Prizes 2022

Winners get to select one of these 13 wonderful prizes!

Valerie is donating a 20-minute Ask Me Anything Session.

What has kept Valerie Bolling sane throughout the pandemic are two things: writing and walking. Both provide nourishment to her soul. She often writes stories in her head, while walking, and comes up with some of her best revision ideas. Her debut LET’S DANCE! (SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner and CT Book Award finalist) was published in 2020, and she’s happy to welcome TOGETHER WE RIDE (illus. Kaylani Juanita) and RIDE, ROLL, RUN: TIME FOR FUN! (illus. Sabrena Khadija) in 2022. Sequels to these books as well as a Scholastic early reader series, RAINBOW DAYS (illus. Kai Robinson), are slated for 2023. Valerie has been an educator for almost 30 years, teaches classes at Westport Writers Workshop, and is a WNDB mentor. She is deeply immersed in the kidlit writing community, particularly involved with SCBWI, the 12X12 Picture Book Challenge, and Black Creators HeadQuarters.

Vivian is donating a Picture Book Critique. Fiction or nonfiction, rhyming or nonrhyming.

Writer for children—reader forever…that’s Vivian Kirkfield in five words. Her bucket list contains many more words – but she’s already checked off skydiving, parasailing, and visiting kidlit friends all around the world. When she isn’t looking for ways to fall from the sky or sink under the water, she can be found writing picture books in the picturesque town of Bedford, New Hampshire. A retired kindergarten teacher with a masters in Early Childhood Education, Vivian inspires budding writers during classroom visits and shares insights with aspiring authors at conferences and on her blog where she hosts the #50PreciousWords International Writing Contest and the #50PreciousWordsforKids Challenge. Her nonfiction narratives bring history alive for young readers and her picture books have garnered starred reviews and accolades including the Silver Eureka, Social Studies Notable Trade Book, A Best STEM Book K-12 2022, and Junior Library Guild Selection.

Find Vivian on her website:

Teresa is donating a winner's choice of either a signed copy of

Queen of Physics or Two Bicycles in Beijing OR a 15-minute Ask Me Anything Session.

(US entries only for signed book please.)

Teresa Robeson ( is the APALA Picture Book Award-winning author of QUEEN OF PHYSICS (also ILA Nonfiction PB Honor and NCTE Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Recommended Book). Other publications include TWO BICYCLES IN BEIJING and an essay in NONFICTION WRITERS DIG DEEP, edited by Melissa Stewart. Her upcoming works include two biographical graphic novels with Penguin Workshop and two picture books, the nonfiction CLOUDS IN SPACE: THE NEBULA STORY with MIT Kids/Candlewick and CLEAR AND BRIGHT with Astra Young Readers.

Diana is offering a Rhyming Picture Book Critique.

Diana Murray is the author of over twenty children’s books, including the bestselling UNICORN DAY series and Jr. Library Guild Selections like CITY SHAPES and GOODNIGHT, VEGGIES. Diana has taught picture book writing workshops at the Highlights Foundation and Storyteller Academy, and her poetry appears in many magazines and anthologies. She grew up in New York City and still lives nearby with her husband, two children, and a dancing dog.

Matt is offering a Rhyming Picture Book Critique or a critique of up to three poems.

Matt Forrest Esenwine had spent a good part of his life writing poetry, much of which was published in various national journals and anthologies like the Donald Hall tribute, "Except for Love" (Encircle, 2019). Then his debut picture book, "Flashlight Night" (Astra Young Readers, 2017), received a Kirkus starred review and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the Best Books for Kids 2017! Matt now has a dozen books out or under contract, including "Once Upon Another Time" (Beaming Books, 2021), co-authored with Charles “Father Goose” Ghigna, and "I Am Today" (POW! Kids Books, 2022), and his children’s poetry can be found in anthologies like "The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry" (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015) and "Construction People" (Wordsong, 2020), chosen by Kirkus as one of the Best Picture Books of the Year. Connect with Matt and order personally-signed books at

Anne is donating winner's choice of either 20-minute Ask Me Anything Session or a Non-rhyming Picture Book Critique or Picture Book Dummy Critique or Portfolio Critique for an illustrator.

ANNE APPERT (she/they) is an author/illustrator who spent her childhood with her nose stuck in a book, while her wild imagination transformed her New Jersey backyard into faraway places. She still enjoys spending time in her backyard dreaming, and now her imagination turns her dreams into words and pictures for children. Anne wrote and illustrated their debut book BLOB which was published by HarperCollins in Fall of 2021, with a second book to follow. They are also a member of SCBWI, from which they received an honor in the 2021 Winter Conference Portfolio Showcase. Anne finds her inspiration in nature, anything colorful, and traveling.

Donna Barba Higuera is donating a SIGNED copy of THE LAST CUENTISTA, Contiguous US only (swag or art included!).

Donna Barba Higuera is an award-winning author whose Middle Grade and Picture books reinvent history, folklore, and or her own life experience into compelling storylines. She lives in Washington State with her husband, four kids, three dogs and a frog.

Alyssa is donating winner's choice of either a Nonfiction Picture Book Critique, a Copy of one of the books she represents, or a 20-minute Ask Me Anything Session.

Alyssa is author Patsy Takemoto Mink's agent

Alyssa is Ruth Behar's agent

Alyssa Eisner Henkin founded Birch Path Literary, a full-service boutique literary agency in 2021. She began her publishing career in children’s editorial at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. She later joined Trident Media Group as a literary agent and was named Executive Vice President. She is proud to represent a stable of bestselling and multi-award authors including Ruth Behar, Julie Berry, Jen Bryant, Lisa Greenwald and R.J. Palacio, whose #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder was turned into a major motion picture and sparked a movement to #choosekind.

Alyssa is passionate about heartfelt storytelling and innovative ideas that fill holes and/ or break new ground in the market. While kidlit will always comprise the bulk of her list, she is open to representing select projects for grownups.

Jenna is donating a Rhyming Picture Book Critique.

Andrea Hall is a Senior Acquisitions Editor at Beaming Books, where she acquires and edits picture books, chapter books, and middle grade. She is also the author of SHE'S ON THE MONEY (Albert Whitman, 2021). Andrea holds a BA in English/creative writing from Miami University in Ohio. She's a former book reviewer for the Ohioana Quarterly and a member of SCBWI. When Andrea isn't reading or editing, she can be found baking, crocheting, or quilting.

Andrea Hall is donating a 20-minute Ask Me Anything Session.

Jenna Waldman is the author of the picture books, LARRY'S LATKES and SHARKBOT SHALOM (2021, Apples & Honey Press), and Purr-im Time! (2022, Apples & Honey Press), and countless children's poems. Jenna is originally from Rhode Island, but now lives in the SF Bay Area. She shares her home with her husband, their two boys, and three felines.

Ciara is donating a winner's choice Non-rhyming Picture Book critique or Non-Rhyming Non-fiction Picture Book Critique.

Combine humor with picture books. Stir in a children’s illustrated biography. Add in a pinch of nonfiction writing, and a dash of educational curriculum creation…and Voila! You have author, Ciara O’Neal. This mother of seven is also a, librarian, book blogger, SCWBI member, and a purveyor of puns. She plots world domination with a donut in each hand.

Monica is donating a Query Critique.

Monica helped support the marketing plan for HATTIE HATES HUGS

Monica helped support the marketing plan for MUSHROOM RAIN

Monica Rodriguez’s branding and public relations background brings a new perspective to the Context Literary Agency team. Her love for books can be traced back to elementary school, where the best days were spent attending book fairs and author readings. Today, Monica spends her free time in Austin’s public libraries, at the movies, or snuggling with her dog Jude. She is the creator of Find A Lovely Life where she runs the Find A Lovely Book Club. She is also a contributing writer for LatinaMediaCo.

Monica gravitates towards stories about identity, family relationships, and travel. She got into agenting with a mission to help uplift underrepresented voices in publishing, specifically within the Latinx community. In children’s literature, she is actively looking for PB, MG, YA & Graphic Novels. She is also open to adult and non-fiction submissions. Check out her MSWL page for more.

Monica is also the Director of Brand Management at Context Literary Agency. Her solution-driven strategies support clients' books before and after they’ve hit the shelves. She loves maximizing the career potential for Context authors.

Kaitlyn is author Laura K. Zimmermann's agent

Kaitlyn is donating an Above the Slushpile Submission.

Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez is a mom, wife, math teacher, picture book author, and an agent with Context Literary Agency.

She is also the co-creator and co-host of the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest, the creator of the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy Contest, and one of the co-hosts of Kidlit Zombie Week with her critique group 6 Ladies and a MANUSCRIPT.

In her free time, she loves to play soccer, binge-watch TV shows, and, of course, read. Especially when her husband and daughter cozy up so they can all read together.

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