Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

30th Birthday Program FACULTY


Halli GomezHalli Gomez, author of the YA novel List of Ten, writes for children and young adults and works at her independent bookstore. She is the author of young adult and middle grade novels, as well as short stories. Halli has presented writing workshops at SCBWI regional conferences in the US and Europe, WriteOnCon, Comic Con London, and local libraries. When no one is looking, she sock skates through the house and talks to dogs like they are human. When people are looking, she enjoys reading, outdoors, and breaking out of escape rooms with her family. Halli lives in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.

Session: Writers Webinar #1 (1/27/22) 7:15 pm ET
Writing What You Know. Attendees will look at using an aspect of their lives to build a story full of depth, emotion, knowledge, and intimacy, all of which hooks readers.


Brian AndersonBrian Anderson is the creator of the syndicated comic strip Dog eat Doug, which enjoys an international fan base both on and offline. He is an optioned screenwriter and the author of several children’s books, including Nighty Night, Sleepy Sleeps, and Monster Chefs. Fight of the Fallen, the third in his Conjurers series, is available for pre-order from Crown Publishing.

Session: Writers Webinar #2 (2/24/22) 7:15 pm ET
Wrangling Your Writing. If I can organize my writing habits, so can you. In this seminar I’ll share the techniques I use to streamline the novel writing process.


John Claude BemisJohn Claude Bemis is an inspiring speaker and entertaining performer, and author of The Wooden Prince, Lord of Monsters, the Clockwork Dark trilogy, The Prince Who Fell from the Sky, and Flora and the Runaway Rooster. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Education for his work in the schools as an author-educator and served as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate. John lives with his wife and daughter in Hillsborough, NC.

Session: Writers Webinar #3 (3/24/22) 7:15 pm ET 
Creating Strong Characters. Learn how to make your characters unforgettable by strengthening your skills with dialogue, characterization, interiority, and agency.


Emily ColinEmily Colin’s debut novel, The Memory Thief, was a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick. She is also the author of The Dream Keeper’s Daughter (Ballantine Books). Her young adult titles include the anthology Wicked South: Secrets and Lies and the Seven Sins series, both from Blue Crow Publishing, as well as the anthology Unbound: Stories of Transformation, Love, and Monsters (Five Points Press). Regardless of whether she’s writing for adults or teens, all of her books feature love stories and supernatural twists. Currently, she finds joy in teaching classes for the Writers Workshop at Authors Publish and working as a freelance editor. Originally from Brooklyn, Emily lives in coastal North Carolina with her family. 

Session: Writers Webinar #4 (4/28/22) 7:15 pm ET 
“We Love it, But…”: Revision Tips and Tricks to Make Your Manuscript Shine. Congratulations! You’ve finished your manuscript. You’ve invested time, energy and perhaps money, gathered feedback from critique partners, and spent hours making your manuscript submission-ready—but something’s not quite right. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to see your manuscript with fresh eyes, get to the heart of what’s not working, and—best of all—figure out how to fix it. 


Karen ChaplinKaren Chaplin began her publishing career at Scholastic. She was an editor at Puffin Books/Penguin Young Readers Group for six years before she moved to Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she is currently a senior editor of picture book, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. Karen received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Delaware and her MA in English from Simmons College. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, finding DIY projects to do, and dabbling in photography. 

Session: Writers Webinar #5 (5/19/22) 7:15 pm ET 
Falling in Love with a Manuscript: From Initial Spark to Publication. What does an editor look for in a manuscript? What is involved in the editorial process? What does it take to get a manuscript from “Initial Spark” to publication? 


Chad BeckermanChad Beckerman joined the CAT Agency in 2020 after being the Creative Director at ABRAMS Kids and Comic Arts, where he spent 13 years overseeing the design of 250 books a year—from picture books, to novels, to graphic novels, and art and entertainment books. Chad is behind the aesthetic for over forty New York Times bestselling and award-winning books including the blockbuster Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, the Caldecott honor and Corretta Scott King Award winning Trombone Story illustrated by Brian Collier, and the Newbury Medal honor books El Deafo and Heart of the Samurai. In addition to representing children’s illustrators, Chad offers packaging of picture books, graphic novels, and middle-grade series books through his design studio CWB Art & Design.

Session: Illustrators Intensive Day #1 (5/21/22) 9 am – 10:30 am ET
UPDATED. How to build your visual voice into your brand as an illustrator/creator to get noticed by agents, editors, and art directors. Gain confidence in selling your art by learning from a seasoned creative director-turned-agent. Chad will also be joining us for the 2022 Fall Conference, making this a great opportunity to demonstrate development in your work over the course of the year. 


Brian LaRossaBrian LaRossa views reading, writing, illustrating, and designing books as paths to personal growth, and believes growth is common to everyone’s central purpose. Brian is an art director in the hardcover picture book group at Scholastic Inc., the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. After hours he teaches a course on design criticism for The City College of New York. He also participates in Adobe’s Type Advisory Council, manages his own display font foundry, which developed a typeface for Google Fonts, and has written many essays for publications such as Design Observer and AIGA’s Eye on Design. His work has won awards from the Type Directors Club, Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and Print Magazine, and his experimental poetry is included in the permanent collection of the MoMA Library. Brian lives and works in New York City.

Session: Illustrators Intensive Day #2 (5/21/22) 11 am – 12:30 pm ET
UPDATED. An Illustrator’s Guide to Thinking Like an Art Director. Being an illustrator is challenging in part because it requires meeting the needs of several layers of customers. The end customer is the reader. The first customer is the art director. This workshop will provide heart-on-sleeve, behind-the-scenes insights into the job of an art director in order to help you improve your approach collaborating with these key customers.


Will TerryWill Terry has been a freelance illustrator for 23 years. He got his start working for magazines and newspapers in the Washington D.C. area. His early clients include publications such as Time, Money, WSJ and ads for Sprint, Pizza Hut, Fed Ex, and Master Card. He has illustrated about 30 children’s books for a number of publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, and Penguin. He works out of his home studio in Utah. He has created several indie ebooks that have sold tens of thousands of copies and has started a story app series with Rick Walton beginning with Gary’s Place. He also co-owns – online illustration classes for children’s book illustrators selling in over 80 countries.

Session: Illustrators Intensive Day #3 (5/21/22) 1:15 – 2:45 pm ET
UPDATED. Creating interesting visual stories and perfecting those illustrations through self critique!