Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet our SCBWI-WI Volunteers

Regional Advisor

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

Illustrator Coordinators

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.
  Jeanne Stycszinski 

While Jeanne was teaching kindergarten, she collected ideas for books which she stored in a filing cabinet in her classroom. Finally in 2013, Jeanne decided to establish Jeanne Kay Publishing as a way to pursue her passion for writing and illustrating children’s books. Jeanne resides in Colfax, Wisconsin with her husband, Gerry, dog, four horses, and two barn cats. Her four children are all grown up and live across the Midwest, visiting home often. Jeanne has enjoyed visiting schools and libraries to talk to students about writing and illustrating books.


Published Member Coordinators

Published Member 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:
    Joyce Uglow
Joyce is a retired educator and school principal who has served the Wisconsin State Reading Association in administrative roles in which she wore many hats, including president, web editor and event registrar. She is the founder of Read the Way WSRA and has shared her ZOOM expertise with all of us as SCBWI-WI webinar coordinator throughout these confusing pandemic years. She is in multiple critique and workshop groups, honing her picture book writing skills. She is also a tree hugger, doorknob collector, and from a close family of creatives. Joyce reads to breathe in and writes to breathe out.


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 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.


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.


Webinar Coordinator

www Kate Penndorf
Story time had always been author KW Penndorf’s favorite ‘subject’ in school. But when her second grade teacher opted to read from a tattered old diary, Kate’s view on books changed forever. Books were now alive, with adventures, dilemmas, far away locations, heroes, villains, drama, and quite frankly, story. Everything was so real, well at least in her imagination at any rate. She wanted to live in those stories…and bring them to life. On a train ride into NYC, a vision came to Kate’s sleepy commuter mind: a girl finding a dragon egg in the middle of a Viking graveyard. Presto! The premise for her debut novel was born. A tale, which Kate hopes, will change a child’s view on books forever.When she isn’t writing her own stories, Kate is actively helping others write theirs in the strongest voice possible through her developmental edits and workshops. She loves being a part of SCBWI and is excited about her new role as Webinar Coordinator.


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 nonfiction articles in Cricket Media’s MUSE magazine. She is the Senior Editor of K-12 Publications at the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Maria lives in Madison with her family.