Julie Artz 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 everything from computer manuals to training materials, from press releases and marketing copy to gardening articles, from flash fiction to novel-length works. Now, in addition to her creative writing, she works as a book coach for Author Accelerator, contributes regularly to bookish blogs From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors and The Winged Pen, and is currently building SCBWI-WWA's mentorship program.
By day, Holly Huckeba teaches social studies and language arts to middle graders; and in turn, they school her on the glorious messiness of being young. To catch this lightening in a bottle for her writing, Holly must wake up very, very early in the morning; at a time of day also known as the middle of the night. Sleep deprivation is totally worth it, though, when her characters take shape on the page. Holly lives in a cozy cottage in Bellevue, with her partner, a dog, and five chickens.
Dalton Webb works as an illustrator and graphic designer in diverse fields such as mobile games, publishing, packaging, logos and typefaces. He also has drawn comics for various anthologies and cartoon pitches. Currently he is writing/illustrating for children’s books. He paints digitally, but works with gouache and watercolor when he feels like getting his hands dirty. Dalton is an all-weather scooter rider, warm weather gardener, and a voracious reader. He lives in Seattle with his family and a herd of cats.
Publication Design Editor
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.
Beth Bacon is the author of I Hate Reading, a book for children who are reluctant readers. Beth has an MFA in Writing For Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She helps organizations large and small define their brands and has a special expertise in helping authors market their books. 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.
Community Outreach & Social Media Coordinator
Kim Baker’s debut middle grade novel, PICKLE (Macmillan), was a Children's Choice Awards Book of the Year finalist, one of Mamiverse’s Top 50 Latino Children’s Books, and the recipient of the 2013 SCBWI Crystal Kite West award. She is a former SCBWI Western Washington regional advisor and a longtime SCBWI lover, so she is thrilled to be coordinating the annual retreat. Kim has worked as a teacher, a crisis counselor, and a mail sorter, along with some other odd jobs in odder places. She now lives and works in Seattle, and can often be found in the woods, despite a chronic fear of bears. See more at www.kimbakerbooks.com.
Inside Story Chair
As the new kid on the block, Dori Hillestad Butler is thrilled to join the SCBWI-WWA AdCom. She is a former Regional Advisor from Iowa, and an award-winning chapter book series and mystery author who is eager to share her love of story with readers and writers of all ages. She’s published more than 50 books for children, including the Buddy Files series, which won an Edgar Award for best juvenile mystery. Her latest series is called The Haunted Library. She’s been an active library volunteer, therapy dog partner, and mentor to many young writers. She grew up in southern Minnesota, spent the last 19 years in Iowa, and now lives in Kirkland.
Southern Network, Great Critique & Critique Group Coordinator
Anthony Dorrough masquerades by day as a Pipeline Safety Engineer for the state. But late at night, as well as in the early, early morning, he's busy completing a YA Sci-Fi novel. Tony lives on a small farm located in a lovely valley in the Shelton area that he shares with his wife and a few kids that refuse to move out.
Kimberly Lampers is an artist, designer, baker of cookies, walker of woodlands and reader of novels. Pursuing her interests in narrative and beauty, she attended Cornish College of the Arts, earning a degree in Illustration. Kimie lives in the woods and loves imagination, art, bits of wisdom and chocolate chip cookies.
Monthly Programming Coordinator
Lily LaMotte has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. She writes picture books and is challenging herself to write a middle graphic novel in a post-grad semester. This is her third role on the advisory committee as she likes to be well-rounded that way. Previously, she was the conference coordinator and the assistant regional advisor. She had childhood dreams of working in a library. Now she supports her passion for libraries through her work on the King County Library System Foundation Gala committee.
KidLit Drink Night Coordinator
Jennifer Longo has been an actor, playwright, literary assistant and elementary school librarian. Her debut novel, Six Feet Over It (Random House Books) has received all kinds of awards and her second novel, Up To This Pointe (Random House Books, January 2016) has received even more. A California native and recent San Francisco transplant, Jennifer now lives with her husband and daughter on an island and her every hour is consumed by writing, running marathons, taking her kid to ballet class eleven thousand times each week and reading every book she can get her hands on.
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.”
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.
Joni Sensel earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She’s the author of a handful of fantasies for middlegrade and YA readers, most recently The Skeleton’s Knife, the third book in her Farwalker Trilogy. Joni is a past Regional Advisor for our chapter and currently is a business writing freelancer and propagandist, living in the woods near Mt. Rainier. Read more at www.jonisensel.com.
Mentorship Program Coordinator
Suma Subramaniam works with children globally to promote education. After a successful corporate career for many years, now, instead of chasing technical talent in the hi-tech industry, she chases characters in her fictional work for the most part of her time. Suma has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, a Certificate in Popular Fiction from the University of Washington, and advanced degrees in computer science and management. She’s also a WNDB volunteer and contributes to http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/.
Laurie Ann Thompson has been on the SCBWI-WWA advisory committee for eight years, including a three-year stint as co-regional advisor. She writes for children and young adults to help her readers—and herself—make better sense of the world we live in so they can help make it a better place for all of us. She strives to write nonfiction that sparks imaginations and fiction that taps into universal truths. Her books include Be a Changemaker, a teen how-to filled with advice and inspiration for budding social entrepreneurs; Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography about a young man who forever changed Ghana's perception of people with disabilities; My Dog Is the Best, a fiction picture book about the unconditional love between a child and the family pet; and the upcoming Two Truths and a Lie series. Learn more at lauriethompson.com and @lauriethompson.
Northern Network Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator
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.
Mili was born, raised, and educated in Lima, Peru. She moved as a young adult to the Pacific Northwest to join Phil, who soon became her husband. Since arriving she has pursued her passions: raising her young son Sami, practicing all kinds of crafts, and writing and illustrating stories for early readers. These things give her ample excuse to hang out with artisans and creative types. She is currently working on several manuscripts. Her characters tend to be bilingual (Spanish and English) and artists themselves. They include crafters (Eliot), illustrators (Edgar), and scrapbookers (Josephine). They may be audacious plotters hatching grand schemes like the Red Hoodie Society. They may live in the clouds like The Pointies, sprinkling unsuspecting Earthlings. They may be pumpkin-headed goblins stealing apples from witches or giraffe families riding in convertibles. Whatever their role they share Mili’s ever-present enthusiasm, motivation and wonder. You can meet them all on her website: milagroswelt.carbonmade.com and follow her on Facebook @milagrosweltstudio.