Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Faculty at the 2018 Conference


Meet the Faculty

more bios and photos coming soon

Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Twitter: na

Martha Brockenbrough
Twitter: @mbrockenbrough

Martha Brockenbrough is the author of The Game of Love and Death; Love, Santa; Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary and many other books for young readers. She founded National Grammar Day and is on the faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Kheryn Callender
Associate Editor – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Twitter: @kheryncasey

Kheryn Callender is an Associate Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, where they have acquired and edited titles such as the picture book Princess Hair by Sharee Miller, the MG novel Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake, and the YA novel Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles. Kheryn’s debut MG novel, Hurricane Child, is available in March 2018, and their debut YA, This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story, is available in Fall 2018.

Lauren Castillo
Twitter: @studiocastillo

Lauren Castillo is the creator of many books for young children, including the Caldecott Honor-winning Nana in the City and The Troublemaker, as well as the illustrator of Twenty Yawns, written by Jane Smiley, and Yard Sale, written by Eve Bunting. She currently draws and dreams in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Gennifer Choldenko
Twitter: @choldenko
Choldenko is best known for her Tales from Alcatraz series, which has sold more than 2 million copies. Book #1: Al Capone Does My Shirts was a Newbery Honor Book and the recipient of twenty other awards. Book #4: Al Capone Throws Me a Curve is due out in 2018. BookPage said of her most recent novel, Chasing Secrets: “Choldenko’s ability to research obscure yet intriguing topics is uncanny, and as she did with the popular Al Capone trilogy she turns a tough topic into a high interest read … a compelling work of historical fiction.” Gennifer lives with her loyal husband and naughty dog in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tiffany Liao
Editor – Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Twitter: @Tiff_Liao

Maria T. Middleton
Art Director – Random House Children’s Books
Twitter: MariaTMiddleton
Maria T. Middleton is the middle-grade Art Director for Random House Children’s Books. She began her career at HarperCollins and spent nearly a decade designing award-winning books for Abrams Books. Maria has worked on a wide range of projects, from picture books to non-fiction to young adult novels, most notably: The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore; the New York Times bestselling Splintered series by A. G. Howard; and the new Babymouse middle-grade series, Tales from the Locker by Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm. Maria is drawn to out-of-the-box thinking, hand-lettered typography, and quirky but lovable characters. She’s a southerner at heart, a New Yorker by choice; a fan of serial commas, strong coffee, and the color red. You can find her at and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @mariatmiddleton.

Natascha Morris
Agent – BookEnds Literary
Twitter: @SoCalledYALife
Natascha spent most of her childhood in a leather chair with her nose in a book. Formerly an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster, her passion for books across genres and her desire to finding amazing talent drove her to make the transition from editorial to literary agent. Her editorial philosophy stems from the idea that all books should be well written and entertaining. You can follow her on Twitter at

Natascha is primarily looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction, and narrative non-fiction. She is also looking for artists that speak to her creatively.

Lin Oliver
Author and Executive Director, SCBWI
Twitter: @LinOliver
Lin Oliver is a prolific children’s book author.  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. Their chapter book series, Here’s Hank, is also a New York Times best-seller. Her two collections of poetry, both illustrated by Tomie de Paola, are the highly praised Little Poems for Tiny Ears, and Steppin’Out: Jaunty Rhymes for Playful Times.  Her newest work is a chapter book series, The Fantastic Frame, five illustrated adventures set in the world’s great paintings.  Lin is the co-founder and Executive Director of SCBWI. She is a recipient of the prestigious Christopher Award and the Eric Carle Mentor Award.  Learn more at or follow Lin on Twitter @linoliver or on Instagram @linoliver22.

Molly O’Neill
Agent – Root Literary
Twitter: @molly_oneill

Nicholas Thomas
Editor – Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic
Twitter: na

Stefanie Von Borstel
Agent – Full Circle
Twitter: @FullCircleLit
Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel is literary agent and co-founder of Full Circle Literary with more than 20 years of experience in trade books publishing. Prior to agenting, she worked in editorial, publicity and trade marketing with Penguin and Harcourt Children’s Books.

Stefanie represents Monica Brown and John Parra, creators of The Christopher Award winning picture book Waiting for the Biblioburro and Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2017; Rafael López illustrator of Pura Belpré Award winning Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, and 2017 Tomás Rivera Book Award winner Maybe Something Beautiful by Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell; poet Carmen Tafolla, author of Pura Belpré Honor and Charlotte Zolotow Award picture book What Can You Do With A Paleta?, Jennifer Ward author of NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book Feathers and Hair What Animals Wear; Susie Ghahremani author-illustrator of Stack the Cats, a Kirkus and Amazon Best Book of the Year; and debut picture book debut Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal.

Middle grade clients include Celia C. Pérez, author of The First Rule of Punk, Diana López, author of Confetti Girl and Lucky Luna, and Monica Brown author of LOLA LEVINE chapter book series. Stefanie also represents a growing list of award-winning illustrators.

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