New England SCBWI 2018: Dream. Explore. Create.

Springfield, Massachusetts
Friday, April 20, 2018

New England SCBWI 2018 
Dream. Explore. Create.
artwork by Priscilla Alpaugh

Registration for the 2018 Conference is now closed. 

Please read the SCBWI Anti-Harassment Policy.
You will not be able to register for the Conference
until you have read this document.
If you have any concerns at the Conference,
please speak to a member of our Safety Team:
Regional Advisors (RAs)
Marilyn Salerno, Margo Lemieux, Stacy Mozer, Denise Ortakales,
and Kathy Quimby Johnson.

Click here for all related HOTEL information; click here for PARKING information.

BOOKSELLING INFORMATION for SCBWI Members (last updated 11 February 2018)


Saturday Workshops:
C2  C3  C5  C8  D3  D4  D8  D9  E1  E2  F1  F2  F5  G6
Sunday Workshops:
S1  M1  M10 

Closed (not accepting waitlist additions):
Manuscript (MS) Critiques
Portfolio (PF) Critiques
Agent Quick Query (AQQ) Critiques
Social Media Consultations (SMC)


If you are trying to access SignUpGenius to view your critique schedule,
you will notice that the link is no longer available.

Please contact for AQQs and SMCs, for MS critiques,
and for PF critiques.


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If you'd like to learn more about the National SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), click here.


Dream. Explore. Create.

Click here to view printer-friendly Faculty Biographies.

Keynote Speakers:

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is the author of the contemporary YA novels Beautiful, a 2011 YALSA Quick Pick; Clean, a 2012 YALSA Quick Pick, Junior Library Guild Selection, Northern California Book Award Nominee, and YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee; Crazy, Bank Street College Best Book of the Year; Over You, 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee; Damaged; Invincible; and Unforgivable. Her most recent novel, The Nowhere Girls, received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist. She also edited Our Stories, Our Voices, an anthology of personal essays by YA authors to be released Summer 2018. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina. You can find her online at

Matt Phelan

Matt Phelan is the award-winning creator of the middle grade graphic novels Snow White, The Storm in the Barn, Bluffton, and Around the World, and the picture books Druthers and Pignic. He has also illustrated numerous books for children, including The High Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park, and Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen.

Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia is the celebrated author of a dozen acclaimed books for children and teens. She was named a three-time finalist for the Coretta Scott King Author Award, as well as a three-time finalist for the National Book Award Prize for Young People. She is most known for her Gaither Sisters Trilogy (One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven, and Gone Crazy in Alabama). Her most recent novel, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, was named a National Book Award Finalist and an NAACP Image Award Nominee.

Special Guest Panelist:

Patricia MacLachlan

Patricia MacLachlan is the celebrated author of many timeless bestselling books for young readers, including Sarah, Plain and Tall (winner of the Newbery Medal) and Arthur, for the Very First Time (winner of the Golden Kite Award). Though she didn't begin writing books until the age of thirty-five, she is now one of the most beloved authors of both picture books and novels. She is often praised for the simplicity and sensitivity she brings to her stories and for her deft handling of unconventional subject matter. MacLachlan lives and writes at her home on top of a mountain in western Massachusetts.

Workshop Faculty:

*** see the CRITIQUE FACULTY list below for additional Workshop Presenters

Priscilla Alpaugh

Priscilla Alpaugh received a BFA in Painting and Illustration from UMass Amherst and a MFA in Illustration (ABD) from Syracuse University.

Priscilla has worked from her studio at ArtSpace Maynard since 2001. She has created murals, greeting cards, designed logos and t-shirts, created handmade sculptures, and has illustrated several self-published books for other authors. In 2015, Islandport Press released her first traditionally published book Hold This!. She won the Portfolio Showcase at NESCBWI the same year. In 2016, Hold This! received the Moonbeam Silver Award for Picture Books. Priscilla is the Greater Boston Illustrator’s Group’s co-coordinator, a member of SCBWI, The Graphic Artist's Guild, and a member of the Association of Bookplate Collectors and Designers. Priscilla is also the Conference Logo Designer this year.

Kristine Asselin

Kristine Asselin writes MG fantasy and contemporary YA. She is also the author of sixteen works of children’s nonfiction. In addition to the MG Art of the Swap, co-written with Jen Malone, her YA contemporary Any Way You Slice It is also available. She lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband and teen daughter, and spends part of everyday looking for a TARDIS to steal. You can learn more about Kris at Find her on Twitter @KristineAsselin and Instagram @KrisAsselin.

Jenn Baker

Jenn Baker is a publishing professional, the creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, a contributing editor for Electric Literature, diversity advocate, social media lead and instructor for Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and social media lead for I, Too, Arts Collective. She is the editor of the forthcoming short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life (Atria Books, 2018) and formerly served as social media manager and panel organizer for the non-profit We Need Diverse Books. She has won fellowships from NYSCA/NYFA, Queens Council on the Arts, and the SCBWI Emerging Voices Award. Her writing has appeared in numerous print and online publications including, School Library Journal, Poets & Writers, and LitHub. Her website is:

J. L. Bell

Panel Moderator J. L. Bell is an author of both fiction and nonfiction for young readers, in both prose and comics form, as well as history for grown-ups. His publications include a science-activity book, a 600-page government report about Gen. George Washington, and an examination of the first thirty years of the character Dick Grayson. For SCBWI New England he has been a Regional Advisor and conference director, and he now compiles the newsletter's "Market News" column.

Jen Betton

Jen Betton writes and illustrates for kids. In Kindergarten she got into trouble for drawing presents on a picture of Santa, and she has been illustrating ever since. She wrote and illustrated Hedgehog Needs a Hug, published with Penguin-Putnam, and she illustrated Twilight Chant, written by Holly Thompson, published with Clarion.

She has a BA in English, a BFA in Painting, and MFA in Illustration. She teaches animation and illustration students, and she has won a number of awards for her illustrations. You can find her in Boston chasing her two kids. You can see more of her work at

Lisa Bunker

Lisa Bunker works full time as a writer and trans activist. Her first novel, Felix Yz, about a 13-year-old fused with an alien, was published by Viking in June 2017. Her second novel, Zenobia July, about a teenage trans girl with a troubled past who solves cyber-crimes, is due out, also from Viking, in Spring 2019. She has two grown children and lives in Exeter, New Hampshire with her partner. Her author website is at, and you can find her on Twitter @LisaBunker.

Molly B. Burnham

Molly B. Burnham, author of the Teddy Mars series, was awarded the 2016 Sid Fleishman Humor Award. Her books can be found on a number of state lists, including the 2017-18 Florida SSYRA list. She studied theater in London, holds a Masters in Elementary Education, and taught kindergarten, third grade, and emotionally-challenged middle and high school children. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. You can find out more about her at

Sheela Chari

Sheela Chari is the author of Finding Mighty, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Amazon Best Books of the Month pick, and Vanished, an APALA Children’s Literature Honor Book, Edgar Award nominee, and Al’s Book Club Pick on the Today Show. She has an MFA in creative writing from New York University and teaches fiction writing at Mercy College. Sheela lives in New York. Visit her online at

Deanna F. Cook

Deanna F. Cook has written dozens of award-winning books for kids, including Baking Class, Cooking Class, and Farmers Market Create-and-Play Activity Book. She has been the creative development director at FamilyFun Magazine and an editor at Scholastic, Disney, and She is currently a children's book acquisitions editor at Storey Publishing. She lives in Massachusetts and is online at

Russ Cox

Russ Cox is an author and illustrator of picture books and early readers. He loves Chuck Taylors, anything retro/vintage, monsters, and robots. He lives in Maine with his wife and 4 furry art directors. When he is not pestering his wife, he can be found strumming the banjo to the cats’ caterwauling. He is represented by Danielle Smith, Lupine Grove Creative. You can see his work at and on various social media sites. Please say "hi" when you see him. He is the tall guy.

Michelle Cusolito

Michelle Cusolito is the debut author of the non-fiction picture book, Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible Alvin (Charlesbridge, 2018). She has worked as a naturalist, classroom teacher, and curriculum developer. She holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University. As Chairperson of a PTO Cultural Committee, Michelle hired author and illustrator presenters. She was also science education consultant for a STEAM grant awarded to her local library titled, “My Own Backyard.” Michelle is represented by Jill Corcoran. Find out more information on Michelle at

Erin Dionne

Erin Dionne’s latest book for tweens is Lights, Camera, Disaster (Scholastic 2018). She’s the author of 5 other books for young readers, including the 2014 Edgar Award finalist Moxie and The Art of Rule Breaking (Dial 2013). Her first picture book, Captain’s Log: Snowbound, will be released in 2018 from Charlesbridge Publishing. She teaches at Montserrat College of Art and lives outside of Boston with her husband, two children, and a very indignant dog. 

Carrie DiRisio

Author of Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome As Me, Social Media Expert and Humorist.

Debbi Michiko Florence

Debbi Michiko Florence is the author of the chapter book series Jasmine Toguchi, about a spunky 8-year-old Japanese American girl. The first two books are Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen (a Junior Library Guild fall 2017 selection) and Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth (FSG/2017). Book 3, Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl will publish on April 3, 2018 and book 4, Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper will publish on July 3, 2018. A third generation Japanese American and a native Californian, Debbi now lives in Connecticut with her husband, a puppy named Kiku, a bunny named Aki, and two ducks named Darcy and Lizzy. She loves to travel with her husband and daughter.

Josh Funk

Josh Funk writes silly stories such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series (including The Case of the Stinky Stench and the upcoming Mission: Defrostable), ​It's Not Jack and the Beanstalk, Dear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, and the forthcoming Albie Newton, How to Code a Sandcastle (in conjunction with Girls Who Code), Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience and Fortitude (in conjunction with the New York Public Library), It's Not Hansel and Gretel, and more coming soon! Josh is a board member of The Writers' Loft in Sherborn, MA and was the co-director of the 2016 and 2017 NESCBWI Conferences. To find out more about Josh Funk, visit or @joshfunkbooks on Twitter.

Hilary Weisman Graham

Hilary Weisman Graham is a screenwriter and novelist who currently writes for the hit Netflix show, Orange is the New Black. Additionally, Hilary was a writer on Bones (Fox) for three seasons and has written projects for Lifetime, ABC, and The Disney Channel. In 2012, her debut YA novel, Reunited, was published by Simon & Schuster. Hilary also wrote and directed two independent feature films back in the 90’s, and has told stories on the main stage for the Peabody Award-winning storytelling series The Moth. In 2007, Hilary appeared as a contestant on the Mark Burnett/Steven Spielberg-produced reality show On the Lot: The Search for America’s Next Great Director, where she stayed in the competition until only nine contestants remained, making her the longest-standing female director.

Mary Rand Hess

Mary Rand Hess is a poet, screenwriter, editor, collaborator, and NY Times bestselling author. Her work has appeared in national and international publications. She is the author of a handful of books, including Solo (Blink, YA), which she co-authored with Newbery Award Winner Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic, 2017), also co-authored with Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido, and The Day I Met the Nuts (Story Pie Press), a bestselling food allergy book for children. She is currently at work on another YA novel-in-verse with Kwame Alexander, a book about orphan chimps with renowned photographer and author Gerry Ellis, and a series of books about the Wolfgang with senior pet rescue advocate and Instagram sensation Steve Greig.

Jannie Ho

Jannie Ho is the author/illustrator of Bear and Chicken, published by Running Press Kids. Born in Hong Kong, Jannie (pronounced Jane-nee) received her BFA in illustration from Parsons School of Design in New York. After graduating, she worked as an in-house graphic designer at Nickelodeon and Scholastic, and an art director at TIME Magazine for Kids. Jannie specializes in illustrating for the children's market, with her work appearing in board and novelty books, magazines, toys, crafts and digital media.

Kathryn Hulick

Kathryn Hulick began her writing career after returning from serving in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan. Her books include Artificial Intelligence (2016), Energy Technology (2016), and The Science of Dinosaurs (2016). Seven of her nonfiction books came out in the summer of 2017. She also writes a technology column for each issue of Muse magazine and has published over 50 feature articles in magazines and on the Science News for Students website. In addition to many nonfiction projects, Kathryn also enjoys working on fiction. As editor for the Beacon Street Girls book series, Kathryn published four titles, including Sweet Thirteen in 2009. In 2011 and 2012, Kathryn co-directed the NESCBWI conference. For more information about her work, go to

Lynda Mullaly Hunt

NY Times bestselling author, Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s novel, Fish in a Tree, is an ALA Schneider Family Book Award winner, an ALA Notable Book, a Global Read Aloud Choice, an SLJ Best Book, an SCBWI Crystal Kite winner, and a Nerdy Book. It will also be a stage show in NYC soon. Her first novel One For the Murphys (both published by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin) is the winner of The Tassy Walden Award, is an ABA New Voices Pick, a Nerdy Book Winner, and an Editor’s Choice Book with Scholastic Book Clubs. Combined, Lynda’s books have appeared on 56 state award lists and will be published in 23 languages. For twelve years, she proudly directed the NESCBWI Whispering Pines Retreat.

Jo Knowles

Jo Knowles is the author of Still a Work In Progress, Read Between The Lines, Living With Jackie Chan, See You At Harry’s, Pearl, Jumping Off Swings, and Lessons from a Dead Girl. Jo's awards include two SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards, a NY Times Editor's Choice and Notable Book, the PEN New England Children's Book Discovery Award, American Library Association Notables, Bank Street College's Best Books for Children (Outstanding Merit), and YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults. Jo's books have also appeared on numerous state award lists. Jo has a master's degree in children's literature and teaches writing at the Mountain View MFA program through Southern New Hampshire University.

Kevin Lewis

A twenty year veteran of children’s publishing; Kevin Lewis started his career at well-known, NYC independent bookseller Books of Wonder. From there he moved on to Scholastic Inc. where he assisted on the SeeSaw school book club until landing a position at Scholastic’s Blue Sky Press. At Blue Sky, Kevin edited books by Cynthia Rylant, Mark Teague, Dav Pilkey, and acquired titles from Angela Johnson, Dan Yaccarino, Lynne Plourde and John Schoenherr. After several years at Blue Sky, Kevin accepted a position at Simon & Schuster where he acquired and edited novels and picture books by Laurie Halse Anderson, Lauren Thompson, Derek Anderson, Cynthia Rylant, Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black, Angela Johnson, Loren Long, Jim Benton, and Kadir Nelson, to name but a few. At around the same time, Kevin authored his first picture book Chugga Chugga Choo Choo and has since published half a dozen titles with Hyperion and Scholastic/Orchard, including his most recent, Not Inside This House! Kevin has edited numerous best selling titles, including Captain Underpants, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Little Quack, Frannie K. Stein, and Vampirina Ballerina, and award winners like Fever 1793, Chains, Rainbow Boys, The Spider and the Fly, Heaven, and The First Part Last. In 2015, after five years, Kevin resigned his position as executive editor at Disney/Hyperion to focus more attention on his writing. He lives with his husband and dog in a 200-year-old farm house in the Hudson Valley.

Lisa Papademetriou

Lisa Papademetriou is the author of A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic (a South Asia Book Award Highly Commended Title), the NY Times-bestselling novel Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar and Homeroom Diaries (both with James Patterson), the Confectionately Yours series (over 750,000 books in print), and many other novels for MG and YA readers. Her books have appeared on many prestigious lists, including Bank Street Best Books of the Year, the NYPL Books for the Teen Age, and the Texas Lone Star Reading List, and have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese. Her latest title, Apartment 1986, was a School Library Journal Popular Pick.

Jen Petro-Roy

Jen Petro-Roy is a former teen and children's librarian, an obsessive reader, and a trivia fanatic. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Massachusetts and writes books about girls and boys who are strong, determined, unsure, struggling to fit in, bubbly, shy, and everything in between. P.S. I Miss You (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends) is her debut novel, with Good Enough and You are Enough, both on eating disorder recovery, out in 2019.

Francine Puckly

Francine Puckly is a contemporary and historical YA writer, management consultant, trainer, blogger and co-founder of She is a life-long user of planning and goal-setting strategies and has faithfully kept a writer’s notebook for nearly two decades. Francine is a long-time member of SCBWI. She co-directed the 2007 and 2008 NESCBWI conferences and coordinates local writing events and workshops in her role as Assistant Regional Advisor for NESCBWI. Her publishing credits include more than 50 humor essays which have appeared in numerous regional magazines and newspapers. For more goal-setting and writing strategies, visit Francine and her writing colleagues at and

Sarah Lynne Reul

Sarah Lynne Reul is an illustrator, writer and award-winning animator who likes science, bright colors and figuring out how things work. Originally from Brooklyn, she now lives near Boston with her family. After a number of years in science museum education, she was lured back to school by the magic of making drawings come to life. Armed with an MFA degree in 2D animation, Sarah Lynne now strives to pack the energy of animation into each illustration. Her first three books will debut this year: The Breaking News (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, April 2018), Pet the Pets (Little Simon/August 2018) and Allie All Along (Sterling/August 2018).  
Sarah is also the Conference Portfolio Critique Coordinator this year.

Dee Romito

Dee Romito is an author and former elementary teacher. Her MG books include The BFF Bucket List, No Place Like Home, Best.Night.Ever (co-authored), Postcards from Venice (Aladdin/S&S) and her debut picture book, Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Little Bee Books), to follow in 2018. She blogs about writing at, is Co-Advisor of Buffalo-Niagara Children’s Writers and Illustrators, and is a big-time Scrivener fan. You can visit her website at

Dan Santat

Dan Santat is an award winning NY Times Bestselling author/illustrator who has published over 70 books for kids. His titles include the 2015 Randolph Caldecott Medal winning book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and the NY Times Best Selling titles Are We There Yet? and After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again. He is also the recipient of the Silver Medal for outstanding illustration from the Society of Illustrators for Oh No! Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World. He has collaborated with many authors, including Mo Willems, Dav Pilkey, Mac Barnett, Aaron Reynolds, Michael Buckley, Tom Angleberger, Gennifer Choldenko, and many others. Dan is also the creator of the hit Disney Animated series The Replacements. He Iives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife, two kids, three dogs, two cats, and pet bird. Visit him at

Heidi E.Y. Stemple

Heidi E.Y. Stemple didn’t want to be a writer when she grew up. In fact, after she graduated from college, she became a probation officer in Florida. It wasn’t until she was 28 years old that she gave in and joined the family business, publishing her first short story in a book called Famous Writers and Their Kids Write Spooky Stories. The famous writer was her mom, author Jane Yolen. Since then, she has published twenty-five books and numerous short stories and poems, mostly for children. She lives and works in western Massachusetts.

Ann Marie Stephens

Ann Marie Stephens is the author of several picture books including Scuba Dog and Cy Makes a Friend and the forthcoming titles Arithmechicks Add Up and Arithmechicks Take Away. She has been an elementary teacher for over 26 years. She was a contributing writer for Kwame Alexander’s Page-to-Stage Writing Workshop, a co-writer for Trait Crate Plus for grades 3 and 5, and has had dozens of original ideas published in Instructor and The Mailbox magazines. Represented by Emily Mitchell at Wernick and Pratt Agency, Ann Marie is a seasoned presenter for both children and adults. She blogs for teachers at When she isn’t writing or teaching, she’s off scuba diving somewhere tropical. You can find her on Twitter @AMStephens_.

C. M. Surrisi

C. M. Surrisi is a MG and picture book author and a 2014 Vermont College for Fine Arts graduate, and has taught writing for children and young adults in the UNCA Great Smokies Writing Program. Her MG series, The Quinnie Boyd Mysteries: The Maypop Kidnapping (2016), Vampires on the Run (2017), and A Side of Sabotage (2018) has won a Moonbeam Award. Her picture book, The Best Mother was Abram’s (2018) Mother’s Day Book. She is a long-time SCBWI member. Surrisi presented her Writing the Middle Grade Mystery Session at the SCBWI 2017 LA Conference where it was enthusiastically received.

Monica Tesler

Monica Tesler is the author of the Bounders series, a MG science fiction adventure series from Simon & Schuster. The third title in the five-book series, The Forgotten Shrine, was released in December 2017. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan, and has worked as an attorney for close to twenty years. Most recently, she was the senior attorney and human resources professional at a multinational investment firm for whom she still consults. She lives outside of Boston with her family.

Nancy Werlin

Nancy Werlin is the author of 10 YA novels, all published by Dial/Penguin. Her books range from contemporary realistic fiction to fantasy to suspense. She has been a National Book Award finalist and has won an Edgar award, among other writing honors.

Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen's 365th and 366th books come out in March. At that point you will be able to read a JY book a day for a year--even if it's a Leap Year. She was a children's book editor for thirteen years, and taught children's literature at Smith College for seven years. Her books and stories have won numerous awards, including a Caldecott, two Golden Kites, two Nebulas, two Christopher Medals, the Skylark Award, the Kerlan Award, the Du Grummond Medal, Jewish Book Award, Catholic Library Award, etc. One of them set her good coat on fire.

Sara Zarr

Sara Zarr is the acclaimed author of six novels for young adults, most recently Gem & Dixie. Her books have been published around the world. She has also published short fiction and nonfiction in various journals and anthologies. In 2017, her first book, Story of a Girl, was adapted into a television movie directed by Kyra Sedgwick. She lives in Salt Lake City.

Critique Faculty:

*** these Critique Faculty members are also WORKSHOP PRESENTERS

*** Julie Bliven (editor)

Julie Bliven is an editor at Charlesbridge, where she has edited more than forty titles, including fiction and nonfiction board books, picture books, and MG novels. She has worked with authors such as Anne Sibley O’Brien, Steve Jenkins, Peter and Paul Reynolds, and Natalie Dias Lorenzi. Julie holds an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College, mentors writers in the college’s MFA program, and has taught writing courses at the Jewish Community Centers of Massachusetts. She is also a member of the Children’s Book Council Diversity Initiative. Follow her on Twitter @Julie_Bliven.
Julie has noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:
PB (fic/nonfic), PB dummies, Chapter Books, MG (fic/nonfic), Poetry, Graphic Novels, Board Books

*** Karen Boss (editor)

Karen Boss is an associate editor at Charlesbridge. She holds an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons and is a mentor for their Writing for Children MFA program. She often teaches workshops and courses about picture books. Karen also has an MA in higher education administration and worked at colleges and in the nonprofit sector for 15 years. Her favorite children’s book is The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, and she thinks that Holes by Louis Sachar is quite possibly the best thing ever written. In her free time, Karen travels to a new country each year (recent trips include Ecuador, Portugal, and Colombia), and she plans “Auntie Karen adventures” for her four nieces.
Karen has noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:
PB, PB dummies, Chapter Books, Poetry, Tween, MG

*** Linda Camacho (agent)

Linda Camacho graduated from Cornell with a BS in Communication and has seen many sides of the industry. She has held various positions at Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Writers House literary agency, and Prospect Agency. She has done everything from foreign rights to editorial to marketing to operations, and somewhere in between all that (and little sleep), Linda received her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Now an agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary, she is seeking MG, YA, and adult fiction across all genres (particularly upmarket and women’s fiction/romance); she is also seeking select picture book and graphic novel writer-illustrators. Diversity of all types welcome!
Linda has noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:
PB, PB Dummies, MG, YA, Graphic Novels (for Writer/Illustrators)

*** Jill Corcoran (agent)

Jill Corcoran is president and founder of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency. In the past year, Jill has grown JCLA into an editorially-focused powerhouse with the addition of Timothy Travaglini, formerly acquisitions director at Open Road, and editor with Putnam, Walker, and Holt; Elizabeth Bennett, Julie Tibbott and Adah Megged Nuchi, formerly editors with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Jodell Sadler, formerly of Sadler Literary; Silvia Ariente, formerly from the screenwriting and film production biz, and true-crime author/agent Eve Porinchak. JCLA represents many of the leading authors and illustrators publishing today, as well as properties including French Bull, Invicta, and Smithsonian.

Merial Cornell (Illustrator agent)

Merial Cornell is the owner and founder of Cornell & Company, LLC (formerly Cornell & McCarthy, LLC). Cornell & Co represents a professional, talented and diverse group of illustrators and author/illustrators specializing in the children’s market: children’s book publishing, children’s products, toys, games, magazines, educational materials, art licensing and special commissions. Merial has had the privilege of working as an illustration agent for over 25 years. She is the mother of two artists and lives in Connecticut with her creative husband, Jim, and her studio dog, Lily. @cornellcompany.

Christy Tugeau Ewers (illustrator agent)

Christy is half of the agenting team at The CAT Agency, founded in 1994 by her mother, Chris Tugeau. Though not an artist herself, Christy has been trained by them her whole life; whether by her mother, her brothers, her father-in-law or her husband, she is and always has been surrounded by the creative arts. Christy holds a BA in English, concentrating in Creative Writing, and a deep love of literature; especially for children. Christy is always looking for new, unique talent, and illustrators who write or aspire to! She lives in Connecticut, with her filmmaker husband, and young daughter and son, all of whom inspire her daily.

Stephen Fraser (agent)

Stephen Fraser is a literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City, a full-service agency which handles both juvenile and adult books.

Stephen has been voted top agent for both picture books and MG fiction. One of his clients, Margi Preus, won the Newbery Honor Medal for her novel, Heart of a Samurai (Abrams/Amulet, 2010); another client, Carol Lynch Williams, won the prestigious PEN International Award for her young adult novel Glimpse (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, 2010); and former client Matthew J. Kirby, won both the Edgar award for best juvenile mystery and the PEN USA award for children’s literature for his MG novel, Icefall (Scholastic, 2011). Stephen has been an agent for 13 years. He is graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont with a degree in English Literature and has an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College in Boston. Stephen is a popular speaker at writers’ conferences throughout the country.
Stephen has noted that he is willing to critique the following genres:
PB Dummies

Mary-Kate Gaudet (editor)

Mary-Kate Gaudet is an executive editor for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She edits a variety of licensed, brand, and media tie-in titles and manages publishing programs with such partners as Disney (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Hasbro (My Little Pony), and Warner Brothers (Teen Titans Go!). She also acquires and edits trade picture books—championing off-beat, yet poignant storytelling—and works with creators such as Liz Climo (Rory the Dinosaur Needs a Christmas Tree), Ame Dyckman and Zachariah OHora (Read the Book, Lemmings!) and Refe and Susan Tuma (What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure). A graduate of Fordham University, she joined Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in 2012 after having worked at HarperCollins Children’s Books, Sterling Publishing, and Denise Marcil Literary Agency.
Mary-Kate had noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:
PB, PB Dummies

Wendi Lulu Gu (agent)

Wendi is an agent at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. She grew up in the sleepy suburbs of Chicago and studied Creative Writing at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, she interned with children's book agent Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and continued working there as a literary assistant after graduation. She soon began representing her own picture books, MG, and YA titles with a special interest in girl power, family relationships, and the immigrant experience. She likes stories that root for the underdog. Her favorite books have voices that range from warm and lyrical, to witty and deadpan.

*** Jim Hoover (art director)

Jim Hoover is the Associate Art Director at Viking Children’s Books. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in Illustration, Jim has been in publishing now for nearly twenty years. He speaks regularly at SCBWI and has designed and art directed hundreds of books including: PICTURE BOOKS: (Tea Party Rules with K. G. Campbell, Shy with Deborah Freedman, Ella with Marcos Chin, Bus! Stop! with James Yang);  NOVELS: (Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch books, Max Brallier’s NY Times bestselling series The Last Kids On Earth); NONFICTION: (National Book Award Finalist Elizabeth Partridge’s Marching For Freedom, her Printz Award-winning John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth and Boots On the Ground, and the children’s book adaptation of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth).

Jenny Kelly (art director)

Jenny Kelly is the assistant art director for Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint at Penguin Random House. She got her start at Harcourt Children’s Books in 2007, before coming to Dial in 2009. She has designed a wide range of books for young readers—primarily picture books and MG chapter books—and has worked with many incredibly talented illustrators, including: Kadir Nelson (Blue Sky White Stars), Abby Hanlon (Dory Fantasmagory), Dan Salmieri (Dragons Love Tacos), Stephanie Graegin, Elise Primavera, Mark Fearing, Gus Gordon, Claudia Rueda, Stéphane Jorisch, Ursula Vernon, Mike Boldt, Cori Doerrfeld, Brett Helquist, and more. She creates her own artwork as well, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

*** Grace Kendall (editor)

Grace Elizabeth Kendall, Editor, Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan. Grace works on a range of material from picture books to YA novels. Recent titles include You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, is a PW Best Book of the Year, and has received six starred reviews; Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson, which is a Junior Library Guild Selection and has received three starred reviews; and Mama Africa! by National Book Award winner Kathryn Erskine and debut illustrator Charly Palmer, which has earned three starred reviews. Follow her on Twitter @GraceKendallLit.

*** Jennifer Laughran (agent)

Jennifer Laughran is an agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. 

*** Wendy Loggia (editor)

Wendy Loggia is a Senior Executive Editor at Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, where she edits MG and YA fiction. She is especially interested in girl-driven, commercial stories, and there is no fiction genre she won't acquire, although she's not a "high fantasy" person. Authors she has worked with include Ann Brashares, Libba Bray, Lauren Kate, Nicola Yoon, and Kiersten White. 2018 titles on her list include The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier (a debut novel), The Window by Amelia Brunskill (debut), Better You Than Me by Jessica Brody, and The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White. She looks for stories with emotional power, writing that is fresh and strong, and manuscripts she instantly can imagine an audience for. @wendyloggia & @delacortepress on Twitter.
Wendy has noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:
Chapter Books, MG, Tween, YA

Tracy Marchini (agent)

Tracy Marchini is a literary agent at BookEnds Literary Agency, where she represents fiction, non-fiction and illustration for children and teens. She’s thrilled to represent a list of debut and award-winning authors and illustrators, and is currently open to submissions. Prior to joining BookEnds, she earned her MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College, ran her own editorial business, and worked as a literary agent assistant for several years. Tracy is also the author of Chicken Wants A Nap (Creative Editions, 2017). More about Tracy can be found at and

Sarah McCabe (editor)

Sarah McCabe is an assistant editor at Simon Pulse, an imprint of the Simon & Schuster Children’s Division. She acquires teen books and the occasional middle grade novel with a focus in the sci-fi/fantasy genres. Recent books she has edited include Lisa Maxwell's NY Times bestseller The Last Magician, Emily Suvada's This Mortal Coil, and Caitlin Sangster's Last Star Burning. Before coming to Pulse, she worked at Springer International Publishing and did freelance projects with Open Road Integrated Media and Full Fathom Five. She received her bachelor’s degrees in English and journalism at the University of Kansas and her Master of Science in Publishing at New York University. Follow her on Twitter @SarahRMcCabe.
Sarah has noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:

Jim McCarthy (agent)

Jim McCarthy interned for Dystel, Goderich & Bourret while studying urban design at New York University. Upon graduating, Jim realized he would much rather continue working with books than make the jump (as he had originally intended) to the field of city planning. Eighteen years later, he remains at DG&B as a VP and agent. As an avid fiction reader, his interests encompass both literary and commercial works in the adult, YA, and middle grade categories. He is particularly interested in literary fiction, underrepresented voices, fantasy, mysteries, romance, anything unusual or unexpected, and any book that makes him cry or laugh out loud. In addition to fiction, he is also interested in narrative nonfiction, whether it be memoir, historical, science, pop culture, or just a darn good polemic. His list includes NY Times bestsellers Richelle Mead, Morgan Rhodes, Victoria Laurie, Livia Blackburne, Juliet Blackwell, Suzanne Young, and Robin Talley, among many other successful and established authors.
Jim has noted that he is willing to critique the following genres:
Chapter Books, MG, Tween, YA, Poetry (if novels in verse, not just collections), Graphic Novels

Allison Moore (editor)

Allison Moore is an editor at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, where she works with authors including E. D. Baker, Rhonda Gowler-Greene, Jennifer Castle, and Jennifer Brown. She previously worked at Little, Brown; some of her recent titles include The Sweetest Sound by Sherri Winston, Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham, City Shapes by Diana Murray and Bryan Collier, Love the World by Todd Parr, Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Dad By My Side by Soosh. Allison is seeking quirky picture books with original hooks, middle grade that approaches familiar themes from unexpected perspectives, and YA with discussion potential. Her sweet spots are realistic fiction and magical realism, but she enjoys all stories that delve into real feelings, choices, lifestyles, and issues in creative and accessible ways.

Jessica Sinsheimer (agent)

Jessica Sinsheimer has been reading and campaigning for her favorite queries since 2004. Now an Associate Agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, she’s known for #MSWL,,, #PubTalkTV—and for drinking far too much tea. Always on the lookout for new writers, she is most excited about finding YA, picture books, upmarket genre fiction (especially women's/romance/erotica, thrillers, mysteries) and—on the nonfiction side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century. She especially likes highbrow sentences with lowbrow content, smart/nerdy protagonists, vivid descriptions of food, picture books with non-human characters, and justified acts of bravery. You can follow her on Twitter at @JSinsheim.
Jessica has noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:
PB, MG, YA; but NO poetry, please

Alex Slater (agent)

Alex Slater has been with Trident Media Group in Manhattan since 2010. Having spent over two years as the agency’s foreign rights agent for children’s and teen projects, he has attended the London, Bologna, and Frankfurt International Book Fairs. He represents YA and middle grade authors like Molly Booth, Jodi Kendall, and Ali Novak.
Alex has noted that he is willing to critique the following genres:
MG, YA, Graphic Novels

Samantha Swank (editor)

Samantha Swank is an associate editor of children’s books at Scholastic, where she works on both fiction and nonfiction for ages 0–8. She hails from the Midwest and studied English (Publishing Studies) and History at Hofstra University. She uses these degrees to help craft funny, engaging books for kids, with an emphasis on nonfiction. One of her professional goals is to make sure everyone knows just how cool Benjamin Franklin was. When she is not working or reading the latest mysteries and presidential biographies, Sam can be found singing karaoke, live-tweeting TV shows, or playing fetch with her cat, Mrs. Hudson.
Samantha has noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:
NonFiction, PB, PB Dummies, Chapter Books, Board Books, MG, Tween

*** Alison S. Weiss (editor)

Alison S. Weiss, editorial director at Sky Pony Press, works on picture books through YA, and was named a 2016 Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree. She loves assassins and spies and sleuths, friendships that feel like they’ll last forever, and love stories that will twist you in knots before they’re through. She is especially eager to find a middle grade with a cozy feel, and a voice-driven, sweeping, romantic YA. Recent projects include the Project Droid series by Nancy Krulik and Amanda Burwasser, illustrated by Mike Moran, Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie DiRisio, the Timekeeper trilogy by Tara Sim, The Gravedigger’s Son by Patrick Moody, and Death and Douglas by J.W. Ocker.
Alison has noted that she is willing to critique the following genres:
PB, Chapter Books, MG, Tween, YA, Grahpic Novels

*** Matthew C. Winner (social media expert)

Matthew C. Winner is an elementary school librarian in Howard County, Maryland. He is the co-founder of All The Wonders and host of the All The Wonders: The Children’s Book Podcast. He is the author of ASHA WENT WALKING, a webcomic for young readers illustrated by Lorian Tu-Dean about a girl, her arctic fox companion, and her magic bag. In 2013 Matthew was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker and was invited to the White House as part of the Champions of Change program. Connect with Matthew online at @MatthewWinner and

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