Society of
Children's Book Writers
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Faculty Bios | SCBWI Celebrates #OwnVoices

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Phil Bildner is the award-winning author of numerous books for kids including the 2021 Charlotte Huck Award Honor-winning, A High Five for Glenn Burke and the Margaret Wise Brown Prize-winning picture book, Marvelous Cornelius. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed Rip & Red middle grade series. Phil taught middle school in the New York City Public School system for eleven years and is the founder of The Author Village, an author booking business. 
Kalynn Bayron is the bestselling author of the award-winning YA fantasy Cinderella is Dead. She is a classically trained vocalist and when she’s not writing you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, attending the theater, watching scary movies, and spending time with her kids.
Mike Curato is the author and illustrator of everyone’s favorite polka-dotted elephant, Little Elliot. His debut title, Little Elliot, Big City, released in 2014 to critical acclaim, has won several awards, and has been translated into over ten languages. There are now five books in the Little Elliot series, including Little Elliot, Big FamilyLittle Elliot, Big FunLittle Elliot, Fall Friends; and Merry Christmas, Little Elliot. Mike had the pleasure of illustrating What If… by Samantha Berger, All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, and contributed to What’s Your Favorite Color? by Eric Carle and Friends and Sunny Day: A Celebration of the Sesame Street Theme Song. His latest books, released in 2020, are The Power of One written by Trudy Ludwig, and his first YA graphic novel, Flamer! Publishers Weekly named Mike a “Fall 2014 Flying Start.” In the same year he won the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show Founder’s Award.
Alex Gino is the author of the middle grade novels Rick, You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! and the Stonewall Award-winning George. They love glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the diversity and complexity of being alive. For more information, visit
Bill Konigsberg is the award-winning author of six young adult novels, including Openly Straight and The Music of What Happens. His latest novel, The Bridge, is in development as a limited series at Amazon. In 2018, The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)’s Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) established the Bill Konigsberg Award for Acts and Activism for Equity and Inclusion through Young Adult Literature. Prior to turning his attention to writing books for teens, Bill was a sportswriter and editor for The Associated Press and
Abdi Nazemian is the author of three novels. His first, The Walk-In Closet, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction. His most recent, Like a Love Story, an Indie Next Pick, Walden Award finalist and Junior Library Guild Selection, was awarded a Stonewall Honor, and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Audible, Buzzfeed, the New York Public Library, and more. His screenwriting credits include the films The Artist’s Wife, The Quiet, and Menendez: Blood Brothers, and the television series The Village and Almost Family. He has been an executive producer and associate producer on numerous films, including Call Me By Your Name, Little Woods, and Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband and two children.
  J Yang is a New York-based illustrator who happens to be a Chinese-American trans man. During quarantine, he has acquired a cherry shrimp hobby, learned a couple of new recipes, and has become a square-shaped grandma in a D&D campaign. You can find his work in Portrait of a TyrantOur RainbowSpirit Day, and upcoming The Good Hair Day and If You’re A Kid Like Gavin. J is currently at large.