Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Sofiya Pasternack


Region: Utah/Southern Idaho
Age Levels: 5-10, 11-13, and 14-17
Will Travel: < 500 miles
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:


Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories. She enjoys speaking to crowds about writing and mental health. She does not enjoy running but she does it anyway. She is actually a gremlin in a bad wig.

Her debut novel ANYA AND THE DRAGON won the Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor for Middle Grade, and her follow-up ANYA AND THE NIGHTINGALE won the STBA Honor for Middle Grade, was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist, and was selected as a BookRiot Best Children's Book of 2020! BLACK BIRD, BLUE ROAD, her next book about death and desserts, will release September 20, 2022!

Presentation Description:

A fun, funny look into how writing fiction can help students be better writers for school and beyond. Very brief and simple discussion of how brains work (you have three brains, not one!), plus interactive discussion of how to come up with a plot and characters. Length: 45 minutes to an hour. Can be altered to fit any audience, but designed for grades 4-6. 

A trip back to the 10th Century, when gunpowder was first blowing holes in China, Russians were using pigeons for sneak-warfare, and Vikings were getting beaten up by Indigenous Canadians. A discussion on ancient stories and how they have affected the modern day. How to take historical elements and use them to flesh out fantasy, science fiction, and any genre in between. Length: 45 minutes to one hour. Designed to cover topics for 7th grade UEN World History requirements, especially Strand 3.

Learn how to be a psychotherapist for your characters! Using real psychoanalysis and therapy techniques can help you get to the heart of your character's goals and values, and the things keeping them from achieving them. Note: not for use on actual human beings. ;) Length: 45 minutes to one hour.

* Requires PowerPoint capability.