Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2010 Special Guests

We have six special guests at Bologna this year, including award-winning authors, an experienced illustrator judge, and more!

[Ellen Hopkins]

Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is a poet and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction books for children, and six New York Times bestselling young adult novels-in-verse. Her latest novel, Tricks, debuted at the number one spot on the coveted NY Times list. Ellen lives near Carson City, Nevada with her husband and youngest son, plus two dogs, one cat and four ponds (not pounds!) of fish.

Read an interview with Ellen Hopkins

[Leonard Marcus]

Leonard Marcus

Leonard Marcus is a rare bird – a distinguished children's literature scholar who is also an award-winning writer for kids. His books include Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom; Golden Legacy; Minders of Make-Believe; and, most recently, Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy. Leonard is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and other publications and writes a regular column on picture books for The Horn Book. He has served as a judge of the Ragazzi Prize, the National Book Award, and on numerous other prize committees. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit his website:

Read an interview with Leonard Marcus

Photo © Sonya Sones.

[Frané Lessac]

Frané Lessac

Frané Lessac is an author and illustrator of international renown, having over 35 award-winning children's books published throughout the world. She has exhibited her work in London, Paris, Sydney, Perth, New York, Los Angeles, and the Caribbean. Frané is on the Executive Committee of the Australian Society of Authors and the Illustrator Liaison for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in West Australia. Her greatest ambition is to instill pride and self-esteem in children about their own unique heritage and their ability to capture it in pictures and words.

Read an interview with Frané Lessac

[Richard Peck]

Richard Peck

Richard Peck's newest novel is A Season of Gifts, third in the sequence starring Grandma Dowdel. The first, A Long Way from Chicago (Il Fucile di Nonna Dowdel in Italy) was the 1999 Newbery silver medalist. The second, A Year down Yonder was the Newbery gold medal winner in 2001. Two of his novels, A Year Down Yonder and The River Between Us, were National Book Award finalists.

He was the first children's writer to receive a National Humanities Medal, in a White House ceremony in 2002. His forthcoming title, in the fall of 2010, is Three-Quarters Dead.

Read an interview with Richard Peck

Photo © Sonya Sones.

[Fiona Kenshole]

Fiona Kenshole

Fiona heads up the Acquisitions Department of Laika Entertainment, the Oregon- based feature animation studio owned by Phil Knight ( founder of Nike). The studio recently produced the stop-motion classic CORALINE, which was recently nominated for an Academy Award. Fiona was brought in to set up a development slate of projects for CG and stop-motion feature films, which now includes literary properties such as HERE BE MONSTERS by Alan Snow, and original projects from directors such as Jan Pinkava, creator of RATATOUILLE.

Fiona has had a prestigious 25 year career in children's publishing, commissioning fiction, picture books and non-fiction. She was previously Publishing Director at Oxford University Press, and before that at Hodder and HarperCollins. She has worked with award-winning authors such as Mick Inkpen, Michael Morpurgo and Geraldine McCaughrean, as well as series such as ANIMAL ARK. Fiona is also proud to have been the British publisher of Robert Cormier, Katherine Paterson, Beverley Cleary, Astrid Lindgren and Asterix! She was also active in organizing the Oxford Literary Festival. Fiona is passionate about good story-telling, on the page and on the screen.

[Steve Mooser]

Steve Mooser

Stephen Mooser is the author of more than 60 books for children, from picture book titles such as The Ghost With The Halloween Hiccups, to nonfiction, Lights! Camera! Scream!, series and chapter books, The All-Star Meatballs, The Treasure Hounds, The Creepy Creature Club and novels such as The Hitchhiking Vampire and It's A Weird, Weird School. A former filmmaker and treasure hunter he is co-founder of the SCBWI, and currently serves as the organization's President.

[Lin Oliver]

Lin Oliver

Lin Oliver has been producing quality family movies, most of them based on children's books, for over twenty years. But she began her career as a writer of educational children's books, and out of her own personal need for a conference to train young writers, co-founded the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in 1971 with Stephen Mooser. As the executive director, she personally produces the annual national conference, and together with Steve, oversees the publication of the SCBWI bimonthly bulletin, supervises the national office, and works with the regional advisors to plan and support regional activities. Here she talks about the past, present, and future of SCBWI.