Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Faculty Bios


Faculty Bios

Richard Peck photoRichard Peck, Author

The unfinished manuscript on Richard Peck's desk may be his forty-third.  His A Long Way from Chicago was the Newberry Silver Medal winner in 1999.  His A Year Down Yonder was the Gold Medal winner in 2001.  That year he participated in Mrs. Laura Bush's first National Book Festival.  In 2005 he was a representative of American writers at the first Russian Book Festival in Moscow.  He has received the National Humanities Medal and has been a SCBWI Member of the Year.  Before he was a writer, he was a soldier and a teacher.



LinOliver pictureLin Oliver, Author and Executive Director of SCBWI

Lin Oliver is a children's book author and writer-producer of television series and movies for children.  With Henry Winkler, she writes the New York Times best-selling book series Hank Zipzer: World's Best Underachiever, which has sold over 4 million copies and is a hit television series on the BBC.  She is also the author of the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk quartet, Sound Bender and The Shadow Mask, adventure/science fiction middle-grade novels she coauthored with Theo Baker.  Another series, Ghost Buddy, is being developed as a TV pilot by Amazon Studios.  Her latest works are the Here's Hank series and the highly praised Little Poems for Tiny Ears, illustrated by Tomie de Paola.  She is the co-founder and Executive Director of SCBWI.


Twitter: @linoliver


Laura Whitaker pictureLaura Whitaker, Associate Editor at Bloomsbury Children's Books

As Associate Editor at Bloomsbury Children's Books, Laura Whitaker edits everything from picture books through YA.  She worked on the literary thriller Insanity by Susan Vaught (Bloomsbury, 2014), the Bloomsbury If Only romance line, and contemporary coming-of-age novels When Mr. Dog Bites by Brina Conaghan (Bloomsbury, 2014) and This Side of Home by Renee Watson (Bloomsbury, 2015).  She also edited Ruthie and the (Not So) Very Busy Day by Laura Rankin (Bloomsbury, 2014) and the Enchanted Sisters chapter book series with the Jim Henson Company.  She is looking for innovative, soul-searching literary fiction, knee-melting romances, well-researched and expertly crafted historical adventure stories, and quirky, funny, honest picture books.


Twitter:  @laura_gemma


cat_wintersCat Winters, Author

Cat Winters’ critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was namea 2014 Morris Award Finalist, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, and a 2013 Bram Stoker Award Nominee. Her second novel, The Cure for Dreaming, has been nominated for YALSA's 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults and the American Library Association's 2015 Amelia Bloomer Project. Her upcoming books include The Uninvited (HarperCollins, August 2015) and The Steep and Thorny Way (Abrams, Spring 2016), and she's a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys (Penguin, August 2015). Cat lives outside of Portland, OR, with her husband and two kids.


Twitter: @catwinters


Cidney Swanson photoCidney Swanson, Author

Cidney Swanson is an award-winning writer of Young Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy including The Ripple Trilogy and The Saving Mars Series. SAVING MARS (Kirkus, starred) was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 and was an honor book for the SCBWI Spark Award 2014. When she’s not writing, Cidney is distracted by shiny things such as books with raised foil covers, macaroons in jars, and stars set against an inky night sky. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, three kids, two cats, and entirely too much rain.


Twitter: @cidneyswanson





photo Kendra LevinKendra Levin, Senior Editor at Viking Children’s Books

Kendra Levin is a Senior Editor at Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, where she has spent nearly a decade working on a wide range of children’s literature from picture books to young adult novels.  Kendra also helps writers as a teacher and certified life coach (  Authors she edits include Deborah Freedman, Julie Berry, Carol Goodman, Karen Bao, David A. Adler, and others.

Publishing house:

Twitter: @kendralevin






PaulRodeen6Paul Rodeen, Agent, President and Founder, Rodeen Literary Management

Paul Rodeen is the President and Founder of Rodeen Literary Management.  He has represented many award winning books, including the Caldecott Honor and NY Times Bestseller CREEPY CARROTS by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown; Caldecott Honor NANA IN THE CITY by Lauren Castillo; NY Times Illustrated Book of the Year and Bestseller CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS by Peter Brown; NY Times Bestseller and ALA Notable THE CURIOUS GARDEN by Peter Brown; and NY Times Bestseller and ALA Notable MR. TIGER GOES WILD by Peter Brown. He also represents Edward Hemingway, Joshua Schneider, Ethan Long and Matt Davies, as well as local talents Victoria Jamieson, Lee White and Katy Towell.

Agency Website:




Lori Kilkelly photoLori Kilkelly, Agent, Rodeen Literary Management

Lori Kilkelly joined RLM in 2010.  After years spent in sales and advertising, she began as an intern, then was promoted to assistant. In 2011, she began directing RLM's social media.  In 2012, Lori began representing her own clients.  Lori generally prefers fiction and loves to be surprised by a story with an unexpected ending that makes perfect sense.  She is most likely to bring on a client who is exceedingly serious about the business of writing but doesn't take themselves too seriously, someone who values craft, writes consistently and considers writing their life's work.  Client Toni Yuly's debut picture book EARLY BIRD was named an ALA Notable. To date, 16 client books will be published in 2016, including Portland clients, Kate Berube's HANNAH AND SUGAR and THE SUMMER NICK TAUGHT HIS CATS TO READ and Deborah Hocking's FAMILY DAM.

Agency Website:

Twitter: @rodeenliterary



Kerry Sparks photo

Kerry Sparks, Agent

Kerry Sparks has worked at Levine Greenberg Rostan since early 2008. She is the agent for Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places and Carrie Arcos’s Out of Reach.  A few of her clients include author-illustrator Mark Pett, bestseller Susan Wittig Albert, and a large list of Jennifers—Jennifer Niven, Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Jenny Lundquist, Jennifer Mann, Jennifer Bass, and Jennifer Gray Olson. She is looking for Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, both commercial and literary, with the perfect combination of a great hook and solid writing. In addition to being an agent and running the digital initiative at the agency, Kerry is the co-author of the hipster baby name book Hello, My Name Is Pabst (Three Rivers Press). She grew up in rural Oregon and currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and daughter.

Agency Website: 

Author Blog:

Twitter Handle: @Kerry_Sparks


Patti Ann Harris photoPatti Ann HarrisExecutive Art Director

Patti Ann Harris is an Executive Art Director at Scholastic Inc. where she oversees the art and design of the novelty imprint, Cartwheel Books and the picture book imprint, Orchard Books. With over 20 years experience in children’s publishing, she has had the pleasure of working with many esteemed illustrators including Jerry Pinkney, Marc Brown, Ed Young and Peter Brown. She has also worked with many newcomers to the business and enjoys mentoring young artists as they develop in their careers. Exploring new book formats has always been a passion for her. In her role at Scholastic, she is focusing on developing new content for the preschool market in both novelty formats and traditional picture books.

Publisher Website:




Peter BrownPeter Brown, Author/Illustrator 

Peter Brown has always loved using writing and illustrating. But it wasn’t until he took his first children’s book class, at Art Center College of Design, that he knew he’d found his calling. Since then Peter has published over a dozen books for children. His books have earned him numerous honors, including a Caldecott Honor, a Horn Book Award, two E.B. White Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, a Children’s Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, and five NY Times Bestsellers.


Twitter: @itspeterbrown


ruth musrgraveRuth A. Musgrave, Author

Ruth A. Musgrave is an award-winning children's nonfiction writer known for her entertaining and creative approach. Ruth is also a frequent contributor to National Geographic Kids Magazine. During the last decade, she has researched and written about more than 300 animals for 100+ published articles and projects. Ruth's books include several for National Geographic Kids including: EVERYTHING SHARKS (2011), FUNNY FILL-INS: MY PET ADVENTURE (2014), JUST JOKING 3 (2013), and ULTIMATE WEIRD BUT TRUE (co-writer)(2011). Her eighth book (nonfiction, animal conservation) also National Geographic will be out spring 2016.




Sue Ford 7-29-14 by Valerie ParrishSue Ford, Author

Sue Ford writes for children under her maiden name, Susan Uhlig. She recently sold two projects to Schoolwide. She’s the author of four picture books, including: Belling the Cat, The Fox and the Crane, and My Shadow for Unibooks (Korea) for their English as a foreign language program and seven readers for Compass Media (Korea). She's also sold over 160 magazine pieces for children and adults and is an instructor for the basic magazine course for the Institute of Children's Literature.



Twitter: @susanuhlig





Stephanie ShawStephanie Shaw, Author

Stephanie Shaw completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Education at Oregon State University and her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Lewis and Clark College. Her career has included being a teacher of children with severe emotional disabilities, school counseling and school administration. A member of SCBWI since 2008, she may be known best for dubbing the writing world The Bi-Polar Express for the depths of self-doubt and the peaks of reward through which authors and illustrators travel.

As a picture book author, Stephanie’s books range from quiet to quirky, poetry to prose. Her newest books include: Under the Sleepy Stars (Tiger Tales, 2015), The Legend of the Beaver (Sleeping Bear Press, 2015), Fawn (Tiger Tales/Little Tiger, 2016), and Moo La La! (Simon and Schuster UK).  She is also a contributor to Highlights for Children and Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids.


Twitter: @shawshaw830


Deirdre Jones photo copyDeirdre Jones, Associate Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Deirdre Jones is an Associate Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she works on picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects.  For picture books, she is looking for a unique take on a universal idea, emotional resonance and/or a silly premise.  For novels, she is a big fan of fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction.  She is also drawn to wacky stories that get her laughing from page one and select narrative nonfiction.  Among others, she has edited Pirate, Viking & Scientist by debut author-illustrator Jared Chapman; the Map to Everywhere series by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis; the Guts & Glory series by Ben Thompson; and the upcoming Court of Fives, a debut young adult novel by Kate Elliott.

Twitter: @DeirdreEJones


Lee White sm

Lee White, Illustrator 

Lee White currently lives in Portland Oregon. He graduated from Art Center College of Design in 2003 (with honors) and has been working as an illustrator ever since. He’s illustrated 10 children’s books as well as a bunch of other stuff. He’s currently writing two new books as well as working in visual development for animation and games.