Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2018 Faculty


All attendees are welcome to submit to the in-person editors and agents (in attendance at 2018 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 and portfolio consultations have that noted in their bios. You must register online for any of these offerings.

SYLVIE FRANK is Senior Editor at Paula Wiseman Books, a boutique imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division. She has edited many award-winning and critically acclaimed books including Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo; I Have a Balloon by Ariel Bernstein, illustrated by Scott Magoon; Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy, illustrated by C. F. Payne; and OCDaniel by Wesley King. Since joining Paula Wiseman Books in 2013, Sylvie has been on the prowl for literary, character-driven middle grade and kid-focused, snappy picture books. She is drawn to original and diverse 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 manuscript critiques and portfolio reviews.


PETER KNAPP is an agent at Park Literary & Media, where he represents writers of middle grade and young adult fiction, including New York Times bestselling authors Soman Chainani, Lindsay Cummings, Brenda Drake, and Sarah Holland, among others. Prior to joining PLM, he worked for Floren Shieh Productions, a literary scouting agency that consulted on book-to-film adaptations for Los Angeles-based production companies. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband. Peter will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques.



ALVINA LING is VP and Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (a division of Hachette Book Group) where she has worked since 1999. She edits children’s books for all ages, from picture books to young adult. She has edited such books as Little Star and the Big Mooncake by Grace Lin; Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown; Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier; Shark Vs. Train by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. She Tweets with the handle @planetalvina and is on Instagram @alvinaling. She lives in Brooklyn. Alvina will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques and portfolio reviews.


LAURENT LINN, Art Director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop where he was Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award. Currently, at Simon & Schuster, Laurent art directs picture books, middle grade, and teen novels by creators including Tomie dePaola, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Bryan Collier, Raúl Colón, and Patricia Polacco. Laurent is on the SCBWI Board of Advisors and is also the author/illustrator of Draw the Line, a YA novel the New York Times calls “Epic.” Instagram, Facebook, Twitter: @LaurentLinn, and Laurent will be offering a limited number of portfolio reviews.


KRISTIN NELSON established Nelson Literary Agency, LLC, in 2002 and over the last decade and a half of her career, she has represented over forty New York Times bestselling titles and many USA Today bestsellers. Her goal as an agent is simple: she wants every client of hers to make a living solely from writing and 90% of her clients do just that. Those clients include Jamie Ford, Hugh Howey, Marie Lu, Gail Carriger, Josh Malerman, J.D. Barker, Ally Carter, Stacey Lee, Simone Elkeles, Jasinda Wilder, Jana DeLeon, Courtney Milan.

She is currently looking for literary commercial novels, big crossover novels with one foot squarely in genre, upmarket women’s fiction, lead title or hardcover science fiction and fantasy, and young adult and upper-level middle grade novels in all genres.

When she is not busy selling books, Kristin attempts to play golf & tennis. She also enjoys playing Bridge (where she is the youngest person in her club), and can be found hiking in the mountains with her husband and their dog Chutney. Member: AAR, RWA, SFWA, SCBWI.  Please visit for submission guidelines. Kristin will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques. 


AMMI-JOAN PAQUETTE is a senior agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing all types of children’s and YA literature. She is also the author of many picture books and novels for young readers, the most recent of which are The Train of Lost Things, the Princess Juniper series, and the Two Truths and a Lie series, co-written with Laurie Thompson. Joan is particularly drawn to richly voiced, unforgettable characters and settings, as well as tightly-paced, well-plotted stories with twists and turns that keep you guessing right until the end. Visit her on the web at: Joan will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques.


Since 1994, TIMOTHY TRAVAGLINI has worked in trade marketing for Scholastic, Inc.; been a bookseller for Books of Wonder, an all-children’s bookstore in New York City; and has edited for Henry Holt and Company, Walker & Company, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, and Open Road Integrated Media where he was the director of children’s acquisitions. He is currently a literary agent for the Transatlantic Agency where he primarily represents YA, middle grade, and some picture books; but has recently expanded to parenting, adult SFF, and adult novelty/humor, with more to come! Tim will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques.



LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and adults and whose books have sold more than 8 million copies. She has been twice nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Laurie has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English. In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes. Laurie will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques.


CLAUDIA MILLS is the author of almost 60 books for young readers, including picture books, easy readers, chapter books for third-and-fourth graders, and novels for upper elementary and middle school. Her books have been named Notable Books of the Year by the American Library Association, Best Books of the Year by the Bank Street College of Education, and translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. An Associate Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, she also teaches in the Graduate Program in Children’s Literature at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. Claudia will be offering a limited number of 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) andRock 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 Denise will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques.



SARA JADE ALAN is the author of the young adult novel A Messy, Beautiful Life, which is a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards. She wrote her first comedy sketch during second-grade recess, then cast it, directed it, and made costumes out of garbage bags. Since then she has performed in more than a thousand improvised and scripted shows and was on the USA Network as a winner of their College Comedy Contest. Sara teaches improv and writing workshops to teens and adults, and she is an educator with Girls Leadership.


BROOKE BOYNTON-HUGHES has illustrated several books for kids including Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton (Grosset & Dunlap, 2016), Baby Love by Angela DiTerlizzi (Beach Lane Books, 2015), Henry Wants More! by Linda Ashman (Random House, 2016), Bark Park! by Trudy Krisher (Beach Lane Books, 2018) and the forthcoming, self-authored Brave Molly (Chronicle, 2019), among others. Brooke works in pen & ink, watercolor, and graphite, and lives in Fort Collins, CO with her husband, twin babies, and their dog, Olive. To see more of her work, visit Brooke will be offering a limited number of portfolio reviews.


ANA CRESPO met both her editor and agent at previous Letters & Lines conferences. She is the author of The Sock Thief: A Soccer Story, winner of the 2016 International Latino Book Awards for Best Latino-focused Picture Book, Bilingual, and five other picture books. Ana considers herself lucky to have a career that allows her to keep her imagination alive way beyond her childhood years. Originally from Brazil, Ana lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountain region with her husband and kids. Find out more about Ana at Ana will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques.


NANCY BO FLOOD is the author of Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo honored as a NCTE Notable Poetry Book, a California Reading Association Eureka! Nonfiction honor book, and the Arizona-New Mexico book award for juvenile literature. Recent books are Soldier Sister, Fly Home (Charlesbridge, 2017) and Water Runs Through This Book (Fulcrum, 2015). Her first collaborative project with a Navajo elder and illustrator is First Laugh, Welcome Baby, a Junior Literary Guild Selection. Nancy has served on ILA’s Notable Books for a Global Society committee. Please visit her website:  Nancy will be offering a limited number of 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.


Will James Limón is the author of Beginning Again: Beyond the End of Love published by HarperCollins and in Germany. He is also the author of several self-published books on relationships and energetic healing. Will has worked with adult short stories, and now writes children’s stories, picture book through YA. He has presented programs on plot, characterization, and scene for writers’ groups throughout the front range of Colorado. Will also composes classical music and lives in the mountains of Colorado with his wife, Catherine.


JEANNIE MOBLEY has spent much of her life daydreaming herself into other centuries, resulting in multiple degrees in history and anthropology, and a passion for writing fiction. She is the author of three historical middle grade novels, which have received numerous honors, including the Willa Award, Colorado Book Award, Junior Library Guild Selection, and inclusion on numbers national notable lists, including the Amelia Bloomer List for Feminist Literature, Library of Congress 52 Great Reads List, and the New York Public Library Notables. Her favorite stories are those of ordinary people who achieve the extraordinary.


WENDI SILVANO is the award-winning author of 8 picture books, a dozen early readers, numerous magazine stories and a variety of educational materials. Her picture books Turkey Trouble and Just One More both won the IRA’s Children’s Choice Award, while Turkey Claus was named one of the “Ten Best Picture Books of 2012” by YABC. She is the mother of 5, a former teacher and the owner of a menagerie of assorted pets. Her next picture book (Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter) is due out in early 2019 from Two Lions Press. You can find her online at Wendi will be offering a limited number of manuscript critiques.


LILY WILLIAMS is an author, illustrator, and storyteller who seeks to inspire change through education. She believes in the power of making information fun, educational, and accessible for all audiences. Lily grew up in Northern California where she graduated from California College of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Animation. Lily will be offering a limited number of portfolio reviews.




KAREN “KAZ” WINDNESS is an illustrator and PAL (Published and Listed) writer creating sweet, subversive stories with unique characters for kids of all ages.

Kaz 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 an RMC-SCBWI illustrator mentor. Kaz will be offering a limited number of portfolio reviews.