Kathy MacMillan – Co-Regional Advisor
Kathy MacMillan is the author of the young adult fantasy novels Sword and Verse and Dagger and Coin (HarperCollins), the Little Hands Signing board book series (Familius Press), and multiple resource books for librarians and parents, including Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press). A writer, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and signing storyteller, she holds National Interpreter Certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Her diverse career includes working as a children’s librarian at public libraries, working as a school librarian at the Maryland School for the Deaf, and performing in theme parks. She lives in Owings Mills, MD. Kathy is represented by Steven Malk at Writers House. www.kathymacmillan.com.
Rebecca Evans – Co-Regional Advisor
Rebecca Evans is an author/illustrator with a BA in Illustration. She worked as a designer for nine years. Since returning to publishing, she has illustrated eleven picture books, nine middle grade readers and authored one picture book. She speaks at schools, mentors with EB Lewis, is a CBA graduate and is Co-RA for her regional SCBWI. She lives in Maryland and enjoys spending time with her husband and four children. Rebecca is represented by Essie White at Storm Literary. www.rebeccaevans.net
Cheryl Mendenhall – Illustrator Coordinator
Veronica Bartles – Assistant Regional Advisor (ARA)
Veronica Bartles is the author of the YA contemporary novel Twelve Steps and the picture book, The Princess and the Frogs (Balzer & Bray / Harper Collins). Veronica is a member of the OneFour KidLit group; she’s been a mentor in Pitch Wars (both for MG and YA) for the past three years, and she hosts the #PubTalkTV Twitter Party. She’s also an incurable optimist who loves gray, drizzly days, because that’s when rainbows come to visit.
Sarah Yasutake – Events Coordinator
Sarah Yasutake wrote her first book, “The Cat and the Twins,” when she was seven. Little did she know that when she grew up she’d have twins of her own, and she’d still be writing stories. She has a BA in English from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and a JD from Lewis and Clark Law School. After practicing in the field of energy law, she gave up the world of rate cases when her daughters were born. When the whirlwind infant-twins year was over, she started taking writing classes and writing fiction—mostly MG and YA. Sarah lives in central Maryland with her husband, daughters, and a pair of rascally cats.
Lakita Wilson – Published and Listed (PAL) Member Coordinator
Lakita Wilson is a writer and advocate for diverse and inclusive children’s literature. With a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree in Reading and Literacy, Lakita has worked in the education field as a teacher and now a faculty member at Prince George’s Community College, a total of thirteen years. Lakita is currently working on her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts and was recently awarded the On the Verge Emerging Voices Award for her manuscript, Books Like Me. Lakita uses her online platform, @thesweetpeagirls to promote the works of marginalized writers and illustrators and also show positive representations of children of color reading. This Instagram page was featured in a News One article in May 2018 for its advocacy work in the African-American and literary communities. Lakita lives in Maryland and enjoys spending time with her two children and rescue pup.
Tracy Gold – Member Coordinator/Twitter Administrator
Tracy is a writer, teacher, and editor living in Baltimore, Maryland. She writes young adult novels, and short stories and poems for all ages. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in YARN, Youth Imagination, The Stoneslide Corrective, two feminist anthologies, and several other magazines. Tracy cofounded Sounding Sea Writers’ Workshop and is a composition instructor at The University of Baltimore. When Tracy’s not working or writing, she’s hanging out with her family, which includes a rescue dog and horse. You can find out more about Tracy at tracycgold.com o by following her on Twitter @tracycgold.
Mike Karg – Critique Group Coordinator/Conference Registrar
Mike Karg is a picture book writer and a feline-exclusive veterinarian. In art and science, he caters to two “clients”, the vase-breaking, heart-melting child or cat, and the caregiver who pays the bills. Mike writes before breakfast, drawing upon the lives of his daydreaming children and impish cats. He fancies himself a woodland gardener (whatever that means), a tinkerer of buildings and board games, and will always be about seven years old.
Sharada Vibhakar – Volunteer Coordinator
Sharada has been an avid reader her entire life, leading to a change in careers from the world of finance to aspiring author. Born in West Virginia, she was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and graduated from Carnegie Mellon. Today, Sharada lives with her husband, two kids, and a fluffy dog in western Maryland. She is currently working on a middle-grade fantasy.
Lois Szymanski – RA Emeritus
Lois Szymanski is the author of 27 books for children, including chapter books for young readers, middle grade novels, picture books and nonfiction for children and adults. She has two middle grade book series – Charming Ponies with Harper Festival and The Gettysburg Ghost Gang coauthored by Shelley Sykes and published by White Mane Kids. Szymanski was Regional Advisor of the MD/DE/WV chapter of SCBWI for over 10 years. She is a weekly correspondent for the Carroll County Times and teaches occasional writing classes at Carroll Community College. Her picture book, Surfer Dude, was released in the spring of 2017 by Schiffer Books.