The SCBWI Bologna Showcase is co-coordinated by a small team of volunteers from all over the world. All are SCBWI Regional Advisors or key SCBWI members. Read about them here and say hi when you get to Bologna – Team Bologna wants to meet you!
Kathleen Ahrens is Professor and Head of the Language Center at Hong Kong Baptist University. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from UC San Diego and has published extensively in academic journals on issues surrounding meaning and metaphor. She is also a writer and translator of children's books. She serves on the board of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators as the International Regional Advisor Chairperson. She has been invited to talk in Taiwan, Italy, Germany, and Hong Kong on topics relating to language in publishing in the Chinese children's book market, children's picture books, picture book evaluation, and the creation of literature for children, and she recently served as a judge for the Fengzikai Picture Book Award for picture books published in Chinese. She has two co-authored picture books, titled Numbers Do and Ears Hear! coming out in 2012 from Sun Ya Press. You can find out more about her at www.kathleenahrens.com.
Bridget Strevens-Marzo is an illustrator-author who combines her love of color, painting and play in creating books for younger children. She is sought out for her talent for inventing visual sub-stories, with warm, lively and original characters such as the little hippo in the award-winning international co-edition, Kiss, Kiss! (Little Hare/Egmont/ Simon & Schuster US) and her cast of animals in her French children songs and in Bridget's Book of Nursery Rhymes. She is also at home with both story and concept books. Her graphic Big Book for Little Hands (Bayard/Tate Gallery UK/ Abrams US) was shortlisted for the British Book Design Award, and the most recent US/UK book she illustrated, Mini Racer (Bloomsbury) added another star to a good collection of reviews. Bridget also enjoys weaving her own stories and playful paths around pictures. She has learnt from working in an international children's multimedia start-up and later for Bayard Press, that working with a publishing team is like having a party with a purpose. She also enjoys sharing her work with young and old at book events and workshops across the world. Agent Hen&ink Literary (www.henandink.com). www.bridgetstrevens.com. www.bridgimage.blogspot.com.
John Shelley studied at Bournville School of Art, then illustration at Manchester Polytechnic under children's illustrator Tony Ross. Debuting as a freelance illustrator in London, by 1984 he'd co-founded the artist's collective Facade Studios with designer Andy Royston and illustrators Jane Ray and Willie Ryan. Fascinated by Japanese art, in 1987 he moved to Tokyo in search of the missing link between samurai and Sony, making it his home for the following 21 years. In Japan his award-winning illustrations have been used in everything from animated TV ads, poster and newspaper campaigns to character merchandising and editorial illustration. With a unique insight into the Japanese creative market he has stood as a committee member of JAGDA (Japan Graphic Designer Association) and presented at colleges across the country. Shelley's work for publishing follows a more elaborate vein of pen and watercolour. His first major picture book The Secret in the Matchbox was shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award, since when his children's illustrations have continued to gain steady recognition in East and West. As an author his own published stories include Hoppy's New House (Fukuinkan Shoten) and The House of the World (Benesse). Upcoming books are The Halloween Forest (Holiday House, USA) and his own retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk (Fukuinkan Shoten, Japan), both scheduled for release in the Autumn of 2012. Bilingual in Japanese, Shelley returned to the UK in 2008, but still maintains close associations with Japan. He is a member of The Society of Authors, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and Picture Book Artists (PBA)
Angela Cerrito writes books for young adults. Her debut novel, The End of the Line (Holiday House 2011) is a YALSA Quick Pick, VOYA Top of the Top Shelf & Top Shelf for Middle School Readers, Librarians' Choices 2011 and a Top Teen Pick 2012. She is represented by William Reiss of John Hawkins and Associates. www.angelacerrito.com.
Chris Cheng holds a Master of Arts (Children's Literature) and is a full time author writing fiction (including historical fiction), picture books and non-fiction titles. He was recently appointed as co-chair for the Advisory Board of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI); to the Advisory Board for the Asian Festival of Children's' Content (AFCC) and is one of three International Consultants on the Advisory Board for the online journal First Opinions, Second Reactions about Children's and Adolescent literature (http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/fosr/), for which he also contributes editorial and opinion pieces. Christopher is also Co-Regional Advisor for the Australian chapter of the SCBWI and Director, Digital Publishing for PaddleDuck Learning, a company specialising in producing apps for Toddlers that inspire learning, wonder and joy. In 2012 Christopher is one of the National Ambassadors for the 2012 National Year of Reading (love2read.org.au). He is a popular speaker, panellist and presenter for children and adults presenting at Australian and American Universities on Australian Children's Literature, as well as being a regular guest at book fairs, libraries, schools and children's book events around Australia. He often appears in the print media and on television and radio and hosted and MC'd many children's literature functions. His latest title is the 2011 picture book Sounds Spooky (illus. by Sarah Davis, see www.sounds-spooky.com) with the narrative non-fiction picture book Python (illus. by Mark Jackson) due for release in August 2012. Chris can be found at www.chrischeng.com.
Kirsten works as an illustrator and designer out of her studio near the Black Forest in Germany. Her work has been featured on greeting cards, posters, books and museum exhibits. She has been designing and illustrating children's books since 2002. Her first book as author-illustrator, WHERE THE LAND AND SEA MEET, was published in 2011. She has a passion for the sea and was a marine biologist prior to choosing a career in children's books. She's swum with penguins in Antarctica and chased sharks underwater in Fiji.