Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators




David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland. You can learn more at and follow him on Twitter @roofbeam and Instagram @iamdavidarnold.
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Tracy Barrett is the author of more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction for young readers, most recently The Song of Orpheus, The Stepsister’s Tale, Dark of the Moon, and The Sherlock Files series. Tracy was SCBWI’s Midsouth Regional Advisor from 1999 to 2009 and is currently SCBWI’s US Regional Advisor Coordinator. She has been awarded an SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant and a research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She holds an A.B. in Classical Archaeology from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. Visit her at
AshleyHerringBlakeAshley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and cold weather. She is the author of the young adult novels Suffer Love, How to Make a Wish, and Girl Made of Stars (Houghton Mifflin) as well as the middle grade novel Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World (Little, Brown). You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @ashleyhblake.
LindaComachoLinda Camacho joined Prospect Agency after a decade in publishing. After graduating from Cornell University, Linda interned at Simon & Schuster and Writers House literary agency, and worked at Penguin and Random House before making the move to agenting. She has an MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She's seeking MG, YA, and adult fiction across all genres along with very select picture book writer-illustrators. Diversity of all types welcome (ethnicity, disability, sexuality, etc.).
Katie Carella is a Senior Editor at Scholastic Inc. She oversees Scholastic's Branches early chapter book line, in addition to editing some leveled readers. Her career began on the adult side of publishing in marketing and publicity. She then earned her master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and taught 1st – 3rd grades — all before entering children's editorial in 2007. She has since edited many series, including Owl Diaries, The Notebook of Doom, Dragon Masters, and Haggis and Tank Unleashed.
RobynChapmanRobyn Chapman is an associate editor at First Second, the graphic novel imprint of Macmillan. Previously she worked as an assistant editor at Graphic Universe, the graphic novel imprint of Lerner. She spent five years at The Center for Cartoon Studies, initially as their first fellow and later as their program coordinator and a faculty member. During her time at CCS she earned her MFA in cartooning, having previously earned her BFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Robyn is the author of Drawing Comics Lab (Quarry Books), an instructional book about cartooning.
SusanEaddySusan Eaddy works in her attic studio writing picture books and playing with clay. As a former Art Director she won international 3D illustration awards and a Grammy nomination. Her clay-illustrated trade books include, My Love for You is the Sun and Papa Fish’s Lullaby. She is the author of Poppy’s Best Paper illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet (Charlesbridge), Poppy’s Best Babies (2018), and Eenie Meenie Halloweenie (Harper Collins 2020). She is the Regional Advisor for the Midsouth (SCBWI) and also serves on the International SCBWI Bologna Team. Susan loves to travel, and has done school visits from Taiwan to Brazil to Alabama to Hong Kong!
ShebaKarimSheba Karim is the author of the YA novel Skunk Girl (FSG 2009), That Thing We Call a Heart (Harper Collins 2017), and The Road Trip Effect (forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2018).  She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and lives in Nashville, TN.
AlishaKlaphekeAlisha Klapheke is the author of the Uncommon World series. She began writing as a child and hasn't stopped since. When she isn't crafting new stories, she can be found teaching kids, teens, and adults Muay Thai kickboxing, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and self defense at a Nashville martial arts school she and her husband own and operate. Traveling inspires much of Alisha's fiction. The varying art, architecture, foods, and rituals worldwide fuel her passion for creating fantastical people and places with heart and soul. This year, she is off to Japan for another adventure.
LaurentLinnLaurent Linn began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop, creating characters for Muppet Christmas Carol and other productions, becoming the Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, winning an Emmy Award. Currently, as Art Director for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, he art directs picture books, middle-grade, and teen novels, collaborating with illustrators and authors such as Tomie dePaola, Bryan Collier, and Debbie Ohi. Laurent is also an author/illustrator: his illustrated YA novel is Draw the Line ( Laurent is on the Board of the SCBWI. Find him on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook and at,
ChristinaPulles1Christina Pulles joined Sterling Children’s Books in June 2015, and before that worked at Simon & Schuster’s Simon Spotlight imprint. Realistic middle grade holds a soft spot in her heart (recent projects include Howard Wallace, P.I. by Casey Lyall and Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling), but she acquires everything from clever, narrative picture books to nonfiction and activity books. She's open to magical realism or a fantastic bent to a story, but wouldn’t be the right editor for high fantasy or science fiction, and isn’t looking for YA fiction.
AlexSlaterAlexander Slater has been with Trident Media Group since 2010. A former foreign rights agent with TMG, Alex has participated in the London, Frankfurt, and Bologna Book Fairs. He seeks unique middle grade and young adult voices.
CourtneyStevensCourtney “Court” Stevens grew up among rivers, cornfields, churches, and gossip in the small town south. She is a former adjunct professor, youth minister, and Olympic torchbearer. She has a pet whale named Herman, a bandsaw named Rex, and several novels with her name on the spine: Faking Normal, The Lies About Truth, the e-novella The Blue-Haired Boy, and forthcoming Dress Codes for Small Towns. As an educator and author, she visits schools, designs retreats, and teaches workshops on marketing, revision, character development, and Channeling Your Brave.
Kristin TubbKristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of A Dog Like Daisy, John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy (written as E.F. Abbott), The 13th Sign, Selling Hope and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different. She’s also written many activity books featuring well-loved characters like Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, the Powerpuff Girls, and Strawberry Shortcake. Kristin lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her bouncy-loud family. Just like her two dogs, she can be bribed with cheese. Kristin can be found far too often on Facebook (, Twitter (!/ktubb), and Instagram ( ).  Oh, and she has a website, too:
MaryUhlesMary Reaves Uhles has created illustrations for the books THE LITTLE KIDS' TABLE and BEYOND THE GRAVE, and the poetry collection KOOKY CRUMBS by Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis. Her newest book, A TUBA CHRISTMAS, arrives in 2018. Mary has twice been awarded the Grand Prize for Illustration from the SCBWI Midsouth Conference and her piece, EAT was a finalist in the 2014 SCBWI Bologna Book Fair Gallery.  Mary serves as the Illustrator Coordinator for the Midsouth region of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.  You can see and learn more at
IreneVandervootIrene Vandervoort is currently Art Director at Sterling Children’s Books. She began her design career as an intern and freelancer working with Fred Woodward and Gail Anderson at Rolling Stone, and then as a Senior Designer at WBMG design studio with Walter Bernard and Milton Glaser before joining Dutton Children’s Books as a Senior Designer in 2001. During her close to fifteen years at Penguin, she has worked with such artists as Sophie Blackall, Shane Rebenschied, Thor Wickstrom, Jed Henry, Hugh D’Andrade, Kelly Murphy, and Anna Bond. She designs both covers and interiors in a variety of formats including picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels.
HayleyWagreichHayley Wagreich is an editor at Alloy Entertainment. With a focus on middle grade and YA, she’s worked on the critically-acclaimed American Street, Printz Honor-winning Code Name Verity and the New York Times bestseller, Max: Best Friend. Hero. Marine. Previously, she worked at Paper Lantern Lit and Disney Hyperion.
JessicaYoungauthorphotocolorlaughJessica Young grew up in Ontario, Canada. The same things make her happy now as when she was a kid: dancing, painting, music, digging in the dirt, picnics, reading, and writing. When she was little, she wanted to be a tap-dancing flight attendant/veterinarian, but she’s changed her mind! Jessica is the author of the award-winning MY BLUE IS HAPPY, SPY GUY THE NOT-SO-SECRET AGENT, the FINLEY FLOWERS series, and the HAGGIS AND TANK UNLEASHED series.
Educators speaking at the PAL Marketing Event
Julie Simone earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in special education from Vanderbilt University. Entering her 31st year of teaching, she has taught everything from preschool to graduate school. She is currently an Instructor in Lipscomb University’s College of Education and Lead Faculty Liaison for Teach For America. Simone’s work focuses on inclusive, responsive, and effective practices in schools for equitable access and the role of literacy and family engagement toward equity and social justice.
Dr. Ally Hauptman is the Lead Faculty for Instructional Practice at Lipscomb University in Nashville.  She has a PhD in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education from the University of Nebraska and has taught first and fifth grades as well as Special Education. Her research interests include reading and writing motivation and best practices in literacy instruction.
Michelle Hasty taught secondary English Language Arts before becoming a professor in Lipscomb University's College of Education. At Lipscomb she serves as Lead Faculty for Instructional Coaching and teaches coaching and literacy courses. She enjoys working with local high school ELA teachers, working with TN's Read to Be Ready Summer Grant program, and serving on the International Literacy Association's Young Adult Book Award Committee. Her research interests include writing instruction, adolescent and critical literacy, and students' written and oral discourse around text. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Michael, and their four sons.