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The Council's membership comprises noted authors and illustrators of books for young readers, distinguished editors, agents, and academic professionals.

Marcie Aboff

Author. Specializes in picture books, beginning readers, chapter books and magazine stories. Marcie writes for both trade and educational publishers, fiction and nonfiction. Her newest trade books include four math ‘Read it Readers’ – The Pizza Palace, The Tallest Snowman, Mike’s Mystery and The Lemonade Standoff. Other trade books include: The Giant Jelly Bean Jar (A Garden State Book Award nominee), Uncle Willy’s Tickles, India, and Guatemala. Marcie has also written over two dozen educational books for guided and leveled reading programs. She is the author of licensed activity books for DreamWorks, Looney Tunes, Clifford—The Big Red Dog, Holly Hobbie, and others. Her short stories are featured in numerous children’s magazines including Highlights for Children, Spider and Children’s Playmate. Member: Authors Guild, SCBWI.

Paul Acampora

Author. Paul Acampora writes novels and short stories for young readers. Kids, parents and critics praise his work for its laugh-out-loud humor, rollicking dialogue, and heartfelt characters. His books include Defining Dulcie, Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face, and his newest novel, I Kill the Mockingbird (Roaring Brook Press), which is a comedy/caper about three friends who sabotage their summer reading list. Paul is a popular writing workshop leader for schools, libraries, and conferences. In his free time, he chases his children, builds cardboard robots, and adopts dogs.

Eve Adler

Senior Editor, Penguin Workshop, an imprint at Penguin Random House Children’s Books. Eve Adler works on a variety of formats for ages 0-12, and is interested in any projects for that age range. She's especially drawn to manuscripts/dummies that break the mold, and to books that will stand out in the marketplace. Prior to joining Penguin Workshop, Eve worked at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (Macmillan Children's Publishing Group), and in the adult imprint of G.P. Putnam's Sons (Penguin Random House).

Marc Aronson

Professor, editor, author. Marc has a doctorate in American History and has worked for the past 25 years as an editor and author of books for all readers who are not adults. His special passion is for nonfiction, and he was proud to win the first Robert F. Sibert Medal from the American Library Association for excellence in informational books, as well as an honor for best young adult books. He teaches in the MLIS program at Rutgers where, in addition to materials for children and for teenagers, he runs courses on ebooks and apps, and on the glories of nonfiction. He has two 2012 books: Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies; and The Skull in the Rock, which he co-wrote with Professor Lee Berger, the discoverer of a new species of human ancestor.

Rachelle Burk

Author. Children's Entertainer. Rachelle writes fiction and nonfiction for children ages 2-12. Her picture books include Don’t Turn the Page! and Tree House in a Storm. Her biography, Painting in the Dark: Esref Armagan, Blind Artist, received New York International Radio Show and Wilbur Awards honors, and her science-adventure novel, The Walking Fish, was named an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book. The Best Four Questions, a Passover picture book, will be released in 2019. Rachelle was a regular contributor to Scholastic Science World and other children's magazines. She is the founder of ResourcesForChildrensWriters.com, an award-winning library of help sites for kidlit writers. Rachelle entertains children as a clown and storyteller, and brings her Author Visit programs to elementary and preschools around the country.

Peter Catalanotto

Author/illustrator. Peter Catalanotto has written seventeen books for children, including Monkey & Robot, More of Monkey & Robot, The Newbies, Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All, Ivan the Terrier, Matthew A.B.C., and Emily’s Art, of which School Library Journal said in a starred review, “Whether viewed from afar or up close, this creative and heartfelt book is a masterpiece.” In 2008, First Lady Laura Bush commissioned Peter to illustrate the White House holiday brochure. He currently teaches the first children's book writing course offered by both Columbia University and Pratt Institute. Peter has illustrated more than thirty books for other writers including George Ella Lyon, Cynthia Rylant, Mary Pope Osborne, Joanne Ryder, Robert Burleigh and Megan McDonald.

Margery Cuyler

Author/Publishing Consultant. Margery Cuyler has held a number of executive publishing jobs throughout her 45-year career, including overseeing the Two Lions picture-book/middle-grade imprint at Amazon Publishing, becoming the children’s book/YA publisher at Marshall Cavendish, and serving as Vice President and Associate Publisher of Golden Books Family Entertainment, Vice President and Associate Publisher of Books for Young Readers at Henry Holt, Inc., and Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Holiday House, Inc. She is the author of 49 children’s books, including the classics That’s Good! That’s Bad!, The Biggest, Best Snowman, and 100th Day Worries. Her most recent books are The Little School Bus, The Little Dump Truck, Bullies Never Win, I Repeat, Don’t Cheat!, and a reissue of her chapter book, The Battlefield Ghost. She and her husband have three grown children and live in Lawrenceville, N.J. Margery retired from Amazon Publishing at the end of 2013 and is currently working on a young-adult novel as well as more picture books.

Linda Epstein

Agent, Emerald City Literary Agency. Linda represents picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, and nonfiction. She looks for manuscripts that make her laugh, cry, question, and think; stories that invite the reader to look at a familiar subject with new eyes; authors who are talented, professional, and serious about writing. Some of her clients include Bill Konigsberg, Natasha Sinel, M-E Girard, Joe McGee and Ruth Horowitz. When she’s not working Linda likes to travel, cook, go to the theater and movies, dabble in crafty projects, and write.

Lindsay Barrett George

Author/Illustrator. Lindsay specializes in picture books. Her books include: The Secret; Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse; My Bunny and Me; Around the Pond: Who's Been Here?; In the Woods: Who's Been Here?; Around the World: Who's Been Here?; and In the Snow: Who's Been Here?; Box Turtle at Long Pond, by William T. George; and Beaver at Long Pond, co-written by William T. George. Her books have received the following honors: American Bookseller "Pick of the List," Children's Literature Choice, Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children NSTA/CBC, and Library of Congress Children's Book of the Year. Member: SCBWI, Authors Guild, Audibon Society, Wayne County Arts Alliance, Penn Center.

Stacey Kendall Glick

Vice President, joined Dystel & Goderich Literary Management in 1999 after working in film and television development for five years at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Hearst Entertainment, where she looked for book projects to be adapted into movies. Stacey is also a former child actress who appeared on television, in theater, and in feature films. She has a wide-ranging and eclectic client list of adult and children’s authors that has grown and evolved over the years, as her life and interests have changed. On the children’s side, she represents middle grade and YA fiction, as well as select picture books, and she’d love to find the next Judy Blume and/or a nonfiction project along the lines of WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN’T BE DOCTORS? Some of Stacey’s children’s authors include Amy Plum, A.J. Hartley, Bethany Neal, Nicole McInnes, and author/illustrator Christie Matheson. Stacey lives in Northern New Jersey with her husband and 4 little girls (2 readers and 2 almost readers), and enjoys cooking and baking, sipping cocktails, taking pictures, shopping, theater, going to Mets games and eating chocolate, cheese and spicy tuna hand rolls (not necessarily in that order) when she can find the time.

Ben Grange

Agent. Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Ben worked all over the publishing industry. He started out at a small publishing company in Salt Lake City and proceeded to do internships at three literary agencies before his most recent position as the assistant at JABberwocky Literary Agency. He decided he wanted to be an agent after his first internship, and is excited to start actively pursing clients. His tastes gravitate towards middle grade fiction of all types, and is particularly on the lookout for exceptional author-illustrators who write middle grade or young adult. He has a penchant for young adult science fiction and fantasy, particularly weird or slightly dark stories (à la The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater). Middle grade fantasy is his mainstay. Thanks to his time at JABberwocky, he loves epic fantasy and science fiction, and although his focus is on middle grade and young adult, he won't say no to a great fantasy or sci-fi. He is also interested in pop culture non-fiction for authors with established platforms.

Vivian Grey Council Chair

Council Chair. Author. Editor. Teacher. Vivian is the founder of the One-on-One Plus Conference, she has been an active participant since its inception. An elected member of the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame, she is a lecturer at Temple University where she teaches, “Writing for the Children’s Market,” and other creative writing courses. Her award-winning titles have been included in numerous “notable” or “Best Books” lists. Her title, Roentgen’s Revolution: The Discovery of X-Rays, is in the Pennsylvania State Library’s Children’s Collection. Her recent biography about baseball legend, Moe Berg, The Spy Behind Home Plate: The Story of Moe Berg, is under option for TV or film.

Larissa Helena

Agent. Larissa Helena’s passion is fiction: between Rio de Janeiro, Paris and New York, her only certainty is that she wants to be around books. Larissa has been an Executive Editor, a Translator, a Researcher, a Foreign Rights Manager and is now an Agent at Pippin Properties, where she's building her client list. She’s open to books for children of all ages, including your inner child, and is looking primarily for diverse narratives – voices rarely seen in literature, unconventional stories, quirky characters.

Lisa Jahn-Clough

Author. Illustrator. Professor. Lisa Jahn-Clough specializes in picture books and young adult novels. Her first book, Alicia Has a Bad Day, published in 1994 and still in print, was recently developed into an Itunes app. To date, Lisa has published twelve picture books, including, My Friend and I, Missing Molly, Little Dog, and A Tale of Two Bunnies, and three young adult novels, Country Girl/City Girl, Me Penelope, and most recently, Nothing But Blue. Her books have received honors from Bank Street College, Child Magazine, Parent's Choice, Raising Readers, the Libra Foundation, and EW.com. Her current project is in collaboration with her husband, the author-illustrator, Ed Briant, on a series of Green Light Readers for Houghton Harcourt. Lisa has an MFA from Emerson College and has taught at Emerson, the Maine College of Art, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Hamline University. She is now assistant professor at Rowan University where she teaches creative writing, writing children’s stories and the graphic novel.

Denise Lang

Author. Producer. Teacher. Denise is an award-winning investigative reporter, editor & author, with books ranging from YA nonfiction to health/family issues and true crime for adult readers.  Denise Lang is also a television producer. She has been a guest on shows ranging from Oprah to CBS This Morning, and her producing credits include the national shows Court TV’s Parco P.I., Ambush Makeover, ShipmatesJudge Mills Lane, Day & Date and Dateline.Denise’s adult books include A Call for JusticeThe Dark Son;Coping with Lyme DiseaseHow to Stop Your Relatives from Driving You Crazy, and The Phantom Spouse. Young adult titles include But Everyone Looks So Sure of Themselves, a New York Public Library’s selection to the Permanently Recommended list, andFootsteps in the Ocean. Denise has served as a judge for the Emmy Awards for Children’s Television Programming for 3 years and is an Adjunct Professor for the NYU College of Continuing and Professional Education.

Tara Lazar

Author.  Tara Lazar specializes in picture books. Her debut The Monstore was released by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster in 2013 and she has since published five more books, including 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story from Disney-Hyperion, a semi-finalist for the 2018 Irma Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature. She currently has six more books under contract. Tara founded Storystorm, the NaNoWriMo equivalent for picture book writers, held every January on her award-winning blog at taralazar.com. She is a former One-on-One Plus Conference mentee and Success Story speaker.

Wendy Mass

Author. Wendy Mass’s books for young readers have been translated into 12 languages and nominated for 40 state book awards. Her first, A Mango-Shaped Space, was awarded the Schneider Family Book Award. Others include Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of LifeEvery Soul a Star11 Birthdays and The Candymakers. Wendy also supplied the storyline for an episode of the TV show Monk entitled "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theatre," which aired during the show's second season. She lives in Sparta, New Jersey.

Denise Dowling Mortensen

Author. Denise specializes in rhyming picture books. Her titles include Good Night Engines (2003), an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award-winner; Ohio Thunder (2006); Wake Up Engines(2007); a board book/flip book combination of Good Night Engines/Wake Up Engines (2011); and Bug Patrol (2013). From a very young age, she developed a passion for words after listening to lyrical verse read to her at bedtime. She has worked at CBS News and Conde Nast Publications, and has done freelance copyediting and proofreading for a publisher of children’s non-fiction books.  She currently teaches young author’s workshops for elementary school students. Member of SCBWI, Editorial Freelancer’s Association and NJEA.

Jim Murphy

Author. Jim Murphy specializes in nonfiction and fiction dealing with American history for elementary age children through young adults. Among his many critically acclaimed works are An American PlagueInside the AlamoBlizzard!West to a Land of PlentyThe Great FireThe Boys' War, and The Long Road to Gettysburg. He has received two ALA Newbery Honor Awards, the ALA Robert F. Sibert Award, as well as a Sibert Honor Book Award; three NCTE Orbis Pictus Awards; the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and a Boston-Globe-Horn Book Honor Book Award; two SCBWI Golden Kite Awards; The Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Award; the James Madison Book Award; three Virginia Library Association Jefferson Cup Awards, and been a Finalist for the National Book Award.

Trinka Hakes Noble

Author. Is the award-winning author of numerous picture books including:  Apple Tree Christmas (which she wrote and illustrated),  The Scarlet Stockings Spy (IRA Teacher’s Choice, 2005),  The Last Brother (2006),  The Legend of Michigan(2006), and The Legend of the Cape May Diamond (2007). Her newest titles are: The Pennsylvania Reader (2007), The Orange Shoes (IRA Teacher’s Choice 2008), and the New Jersey Reader (2009) published by Sleeping Bear Press.  Ms. Noble also wrote the ever-popular Jimmy’s Boa series, illustrated by Steven Kellogg, and Meanwhile back at the Ranch, both featured on PBS’s Reading Rainbow.  Her many awards include ALA Notable Children’s book, Booklist Children’s Editors Choice, IRA-CBC Children’s Choice, Learning: The Year’s Ten Best, and several Junior Literary Guild Selections. She was awarded Outstanding Woman in Arts and Letters in the state of New Jersey for her lifetime work in children’s books.

Rachel Orr

Agent, Prospect Agency.  Rachel represents a wide range of children’s book authors, including those who write board books, picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels and YA novels.  She also launched Prospect Agency’s artist representation service and is pleased to represent eight very talented illustrators. Some of Rachel’s clients include Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, A.C.E. Bauer, Cori Doerrfeld and Leeza Hernandez. Prior to joining Prospect Agency in 2007, Rachel worked as an editor for eight years at HarperCollins Children’s Books.

Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Author. With 15 books (twelve novels and three picture books) published In her first lucky 7 years as an author, Coleen is best known for her 1/2 million selling debut novel The Wedding Planner's Daughter (Simon&Schuster), which launched a popular tween series, published internationally, soon to be an ABC Original Family Movie. The sixth "Willa book," From Willa, With Love, (Scholastic Press), was published this year. Her novel, Sunny Holiday, (Scholastic Press), was named a New York Public Library "Best Book" and a Bank Street College "Best Book"" and the sequel, Sweet and Sunny, was an ALA Notable. Her picture book, 26 Big Things Small Hands Do, (Free Spirit), won a Creative Child "Seal of Excellence" and iParenting Media Award. A popular conference speaker and writing workshop leader, Coleen loves doing school visits where she talks about catching inspiration like fireflies in a mayonnaise jar. Coleen's next novel, DREAMSLEEVES, (Scholastic Press), Spring 2012, is about a girl who believes if you have a dream you should wear it on your sleeve for the world to see. Coleen pitched what would be her first published book to an editor here at the Rutgers Conference and two years later was the "Success Story" speaker. "If you can dream it, you can do it. Three cheers for Rutger's, hoorah!!"

Wendy Pfeffer

Wendy Pfeffer has had forty-seven children’s books published. Wendy comes by writing and her love of words naturally since her grandfather was an author as well as a doctor.  Her father was a math professor, with a hobby that focused on the origin of words and phrases.  A Log’s Life, (Simon and Schuster) won the Jon Burroughs Nature Books for Young Readers Award, The Giverny Award for the Best Children’s Science Book and the International Gold Medal for Creative Illustrative Excellence.  It showcases the forest ecosystem with lyrical text and stunning paper sculptures.  Other  Awards include Book List, Banks Street’s Best Children’s Books, Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best, American Bookseller’s Pick of the List, and NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children. Various titles are From Tadpole to Frog, What’s it Like to Be a Fish, Wiggling Worms at Work, and Dolphin Talk, (HarperCollins). A fascinating four book series begins with The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice (Dutton).  Wendy’s books are in Spanish, Chinese and Korean.  Wendy enjoys visiting schools where she makes presentations and conducts writing workshops.  She is a member of the SCBWI, Bucks County Authors of Books for Children, and The Authors Guild. 

Annette Pollert-Morgan

Editorial Director, Bloomsbury Children’s. Annette Pollert-Morgan acquires young adult and middle-grade fiction, as well as the occasional nonfiction project and memoir. Annette is looking for books based in (or out!) of reality with strong protagonists, inventive hooks, and captivating storytelling. She seeks manuscripts that create—and validate—the teen experience in all of its diversity, and is particularly drawn to issue-driven novels, suspense, coming-of-age romance, and stories that leave you feeling more than when you started. Prior to joining Bloomsbury, she was the Editorial Director of Sourcebooks Fire where she worked with Marieke Nijkamp on her New York Times bestselling This is Where it Ends and Before I Let Go, as well as Natasha Preston’s New York Times bestselling The Cabin. She was also the editor for Rin Chupeco’s acclaimed The Bone Witch trilogy, Chelsea Sedoti’s As You Wish, and Juno Dawson’s This Book is Gay (nonfiction), among others.

Mary Riskind

Author, Librarian. Mary Riskind specializes in middle grade fiction. Her books include Apple Is My Sign, an ALA Notable Book; Wildcat Summer, named to the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age; and Follow That Mom!, starred in School Library Journal (all from Houghton Mifflin) She has also written plays for the educational market. Retired director of the Bergenfield Public Library in Bergenfield, New Jersey, and former Library Services coordinator for the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS), Riskind is a past president of BCCLS and has held leadership roles in New Jersey library organizations serving children, young adults and adults throughout her career. Member: SCBWI, Authors Guild.

Brian Schatell

Illustrator. Author. Brian Schatell has written and/or illustrated numerous picture books, including Two Crazy Pigs; the Farmer Goff series, and Pup and Pop, his first collaboration with his wife, author Jane Gerver. His work has been recognized by School Library Journal Best Books and IRA-CBC Children’s Choice Awards and others. For twelve years he taught children’s book writing and illustration at Parsons School of Design. Brian also illustrates extensively for the children's apparel industry. His latest book, Owl Boy, is published by Holiday House.

Lyn Sirota

Author. Lyn Sirota is the author of 20 non-fiction children's books and many articles and poems in popular children's magazines likeHighlights, Spider, Ladybug, Hopscotch and Boy's Quest to name just a few. She has authored Science Weekly issues at all grade levels about: Birds, Hot Springs, Whales, Poisonous Animals and Rats. She wrote a career series for Next Step Magazine and an information technology career profile in American Careers Magazine. Her book, Capitol, was part of a series that won the Teacher's Choice award. Sirota is an active member of her local and national Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a literacy volunteer in her community.

Pamela Curtis Swallow

Author. Pamela Curtis Swallow specializes in elementary, middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. Her books include:Groundhog Gets a Say (Penguin Putnam/Scholastic); It Only Looks Easy (Roaring Brook Press/Scholastic); The four-book Melvil and Dewey Series (Libraries Unlimited); A Writer’s Notebook(Scholastic); Wading through Peanut Butter (Scholastic); No Promises (Putnam/Scholastic); and Leave It to Christy (Putnam/ Scholastic). Pam's most recent book is a biography entitled The Remarkable Life and career of Ellen Swallow Richards -- Pioneer in Science and Technology (John Wiley & Sons). Ellen Swallow was America's first degreed female scientist and she founded Ecology as a science.  Pam’s books are included on several state award lists.  She is a former school librarian and is a member of SCBWI, Authors Guild, River Stone Writers, Bucks County Authors of Books for Children, and the New Jersey Educational Associaton.

Jennifer Thermes

Author. Illustrator. Map illustrator. Jennifer specializes in picture books, and also creates illustrated maps for books and magazines. Her work has received a Kirkus starred review, been included in several Bank Street College lists, and been recognized in 3×3 Magazine’s Children’s Illustration Annual. A Horn Book Magazine review for the middle-grade novel Maggie & Oliver described her black and white art as “warm pencil drawings reminiscent of Lois Lenski.” She has also created maps for books such as The Vine Basket, The Water Seeker, and Revolution Is Not A Dinner Party. Jennifer’s next book, Charles Darwin’s Around-the-World Adventure, will be released by Abrams Books for Young Readers in October 2016.

Nancy Viau

Author. Nancy specializes in fiction for children ages 2-12. Her picture books include City Street Beat, Look What I Can Do! and Storm Song. Two additional picture books are forthcoming. She is also the author of the novels Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head and Just One Thing! A third novel, Beauty and Bernice, will be published in 2018, and the next book in the Samantha Hansen series hits shelves in 2019. She is the founder of the KidLit Authors Club, a group of 22 children’s book authors who band together to appear at bookstores, libraries, festivals, and conferences. A former teacher and kid-at-heart, she often visits elementary schools to share her journey to publication and the writing process. Nancy is employed by the Cape May County (NJ) Library System as an assistant librarian, and when not reading or writing, she hikes, bikes, and travels wherever her frequent flyer miles take her. Nancy has been both mentee and mentor at past One-on-One Plus Conferences.

Marietta Zacker

Agent and Partner, Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency. Marietta has professionally experienced every aspect of children’s books for over 15 years, working with authors, illustrators, publishers, educators and readers. As an agent at the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, she is passionate about bringing those worlds together. She represents authors whose work make her pause, shiver or laugh out loud and illustrators who add a completely different dimension to the story being told. Marietta approaches her work with the knowledge that there are remarkable books of all genres, targeted to all ages, just waiting to be discovered. Aside from her work as an agent she is also the Book Curator at Sparkhouse, an independent toy store & bookstore in South Orange, NJ.

Former Council Members

Gail Aaron, Caroline Abbey, Tracey Adams, Stacey Barney, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Rob Blake, Courtney Bongiolatti, Pat Brisson, Denise Brunkus, Virginia Buckley, Joan Carris, Dennis Cate, Barbara Cohen, Floyd Cooper, Kathy Dawson, Harry Devlin, Wendy Devlin, Lisa Rowe Fraustino, Patricia Lee Gauch, Waller Hastings, Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Martha Hewson, Lenny Hort, Pamela Jane, Michael Joseph, Cynthia Kane, Leslie Kaufmann, Sally Keehn, Beverly Komoda, Elizabeth Law, David Lubar, Stephanie Owens Lurie, Janet Taylor Lisle, Kevin Lewis, Dorothy Markinko, Joyce McDonald, Samantha McFerrin, Walter Dean Myers, Dianne Ochiltree, Gail Parris, Penny Pollock, Linda Pratt, Deborah Kogan Ray, Karen Rostoker-Gruber, Keith Robertson, Sarah Sevier, Lena Shiffman, Carol Snyder, Judith St. George, Nicole St. John, Kay Vandergrift, Edie Weinberg, Tina Wexler, Refna Wilkin, Rita Williams-Garcia, Kay Winters, Thomas F. Yezerski and Emellia Zamani.

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