Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Faculty for Ready, Set, Critique!



Zabé / Z. R. Ellor is a writer and a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. He holds a BA in English Lit and biology from Cornell University. When not writing, he can be found running, playing video games, and hunting the best brunch deals in Dupont Circle.

Zabé loves all genres of YA: swoonworthy romances, electrifying thrillers and mysteries, heartbreaking contemporaries, and SFF that sweeps him off to a new world. Whatever you’re writing, give him flawed characters who struggle with the complexities of growing up and tangled networks of relationships binding them together. Books with messy, real, and consuming emotions are his kryptonite.

He is interested in graphic novel projects for all age groups, especially children’s projects that will make him laugh, cry, or both. Author/illustrators strongly preferred. And in nonfiction, Zabé wants proposals for books about science and history that teach and entertain in equal measure. As a former evolutionary biology/Renaissance literature major, Zabé’s interests are wide, but he will always be interested in projects about fossils. Show him your platform and your passion for the subject.

Diversity is incredibly important to Zabé. He strongly encourages marginalized authors to self-identify, if they are comfortable, especially if their identity is related to their project.




Adria Goetz is a Literary Agent with Seattle-based Martin Literary & Media Management, specializing in picture books, middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as gift books and devotionals. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, as well as the Columbia Publishing Course. In 2019, she was selected as a Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree. She was recently proud to represent Taste Your Words by Bonnie Clark, The Ugly Doodles by Valeria Wicker, The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho, and No Ordinary Thing by G.Z. Schmidt. 

Adria lives in an old Victorian farmhouse with her husband Alex and their two darling cats, Maple and Mulberry. To learn more about Adria and what she is (and isn’t) looking for, check out her wish list at, and her agency’s website She tweets at @adriamgoetz. 

Adria’s critiques are SOLD OUT



James McGowan is the Literary Assistant and Social Media Manager for BookEnds Literary Agency. A Staten Island native, he holds a master’s degree in English from the College of Staten Island. He’s been a reader since his mom gave him the first A Series of Unfortunate Events book, and ordered the sequels regularly through Scholastic book orders. He only recently learned he could be a writer… now, his debut picture book, GOOD NIGHT, OPPY, publishes in Fall 2021 from Boyds Mills Kane Press. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @jmcgowanbks.


James is currently open to submissions in picture book fiction and non-fiction, middle grade fiction and non-fiction, and adult fiction. More information can be found on the BookEnds submissions page, and you can query him at http://QueryMe.Online/jmcgowan.

James’s critiques are SOLD OUT



Saba Sulaiman is an agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services, a boutique agency located in Milford, CT. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MA from the University of Chicago, where she studied modern Persian literature. In children’s fiction, she is building her picture book, middle grade and young adult lists, and is particularly (although not exclusively) interested in contemporary realistic stories. 

Being an immigrant who is constantly negotiating her own identity and sense of belonging in a place she now calls “home,” she is committed to highlighting more diverse voices with compelling stories to tell; stories that demonstrate the true range of perspectives that exist in this world, and address urgent and often underexplored issues in both fiction and non-fiction with veracity and heart. Follow her on Twitter @agentsaba and learn more about her at

Saba’s critiques are SOLD OUT




Leslie Zampetti gained experience as a librarian and writer before becoming a literary agent with Dunham Literary Agency. Her clients include Ann Clare LeZotte (SHOW ME A SIGN) and Lisa Rose (THE SINGER AND THE SCIENTIST, 2021). Leslie represents picture books through young adult, but middle grade is her sweet spot. 

At the moment, Leslie is seeking more humor (dry or sweet, not gross), mysteries for all ages, and friendship/sibling/found family stories. Inclusivity and stories by marginalized creators are a priority for her. She tweets at @leslie_zampetti 

Leslie’s critiques are SOLD OUT








Jess Harold is an assistant editor at Scholastic, where she edits every format of children’s book under the sun. She is always looking for stories that focus on voices from the margins, especially those that serve as mirrors to young readers and are full of radical, unexpected joy. She is happiest in 78 degree weather near the people, plants, and animals she loves. Find her on Twitter @jessharold.

Jess’s critiques are SOLD OUT








editor Carol HinzCarol Hinz is Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, divisions of Lerner Publishing Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She acquires and edits picture books as well as photo-driven nonfiction. Books she’s edited include Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson; A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Seo Kim; Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko; and Tracking Pythons: The Quest to Catch an Invasive Predator and Save an Ecosystem by Kate Messner. Find her on Twitter: @CarolCHinz.

Carol’s critiques are SOLD OUT 




Erika Turner is the senior editor of original young adult and middle grade content at IDW. She loves unexpected concepts, surly middle grade protagonists, and queer YA fantasy.

In her spare time, she looks up real estate listings for fun, obsesses over home décor, and hangs out with her spouse and their rescue mutt Sherlock (aptly named for his brilliance and tomfoolery).








Art Directors


Erica De Chavez is a Filipino-American children’s book designer at HarperCollins Publishers during the day. By night, she is a freelance illustrator, designer, and storyteller. She is the designer of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel PopularMMOS Presents A Hole New World and has the pleasure of working with talented artists and writers on many different books for children. 

When not creating, Erica devours any number of books, manga, comics, graphic novels, podcasts, TV shows, and movies all at the same time. When she makes the time to go outside, she loves throwing a Frisbee around and taking long walks with her dog. You can see her work on and on Instagram @PandaErica.




Saho Fujii is a senior art director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She has designed a wide range of books including picture books, board books, activity and novelty books, middle grade and young adult novels. She currently oversees the LBYR’s picture book list. She has worked with many award-winning illustrators including Aaron Becker, Sophie Blackall, Bryan Collier, Molly Idle, Rafael López, Jerry Pinkney, LeUyen Pham, John Rocco, and Javaka Steptoe. 

Saho lives in New York City. You can see her work at