Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Faculty at the 2020 Biannual Conference


Meet our Out-of-Town Faculty:



Veronica Bartles Author



Veronica Bartles is the author of The Princess and the Frogs and Twelve Steps, and the coordinator for the MD/DE/WV/VA/DC Read Local Challenge. She is a raging introvert, but plays the role of an extrovert fairly well.

Veronica has worked closely with booksellers, school administrators, and librarians while coordinating Read Local! events for the past four years, and she has been collecting hints for what makes them more likely to invite an author to their events.

Veronica is an incurable optimist who loves gray, drizzly days because that’s when rainbows come out to play. She loves to ask “What If?” and tries to imagine at least one impossible thing every day. When not writing, she likes to invent new cookie recipes and knit things from recycled plastic bags.



Twitter: @vbartles

Instagram: @vbartles


Erin Casey Assoc. Literary Agent

Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency




Erin Casey graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Creative Writing and an ever-growing list of books to read. She started building her list a year ago and is open to picture books through YA, though she is particularly eager for imaginative young adult novels (especially speculative!) that are not afraid to take risks.

She enjoys writing that makes her believe wholeheartedly in the story through strong world- and character-building, no matter the genre or length. She also wants to see authentic, thoughtful representations of all people so that every kid can find a book that speaks to them. She wants even the simplest lines of dialogue to pluck at her heartstrings because they’re so perfectly written for that character. Erin loves that startled feeling you get upon reaching the end of a chapter in a really good book. You forget you’re reading when you’re so busy living, you know?



Twitter: @erin_michelle_C

Instagram: @galltzacker


Minju Chang Agent 



Minju Chang represents authors and illustrators of fiction and nonfiction in all children’s categories from picture books through YA. She began her publishing journey at another agency that specialized in adult literary fiction and legal thrillers. She quickly made the transition to children’s books and BookStop Literary, which turned out to be a much better fit.

Across all genres and formats, Minju looks for stories with emotional impact and distinctive voices. She is hungry for visual (more graphic novels, please!) and written narratives that will open her eyes to underrepresented voices and experiences, as well as timely stories that reflect the complexity of the world but offer a spark of hope. She also loves whimsical stories with a touch of magic and vivid settings that make her want to linger and explore.  Some of her authors and illustrators include A. C. Gaughen, Lily Williams, Sara Palacios and Sam Ricks.


Feather Flores Editorial Assistant

Chronicle Books



Feather Flores (she/her) is an editorial assistant at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. A lifelong writer and bibliophile, and one of the first recipients of the We Need Diverse Books internship grant, she is deeply committed to championing books by and about people from marginalized communities. Feather is drawn to stories that provide a window into the beauty and diversity of the human experience: the humor, the emotion, the curiosity, the magic. She acquires both fiction and nonfiction in a wide range of formats—everything from board books and picture books to chapter books and graphic novels. You can find her making a dent in her reading list on Instagram or getting excited about things on Twitter.



Twitter: @featherfully

Instagram: @plumarosareading


Christa HeschkeLiterary Agent

McIntosh and Otis




Christa Heschke graduated from Binghampton University with a major in English and minor in Anthropology.

She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord touristic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing.

Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively acquiring for all age groups in children’s literature.

She’s worked on books such as A Touch of Gold, by Annie Sullivan (YA), The Magic of Melwick Orchard (MG) by Rebecca Caprara, and A Place for Pluto by Stef Wade (PB) to name a few.




Twitter: @ChristaHeschke

Instagram: @ChristaHeschke


Sarah HokansonAssoc. Art Director

Random House Children’s Books



Sarah Hokanson is an associate art director for the trade imprints of Random House Children’s Books. She designs and art directs approximately thirty to forty picture books, board books, and chapter books a year.

She attended Tyler School of Art / Temple University, where she earned a BFA in graphic design.

A few books that she art directed in 2019 are: Julia Sarcone-Roach’s There Are No Bears In This Bakery, Roxy Marj’s Baby Astrology board book series, and Salina Yoon’s collaboration with Marie Kondo, Kiki and Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship.


Krista MarinoSr. Executive Editor

Delacorte Press (Random House Children’s Press)



Krista Marino is a Senior Executive Editor at Delacorte Press (Random House Children’s Books) where she acquires and edits Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction.

Among her list are bestselling series, like The Maze Runner; literary gems, like Kathleen Glasgow’s Girl in Pieces; genre-bending debuts, like Rory Power’s Wilder Girls; and trendsetters, like Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying.

Whether it’s an original voice, a unique world, a different worldview, or a compelling plot, she’s looking for stories that you can’t stop thinking about.



Diana Toledano –  Author/Illustrator



Diana Toledano is an illustrator, writer and educator. She is also a Pisces who loves children’s books, patterns, and dancing her heart out.

Originally from Spain, Diana (pronounced the Spanish way: Dee-Anna) grew up in Madrid where she studied Art History and Illustration. Now she lives in San Francisco with her husband and two fluffy cats.

Her mixed-media art seeks to capture the magic of the ordinary. Diana’s products, picture books, board books & chapter books have been published and sold all over the world. Among others, she illustrated the chapter book series Polly Diamond and the picture book One Snowy Day.

With a background as a museum educator, Diana also teaches workshops for kids and adults. She is the co-founder of Picture Book Surgery, she teaches classes at City College of San Francisco, and she enjoys doing school visits.



Instragram: @dianatoledano

Facebook: @diana.toledano.illustration


Dan YaccarinoAuthor/Illustrator




Dan Yaccarino is an acclaimed author and illustrator of many children’s books including Giant Tess, I Am a Story, Doug Unplugged, Unlovable and The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau; the creator and producer of the animated series the Parents Choice Award-winning Oswald and the Emmy-winning Willa’s Wild Life, as well as the character designer behind the Emmy-winning The Backyardigans. His books have won a host of prestigious awards including the New York Times Best Illustrated award, an ALA Notable designation, a Parents Choice Award, and the Bologna Ragazzi.



Instagram: @danyaccarino


Kat YehAuthor



Kat Yeh is the award-winning author of middle grade novels, The Way to Bea  (starred review – School Library Journal) and The Truth about Twinkie Pie  (an NPR Best Book of 2015, Chicago Public Library Best Fiction for Older Readers 2015, 2015 Texas Lone Star Reading List), both from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and picture book, The Friendship, from Disney-Hyperion – as well as others. Kat currently lives with her family in Philadelphia, PA.

P.S. You pronounce her last name YAY!



Twitter: @yehface

Instagram: @katyehbooks



Meet Our Local Faculty




Fiona Kenshole Literary Agent

Transatlantic Agency






Fiona brings a lifetime of passion and experience of children’s and YA books: she was still just a teen when she started working in a children’s bookshop. Fiona began her career adapting children’s books into movies, including Box Trolls and Coraline. She has been UK editor for Beverley Cleary, Lois Lowry, Bruce Coville, Gary Paulsen and Cynthia Voigt.

Fiona joined the Transatlantic Agency in January 2013 where she has rapidly been building a notable list of talent from picture books through to YA. She enjoys the midwifery and career management part of being an agent, and is actively looking for new clients, both published and making their debuts.


Melissa Hart – Author




Melissa Hart is the author of Better with Books: 500 Diverse Novels to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch, 2019) and last year’s Oregon Battle of the Books middle-grade selection Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, 2016), as well as the memoirs Wild Within and Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal, 2009).

She’s contributing editor at The Writer Magazine, and her essays have appeared in Real Simple, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Working Mother, Woman’s Day, Orion, High Country News, The Advocate, and dozens of other publications.

She teachers for the MFA in Creative Writing program at Southern New Hampshire University.




Oanh Jordan – Literary Marketing Consultant




Oanh Jordan is the founder of Tiny Triumph Co., a literary marketing consulting firm in Portland, Oregon. She is a branding and marketing expert with over 10+ years in corporate marketing and sales. Over the last four years Oanh has combined her passion for children’s publishing with her ability to build trust between businesses and customers. She has helped several traditionally published authors and illustrators establish personal brands so they can sell more books, land more lucrative opportunities, and create new levels of success for their businesses.



Facebook: @tinytriumphco

Twitter: @tinytriumphco

Instagram: @tinytriumphco


Rachel LetofskyLiterary Agent

CookeMcDermid Agency






Rachel Letofsky joined The Cooke Agency in 2010, and is now a Literary Agent at the newly merged CookeMcDermid Agency, specializing in children’s literature (mostly middle-grade and YA with some picture books), and narrative driven non-fiction along with some literary fiction and quirky non-fiction for adults. Her clients include National and International bestsellers, such as Ellen Keith and Vivek Shraya, as well as nominees and winners for awards such as the Governor General’s Awards, like Janice Lynn Mather (winner 2018),  the Kirkus Prize, Cherie Dimaline (winner: 2017), the OLA’s Forest of Tree Awards, the BC Book Awards, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize.



Twitter: @rachelletofsky


Deb LundAuthor




Deb Lund is best known for her bestselling dinoseries, but she dabbles in lots of genres. Deb taught for many years as a music and classroom teacher and teacher-librarian, later creating and co-directing a small arts-based school. With all that experience and a master’s project on teaching writing, Deb knows how to inspire and support teachers and writers of all ages.

Her music and education background, along with her creativity, playfulness, and passion for kids and literacy, makes her a well-loved presenter at schools, libraries, and conferences. She actively supports writers, teachers, and students through her website and blogs, as well as in her popular continuing education courses for teachers.

Among the books Deb has written are Monsters on Machines, All Aboard the Dinotrain, Dinosailors, Tell Me My Story, Mama, and Dinosoaring.


Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan – Author



Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan is a former elementary reading specialist who devotes herself to writing for children and visiting schools and libraries. She is the author of Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3, Grace Zong ill. (Peachtree), I’m Done! Catherine Lazar Odell ill. (Holiday House), Button and Bundle, Gillian Flint ill. (Knopf), No Party Poopers!, Lucy Semple ill. (Little Bee) and When Your Daddy’s a Soldier, E.B. Lewis ill. (Beach Lane, 2021).  She writes chapter books and middle-grade fiction as well.

Gretchen grew up as a global nomad, daughter of a career Army officer, and lived on three continents.  She settled in Camas, WA where she lives with her husband, dog, stunt squirrels, nomadic neighborhood chickens, and celebrates when her children and grandchildren come home. Children will find a home in her heartfelt books about community, courage and compassion.

When she isn’t writing or teaching, Gretchen can be found reading, playing word games, attending plays, hiking in the woods with her dog, x-country skiing and sewing. Please visit Gretchen at for more information about her books, events and author visits.



Twitter: @gmclellan5

Instagram: @gmclellan5


Anna Monders – Library Services Specialist


Anna Monders has been a library insider since the age of ten, when she would accompany her librarian mom to work and would hang out in the coveted Discovery Room before the library opened. Anna is currently the booktalk specialist for Jackson County Library Services in Southern Oregon. She visits over 200 elementary and middle school classes per year with presentations designed to make kids desperate to read. She wants the kids in her audience to go home and beg their parents to take them to the library. She wants them to say, “There was this lady who came to school today and she talked about a bunch of books, and there’s one I’ve got to read, and we need to go get it right now!”

As a writer herself, Anna is interested in ways that libraries and authors can work together to promote both the author’s work and the library’s mission within the community.



Ruth MusgraveAuthor


Ruth A. Musgrave talks with turtles, has sea stars in her eyes, and counts sharks among her most trusted friends. (But not that ninja lantern shark who still owes her twenty bucks!)  Ruth is also an award-winning author of 30 nonfiction children’s books including Space, Dinosaurs, and Wild Animals Sounds from the popular new National Geographic Little Kids First Board Books Series. This spring Ruth has five books coming out with the new  Do You Know? BBC Earth Seriesfrom Ladybird Education/Penguin  Random House UK.  Musgrave is also the contributing writer and on the editorial team for “National Geographic Little Kids Magazine” and a frequent contributor to “National Geographic Kids Magazine.” When pressed, Ruth will admit to researching and writing about more than a zillion animals for 2 gazillion published articles (she swears these are accurate numbers), Ruth’s books and articles have been translated into multiple languages for kids around the world.


Stephanie ShawAuthor




Stephanie Shaw had the great privilege of being born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  Although she enjoyed many years of working in the field of education, she now happily helps little forest and farm critters fall asleep, casts magic spells to vanquish vampires and dresses up cows in high heels. Okay, maybe she doesn’t do those things, but her stories do! She loves, rhyme, talking animals and quiet books (you know, the stuff agents say they don’t want?). Stephanie has eleven books in publication and is currently awaiting triplets—books not babies (two in 2020 and one in 2021). Oregon SCBWI has been her chief source of encouragement and guidance along the path to publication.



Return to main Conference page