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Children's Book Manuscript Advisors



The following is the list of instructors for the 2016 workshop.
The instructor information for the 2017 workshop will be posted in the Spring of 2017.

Kaylan Adair spacer
KAYLAN ADAIR (editor) grew up in Vermont and attended college in western Massachusetts. She interned at Barefoot Books and worked as an editorial assistant at Tuttle Publishing
spacer Kaylan Adair books - Fly the Swin - Paper Things
before joining Candlewick Press as an assistant editor in 2004. Now an editor at Candlewick, Kaylan works on everything from board book originals to young adult novels, though she is especially fond of middle-grade novels.

Among the many projects she's worked on in her eleven years at Candlewick are Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar, Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Swim the Fly by Don Calame, and King Arthur's Very Great Grandson by Kenneth Kraegel. She was the American editor for Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking
Kaylan Adair books - A Monster Calls - Hour of the Bees spacer
series as well as the novels A Monster Calls and More Than This. She is looking for stories with strong, original voices; evocative settings; compelling characters; and heart. Lots and lots of heart.

When not working, Kaylan spends her time playground-hopping with her husband and toddler, watching an eclectic assortment of television shows, and diligently chipping away at the to-read pile on her nightstand.

List of additional books:

Picture Books

spacer Kaylan Adair books - And Then Comes Halloween - King Arthurs Very Great Grandson
  • And Then Comes Halloween by Tom Brenner, illus. by Holly Meade
  • And Then Comes Christmas by Tom Brenner, illus. by Jana Christy
  • Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World by Elizabeth Rusch, illus. by Oliver Dominguez
  • Jack's Worry by Sam Zuppardi
  • Jubilee! One Man's Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace by Alicia Potter, illus. by Matt Tavares
  • Just Itzy by Lana Krumwiede, illus. by Greg Pizzoli
  • Little Red Henry by Linda Urban, illus. by Madeline Valentine
  • My Blue Is Happy by Jessica Young, illus. by Catia Chien
  • The Nowhere Box by Sam Zuppardi
  • The Song of Delphine by Kenneth Kraegel

MG novels

  • Archon by Lana Krumwiede
  • Down Sand Mountain by Steve Watkins
  • Fallout by Todd Strasser
  • Freakling by Lana Krumwiede
  • The Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup
  • Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
  • Three Bird Summer by Sara St. Antoine
  • True Son by Lana Krumwiede
  • Winterfrost by Michelle Houts

YA novels

  • Beat the Band by Don Calame
  • The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser
  • Call the Shots by Don Calame
  • Juvie by Steve Watkins
  • The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
  • What Comes After by Steve Watkins

Erica Finkel spacer
ERICA FINKEL (associate editor) hails from Maryland and studied English Literature at Tufts University in Boston. After graduation, she taught English in a teeny town in France,
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then returned to Boston to earn an MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College while interning at Harvard Education Press and Shambhala Publications. She moved to New York to take a job at Abrams Books in 2010 and has been there ever since.

She now works on a variety of children's books from picture books to young adult novels. Some of her favorites include In My Heart (a USA Today bestseller) by Jo Witek, Fraidyzoo (an ALA Notable Book) by Thyra Heder, Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau, and My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula Freedman. She's especially looking forward to the publication of her acquisitions Camp Rolling Hills
Erica Finkel books -Fraidyzoo - My Basmati Bat Mitzvah - In My Heart spacer
by Stacy Davidowitz and The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch. She loves character- and relationship-driven stories, with a vivid atmosphere and a strong sense of place.

Erica lives in Brooklyn, New York. When not working, you might find her in a yoga class or binge-watching the Golden Girls.

Susan Cohen spacer
SUSAN COHEN (agent) grew up not far from where David Greenberg did, on Long Island. She attended Princeton and had no idea what she wanted to do after that, but suspected it might have something to do with books.
spacer Susan Cohen books - Boy Were We Wrong About the Human Body - Winter is Coming

She soon fell into a job at Writers House literary agency... and never left. And despite her youthful appearance, that was 35 years ago! While she does do some adult books (mostly non-fiction), her start was — and her heart remains — with children's books. Everything from picture book authors and illustrators through YA authors of both fiction and non-fiction.
Susan Cohen books - Nanny X - Women Who Broke the Rules: Sonya Sotomayor - Nasreens Secret School - The Higher Power of Lucky spacer

She loves the agent's combination of roles: working with her clients editorially, as advocate, as contracts analyst, sometimes as therapist — and even uses her diplomatic skills in the sometimes frustrating role as intermediary between authors and editors. She sees herself as an explainer of the realities of both writing and publishing. Which is pretty much her role here at OCCBWW.

Her authors have won a Newbery, a Siebert Medal, the Jane Addams Medal, and one has been nominated 3 times for a
spacer Susan Cohen books - Life as We Knew It - The Contract - Most Dangerous
National Book Award. And she loves seeing her illustrator clients' art on the covers and pages of books, and in the annual Original Art exhibit.

She lives in a town with a wonderful bookstore (Maplewood NJ), with her husband (a sometime author), and her son (who should be a kids book character).

Christine Fletcher spacer
CHRISTINE FLETCHER's (author) first young adult novel, Tallulah Falls,, was named a Book for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library and was optioned for film. Her second, Ten Cents a Dance,, was named a YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, chosen as a Jefferson Cup Honor Book by the Virginia Library Association, awarded a BCCB Blue Ribbon, and was a finalist for the Cybils Award in Young Adult Fiction, among other honors. For the past 26 years, Christine has also been a practicing veterinarian.
spacer Christine Fletcher books - Tallulah Falls - Ten Cents a Dance
Writing and veterinary medicine have this in common: no matter how much you know, there's always more to learn. Which means she sometimes feels like an idiot, but on the other hand, she's never bored. In her writing, Christine will follow a compelling story into just about any YA genre: contemporary, historical, and most recently, sci fi. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her boyfriend of many years, an assortment of rescued dogs and cats, and a hognose snake named Snappy Tom.

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DAVID GREENBERG (author) has written illustrated, humorous picture books from Bantam, Little Brown, Farrar Straus Giroux, and Dutton (which has also published his first novel).

  • Slugs
  • Bugs!
  • Skunks!
  • Snakes!
  • Whatever Happened to Humpty Dumpty?
  • The Great School Lunch Rebellion
  • Your Dog Might be a Werewolf, Your Toes Could All Explode
  • The Book of Boys for Girls — The Book of Girls for Boys
  • spacer Super Silly School Poems by David Greenberg
  • Don't Forget Your Etiquette: The Essential Guide to Misbehavior
  • Crocs!
  • A Tugging String (Greenberg's first novel about Dr. Martin Luther King's 1965 Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March)
  • Enchanted Lions
  • Super Silly School Poems

His book, A Tugging String, is winner of the Oregon Spirit Award. The Great School Lunch Rebellion is winner of a Children's Choice Award.

Bugs by David Greenberg spacer

Although he has written a novel, David specializes in picture books and sub-specializes in poetry. His books have been translated into French and Korean. He has taught at Portland State University, Lewis & Clark College, and The University of Idaho, among others. He speaks nationally to teachers on writing instruction and visits many schools nationwide to present assemblies and writing workshops.

If you wish to contact him personally, his e-mail address is

You can find out more about David at his website.

Crocs!, The Tugging Stringe, The Book of Boys for Girls-The Book of Girls for Boys, Don't Forget Your Etiquette!

David Greenberg consulting with workshop participant. spacer David Consulting

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RUTH A. MUSGRAVE (author) made her first attempt at combining nonfiction and humor failing miserably. However, it was a writing assignment for a 3rd grade teacher who lacked a funny bone. Fortunately, due her Midwestern upbringing, Ruth had a determination that would impress a terrier and she eventually found a welcoming audience for her brand of nonfiction.

Ruth is an award-winning children's nonfiction writer known for her entertaining and creative approach. She is also an animal and marine science expert and a lucky hitchhiker on ocean research adventures. Ruth's books include Everything Sharks, Funny Fill-Ins: My Pet Adventure, Just Joking 3, and Ultimate Weird But True (co-writer) (all National Geographic Children's Books), and Saving Endangered
spacer Funny Fill-Ins: Animal Adventures - Funny Fill-Ins: Pet Adventures - Ultimate Weird But True
(Heinemann Publishing). In 2016, she has three new books (also for National Geographic), including Mission Shark Rescue: All About Sharks and How to Save Them.

Ruth loves the pace and challenge of magazine writing, and is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Kids Magazine. She's also been published in Scientific American Explorations, Scholastic's SuperScience, Click and Ask. She estimates that during the last decade she has researched and written about more than 300 animals for 100+ published articles and projects. Examples of her recent National Geographic Kids Magazine articles include "Eat More Insects and other Tips for Being a Coati" (June/July 2015), "Extreme Parenting: Emperor Penguins" (November 2014), and "Parenting: Puffin Style" (April 2014).

Ruth's awards include Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Magazine Merit Honor
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Award for Nonfiction,
two Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences-Southwest, and her most cherished award, "World's Best Mom" (though Ruth thinks her daughter rescinded it when she became a teenager).

When not writing, Ruth is either discussing current events with her dogs or searching for plesiosaurs while kayaking on a lazy Oregon river. You can find out more at:

Jenn Reese spacer
JENN REESE (author) got started writing science fiction and fantasy for the adult market and has published numerous stories in places such as The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
spacer Jenn Reese books - Jade Tiger - Fantasy and Science Fiction
and the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Paper Cities. Her first adult novel, Jade Tiger, was the lead title for the Juno Books imprint in 2007. Since then, Jenn had returned to middle grade novels, her very first love. She has just completed her Above World trilogy for Candlewick, a series that combines science fiction, mythology, and martial arts. The first book was a finalist for the 2012 Andre Norton Award.

Jenn Reese books - World Series - Mirage - Horizon spacer
When she's not writing, Jenn works as a freelance graphic designer and occasional voice actor. She also enjoys playing video games, watching way too much TV, and studying martial arts. (She has over a dozen years of practice with kung fu, kempo, and weapons and is almost certainly more of a danger to others than herself now, although she would not recommend putting any money on that.) A recent transplant to Portland from Los Angeles, Jenn is busy soaking in the trees and fresh air as she works on her latest middle grade novel.

Stephanie Shaw spacer
STEPHANIE SHAW (author) graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavers) and earned her Master's degree from Lewis and Clark. She taught emotionally disabled children for several years before moving into school counseling and then administration. She knew early on in life that books give solace, humor, insight and inspiration. And, she drew on this passion for children's literature while working with kids. Her favorite room in any school was the library and her favorite activity was reading to kids or having them read to her (or playing on the swings outside but that's another story).

After retiring to care for her mom, Stephanie filled the time between care shifts with writing poems and stories. Connections with editors, agents and illustrators eventually led her to the publication of magazine stories, board books and picture books. She has been honored by Highlights for Kids Magazine as Author of The Month (this for her very first published story in 2013) and Story of the Year: High Five, 2014. Her book publishers include Tiger Tales, Sleeping Bear Press and Simon & Schuster UK.
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  • Bedtime in the Meadow, (2013)
  • A Cookie for Santa, (2014)
  • The Legend of the Beaver's Tale, (2015)
  • Under the Sleepy Stars, (2015)
  • By the Light of the Moon, (2016)
  • Schnitzel, (2016)
  • Moo La La!, (2017)

Stephanie lives with her husband in McMinnville, Oregon in a house generously shared with them by their mini labradoodle, Milo.

By the Light of the Moon - Bedtime in the Meadow - Under the Sleepy Stars - Lengend of the Beaver's Tail - A Cookie for Santa - The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids

Instructor Panel 2015
Instructor Panel 2015

Inquiries about Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop