SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Annual Fall Conference: Children's Publishing in 2015

Sterling, Virginia
Friday, October 23, 2015

Join us for the SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Fall Conference: Children's Publishing in 2015 

Keynote speaker:

KATHI APPELT is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her first novel, THE UNDERNEATH, was named a National Book Award Finalist, a Newbery Honor Book, and the PEN USA Literature for Children Award.  That was followed by KEEPER, which was named an NCTE Notable Children’s Book and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Her memoir, MY FATHER’S SUMMERS (Henry Holt, 2004) won the Paterson Prize for Young Adult Poetry.  Ms. Appelt was presented with the A.C. Greene Award by the Friends of Abilene Public Library, which named her a “Texas Distinguished Author.” Her novel, THE TRUE BLUE SCOUTS OF SUGAR MAN SWAMP, was named a National Book Award Finalist and won the Green Earth Award, the Texas Institute of Letters Award, and the Judy Lopez Memorial Award. In addition to writing, Ms. Appelt is on the faculty in the Masters of Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She and her husband Ken live in College Station, TX with five adorable cats, Django, Peach, Mingus, Chica and Jazz.  They are the parents of two even more adorable sons, Jacob and Cooper, musicians who both play the double bass. For more information, check her website:


TRACEY BAPTISTE is the author of THE JUMBIES (a Junior Library Guild Selection, 2015), and ANGEL’S GRACE (one of the 100 best books for reading and sharing, 2005). She has also written several nonfiction books including biographies of some of her favorite authors. Tracey works as a freelance editor with various publishing houses and runs her own editorial company, Fairy Godauthor. You can find out more about Tracey’s books and editing services at her website,, by following her on Twitter @TraceyBaptiste, or by connecting on Facebook and Instagram at TraceyBaptisteWrites.

ELLEN R. BRAAF, columnist and feature writer for ASK magazine, has published fiction, nonfiction, and humor for children and adults. Her six book SCIENCE DETECTIVES series, written under the name Ellen René, was published by PowerKids Press. Ellen teaches for The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, and serves as SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Regional Advisor.


CAITLYN DLOUHY, Vice President, Editorial Director, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, first joined Atheneum in July of 1998, having worked at HarperCollins, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, and a teeny tiny little newspaper in Massachusetts as a “special writer” before that. Some of the authors she works with are Laurie Halse Anderson, Kathi Appelt, Ashley Bryan, Andrew Clements, Doreen Cronin, Nicole Feret, Nina de Gramont, Frances O’Roark Dowell, Sharon Draper, Richard Jackson, William Joyce, Cynthia Kadohata, Uma Krishnaswami, Betsy Lewin, Alison McGhee, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Jason Reynolds, Peter Reynolds, Janne Teller, Tor Seidler, and David Small, to name but a few.  Some of the awards her books have received include a Newbery Award, a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, Coretta Scott King Award winners,  Coretta Scott King Honors, a Pura Belpré Award, National Book Award nominees, a National Book Award,  Edgar Awards,  Christopher Awards, a Batchelder Honor, a Jane Addams Peace Award,  Josette Frank Awards, Simon & Schuster’s first ever Pen USA Award in Children’s books and first ever Bologna Ragazzi Award, an E. B. White Award, a Canadian Governor General’s Award, a Stonewall Honor, and a Charlotte Zolotow Award.   When not editing, she and her husband are very busy keeping up with their very busy young daughters and their ever growing menagerie of critters, including a pair chinchillas.


KATHERINE HARRISON is an Associate Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers. She edits fiction and nonfiction for young readers—toddler through teen—but her primary focus is middle grade and YA. While at Knopf, she’s worked with authors like Carl Hiaasen, Margo Lanagan, R.J. Palacio, and Markus Zusak among others. Some of her acquisitions include LOVE AND OTHER PERISHABLE ITEMS by Laura Buzo, RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN by Liesl Shurtliff, THE TYRANT'S DAUGHTER by J.C. Carleson, and the forthcoming picture books I WON A WHAT? by Audrey Vernick and PINK IS FOR BLOBFISH by Jess Keating.


JEN MALONE writes books for tweens and teens, including AT YOUR SERVICE, the YOU'RE INVITED series, and THE SLEEPOVER with Simon & Schuster/Aladdin M!X, and MAP TO THE STARS and the forthcoming WANDERLOST with HarperCollins. She's a former Hollywood marketing executive who once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star's tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. You can learn more about Jen and her titles at


SARAH MCGUIRE loves fairy tales and considers them the best way back to Narnia- at least until she finds a working wardrobe. She lives within sight of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where she teaches high school creative writing and math classes with very interesting word problems. During the school year, she lives on coffee, chocolate, and afternoon naps that allow her to write late into the night. During the summer she loves having the extra time to travel and, of course, write. She is the author of VALIANT, Egmont USA (2015).


MARC TYLER NOBLEMAN is the author of BOYS OF STEEL: THE CREATORS OF SUPERMAN (which made the front page of USA Today) and BILL THE BOY WONDER: THE SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN (which inspired a TED talk); upcoming titles include THIRTY MINUTES OVER OREGON, A SPELL FOR A FAIRY, and THE CHUPACABRA ATE THE CANDELABRA. He has spoken at schools and conferences internationally (from India to Tanzania) and blogs about adventures in publishing (from research victories to promotional gambles) at Noblemania. Twitter: @MarcTNobleman


RACHEL ORR is celebrating her ninth year at Prospect Agency. She previously worked for eight rewarding years at HarperCollins Children's Books, and now uses those editorial skills to help prepare her clients' work for submission. Her clients include a wide-range of picture-book authors, illustrators, and middle-grade/YA novelists, including Kit Alloway (DREAMFIRE), Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS!), Cori Doerrfeld (MAGGIE AND WENDEL), Leeza Hernandez (CAT NAPPED), Jennifer Latham (SCARLETT UNDERCOVER) and Todd Tarpley (BEEP, BEEP GO TO SLEEP). Rachel teaches an online course on middle-grade novel writing through, and also serves on the council for the Rutgers One-on-One Conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rachel now lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, with her husband and two young children. She has no spare time but, if she did, she would spend it dancing, running and reading, of course.

DAN POTASH is Vice President and Creative Director of Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division. He joined S&S in 2002 after spending 6 years at Spinning Egg Design Group, a New York based graphic design firm that he and his future wife, Celeste, launched in 1996. Prior to that he spent 4 years teaching elementary and middle school art and art history at the Birch Wathen Lenox School in Manhattan. He received his BS from Skidmore College and his MFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In his current role as Creative Director, he manages his staff of Art Directors and Designers and oversees the cover and interior designs of more than 750 books each year, across all 10 of the children's imprints. During his 14 years at Simon and Schuster, he has worked with hundreds of illustrators/authors, including Tony DiTerlizzi, Robin Preiss Glasser, Carter Goodrich, Kevin Hawkes, Hilary Knight, Betsy Lewin, John Lithgow, Loren Long, Kadir Nelson, C.F. Payne, Jon Scieszka, David Shannon, David Small, to name just a few. After more than 20 years in the business, he still LOVES his job.


VALERIE O. PATTERSON’S second novel for young readers, OPERATION OLEANDER, was published in paperback by Clarion, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in May of this year.  The hard cover version was a Junior Library Guild selection for 2013. Her first novel for teens, THE OTHER SIDE OF BLUE, was published by Clarion in 2009 and was nominated for an Agatha Award. Valerie has an MFA from Hollins University and is a former recipient of an SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant. She grew up in Florida near the Gulf of Mexico and now lives in northern Virginia where she writes and practices law.


MADELYN ROSENBERG met all kinds of crazy, real-life characters as a newspaper reporter in Southwest Virginia, where she worked for more than a decade. Now she makes up characters of her own. Her books, for children of all ages, include THE SCHMUTZY FAMILY, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the illustrated books category, DREAM BOY (with her friend Mary Crockett), NANNY X RETURNS and HOW TO BEHAVE AT A DOG SHOW. She lives with her family in Arlington, Va., where she still works as a freelance journalist. You can find her online at


MARY QUATTLEBAUM is the author of 22 award-winning picture books, books of poetry, nonfiction, and novels for children, including PIRATE VS. PIRATE, THE HUNGRY GHOST OF RUE ORLEANS, the JO MACDONALD nature series, the popular JACKSON JONES chapter book series, and most recently, MIGHTY MOLE AND SUPER SOIL.  Her chapter book on animal friendships is forthcoming from National Geographic next summer.  Mary also writes for educational publishers and children's magazines (Spider, Cricket, Ladybug, Highlights).  She teaches in Vermont College's MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults in Montpelier, Vt., and at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Md.  Mary reviews children's books regularly for the Washington Post and Washington Parent and loves dressing as a book buccaneer and visiting arrr-some young readers at schools.  She and her artist friend Joan Waites also offer playful Mix It Up workshops that combine writing, art-making, and creative exploration.


JENNIFER UNTER is a literary agent and founder of The Unter Agency, LLC.  She began her book publishing career in the editorial department at Henry Holt & Co.  She later worked at the Karpfinger Agency while she attended law school. She then became an Associate at the entertainment firm of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP where she practiced primarily in the areas of publishing and copyright law.  In 2000 she joined RLR as Vice President of Literary, and in 2008 she started her own agency where she represents quality fiction and general nonfiction for adults and all areas of children’s literature (picture books, middle grade, and young adult).


JOAN WAITES has been illustrating for the Children's market for over 25 years, publishing more than 45 titles for the trade and educational markets. Illustrated works have won the following awards: Teacher's Choice Award, IRA/CBC Children's Choice Award, IRA/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book, Honor Title, Storytelling World Awards, Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award Ballot, and a Benjamin Franklin Award. A former adjunct faculty member of the Corcoran Museum School of Art and Design, Joan now operates her own art teaching studio, (Purple Crayon Studio). In addition to teaching children's classes, she co-teaches a combined writing/art journaling/mixed media class for adults (with author Mary Quattlebaum) at various locations. She has served as the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator for the past 14 years, is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington D.C., The Picture Book Artist’s Association, and The National Association of Art Educators. Her debut picture book as both author and illustrator will be released in fall 2016.


LAURA WHITAKER, most recently an Associate Editor at Bloomsbury Children's Books, edits everything from picture books through YA.  She worked on the literary thriller INSANITY by Susan Vaught (Bloomsbury, 2014), the Bloomsbury If Only romance line, and contemporary coming-of-age novels WHEN MR. DOG BITES by Brina Conaghan (Bloomsbury, 2014) and THIS SIDE OF HOME by Renee Watson (Bloomsbury, 2015).  She also edited RUTHIE AND THE (NOT SO) VERY BUSY DAY by Laura Rankin (Bloomsbury, 2014) and the ENCHANTED SISTERS chapter book series with the Jim Henson Company.  She is looking for innovative, soul-searching literary fiction, knee-melting romances, well-researched and expertly crafted historical adventure stories, and quirky, funny, honest picture books.


MARIETTA B. ZACKER has experienced children’s books from every angle – teaching, marketing, publishing & bookselling. She thrives on working with authors who make readers feel their characters’ emotions & illustrators who add a different dimension to the story. Some of the books she is championing in 2015 include THE LOST TRACK OF TIME by Paige Britt, SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY by Ben Clanton, ARCHIE THE DAREDEVIL PENGUIN by Andy Rash, THE STRUGGLES OF JOHNNY CANNON by Isaiah Campbell, RUBY ON THE OUTSIDE by Nora Raleigh Baskin, THE SWORD OF SUMMER by Rick Riordan. Among other things, she is a proud Latina and the Agent Liaison for the We Need Diverse Books campaign. @AgentZacker


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