Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Member Good News

Let’s support our Mid Atlantic members by celebrating their good news!

Have good news of your own? Share it here.


I’m excited to announce the release of my picture book, “An Earth Song”, a poem by Langston Hughes and illustrated by me Tequitia Andrews. It’s an illustrated adaptation of Hughes’ poem about the anticipation of spring and new beginnings of kind. Published by Cameron Kids, it is scheduled to be released April 18, 2023. Pre-orders are available now. — Tequitia Andrews

Tequitia Andrews is an artist and illustrator from Richmond, Virginia. Her illustrations have been included in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic and numerous YA novel covers. This will be her first full-length picture book and her first book with Cameron Kids.

Learn more by visiting Tequita’s website and Instagram.


My latest YA novel, A Silent Evil, has just been published! This is the second book in The Vanguard Warrior Trilogy, a science fiction series. In A Silent Evil, fourteen-year-old Deion Carter enrolls in Valley Forge Military Academy- and learns that he can read other people’s minds. Soon, he is diagnosed with the MH1 gene, which runs in military families and causes superpowers. Under the tutelage of Cadet Katie McMann, a nineteen-year-old cadet at Norwich University, Deion learns about the gene and his own family history of service. But the other cadets and military personnel who have the gene want to limit those who have it- and Deion and Katie must prepare for a fight. — Tamar Anolic

Tamar’s short stories have been published in numerous literary journals. Her previous novels include Two Sisters of Fayetteville, which won Honorable Mention for Young Adult Fiction in The Firebird Book Awards. Tamar’s short story collection, The Lonely Spirit, is an Indie Brag Medallion honoree and took Third Place for Historical Fiction in Firebird Book Awards; it was also long listed for The Historical Fiction Company’s Book of the Year Award. Tales of the Romanov Empire, Tamar’s novel in short stories, was long listed for The Historical Fiction Company’s Book of the Year Award, as well as being short listed for the Goethe Awards for Late Historical Fiction. A Silent Evil is the second book of The Vanguard Warrior Trilogy. The first book was The Fledgling’s Inferno.

Learn more by visiting Tamar’s website and Facebook.


I’m thrilled to announce that “Marlon and the Scary Something” is a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards.This is the third award for the book, written by Dan Bailes and illustrated by Melissa Gardner. Melissa and I are currently working on the next book in the series, “Marlon and the Wide World” which will be available this spring. — Dan Bailes

Dan writes fun stories for kids. His heartwarming tales feature lovable animals and quirky siblings who must solve a problem or meet a challenge. His award-winning stories also offer practical skills to help navigate life’s little stumbling blocks. “I fall in love with my characters. I enjoy writing about their adventures and whatever challenges they face. And I try to draw from my own experiences and some valuable life lessons I’ve learned along the way.” Dan started Nice Dog Books with his canine companion KukkaTahti to tell stories and tickle funny bones. It has not escaped Kukka’s attention that their first four books feature a tiger and a cat. She expects equal time for dogs. When they’re not busy writing or thinking silly thoughts, Dan and Kukka can often be spotted “going for a walk” on the streets of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Learn more about Dan on his website and find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.


I belong to a marking group, Kidlit At Heart, made up of five authors from Canada and the U.S. In the U.S. we are from the Eastern, Western, and Central Regions. We will be presenting at the Women in Publishing Summit which runs virtually from March 1st – 4th. Our session is called, Forming a Collaborative Children’s Book Marketing Group. We will be sharing our story of how we were formed, our process, our successes, and how we market our books. — Leslie Eva Tayloe

Leslie Eva Tayloe is a children’s picture book author. Her inspiration for writing, I’m Fishing with Pop-Pop Today and Save the Trees, releasing Summer, 2023, came from her personal life experiences, which are woven into her stories. She’s a former analyst with the federal government and worked as a substitute teacher for elementary school-aged children. Leslie lives in the Virginia countryside with her partner, Michael, where she can take time to explore nature and share her life in written stories. When Leslie isn’t writing, she loves to take long walks with her black lab Frankie, craft, and spend time with family.

Learn more about Leslie on her website or find her on Twitter and Instagram


My YA novel “Yasemin and Nirmala: A Tale of Two Teens” will be published this year by Leadstart Publishing in India. It’s a coming-of-age story about two immigrant teenage girls with disabilities who develop an unbreakable bond. — Kamakshi Murti

Kamakshi Pappu Murti is a retired professor of German Studies. She has authored fictional and non-fictional writing. Fiction includes children’s books and murder mysteries. Her scholarly writing is devoted to multi-cultural issues. Fiction: LALLI’S WINDOW was published in 2017 by Austin Macauley, and her first murder mystery, MURDERS MOST MATRONLY (with Leela and Meena, two female detectives inspired by Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple), came out in 2017 as a e-book by Juggernaut Books in India.

MURDERS IN THE IVORY TOWER was published in 2021 by Pegasus in Great Britain. A collection of short stories entitled BANDILANKA’S FORGOTTEN LIVES was published in 2021 by Leadstart. This collection was shortlisted for an award in the Young Adult’s category of the Neev Literary Festival held in 2022 in India. Non-fiction: “Die Reinkarnation des Lesers als Autor: ein rezeptionsgeschichtlicher Versuch über den Einfluss der altindischen Literatur auf deutsche Schriftsteller” (de Gruyter, 1990); “India: The Seductive and Seduced ‘Other’ of German Orientalism” (Praeger, 2000); “To Veil or not to Veil: Europe’s Shape-shifting ‘Other’” (Peter Lang, 2012). Murti is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA), Modern Language Association (MLA), American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE). Murti is presently working on the next in the Leela/Meena murder mystery series, tentatively entitled MURDERS MOST TRANS-GRESSIVE, and motivated by the murders of transgender women in India.

Learn more about Kamakshi on her website and find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


My independently published picture book Oyster Matters: A Keystone Species Story won 1st place in the 2022 Virginia Outdoor Writers Association Excellence-in-Craft award — Lisa Connors


Lisa is a writer in rural Virginia. She writes picture books hoping to share her love and awe of nature and the ecological processes at work that create and sustain life on our planet. Oyster Matters: A Keystone Species Story, is her third book that looks specifically at ecological connections between organisms. She hopes the reader will see the complexity of nature emphasized by her familiar phrase, ” but that’s not all” found in her other Matters books.

Learn more about Lisa on her website and find her on Instagram.


I am proud to announce the publication of Brave Face: The Inspiring WWII Memoir of a Dutch/German Child by Amsterdam Publishers. Although not strictly a children’s book, both junior high and high school students are reading it, and it has sold nearly 6500 copies in only two months! –Caroline Crocker

Over the past 20 years, Caroline has worked as a biology professor, the chief executive officer (CEO) of a startup company, the president of a nonprofit, a private tutor, a technical writer, a research scientist, a consultant and a communications expert. Her last position involved teaching microbiology—very topical Caroline maintains a blog, RamblingRuminations, and is the author or coauthor of eight books, including Growing the Church 101 and Free to Think. More information on Caroline’s writings can be found at Caroline is married to Richard and has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a bulldog who snores very loudly.

Learn more about Caroline on her website and find her on Linktree and Facebook.


I was interviewed for a feature in Washington Family Magazine in advance of my next book release. Doe’s Dandelions (Woodland Friends #4) hits shelves March 7, 2023. The photo shoot was a lot of fun and my oldest ended up on the cover! — Laura Renauld

Learn more about Laura on her website and find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


I am thrilled to share two exciting events in my writing career!: 1. My collection of short stories “Bandilanka’s Forgotten Lives” (Leadstart, 2021) was shortlisted in the Young Adult category for the NEEV Literature Festival Award held in September 2022 in the city of Bangalore, India. 2. My teen novel “Yasemin and Nirmala: A Tale of Two Teens” has just been accepted for traditional publication by Leadstart Publishing in India. — Kamakshi Murti



Kamakshi Pappu Murti is a retired professor of German Studies. She is an author of fiction and non-fiction. Her scholarly writing is devoted to multi-cultural issues, as well as gender studies. Fiction includes children’s books (“Lalli’s Window,” “Yasemin and Nirmala: A Tale of Two teens”, “Bandilanka’s Forgotten Lives”) and murder mysteries (“Murders Most Matronly,” “Murders in the Ivory Tower”.) Murti is an active member of the Modern Language Association, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education. Scholarly monographs include “India: The Seductive and Seduced ‘Other’ of German Orientalism” (Praeger, 2000) and “To Veil or not to Veil: Europe’s Shape-shifting ‘Other’” (Peter Lang, 2012).

Learn more about Kamakshi on her website and find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.



My book “Hothouse Earth: The Climate Crisis and the Importance of Carbon Neutrality” (Twenty-First Century Books) received the Green Earth Book Award for YA nonfiction awarded by The Nature Generation. — Stephanie Sammartino McPherson

Learn more about Stephanie on her website.


“Marlon and the Scary Something,” written by Dan Bailes and illustrated by Melissa Gardner, is a Purple Dragonfly Winner and a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree! This makes two awards for the book and three awards for the series “Marlon’s Marvelous Adventures.”

With gentle humor and a light touch, “Marlon and the Scary Something” explores the themes of facing your fears, finding courage and getting back on your feet. The chapter book, part of the series Marlon’s Marvelous Adventures, is perfect for kids 6-9 and cat lovers everywhere. Oh, and dog lovers too. — Dan Bailes


Dan loves writing stories that can make kids laugh and share some coping skills, too. So far, Dan’s written three chapter books for kids and he’s working on “Marlon and the Wide World” to be published

early next year. He’s always been one to follow his nose and see where it may lead. And says he does his best work when he gets stuck and then tries to get unstuck from whatever sticky situation he’s fallen into. He wonders what cats and dogs really think about us. If you have any ideas about that, please let him know. Dan started Nice Dog Books with Kukka, who really is a nice dog. Except she barks too much.

Learn more about Dan on his website and find him on Facebook.


My new nonfiction for ages 10 and up released on January 10, 2023 from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers! WE ARE YOUR CHILDREN TOO: BLACK STUDENTS, WHITE SUPREMACISTS, AND THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA’S SCHOOLS IN PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, VIRGINIA tells of a group of young Black Americans who stood up for their right to an education, thus triggering a firestorm of White supremacist reaction, a landmark Supreme Court ruling, the inception of massive resistance, and five years of school closings that denied any education at all to the next generation of Prince Edward County’s Black and some White children. Despite the hardships thrown at them, these young people remained, and remain today, resilient, determined, and inspiring. — P. O’Connell Pearson


P. O’Connell Pearson—Patty—spent many happy years teaching history and social studies. Always enthusiastic about sharing the stories of history, she earned her MFA in Writing for Young People from Lesley University and now writes for ages ten and up. When she is not writing about history, she can often be found talking about history as a volunteer with the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. She is the author of FLYGIRLS, winner of the Grand Canyon Readers Award, FIGHTING FOR THE FOREST, finalist for the NYHS Children’s History Book Prize, and CONSPIRACY, the story of Watergate. Her books have received honors from A Mighty Girl, Bank Street Books, the National Council for the Social Studies, and more.

Learn more about Patty on her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter .



I’m super excited to share that my middle-grade, MAMA’S CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS, has been acquired by Holiday House! Years and years in the oven, with more work to do, but still–WOOT! — Dionna L. Mann



I am honored to report that I was awarded an Arts and Humanities Fellowship by the DC Commission on the Art & Humanities for my work as a writer and ambassador for all things double Dutch! The Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program (AHFP) supports qualified individual artists and humanities practitioners who significantly contribute to the District of Columbia as a world-class cultural capital. — Joy Jones.


Joy Jones is a popular speaker, trainer, and the author of several books for adults and children. Her most recent are Fearless Public Speaking, a how-to for teens, and Jayla Jumps In, a MG novel which received a starred review on Booklist and chosen as one of the best sports books for children by the ALA. Her novel in progress, Walking the Boomerang, won the 2022 Pen America/ Phyllis Naylor Grant for Children’s and Young Adult Novelists. She works for DC Public Library and is a member of the Children’s Book Guild and SCBWI. Visit at: and find her on Twitter and Instagram.


My debut picture book “My Red, White, and Blue” will be available 17 Jan 2023 everywhere books are sold. My Red, White and Blue is a powerfully validating story that showcases many facets of Black American history through the eyes of a young Black boy in conversation with his grandfather. Through his journey, readers are invited to choose how to relate to America, and to the flag that means so many things to so many people. I’m super excited to share this book that was published by Philomel and was seven years in the making. — Alana Tyson






A graduate of Brooklyn College and a children’s book author who loves writing about unsung heroes. I’m a native New Yorker, residing in Alexandria, VA, with my husband and two sons. When I’m not writing or thinking of amazing book ideas, you’ll find me protecting national security by day and on lounging on a Caribbean beach and singing karaoke by night. Learn more about Alana on her website and find her on Instagram and Twitter .


My poem “Promise” is in the new anthology WHAT IS A FRIEND? by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2022). — Marcie Flinchum Atkins

Marcie Flinchum Atkins is a teacher-librarian by day and a children’s book writer in the wee hours of the morning. She holds an M.A. and M.F.A. in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. She is the author of Ancient China (ABDO, 2015), “Rookie Get Ready to Code” series (Scholastic Children’s Press, 2019), Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature (Millbrook Press, 2019), and is a contributor to Things We Feel edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong and What is a Friend? (Pomelo Books, 2022). She is the nonfiction events coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic chapter of SCBWI. She also muses about mentor texts, making time to write, and poetry at You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Exciting news—THE SKYDIVING BEAVERS: A TRUE TALE (Sleeping Bear), about a daring 1940s wildlife relocation effort, has won the 2021-22 California Young Reader Medal in the Picture Books for Older Readers category! Half a million CA students read and voted on the nominees this year—that’s a whole lot of wonderful young readers! This honor is especially meaningful because 1.) it was decided by kids—hooray!—and 2.) I’m a product of the CA public school and library systems. I have no doubt that the seeds of this award were planted in the classrooms and libraries of my Golden State youth. A full-circle moment! — Susan (VanHecke) Wood

Susan Wood is an award-winning author of books for young readers, including ESQUIVEL! SPACE-AGE SOUND ARTIST (Charlesbridge; Pura Belpré Honor Book), AMERICAN GOTHIC: THE LIFE OF GRANT WOOD (Abrams; Junior Library Guild Selection), ELIZABETH WARREN: NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED (Abrams; CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Book), HOLY SQUAWKAMOLE! LITTLE RED HEN MAKES GUACAMOLE (Sterling), and SANDY FEET! WHOSE FEET? FOOTPRINTS AT THE SHORE (Sleeping Bear). She lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

Learn more about Susan on her website and find her on Twitter .


I’m thrilled to share the release of my debut book, 1 2 3 Count with Me on Granddad’s Farm. Since its August 30, 2022 release, 1 2 3 Count with Me on Granddad’s Farm has ranked #1 in two of Amazon Kindle children’s categories: Baby & Toddler Counting Books and Children’s Nonfiction Animal Books. Additionally, the book won The Literary Titan Gold Book Award.

My book is available online on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, and Walmart. I was also interviewed by the Irresponsible Reader about my new book. You can read the author interview online.  —Valerie D. Johnson

Valerie D. Johnson is an educator, speaker, and author of 1 2 3 Count with Me on Granddad’s Farm. Her superpower is making learning math easy to understand, engaging, meaningful, and fun. Her mission is to ignite a love of math in all children, one book at a time!

Valerie has two passions—teaching math and empowering parents to support learning at home. As an instructional leader for over 30 years, she’s learned that all children can enjoy and learn math at high levels if it’s connected to the real world, visual, hands-on, promotes discussion—and is, most importantly, FUN! She was inspired to write math-themed children’s books to build math confidence in students and empower parents to support learning at home.

Valerie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and National PTA.

Learn more about Valerie on her website and find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


My second novel, a YA drama/suspense will be published next April from Fire and Ice! — Debbie Schrack

Debbie Schrack is the author of SAVING SOPHIE, a young adult contemporary romance, and the winner of the Haunted States of America contest for the state of Virginia. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. When she’s not conjuring dark and twisty plots or hanging out with her family, you can find her poring over travel brochures, ready to check off another box on her bucket list of travel adventures. You can follow Debbie on Facebook or Twitter @debbie_schrack or contact her through her website.


My poem “Zany” appears in the poetry anthology THINGS WE FEEL edited by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. All proceeds go to IBBY. — Marcie Flinchum Atkins

Marcie Flinchum Atkins is a teacher-librarian by day and a children’s book writer in the wee hours of the morning. She holds an M.A. and M.F.A. in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. She is the author of Ancient China (ABDO, 2015), “Rookie Get Ready to Code” series (Scholastic Children’s Press, 2019), Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature (Millbrook Press, 2019), and is a contributor to Things We Feel edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2022). She is the nonfiction events coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic chapter of SCBWI. She also muses about mentor texts, making time to write, and poetry at You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram .


I’m happy to share news that a have a new book releasing on October 25th: A BONE FOR BO, PAINTING WITH GEORGIA O’KEEFFE. This is the third book in this series that features an introduction to famous artists through the eyes of the artist’s pets or animals that live nearby. Georgia O’Keeffe’s time in New Mexico and the paintings she created that were inspired by the region solidified her legacy as one of the most famous American modernists. But did you ever wonder how an artist like O’Keeffe found her inspiration to begin experimenting with new and different colors schemes and compositions? This endearing narrative hints at how Georgia O’Keeffe may have found her fresh perspective in the Red Hills of New Mexico, by imagining the relationship between the famous painter and her dog. — Joan Waites

Joan Waites Is an award-winning author-illustrator, with numerous titles illustrated for the children’s trade and educational markets, and the author-illustrator of three picture books with forthcoming titles to be released in fall 2022 and spring 2023. A former adjunct faculty member of the Corcoran Museum School of Art and Design’s aspiring artists programs, Joan continues to teach art enrichment for children and adults. She served for 20 years as the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator, and is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington D.C., and The National Art Educators Association.

Learn more about Joan on her website and find her on Instagram and Facebook.


Delighted to share the picture book LEAVES TO MY KNEES by Ellen Mayer and illustrated by Nicole Tadgell will be published this Fall by Star Bright Books! — Nicole Tadgell

Nicole Tadgell is the illustrator of more than thirty picture books, including ASTRONAUT ANNIE, FOLLOW ME DOWN TO NICODEMUS TOWN and TIARA’S HAT PARADE. Nicole’s work has been honored with the Christopher’s Award, the Kansas State Notable Award, the Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award, the Américas Award, and the Children’s Africana Book Award. Nicole has taught workshops and classes at Museums, colleges, and conferences. Nicole also shares presentations demonstrating the picture book creative process.

Learn more about Nicole on her website and find her on Instagram here and here and on Facebook here and here.


My newest book MOUSE CALLS is coming out from Beach LaneBooks/Simon & Schuster on August 23. The illustrator, Erin Kraan, does her work with woodcuts, and I can’t wait for you to see the thirty-nine animals she created for the illustrations. — Anne Marie Pace


Charlottesville, VA – 6/24/22 – Anne Marie Pace Author Photo.
Photo by Amanda Maglione

In spite of the adage to write what you know, I have never been a vampire, a ballerina, a groundhog, or a tow truck driver. I am a picture book author. My latest book is MOUSE CALLS, illustrated by Erin Kraan, from Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster). Other books include GROUNDHUG DAY (Little, Brown), BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books), SUNNY’S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams) and the four books of the VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion), which were adapted into the hit Disney Junior animated series VAMPIRINA. I live in Charlottesville with my husband, three cats, and two dogs, and love frequent visits from my young adult children.

Learn more about Anne on her website and find her on Instagram and Twitter.


Up, up, and away! “High Flyers: 15 Inspiring Women Aviators and Astronauts” releases July 19, 2022. Look inside for never-before-told stories of jet and commercial pilots, helicopter and small plane aviators, and out-of-this-world astronauts. Each woman’s journey to flight will make your heart soar! — Ann McCallum Staats


Ann McCallum Staats is the award-winning author of multiple books. Her newest is “High Flyers: 15 Inspiring Women Aviators and Astronauts” (July 2022), part of the Women of Power series with Chicago Review Press. Most of her books are about nonfiction topics like aviation, space, extreme sports, cooking, and STEM. She grew up in a small, remote town in British Columbia, Canada where she had the whole outside world to explore. She’s been curious ever since! Ann is represented by James McGowan at BookEnds Literary. She currently lives in Virginia where her desk faces a view of the woods.

Learn more about Ann on her website and find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


I am very excited to announce that my first picture book, “Sweet Little You”, will be officially released on August 1, 2022, and is available for preorder now! A mother with a dream of having a child makes her wish come true by having a baby on her own. Tenderly written with beautiful painterly illustrations by Lisa Wee, “Sweet Little You” is a loving and unique story about a different path to becoming a family, showing that creating a cherished family doesn’t always involve two parents. — Joni Halabi

Children’s book author Joni Halabi first entrée into publishing was spurred by what she saw as a necessity. A single mother by choice who lovingly took a less customary path to having a child on her own, Joni was frustrated by the lack of selection for picture books that depicted families like hers. Though many “welcome baby” and storybooks addressed varying family structures, few spoke about single mothers by choice. She wanted her daughter to see her own type of family represented, so she wrote one and “Sweet Little You” was born.

The books that Joni writes are personal stories based on books she wishes existed about her life’s path. “Sweet Little You” is the book she wished she had for her daughter when she was born. She hopes that her book resonates with other families like hers who will appreciate their relatively unique family structure being portrayed in a story that their child can relate to.

Joni is a web developer at Georgetown University and conference speaker who writes technical articles as well as a blog focusing on her life and journey to becoming a mother. When she isn’t busy writing poignant stories for families and children, she enjoys running, doing yoga, reading, listening to podcasts, and seeing live music near her home in the Washington, D.C. area. A new pursuit of Joni’s is learning to play the ukulele. “Sweet Little You” is her debut picture book.

Learn more about Joni on her website and find her on Twitter.


My new picture book LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR is coming from Aladdin on September 6, 2022. From the publisher: “In this clever and playful fractured fairy tale picture book, the Big Bad Wolf is so distracted by Little Red’s poorly written thank you note to her grandmother that he keeps missing the chance to eat her!” LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR has wonderful illustrations by Shanda McCloskey. You can see the cover here and art samples on Shanda’s website or on Amazon. — Rebecca Kraft Rector


Rebecca Kraft Rector is a retired librarian and the author of more than thirty fiction and nonfiction books for children, including her debut picture book SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED. Her cats Ollie and Opal keep her company while she writes. When she isn’t writing and eating chocolate, she’s trying to keep deer out of her garden. LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR is Rebecca’s second picture book, coming from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster on September 6, 2022.

Learn more about Rebecca on her website and find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


I’m so thrilled that DETOUR AHEAD, co-authored with Tracy López, was published by PJ Publishing this spring! Half in verse and half in prose, this dual-POV MG depicts the friendship between Gilah, a neurodiverse Jewish girl preparing for her bat mitzvah, and Guillermo, a Salvadoran American boy who is new to Washington, D.C. Riding the bus together every day, Gilah and Guillermo learn to navigate life’s detours. — Pamela Ehrenberg


In addition to being a co-author of DETOUR AHEAD, Pamela Ehrenberg is the author of the young readers’ novels Ethan, Suspended and Tillmon County Fire as well as two picture books (Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas and Planting Parsley). She works at the National Association for the Education of Young Children and lives with her daughter and son near the National Zoo in Washington, DC–two blocks from the H4 bus route that is the subject of this novel!


Learn more about Pamela on her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.



I was accepted to the 2022 Write Mentor Programme. For four months over the summer, I will work with author-mentor Eva Wong Nava on two fiction picture book manuscripts and one non-fiction picture book biography. In the fall, I will have the opportunity to present my work in an agent showcase. — Naisa Beaumont

I’m an Indian-American immigrant, mom of two young readers and an environmental scientist. I am a pre-published writer of picture books and young adult fiction. I love taking nature walks and baking with my daughters and husband in Stone Ridge, VA.

Find Naisa on Instagram and Twitter.


I’m channeling my love for dancing and writing in a three-title bilingual (English-Spanish) board book set, ¡1,2,3 Baila! Each title will teach primary topics while infusing top Latin dances and culture. This set will publish in fall 2023. — Delia Ruiz

Delia Ruiz is a Latinx author and content creator. She holds a BA in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Differentiated Instruction in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Delia loves expressing herself via writing and hopes to inspire the next generation of writers who also come from immigrant households. Delia resides in Virginia and enjoys salsa dancing, reading, writing, and walking her pug.

Learn more about Delia on her website and find her on Instagram .




My entry into SCBWI’s 2021 Magazine Merit Award Competition, “Snot-Copter: Drone at Work” from the February 2021 issue of Spider, was named an Honor winner in the nonfiction category. Award winners were announced in the April issue of Insight. — Dionna L. Mann



My debut picture book MY PIANO will release with Gnome Road Publishing in 2023! — Jen Fier Jasinski



Jen Fier Jasinski grew up outside of Washington, D.C. and spent most of her childhood exploring creeks and reading books. She has taught special education for more than ten years, where her favorite part of the school day continues to be Story Time. Jen enjoys spending time with her spouse and kids, reading, and playing outside. Her favorite days are when she gets to do all three. Her extra favorite days include cake.


Learn more about Jen on her website and find her on Instagram and Twitter.


My story “Alex Crown and the Bunny Man” won the SCBWI Haunted States of America contest for the state of Virginia. My novel SAVING SOPHIE will be out in April from Fire and Ice Publishing. — Debbie Schrack


Debbie Schrack has spent her professional life working with children and young adults. She has a B.S in Special Education from the University of Virginia, and an M.Ed. from George Mason University. Although the character Sophie in her debut novel SAVING SOPHIE is fictional, she is a composite of many of the struggling learners Debbie has taught over the years. Debbie lives with her family in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Debbie finds personal fulfillment in creating new things, whether it be a novel, a painting, or a batch of croissants. She loves animals, and horses are her special passion. When she’s not writing or horseback riding, Debbie is a sucker for musicals, enjoys visiting art galleries, and desperately wants to travel more. She also loves hanging out with her three children, who she will always consider her most amazing creations.

Learn more about Debbie on her website and find her on Twitter and Facebook.


I received the SCBWI YA Spark Award for Self Publishing! I’m so grateful to  SCBWI for this amazing honor and opportunity! — Joyana Peters

Joyana Peters is the Indie author of the best-selling novel, The Girl in the Triangle. The Girl in the Triangle won the YA Spark Award from SCBWI and was a Top Five Finalist for Shelf Unbound’s Indie Best Book of the Year. Joyana got her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans in 2014. She has taught literature and composition on both the secondary and university levels. She also writes non-fiction and has been published in digital and print publications nationwide. Joyana currently lives in Northern Virginia where she takes in the sights of DC with her two kids, husband, and goofy Yellow Lab, Gatsby. 

Learn more about Joyana on her website and find her on Instagram and Facebook.


My second picture book, A SQUAWK OF SPANISH, has been acquired for publication in 2024 by Charlesbridge. — Gabriella Aldeman

Gabriella Aldeman is a Panamanian American author and translator of children’s books and educational resources. She is also an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the American Translators Association. She has translated various picture books into Spanish and is the author of two forthcoming picture books, Paula’s Patches (Free Spirit Publishing) and A Squawk of Spanish (Charlesbridge).

Learn more about Gabriella on her website and find her on Instagram and Twitter.


We are thrilled to announce our debut children’s book is officially available for pre-order! — Natalie Manzanares

Natalie Manzanares is a Mom, Baker, and Entrepreneur living in Historic Leesburg, Virginia. M. Sharif works in finance by trade, living with her loving husband in Northern Virginia. Penning children’s stories was not something these best friends saw in their future. Together, they share this debut book, showcasing their love of nature, tea shops, and delicious almond cookies.

Learn more about Natalie on her website and find her on Instagram and Facebook.


I sold my first picture book! Paula’s Patches was acquired by Free Spirit Publishing and will be released next year (Fall 2023). — Gabriella Aldeman

Gabriella Aldeman is a Panamanian American author and translator of children’s books and educational resources. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the American Translators Association. She has translated various picture books into Spanish and is the author of the forthcoming picture book, Paula’s Patches (Free Spirit Publishing).
Learn more about Gabriella on her website and find her on Twitter.


I am delighted to announce my publishing contract with the South Dakota Historical Society Press for my debut non-fiction picture book manuscript, GEORGIA JIPP: BLIZZARD PILOT, aimed for ages four to eight. — Laura Dean

GEORGIA JIPP: BLIZZARD PILOT is about a courageous twenty-two-year-old airplane pilot who risked her life to fly mercy missions in South Dakota during the devastating winter of 1949. After a record-breaking blizzard isolated farmers, ranchers, and animals, Georgia flew from dawn to dusk, delivering desperately needed food, fuel, and hay. When further blizzards struck, Georgia partnered with the American Red Cross to fly many more life-saving missions. Young Georgia Jipp’s perseverance and bravery will inspire readers to soar through the unexpected storms of life with a vision for helping others.

I discovered Georgia Jipp while performing research for another book set in South Dakota. Intrigued by young Georgia’s fortitude in flying under dangerous conditions, I resolved to discover all that could be found about her, an endeavor which required perseverance in performing original research. It will be the first book of any genre ever published about Georgia Jipp. I am profoundly grateful for the privilege of introducing this unknown hero to kids around the world.

Laura Dean has long been captivated by the wonder of peoples’ stories. As a child growing up on four continents, she was raised on multicultural stories. When she grew up, she became a Registered Nurse who listened to her patients’ stories. She relishes tropical storms and flying in all manner of airplanes from two-seaters to Jumbo Jets. Laura lives in Southwest Virginia, where she searches for wonder with her husband and three kids.


“Two of my books published this January! “Just Help!” Written By Sonia Sotomayor Illustrated by Angela Dominguez & “I’m Hungry! ¡Tengo Hambre!” Written and Illustrated by Angela Dominguez” — Angela Dominguez











Angela was born in Mexico City and grew up in the great state of Texas. She now resides on the east coast with her boyfriend, Kyle, and their petite dog, Petunia. She is also the author and illustrator of several books for children and a two-time Pura Belpré Illustration Honoree. Her debut middle grade novel, Stella Díaz Has Something To Say, was a New York Public Library and a Chicago Public Library pick for Best Books for Kids, Sid Fleischman Award winner, and an ALA Notable. She recently illustrated Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s newest picture book, Just Help! How to Build a Better World. When Angela is not in her studio or visiting schools, she teaches at the Academy of Art University, which honored her with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. Angela is a proud member of SCBWI, PEN America, and represented by Wernick and Pratt Literary Agency. As a child, she loved reading books and making a mess creating pictures. She’s delighted to still be doing both.

Learn more about Angela on her website


“My first book entirely illustrated by me, ANTARCTICA: THE MELTING CONTINENT, will be out this April. Plus, my upcoming graphic novel with HarperCollins, THE TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO GEOZOOLOGY, set for 2024 publication, was announced last month!” — Angela Hsieh

Angela is a Taiwanese American illustrator and author whose life choices can mostly be explained by her love of goofy animals. Her clients include the New York Times, Scientific American, NPR, and Pop-Up Magazine. She illustrated ANTARCTICA: THE MELTING CONTINENT (What on Earth Books, April 2022) and is currently writing and illustrating THE TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO GEOZOOLOGY (HarperCollins, 2024), a graphic novel about adventure and discovery, about the way that language and distance shape relationships, and about giant animals.
Learn more about Angela on her website or find her on Twitter and Instagram.


“I’m excited to share that in January I received in the mail a box with copies of two of my work-for-hire books published by Capstone!” — Dionna L. Mann

Find out more about Dionna and her books here.


“I signed a contract with Brandylane/Belle Isle Books for my Save the Trees manuscript.”

— Leslie Eva Tayloe

Leslie Eva Tayloe graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Nevada and later earned a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland. She retired from the federal government in an analyst position and then became a substitute teacher for three years for elementary school children. Currently, Leslie writes full time. She and her partner, Michael live on a farm in Virginia with two cats and a dog. With a combined family, Leslie and Michael have four adult children, and three grandchildren.

Learn more about Leslie on her website or find her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook


I signed with agent Liz Nealon at Great Dog Literary.” — Luce Williams

Learn more about Great Dog Literary and find Luce on Twitter and Instagram