Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Imagine That! 2019 Faculty

Keynote Speakers

Nisi Shawl wrote the 2016 Nebula Award finalist Everfair and the 2008 James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award winner Filter House. In 2005 she co-wrote Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, a standard text on diversity and inclusivity in the imaginative genres. She has spoken at institutions ranging from University of Hawai’i Manoa to Smith College. Shawl is a founder of the Carl Brandon Society, a nonprofit dedicated to the fair representation of minorities in fantastic literature. For the last twenty years she has served on the board of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. She lives in southern Seattle and takes frequent walks with her cat.


Corinna Luyken is the author-illustrator of THE BOOK OF MISTAKES, which received four starred reviews and has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and more.  She also illustrated ADRIAN SIMCOX DOES NOT HAVE A HORSE, written by Marcy Campbell.  And is the author-illustrator of the forthcoming MY HEART.  She lives in Olympia, WA with her husband, daughter, and two cats.



RAÚL COLÓN studied commercial art in high school, where he received his first formal training in art, including photography and advertising art. He worked as a freelance illustrator for such clients as The New York Times Book Review, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and New York Magazine. He received the Broadcast Designers Award medal for his poster for the “Shaka Zulu” mini-series and Silver and Gold medals from The Society of Illustrators, including a Gold Award for “Always My Dad,” a children’s book published in 1995 by Random House. “Mama Had a Dancing Heart,” which Colón illustrated, was named on The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books list. An award-winning illustrator of over thirty books for children, Colón was chosen to illustrate Dr. Jill Biden’s recently published “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops” as well as Frank McCourt’s bestselling “Angela and the Baby Jesus”, both from Paula Wiseman Books. Mr Colón wrote and illustrated the picture book “Draw!” which the New York Times chose as one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books for 2015. The industry has recognized Colón with a Golden Kite Award, a Pura Belpré Award, and both a gold and silver medal in The Original Art show.



Garrett Alwert graduated from Washington State University with a degree in business. He played professional baseball and worked as a contractor until he found his true passion in publishing. In 2016 he began interning for Mandy Hubbard at Emerald City Literary before being promoted to Agency Assistant. A long-time book lover Garrett can be found reading just about anything he can get his hands on. He is currently co-representing multiple authors alongside Mandy Hubbard and is accepting submissions per the guidelines below. You can find him on Twitter @GarrettAlwert.


Taryn Fagerness is the owner of Taryn Fagerness Agency which specializes in representing foreign rights on behalf of North American literary agents and publishers. The Agency was established in March 2009, and Taryn Fagerness has worked in foreign rights since 2004. She’s sold hundreds of books to foreign markets, including work by Jennifer Armentrout, Neal Shusterman, Courtney Summers, Cayla Kluver, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Kiersten White, and many more. She has experience selling subsidiary rights for New York Times bestselling authors, first time authors, and everyone in between, in nearly all genres including young adult, middle-grade, and children’s picture books.


Adria Goetz is a literary agent with Seattle-based Martin Literary Management. She specializes in picture books, but also represents middle grade, young adult, and quirky coffee table books. She was particularly proud to represent THE COMPENDIUM OF MAGICAL BEASTS by Melissa Brinks and Lily Jones (Running Press, 2018) and RICE FROM HEAVEN by Tina Cho (Little Bee Books, 2018). Adria lives in an old Victorian home in Tacoma with her husband Alex and their two darling cats, Maple and Mulberry. To learn more about Adria and what she is looking for, check out her wish list at


Mandy Hubbard, agent and founder of Emerald City Literary Agency, specializes in YA and MG fiction. She began her agenting career at D4EO Literary Agency in February of 2010. Her clients include Cindy Callaghan (Lost in London, 2013, Aladdin Mix), Joy Hensley (Rites of Passage, Harper, 2014) and Jessica Martinez (Kiss Kill Vanish, Harper, 2014). She signed local author Kelly Jones after critiquing her work during a round table at Western Washington’s SCBWI conference in 2013, and that novel, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer was released by Knopf in 2015. She’s also the author of 11 YA novels, including Prada & Prejudice and Fool Me Twice.


Tricia Lawrence, agent and the “Pacific Northwest branch” of EMLA, was born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 19 years of working as a developmental and production-based editor (from kids books to college textbooks, but mostly college textbooks), she joined the EMLA team in March 2011 as a social media strategist. Tricia represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong world building, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won’t let go.


Kathleen Ortiz, agent with New Leaf Literary & Media, actively seeks more authors and illustrators, specifically fresh, new voices in YA and animator/illustrator talent. In YA she gravitates more toward beautiful and exceptional world building as well as contemporary stories whose main characters stay with the reader far beyond the pages. She would love to see a beautifully written YA set within other cultures and experiences. On the illustration side, she loves animator/illustrators and their unique way of storytelling — anything with “Pixar” humor is for her! She would love to find a book that inspires kids and teens to be the positive change our society needs.


Britt Siess has a strong background in publishing as she’s seen all aspects of the industry. She is a former bookseller, and has interned for the Taryn Fagerness Agency, Wales Literary Agency, and Martin Literary & Media Management. She was also with the sales division of The Quarto Group, where she worked in domestic and foreign book sales.

Britt tweets publishing tips, news, and tidbits about her life as an agent @BrittSiess.


Art Directors

Saho Fujii is a senior art director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She has designed a wide range of books including picture books, board books, activity and novelty books, middle grade and young adult novels. She currently oversees the LBYR’s picture book list. She has worked with many award-winning illustrators including Jerry Pinkney, Javaka Steptoe, Sophie Blackall, Molly Idle, Bryan Collier, Mordicai Gerstein and John Rocco. She lives in New York City.



Anna Goldstein has been the art director at Sasquatch Books since 2010. She has designed various books for Sasquatch such as A Boat, A Whale and a Walrus, Dead Feminists, A Woman’s Guide to the Wild, Frank the 7-Legged Spider, If I Were A Whale, and the Sasquatch and the Lumberjack. She is a multidisciplinary art director who has collaborated with photographers, illustrators, and authors to make beautiful books.




Asia Citro, M. Ed, is a former classroom science teacher with a Master’s in Science Education. She is the author of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids, The Curious Kid’s Science Book, and the Zoey and Sassafras chapter book series, among others. She is also the creator of the popular blog Fun at Home with Kids, the owner of The Innovation Press, and the founder of the Seattle Children’s Book Festival. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, The Chicago Tribune, Today, Disney Baby, MSN, King 5 TV, and Highlights, among others.



Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and a lifelong book lover, Christy Cox has been working with authors and in publishing for nearly two decades. She edits children’s books for the Little Bigfoot imprint of Sasquatch Books, a regional press based in Seattle. She is interested in children’s books with content that has strong ties to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.



Allyn Johnston has been working in children’s publishing in her native California for twenty-four years. Among the authors and illustrators with whom she works are Mem Fox, Lois Ehlert, Marla Frazee, Cynthia Rylant, Debra Frasier, Arthur Howard, Jan Thomas, Avi, and M.T. Anderson. Recent titles she’s edited are New York Times bestseller Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury; and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee and New York Times bestseller All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee, both of which received a Caldecott Honor.


Other Amazing Faculty

Kevan Atteberry is a writer/illustrator of award-winning children’s books including BUNNIES!!!, PUDDLES!!!, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THE SMELL OF SWAMP GAS, and GHOST CAT, coming out this June. He spent decades running his graphic design studio before finally breaking into picture books. A goal of his since he was the age of his target demographic. But Kevan’s biggest claim to fame may be creating Clippy the Paperclip, the Microsoft Word helper. At one point it was annoying hundreds of millions of people a day. He finds an odd kind of pride in this…


Mina Witteman writes in English and Dutch and has published seven adventurous middle-grade novels in the Netherlands, a Little Golden Book, and over forty short stories in magazines and read-aloud anthologies. The final book of her successful Dutch middle grade series came out in October 2018: Boreas en de vijftien vrienden / Boreas and the Fifteen Friends. Her English work gravitates toward dark Young Adult and adventurous middle-grade novels. Witteman’s Middle Grade Boreas en de zeven zeeën (Boreas and the Seven Seas) was chosen core title for the 2019 Dutch National Children’s Book Week. Witteman is the 2019 Winner in the Children’s/YA Category of the San Francisco Writers Foundation’s writing contest.