SCBWI-WI Volunteers


Deb Buschman, Regional Advisor

Deb was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in Wisconsin. She’s been a member of SCBWI since 2011 and served as Co-Area Rep for Wisconsin’s southwest area. She is a member of 12×12 and coordinates two online critique groups. Deb won honorable mention in the 2017 “Rate Your Story” contest for her picture book. Her family can be found on the lake in the summer and skiing in the winter. For SCBWI -related topics, reach Deb at


Joyce Uglow, Assistant Regional Advisor

Joyce is a retired educator and school principal who has served the Wisconsin State Reading Association in administrative roles in which she wore many hats, including president, web editor and event registrar. She is the founder of Read the Way WSRA and has shared her ZOOM expertise with all of us as SCBWI-WI webinar coordinator throughout these confusing pandemic years. She is in multiple critique and workshop groups, honing her picture book writing skills. She is also a tree hugger, doorknob collector, and from a close family of creatives. Joyce reads to breathe in and writes to breathe out. Contact Joyce at

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Kathy Groth, Publications Promotions Chair

Kathy (Ackley) Groth has been married to her husband Chuck for 40 years. They raised two daughters and are blessed with five grandchildren. They sold their home and now live a simpler life traveling, always on the lookout for inspiration for her next books. Kathy’s career in elementary education spans over thirty years. Her love for children and children’s literature has been her inspiration as a writer. Her first book, Sunken, Shipwrecks of Lake Superior was traditionally published in 2021. The next book, The Shell Box, was hybrid published. So, what makes sense for her third book? Of course, start a publishing company and publish it yourself. Sunken, Shipwrecks of Lake Michigan was self-published in 2023. Her newest book, Ocean Party, should be out by spring, 2024.


John Krause, Member Coordinator

John loves books. Shopping for them, buying them, collecting them, and, of course, reading them. The library is his temple. His first inroads to published writing were his high school’s newspaper and literary magazine. After nearly two decades in the insurance industry as an actuary, John took the plunge to write and publish full-time. His first novel, Pudge Amazon and the Ugly Ostrich, a hilarious middle-grade escapade, will be independently published in August 2023. Two more books in the series will shortly follow.

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Liza Wiemer, Social Media Coordinator

Liza is an award-winning educator with over twenty-five years of teaching experience. Hello?, her debut realistic contemporary YA novel, is set in Door County, Wisconsin and was published by Spencer Hill Press, NY. It was named a Goodreads Best Young Adult Novel. In addition, Liza has had two adult non-fiction books published through Random House and Gefen Publishing. Several of her short stories were included in the New York Times bestselling Small Miracles series. A die-hard Packer fan and graduate of UW-Madison, she’s married with two sons. Find her on Twitter: @lizawiemer, Instagram: lizamwiemer, Goodreads: Liza M Wiemer and


Renée Neubauer, Critique Group Coordinator

Renée grew up near Milwaukee and currently lives in Neenah with her husband, three children, two dogs, and two chickens. After working for over a decade in healthcare and management, she joined SCBWI in 2018 and became a full-time writer. She received Honorable Mention for her picture book submissions in the 2021 and 2022 PBParty contests. Renée belongs to three critique groups and looks forward to matching other writers with their (hopefully) forever critique groups. When not writing, you can find her guzzling tea, reading, rescuing worms on the sidewalk, traveling, devouring chocolate, cooking, and planning adventures for her kids.


Maria Parrott-Ryan, Website Coordinator

Maria has been a member of SCBWI-WI since 2014 and was the recipient of the chapter’s middle grade mentorship in 2018. She is the author is Mysterious Glowing Mammals (September 2023), a nonfiction science story for middle graders, from Lerner Publishing/Millbrook Press. Maria also edits children’s books for the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. She lives in Madison with her family.

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Kelly Flanagan, Webinar Coordinator

Kelly Flanagan is a newly retired elementary teacher. She believes that there are no reluctant readers. There are just kids who haven't found a book they love yet. Kelly's goal is to write that book. Her first middle grade novel, Holding Onto Courage, will be released early next year. Kelly was selected for Wisconsin's Herb Kohl award for outstanding teachers and is National Board Certified in middle grades. She has a B.S. in Journalism and a Masters of Education. Kelly lives in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin with her husband. She spends the winter in Florida's panhandle walking the white sand beaches. Besides writing, Kelly tutors low income students, spends time with her four active, adorable grandchildren, and plays hours of pickleball each day.