Download Brochure



Michele Burke is an editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers, where she has worked since 2002. She has been at Knopf her entire career and has had the privilege of working with wonderful authors on exceptional projects. Authors she currently works with include Tim Tharp, Catherine Atkins, Lisa Papademetriou, Josh Berk, Stephanie Hemphill, Matthew Cody, and many others. She edits picture books, middle-grade novels, and young adult novels, and enjoys working across many different genres - she is open to all kinds of stories with fully-realized characters and emotionally resonant voices.


Priscilla Garcia Burris: Children’s book author and illustrator, Priscilla Garcia Burris has loved creating art from a very early age. She counts herself blessed to have grown up across the street from her local public library in East Los Angeles, California, where her love and devotion for children's books was born. 
   Priscilla has illustrated numerous books and materials for children, parents and teachers.  She has also created art for products which include greeting cards, rubber stamps, cake art and apparel designs.  Priscilla's artwork and designs are developed both digitally and reflectively.

   Her most recent works include the upcoming 2011 release of Aloha for Carol Ann (Marimba Books) written by Margo Sorenson, The Tale of Jack Frost (Scholastic), written by Marcia Thornton Jones, and Tu Si Puedes, Gabriela! (HarperCollins RAYO), written by Dra. Isabel & Eric Vasallo.  Five Green and Speckled Frogs (Cartwheel, Scholastic), which she wrote and illustrated, and I Love You All Day Long (HarperCollins),  and Daddy All Day Long, both written by Francesca Rusackas.
   Serving as the National Illustrator Coordinator & Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (, and as a member of their Board of Advisors, Priscilla presents seminars and workshops for illustrators and writers throughout the United States.

Lucy Ruth Cummins is an associate art director with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers where she works on a range of titles from picture books to young adult novels. In October 2010 she made her picture book illustration debut with a parody of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree titled The Taking Tree. She has worked on a number of award winning picture books including Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, Guess Again, and The Boys. She is the designer behind best-selling novels such as Hush, Hush, The Monstrumologist, The Summer I Turned Pretty, and Belly Up. She has never met a French fry she didn’t like.


Emma D. Dryden was born and raised in New York City. She started her career in children’s publishing at Viking and Random House, followed by a position with Margaret K. McElderry, whose eponymous imprint was a part of Macmillan Children’s Books. After McElderry retired, Emma was made Vice President, Editorial Director of McElderry Books, and in 2005, Vice President, Publisher of Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K. McElderry Books, imprints of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, a position she held until May 2009.

Emma’s edited over five-hundred books for young readers, ranging from board books and picture books to poetry anthologies, novelties, non-fiction, middle grade fiction, and young adult/teen fiction and fantasy.  As publisher, she oversaw the annual publication of over one-hundred hardcover and paperback titles.  Authors and illustrators whom Emma has edited include Ellen Hopkins, Karma Wilson, Susan Cooper, Alan Katz, David Catrow, Raul Colon, Shelia P. Moses, Marjorie Priceman, Lee Bennett Hopkins, David Diaz, and Paul Zelinsky.

In March 2010, Emma launched her own editorial consulting firm, drydenbks (, through which she edits children’s books; consults with authors, illustrators, agents, and foreign publishers; is a creative consultant with several e-book and app publishers; is a collaborative writer; and does some of her own poetry and fiction writing, as well as keeps a blog ( . A highly sought-after speaker for regional and national conferences, where she often speaks about story and the digital landscape, Emma is also on the SCBWI Board of Advisors.

Kathleen Duey
has published over 70 books for readers K-YA. She has won many state and other awards. The Unicorn’s Secret, for emerging readers, has been in print over a decade and has lovely new covers this year and a companion series: The Faeries Promise. Her dark fantasy trilogy for YA readers began with SKIN HUNGER which was a 2007 National Book Award finalist, short listed for the Cybils, and included in Kirkus’s Best YA of the year.  The second volume, Sacred Scars, was published in 2009. She is working on the third volume now and has been surprised by all the fan letters from not-young-adults.
Kathleen is fascinated with the art and the craft of writing, the precision of language, and both the joy and the agony of trying to make paper (or an e-reader screen or *whatever*) tell stories people will lose sleep to read.

Marjetta Geerling
is the author of FANCY
 WHITE TRASH, a 2009 American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults and a 2009 Rainbow List choice. She holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University and teaches writing in Miami Beach,FL. Her second novel is scheduled for release in 2012 from Viking Children's Books.

Lee Bennett Hopkins has written and edited numerous award-winning books for children and young adults, as well as professional texts and curriculum materials. He has taught elementary school and served as a consultant to school systems throughout the country. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Hopkins graduated Kean University, Bank Street College of Education, and holds a Professional Diploma in Educational Supervision and Administration from Hunter College. In 1980 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Kean University.
In 1989 he received the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for "outstanding contributions to the field of children's literature" in recognition of his work; 2009 brought him the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Poetry for Children recognizing his aggregate body of work. In 20l0 he received the Florida Libraries Lifetime Achievement Award 
     In addition to his anthologies his own works include Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life (Boyds Mills Press) an autobiographical book of poetry that received the prestigious Christopher Medal and a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Golden Kite Honor Award, Alphathoughts: Alphabet Poems, City I Love (Abrams, 2009), illustrated by jazz musician, Marcellus Hall, starred in both PW and SLJ, and Full Moon and Star (Abrams, 2011), also illustrated by Hall.
     His creativity is the result of his passion for poetry and his unflagging belief that poetry is a necessity for children, at home and in the classroom.
His award winning series of American History through poetry for children and young adults include Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry, illustrated by Peter Fiore, My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, and America At War, both illustrated by Stephen Alcorn (all Simon & Schuster/McElderry Books).
    SKY MAGIC (Dutton, 2009) received a starred review in THE HORN BOOK calling the anthology ‘mesmerizing...a hypnotic, otherworldly feel.” SHARING THE SEASONS (McElderry Books, 20l0), illustrated by David Diaz was starred in KIRKUS and ALA BOOKLIST.
    At the heart of all his writing is the dedication in bringing children and books together. "You must teach children to love books," he insists.”
     “We spend too much time teaching children to read and not enough time teaching them to love to read."
      To encourage the recognition of poetry, he has established two major awards: the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, presented annually by Penn State University for a single volume of poetry, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Reading Association Promising Poet Award, presented every three years by IRA.
     One of the nation's most sought-after speakers on the subject of children's literature, Mr. Hopkins lives in Cape Coral, Florida.


Alan Katz is the author of many highly acclaimed children's books, including nine Silly Dilly Songbooks such as Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, Where Did They Hide My Presents? and Are You Quite Polite? His picture books include Don't Say That Word!, The Flim-Flam Fairies and Stalling, and among his poetry books are OOPS! and the upcoming Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking.
Alan has also been a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for TV series including The Rosie O'Donnell Show, animated series Taz-Mania, Disney's Raw Toonage and Goof Troop, the Grammy Awards and Tony Awards, various Nickelodeon shows, and a lot of network specials and game shows. He has also created of comic books, trading card sets, web videos, TV commercials and hundreds of other special projects for kids and their parents. 

Gordon Korman is the author of more than seventy novels for kids and young adults, most recently FRAMED, and THE EMPEROR’S CODE, the eighth installment in the multi-author series THE 39 CLUES. His writing career began at the age of twelve when his seventh grade English assignment became his first published novel.
Now, more than three decades later, he is a full-time writer and speaker, with over twenty million copies of his novels in print in twenty-five languages. Each year he travels extensively, visiting schools and libraries, bringing his trademark humor and adventure styles to readers everywhere.
 A native of Ontario , Canada , he lives with his family in Long Island , New York .


Alexandra Penfold is an editor with Paula Wiseman Books at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers where she works on hardcover trade picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult novels. She's edited books by Meghan McCarthy, Marissa Moss, Carol Lynch Williams, Tammi Sauer, Robert Burleigh, Scott Magoon, Laura Schaefer and N. H. Senzai among others. Prior to becoming an editor Alexandra was a children's book publicist. She worked on media campaigns that appeared in USA Today, Newsweek, US News and World Report, and NPR's All Things Considered, among other national and local media outlets.

Rubin Pfeffer launched his career as a designer for Macmillan Publishing Company in 1974. Following that, Rubin joined Harcourt Brace Jovanovich serving for more than twenty seven years (1974-2001) with responsibilities spanning from entry level designer to President of the Trade division. During his tenure, the company achieved Newbery and Caldecott distinctions in Children’s Books, National book awards in Children’s and Adult Books, and three authors published by the house were honored as Nobel Laureates in Literature. Rubin also coordinated cross-divisional product-development campaigns with HBJ School.  In 2001, Rubin joined Pearson, Inc., as SVP and Chief Creative Officer of the Pearson Education companies.  Here he coordinated cross-company product development leveraging Pearson and Penguin/Dorling Kindersley content for print and online products.  As well, he directed the design of major textbook programs for the K-12 companies (Scott Foresman and Prentice Hall) and college imprints.  Most recently, Rubin served as SVP and Publisher for Simon & Schuster Children’s Books.  Imprints reporting to Rubin included S&S Books for Young Readers, Atheneum, McElderry Books, and Aladdin Paperbacks. His imprints achieved prestigious industry awards including the Newbery Medal and Honor and the Caldecott Honor as well as a dramatic rise in the number of NY Times bestsellers. In 2008, he launched Beach Lane Books, a commercial children’s picture book imprint. Rubin joined the East West Literary Agency in December, 2009, as a partner and established the Boston base of the agency.  He works with such luminary talents as David Diaz, Patricia MacLachlan, Richard Jesse Watson, Jesse Joshua Watson, Jeff Mack, and a host of other published and new talents. He serves as a judge of NAPPA’s (National Parenting Publications Awards) annual round-up of best children’s books of the year.

Kristin Daly Rens first became interested in children’s books as a career in high school, when she worked in her local public library shelving—and often covertly reading!—books in the children’s room. While studying at Boston College she became sidetracked by a newfound love for the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and decided to learn German in order to get her Masters in Comparative Literature. In 1999, degree in hand and thoroughly finished with academia, she made the decision to return to her original love, children’s books, and moved back to New York to become an Editorial Assistant at Golden Books. In January 2002, she began working at HarperCollins, and in May 2008 she joined the team at Harper’s newest imprint, Balzer + Bray.

     Kristin has been privileged to work with authors and illustrators such as Michael Bond, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jack Prelutsky, and Barbara McClintock. Currently, she is especially excited to be working with several talented newcomers to the Harper list, including Sudipta Bardhan, on the picture books Pirate Princess and Hampire!; Audrey Vernick, on the picture book biography She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story and the humorous picture books Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? and Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums; Diana Peterfreund, on the YA unicorn hunter fantasies Rampant and Ascendant; and debut authors Jeff Sampson, on the YA novel Vesper, and Crystal Allen, on the middle-grade novel How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy

    Right now, Kristin is looking for fiction at all levels, including fun, quirky picture book manuscripts with a little bit of an edge, and middle grade and young adult fiction for both girls and boys with strong narrative voices and memorable characters. Kristin will also consider non-fiction manuscripts for picture books only.

Linda Shute grew up in Miami and earned her art degree at FSU.  She has been illustrator or author/illustrator of 13 picture books, some of which have been in The Original Art show, earned Parents' Choice Awards, notable in the field of Social Studies, and places on Library of Congress lists. She has taught Children's Book Illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota and is pleased to serve as your Florida SCBWI Illustrators' Coordinator.

Joanna Stampfel-Volpe is an agent with Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.  She represents all juvenile fiction, from picture books to Young Adult, fiction and non-fiction.  Some of her favorite authors of all time are Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, Shannon Hale, Neil Gaiman, Tamora Pierce, Judy Blume, Tomi DePaola, Carolyn Mackler,Ellen Hopkins, and Dr. Seuss (to name only a few!). When Joanna's not reading (which is almost never), she enjoys cooking, watching movies, playing Guitar Hero and hanging with her husband and her chihuahua, PeeWee. 


Joyce Sweeney is the author of fourteen novels for young adults.  Her first novel, Center Line won the First Annual Delacorte Press Prize for an Oustanding Young Adult Novel.  Many of her books appear on the American Library Association's Best Books List and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Her novel Shadow won the Nevada State Reading Award in 1997.  Her novel Players was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Sports Book and by Working Mother magazine as a Top Ten for Tweens.Her novel,  Headlock (Holt 2006), won a Silver Medal in the 2006 Florida Book Awards and was chosen by the American Library Association as a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Her new novel,  The Guardian, focuses on the plight of foster children. Joyce also writes shorts stories and poetry- Her first chapbook, Impermanence, was published in 2008 by Finishing Line Press.  Joyce runs a successful manuscript critique business and conducts  three ongoing workshops in creative writing which have so far produced twenty-seven published authors. She lives in Coral Springs,Florida with her husband Jay and cat, Phantom.

Lisa Wheeler is passionate about children’s books. “I love everything about them, including the smell.” To date, Lisa has thirty titles on library shelves, with more to follow over the next few years. She’s written picture books in prose and rhyme, an easy reader series, three books of poems, and creative nonfiction for the very young.
     Awards include the 2004 Mitten Award for Old Cricket, given by the Michigan Library Association, the 2005/06 Great Lakes, Great Books Award and 2005 Missouri Building Blocks Award for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum, the 2006 Bluebonnet Award for Seadogs , the 2006/07 South Carolina Picture Book Award for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum, and most recently, the 2008 The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for Jazz Baby given by the American Library Association.
     Her newest titles include Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children, illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Simon & Schuster) and Dino-Basketball, illustrated by Barry Gott (CarolRhoda).
     Lisa shares her Michigan home with one husband, one dog, and an assortment of anthropomorphic characters.
     Check out her website at