REGIONAL ADVISOR - I write novels for teens and young adults, and can be sometimes found hustling as a ghost whisperer and historian. For my day job, I’m privileged to work as a high school special education teacher in a public school district in Washington state.
ILLUSTRATOR COORDINATOR - Kevan is a writer/illustrator of award-winning children's books including the 2019 Crystal Kite Award winner, "Ghost Cat." After decades running a graphic design studio, a greeting card company and a few dalliances in the dot.com nuttiness, he broke into picture books. His books include: "Bunnies!!!," "Puddles!!!," and "I Love You More than the Smell of Swamp Gas." Among books illustrated for others are the "Dear Beast" series by Dori Hillestad Butler, "I Want a Boat" by Liz Garton Scanlon, "Frankie Stein" by Lola Schaefer, "Halloween Hustle" by Charlotte Gunnufson, and "Tickle Monster" by Josie Bissett. Then there’s Clippy…
ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADVISOR - Carol grew up in a home full of art, adventure, and love. She writes middle grade novels, picture books, and she loves to paint the images that float in her imagination and in real life. Carol has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. After many years living abroad, Carol lives in the Seattle area with her family and her dog named Bisous.
REGISTRAR - Ruthie Nicklaus has been an active member of the arts community in Seattle since 2007. She was a costume technician in professional venues such as the 5th Avenue Theatre, The Seattle Opera, ACT Theatre, The Seattle Children’s Theater and Pacific Northwest Ballet and Swaybox Studios in New Orleans. In 2017, Ruthie joined SCBWI and shifted her focus to writing and illustration. Now she sprawls among wonder-filled books and scribbles stories full of quirky, energetic and emotional characters that she hopes will inspire and delight children.
MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR - Dolores Andral was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Haitian parents. She loves reading, writing and creating. She has a book in every room, so she’s never without a story on hand. Her hobbies include making clay dolls, teaching herself animation, and writing screenplays (for her clay dolls and cartoon characters of course!). She earned an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. She writes for kids because saw the need for her children to see themselves represented in books. The countless books she read during her 10 years as a preschool teacher contributed as well.
NONFICTION EVENT COORDINATOR - Mary Boone has ridden an elephant, hung out backstage with a boy band, and baked dozens of cricket cookies – all in the interest of research for her books and magazine articles. She’s written dozens of nonfiction books for young readers, ranging from biographies to how-to craft guides. Her first two picture books are due out in Fall 2024: "Pedal Pusher" (Published by Henry Holt) and "School of Fish" (Published by Albert Whitman). Mary lives in Tacoma, where she helps coordinate the SCBWI Tacoma Network.
WEBINAR SERIES COORDINATOR - Vicki Conrad spends her days teaching children to read and evenings writing stories she hopes will inspire young readers. Growing up, she was always found with a book in her hand, and she has stayed that way ever since. Her first book, "Just Like Beverly" was released from Sasquatch Books in 2019. It received a starred Kirkus review and was a Junior Library Guild Gold Selection, as well as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2019. Her second nonfiction picture book, "A Voice for the Everglades", is a science biography about Marjory Stoneman Douglas saving the Florida Everglades. Vicki is a curious seeker of knowledge and lover of history. She has called Seattle her home for many years.
BULLETIN EDITOR - Michèle Griskey lives on Orcas Island where she writes and blogs about mystery novels. She is the author of four middle grade biographies: "Ray Bradbury," "Harriet Beecher Stowe," Beverly Cleary," and Emily Dickinson." She also works as a community college literature teacher and a high school paraeducator. When she isn’t writing or working, she enjoys making vegetarian dishes, hiking in the woods, and twirling on her aerial hammock.
INSIDE STORY COORDINATOR - Ayelén has been helping out as a super volunteer since November 2022, when she was randomly selected as the new Inside Story Coordinator as a joke, and eagerly accepted the role anyway. Fresh out of university, she is searching for opportunities to write and illustrate picture books that can bring joy to everyone who reads them. She is also currently looking for representation. When she is not drawing or painting, she loves to spend time appreciating God's creations, especially her two cats.
WEBMASTER - Jason is from the East Coast, but has called Seattle home for the past 14 years. He’s been Webmaster for the Western Washington Region of SCBWI since 2018. By trade, he is a technical writer. Creatively, he writes primarily for middle grade. When he’s not writing, he’s traveling, attending live music, watching hockey, or appreciating art.
CRITIQUE GROUP COORDINATOR - Ron has lived many lives—bricklayer, wildlife agent, technical assistant, waiter, marketing writer—but the one he loves best is children's book writer. Ron’s latest title, "The Last Bird," is a historical middle-grade tale of a 14-foot-tall, live prehistoric bird and the kids who fight to keep it free. Born and bred in the great state of New Jersey, Ron lives in Seattle with his wife, dog, and favorite fig tree.
EQUITY & INCLUSION COORDINATOR - Ellie Peterson is the author and illustrator of multiple picture books, including "How to Hug a Pufferfish" and "School is Wherever I Am." Her work is inspired by 20 years as a classroom teacher and her experience growing up as a biracial army brat. You can find her making art in her backyard studio, browsing the shelves of her local library, or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she lives.
PAL LIASON - Jolie Stekly is a writer who works with pre-published and published writers at all stages. She teaches classes privately as well as being part of the University of Washington’s Certificate in Writing program. She also offers workshops and coaches writers one-on-one. In 2009 Jolie was recognized as SCBWI’s Member of the Year. Jolie is honored to welcome hundreds of first-time attendees to the SCBWI summer conference during Orientation. Her short story Ghost Around These Parts is Washington state's spooky story in the forthcoming "The Haunted States of America" (July 2024). She is represented by Rosemary Stimola.
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR - Suma Subramaniam writes stories on STEM/STEAM related topics about India and Indian heritage. When she’s not recruiting, she volunteers for We Need Diverse Books and SCBWI, or blogs about children's books. Her books include "Namaste is a Greeting" (Crystal Kite Award), "She Sang for India: How M.S. Subbulakshmi Used her Voice for Change," "The Runaway Dosa," and more. Suma is also the contributing author of "The Hero Next Door" (Finalist -Massachusetts Book Award). Her poems have been published in Poetry Foundation's Poetry Magazine. Suma lives in Seattle with her family and a dog who watches baking shows.
ISLAND NETWORK COORDINATOR - Deb is best known for her rollicking, rhyming picture books. She also writes middle grade novels and is playing with illustration! Her "Fiction Magic" card decks are a fun way to get ideas or more conflict in your writing. As her own worst creativity coaching client, Deb has yet to hear anything from a client she hasn’t already experienced. You can learn more about Deb at deblund.com. Sign up for her infrequent newsletter if you want to hear what she’s up to. And if you’re on or near Whidbey Island, contact Deb and/or check out the Whidbey KidLit Facebook page.
NORTHERN NETWORK COORDINATOR - Rebecca Van Slyke has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She writes picture books, easy readers, nonfiction, and poetry. Her job in the Western Washington SCBWI is to run the Northern Network and to be the Network Coordinator. Besides teaching writing to adults, Rebecca is also a second-grade teacher in Lynden, where she lives with her husband and two very spoiled dachshunds.
TACOMA NETWORK CO-COORDINATOR - Dalton is a storyteller, ranging anywhere from comics to picture books and graphic design. He grew up in Houston, Texas, as a Deaf and hard-of-hearing child, he now lives in Tacoma with his family, two mischievous cats, and a scruffy pup. He has worked as a game artist, an illustrator, a graphic designer, and a copywriter. When not writing and drawing stories, he can be found in his garden, on the road riding his scooter, or digging for worms with his daughter.