha! Aloha Allova is available through Amazon all proceeds go to the "Choose Aloha" program. If you would like a bookplate autograph please contact Akiko at akiko@akikowhite.com


Kamalani Hurley: New Agent

July 2022—Congratulations to Kamalani Hurley for her recent representation with James McGowan of BookEnds Literary. A little bit more about Kamalani: "Remembering stuff is my super power. I have a photographic memory, so I think I would be really good at playing Jeopardy. Iʻm pretty good at learning languages, too. I went to Japanese school as a kid. I speak pretty fluent Spanish, and Iʻve learned a lot of Korean from the K-dramas I love to watch. But I donʻt speak as much Hawaiian as I should."


Gael Abary: New Agent

June 2022—Gael Abary, SCBWI Hawaii's Illustrator Coordinator, has signed with literary agent, Andrea Morrison of Writer's House Art. Andrea reached out to Gael directly when she saw the Publisher's Weekly announcement about Gael's latest book. Andrea Morrison, a Senior Agent at Writers House / Writers House Art has had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators in genres ranging from picture books to middle grade and YA to adult literary fiction and nonfiction.


Tammy Yee: CHL Hall of Fame Inductee

June 2022—Congratulations to Tammy Yee, Children's Literature Hawaii 2022 CLH Hall of Fame Inductee! Children's Literature Hawai'i celebrates children's literature and advocates for local writers and illustrators. They established the CLH Hall of Fame in 2021 to honor local creators for their contributions to children's literature in Hawai'i.


Gael Abary: Book Deal

May 2022—Congratulations to SCBWI Hawaii's Illustrator-Coordinator, Gael Abary! As announced in the Publisher's Weekly Right's report of April 11, 2022: Taylor Norman at Chronicle Books has bought world rights to If You Want to Ride a Horse, written by Amy Novesky (left) and illustrated by Gael Abary (right), a picture book that introduces young readers to the joys of riding, caring for, and dreaming about horses. Publication is planned for fall 2024; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.


Tammy Yee: Positive Kirkus Review

February 2022—Congratulations to Tammy Yee for getting a positive Kirkus review of OF THE ANGEL OF SANTO TOMAS – THE STORY OF FE DEL MUNDO. Tammy Yee is an award-winning author/illustrator who grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduating from college, she cared for children as a pediatric nurse. Having her own children rekindled her love for picture books, so in 1994 she exchanged her stethoscope for a paintbrush and has been writing and illustrating.


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