Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet Our Volunteers

SCBWI regions are run by member volunteers like you! Several lead the region, while many more volunteer in their counties, at conferences, and at local events. When you volunteer, you learn more about the industry and your craft. Learn more about our current open volunteer roles


Co-Regional Advisor

Dean GlosterDean Gloster

Dean Gloster is a young adult and middle-grade writer who lives in Berkeley, California. His contemporary YA debut Dessert First is out from Simon Pulse. He has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His checkered past includes stand-up comedy, being a lawyer for decades, and being a law clerk for two U.S. Supreme Court Justices. His hobbies include downhill ski racing and Aikido. He is thrilled and honored to be a co-RA for the San Francisco North & East Bay Region effective January 1, 2021.


Co-Regional Advisor

Colleen Riordan

Originally from the Midwest, Colleen Riordan has bounced from coast to coast, using a variety of styles and media to tell her stories. In her YA and MG fiction, she enjoys writing political intrigue, subverting tropes, and exploring the meaning of family. Colleen is a past winner of the Young Adult Writer Mentorship from the SCBWI Wisconsin Chapter. When she isn’t writing, Colleen is a book marketing consultant for Wild Ink Marketing, where she specializes in children’s books.


Co-Assistant Regional Advisor

Natasha Yim

Natasha Yim is the author of 8 picture books. Her book Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2014) was a Junior Library Guild and Scholastic Book Club selection. In December 2020, Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum was released by Charlesbridge Publishing as part of its Storytelling Math series. Natasha has also written for Disney Press which released the picture book Mulan’s Lunar New Year in 2018, and for Disney/Pixar with the release of Like Mother, Like Daughter based on the Pixar movie “Turning Red” (Spring 2022), and the Little Golden Book Lightyear, an adaptation of Disney/Pixar’s movie “Lightyear” (Summer, 2022). Natasha’s nonfiction articles have been published in the children’s magazines “Highlights for Children,” “Faces,” “Appleseeds,” and “Muse.” She grew up in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and many of her stories are inspired by her cultural upbringing.


Co-Assistant Regional Advisor / 2021 Conference Co-Coordinator

Nadia SalomonNadia Salomon

Nadia Salomon is the author of Goodnight Ganesha (Philomel, 2021). A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Journalism and Public Policy, she has worked as a television journalist and freelanced for The Boston Globe. Now, Nadia writes picture book, middle-grade, and graphic novel manuscripts with themes of South Asian and Caribbean culture, STEM, non-fiction, and humor. Nadia is the winner of the 2020 SCBWI Service Award and the 2019 SCBWI WOOP Honor Award for work of outstanding progress for her non-fiction, picture book manuscript, Myrlie: A Voice of Hope.  Her work is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Photo courtesy of Di Starr.)



Co-Illustrator Coordinator

Zu Gong 

Zu is an illustrator and teacher living in Contra Costa County. She loves creating playful characters and nature scenes especially when fuzzy animals are involved. Her passions include watching animated movies, playing ukulele, making milk tea and any random things that catch her fancy. You can also find her at


Co-Illustrator Coordinator

Annie Ruygt

Annie is an author and illustrator, living in Mendocino County, CA.  She enjoys writing from personal experience, traveling, and everything Autumn.  You can see her work and learn more about her books at:


Social Media Co-Coordinator

Emily BattagliaEmily Battaglia

Emily Battaglia is a storyteller at heart, and she’s been able to parlay that skill in to several jobs: high school history teacher, educational video game writer, professional singer, online learning developer, and one of those is not true. (She can’t sing, not even a little.) She loves to travel and enjoy nature whenever possible, but reading anything she can get her hands on and writing young adult historical fiction are her true passions. Emily lives in Northern California with her husband, son, and elderly Jack Russell Terrier.


Carrie SalazarSocial Media Co-Coordinator

Carrie Salazar

Carrie is a visual storyteller and driven to tell her own story, or other people’s stories, through art. She gets her inspiration from dreams, history, people, events, and her mischievous childhood in the South. The daughter of immigrants and born in the New Orleans, Carrie now lives and works in Berkeley, CA.


Tapestry of Voices Co-Coordinator

L.M. QuraishiL. Michelle Quraishi

Raised by a Pakistani father and American mother in the small town of Half Moon Bay, California, L. Michelle Quraishi grew up searching for identity, belonging, and connection in books. Her experiences with straddling multiple cultures drive her commitment to exploring cultural edges and understanding. An SCBWI member since 2013, she’s written numerous picture books and is currently working on a middle-grade novel in verse. She now lives with her husband, two children and mother in Walnut Creek, California Learn more at


Tapestry of Voices Co-Coordinator

Natasha TripplettNatasha Tripplett

Natasha Tripplett loves to find the beauty in all things around her. She uses her words to help readers experience the details that make life rich. Natasha has written many picture books and has been published in various magazines. As a black woman, raised in a white family by way of adoption, Natasha has a unique perspective on issues of race and claiming one’s identity. Along with her husband and four children, Natasha lives in Dublin, California. 


Equity and Inclusion Award Co-Coordinator

Meera SriramMeera Sriram

Meera Sriram grew up in India and moved to the U.S in 1999. An electrical engineer in the past, she now enjoys writing for children, leading early literacy initiatives, and advocating for diverse bookshelves. Meera is the author of #OwnVoices picture books The Yellow Suitcase and A Gift For Amma. She has also co-authored several kids’ books in India. Meera believes in the transformative power of stories and likes to write on people, places, and experiences less visible in children’s literature. Find out more at


Equity and Inclusion Award Co-Coordinator

Vanitha SankaranVanitha Sankaran

Vanitha Sankaran is both a medical communications director working in rare diseases and a novelist. Her debut novel, Watermark, was a work of adult historical fiction; she has since written a YA contemporary fantasy and is working on a YA cross between science fiction and the history of slavery. She was a co-founding editor of the literary journal flashquake for its 10-year run and has served multiple times as the Conference and Program Chair for the Historical Novel Society of North America’s Biannual Conference. She currently lives with her husband and greyhounds in Moss Beach, California. Learn more at



Illustrator Tapestry of Voices Liaison

Aditi Raychoudhury

Aditi grew up in a small town in eastern India. While her town didn’t come with malls or TV, it came with the gifts of time and freedom, which she used to climb hills and trees… and draw, a love she discovered as soon as she could put pencil to paper. She is a self-taught illustrator and continued to draw through her career as an architect and building scientist. Her illustrations have appeared in publications by Penguin India, Andrews McMeel publishing and Workman Publishing. She hopes to bring a unique cultural perspective and find opportunities for underrepresented BIPOC illustrator.


Illustrator Event Coordinator

Julee Kim 


New Member Welcome and CritConnect Critique Group Coordinator

Nanette HeffernanNanette Heffernan

Nanette spends her days writing middle-grade eco-adventure stories, blogging (, homesteading, and volunteering. She draws on her education as an MBA, certified Master Gardener, and Sustainability Consultant, to grow over half her family’s food, run the District Green Team for her local school district, and sit as VP on the board of Sustainable Lafayette. She is pleased to share her efforts have earned her three Environmental Awards of Excellence. Nanette lives in Northern California with her husband, three children, eight chickens, and cast of characters from her books who she chatters with daily.


Sonoma County Meeting Co-Coordinator

Stacey Dennick

Stacey is a writer, editor, instructor, and media maker (video, podcasts, book layout). She teaches no-fee, non-credit creative writing classes at Santa Rosa Junior College. Thanks to the pandemic, many of her students have never seen her in three dimensions. She holds an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco. New to children’s writing, she’s working on middle grade fiction, as well as whatever else comes to mind. Her publication credits include news articles for KRCB North Bay media, video scripts, non-fiction magazine articles, and humorous memoir. When not writing or editing you might find her face painting or twisting balloons at children’s parties. She’s thrilled to have discovered the fun and knowledgeable people at SCBWI. See her website for more info:



Sonoma County Meeting Co-Coordinator

Katya Rice

Katya (she/her) is a writer and illustrator from Sonoma County. She lives in a little cabin in the woods, and loves creating stories that will soothe and inspire children to be their best selves. Last year, she completed UCSD’s Children’s Book Illustration program, wrote her first book, and is in the process of submitting it to publishers with the help of her literary agent.


Marin County Meeting Co-Coordinator

Darcey Rosenblatt

Darcey Rosenblatt writes for middle grade and teenage people because she believes for them stories can be life changing – they were for her. Her debut novel Lost Boys (Henry Holt for Young Readers) was released in August 2017. Darcey is a cofounder of the annual Better Books Workshop for middle grade and young adult writers. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her fabulous husband and daughter, some fish, and the best dog in the world. Visit her website at



Marin County Meeting Co-Coordinator

Donna Weidner

Donna Weidner has sailed the seven seas with swashbuckling pirates, crossed blades with sword-wielding knights, and circumnavigated the moon in a cardboard box, until it was bedtime, at least. Now that she’s an adult, Donna writes books for children about those adventures laced with her actual experiences—like dog-sledding in the arctic or spending the night in a salt cave deep below the earth’s surface. Her debut picture book, THERE ARE NO DRAGONS IN THIS BOOK, is scheduled for publication in Spring 2024 by NorthSouth Books.


This SCBWI former regional advisor for Germany and Austria lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, a list of lands yet to be explored, and a treasure chest stuffed with story ideas. Visit her at


Pamela HerronSolano and Napa Counties Coordinator

Pamela Herron

Pamela is a poet, writer, educator, and gardener living in the North Bay Area of California. She is interested in issues of sustainability and diversity. She teaches and writes about China, Chinese culture, and Confucianism and Daoism and their relevance to today’s culture. Follow Pamela’s blog at Books for Children and Young People; find her books for adults on her Amazon page.


Contra Costa County Meeting Coordinator

Genevieve “Gennie” Gorback.Genevieve “Gennie” Gorback

Genevieve “Gennie” Gorback has a Masters of Education in Teaching from UC Santa Barbara. When she is not writing/revising/critiquing picture book manuscripts, she is an early literacy curriculum writer/app developer, a toy designer, and the President of the California Kindergarten Association (2021-2023). She lives in the East Bay with her husband and two young daughters. Gennie is not-yet-published and is currently querying agents. Twitter: @kindlingeducat1 IG: @myfavoritebooksforkids Website: 


Alameda County Meeting Coordinator


Mendocino County Meeting Co-Coordinator

Terri NicholsonTerri Nicholson

Terri wrote her first story, a science fiction piece about Martians, in fourth grade. Unfortunately, her teacher was more interested in fine penmanship than an engaging plot. Eventually, her interest in writing and the teaching profession came together. She has spent most of her career sharing her love of literature and joy in the art of writing with young people. She was a teacher-consultant for the Redwood Writing Project and co-taught several summer writing intensives for teachers. She has written one historical novel, Enter Emma, and is at work on the sequel. She also writes memoir, mostly about her adventures learning Chinese and studying Buddhism with a Buddhist monk from Manchuria.



Mendocino County Meeting Co-Coordinator

Christy Scollin

Christy has always loved writing even though her education and professional career were in the field of science. In her spare time, while still working, she enjoyed writing short stories, memoirs and published a chemistry lab book. Since retiring her focus has been on writing middle grade stories. She has self-published three books about a spunky girl detective. Currently she is working on two projects: a historical fiction about a Native American boy in the 1800’s and a story about a nine-year-old girl scientist. For fun Christy enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, traveling, spending time with family, and of course writing.


Website Coordinator

Tracy Hill

Tracy has been writing since she figured out how to hold a pencil. From there, she likes to think she’s taken the scenic route through life. While in the thick of a demanding biotechnology career, she completed Stanford’s two-year Online Novel Writing Certificate Program, where she workshopped a young adult contemporary/sci-fi novel about six teenage strangers and the shady grad student who recruits them for a mysterious study. In addition to writing, Tracy loves to read, travel, run, do yoga, bake too many cookies, and make things out of yarn. Find her on Instagram (@tracy.lynn.hill –fair warning: it’s mostly pictures of her cats Sokka and Toph) and Twitter (@russianumbrella.)



Publishing Liaison

Jennifer Alvarez

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez is the author of ten children’s books, including one self-published novel, The Pet Washer. She has been a member of SCBWI for eleven years and is the new Publishing Coordinator for the North/East Bay. She splits her time between California and Middle Tennessee. Learn more at



Mentorship Program Coordinator

Annemarie O’Brien