Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

January 2023 Member Good News

Our members have been busy receiving kudos, having books published, winning awards, and more! Read all the latest and greatest here…

MONSTERS IN THE BRINY, written by Lynn Becker and illustrated by Scott Brundage, made Betsy Bird/SLJ’s list of 2022 Picture Book Readalouds.

Jolly Fish Press will release Rachel Bithell’s debut novel, BRAVE BIRD AT WOUNDED KNEE, on January 1, 2023, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the 71-day standoff between government forces and Indigenous American activists that is the setting for the book. Find more here.

Elizabeth Lee at Penguin Workshop acquired author-illustrator Andrea Cruz Floren’s debut picture book, IN THE GROVES. A girl visits her abuelo at work in California’s orange groves and gets a glimpse at the place that inspired many of her family’s legendary tall tales. Fall 2024 publication. Adria Goetz at P.S. Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal.

Rachel Funez was chosen as the 2022 recipient for The Writing Roosters Scholarship to participate in the Michelle Begley Mentorship Program. She will be working with Claudia Mills on revising her chapter book, SHACKLEFORD MYSTERIES FROM HISTORY: THE LOST COLONY OF ROANOKE ISLAND.

A huge congratulations to member Leigh Gaddy! Leigh won one of SCBWI’s two Tribute Scholarships, with a full-expense paid trip to the Winter Conference in February. The scholarship was judged on a number of factors, including volunteer experience and artistic promise. Leigh’s volunteer title is Conference Co-Registrar. Her conference and event backgrounds were instrumental in helping make our fall conference a success, and we are thrilled that she is being recognized by SCBWI Headquarters with this award.

Darby Karchut is pleased to announce the sale of her MG contemporary, THE HORSE WHO CARRIES THE STARS, to Owl Hollow Press in a preempt deal. Publication scheduled for fall 2023. The novel is the companion book to her award-winning ON A GOOD HORSE. For more info click here.

Lindsay Mello is excited to announce that her first book, THE DREAM FAIRY, is now available on Amazon. Luna is a dream fairy who ensures children are dreaming sweet dreams by taking away nightmares and leaving a sparkling dream flower in their place. Visit her website, or follow her on Facebook at The Dream Fairy or Instagram @dreamfairybook.

THE RIVER BETWEEN HEARTS, by Heather Mateus Sappenfield, earned a 5-Star Review from the Reader’s Choice Book Awards. They pool the year’s 5-Star Reviews, and then judge Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. The River Between Hearts won Silver! Find out more about this MG novel and its author here.

Middle-grade author Nanci Turner Steveson was awarded a Hawthornden Literary Fellowship and will spend a month in Scotland working on her first YA novel, SILENT NIGHTS, a story of how strangers come together in times of grief, and about refusing to give up what makes us part of the world.

Natasha Wing’s new Night Before book, THE NIGHT BEFORE LUNAR NEW YEAR, releases December 27.