Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


With the help of dedicated volunteers, the Eastern Pennsylvania chapter of SCBWI hosts over a dozen events each year throughout the region. Our largest events include Fall Philly, a one-day intensive, held in the heart of Philadelphia, and our Pocono Retreat, a weekend event with time to learn, connect, and create, held in the Pocono Mountains.

Meet & Greets, studio tours, one-day workshops, series workshops, and more can be found all over our region. To bring an event to your EPA town, please contact us at



Our advisory team includes:




Co-Regional Advisor, Lindsay Bandy

Lindsay’s favorite thing about SCBWI is the warmth and friendship she’s found here in Eastern PA. SCBWI has taken her from total newbie to agented and published author, supporting her with industry knowledge and awesome friends who give expert advice, hugs, critiques, encouragement, and wine as needed. Her YA Fiction is represented by agent Justin Wells at the Corvisiero Literary Agent, and she has several poems forthcoming with Highlights Hello.




Co-Regional Advisor, Alison Green Myers

Alison credits SCBWI with taking her from wishing she could to writer. Through the EPA chapter she met her critique group, which helped her set writing goals (and find comfort, feedback, and many laughs!) Alison signed with her literary agent after participating in the EPA SCBWI Novel Nuts & Bolts intensive in 2016. She is a National Writing Fellow and has completed several work-for-hire campaigns. An avid reader and former classroom teacher, Alison presents at national and state level reading conferences. She works for the Highlights Foundation.





Assistant Regional Advisor, Rona Shirdan

Rona has always loved children’s books but after attending her first SCBWI conference, she knew what she wanted to be when she “grew up”. She has a special fondness for new writers and hopes to encourage and support them while in her role on the RA Team. She can usually be found going through a pile of picture books ranging from poetry and fiction to STEM. Rona recently started a second career as a freelance writer, editor, and sensitivity reader.






Illustrator Coordinator, Virginia Law Manning

Virginia attended the Winter Conference in N.Y.C. just months after joining SCBWI.  It was an overwhelming and inspiring start. Since then, she’s learned so much from attending SCBWI workshops and conferences, having her work critiqued by peers and professionals, and most of all by reading! When Virginia’s not in her studio creating picture books, she works as the library coordinator and an assistant teacher at Crossing Cooperative Nursery Schools. One of the great joys in her life is sharing her love of children’s books with others.





Blogmaster, Laura Parnum

Laura Parnum is a native of Philadelphia and is the blogmaster for the Eastern PA chapter of SCBWI’s blog, EasternPennPoints. It seems that most everything Laura does involves books in some way. She writes quirky and humorous middle grade novels and is a freelance fiction copyeditor. She is an SCBWI critique group leader, volunteers as an elementary school library assistant, has led book groups and provided reading support for third graders, and has volunteered at Mighty Writers in Philadelphia as a mentor for students writing high school and college application essays. She also has a pet turtle named Hamlet.





Critique Coordinator and Meet & Greet Coordinator, Heather Stigall

Heather is a picture book-obsessed wife and mother of five (six, if you count the dog). She was born and raised a Jersey girl but has called eastern Pennsylvania her home for most of her adulthood. When she’s not writing, critiquing, or reading picture books, you can find her working out, sewing, baking, or involved children’s shenanigans–her own or the preschool enrichment class she teaches part time.