Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Fall Illustrator Intensive

Art by Maria Koch



Calling all Wisconsin Illustrators! You are invited to attend our **FREE** Virtual Illustrator Intensive “Covering Covers” on Saturday, November 6th from 10:00 am to 12:15 pm. The event will feature Candlewick Art Director Maria Middleton, who will present on what makes an eye-catching book cover in today’s market. Wisconsin writers are also welcome to attend.

Attendees are invited, but not required, to submit a book cover redesigned in their own style. Pick a classic children’s book, whether it be a picture book, chapter book, middle grade or young adult, and send it to Rebecca Hirsch at with the subject line “Covering Covers-*YourFirstNameLastName*” before September 1st. Maria will choose some to critique during the second hour of her presentation. 


Maria T. Middleton designs books for kids. She began her career at HarperCollins, spent a decade creating award-winning books at Abrams, and then led the middle-grade team at Random House Children’s Books. As Art Director of Imprints at Candlewick Press, Maria currently works across a variety of children’s book genres. She’s a fan of quirky characters, hand lettered typography, serial commas, strong coffee, and the color red.

Maria lives in Richmond, VA, with her husband and their rescue pup, Wyla. You can find her at and follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @mariatmiddleton.


About the Illustrator

Maria Koch is an illustrator who creates artwork for children. Her favorite medium is watercolor. Maria illustrated “The Centipede Who Couldn’t Tie His Shoes” by Karen Dobyns OTD, OTR/L and has had work published by Highlights Press. She is an active member of SCBWI and in 2018 was a recipient of an SCBWI Illustration mentorship with illustrator Deb Gross.

Maria is a graduate of UW-Stevens Point, where she studied mathematics and biology. She lives in central Wisconsin with her husband. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.