Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet our SCBWI-WI Volunteers

Co-Regional Advisors

  Silvia Acevedo
Silvia is the SCBWI SPARK Award winner for God Awful Rebel, the third book in her God Awful trilogy. Its prequels, God Awful Loser and God Awful Thief, bring misfit ancient Roman gods into modern times. Besides writing fiction, Silvia is also a veteran journalist with 25+ years in news, covering everything from presidential candidates to food-on-a-stick. She’s guest-hosted a morning talk show for the Milwaukee NBC station and continues to write for magazines and newspapers. Connect with Silvia at For SCBWI -related topics, email her at Her office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from noon until 4 p.m.
www Deb Buschman
Deb was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in Wisconsin. She’s been a member of SCBWI since 2011 and served as Co-Area Rep for Wisconsin’s southwest area. She is a member of 12×12 and coordinates two online critique groups. Deb won honorable mention in the 2017 “Rate Your Story” contest for her picture book. Her family can be found on the lake in the summer and skiing in the winter.. For SCBWI -related topics, reach Deb at Her office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from noon until 4 p.m.

Illustrator Coordinator

www Rebecca Hirsch
Rebecca Hirsch lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin with her husband and daughters. She has a BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Rebecca has been an active member since 2011. She received “Honorable Mention” for her contest illustration for the Wisconsin chapter fall conference in 2016. She also received “Second Runner Up” with her piece in the 2017 Tomie dePaola SCBWI Narrative Art Award. She won the SCBWI-WI Illustrator competition at the fall conference in 2017. Rebecca’s first book, PANDA’S PAUSE, written by Dr. Amanda DeSua, was released in November of 2018. She received the People’s Choice award for illustration at the Marvelous Midwest conference in May of 2019.


Area Representatives

We divide our region into four areas: Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, and Northwest. Our Area Representatives work to connect members all over the state by offering smaller events – such as mingles/schmoozes, and workshops that are closer to members in those areas who may have trouble attending our larger events.


Southeast Area

www Stacie Poole
Bio coming soon.


Southwest Area

Kathy Nieber-Lathrop www Kathy Nieber-Lathrop, Area Rep
After retiring from teaching and counseling middle school students, Kathy started writing their stories. “Just make sure they have a happy ending,” one student told her after she shared his story of sexual abuse.  Kathy’s son and daughter-in-law had a baby in September of 2019, and she wanted to write a book for him. She wrote a few picture books, one of which led to a publishing contract. Kathy has been involved with SCBWI for more than ten years and feels now is time to pay it forward to help the Wisconsin region.


Northeast Area

www Terrie G. Seiler, Co-Area Rep
Terri writes picture books, fiction and nonfiction, and chapter books. She completed her post graduate studies at UW-Milwaukee before moving to Illinois to work as a Youth Services librarian for over a decade.  Terrie returned to Wisconsin to work in education as a teacher and school counselor. When she isn’t writing, she loves spending time with family and fellow creative authors, artists and educators. Her greatest joy in life is in the creative process and sharing her love of writing and children’s books to children of all ages.
www Lisa Aikins, Co-Area Rep
Lisa has been an active member of SCBWI since 2004. Prior to moving to Wisconsin last summer and becoming the co-NE rep, she was the ARA for the San Francisco North/East Bay chapter. She writes picture books and young adult novels, however, her fiction and nonfiction pieces have been published in numerous children’s magazines under her full name of Elisabeth Aikins. She graduated with a BA in Psychology and received her teaching credential in the state of CA but has spent most of her working life teaching special needs kids and serving coffee…when she’s not writing. She’s lives in Green Bay with her husband, three teen/young adult kids, a perky yellow lab, a grumpy gray tabby and a geriatric guinea pig who all give her lots of support and inspiration for her stories.


Northwest Area

www Amanda Zieba, Area Rep
As a word nerd, Amanda has the best job in the world. In addition to 11 books written for children and adults, she works to help other writers tell their own stories through classes, workshops and retreats including a course called the Take Action Author Plan in which she teaches others how to self-publish their book, market/sell that book and level up their author career. As a social butterfly, she is looking forward to connecting with and creating alongside other members in the Northwest region. Amanda lives in the La Crosse area with her husband and two sons. Visit her at
www Jeanne Styczinski, Area Illustrator Rep
During Jeanne’s 30 year career as a kindergarten teacher, Jeanne read countless picture books and wrote/illustrated many stories in her classrooms.  She could see the important role that children’s picture books play in students’ literacy development and how early connection with pictures books help students develop a love for reading. In 2013, Jeanne felt an urgency to pursue a life-long dream, to write and illustrate picture books for children beyond her classroom. She created a small publishing company, JeanneKay Publishing (, a website (, promotes writing and illustrating by presenting to elementary schools/libraries and has self-published three picture books, that have all won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award (2014 Mama, How Does The Wind Start To Blow? and 2015 Papa Why Does The Sun Shine? and 2017 Who Will Be My Friend?


PAL Coordinator

PAL is the SCBWI designation for “Published And Listed” members, those who have been published by SCBWI recognized organizations. AKA: publicity committee. PAL Coordinator (n.) Cheerleader, town crier, reminder.  Utilizing social media and other outlets to share information and resources about organization activities and accomplishments with membership and the greater community. Prepares and distributes spring and fall release announcements.


www Sandy Brehl
Reader, writer, retired (but still engaged) educator. Passionate about picture books and children’s literature. Author of ODIN’S PROMISE (2014), MG Historical Fiction, (Crispin, an imprint of Crickhollow Books)  Contact:


New Releases Flyer

www Leah Danz
Ever since Leah could hold a crayon… she liked to eat them. She has since outgrown the phase of eating her drawing utensils, and today, she puts them to use as an Illustrator and Designer.  She has been an SCBWI member since 2013 and has worked on illustration projects for BabyBug magazine, has created illustrations for the books Patsy Bea and Even Lions Wear Pajamas, and is working on illustrations for the upcoming book, Easter Elf vs. Christmas Elf written by Wisconsin author Rochelle Groskreutz (KWiL Publishing, 2019).  Leah lives in Madison, WI, where she works as a Graphic Designer.


Newsletter Coordinator

www Sandra Nichols
Sandra is a writer, educator, and editor who has a keen interest in helping others find joy in creative expression. Sandra has a passion for history and learning. As an educator, she teaches both developmental writing and civics. She has been an active member in Wisconsin State Reading Association for the past ten years and is a regular contributor to their state journal. She has a BA in History from UW Milwaukee and an MA in English from UW Oshkosh. Currently, she teaches at Mid-State Technical College.


Newsletter Designer

www Erica Dimka
Erica has been a writer for as long as she can remember, from short stories for her dad to news articles as a former journalist and copy editor. Now, as an English teacher, she helps young people grow their own writing skills. When not teaching, Erica loves writing YA fantasy and science fiction, as well as traveling and hiking. A member of SCBWI since 2017, she enjoys connecting with other authors through critique sessions and conferences.


Blog Coordinator

www Jane Kelley
Jane grew up by a woods in Mequon, Wisconsin, a perfect place for her imagination to roam. After graduating from Northwestern University, she performed street theater throughout the Midwest. She moved to Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, and was inspired by their daughter, to write for kids. In 2010, she published her first middle grade novel, Nature Girl. She was the 2013 Thurber House Children’s Writer in Residence. She has written many more novels, including The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya, which was honored by the CCBC in 2014. Her most recent work is the chapter book series, The Escapades of Clint McCool.


Social Media Coordinator

www Liza Wiemer
Liza is an award-winning educator with over twenty-five years of teaching experience. HELLO?, her debut realistic contemporary YA novel, is set in Door County, Wisconsin and was published by Spencer Hill Press, NY. It was named a Goodreads Best Young Adult Novel. In addition, Liza has had two adult non-fiction books published through Random House and Gefen Publishing. Several of her short stories were included in the New York Times bestselling Small Miracles series. A die-hard Packer fan and graduate of UW-Madison, she’s married with two sons. Find her on Twitter: @lizawiemer, Instagram: lizamwiemer, Goodreads: Liza M Wiemer and


|Listserv Coordinator

www Melea Richardson
Melea is an aspiring picture book writer who has been an educator for 20 years in the public school system.She supports students with behavioral, cognitive and other learning disabilities. Melea is certified in the Science of Well-Being course offered through Yale University. She uses the habits learned to guide her writing, influence her students, cope with racial disparities and to heal her body. She is new to SCBWI and is excited to learn and serve this community. In her free time she enjoys researching new gluten free recipes, listening to music and nature watching. She lives in the Madison area with her family. If you’re a member who would like to be added to the listserv, email Melea at


Critique Group Coordinator

www Susan Twiggs
Susan is the Critique Group Coordinator for SCBWI-WI. She is a published poet and on the journey to publishing for children. She practices yoga and has taught for many years. She believes in the power of mentoring and sharing what we know with each other. Her critique group offers continued encouragement and constructive criticism. She co-founded a high school mentoring program, Pathway Partners that continues to support teens in finding their careers. As the CGC-WI she will facilitate members in finding and creating their own support system so they can be the best writers possible.


Equity & Inclusion Team Leader

www This position is open!
Please contact if you’re interested in volunteering.


Webinar Coordinator

Joyce Uglow headshot www Joyce Uglow
Joyce Uglow is a retired educator and school principal who is currently serving the Wisconsin State Reading Association as the admin where she wears many hats, including web editor and event registrar. She is the founder of the Read the Way WSRA. Joyce reads to breathe in and writes to breathe out.


Website Coordinator

www Maria Parrott-Ryan
Maria has been a member of SCBWI-WI since 2014 and was the recipient of the chapter’s middle grade mentorship in 2018. She writes fiction and
nonfiction for middle graders (mostly), and has published several STEM
articles in Cricket Media’s MUSE magazine. She’s also had the pleasure of
creating K-12 curricular materials for Rowland Reading Foundation and other educational publishers. Maria lives in Madison with her family and can often be found outside, staring at birds.


Volunteer Coordinator

www Carol Paur

Carol has a BS in Psychology and a MA in Communication. Her middle grade book, Isasnora Snores, was released December 2019 by Black Rose Writing. She blogs monthly and has a YouTube channel bringing Isasnora and her friends to life. She recently joined, an online platform bringing readers to authors. Membership with SCBWI has inspired and helped Paur on her own writing path.