2016 Kidlit Summer School Faculty

The Board of Education:


Co-Founder of Kidlit Summer School

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is an award-winning children’s book author whose books include Duck Duck Moose (a CBC Children’s Choice Award Finalist), Tyrannosaurus Wrecks (a Junior Library Guild Selection), Orangutangled, and Chicks Run Wild. She in the founder of Kidlit Writing School and frequently speaks about the craft of writing at schools and conferences all around the world. You can learn more about her and her books on her website www.sudipta.com or at her blog www.NerdyChicksRule.com where she blogs with Kami.

Co-founder of Kidlit Summer Schol

Co-founder of Kidlit Summer Schol

Kami Kinard is the author of The Boy Problem  and The Boy Project, which is being newly released in paperback July 2016 as part of Scholastic’s WISH series. Her poetry, stories, articles, and essays have appeared in numerous periodicals for children and adults. In addition to her professional critiquing services, she is a SCBWI mentor, and often leads writing workshops at conferences and in schools. You can visit her at www.kamikinard.com or at the blog she shares with Sudipta, www.NerdyChicksRule.com.

BOOKS RULE photo (1)Marcie Colleen is a former classroom teacher turned picture book author. Her forthcoming picture books include The Adventure of the Penguinaut (Scholastic) and Love, Triangle (Balzer+Bray / HarperCollins). She is a frequent presenter at conferences for SCBWI, as well as a faculty member of Kidlit Writing School. Visit her on the web at www.thisismarciecolleen.com.

DawnDawn Young has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA. After leaving the corporate world to raise her children, Dawn’s creative spirit called her to a career in writing. Dawn also assists Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen with her KidLit Picture Book A-Z courses, and tutors math. You can visit Dawn’s blog at http://pbookcrazy.com/

leeza 2015Leeza Hernandez is a picture book illustrator-author who spends her creative time noodling around with story ideas and printmaking in her studio. She is Regional Advisor for New Jersey SCBWI and her latest illustrated book and third in the Homework series Eat Your U.S. History Homework (Charlesbridge) releases in October. Visit her on the web at leezaworks.com


Our Art Director

BonnieAdamson-2016 b&wBonnie Adamson Bonnie Adamson is the illustrator of Bedtime Monster and the “I Wish” series of picture books for Raven Tree Press, as well as Rutabaga Boo!, written by the lovely and talented Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and due in Spring 2017 from Atheneum. Visit Bonnie at www.bonnieadamson.com.


Our Fabulous Faculty (More faculty and more photos coming soon!)


AllenC_headshotCrystal Allen is the author of How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won A Bubba-Sized Trophy, The Laura Line, and The Magnificent Mya Tibbs – Spirit Week Showdown, all published by Balzer and Bray. Her next book, The Magnificent Mya Tibbs – The Wall of Fame Game, will launch on January 30, 2017. Crystal lives in Sugar Land, Texas with her husband, Reggie, two sons, Phillip and Joshua, and very loveable dog, Angel.

tom AnglebergerTom Angleberger has been a newspaper reporter and columnist, juggler, weed boy, lawn mower part assembler, and biology research assistant. He is the bestselling author of many funny books including the Origami Yoda Series, Fake Mustache, The Qwikpick Papers: Poop Fountain!, and more. Visit his website to see find out more about Tom and his books. http://origamiyoda.com/

1425737_10151884607793880_803966058_nKristine Carlson Asselin writes Young Adult and Middle-Grade fiction. Her YA novel Any Way You Slice It (Bloomsbury Spark) is currently available and her debut middle-grade, The Art of the Swap (co-authored with Jen Malone) has recently sold to Simon and Schuster for publication in 2017. Kristine is also the author of sixteen nonfiction children’s books for the elementary school library market. Kris does query package critiques under the alter-ego @QueryGodMother and loves doing school visits for kids all over New England.

SwansonM_BehrR_headshotRobbi Behr and Matthew Swanson: Husband/wife, author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr have collaborated to create the picture books Babies Ruin Everything (July 2016) and Everywhere, Wonder (February 2017) and the middle grades series The Real McCoys (Fall 2017), all with Macmillan Kids. In addition to speaking and leading workshops on collaboration and creative entrepreneurship, they have produced three small children and more than 70 self-published picture books for children and adults.

John Claude Bemis author photo 2015John Claude Bemis is the award-winning author of five middle grade novels and one picture book. His latest fantasy-adventure is The Wooden Prince, the first book in Out of Abaton series from Disney-Hyperion. John served as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature. He lives in Hillsborough, NC.


CordellM_headshotMatthew Cordell has illustrated many books for children including Special Delivery by Philip C. Stead, a Washington Post best book of 2015. He is the author and illustrator of several picture books including Trouble Gum, Another Brother, Wish, and Hello! Hello!, a New York Times Notable Children’s Book. Matthew lives outside of Chicago with his wife, author Julie Halpern, and their two children. Visit him online at matthewcordell.com.

mimi crossMimi Cross is an author, singer, and songwriter. Grammy award–winning artist Rosanne Cash has described Cross’s writing and singing as “Fusing delicacy and power, heart and gut. Inspiring, evocative, and refreshing.” Cross received a bachelor of music from Ithaca College and an MA from New York University and is the creator of Body of Writing, a practice combining yoga and writing that boosts creativity. Her debut novel, Before Goodbye, was published by Skyscape. She resides with her young son in New Jersey.

FalatkoJ_headshotJulie Falatko debut picture book is Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book), illustrated by Tim Miller (Viking). She is also the author of The Society of Underrepresented Animals, illustrated by Charles Santoso (Viking, 2018), and Help Wanted: One Rooster (Viking, 2019).


FunkJ_headshotJosh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books like Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, Pirasaurs!, Dear Dragon, and more. Josh, a board member of The Writers’ Loft and co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 NESCBWI Conferences, is a software engineer. When not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes picture book manuscripts.

KirschnerJ_headshotBy day, Jason Kirschner is a set designer for television, with credits that include The Meredith Vieira Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Late Show with David Letterman. By night, Jason is an author and illustrator of children’s books, including his debut picture book, Mr. Particular: The World’s Choosiest Champion. He lives in New Jersey, with his finicky veterinarian wife, persnickety twins, and ridiculously choosy cats. He is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and Childrens Book Illustrator Group (CBIG).

LazarT_headshotTara Lazar loves writing bios that make her sound witty and interesting, but often fails. Her picture books play with puns, irreverent humor and irresistible characters. NORMAL NORMAN, featuring a nerdy purple orangutan, released this spring from Sterling. Tara is the founder of Picture Book Idea Month, affectionately known as PiBoIdMo. She is a RUCCL council member and a speaker at SCBWI events. Tara guffaws with a unique laugh that is often mocked by her two daughters and husband. If you’d like to bribe her, Manchego cheese and Rice Krispie Treats will do the trick.

kellyheadshot (1)Kelly Starling Lyons is a children’s book author whose mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her books include chapter book, NEATE: Eddie’s Ordeal; CCBC Choices-honored picture book, One Million Men and Me; Ellen’s Broom, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book, Junior Library Guild and Bank Street Best selection and Tea Cakes for Tosh and Hope’s Gift, Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Her latest picture book is One More Dino on the Floor. Learn more about Kelly at www.kellystarlinglyons.com.
 Jen MaloneJen Malone writes fun and flirty YA travel romances with HarperCollins and humorous “girl power” MG adventures with Simon & Schuster. Her 2016 titles include The Sleepover (MG) and Wanderlost (YA). She once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. You can learn more about Jen and her books at http://www.jenmalonewrites.com. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @jenmalonewrites.

mass-home-portraitWendy Mass is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels for young people (which have been translated into 20 languages and nominated for 76 state book awards), including A Mango-Shaped SpaceLeap Day, the Twice Upon a Time fairy tale series, Every Soul a Star11 Birthdays, Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, and FinallyThe Candymakers , and 13 Gifts. Her latest books are The Last Present, Pi in the Sky, and a new early reader series called Space Taxi. She lives with her family in New Jersey.


photo credit: Jamie Allen

Terra Elan McVoy is the author of six acclaimed YA novels and two middle grade, most recently This Is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker from Katherine Tegen Books. She is also an independent bookseller and creative writing instructor, and lives in Atlanta GA with her husband and a lot of shoes. To learn more about Terra and her books visit http://terraelan.com

PetruckR_headshotRebecca Petruck’s debut Steering Toward Normal is an American Booksellers Association New Voice and a Kids Indie Next List title. Vanity Fair’s Hollywood and the L.A. Times also have spotlighted the MG novel. Petruck was a member of 4-H, a Girl Scout, a cheerleader, and competed in MathCounts. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing. Her next book is Will Nolan Eats Bugs (Fall 2017). Visit her website at http://www.rebeccapetruck.com/

SelforsS_headshotSuzanne Selfors is a national best-selling children’s author. She’s received 5 Junior Library Guild awards, starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly, and has been on numerous state lists. She hopes that it’s her destiny to write for kids forever after.


MSH35FULLsizedMegan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A New York Times bestselling author, Megan is the author of several acclaimed young adult series and the middle grade novel The Secret Horses of Briar Hill. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog. To learn more about Megan an her books, visit her blog and website: http://meganshepherd.com/

Matthew Swanson (See Robbi Behr)


Laurie Wallmark writes picture books and middle-grades, poetry and prose, fiction and nonfiction. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When not writing, Laurie teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College. Her debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books, 2015), received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal) and several national awards. It is a Cook Prize Honor Book. Her next book, Dare and Do : The Story of Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code (Sterling Children’s Books) will be out Spring 2017.

WhittemoreJ_HeadshotJo Whittemore is the author of the tween humor novels Front Page Face-Off, Odd Girl In, D is for Drama, Colonial Madness, and the Confidentially Yours series. She also penned The Silverskin Legacy fantasy trilogy.


Pre-KLSS Webinar Faculty

authorphotoAimee Friedman is an executive editor of middle-grade and YA fiction at Scholastic, where she has worked for fifteen years. Her projects include the New York Times bestselling middle grade series Whatever After by Sarah Mlynowski; The Secret Language of Sisters, the YA debut of New York Times bestselling adult author Luanne Rice; and of course The Boy Project and The Boy Problem by acclaimed middle-grade author Kami Kinard. Aimee is also a New York Times bestselling author of novels for young adults; her most recent book is Two Summers (Scholastic/May 2016). She lives and works in New York City. Find out more about Aimee on her website aimeefriedmanbooks.com

 caroline abbeyCaroline Abbey is a Senior Editor at Random House Children’s Books. Her publishing experience also includes serving as Senior Editor at Bloomsbury Children’s Books. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Hamilton College where, over the course of many writing workshops, she discovered she loved editing more than writing.  When not editing, Caroline loves drinking milkshakes and learning random facts about anything and everything. One of her forthcoming projects is a fabulous chapter book series by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen.


28 comments on “Faculty

  1. […] Faculty is a 4 week author’s workshop that may run from July 21 via August 15. As a result of we (Kami (Kinard) and Sudipta (Bardhan-Quallen)) each take pleasure in educating writing courses, we needed to discover a method to supply […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aren’t we in for a treat with this outstanding faculty. What a fine looking group. I am so excited. ~Suzy Leopold

    Liked by 2 people

  3. […] is a 4 week author’s workshop that may run from July 21 by means of August 15. As a result of we (Kami (Kinard) and Sudipta (Bardhan-Quallen)) each take pleasure in educating writing courses, we needed to discover a approach to supply […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow – what a wonderful line-up!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds great! Can’t wait for the classes to start!


  6. Cecilia says:

    what a stellar line up. wow! If I don’t learn things from them I must have my brain in a vacuum!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] Nerdy Chicks Rule “Character Development” Summer School. Sudipta and Kami and their amazing crew are posting daily (for a month!) about different aspects of developing characters, offering […]


  8. […] can review—YEAR ROUND—the many stellar lessons (on plotting) not only given by the esteemed 2015 Faculty, but those from last year, too (on character building)! Just scroll and you’ll find them all […]


  9. This sounds like a superb faculty! I can’t wait to get into this!


  10. Oops! That’s the 2015 faculty. Sorry! Anxious to learn about the 2016 lineup.


  11. Traci Bold says:

    Excellent faculty line-up! Happy to start school again tomorrow. 🙂


  12. Very excited. This is my first time at summer school. Thanks for the introduction to the faculty


  13. […] The Kidlit Summer School Board of Education. […]


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