Gabriela Orozco Belt
Gabriela Orozco Belt is a children’s book author who lives in a small town in the Mojave Desert. Inspired by her experiences of growing up bilingual and bicultural, she writes stories for children so they can see themselves in books. Gaby’s debut picture book, Only for a Little While, serves to soften and process the feeling of being uprooted and see change as a temporary difficulty that families can get through with mutual support. The book will be illustrated by Richy Sanchez Ayala and published by Balzer + Bray in Spring 2023. When not teaching, writing, or reading, she can be found spending time with her husband, three children, and extended family.
Marie Boyd is an author, illustrator, artist, and educator. Her illustrations are done in quilling. She collects colorful paper and cuts it into narrow strips, which she uses to create modern, bold, colorful images that come off the page. She loves spending time outdoors and draws inspiration from the natural world. Trained as a scientist with a degree in Chemistry from Harvard, Marie often incorporates STEM elements in her work. Her debut picture book is Just a Worm (Greenwillow Books, 2023). Originally from Salt Lake City, Marie lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and two young children.
Vicky Fang is a product designer who spent five years designing kids’ technology experiences for both Google and Intel—like robots you can build at home, buildings that play music, and games you can play with your voice. She started writing to support the growing need for early coding education, particularly for girls and kids of color. She is the author and sometimes illustrator of fifteen new and upcoming books to inspire kids in STEAM and creativity, including The Boo Crew Needs You, Invent-a-Pet, I Can Code, Layla and the Bots, Friendbots, and AlphaBot.
Dominique Furukawa is a licensed clinical social worker and children’s picture book author. She lives with her wonderful family in the greatest city in the world, Los Angeles, CA. She is passionate about teaching little people big things in a way they can understand. Her forthcoming release is Black Girls (Harper Collins, 2023)
Sarah Hovorka writes lots of stuff from big-hearted picture books to horror-ridden novels. Unlike Goldilocks, every genre she tries feels just right. She is the author of Hattie Hates Hugs and Same Love, Different Hug as well as several short stories for children and adults. Beyond reading and writing, Sarah loves to play games, bike ride, eat chocolate, and enjoy trees…when she’s not too busy homeschooling. She lives in northern California with her husband and three sons.
AJ Irving grew up in Boise, Idaho, writing stories and daydreaming about becoming an author. Now, she writes picture books and poetry beneath an old elm tree in Salt Lake City. AJ reads kidlit every day and dances every chance she gets. She is the author of Dance Like a Leaf and The Wishing Flower. As a children’s author and former bookmobile librarian, AJ is passionate about inspiring kids to love books. When she’s not reading, writing, or dancing, she enjoys exploring Utah with her husband, two children, and their English bulldog.
Aimee Isaac started writing when she was eight years old. Her debut was actually a play where she, her brother, and her cousins were the stars. Since then, she has been a teacher, an advocate, a parent, and now an author. Aimee writes picture books and poetry inspired by her love of nature as well as her rambunctious kids. Her debut picture book is The Planet We Call Home (Philomel, 2023). When she isn’t writing, Aimee is volunteering, reading, hiking, or keeping up with her busy family. She lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with her husband and three children.
Astghik (Astrid) Kamalyan
Astrid Kamalyan comes from a big, happy family and is the oldest of five. She spent most of her childhood in Armenia. As a child, she wished she could one day paint the beautiful mountains of Artsakh. Now she paints with words and writes for the most important people in the world—kids. Astrid holds an MBA degree from the American University of Armenia. She loves globetrotting with her husband and two sons. Astrid currently shares her time between Chicago and Yerevan, Armenia.. Astrid’s debut picture book is Bábo: A Tale of Armenian Rug-Washing Day (Charlesbridge, 2023).
Carrie Kruck grew up in Canada, worked as a psychologist in Australia, and now lives in the woods of New England with a delightful assortment of foxes, owls, bears, and beloved humans. She loves swimming in lakes, snowshoeing in forests, and growing delicious food in her garden (although it mostly gets eaten by the assortment of animals). Carrie writes stories about curiosity, exploration, and unexpected magic, and her work has appeared in Ladybug Magazine. What Francine Found (Beach Lane Books; illustrated by Erin Kraan) is her debut picture book.
Suzy Levinson grew up in Massachusetts, where she spent most of her time reading, dreaming, and making up weird songs on long, boring car rides. These days...well, she hasn't changed much! Her children's poetry has been featured in numerous anthologies and magazines (including Highlights, Cricket, and the Caterpillar). Animals in Pants (Cameron Kids/Abrams, 2023) is her debut picture book. She lives in New York City with her husband and most excellent cat.
David McMullin is a picture book writer and youth librarian living in Henderson, Nevada. His poems have been featured in Cricket Media, and in several anthologies. He was awarded an honorable mention for the 2020 Ann Paul Whitford Award, and is a Madness Poetry champion. As a member of the SCBWI, he is proud to support LGBTQ+ voices as a member of the equity and inclusion team. In former lives, he was a Broadway actor and educator. His passions include travel (70 countries) and nature (total bird nerd). David's debut picture book is Free To Be Me (Clarion, 2023).
Keisha Morris is an award-winning illustrator based in Maryland, who loves to create whimsical and joyful illustrations from diverse narratives. She earned her BFA in Illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and mentored with illustrators such as Sean Qualls, Selina Alko, and Dan Santat. When she is not drawing or crafting stories, you can hear her chatting about her picture book experiences and illustration process in her podcast called The KidLit Show. Between Two Windows (Harper Collins, 2023) is her debut author/illustrated picture book.
Lisa Varchol Perron
Lisa Varchol Perron writes picture books, middle grade novels, and poetry for children. Her poems have appeared in various children's magazines and anthologies, and she was awarded the 2021 Boston Authors Club Discovery Award for picture book writers. She also enjoys writing songs, playing her guitar, and going on long family hikes. Lisa lives outside of Boston with her geologist husband and two nature-loving, book-loving kids. Patterns Everywhere (Lerner/Millbrook) is Lisa’s debut picture book.
Ana Siqueira is a Spanish-language elementary teacher, an award-winning Brazilian children’s author, and a published author in the Foreign Language educational market. Her debut picture book is Bella’s Recipe for Disaster/Success (Beaming Books, 2021). Her forthcoming books are If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja/Cuando Tu Niñera Es Una Bruja (SimonKids, 2022), Abuela’s Super Capa/La Super Capa de Abuela (HarperCollins, 2023), Room in Mami’s Corazon (HarperCollins, 2024), and some others that can’t be announced yet. Ana is a member of SCBWI, Las Musas Books, and co-founder of LatinxPitch.
Helen Taylor is a children’s book author who wonders about a lot of things (and hopes you do too!). She writes books, mostly about science and engineering, that make complex ideas accessible and fun. Her favorite question is “How?” and her favorite ice cream flavor is mint chip. Before she discovered the world of children’s books, she worked at a museum where she wrote about polar bear hair plugs, catfish physicals, and other curiosities. Helen's debut picture book is How to Eat in Space (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2023). She lives in Santa Cruz, California where she enjoys tide-pooling, stargazing, and traipsing through the redwoods with her family.
Jack Wong is an author/illustrator living in Halifax, Canada. A self-declared actual Jack-of-all-trades, he’s also tried his hand at bridge engineering, psychology research, bookkeeping, and running his own bicycle repair shop—a real education for creating children’s books, if you ask him! Through a diverse range of stories, he seeks to share his hodgepodge journey with young readers, so that they may embrace the unique amalgams of experiences that make up their own lives. His forthcoming releases include When You Can Swim (Scholastic, 2023), When I Gave Dad a Sign (Annick Press, 2023), and All the Flowers (Groundwood, 2024).