& Speaker Directory
Mary Ryan - Middle Grade Author
Mary considers herself primarily a
middle grade writer. After starting out with newspaper work and
freelance writing, she had four books accepted by Little, Brown &
Co., followed by two chapter books with Avon Books. Although her six
children provided a great deal of inspiration, Mary understands that
while the trappings of life have changed, the emotions and feelings of
her own early years are timeless.
came easily. Mary was thrilled when she won the SCBWI
Work-In-Progress grant for the first thirty pages of a novel. However,
the novel was never finished. "It's still languishing in a closet
somewhere, along with an adult mystery," she said. "Sometimes you have
to know when to move on and I'm glad I finally did. But every once in a
while, it still calls me."
In 2000, Mary self-published The Secret in The West Woods, set in a Geauga County park. She recently issued it as an ebook through Amazon.com. Mary later published The Christmas Dragon and an ebook titled Blue Flyers. She now plans to release her Avon books as ebooks. Chapters can be found on her website at www.m-c-ryan.com.
Another self-publishing effort, Twitcher McGee and the Wonderful Tree,
features a small gray mouse. Currently, Twitcher has visions of being a
Broadway star, as Mary is working on a musical version of her book.
Colleen Kessler - Science/Nonfiction Author
Kessler is passionate about kids, hands-on learning, science and
nature, gifted education, teaching, and books, and she indulges those
passions every day as a science and education writer, and home school
mom. Whether she is in her office overlooking her backyard, a National
Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat; taking a hike through
the nearby meadows or woods; or trying out new experiments, activities,
and projects for her books with her three kids, Colleen is learning all
of the time.
has written textbook chapters, teacher resources, lessons, experiments,
games, leveled readers, and more for numerous educational publishers.
She has a B.S. in elementary education, an M. Ed. in gifted education,
and is the author of many books for teachers and kids
including Real-Life Science Mysteries, Hands-On Ecology, and Super Smart
Science from Prufrock Press, and seven books in the A Project Guide
series from Mitchell Lane. Free
Resources for Elementary Teachers (Prufrock Press) was released in April 2012.
Colleen blogs at www.raisinglifelonglearners.com. You can
learn more about her career at www.colleen-kessler.com.
Jeannine Garsee — Award-Winning YA Author
Jeannine Garsee is the author of three novels: THE UNQUIET
(a YA paranormal, 2012), SAY THE WORD (2009), and BEFORE, AFTER, AND
SOMEBODY IN BETWEEN (2007), all from Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books.
SAY THE WORD was named a 2010 YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and
received a starred review from Booklist. BEFORE, AFTER, AND SOMEBODY IN
BETWEEN was a Borders Original Voice in 2007 and named a New York
Public. Library Book for the Teen Age. A personal essay, “Fearless,”
based on a middle-school bullying experience, was included in the
Harper Teen Anthology DEAR BULLY: 70 AUTHORS TELL THEIR STORIES (2011).
She currently works as a psychiatric nurse in Cleveland, Ohio. Visit
her at www.jeanninegarsee.com for more information.
for writers: The best advice I ever received was from author Sherry
Garland, who said in her books, WRITING FOR YOUNG ADULTS: “Don’t fall
in love with your own words.” This little tidbit helps me enormously
during the editing process when I’m stuck in that “Oh, no, I can’t cut
a thing!” mind frame. You can cut. You can tighten your manuscript. You
have to look at it as a product, not as your newborn child. Always
remember: nobody but you will miss the words, or the scenes, or even
the characters you have to cut. And, after a while, you won’t miss
Lindsay Ward — Author and
Lindsay Ward has a BFA in Illustration from Syracuse
She has illustrated a handful of children’s picture books including THE
YELLOW BUTTERFLY (Bright Sky Press) by Mehrnaz S. Gill, A GARDEN FOR
PIG (Kane/Miller) by Kathryn Thurman, and the covers of both STAR
Academy books by Edward Kay (Random House Canada).
both wrote and illustrated her most recent books: PELLY AND MR.
HARRISON VISIT THE MOON (Kane/Miller) and WHEN BLUE MET EGG (Dial Books
for Young Readers). Her upcoming book with Dial Books for Young Readers
will be released in 2013. You can visit her on the web at
or check out her blog at http://respectthecupcake.blogspot.com.
Lindsay’s advice for
“Draw and/or write
your story. Don't get caught up in trying to catch the next trend,
because by the time you figure it out, more than likely it's too late.
Be true to yourself and your craft. Take the opportunity to know your
market and what is already out there. Read as much as you can. Being a
well read author and/or illustrator is a huge advantage in
understanding the current market in children's literature.”
Lazzaro Knowlton — Award-Winning Author and
Knowlton’s first published work was a note passed to a
boy in third grade. You would have thought this most embarrassing
moment would have stopped her writing career. But instead Laurie has
gone on to write forty books and is the author/illustrator of two more.
Laurie has been published in the trade, educational, craft, and
Christian markets. WHY COWBOYS SLEEP WITH THEIR BOOTS ON is Laurie’s
best selling picture book. It won the Premier Print Award given by
Eastman Kodak and has sold over 45,000 copies since publication.
Laurie wrote and illustrated RED, WHITE, AND BLUE in 2002. The Huebner
Museum of Children’s Picture Book Art, housed in the Toledo
Public Library, honored Laurie by purchasing and exhibiting a piece of
art from the book.
The Children’s Book Committee of Bank Street College of Education
selected A YOUNG MAN’S DANCE as among the best Children’s Books of the
year in 2007.
Laurie Knowlton is the founder and Regional Advisor Emeritus of the
Northern Ohio SCBWI chapter. She is an international speaker,
addressing students, educators, and writers throughout the United
States and Mexico. You can visit her website at www.laurieknowlton.com.
Springstubb — Award-Winning YA Author
Tricia Springstubb began
over thirty years ago, writing for children's magazines. By
she's published sixteen books, from picture books to YA
novels. Her most recent work is for middle grade: WHAT
FOX STREET, (Heather
set in Cleveland, received numerous starred reviews, and was named to
the best books of 2010 lists by Kirkus, The Washington Post,
Bank Street School. The sequel, MO WREN LOST AND FOUND, comes out this
August. HarperCollins is the
will publish her picture book, PHOEBE AND DIGGER, in
2013. Tricia's at work on another MG novel and has a YA in
back of her mind...
The mother of three grown daughters, Tricia lives with her
in Cleveland Heights. She also writes for adults, and you can read an interview
on what it's
like to write for both audiences. If you want to know what it's like to
have a career that stretches back to the days of carbon paper, check
out Cynsations blog.
You can also
visit Tricia at www.triciaspringstubb.com.
Purnhagen — Award-Winning YA Author
Mara Purnhagen is the
author of the
young adult novels Tagged (March 2010), Past Midnight (September 2010),
and One Hundred Candles (February 2011), all published by Harlequin
Teen, and one novella, Raising the Dead (January 2011). Her next novel,
Beyond the Grave, comes out in August 2011.
Past Midnight has been
Young Adult Library Association’s (YALSA) 2011 Quick Picks for
Reluctant Readers, the 2010 Cybil Award for best Fantasy/Science
Fiction novel for young adults and the 2010 YABC Readers Choice Award.
She was featured in the March/April 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest.
Ms. Purnhagen has lived in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and South Carolina.
She now lives outside of Cleveland with her husband, two cats, three
children and too many LEGO sets to count.
For more information, see http://www.marapurnhagen.com.
Irvin Kuns - Award-Winning YA Author
Judy Irvin Kuns has
since she was a child. "I remember my fourth
grade teacher giving us the assignment to write a
story or a
poem using all 20 of our weekly spelling words and how I loved the
challenge of that," she said. "Also, I have always been an
reader. I grew up poor and in the country
with no books
around and no means of getting to a library, but we did have a
bookmobile that stopped right in front of our house. I so
forward to bookmobile day and would choose the thickest books I could
find because I knew I had to make them last for three whole
Her interest in writing
grew as she made frequent visits to the Sandusky Library with her four
children. "Those visits reminded me of
books were to me as a child," she says. "Added to my love of
reading and solitary, observant nature, writing for children
seemed the perfect fit."
Kuns earned an MFA in
Children and Young Adults program from the Vermont College of Fine
Arts. Her first middle grade novel, While You Were Out (Dutton: 2004), was chosen as a Junior Library Guild
Selection and winner of the 2005 Paterson Prize for Books for Young
Readers. She has since written two more MG novels, Orange around the
Edges and The Family of Things (a finalist in Hunger
2010 Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children's
Writing), and is currently working on a YA novel titled Spin Cycle and
a picture book.
Kuns has also been
published in Jack
and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Children's Digest, and Once Upon a Time
magazines and twice awarded Honorable Mention in the Writer's Digest
Annual Writing Competition. She is available for speaking engagements
and children’s book manuscript consultations. See http://www.cbmadvisors.com/index.shtml
for more information.
- New York Times Bestselling
grew up with talking
animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing romance novels in
junior high school. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary
fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir
(2007), and The Dragon Heir (2008), all from Hyperion, with two more
Chima’s best-selling YA
fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009),
followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) shown above, with cover
art by Larry Rostant.
with The Gray Wolf
for fall, 2011.
Chima’s books have
starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named
Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association
Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to
the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best
Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists.
Chima was a recipient of
the 2008 Lit
Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland
Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She has been active in the SCBWI for
more than five years. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always
working on her next novel.
Chima often addresses
questions and concerns on her website and blogs. Visit her at www.cindachima.com
or her blog at http://cindachima.blogspot.com/
Works as a graphic designer for a large company by day. Nights and
weekends are mainly devoted to illustration work. She is currently
working on illustrations for a third grade workbook, illustrating the
fourth book in the "Gator" series (about a happy horse and his meadow
friends) and always drawing caricatures for weddings, birthdays,
retirement, etc. She writes, " I met my agent at the first conference I
attended in 2006 and the publisher through the SCBWI marketplace. SCBWI
membership has been all good!"
Have written and illustrated one picture book, Beaver Tales (Eastern
National, 2001) for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and have three
more in process of submission. I focus on nature illustration and
created many illustrations for
national and local parks. My latest news is production of a puzzle, mug
and water bottle from a Hawaiian mural I painted in 2000. View my work
at Breaksville Studio.
Read Sophie's article The
Craft of Scratchboard.
Former Illustrator Coordinator for Northern Ohio SCBWI, Deborah has
been involved in the arts for over 25 years. After Post Graduate
studies in Illustration and Graphic Design at Kent State's award
winning VCD Dept., she assisted in the development of curriculum for Le
Chaperon Preschools in Cleveland. She served as
Makeovers Children, created by Destina Moga for her Makovers Life
series. She was a board member for Northern Ohio SCBWI for
years. Her work in the field of Adult Spirituality has been published
by the American Tarot Association and US Games. Her work on the
Magdalene Tarot, created by Gnostic minister Casey DuHamel,
been signed for publishing by Tarot Media Company and will be available
in late spring. Though Deborah is comfortable and active in
different two and three dimensional art forms, she chooses computer as
her medium of choice for published illustrating. Her work can
viewed at her Cyber-Gallery.
Is a filmmaker and children's book author. She works in Cleveland and
Los Angeles. She started her own publishing company called Bellaboo
Books. She is presently working on a picture book and a chapter
book/middle grade reader.
She also works in the film industry and does posters for films. View
posters she has done on her website Laufer Film.
Lives in Conesville, Ohio with her husband Dan and her bassett hound
Max. She is writing and illustrating her first book. She just finished
the illustrations, and now needs to type the text and have everything
photographed. She finds this an exciting adventure and will be
self-publishing through Author House.
Started out as an on-site fashion illustrator at each of the three
major Cleveland department stores for 10 years. Began freelancing while
raising a family, first doing greeting cards, then children's magazine
illustrations. Also did a learn-to-read series from Zondervan
(currently six in print, including Jake's Brave Night). Two picture
books from Magination Press were done with our own Annette Sheldon (Big
Sister Now, 2006 and Big Brother Now, 2009). With a few other small
books with a local publisher, the count is up to 21. A wordless picture
book, Night Moves, is being considered by Tricycle Press. Karen works
traditionally, favoring watercolor. She is experimenting with collage,
and over the years has moved from a highly realistic style to a
lighter, more graphic look. Check out her work at www.karenmaizel.com.
Focuses on picture books and is pre-published and hopeful. She has
created logos, greeting cards and t-shirt designs, and is currently
working on a story inspired by the conference.
Her contact information is: 6074 Pebblebrook Lane - North Olmsted, OH
44070/ 440-777-3267/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Can be reached at 188 North Highland Ave. Suite 301 - Akron, Ohio
44303-1504 and you may see her work at WintersStudio.com
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at The
University of Findlay. She teaches Children's Book
courses and works closely with the Mazza Museum, The International Museum of Children's
Holding an MFA in
Graphic Design and
Illustration with high honors from Marywood University, Anne completed
her BFA at the Cleveland Institute of Art and holds certificates in
Teaching in Higher Education. For
she worked as a professional Illustrator, Art Director, Graphic
Designer and Web Developer in publishing and advertising, winning
multiple national awards for her work.
Anne writes about
design and education on her blog, At
The Art of
It. Deadlines and Closet
Space is a
Visit her website at beekmanstudios.com
LaVora Perry has shown
her devotion and support for the Northern Ohio SCBWI. In
she volunteered as an Executive Board Member filling the role of
Assistant Marketing Coordinator. In 2009, she stepped into
Executive Board Member role of Marketing Coordinator and continues in
this position today. She has brought forth dynamic and
marketing strategies, which added in record-breaking conference
attendance for our 2008, and 2009 Annual September Conferences. M.
Lavora received the V.O.Y. Award at the annual recognition brunch,
where fellow board members described her as "Tireless!", "Amazing!" and
a "Dynamo!" Congratulations M. LaVora, and continued success as the
NOHSCBWI Marketing Coordinator!
Disparaging, (Cover Illustration by Floyd
middle grade story, was published by Wisdom Publications in 2008. Her
young adult follow-up is in the works. She's also writing a teen girls
health book with a Cleveland Clinic physician. LaVora lives in Northern
Ohio with her husband and three children.
View LaVora's Perry's Website.
Kathiann M Kowalski has written eleven books for young people, plus
over 150 articles, stories, and activities, mostly nonfiction. She is
an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers &
Illustrators, Northern Ohio Chapter and is available as a speaker on
subjects as diverse as science, space, politics, nature and writing.
Read Kathy's article Write Here in Ohio.
Nicole Hanusek, formerly of Maple Heights, Ohio, is an aspiring writer
and illustrator. Her major at the Cleveland Institute of Art was
Illustration and her life long dream has been to write and / or
illustrate children's books. As she continues to work on the career of
her dreams, she supports herself with various freelance illustration
and web design jobs while working full time at a web development
company. She previously served as the SCBWINO webmaster and wrote The Web
is Here, and It’s Not Going Away...
Joan Marie Arbogast
Joan Marie Arbogast has shown her support and belief
Northern Ohio SCBWI for many years as an Executive Board
Her endless energy and soft-spoken personality has been a driving force
behind the Northern Ohio SCBWI’s success in putting on
professional conferences. And her knowledge on the publishing
industry’s ins and outs brings forth the ability for stellar
line-ups and hands-on workshops.
Her nonfiction book titled,
DISGUISE; Architecture That Looks Like Animals, Food and Other Things,
published by Boyds Mills Press.
Check out her article The Inside Scoop on
First-Time Book Signings.
©2010. Northern Ohio Society of
Children's Book Writers & Illustrators.
All images are property of the original artist/creator and may not be
reproduced without written permission of the owner.