Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Faculty Bios


Weekend on the Water 2018
Art/Life Balance Faculty




Kirby Larson is the acclaimed author of the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, Hattie Big Sky, a young adult historical novel inspired by her great-grandmother, Hattie Inez Brooks Wright, who homesteaded by herself in eastern Montana as a young woman. That book, and encouragement from her mentor, Karen Cushman, gave Kirby the confidence to embrace her passion for historical fiction; she has since written the Dogs of World War II series (Scholastic), which include Duke, Dash (recipient of the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Prize), Liberty, and Code Word Courage. Kirby melded her passion for history and mystery in Audacity Jones to the Rescue and Audacity Jones Steals the Show (nominated for a 2018 Edgar Award). Kirby lives in Kenmore, Washington, with her husband, Neil. When she’s not reading or writing, Kirby can be found beachcombing or bird watching with Winston the Wonder Dog. Read more at



Some of Kirby’s books:






Jennifer K. Mann is a children’s book author and illustrator. She used to be an architect, but she liked drawing the people and the stories better than the buildings, so she switched. She is represented by Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties. Her website can be found at Jennifer finds inspiration for her stories and art from memories of childhood, her children’s antics and adventures, and the often silly goings-on of her domestic menagerie. She has written and illustrated Two Speckled Eggs, I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, and Sam and Jump, all from Candlewick Press. She also illustrated Turkey Tot, written by George Shannon. Jennifer lives in Washington state.


Some of Jennifer’s books:








Joni Sensel is the author of a handful of fantasies for middle-grade and YA readers as well as a number of adult books (but who cares about those?). She’s currently working on a natural history of the imagination for teens and trying to avoid research rabbit holes. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a past Co-Regional Advisor for our chapter. She lives in the woods near Mt. Rainier. Read more at



Some of Joni’s Books:





Beth Bacon writes books for 6-9 year olds who are reluctant to read. Her books include I Hate Reading in which two brothers offer hilarious tips on how to avoid their 20-minutes-a-day reading assignment and The Worst Book Ever where a “bad” book tries to get banned by a librarian. Beth holds an MFA in writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She also has a degree in Communication Theory from NYU and a degree in Literature from Harvard University. Beth grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and now lives in the furthest Northwest corner of the USA. Contact Beth Bacon at her website:



Some of Beth’s Books: