2018 Mentors - 1
Susan Hawk, Literary Agent, Upstart Crow Literary
Susan Hawk is a literary agent at Upstart Crow Literary. She has worked in children’s books for over twenty-five years. Susan comes to Upstart Crow from the Bent Agency, and her clients include Alison Oliver, illustrator of the bestselling Baby Lit board books and the forthcoming picture book Moon; Ruth Spiro, author of the Baby Loves Science board book series; Marcie Colleen, author of the Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series and the forthcoming picture books Love, Triangle and The Adventure of the Penguinaut; Lisa Tyre, whose debut middle-grade novel, Last in a Long Line of Rebels, was a BEA Buzz Book title; Sarah Lariviere, whose middle-grade novel The Bad Kid is a 2017 Edgar Award Nominee; and Rachael Allen, author of the YA novels 17 First Kisses and The Revenge Playbook.
Before agenting, Susan worked in the Children’s Marketing departments of Penguin Books for Young Readers, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and North-South Books, where she managed campaigns for many books and authors including Eric Carle, Mary E Pearson, Richard Peck and Joan Bauer. She’s also been a children’s librarian and bookseller, and spent some time in Dutton Editorial, acquiring select picture book and YA projects for that list.
She loves the moment when she opens a query, and finds herself pulled completely into a new world, with characters she never wants to leave. She can trace that feeling right back to her own childhood and the thrill of cracking open a new book. For more information please visit Upstart Crow Literary, or her site, SUSAN SAYS.
Celia Lee, Editor, Scholastic Inc.
Celia is an editor at Scholastic where she acquires for the Cartwheel, Orchard, and Little Shepherd imprints, which includes anything from board and novelty books to early illustrated chapter books. She studied English Literature and Art History at Virginia Tech and earned a MS in Publishing from NYU. She previously worked for Scholastic’s Book Clubs division, where she scrutinized every Honeybee and Firefly catalog to make sure every book looked great. As a child, Celia was obsessed with all things Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert, then all things Beverly Cleary, then all things manga, manga, manga. She’s happy to say that those obsessions now fuel the types of books she works on now, including recent and soon-to-be released titles such as Good Night, Sweetie by Mills-Tannenbaum Award for Children's Literacy winner Joyce Wan, the Press Start! Branches series by Children’s Book Award winner Thomas Flintham, the Littlest series by New York Times bestseller Brandi Dougherty, and Jack B. Ninja by Tim McCanna and Geisel Honor recipient Stephen Savage. She also assisted on Peter H. Reynolds' Happy Dreamer, Society of Illustrators Original Art Show selection Monster’s New Undies by Sam Berger and Tad Carpenter, and the first two books in New York Times bestselling creators Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld’s Groovy Joe picture book series.
A lifelong learner and traveler (i.e. military brat), Celia enjoys expanding her worldview on anything and everything—most recently she’s taken classes on tree identification, meeting strangers, and memorization techniques! She can’t wait to learn about something else to learn about.
Jen Malone, Author
Jen Malone writes flirty Young Adult travel romances with HarperCollins and humorous "girl power” Middle Grade adventures with Simon & Schuster. The Art of the Swap (coauthored with Kristine Asselin) is coming out February 13, 2018. Her other published titles include Changes in Latitudes, Best Night Ever (a seven-authored collaboration for which she is also credited as editor), The Sleepover, the You’re Invited series (with Gail Nall), At Your Service, Map to the Stars, Wanderlost, and Follow Your Art (a companion story to the animated film Trolls). She once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star's tour bus—these days she saves the drama for her books.
You can learn more about Jen and her books at www.jenmalonewrites.com. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @jenmalonewrites.
Kristen Nobles, Publisher, Page Street Publishing
Kristen Nobles is the founding publisher for the new children’s division of Page Street Publishing. She spent the past 13 years at Candlewick and Walker Books Group, most recently as group art director. Kristen is focusing on collaborating with new talent and publishing art-led narrative picture books for ages 4-8, occasionally board books for ages 0-3, and visually driven concept books. She loves picture book biographies, strong characters, a unique style or retro look made new again, and looks for a surprising spin on traditional themes in children’s books. As a former art director, Kristen enjoys developing picture books from a visual perspective.
At Candlewick Press, Kristen worked with author/illustrators Carson Ellis, Steve Light, Leslie Patricelli and Matt Tavares as well as illustrators Sophie Blackall, John Rocco, Ed Young, and many others on award-winning books. She graduated from the University of Buffalo with degrees in Communication Design and Art History, and has pursued further studies at SVA, Harvard, and Mass Art. Kristen was also a senior designer at Chronicle Books in San Francisco for five years.
Most weekends, Kristen spends her time hiking, swimming, and curled up with a good book next to the wood stove at her lake house in Maine.
Holly West, Editor, Feiwel & Friends, & Swoon Reads
Holly West is an editor at Feiwel & Friends and Swoon Reads. She grew up in southern Kentucky as “that girl who reads a lot” but in 2005 she escaped to NYC where she was lucky enough to land her dream job of working in publishing. She started out in publicity but soon decided that editing would be much more fun. Working closely with Jean Feiwel, she helped to launch Macmillan’s YA imprint Swoon Reads in 2013, and now works with authors like Mo O’Hara, Meg Cabot, Tricia Levenseller, Sandy Hall, Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas and Danika Stone.