Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Pocono Retreat Faculty Bio

SBQSudipta Bardhan-Quallen is the author of over 40 books for children. Her books have been named to the Junior Library Guild, the California Reader’s Collection, the Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year lists, and the Amelia Bloomer list. She writes both fiction and non-fiction, covering topics from The Louvre to Pirate Princesses. She writes for the very young to older readers. Sudipta lives outside Philadelphia with her family and an imaginary pony named Penny. Find out more about her by visiting




Kim photoKim Briggs once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.

An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, where a secret organization decides 17 year old Starr Bishop is not only the model student, but the ideal assassin. While in hiding, Starr meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Cue the swoon worthy music. But it’s not all happily ever afters for Kim. Her NA novel, And Then He, explores the dark and scary corners of the human psyche. Following a night of innocent flirting with a handsome stranger, Tiffani finds herself in the midst of a nightmare she can’t escape. And Then He is available through Amazon and other major book retailers. Starr Fall released November 2016 with Inkspell Publishing, followed by Starr Lost in January 2017 and Starr Gone in June 2017. Her novella, Avalanche is part of the Valentine Kisses Anthology and released February 14, 2017. Kim is one of the Co-Regional Advisors of the Eastern PA SCBWI Chapter. She's a writing coach and offers manuscript critiques from picture book to adult fiction and nonfiction. 

Visit her website and sign up for updates:

Chat with her on Twitter: @KimBriggsWrite.

She shares writing love with her INK Sister Alison Green Myers at INK Sisters Write


Susan CBSusan Campbell Bartoletti is an award-winning author of picture books, novels, and nonfiction for children, including the Newbery Honor book Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow, the Sibert Medalwinning Black Potatoes, and Dear America: A Coal Miner’s Bride. Her work has received dozens of awards and honors, including the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Nonfiction, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award.  She teaches writing classes at a number of MA and MFA programs, among them Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. Additionally she leads workshops offered through the Highlights Foundation. **Susan is one of the founders of the Eastern PA SCBWI. THANK YOU SUSAN!! 


GUISEPPEGiuseppe Castellano is an Executive Art Director at Penguin Random House. He oversees the art and design of over two-hundred children’s books a year for Penguin Workshop, Mad Libs, Fredrick Warne and Co., Grosset and Dunlap, Penguin Young Readers, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, and Cartoon Network. Giuseppe continues to be a guest speaker, critic, and visiting instructor at more than a dozen art schools nationwide.

He is also the founder of The Illustration Department—an online school for illustrators. Learn more about his school by visiting  You are also welcome to visit Giuseppe's popular #arttips blog at where he writes about the business and practice of illustration. Follow his #arttips on Twitter at @pinocastellano.


kellyKelly Light lives in New York but grew up down the shore in New Jersey surrounded by giant pink dinosaurs, cotton candy colors, and Skee-Ball sounds. She was schooled on Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday funny pages. She picked up a pencil, started drawing, and never stopped. Kelly is the author/Illustrator of the Louise series. Louise Loves Art (Fall 2014) and Louise and Andie, The Art of Friendship (Spring 2016) are the first two books in the series. Kelly has also illustrated Elvis and the Underdogs and Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service by Jenny Lee, and The Quirks series by Erin Soderberg. Visit Kelly at



TMK-bio-photo-thumbnail-for-websiteTaylor Martindale Kean is a literary agent with Full Circle Literary, actively acquiring fiction and non-fiction projects. She is a graduate of The College of William and Mary, where she studied English and Hispanic Studies. Taylor is looking for young adult fiction, literary middle grade fiction, and young adult and middle grade nonfiction. She is interested in finding unique and unforgettable voices in contemporary, fantasy, historical and magical realism novels. She is looking for books that demand to be read. More than anything, Taylor is looking for diverse, character-driven stories that bring their worlds vividly to life, and voices that are honest, original and interesting. When considering non-fiction projects, Taylor uses much the same approach, and hopes to find authors with fresh ideas and perspectives, with writing that is accessible, entertaining, and compelling. Clients include: Annie Cardi, Emery Lord, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sally J. Pla, Aisha Saeed, Diana Rodriguez Wallach, Lois Miner Huey, Tim Bradley, and more. When not working, Taylor can be found traveling, cooking, spending time with loved ones, or (surprise!) lost in a good book.

Some of her clients’ recently published books include:
-Emery Lord’s When We Collided (Bloomsbury)—winner of the 2017 Schneider Book Award!
-William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist Anna-Marie McLemore’s second novel, When the Moon Was Ours(Macmillan)—a 2017 Stonewall Book Award Honor, and long listed for the 2016 National Book Award!
-Sally J. Pla’s debut middle grade The Someday Birds (HarperCollins Children’s) 

Taylor's Wish List:

•    Magical Realism in Middle Grade and Young Adult

•    Young Adult fantasy with grounded and compelling world building, diverse casts, and that has smart and savvy heroes and heroines

•    All Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction with characters who are engaging, imperfect and diverse

•    Young Adult and Middle Grade nonfiction that explores untold stories and previously unexplored topics

•    A novel that deals with a family living in the aftermath of a serious crime

TracyMarchini-r-150x150Tracy Marchini, Literary Agent, BookEnds Literary Agency After four years as a Literary Agents Assistant at Curtis Brown, Tracy Marchini left to pursue her own editorial business and to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. Her editorial clients have gone on to secure representation, sell books to traditional publishers, win awards and become bestsellers in the UK. She’s looking forward to being able to work with her BookEnds clients throughout their careers and to (hopefully!) see them grow as authors in the same way.

Tracy is looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, and non-fiction. She is not a good fit for YA horror, true crime, hard sci-fi, or high fantasy. At this time, she is not looking for board books or early chapter books.

You can contact Tracy at or follow her on Twitter at


OrliOrli Zuravicky, Scholastic Senior Editor  Orli Zuravicky always loved writing, but it wasn’t until a few years after graduating from Columbia University that she started writing fiction and taking it seriously. Her first original board book, Mister Doodle: C Is for City, came out in 2011, followed shortly by the second book in the series, Mister Doodle: A Color for Sketch. The first two books in her middle grade series, Happily Ever Afterlife came out from Scholastic in Scholastic Clubs and Fairs in Fall of 2016.

She works full-time as a Senior Editor in children’s publishing at Scholastic, where she specializes in acquiring board books, novelty, and picture books for ages 0-6 at Cartwheel Books, Orchard and Scholastic Press picture books, and readers and early chapter books under Scholastic Readers and Branches. Find Orli @ozsaidso on Twitter and Instagram.