Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019 Mentors

2019 Europolitan Mentors


Pat Cummings mentoring illustrators and author/illustrators

Pat Cummings is the author and/or illustrator of over 40 books for young readers. Along with teaching children’s book classes at Pratt and Parsons in New York, she holds a summer Children’s Book Boot Camp that brings writers and illustrators together with top editors, art directors and agents. She frequently does workshops and programs about the craft and business of children’s books for schools, libraries and professional organizations, both domestically and abroad.

Pat serves on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Authors League Fund and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is a member of The Writers Guild of America. She also serves as Chair of the Founders Award Jury for the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show.

Her most recent picture book, Beauty and the Beast, set in Africa, was translated from the original French and retold by her husband, H. Chuku Lee, a founding member of NABJA. Her debut middle grade novel, Trace, was published this spring by HarperCollins.

She can be found at, Twitter: @PatCummings Book Instagram: patcummingsbooks

To learn more about Pat, read our interview with her here.


Ann Bonwill mentoring picture book authors

Ann Bonwill is the author of eight picture books, including The Frazzle Family Finds a Way(Holiday House, 2013), When Mermaids Sleep(Random House, 2013), Naughty Toes(Oxford University Press and Tiger Tales, 2011), and Bug and Bear(Oxford University Press and Marshall Cavendish, 2011). Her book I Don’t Want to be a Pea!(Oxford University Press and Simon & Schuster, 2012) was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and selected for the White Ravens by the International Youth Library. It was also chosen by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson as one of The Guardian’s Books of the Year. Along with her picture books, Ann has written eight non-fiction readers, including the Rookie Read-About Civics series (Scholastic, 2019). Ann’s books have been published in seventeen countries and translated into sixteen languages worldwide.

Ann is a member of SCBWI and the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC. She has participated in author panels, offered critiques, and spoken about revision at regional SCBWI events. She has also taught workshops on pacing, rhyming, and revision at local libraries. She has led popular sessions about trimming the word count in a manuscript to better fit the current publishing climate. A lifelong learner, Ann continues to hone her craft through participation in SCBWI seminars, Highlight’s Foundation courses, and professional critique groups.

Having been published in Europe and the United States, Ann has a unique perspective to offer writers who are targeting both markets. She sold four books before acquiring an agent and can share thoughts about both agented and un-agented submissions. As a Montessori teacher and social worker, she is a compassionate and patient instructor who will meet writers wherever they are in their process and help them get to the next level. She loves working with people and words and is eager to begin!

To learn more about Ann, read our interview with her here.


Skila Brown mentoring picture book and middle grade authors


Skila Brown is the author of two novels in verse and two picture books, all with Candlewick Press.

Her debut middle grade novel, Caminar (2014), is set in 1981 Guatemala, and tells the powerful tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war. It was a Junior Library Guild selection, a selected title for the New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, a winner for the IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, an ALA Notable Books for Children selection, an Américas Award Commended Title, a Capitol Choices selection, an Outstanding Merit title in the Children’s Book Committee’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, a Paterson Prize for Books for Young People Honor Book, School Library Journal’s Top Ten Latino Books selection, and a Latino Literacy Now International Latino Book Award winner.

To Stay Alive (2016) is the haunting verse retelling of the 1846 ill-fated Donner Party. It was a Junior Library Guild selection, a 2017 CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People selection, an ALA Notable Books for Children in 2017, a 2017 Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year List selection, a 2017 Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List selection, and a Horn Book Fanfare selection.

Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks (2016) was the winner of the 2018 Utah Beehive Award and a selection on the 2016 New York Public Library’s Best Books for Kids list. Clackety Track: Poems About Trains (2019) is her latest picture book poetry collection, garnering starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal.

Skila is a former classroom writing teacher who currently leads writing workshops for writers of all ages, from her home in Indiana. She received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2012.

To learn more about Skila, read our interview with her here.


Danielle Jawando mentoring middle grade and young adult authors

Danielle Jawando
is an author and screenwriter. Danielle has had several short plays perfumed at the King’s Arms in Manchester and at Stratford Circus in London. In 2015, Danielle worked as a storyline writer on Coronation Street, she has was also commissioned by the BBC to write a short story for radio (aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 7). Her first children’s book, a biography about the life of Maya Angelou, will be published by Laurence King in September. Her debut YA novel ‘And The Stars Were Burning Brightly’ will be out with Simon & Schuster next year.

To learn more about Danielle, read our interview with her here.