Illustrator Day 2019
LAUREN CASTILLO — Author-Illustrator
Lauren studied illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art and received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including the 2015 Caldecott Honor winning book, Nana in the City. These days, Lauren draws and dreams in Harrisburg, PA where she lives with her dogs, Peanut and Keiko. (www.laurencastillo.com)
Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Patrick Collins is a Creative Director at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Patrick art directs and designs picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels. Some of the recent picture books he has worked on are: A Boy, A Mouse, and a Spider illustrated by Lauren Castillo; Bravo! Poems about Amazing Hispanics illustrated by Rafael Lopez; Brave Enough for Two by Jonathan Voss; Tough Cookie by Edward Hemingway; and Pass Go! Collect $200 illustrated by Steven Salerno. Recent novel projects include: Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel, The Lost Boy’s Gift, and In the Shadow of Liberty. Patrick studied art at Northeastern University in Boston.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
My primary focus at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is commercial nonfiction across all categories and fiction picture books and middle grade. I have a particular interest in pop-culture tie-ins and platform-driven stories in nonfiction. I’m especially on the lookout for voice-driven middle grade with unforgettable characters, a friendship story at its core, interesting family dynamics, and a touch of magical realism. In picture books, I’d love to see character-driven stories with a touch of humor and quirk. But I’m also a sucker for the charming tales that feel like an instant classic. I will be acquiring select YA fiction only; I’m looking for authors who have a platform, OWN voices, and edgy contemporaries with a strong and distinctive narrative voice. When reviewing portfolios, Samantha looks for original illustrations that could be developed into wonderful stories.
I joined LBYR in 2019 from Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House Children’s Books, where my list included Reach for the Skai by Disney Channel star Skai Jackson, Find Your Rainbow by artist Jenipher Lyn, and Destroy This Book in the Name of Science! by Mike Barfield. I also worked closely with New York Times bestselling authors Danica McKellar, Megan Miranda, and Raymond Arroyo; Morris Award-winner Jeff Zentner; and high profile authors Jazz Jennings and Scott Kelly.
ERICA RAND SILVERMAN — Senior Agent
Stimola Literary Studio, Inc.
Erica has always been committed to the social and emotional well being of children. First, as a high school teacher and dean, then as a consultant for the Inner Resilience Program, and now as a literary agent in children’s publishing. In her 10+ years in publishing, Erica has worked with some of the most exciting new talent and treasured mainstays in the industry as well as the estates of our favorite classics. She is currently focused on representing authors and illustrators of illustrated books for children and the occasional adult nonfiction project in parenting and wellness. She received her degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a Master of Arts degree in Theater from Hunter College. Erica is a tireless advocate for her clients and proud to be a part of an industry that is so thoughtfully shaping young hearts and minds.
I grew up in Benoni, South Africa, near a bird sanctuary which was home to smelly ostriches and noisy peacocks, amongst other species. After concentrating in graphic design and illustration at art college, I worked as a graphic designer, layout artist and art director in ad agencies in Jo’burg before finding myself in Washington D.C., where I did the same. Well, almost the same, except in inches instead of millimeters! Now Gulph Mills near Philadelphia PA is home.
My goal as an illustrator is to capture the essence of childhood, uninhibited. Childhood is fleeting, I aim to help make it as inspiring as possible.
As a long-time member of The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, I strongly encourage anyone new to the world of children’s book writing and illustration to join this organization. While serving as the Illustrator Coordinator for the Eastern PA region, I was lucky enough to win the SCBWI WOOP (Work of Outstanding Progress) Award in 2015, and was runner-up for the SCBWI Tomie dePaola Illustration Award in 2014 and 2015.
I am thrilled that my debut picture book, HECTOR: A BOY, A PROTEST, AND THE PHOTOGRAPH THAT CHANGED APARTHEID, was published in June this year by Page Street Kids (distributed by MacMillan).