Greetings kidlit community!
We’re thrilled to see so many positive comments and so much excitement about our fourth edition of #FallWritingFrenzy. Many of you were inspired by the photos, and are well on your way with crafting your entries.
We also know you must be curious about the awesome 2022 prize donors. Kaitlyn Sanchez (Fall Writing Frenzy creator and co-host) and I, Lydia Lukidis (Fall Writing Frenzy co-host) are proud to unveil this group of talented editors, agents, authors and author-illustrators, all ready to share their expertise and knowledge with you, including our wonderful guest judge Alyssa Reynoso-Morris who is also generously donating a prize! Feel free to send the prize donors support in any way you can by checking out their websites, buying their books, reviewing their books, and 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 about the contest, please subscribe to Lydia’s blog on the right side of this page where it says “follow,” as well as Kaitlyn’s blog: https://kaitlynleannsanchez.com/blog/. For the official rules for 2022, please click HERE.
And now for the exciting part…here are the #FallWritingFrenzy 2022 prize donors!
In college, Elizabeth Law dreamed of becoming a children’s book editor, and so she moved to New York upon graduation and did just that. She worked at Viking Children’s Books for 18 years, starting as an Editorial Assistant and rising to Associate Publisher, then at Simon & Schuster and Egmont USA as Publisher before holding her current position at Holiday House as Senior Editor of Backlist and Special Projects. Elizabeth has a soft spot for contemporary middle grade and young adult fiction in particular, such as debut novelist Polly Farquhar’s Itch or Dan Gutman’s Houdini and Me. She also likes anything funny or scary, and picture books on unusual or interesting topics. Finally, she always has a soft spot for doll and dollhouse books. She runs a freelance editorial business on weekends at Elawreads.com, and tweets a lot about the children’s books @elawreads.
Donation: BB, PB, MG, YA, or NF critique of 5-10 pages via Zoom
Irene Vázquez is an Assistant Editor and Publicist at Levine Querido. Irene graduated from Yale with a BA in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and English. Irene read the Percy Jackson series out of order in elementary school by accident and has been passionate about children’s books ever since. Outside of LQ, Irene is a poet and journalist who likes drinking coffee, watching Queen Sugar and reminding folks that the South has something to say.
Donation: MG, YA, or NF critique of 1-2 pages or a 30-minute Zoom
The most important thing to know about Dainese is that she loves stories centered in warmth and joy, particularly when they’re being told by and focus on historically underrepresented folks. Her sweet spot is contemporary romance; having been raised on romcoms and Asian dramas, she’s a sucker for meet-cutes, crush energy, and things that are fun and frothy. Generally, she loves kids who march to the beat of their own drum, misfits who band together, and friendships that feel a lot like being in love. Like an onion or a parfait, she’s got layers—she’s a fan of both sweet, fluffy romance as well as spine-tingling horror. Superstitious by blood, she especially loves folklore rooted in the traditions of underrepresented cultures; but, as with everything else regarding her taste, there must be joy and warmth at its center.
If on the off chance you’d like to chat with her about something other than books, Dainese can talk your ear off about: being Californian (specifically, Southern Californian); K-pop; anime and manga; improv comedy podcasts; “the moviesh”; and her numerous rarepair, never-canon ships. Find her on Twitter @chanceofdain.
Donation: YA critique of 5-10 pages
Feather Flores joined Atheneum in 2022 after a four-year stint at Chronicle Books. She works on smart, joyful picture books; middle grade romps with coming-of-age themes; and bold, open-hearted YA that reimagines everything our identities can be. Her list encompasses fiction and nonfiction, with an emphasis on stories by, about, and for people from marginalized communities.
Across the board, Feather gravitates to voice- and character-driven narratives with high-concept plots and solid command of their readers’ emotional responses. She champions books that challenge and inspire; provide hope and comfort; and depict the beauty and diversity of the human experience—the humor, the complexity, the curiosity, the magic. Anything that encourages young readers to be more fully and unapologetically themselves, she wants to see it.
Feather edits from the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find her expressing endless enthusiasm on Twitter @featherfully and explore her full manuscript wishlist at featherflores.com.
Donation: PB, YA, GN, or NF critique of 5-10 pages
Lauri Hornik is the President and Publisher of Rocky Pond Books, Penguin Young Readers’ newest imprint, launching in January 2023. She began her career at Houghton Mifflin Children’s Books and has since held positions at Bantam Doubleday Dell and Dial Books for Young Readers, most recently as Publisher. In her time at Dial, she edited the National Book Award Finalists A River Between Us by Richard Peck and The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin; New York Times Bestsellers The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak and Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan; Caldecott Honor Book One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo and David Small; Coretta Scott King Honor Books How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson and The Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston and Jerry Pinkney; Sydney Taylor Book Award winner Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder; Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Books It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee and The Best Man by Richard Peck; and Sibert Honor Book Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery.
Donation: PB, MG, YA, or GN critique of 5-10 pages
Taryn Albright is an editor at KiwiCo Press. In over a decade of editorial roles, she has worked with bestselling and award-winning authors on everything from board books to children’s nonfiction to YA fantasy to adult romance, and her favorite type of book changes based on the day. She lives and swims in the Bay Area.
Donation: BB, PB, CB, MG, YA, GN, or NF critique of 5-10 pages
Jen Arena started out as a bookseller at a children’s-only independent bookstore in Pennsylvania. After college, she made her way to New York City and children’s book publishing, working first as an editorial assistant, then editor, and finally editorial director for publishers Putnam, Golden Books, and Random House. She’s now a full-time author and freelance editor. Her books include Acorn Was a Little Wild (S&S), Besos for Baby (Little Brown), Lady Liberty’s Holiday (Knopf), Marta! Big and Small (Roaring Brook), and Big Green Garage (Chronicle). Jen lives in Tampa, Florida.
Donation: BB, PB, or CB critique of 5-10 pages
Miranda Paul is an award-winning author of more than fifteen fiction and nonfiction books for children. Four of her books have been named Junior Library Guild selections and her book Whose Hands Are These? was a 2017 ILA Teacher’s Choice. Her 2019 book Nine Months, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Jason Chin released in four languages and was named a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for Nonfiction in 2019. Little Libraries, Big Heroes chronicles the Little Free Library movement and the legacy of founder Todd Bol, and her editorial debut, Thanku: Poems of Gratitude, features poems from 32 celebrated children’s writers. Miranda is a frequent presenter at schools and libraries around the world, and has presented at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center with environmental activist Isatou Ceesay. She is an annual faculty member at the Highlights Foundation and a co-founding member of the nonprofit organization We Need Diverse Books.
Miranda is also a literary agent at Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
Donation: BB or NF critique of 5-10 pages via Zoom
Adria Goetz is a senior literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency representing picture books, middle grade, adult fiction, and graphic novels. She specializes in picture books by author/illustrators. Adria has eclectic taste but particularly enjoys projects that are tinged with magic, have so much heart you can practically hear their heartbeat, and have a compelling, commercial hook. She was recently proud to represent THE OCEAN CALLS, which received four starred reviews, and THE WHATIFS by Emily Kilgore which made the shortlist for Barnes & Noble’s 2020 Best Picture Book Award. Adria lives in an old Victorian farmhouse in Washington state with her husband and their cats, Maple and Mulberry. You can find her detailed manuscript wishlist at adriagoetz.com and you can find her on Twitter at @adriamgoetz and on Instagram at @adriagoetz.
Donation: PB or MG critique of 5-10 pages
Ameerah Holliday (She/Her) 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 and currently serves as social media manager for Ebb & Flow Publications and associate agent for Serendipity Literary Agency. In addition, she also serves as the editorial director for the San Diego Poetry Annual and editor for Kids! San Diego Poetry Annual.
Donation: CB, MG, YA, or NF critique of 5-10 pages
Alyssa Reynoso-Morris (also guest judge)
Alyssa Reynoso-Morris is a queer Afro-Latinx/e Dominican and Puerto Rican writer, mother, and community organizer. Alyssa was born and raised in The Bronx, New York, and currently lives in Philadelphia, PA with her partner and daughter. During the day she works with community members, non-profit organizations, and government officials to make the world a better place. Then she puts her writer’s hat on to craft heartfelt stories about home, family, food, and the fun places she has been. She hopes you enjoy her stories.
Donation: BB or PB critique of 5-10 pages
Marcie Colleen has been a teacher, an actress, and a nanny, but now she’s a multi-published author of children’s books, including the Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series and picture books such as LOVE, TRIANGLE illustrated by Bob Shea, PENGUINAUT! illustrated by Emma Yarlett, THE BEAR’S GARDEN illustrated by Alison Oliver, and her latest picture book, her first nonfiction title, SURVIVOR TREE, illustrated by Caldecott Honor Winner Aaron Becker which is a lyrical story of the real-life pear tree which withstood the attacks of September 11th in New York City.
Marcie’s books have garnered many accolades and awards. LOVE, TRIANGLE was named a 2018 Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Book. In 2019, PENGUINAUT! was voted One Book Colorado and over 75,000 copies were distributed to every four-year-old in Colorado. THE BEAR’S GARDEN was given a coveted starred review from Kirkus. And SURVIVOR TREE, received a total of four starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, the Horn Book, Booklist, and Kirkus and was also named a 2022 Notable Social Studies Trade Book from the National Council for Social Studies, a 2022 Children’s Choice book from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a Bank Street College Best Book of 2022, a 2021 Best Nonfiction Picture Book by the Nerdy Book Club and was named a prestigious ALA 2022 Notable Book.
In addition to writing books of her own, Marcie is also a Senior Writer/Editor for Epic! where she writes across many formats including comics within the CAT NINJA Universe.
Donation: PB, CB, or GN critique of 5-10 pages
Ana Siqueira is an award-winning author from Brazil who cackles but doesn’t wear hats. When not flying with brujas, she teaches Spanish to adorable little ones, where she casts a learning spell that nobody can resist.
Some of her books are BELLA’S RECIPE FOR DISASTER/SUCCESS (Beaming Books, 2021) IF YOUR BABYSITTER IS A BRUJA/ CUANDO TU NIÑERA ES UNA BRUJA (SimonKids,2022), BOITATA: SNAKE OF FIRE (Capstone 2023), ABUELA’S SUPER CAPA/LA SUPERCAPA DE ABUELA (HarperCollins 2023), OUR WORLD BRAZIL (Barefoot 2023), ROOM IN MAMI’S CORAZON (HarperCollins 2024).
Ana is also a Global Educator, a PBS Media Innovator, and an Apple teacher.
She lives in Tampa with her Cuban husband. Her favorite hobby is playing with her Cuban-Brazilian-American grandkids
Donation: BB or PB critique of 5-10 pages
Lynne Marie is the author of several books, including The Star of the Christmas Play (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares, (Sterling/Scholastic 2019), Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World (Beaming Books 2019), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project (Mac and Cheese Press 2022), The Three Little Pigs and the Rocket Project Coloring Book (Mac and Cheese Press 2022), and The Palace Rat (Yeehoo Press), forthcoming. She’s also the Owner and Administrator of RateYourStory.org. Visit her at http://www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com.
Donation: BB or PB critique of 5-10 pages
Charlene Chua (she/they) is the illustrator of several picture books, including Pinkie Promises by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the Amy Wu book series. She is also the author-illustrator of Hug? Her illustration work has won several awards, while books she has illustrated have been nominated for OLA Blue Spruce & Silver Birch, Lambda Literary Awards, USBBY Outstanding International Books, Shining Willow Award, and others. When they are not making art, they enjoy cooking, reading, and playing with their cats. Charlene now lives with her husband (and cats!) in Hamilton, Ontario.
Donation: critique of a PB dummy
Kirsten used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes books for curious kids. She is the author of several nonfiction picture books, as well as a forthcoming middle grade graphic nonfiction. She’s also a popular instructor at THE WRITING BARN and an insightful book coach. Learn more about Kirsten’s books, classes, and coaching at kirsten-w-larson.com. And don’t miss her monthly newsletter for bookish news and activities, writing tips, giveaways, and more.
Donation: PB, GN, or NF critique of 5-10 pages
Ebony Lynn Mudd
Ebony Lynn Mudd writes picture books and novels for underrepresented kids who don’t see themselves portrayed positively in the media. She has two unannounced picture books coming soon and is represented by Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Ebony spends her time fighting fiercely against inequalities, toxic masculinity, and gender stereotypes. As a former professional dancer and current owner of a tuition-free dance company, she is a bridge for underprivileged kids that hope to work in the arts. She’s energized by the creative freedom that choreographing moves to music gives her and often compares it to creating stories on a blank page. Her other interests include all-you-can-eat sushi, quoting Phoebe from the T.V. show FRIENDS, and eating anything edible that she didn’t have to cook. She is a member of the admin team for Black Creators HQ, a co-founder of the PB Rising Stars Mentorship program, and the creator of The Voice Roadmap, a multi-course system for picture book creators.
Donation: PB critique of 5-10 pages
Jocelyn Rish is a writer and filmmaker who loves researching weird and wonderful animals and sharing what she learns. Her first book was BATTLE OF THE BUTTS, about ten animals that do weird things with their butts. Her next book is BATTLE OF THE BRAINS and will release this November. When she’s not writing, she tutors kids to help them discover the magic of reading. Jocelyn has won numerous awards for her short stories, screenplays, films, and novels and lives in South Carolina with her dogs. Learn more at jocelynrish.com.
Donation: PB or NF critique of 5-10 pages
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.
Donation: BB, PB, CB, MG, or YA critique of 5-10 pages
Lydia Lukidis is the author of 50+ trade and educational books for children. Her titles include DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench (Capstone, 2023), THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST (Kane Press, 2019) which was nominated for a Cybils Award, and NO BEARS ALLOWED (Clear Fork Media, 2019). A science enthusiast from a young age, she now incorporates her studies in science and her everlasting curiosity into her books.
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.
Donation: BB, PB, CB, NF, or GN critique of 5-10 pages
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!