Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2019 SCBWI SF/South Mentees

Congratulations to our region’s first group of mentees!

Illustrator Winner

Kalene Tulioti

Picture Book Winners

Thuy Ha: Tiny Acts of Kindness

Lisa Pierson: Ripley’s Ride

Middle Grade Winners

L. Michelle Quraishi: Mission Girl

Amanda Conran: Chalklight

Young Adult Winner

Shannon Ledger: The Patron Saint of Lost Things


Photograph by Igor Kraguljak


Kathi Appelt is the NY Times Best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. She is the recipient of the Newbery Honor, National Book Finalist (2x), and the PEN USA award for children’s literature. She is also on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in their MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.




CHRISTY HALE – Author/Illustrator

Christy Hale has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including two that she also wrote. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts and Masters in Teaching at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, then worked as an art educator for several years. She relocated to New York, earned a B.F.A. in illustration at Pratt Institute, then worked in publishing as a designer and art director. Christy has also taught at the Center for Book Arts and as an adjunct professor in the Communication Design department at Pratt Institute—all while beginning her illustration career. She has worked in the children’s book industry since the mid-80s and has helped develop the careers of many new creators.

Christy is the consulting art director for Lee & Low Books and has been in this role since 1991. She teaches an online course in Writing for Picture Books through the illustration department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.



Erin is the author of over a dozen picture books, including K is for Kindergarten (illus. Joseph Cowman) and Deck the Walls (illus. Nick Ward)/ both Sleeping Bear Press; three books with illustrator Luciana Navarro Powell/ Kane Miller: Grandpa’s Favorite and companion book Grandma’s Favorite, as well as Babies Come From Airports –a kids’-eye view of international adoption; and two with Atheneum/ S&S: Goldie Locks has Chicken Pox, and Little Bo Peep Can’t Get To Sleep (illus. Hanako Wakiyama), which have taken her to school visits as far south as Brazil and as far north as Tok, Alaska.

When her initial career goal of Olympic Gold Medal Tetherball Player didn’t pan out, she became a teacher, theater director, actor, mom, and author. Among Dealey’s forthcoming picture books are Snowglobe Wishes (illus. Claire Shorrock/ Sleeping Bear, winter 2019); Peter Easter Frog (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum, illus. G. Brian Karas, 2020), and Dear Earth…letters from Room 5 (Harper Collins). Dealey is a former SCBWI Co-RA for CA North/Central, frequent conference presenter, and the social media and PR Coordinator for East West Literary Agency. If you’re still reading this bio (thanks!), follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest @ErinDealey and check out her blog at



Marilyn Hilton is the author of the APALA award-winning Full Cicada Moon and the Sue Alexander award-winning Found Things. She has also published numerous short stories, essays, and poems in various journals, and has been nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize for poetry. She holds a MA in English/creative writing and a BA in Japanese. She also spent a year studying ochado (tea ceremony) at Urasenke Konnichian in Kyoto. Marilyn was a mentee in the 2010-11 Nevada Mentor Program, where she completed a middle-grade novel, made lasting friendships, and developed a deep respect for mentorship programs.



Mina Witteman is a published children’s author, writing in English and Dutch. She has seven middle grade novels out in the Netherlands, the latest is the fourth book in her hugely popular Boreas series. She has a Dutch Little Golden Book to her name, as well as over forty short stories published in Dutch read-aloud anthologies and children’s magazines. Mina sold her debut, De wraak van Deedee (Deedee’s Revenge) upon finishing the four-year course Writing Prose for Children at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, through which institution she also received her certification in Teaching Creative Writing. Trained through the master program Book Editing of the University of Amsterdam, Mina is a seasoned independent editor who has worked and works for prestigious publishing houses, both in the Netherlands and in California.

Mina is SCBWI’s International Published Authors’ Coordinator and a Program Associate for the Bay Area Book Festival, where she is responsible for the children’s and young adult programming. She is a longtime member of and judge for the EU Committee for the Undiscovered Voices Competition of SCBWI British Isles, as well as a longtime judge for the Young Authors Fiction Festival of the American Library in Paris. Mina Witteman lives in Berkeley, California. You can visit her website at