By day, Holly Huckeba teaches social studies and language arts to high schoolers and, in turn, gets schooled all over again on the glorious messiness of being that young. To catch this lightening in a bottle for writing, Holly must wake up early in the morning, sometimes known as the middle of the night. Holly earned a Master’s Degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), and loves to talk about it! Holly lives in a cottage in Bellevue with their partner, a dog and two cats, and a dwindling flock of chickens.
Kevan Atteberry was a graphic designer for many years. Today he writes and illustrates picture books. Among them are award-winners like Frankie Stein by Lola Schaefer, and Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett. His latest book, PUDDLES!!!, a companion book to BUNNIES!!! came out in May. . His biggest claim to fame is being the creator of Clippy, the Microsoft Word Assistant, which even today is annoying millions of people a day. It is important to him that you know he only created the character—not the functionality. He is a birder of over 40 years and has been bitten by both a cormorant and a raven. Though not at the same time. Kevan is a Pisces, loves banana cream pie and the color periwinkle. Or maybe just saying the word periwinkle. You can see his illustrations at www.kevanatteberry.com.
Assistant Regional Advisor
Carol Zink is an artist, writer, traveler and lover of red vines and iced coffee. Carol is working on several Kid-Lit projects including picture books and middle grade novels. She has earned a Certificate in Writing for Children from the University of Washington. Carol lives near Seattle, WA with her husband, three kids and adorable dog, Bisous. When not writing, she’s a para-educator teaching reading and writing at a local elementary. Visit her website at www.carolzink.com
Beth Bacon is the author of I Hate Reading, and The Book No One Wants To Read, two books for children who are reluctant readers. Beth has an MFA in Writing For Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Beth has won the the Candlewick Award for Picture Book Writing, the Marion Dane Bauer Award for Middle Grade Writing, and is a PSAMA PULSE Award Finalist for marketing. Visit her website at BethBaconAuthor.com.
Jolie Stekly is a writer and teacher who works with writers, at all stages, to grow their craft and achieve their goals. Over the past 15 years she has worked with numerous editors, agents, authors, and illustrators to develop programming for conferences, retreats, and classes. She teaches a popular series of classes on writing or kid, and a picture book class at the University of Washington. She is a former regional advisor of SCBWI Western Washington and she was recognized as SCBWI’s 2009 Member of the Year. Jolie now welcomes first-time attendees to the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles and is a member of SCBWI’s Team Blog. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @cuppajolie and at joliestekly.com.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator
Ellie Peterson is a picture book author, illustrator, and science educator living in the Seattle area. Her work is inspired by her many years of teaching and her upbringing as a biracial army brat. Her picture books include The Reason for the Seasons, It’s a Round, Round World, and Bea’s Bees (by Katherine Pryor). Her next book, How to Hug a Pufferfish will debut in 2022. When she’s not in the lab, she enjoys experimenting with art supplies in her home studio and visiting local schools. Find out more about Ellie at elliepetersonart.com
VICKI CONRAD is teacher with a passion for literacy development and getting students to love reading just as much as she did as a child. Growing up, she was always found with a book in her hand, and has stayed that way ever since. Her first picture book, Just Like Beverly will be released from Little Big Foot this year. When she is not writing or teaching she is traveling the world, baking, gardening, and thinking of the next story to tell.
She has called Seattle her home for many years. This year she is looking forward to serving SCBWI as the Webinar Coordinator.
Jason is a Technical Writing Manager by day. He holds an MFA in Children’s Writing from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA and has published articles, books, and other educational content with companies such as Cobblestone, Capstone, Rosen, Wright/McGraw Hill, and Learnstar. He is currently at work on multiple middle-grade fiction manuscripts.
Debbie Faith Mickelson wrote her first short story around the age of 13. It wasn’t until a year after her youngest was born that she returned to her passion. Escaping her previous life as an aerospace software engineer, she now writes for children and young adults. She loves that words create dreams and take children places. “Books and the passion for reading are the best gifts we can give the world.”
Nonfiction Programming Coordinator
Lisa L. Owens’s career in children’s publishing has spanned nearly 25 years. She has authored 95+ books for young people, including early readers, chapter books, graphic novels, and a wide variety of nonfiction for PreK–YA audiences. As a former in-house editor and longtime freelancer, she’s worked in various editorial capacities—from concept to market—on thousands of published works for all ages. Publishing in Summer 2017 is her book Attack on Pearl Harbor, the first of her four titles examining the drama of World War II through the lens of people who lived it. Lisa lives in Issaquah with her aerospace-engineer husband and their retired racing greyhound. To learn more, visit llowens.com and @LisaLOwens.
Mentorship Program Coordinator
Suma Subramaniam is the contributing author of The Hero Next Door (Penguin Random House, July 2019). She is also the author of She Sang For India: How MS Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice For Change (Macmillan FSG, Winter 2022) and Namaste Is A Greeting (Candlewick, Fall 2022). She is the Director of the Internships Grants Committee at We Need Diverse Books. She hires tech professionals for a leading software company during the day and is a writer by night. Suma has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and degrees in computer science and management. Visit her website at https://sumasubramaniam.com.
Social Media Coordinator
Northern Network Lead
Rebecca Van Slyke has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She writes picture books, easy readers, nonfiction, and poetry. She’s currently working on something she swore she would never attempt: a middle-grade novel. She has illustrated five art books for children. She is also the author of picture books Mom School, and Dad School; and the forthcoming Where do Pants Go? and Lexie, The Word Wrangler, due to be published in 2016 and 2017. Rebecca is a second-grade teacher in Lynden, where she lives with her husband, daughter (when she’s not in college), and a very spoiled dachshund. She wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up. Or a penguin tamer.
Special Projects Coordinator
Julie Artz helps writers tell their stories as a book coach and freelance editor. She also writes stories for children that feature the natural world, folklore, mythology, history, and all that is magical about those things. Since her first work-study job editing papers and resumes at DePauw University, she’s made her living writing and editing everything from computer manuals to training materials, from press releases and marketing copy to gardening articles, from flash fiction to novel-length works. She contributes regularly to bookish blog The Winged Pen and the middle grade book club/newsletter Middle Grade at Heart. A former Regional Advisor, Julie continues to serve on the SCBWI WWA Advisory Committee and participates in its DEI activities.
Dolores Andral is a writer, mother, and former preschool teacher. Dolores has an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. When Dolores isn’t writing, who are we kidding—she’s always writing! But if she has spare time loves creating clay characters and is teaching herself animation.
Anna Cosper studied illustration in the Netherlands where she got swept away by stop-motion animation. She went on to animate for television and galleries which led to a career in puppetry in the Netherlands and abroad. Now she is living near Seattle, thrilled to have returned to the ocean, and to her first love: picture books! Check out what she’s up to at annacosper.com.
Critique Group Coordinator
Ron Pellegrino has lived many lives—bricklayer, wildlife agent, technical assistant, waiter, marketing writer—but the one he loves best is children’s writer. Ron’s latest title, THE LAST BIRD, is a historical middle grade tale of a 14-foot-tall live prehistoric bird and the kids who fight to keep it free. A down-on-her-luck clairvoyant once tipped off Ron that picture books were in his future.
Born and bred in the great state of New Jersey, Ron lives in Seattle with his wife, dog, cat, and fig tree. When it comes to igneous rock-forming minerals, Ron’s hands-down favorite is feldspar.
Tacoma Network Lead and 2021 Retreat Coordinator
Mary Boone has ridden an elephant, jumped out of an airplane, hung out backstage with a boy band, and baked dozens of cricket cookies – all in the interest of research for her books and magazine articles. She’s written more than 50 nonfiction books for young readers, ranging from inventor biographers to how-to craft guides. Her current middle grade nonfiction book, Ants for Dinner, will be published by Chicago Review Press in Fall 2021.