Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Conference Faculty











Agent Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

jennifer-mattson-web-3Jennifer Mattson has been with Andrea Brown Literary Agency for nine years, and began working in children’s publishing immediately out of college— including five years as an editor at Dutton and five years as a Books for Youth reviewer with Booklist.  She represents all audiences and genres, and looks for authors or author-illustrators who bring a deep professionalism, an open mind, and a fresh point of view to their work. 

Fiction that Jennifer represents includes Kate Hannigan’s sweet chapter book series, Cupcake Cousins, and her historical middle-grade novel, THE DETECTIVE'S ASSISTANT (Little, Brown), which won the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade Fiction, received two starred reviews, was a Booklist Editor's Choice, and appeared on the 2016 Amelia Bloomer List. Picture books she represents include noted poet Linda Ashman's lyrical ode to the rhythms of the natural world, ALL WE KNOW (HarperCollins), illustrated by Jane Dyer, and Ashman’s nearly wordless celebration of optimism, RAIN! (HMH); and Kim Norman's three Arctic companion books that cleverly spin off favorite preschool songs: TEN ON THE SLED, IF IT’S SNOWY AND YOU KNOW IT, and SHE’LL BE COMIN’ UP THE MOUNTAIN (all Sterling). 


Associate Editor Miriam Newman, Candlewick Press

Miriam NewmanMiriam works primarily on fiction and nonfiction for ages 10 and up. She is the editor of Amy Rose Capetta’s Echo After Echo (October 2017), Hayley Chewins’s The Turnaway Girls (October 2018), and the American editor for Lucy Adlington’s The Red Ribbon (September 2018).

Other books she’s worked on include the middle-grade fantasy The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman; the feminist historical fiction anthology A Tyranny of Petticoats and its upcoming companion The Radical Element, edited by Jessica Spotswood; the narrative nonfiction The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found by Martin W. Sandler.

While Miriam is interested in all genres, she has a particular fondness for science fiction, fantasy, and mystery and is especially interested in books with LGBTQAI characters and nontraditional family structures.


Agent John Rudolph, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC

johnRudolphJohn Rudolph joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret in 2010 after twelve years as an acquiring children’s book editor. He began his career at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers as an Editorial Assistant and then moved to the G. P. Putnam’s Sons imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, where he eventually served as Executive Editor on a wide range of young adult, middle-grade, nonfiction, and picture book titles. He graduated from Amherst College with a double major in Classics and Music. While John’s list started out as mostly children’s books, it has evolved to the point where it is now half adult, half children’s authors —and he’s looking to maintain that balance. On the children’s side, John is keenly interested in middle-grade and young adult fiction and would love to find the next great picture book author/illustrator. For adults, he is actively looking for narrative nonfiction, especially in music, sports, history, popular science, “big think”, performing arts, health, business, memoir, military history, and humor. He is also interested in commercial fiction, but is very selective in what he takes on.


Author Amber Keyser

Amber Keyser.

Evolutionary biologist-turned-author Amber J. Keyser has a MS in zoology and a PhD in genetics. She writes both fiction and non-fiction for tweens and teens.

Her young adult novels include POINTE, CLAW (Carolrhoda Lab, 2017), an explosive story about two girls claiming the territory of their own bodies, and THE WAY BACK FROM BROKEN (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a heart-wrenching novel of loss and survival (and a finalist for the Oregon Book Award). She is the co-author with Kiersi Burkhart of the middle grade series QUARTZ CREEK RANCH (Darby Creek, 2017).

Her nonfiction titles include THE V-WORD (Beyond Words/SimonTeen, 2016), an anthology of personal essays by women about first-time sexual experiences (Rainbow List, Amelia Bloomer list, New York Public Library Best Book for Teens and Chicago Public Library Best Nonfiction for Teens) and SNEAKER CENTURY: A HISTORY OF ATHLETIC SHOES (Twenty-First Century Books, 2015), among numerous other titles.

Her forthcoming books include TYING THE KNOT: A WORLD HISTORY OF MARRIAGE (Twenty-First Century Books, 2018) and UNDERNEATH IT ALL: A HISTORY OF WOMEN’S UNDERWEAR (Twenty-First Century Books, 2018). More information at Connect with Amber on Twitter @amberjkeyser.


Author Stephanie Oakes


Stephanie Oakes lives in Spokane, Washington, and works as a library media teacher at a combined elementary and middle school. She has an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University. Her first book, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, retells the Grimm brother’s fairy tale “The Handless Maiden” using the modern setting of a religious cult. It was a Morris Award finalist and a Golden Kite Honor book. In her newest book The Arsonist, due out August 2017, Stephanie weaves together three points of view in a story that's part Cold War mystery, part contemporary coming-of-age, and completely unputdownable.

Learn more about Stephanie here


Author Annette Bay Pimental


Annette spent years listening to the stories of her new neighbors in 10 states and 4 countries. She finally stopped moving and settled in Moscow, Idaho, where she writes true stories about real people. Her nonfiction picture book Mountain Chef: How One Man Lost His Groceries, Changed His Plans, and Helped Cook up the National Park Service (Charlesbridge, 2016) won a Eureka! Nonfiction Honor, and the 2017 Carter G. Woodson Elementary Award from the National Council of Social Studies. Girl Running (Nancy Paulsen Books), about the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, comes out February 6, 2018.

Learn more about Annette here:


Author Danielle Annett 

Danielle Annett

Danielle Annett is the #1 Amazon Bestselling author of the Blood & Magic series. She’s been featured on USA Today Online’s Happily Every Afters and on Heroes and Heartbreakers as a January Best Bet. She’s a reader, writer, cover designer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Danielle is also an active PAN member with Romance Writers of America (RWA), and is the VP of Programs for the Inland Empire Chapter of Romance Writers of America (IECRWA). She writes about kick-butt heroines in volatile settings. No damsels in distress here.

Learn more about Danielle at




Illustrator Kary Lee

FaceWSMagArt Director-turned illustrator, Kary Lee soon realized the job she landed out of college put her on the wrong side of the desk. It took a few years, but when she took the leap, everything clicked. And, being a Portfolio Showcase winner at her first LA SCBWI conference set the stage for her career as a visual storyteller.

Growing up, Kary didn’t receive coloring books. She got a pad of newsprint and a bucket of crayons. If she wasn’t drawing, she could be found in her sunny California backyard, painting backdrops on her sliding glass door or directing the neighborhood kids in her screenplays. On rainy days she would read. Raggedy Ann was her first character inspiration, Laura Ingalls-her imaginary friend. And Judy Blume was there to help her through the tweens. 

Kary sees art as the universal language and her illustration as a tool to tell stories that children of all ages, ethnicity, culture, and gender can identify. Her images are anchored in realism. Using traditional “old school” watercolor washes and line Kary strives to capture the golden age feel of the past with a fresh twist.

Through the collaboration of my images and the author’s words, I hope to empower and evoke a child’s imagination through stories that reflect our human similarities while celebrating our diversity.”  

Kary is also the INW SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator. Learn more about Kary and see her work here:



Author Rachel Hamby


Rachel Hamby’s first book, TELEVISIONS, was published in August by Focus Readers. Written for the education market, this book introduces young readers to the science that makes television possible. Her second book, HOW TO READ A GRAPH comes out later this year. She has also sold poetry and fiction to Highlights Magazine and Cricket Media.

Learn more about Rachel at:





Author Mary Cronk Farrell

May 2015 #3

Mary Cronk Farrell is a former award-winning journalist and author of fiction and nonfiction books for children. She writes with passion about little-known people of history who face great adversity with courage. Recent titles are FANNIE NEVER FLINCHED: ONE WOMAN'S COURAGE IN THE STRUGGLE FOR AMERICAN LABOR UNION RIGHTS, which received three starred reviews, and PURE GRIT: HOW AMERICAN WORLD WAR II NURSES SURVIVED BATTLE AND PRISON CAMP IN THE PACIFIC, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, Jefferson Cup Honor Book, Washington State Book Award Finalist, and Booklist Editor’s Choice among other awards.

Mary also publishes the blog and weekly newsletter STORIES TO INFORM AND INSPIRE. Click here to see that. Connect with Mary by liking her Facebook page here.

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