Member News — January 2021

Member News is a monthly feature on the EasternPennPoints blog. We want to celebrate our Eastern PA SCBWI members’ good news and help spread the word far and wide. Send us your children’s book–related news—book deals, releases, awards, author or illustrator events (signings, launch parties, appearances), etc. If you’d like your news to be included in next month’s column, please email Laura Parnum at epa-ra2@scbwi.org before February 20 or fill out our “Good News Survey.”

Here’s some exciting news from our members this month:

Agent Signings

  • Author Alyssa Reynoso-Morris signed with agent Kaitlyn Sanchez of Olswanger Literary, and they are currently on submission with two picture books.
  • Author Chris Low signed with agent Joyce Sweeney at Seymour Literary Agency and recently published the short story “Local Buzz” in Balloons Literary Journal.
  • Author (and Eastern PA SCBWI Co-Regional Advisor) Laura Parnum signed with agent Kaitlyn Johnson of Belcastro Agency for representation of her middle grade novel.

Here’s to long and productive literary partnerships for all of them!


Instagram Challenges

Two of our illustrator members are involved in Instagram challenges this month. Sarah Ryan started her second 100-day challenge on January 15, posting 100 days of backyard birds. Check out her progress on Instagram (@sarahryandraws). Tara Santoro launched an illustration challenge for 2021: the Great Illustrated Recipe Challenge (@gr.illustratedrecipechallenge #IllustratedRecipeChallenge). Click here to see what was posted!


Author-Illustrator Julie Fortenberry’s upcoming picture book, Darcy’s First Sleepover (Christy Ottaviano Books), will be released in June 2021 and is now available for preorder here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250755902. Darcy’s First Sleepover is a story about overcoming anxiety: Every night at home, Darcy brushes her teeth with strawberry toothpaste, she snuggles in bed with Little Cat, and she falls asleep to the sound of her dad washing the dishes. But tonight, Darcy is having her very first sleepover! Even though it’s at her cousin Kayla’s house, it still feels a little daunting. Kayla has peppermint toothpaste, a baby bear named Charlotte, and howling winds outside her window. Darcy misses her dad and her own cozy bedroom. Should she ask her aunt to take her home? This rewarding tale celebrates the excitement of new experiences and the power of quiet growth. Backmatter also includes steps parents can take when helping kids prepare for their first sleepover.

In addition, Julie’s most recent book, Pearl Goes to Preschool (Candlewick, July 2020), received reviews from Horn Book, Booklist, and The Wall Street Journal. You can read Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and more reviews here.


Author Joan Friday recently released her first YA novel, My Sister, My Soul: An Arabian Nights Tale on Amazon in both paperback and ebook. My Sister, My Soul is the story of Scheherazade and her sister, set long ago in an ancient palace with a touch of fantasy. Is the legend of the phoenix true, or is it her sister’s stories that will save the kingdom—and keep them alive? The book is available here.


Author Susan Dalessandro’s YA novel, Complex Solutions, will release in March 2021. In this novel, sixteen-year-old Lexi learns that her parents secretly proved a famous math theorem before their deaths in a car accident. An accident she believes she caused. Stalked by a man who wants the proof of the theorem for his own glory, she turns to a friend for help, falling hard for him, while trying to conceal her own secret of self-harm.

This month Susan also released a YA novella, Sink or Swim, as part of a romance box set entitled Askew Ever After (RhetAskew Publishing, January 2021).


Rose Capelli’s poem “Can You Wiggle Like a Worm” was published in the anthology Hop to It: Poems to Get You Moving by Silvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, October 2020). The book is a collection of 100 poems by 90 poets, with fun factoids sprinkled throughout, thematic mini-lessons, and extensive backmatter featuring useful tips to help maximize student learning. Poems involve the whole body and incorporate a wide variety of movements—including deskercise! The book is available here: https://www.qepbooks.com/Products/HOP-TO-IT-Poems-to-Get-You-Moving__Pom7299.aspx.


Kira Barrett was accepted into the Vermont College of Fine Arts, into the Masters in Children’s and Young Adult Writing program. Kira is thrilled to be joining this exceptional program, starting January 2021, to fully immerse herself in developing the craft.


Katie Caprino has started a children’s book blog. As writers, we are always reading mentor texts to improve our craft. Katie wanted a place to share her ideas about contemporary children’s books with other writers, parents, and teachers. Katie Reviews Books (katiereviewsbooks.wordpress.com) is the result of her desire to share her love of children’s literature titles with others.


Author-illustrator Adrienne Wright will be presenting in a free webinar on Feb 3 at 7:00pm EST for the Global Read Aloud webinar series. Adrienne will be discussing her book, Hector: A Boy, a Protest, and the Photograph that Changed Apartheid, which won the Children’s Africana Book Award last year and is featured for the Africa portion of the series. Adrienne will be talking about her inspiration, research, and sources and will be doing a short reading from the book. There will be a Q&A session after the presentation. Register here: http://africaaccessreview.org/global-read-webinar/


If you have good news to share, please send it to epa-ra2@scbwi.org to be included in next month’s Member News column or fill out our “Good News Survey.”

This entry was posted in Member News, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Member News — January 2021

  1. Heather Stigall says:

    WOW!! So much great news to celebrate! Congratulations everyone!

  2. Congratulations to all! So much good news 🙂

  3. Wendy says:

    Happy dancing for all the good news!

  4. Joanne Roberts says:

    Wow! so much to celebrate! Congratulations everyone.

  5. Adrienne Wright says:

    Congrats to everyone for your exciting news!

Comments are closed.