Get To Know Our Writer - Gama Valle


Meet Our Writer- Gama Valle

I've been a member of SCBWI since 2020. It's hard to decide what's been the most impactful thing I've learned from being a member. There's so much you have access to. But if I have to choose one thing, I have to say it's quickly learning that building community is key to a fruitful and enjoyable career. I currently run the bilingual SCBWI SoCal critique groups.

I write fiction picture books. And I'm starting to work on a horror MG novel. My writing process depends a lot on my mood. Sometimes I outline a project,  other times I just sit down and start writing prompted by a simple idea, and there are times I solely focus on the pitch until I feel it is time to start typing. I usually write at night during the week and in the morning on the weekends. Listening to Lofi playlists while I work helps me relax and concentrate. 

Back in 2011, I started writing down my ideas and completed several picture book manuscripts  I submitted to several Latin American publishing houses. When the rejections poured in, I put aside the idea of becoming a children's author. But then, in 2020, I decided to revise one of those old stories and give my dream another chance. 

I have never attended a writing program. I've learned by listening to critique partners, editors and reading, reading, reading. I took a picture book writing class with an Spain-based organization called Asociación Âlbum. A little corner office in my room doubles as my writing nook, but sometimes I write in bed or on the couch, depending on my mood and if my back isn't killing me. My body is starting to betray me!

My dream project would be a very, VERY Puerto Rican picture book. Did I already mention I'm Puerto Rican? Right now, I'm working on an unannounced picture book project. Really excited about that! Maybe I can share the announcement with y'all when it comes out. Although I love art, I am not an illustrator because I can't draw. My stick figures are pretty good, though.

I'm represented by Leah Pierre of Ladderbird Literary Agency. We connected after I cold-queried her. She really understood my work and saw my potential to branch out into other genres. I also loved that Leah was an editorial agent. 

My debut picture book Pitu le baila al mar (illustrated by Yamel Figueroa) won a few International Latino Books Awards and was an Campoy-Ada Award Honorable Mention. My other book, Prohibido llorar (illustrated by Lorenzo Sangio) was selected as Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. That book comes out on May 24, 2024. 

Some interesting facts about me are 1) I'm also a casting director. 2) I'm originally from Puerto Rico. 3) Mariah Carey is my favorite singer and songwriter. 4) I believe I have a green thumb. 

You can find me everywhere as @gamavalle (Beware: You'll get some Mariah Carey content.) You can also visit my website: