Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2017 Faculty




All attendees are welcome to submit to the in-person editors and agents (in attendance at 2017 Letters & Lines) AFTER the conference. We will have submission guidelines for each of them in your packets including instructions to identify you as an attendee at our conference.

NOTE: Speakers who are offering 1-on-1 critiques, marketing/publicity consultations and portfolio consultations have that noted in their bios. You must register online for any of these offerings.


Emily Feinberg


After earning her master’s degrees in Children’s Literature and English Literature from Simmons College in Boston, Emily Feinberg joined the editorial team at Roaring Brook Press. She works mostly with picture book, middle grade, and nonfiction titles. She edited Elisha Cooper’s Big Cat, Little Cat, which earned five starred reviews, Maria Gianferrari’s Coyote Moon (illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline), which earned three starred reviews and was a 2016 ALA Notable book, the spooky middle grade novel by Marina Cohen, The Doll’s Eye, among others. While she is always looking for solid, voice-driven picture books and middle grade, she also particularly loves nonfiction for young readers of all ages. Emily is not an editor of fantasy. Emily will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques and portfolio reviews.


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Shannon Hassan, an agent at Marsal Lyon Literary, represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, and select nonfiction. She is drawn to fresh voices, compelling characters, and crisp prose. Recent or soon to be published MG and YA books include DIE YOUNG WITH ME by Rob Rufus (Simon & Schuster), THE WORLD’S GREATEST ADVENTURE MACHINE by Frank L. Cole (Penguin Random House) GIRLS ON THE LINE by Jennie Liu (Lerner), INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS by Dusti Bowling (Sterling), and IN 27 DAYS by Allison Gervais (Blink/HarperCollins). Twitter @ShannonHassan  Shannon will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques.


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Sean McCarthy founded his own full-service literary agency in 2013. He began his publishing career as an editorial intern at Overlook Press and then worked at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency as the submissions coordinator and permissions manager before becoming a full-time literary agent. Sean graduated from Macalester College with a degree in English-Creative Writing, and is grateful that he no longer has to spend his winters in Minnesota. Sean will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques and portfolio reviews.





matt ringler


Matt Ringler is a senior editor at Scholastic specializing in chapter book, middle grade, and YA  fiction. He has worked on the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, the Game Changers series by Mike  Lupica, the STAT series by Amar’e Stoudemire, and the Little Rhino series by Ryan and Krystle Howard.

His YA list includes Kill the Boy Band and No Good Deed by New York Times bestselling author Goldy Moldavsky and It’s Not Me, It’s You and The Date to Save by Stephanie Kate Strohm. Matt will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques and portfolio reviews.






F.T. Bradley photo--high  resolutionFleur (F.T.) Bradley is the author of the Double Vision trilogy (HarperCollins Children’s), a funny middle-grade spy adventure series School Library Journal calls, "a must-read for mystery fans, including reluctant readers." She is the author of numerous short crime stories, and manages a freelance writing career along with a crime novel and middle-grade novel project. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and two daughters, and entirely too many cats. Find out more about Fleur at www.ftbradley.comFleur will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques.


Vanessa Brantley Newton was born during the Civil Rights movement, and attended school in Newark, NJ. Being part of a diverse, tight-knit community during such turbulent times, Vanessa learned the importance of acceptance and empowerment in shaping a young person’s life. When she read Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, it was the first time she saw herself in a children’s book. It was a defining moment in her life, and has made her into the artist she is today. As an illustrator, she includes children of all ethnic backgrounds in her stories and artwork. She wants all children to see their unique experiences reflected in the books they read, so they can feel the same sense of empowerment and recognition she experienced as a young reader. Vanessa will be offering a limited number of one-on-one portfolio reviews.


Melanie Crowder is the award-winning author of five books for young readers, including An Uninterrupted View of the Sky, Three Pennies, Audacity, A Nearer Moon and Parched. The author holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives with her family on Colorado’s Front Range.

Melanie’s books have been awarded the Jefferson Cup, Arnold Adoff Poetry Award, SCBWI Crystal Kite, Bulletin Blue Ribbon, National Jewish Book Awards Finalist, Colorado Book Awards Finalist, Junior Library Guild selection, YALSA Top Ten Books For Young Adults, ILA Notable Book for a Global Society, Parents’ Choice Silver Medal and more. Melanie will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques.

matt de la pena

Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal winning author of six young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here and The Living) and two picture books (A Nation's Hope and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school on a full athletic scholarship for basketball. Matt de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country. Matt will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques.




Luke Flowers has lived in Colorado the same amount of time he's been drawing. All his life! He now spends his days and most nights illustrating for children’s books, magazines and gallery shows in his creative cave. He currently resides in Colorado Springs, with his wife and 3 kids.

He has illustrated over 30 children’s books since 2014, with a dozen more coming in 2017/18. Luke’s debut author/illustrator books series with Scholastic, Moby Shinobi, has sold over 150,000 copies since it's release in Dec. 2017. Moby has 3 more ninjarific adventures on the way! Luke is also an amateur puppeteer and musician. Find out more about Luke’s work at lukeflowerscreative.comLuke will be offering a limited number of one-on-one portfolio reviews.

Tim McCanna is the author of Bitty Bot, Barnyard Boogie, Teeny Tiny Trucks, and Watersong. His upcoming picture books include Jack B. Ninja, Bitty Bot’s Big Beach Getaway, So Many Sounds, In a Garden, and Boing! Tim began writing picture books in 2009 when he lived in Denver and was a member of the Rocky Mountain chapter. He now serves as assistant regional advisor for SCBWI San Francisco/South and lives in San Jose, CA with his wife, two kids, and their dog Millie. Find Tim online at www.timmccanna.comTim will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques.
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Laura Perdew is an author, writing consultant at CU Boulder, and former middle school teacher. She has written 18 books for the education market on a variety of topics including the history of toilets, wetlands conservation, internet addiction, and extinction. She is also the author of Kids on the Move! Colorado, a guide for parents traveling through the state with children. She lives in Boulder with her husband and twin boys. Laura be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques.

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Dow Phumiruk is a children's book author and illustrator. Her first traditionally published illustration project was released in May 2017: Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines, by Jeanne Walker Harvey (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt). She has three more books on the way for 2018. She is a member of SCBWI represented by East West Literary Agency. When not creating, Dow teaches medical students and enjoys hiking. 


DianCurtisRegan-photoDian Curtis Regan is the author of 60 books for young readers. She has published in every genre, from picture books and chapter books to YA novels and anthology stories. Her newest book, Space Boy and the Space Pirate, was a finalist for the 2017 Colorado Book Award, as well as winning SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award for the SW Region. New this fall is Space Boy and the Snow Monster, plus the ebook and new print edition of the Ghost Twins series. Dian, a Colorado native, lives in Colorado Springs. Dian will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques.

Denise Vega is the award-winning author of seven books for kids from toddler to teen, including her “blog” books: Click Here (to find out how i survived seventh grade) – a Colorado Book Award winner – and Access Denied (and other eighth grade error messages) as well as Fact of Life #31 (Colorado Book Award winner) and Rock On. Her picture books include her latest: If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed (Knopf/Random House, 2017). Denise is a former Co-Regional Advisor of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI and on the faculty at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and  a Young Adult Faculty Mentor for the Regis University MFA in Creative Writing. She lives in Denver with her family where she enjoys eating too many French fries and not enough broccoli (even though she likes broccoli). Find out more at www.denisevega.comDenise will be offering a limited number of one-on-one manuscript critiques.


Suzanne Morgan Williams is the author of the middle grade novel Bull Rider and eleven nonfiction titles. Bull Rider is a Junior Library Guild Selection, is on several state award lists and won a Western Heritage Award from the National Western Heritage and Cowboy Museum. Suzanne has presented at schools, libraries, professional conferences, and literary events. She’s offered full day School Visit Intensives with author Bruce Hale at the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles. She is a Nevada Arts Council Artist in Residence and was SCBWI Member of the Year. Visit



Karen Windness (Kaz)

Karen "Kaz" Windness is an illustrator and PAL published writer creating sweet, subversive stories with unique characters for kids of all ages.

She studied children’s book illustration at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) where she was a valedictorian graduate in 2002.

A proud SCBWI member for over fifteen years, Kaz gives back as the Rocky Mountain Chapter Illustrator Coordinator (2009-present). She is passionate about helping others succeed, and believes education is key. She teaches illustration at her alma mater and is a RMC-SCBWI illustrator mentor.

Kaz is obsessed with dogs (especially Boston terriers and pugs), and all things ghost, alien, psychic & witchy-woo-woo. She's a terrific cook and a terrible ceramicist and never met a taco she didn't love.


DISTANCE FACULTY (not in attendance at the event, but providing online critiques only)

Rebecca Aronson


Rebecca Aronson is an assistant editor at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s, where she works on a wide range of middle grade and young adult novels. After growing up in New Hampshire, she promptly left for NYC to study at Barnard College where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Comparative Literature. A classically trained ballerina, she now lives in Brooklyn where she continues to dance through life.

She's drawn to unexpected stories and characters that leave an impression—whether it be with tears, laughter, or big ideas—and stay with her long after she leaves the page. In YA, she absolutely loves contemporary novels with strong, literary voices, such as I’ll Give You the Sun or Marcelo in the Real World, and those with elements that stretch the boundaries of reality with magic or surrealistic elements like Bone Gap or More Happy Than Not. A super cute romance is also a plus. She also really enjoys character-driven sci-fi and fantasy that also have unique world-building like Six of Crows.

In MG, her literary soulmates are stories with a dash of magic, such as When You Reach Me (perhaps her favorite book of all time) or Circus Mirandus, and smart, honest novels that address more serious topics for young readers. She's also drawn to darker fantasy/sci-fi with a strong emotional plot, think The School for Good and Evil or The RivermanRebecca will be offering a limited number of distance critiques. These will be given to attendees via email or attached with registration packet at conference check-in. Distance critiques will have no one-on-one feedback.




Maria Barbo is a Senior Editor at HarperCollins where she happily edits middle grade and young adult fiction. She has an MFA in painting and a bruise from playing soccer on a co-ed team that once ranked as high as third place in the league. Maria “grew up” at Scholastic Inc. where she edited series fiction and handled the editorial programs for major licensed properties, such as Pokémon and Scooby-Doo. She took a brief hiatus from book publishing to backpack through South America, teach English in Spain via the Fulbright Program and walk a stubborn beagle pup named Pruna. Maria currently lives in New York City. Maria will be offering a limited number of distance critiques. These will be given to attendees via email or attached with registration packet at conference check-in. Distance critiques will have no one-on-one feedback.


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Sylvie Frank is the editor of award-winning and critically acclaimed books including Breathe by Scott Magoon; Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo; Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy, illustrated by C. F. Payne; and Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught. Since joining Paula Wiseman Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division) in January 2013, Sylvie has been on the prowl for literary, character-driven middle grade and kid-focused, snappy picture books. She is drawn to original voices across all genres. One of her favorite pastimes is browsing agents’ and illustrators’ websites for new talent. When she’s not reading, Sylvie can be found running while listening to audiobooks. Sylvie will be offering a limited number of distance critiques (these will be given to attendees via email by conference date. Distance critiques will have no follow-up or one-on-one feedback).