Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Faculty Bios


JeanAnnWilliamsJean Ann Williams, Author
Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, Just Claire is her first book. She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and she writes regularly on Putting on the New blog and her own jeanannwilliams blog. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre in Southern Oregon where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.

Jean Ann will be mentoring middle grade at The Great Critique.

Twitter: @JeanAnnWilliams


Hopkinson7.15Deborah Hopkinson, Author

Deborah Hopkinson is the award-winning author of more than 45 books for young readers, including picture books, historical fiction, and nonfiction. Deborah has won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for picture book text twice, for Apples to Oregon and A Band of Angels. Other titles include Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, winner of the IRA Award; and Sky Boys, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book. Deborah's nonfiction includes Titanic, Voices from the Disaster, which received a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction honor and a Robert F. Sibert Honor, and Shutting out the Sky, Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924, received a NCTE Orbis Pictus honor. Deborah's historical fiction title, The Great Trouble, A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel, won an Oregon Spirit Award. Her 2016 titles include a historical fiction novel, A Bandit's Tale, a work of nonfiction: Dive! World War II Stories of Sailors and Submarines in the Pacific, and three picture books, Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of the Borrowed Guinea Pig, Follow the Moon Home, and Steamboat School. She and her husband live near Portland, Oregon and have two grown children.

Deborah will be mentoring picture books at The Great Critique.


Twitter: @deborahopkinson


Barbara KerleyBarbara Kerley, Author

Barbara Kerley is the award-winning author of numerous books for children. Barbara has lived in many places, including Seattle (in graduate school), Nepal (in the Peace Corps) and the island of Guam (in her bathing suit). She's written about 19th Century iguanondons, Teddy Roosevelt, world peace, Mark Twain's donkey, and the joy that comes from following your curiosity.

Barbara will be mentoring nonfiction at The Great Critique.





Kathy Beckwith photoKathy Beckwith, Author

Kathy Beckwith believes picture books are treasures–for all ages– and make wonderful book club discussions. Kathy's most recent book–A Mighty Case Against War: What America Missed in U.S. History Class and What We (All) Can Do Now–was published by Dignity Press in December, 2015. She is also the author of the picture book Playing War; a YA novel, Critical Mass, dealing with sexual abuse in the lives of teens; and two books related to problem-solving–a picture book, If You Choose Not to Hit, and an elementary school curriculum guide, Don't Shoot! We May Be On the Same Side. Kathy is a graduate of Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho. She has been a Peace Corps volunteer, caregiver in a residential treatment home for boys, teacher at an international school in South India, and volunteer with Friendly Water for the World (an international biosand water filter project). She is a mediation trainer in Dayton, Oregon, working with schools (K-12) and community mediation programs.

Kathy will be mentoring picture books at The Great Critique.



Andrea Fitcha photoAndrea Fitcha, Author/Illustrator

Andrea Fitcha is an author/illustrator, library assistant, and mom to four kids in just about every children's book age demographic (from preschool to YA). She has written stories and puzzles for children's magazines including Spider, Hopscotch, and Boys' Quest. Her illustrations have been published in magazines and educational publications, including Pearson Learning, New Moon, and On the Line. She's been a member of the same writing critique group since 2002. She is currently writing a middle grade novel.

Andrea will be mentoring picture books and illustrations at The Great Critique.




Kelly_Garrett photoKelly Garrett, Author

Kelly Garrett is a writer based in Portland, OR. Her debut young adult thriller, The Last To Die, will be published by Poisoned Pen Press in 2017. When not writing young adult fiction, Kelly spends a lot of time playing soccer, hiking, and exploring Portland with her black lab. One area Kelly does not excel at is keeping a current bio photo, as her hair regularly changes style and length as if by magic. Her tweets are split between writing, the Portland Timbers, and bacon.

Kelly will be mentoring young adult fiction at The Great Critique.


Twitter: @garrett_kelly