2016 Featured Authors and Illustrators

More authors/illustrators and details coming soon!


Author & Website
Biography & Awards
Featured Titles
Priscilla Alpaugh, Illustrator
Priscilla Alpaugh

Priscilla grew up in what they call a “leafy suburb” of Boston. She loved climbing trees, juggling and riding her bike and unicycle. She never wanted to do anything but be an Illustrator.

Priscilla earned her BFA in Painting and Illustration from UMass Amherst and her MFA in Illustration (ABD) at Syracuse University.

While working various jobs such as managing an Art Supply store, training painters of collectible mouse figurines, and driving a COA van she also painted murals and traffic control boxes, designed logos, greeting cards and bookplates and made digital animations. Priscilla just recently left her day job to pursue Illustration full-time. She was stunned to win the Portfolio Showcase at the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Spring Conference in 2015 after entering her portfolio for the first time. Priscilla's first picture book, “Hold This!” written by Carolyn Scoppetone was released this fall by Islandport Press.

Priscilla lives in the most walkable town in Massachusetts with her husband David, children Tim and Addie, and dogs Dilly and Frodo. She is a founding member of the 6 Bridges Gallery in Maynard. Priscilla is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers.

Hold This
  • Hold This
  • Solomon Sire and the Fantastic Fib
Elizabeth Atkinson
Elizabeth Atkinson

Elizabeth Atkinson, an award-winning middle grade author, is best known for her tween novel, I, EMMA FREKE. Her new novel, THE SUGAR MOUNTAIN SNOW BALL is coming this fall, and THE ISLAND OF BEYOND will be published in Spring 2016. While she loves living on the North Shore of Massachusetts, her real home is in the woods of western Maine where she enjoys hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, board games, kayaking, stargazing, ping-pong, snowshoeing, exploring, swimming, and lively discussions by the fire with her neighbors, friends, family, and doodle dog, Obadiah. Elizabeth visits schools all over the country, virtually and in person! For more information or to contact her, please go to www.elizabethatkinson.com.

The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball
  • The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball
  • Je Suis un Phénomène
  • I, Emma Freke
  • From Alice to Zen and Everyone In Between
Eryn Flynn
Eryn Flynn

Eryn Flynn has always loved music, traveling, reading, and writing. Her computer is currently full with poems, as is her mind. She often travels to new places with her family, and it’s important to her to see different parts of the world. However, one of her favorite places will always be her home in Boston, Massachusetts, where she’s lived for nearly half of her fourteen years on Earth.

Eryn keeps busy by taking part in school plays, basketball, and soccer, and by studying for school. Her Christian religion is important to her, as is her family. She lives with her mother, father, and sister, who is also her best friend.

The project of Beyond the Waterfall was a four-year-long one, but Eryn completed her first dream by publishing it in eighth grade. Meanwhile, she also completed her second dream by having a poem published in the America Library of Poetry’s 2015 poetry collection, Eloquence. She is excited to keep setting and completing more dreams in her life.

  • Beyond the Waterfall
Ronni Arno Blaisdell
Rommi Arno Blaisdell

Ronni writes middle-grade and young adult novels, because she thinks kids are cool, and so are the books they read.

Her second book, DEAR POPPY, published on October 25, 2016. She also wrote a book with six of her friends (that was so much fun) called BEST. NIGHT. EVER. and it also comes out from Simon & Schuster/Aladdin in the summer of 2017.

She lives on the coast of Maine with her husband, two daughters, and two rescue dogs named Hazel and Mabel. Sometimes she stalks her kids and their friends for story ideas. She likes to kayak, drink coffee, and eat chocolate, but not usually at the same time.

Although she was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in New Jersey, she is a New Englander at heart. She went to college in Boston, and has also lived in California and Pennsylvania.

She loves dogs and is a vegetarian. Her memory is terrible, which is probably why she can't stay mad at anyone. She loves bodies of water; oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, puddles... When she was a kid, she wanted to be a writer. She also went through phases where she wanted to be an archeologist, a movie star, and a professional baseball player.

She loves chocolate. And coffee. She grew up playing soccer. She's a morning person, and has a hard time staying up past 10 pm. Spelling is important to her. She likes fuzzy socks. Also, she can't whistle.

She's a contributing writer to Kidliterari. Check it out... you'll find a staggering amount of awesome stuff on kid lit from lots of talented writers.

Dear Poppy
  • Dear Poppy
  • Ruby Reinvented
Robin Brickman
Robin Brickman

Robin Brickman is a picture book artist, specializing in natural science. She grew up near Washington, DC, where the Smithsonian Institution and Virginia countryside were a regular inspiration. As a child, Robin dug clay from the creek in her backyard and attended art classes at the Corcoran Museum. In high school she started a mural painting club and began to appreciate the outdoors by spelunking, hiking, bicycling, and cross-country travel. At Bennington College, Robin majored in graphic arts and botany. She has always experimented in different art techniques, especially painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber arts, bookbinding, calligraphy, and papermaking. These explorations are a foundation for the sculpted watercolor technique Robin developed in the 1990's. This unique method of illustrating children's books is created by painting, cutting, and hand sculpting paper into 3-Dimensional art. Her books and paintings have won many awards, including a New York Sate Museum Purchase Prize, Outstanding Science Trade Book, National Science Teachers Association, Children's Book Council, John Burroughs List of Nature Books, and Reading Rainbow selections.

For over fifteen years, Robin has lead workshops based on the natural science and the artistry of the books she has illustrated. Through her hands-on workshops students experience the connection between art and science, especially her highly successful "Community Mural Project."

  • Leaflets Three, Let It Be
  • Wings
  • One Night In the Coral Sea
  • A Log's Life, Beaks
  • I Am An Artist
  • Starfish
  • Midnight In The Cemetery
Paul Czajak
Paul Czajak

Paul Czajak got an ‘F’ with the words “get a tutor” on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he’d become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. Living in Massachusetts with his wife, and two little monsters, Paul has rediscovered his passion for writing and looks forward to sharing his stories for years to come.

To find out more about Paul, and to read his blog, visit www.paulczajak.com.

Monster Needs Your Vote
  • Monster Needs Your Vote
  • Monster Needs a Christmas Tree
  • Seaver the Weaver
  • Monster Needs His Sleep
  • Monster Needs a Party
  • Monster Needs a Costume
Diane deGroat, Author
Diane deGroat, Author

Diane deGroat has been illustrating children’s books since 1972, with over 130 books to her credit. She has done artwork for many well-known authors, including Eve Bunting, Lois Lowry, and Johanna Hurwitz. Her most recently illustrated series is for the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, following the adventures of her lovable Bassett Hound, Charlie. Since 1992, Diane has also been writing and illustrating her own stories. Her Annie Pitts chapter books follow the adventures of America’s favorite redhead as she strives to become an actress. Diane's picture books about Gilbert the opossum include Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink, a New York Times Best Seller, and Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet. Eleven additional books are in this series, which has won four state children’s choice awards. In 2009, a spin-off series of I Can Read books debuted, offering beginner readers their own stories to read about Gilbert and his friends. Ms. deGroat resides in Amherst, MA.

Jingle Bells, Homework Smells by Diane deGroat
  • Jingle Bells, Homework Smells (D.d. HarperCollins, paperback)
  • Charlie and the Christmas Kitty (by Ree Drummond. Harper, hardcover)
  • A Turkey for Thanksgiving (by Eve Bunting. Houghton Mifflin, paperback)
  • Homer (by Diane deGroat and Shelley Rotner. Scholastic, hardcover)
  • Charlie and the New Baby (by Ree Drummond. Harper, hardcover)
  • Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in a Zoo (D.d. Harper, paperback)
  • Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink (D.d. Harper, paperback)
  • Gilbert and the Lost Tooth (D.d. Harper, paperback)
  • Gilbert the Surfer Dude (D.d Harper, paperback)
Joannie Duris
Joannie Duris

Joannie Duris enjoys discovering new places tucked away in the corners of New England. Her philosophy: go slow, so you don’t miss the good stuff. She studied geology before moving on to a career in nursing. Joannie has published stories in several national children’s magazines. B is for Berkshires is her first book. A New England transplant, Joannie spent much of her childhood in Japan. She lives in central Massachusetts where she can occasionally be seen chasing black bears away from her birdfeeders.

B is for Berkshires
Laura Ekroat
Laura Ekroat

Laura Eckroat resides in Monroe, Wisconsin, with her husband Steven and two rescued dogs -- Muffin and Shadow. Mrs. Eckroat is an elementary schoolteacher and the author of the 2010 North Texas Book Festival winner, The Life of Bud, and the 2013 Texas Association of Authors winner, Went Out To Get a Donut-Came Home With a Muffin. Her newest release is Daisy, part of her Life Cycle series.

    The Life of Bud
  • Life of Bud
Carol Gordon Ekster
Carol Gordon Ekster

Carol Gordon Ekster’s first published children’s book, Where Am I Sleeping Tonight?-A Story of Divorce, Boulden Publishing, 2008, was inspired by one special former student who lived the schedule described in the book. It was an About.com Readers’ Choice 2012 finalist for Best Children’s Book for Single Parents. Her second book, Ruth The Sleuth and The Messy Room, was picked up by Character Publishing, for their first list, and came out December 2011. It was awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval in 2012. Her newest picture book, Before I Sleep: I Say Thank You with Pauline Books and Media released January 1, 2015. Her first e-book, Hip Hopping Books, came out spring 2015 as part of a digital library with Schoolwide, Inc. And her picture book, Ya Know What?, with Clavis Books, will be out in Dutch, fall 2016 with the English version to follow in 2017. Carol retired after teaching 4th grade for 35 years. She starts her day exercising and doing yoga, then works on her writing and book promotion. She is grateful that her writing gives her another way to communicate with children.
Find out more at www.carolgordonekster.com
Twitter @cekster

    Before I Sleep I Say Thank You
  • Before I Sleep: I Say Thank You
  • Hip Hopping Books
  • Ruth the Sleuth and the Messy Room
  • Where Am I Sleeping Tonight
David A. Kelly
David A. Kelly


David A. Kelly is an established children’s book author, travel writer and technology analyst.

He’s the author of the Ballpark Mysteries series from Random House, in which cousins Kate and Mike solve mysteries at different major league ballparks, and the upcoming Most Valuable Players (MVP) series from Random House as well, in which a group of elementary school kids have adventures playing different sports. Mr. Kelly is also the author of the early reader, Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse and the picture book Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and Secret Mud that Changed Baseball.

He has written about travel and technology for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun Times, and many other publications. He’s currently the business travel expert for About.com. He lives in Newton, MA, with his wife and two sons. For more information, visit David’s webpage – www.davidakelly.com

Mr. Kelly was born in New Hartford, New York, on April 18th. He went to college at Syracuse University, where he studied computer science. He loved writing programs that would do things on the computer. He went back to school for business and got an MBA in Marketing. He started working with a consulting company that worked with technology companies to help them market their products. He started writing papers and marketing materials for business. It was around this time that he decided to try writing some travel articles.

A bit later on, David and his wife Alice had two sons, Steven and Scott. David spent a lot of time reading books to them and playing sports with them. They particularly liked baseball (although David thinks that’s partly because his wife Alice would let them stay up a half hour later at night if they were watching a Red Sox game!). After reading many picture books and chapter books to Steven and Scott, David decided it might be fun to try writing one himself.

So he tried. And tried. And tried. The first versions of his books were awful. They were too hard for kids to read and they didn’t have enough action. The words were too big. AND–they weren’t interesting! But David stuck with it. He revised and rewrote. He asked other people (including his wife, Alice, who is great at writing) for advice. He took a class in children’s book writing. And then he kept revising his stories.

After a few years of trying a wonderful editor named Jennifer at Random House Children’s Books in New York City became interested in one of David’s books! But the hard part wasn’t over. He had to keep revising and working with Jennifer to get the book right. Two years later, Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse was published! From there, David went back to writing and started working on the Ballpark Mysteries. They came out two years after the Babe Ruth book. He’s been working on them ever since!

Miracle Mud
  • Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse
  • Miracle Mud
  • #1 Fenway Foul-Up
  • #2 Pinstripe Ghost
  • #3 The L.A. Dodger
  • #4 The Astro Outlaw
  • #5 The All-Star Joker
  • #6 The Wrigley Riddle
  • #7 The San Francisco Splash
  • #8 The Missing Marlin
  • #9 The Philly Fake
  • #10 The Rookie Blue Jay
  • #11 The Tiger Troubles
Sarah Lamstein, Author
Sarah Lamstein

Sarah Lamstein grew up in Detroit, Michigan, the oldest of five children, in a house surrounded by books, with writing in the air. Her writing career started in fifth grade when she and her friend Judy, at their teacher’s suggestion, wrote spelling plays using all twenty words from each week’s spelling lesson. Sarah picked up writing again when she had children of her own, inspired by the books they read together.

Besides writing, Sarah did puppet shows all over town. Punch and Judy her favorite. And she was a school librarian, living and breathing books all day, trying to fix kids up with good ones.

Now she’s mostly writing. She’s written six books for children: From the Mango Tree, a collection of folktales from Nepal; a middle grade novel Hunger Moon, about a girl beset with a developmentally disabled younger brother before such disabilities were understood; and four picture books: I Like Your Buttons! a Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Book; Annie’s Shabbat, a Booklist Top Ten Religion Books for Youth; Letter on the Wind, a Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner and a CCBC Choice; Big Night for Salamanders, a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children and a Massachusetts Book Awards “Must Read” Book.

For adult readers, her poetry chapbook Breathless will soon be out.

Hunger Moon
  • From the Mango Tree
  • Big Night for Salamanders
  • Hunger Moon
  • Breathless
Heather Lang
Heather Lang

Heather Lang loves to research and write about real women who overcame extraordinary obstacles and never gave up on their dreams. Her latest picture book biography, FEARLESS FLYER: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine (Calkins Creek), takes us back 100 years to join daring aviatrix Ruth Law as she sets out to break the cross-country distance record in her out-of-date biplane. Aviation experts think the flight is doomed, but when Ruth Law makes up her mind, there is no use trying to stop her!

Heather’s other picture book biographies include, QUEEN OF THE TRACK: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion (Boyds Mills Press) and THE ORIGINAL COWGIRL: The Wild Adventures of Lucille Mulhall (Albert Whitman). SWIMMING WITH SHARKS: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark (Albert Whitman) will hit the shelves in December. When Heather is not writing and doing detective work for her next book, she loves to go on adventures with her husband and four children. Visit her at www.heatherlangbooks.com. Twitter: @hblang.

Swimming With Sharks
  • Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark (Albert Whitman, December 2016)
  • Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine (Calkins Creek)
  • The Original Cowgirl: The Wild Adventures of Lucille Mulhall (Albert Whitman)
  • Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion (Boyds Mills Press)
Gordon Morrison
Gordon Morrison

For more than forty years I have been doing pencil drawings and small watercolor paintings, of plants, animals and places. Having no formal training in the sciences, these field studies, for me, have been a primary tool for learning about nature first hand. The experience I gained from working outdoors influenced my work at all levels, and continues to do so. Over the years I have illustrated numerous books for other authors, written and illustrated five children’s books, executed art for nature organizations and, occasionally, exhibited my artwork. I also do talks for all age levels, from elementary on up. I hope you enjoy the images and accompanying comments as I share some of the work and it’s stages. From time to time I will change the content of the site, so please check back to see what’s new, or old, whichever the case may be...

  • Bald Eagle
  • A Drop of Water
  • Nature In The Neighborhood
Emily Neuburger
Emily Neuburger

Emily Neuburger is a writer, artist, and freelance art and creative writing teacher. She is passionate about encouraging people to get pumped about creativity, especially when it comes to the intersection of words and art. She is the author of the award winning book Show Me a Story (Dr. Toy Best Picks, Family Choice Award , National Parenting Products Award honors, USA Best Books, International Book Awards finalist) as well as the upcoming Journal Sparks (March 2017). She  writes regularly about creativity and unexpected treasures on her website, emilyneuburger.com, as well as in print magazines and around the web. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and three children. Emily will be signing her book and offering a "Story Stones" Workshop from 11 to 1at our Book Festival. This will be open to all children in the activity room!

  • Show Me a Story
Susie Rich, Author
Susie Rich

Susie Rich, a gifted writer and social work professional, is combining her two loves in books like Too Much Hopscotch. Throughout her career, Rich has worked with families to prevent homelessness while also seeking to develop a reputation as an author of short stories and novels. Using her love of families and writing, she writes affirming books for kids, hoping to help them understand that life always comes with challenges and that overcoming them requires a positive attitude and reliance on others.

Ideal for young readers, SusiesStories will keep children captivated with the surprises on every page. Too Much Hopscotch is a must read for children who will inevitably face challenges in their lives and for the caregivers who want to prepare them. A follow up to Too Much Hopscotch, How My Daddy Taught Me to Dance, has just been released and is the story of a young girl who has a passion for music and dance and must face the challenges of an upcoming audition. She is working on her next children's book which is titled I Don’t Care What You Wear, As Long As It’s Clean which will be available in 2015.

Susie Rich was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has spent her career working in the social work/homelessness prevention field. She has been pursuing her writing career in the short story and novel markets and has previously published "Beauties, The Eye of the Beholder," a short story, in an Ohio magazine. Now a published author, she has written many short stories and is also working on a novel as well as a graphic novel. She currently resides outside of Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband.

I, Don't Care What You Wear as Long as It's Clean
  • I, Don't Care What You Wear as Long as It's Clean
  • How My Daddy Taught Me to Dance
  • Too Much Hopscotch
Susan Paradis
Susan Paradis

Susan Paradis worked as a high school art teacher for thirty years. She has illustrated over twenty books for children, four of which she authored. Susan was chosen as one of five American artists to participate in a three-year national tour of Fairy Tale Art for her book Snow Princess. Most recently, she has been a guest artist the Tuttle Gallery in Canton Ohio, and has exhibited at both the Sharpe Gallery in Kennebunk, Maine, and the Wenham Museum in Wenham, Massachusetts. She is available to speak at schools, book clubs, and teachers' groups.

  • Snow Princess
Laura Scott Schaefer
Laura Scott Schaefer

Laura Scott Schaefer has had 3 picture books published along with the new hit chapter book series The Crumbles Chronicles: Tails of a Nervous Dog. She is passionate about her writing, the messages of her books and helping kids tap into their imagination. Laura teaches enrichment classes, conducts specialty workshops and provides animated author visits, both in person and via Skype. Her books have received excellent reviews from Midwest Book Review, ForeWord Book Review and lots of parents. The Crumbles Chronicles series has won both a Purple Dragonfly Award and Mom’s Choice Award. Laura is already working on more books in the comical series written from the viewpoint of a rescue dog that’s scared of just about everything, yet ends up a hapless hero. She offers a free fan club for readers and a portion of all purchases goes to help animal rescue shelters.

Battle of the Paper Bags
  • Where is Love?
  • Achoo!
  • Pugbug & the Ticklish Garden
  • The Crumbles Chronicles Book 1: Battle of the Paper Bags
  • The Crumbles Chronicles Book 2: Snout vs. Snowman
Aileen Stewart
Aileen Stewart

Aileen Stewart is the award winning author of the Fern Valley Series as well as the new Quack and Daisy Picture Book Series, a public speaker, amateur photographer, a blogger, and SCBWI member. In addition, she hosts writing workshops for children in first to sixth grade. She resides in lovely Shelby, Ohio with her beautiful daughter, wonderful husband, and their crazy cats Max, Daisy, and Fluffy. Her motto is “Kids Who Read Can Do Anything!”

Cooking in Fern Valley
  • Fern Valley
  • Return To Fern Valley
  • Quack and Daisy
  • Cooking In Fern Valley
Ruth Sanderson
Ruth Sanderson

Ruth Sanderson has been a professional illustrator since 1975, with over 80 published children’s books, in addition to having illustrated book covers, fantasy art, collector’s plates, animation concept art, and product design. She enjoys teaching writing and illustrating for children in a summer graduate program at Hollins University, in Roanoke, VA. She is a long-time member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is currently a New England Illustrator Coordinator. She is very proud of winning the Texas Bluebonnet Award in 2003 for The Golden Mare, The Firebird, and the Magic Ring. It is judged by a quarter of a million Texas school children in grades 3-5. She feels that winning for a picture book, when competing against chapter books too, makes it very rewarding.

Enchanted Wood
  • Enchanted Wood
Jane Sutton
Jane Sutton

Jane Sutton is the award-winning author of 10 children's books. Her latest–What’s Up With This Chicken?–was inspired by a true story her friend and backyard chicken raiser related about one hen who refused to get off her eggs. To create her fictional tale, Jane stirred in humor, “egg-cellent” puns, a resourceful heroine, and chicken facts. In Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster a well-meaning gorilla buys her animal friends what turn out to be wildly inappropriate gifts.

Growing up (although she never completely grew up) on Long Island, Jane wrote stories and essays and developed a sense of humor to deal with the indignities of childhood. Her books include picture books, middle grade novels, and a YA novel. Jane teaches a children’s book writing class at Lexington Community Education and tutors middle school through college students in writing. She gives author talks for all ages in schools, libraries and community centers. As a presenter, her programs for kids are designed to inform, entertain, and inspire children to want to write themselves. Her talks for adults describe the roller coaster life of a children's book author.

What's Up With This Chicken
  • What’s Up With this Chicken?
  • Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster
  • The Trouble With Cauliflower
  • Don’t Call Me Sidney
  • Confessions of an Orange Octopus
  • Not Even Mrs. Mazursky
Jean Taft
Jean Taft

Jean Taft is a New England writer who loves weather. She grew up in Vermont and lives in Rhode Island with her family and two very happy dogs. She is a member of SCBWI and ARIA (Association of Rhode Island Authors). Her first picture book, Worm Weather, was recently published by Grosset Á Dunlap/Penguin Young Readers October 2015. Worm Weather is also being released by Scholastic Book Club this fall.

WORM WEATHER was chosen as an NAIBA 2015 Pick of the Lists for Picture Books.

Jean says, "When I was growing up I always loved being outside on those rainy days when the worms were crawling around! You know, Worm Weather! My sister and I used to try and save the worms. You probably did too! I love talking with grown-ups and kids alike about this book. As soon as I mention the title, most people know exactly what type of rainy day the book is about!"

Worm Weather
  • Worm Weather
Liza Gardner Walsh

Liza Gardner Walsh


Liza Gardner Walsh is the author of several books including Fairy House Handbook, Fairy Garden Handbook, Treasure Hunter's Handbook, Muddy Boots: Outdoor Activities for Children and more. She is a high school English teacher and has worked as a children’s librarian, writing tutor, museum educator, and holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College. Although her books are on a variety of different subjects, at their heart they are about wonder, appreciateon, and exploration. The Handbook series aims to get kids outside exploring nature the way Liza did when she was little and what she still does with her two daughters and husband on the beautiful coast of Maine where they live. She and her family can often be found making tiny houses for fairies, mice, trolls, and other small creatures while also making forts and other natural installations in the woods. Liza began ghost hunting at an early age as she lived in a variety of haunted houses and old New England villages where ghosts were plentiful and active. As Liza works on her writing each day, Rocky, her Maine Coon cat shares her chair between fetching balls and playing with water sources.

Fairy House Handbook
  • Fairy House Handbook