Aloha kidlit community!
Are you excited about the #FallWritingFrenzy 2021 donors? We sure are! Kaitlyn (Fall Writing Frenzy creator), Ameerah (2021 Fall Writing Frenzy Guest Judge), and I (Fall Writing Frenzy Co-host) are proud to unveil this group of talented editors, agents and authors, all ready to share their expertise and knowledge with you. Feel free to send them support in any way you can: by checking out their websites, buying their books, reviewing their books, following them on social media. We count ourselves very lucky to be working with them, and are grateful for their generosity.
As a reminder: to receive all updates, please subscribe to Lydia’s blog in the upper right corner of this page as well as Kaitlyn’s blog: https://kaitlynleannsanchez.com/blog/. For the official rules, please click HERE.
And now for the exciting part: here are the Fall Writing Frenzy 2021 donors:
Kiara Valdez is an Afro-Dominican writer and associate editor at First Second. She was born and raised in New York City (shout out to Washington Heights) and has been an avid comics reader all her life. She graduated from Williams College with a double major in English Literature and Japanese, and spends her free time reading, writing, and enjoying a long list of other hobbies she can’t keep up with.
Erin Siu is an Associate Editor at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, where she manages MCPG’s paperback imprint Square Fish and acquires and edits picture books, middle-grade and YA for Feiwel & Friends. She has a soft spot for stories about multicultural experiences, intergenerational relationships, and first love, and she’s worked on several children’s books including, Have You Eaten? by Su Youn Lee, Old Friends by Margaret Aitken; illustrated by Lenny Wen, and You Are Enough by Jen Petro-Roy. Find her on Twitter: @erinssiu
David Linker is an Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books. A graduate of Oberlin College and Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars, Linker has worked in publishing for more than 20 years. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, two kids, one dog, and two somewhat irascible turtles.
Donation: MG critique
Julie Gassman is the author of the “Do Not Bring Your Dragon” picture books series and the nonfiction picture book, Saved by the Boats. When she is not thinking about how dragons misbehave, she is an editor at Capstone, specializing in chapter books, including series such as Katie Woo, Pedro, and Girls Survive. She lives in southern Minnesota with her family and rescue pit bull.
Donation: PB, CB critique
Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten — art by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School — art by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play — art by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares — art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling 2019 and Scholastic 2019) and Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World — art by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books 2019), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project — art by Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press / CAW Publishing, November 2021) and American Pie — art by Dea Lenihan (Dancing Flamingo Press, 2022).
She’s also the Owner and Administrator of both RateYourStory.org and ThePictureBookMechanic.com, as well as a long-time Travel Agent with PixieVacations.com (www.pixievacationsbylynnemarie.com)! She’s been a Cybil’s Judge in the Fiction Picture Books and Board Books category since 2016. Recently, she’s been handed the ReFoReMo torch from Kirsti Call and Carrie Charley Brown, which will return under its new name March On With Mentor Texts in March, 2022 (www.rateyourstory.org/march-on). You can join her at her weekly Tinker and Talk Book Chat here: Tinker and Talk Book Chat by The Picture Book Mechanic | Facebook
When she’s not searching for story ideas all over the globe, she lives on a lake in South Florida with her family, a Schipperke named Anakin and several resident water birds. Visit her at http://www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com. Lynne Marie is represented by Marisa Cleveland of http://www.theseymouragency.com
Ameerah Halliday (also the guest judge)
Ameerah Holliday is a dancer and self-proclaimed poetess from San Diego, California. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from San Diego State University. Holliday is a former editorial assistant intern for Poetry International, and former reader for Full Circle Literary Agency. She currently serves as a Junior Agent for Serendipity Literary Agency, editorial director for the San Diego Poetry Annual and assistant editor for Kids! San Diego Poetry Annual.
Donation: CB, MG, YA critique
Tricia is the “Pacific Northwest branch” of EMLA—born and raised in Oregon, and now lives in Seattle. After 22 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.
As agent, 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 worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won’t let go.
Tricia loves hiking, camping out in the woods, and collecting rocks. She loves BBC America and anything British. She has way too many books and not enough bookshelves.
Lisa Amstutz is a literary agent with Storm Literary Agency and the author of 150 books for kids. Her background includes a B.A. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Science. Before joining Storm, Lisa worked as a freelance editor for individual and corporate clients. Learn more at .
Donation: BB, PB NF critique
Ernesto Cisneros is the award-winning author of EFRÉN DIVIDED. He was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, where he still teaches. As an author, he believes in providing today’s youth with an honest depiction of characters with whom they can identify.
Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author, essayist and interfaith activist. She writes the children’s early reader series “Yasmin” and other books for children, including middle grade novels “A Place At The Table” co-written with Laura Shovan (a Sydney Taylor Notable 2021), and “A Thousand Questions” (a South Asia Book Award Honor 2021). Her new book “Yusuf Azeem Is Not A Hero” details the experiences of the Muslim American community twenty years after 9/11. Saadia is editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret, a magazine for Muslim art, poetry and prose, and was featured in Oprah Magazine in 2017 as a woman making a difference in her community. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband and children.
Science Rocks! And so, do Jennifer Swanson’s books. She is the award-winning author of over 45 nonfiction books for children, mostly about STEM. Jennifer’s love of science began when she started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. While no longer working from the garage, Jennifer’s passion for science resonates in the fascinating books she has written. She has received awards from the NSTA for Best STEM book, the California Reading Association, and Parent’s Choice Gold Award. Jennifer is also the creator and co-host of the award-winning science podcast, Solve It for Kids. You can visit Jennifer at her website http://www.JenniferSwansonBooks.com, her special place to explore the world around her.
Alexandra Alessandri is the award-winning author of Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! (Albert Whitman) and Isabel and Her Colores go to School (Sleeping Bear Press). The daughter of Colombian immigrants, she is also a former associate professor of English and a poet, with some of her work appearing in The Acentos Review, Rio Grande Review, Atlanta Review, and Young Adult Review Network. Alexandra lives in Florida with her husband and son.
Donation: PB critique
Dorian Cirrone is the author of the award-winning middle-grade novel THE FIRST LAST DAY (S&S, Aladdin), which made Bank Street College’s Best Books list and has been translated into four languages. She has also published young adult novels and chapter books as well as poetry and essays for all ages. She was the Co-Regional Advisor of SCBWI Florida for several years.
Teresa Robeson (teresarobeson.com) is the APALA Picture Book Award-winning author of QUEEN OF PHYSICS (also ILA Nonfiction Picture Book Honor and NCTE Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Recommended Book). Other publications include TWO BICYCLES IN BEIJING and an essay in NONFICTION WRITERS DIG DEEP, edited by Melissa Stewart. Her upcoming works include a poem in NO WORLD TOO BIG: YOUNG PEOPLE FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE edited by Bradley, Dawson, and Metcalf, two graphic novel biographies with Penguin Workshop, and an astronomy-themed picture book yet to be announced.
Fleur Bradley has loved puzzles and mysteries ever since she first discovered Agatha Christie novels. She’s the author of many short mysteries and mysteries for kids, including Midnight at the Barclay Hotel (Viking Children’s) and the Double Vision trilogy (as F.T. Bradley, Harper Children’s). Midnight at the Barclay Hotel was nominated for the Reading the West, Agatha and Anthony Awards, and recently won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award and the Colorado Book Award.
Fleur’s story The Perfect Alibi appears in Mystery Writers of America’s middle-grade anthology Super Puzzletastic Mysteries, edited by Chris Grabenstein. She regularly does author school and virtual visits, as well as librarian and educator conference talks on reaching reluctant readers. Originally from the Netherlands, she now lives in Colorado with her family, and entirely too many rescue animals. Find out more about Fleur at http://www.ftbradley.com
Jolene grew up on a farm in northeastern Colorado and now lives in a suburb of Denver, where she’s been a school librarian for 26 years. She spends her days sharing children’s books and her nights writing them. She’s a wife of 23 years and a mama to two young adults, three rescue dogs, and one rescue kitten. Jolene is represented by agent Kaitlyn Sanchez of Context Literary and is an active member of SCBWI and The Author’s Guild, a We Need Diverse Books mentorship finalist and a Writing with the Stars mentee. She is the author of Mac and Cheese and the Personal Space Invader (Clear Fork, 2020) and Bionic Beasts: Saving Lives with Artificial Flippers, Legs, and Beaks (Lerner, 2020). Learn more at http://www.jolenegutierrez.com.
Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then, she has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and published books for kids and teens, such as The Wish List series (Scholastic) and Just Like Rube Goldberg (Beach Lane Books), illustrated by Robert Neubecker. Forthcoming books include Brand New Bubbe (Charlesbridge) and a picture book biography of Bella Abzug, called Abzuglutely! (Calkins Creek, Boyds Mills & Kane).
When Sarah is not writing or reading (or practicing yoga or riding her bike), she is talking to readers about creativity, writing, social action, and of course, sparkle power! She loves working with other writers in one of her classes at the amazing Highlights Foundation or Writers on the Net. Warning: When she gets really excited, she makes funny faces and talks with her hands. Don’t be shocked if she talks about the power of play. She lives in Evanston, Illinois. Like tips? Subscribe to her weekly newsletter: http://www.saraharonson.com.
Nadia Salomon (nadiasalomon.com) is a children’s author writing on themes of South Asian and Caribbean culture, STEM, nonfiction, and humor. When not participating in her own goodnight rituals, Nadia can most likely be found curled up in her reading nook or spinning a silly yarn. Nadia is an award-winning journalist who has freelanced with The Boston Globe. She is the winner of the 2020 SCBWI Service Award and the 2019 SCBWI WOOP Honor Award for work of outstanding progress. Nadia lives in California with her family. This is her debut book. You can follow her on Twitter @Nadia_Salomonand on Instagram @nadiasalomon.author. (Feel free to cut it down. It’s from my official PRH Press Release.)
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez is a mom, wife, agent at Context Literary, middle school math teacher, and picture book author. She’s also the proud co-creator and co-host of the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest, creator and co-host of the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest, and co-creator co-host of Kidlit Zombie Week. In her free time, she loves to play soccer, binge-watch TV shows, and, of course, read, especially when she’s all cozied up with her husband and daughter reading together.
Lydia is the author of over thirty-five children’s books and thirty-two eBooks. Her latest STEM book, The Broken Bees’ Nest, was nominated for a CYBILS Award, and she’s a two time finalist for the #PBParty contest. Her background spans the fields of literature, science and puppetry.
Lydia is an active member of SCBWI, CANSCAIP, 12 x 12, The Authors Guild and QWF. She’s very involved in the kidlit community through her blog and newsletters, as well as on social media. Another passion of hers is fostering a love for literacy with children through the writing workshops she regularly offers in elementary schools through the Culture in the Schools program.