Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI PA WEST Presents: Community is Key – Introductory Webinar

Date(s) - 07/14/2022
12:00 am - 11:30 pm


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Ask a Published Creator Anything!

Join us for a panel discussion with 6 of our published members in SCBWI Pennsylvania: West.

July 14, 7:30-8:30 PM ET 

This is a virtual Zoom webinar that includes the same faculty from our in-person event in August. If you plan to attend our in-person August event, this is a great chance to get to know the faculty in advance. If you don’t plan to attend our in-person event, this webinar is still a great opportunity to ask published creators your questions and learn from their experience. 



We will discuss voice, branding, character development, world building, revision, and tips, tricks and techniques for writers and illustrators in a Q&A format.


Submit your questions in advance using this form:

Introductory Webinar for In-Person Event
Our faculty for this event are also our faculty for our in-person event on August 14th, 2022. They will introduce themselves and preview the content they will share at the in-person event. This online event will help you get to know our faculty, get a sense of their skills and expertise, and help you decide which workshops to attend and your preference for your 1 on 1 critique. If you register for this webinar, you will receive a coupon code for $5 OFF our in-person event on August 14th!
Our Faculty

Photo by Michael Santiago

Stacy Innerst is a painter, children’s book artist, illustrator and educator. His books have received a host of starred reviews and have been honored with the 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award (for The Book Rescuer), the New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award (Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of RBG Vs. Inequality), the SCBWI Golden Kite for Picture Book Illustration (The Music in George’s Head) as well as several Gold Medals from the Parents’ Choice Awards. His first book for children, M is for Music (HMH) by Kathleen Krull was named an SLJ Best Book of 2003 and Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea (HMH) with author Tony Johnston was named a best book of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Ruth Bader Ginsberg: The Case of RBG Vs. Inequality, written by Jonah Winter (Abrams) was named an ALA Notable Book and was included on the ILA Teachers Choice Reading List. Since 2003 his illustrations have regularly been selected for the Original Art show at the Society of Illustrators. His upcoming releases include Jack Knight’s Brave Flight by Jill Esbaum, Astra Publishing, 2022 and The Sweetest Scoop: Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Dreams by Lisa Robinson, Abrams, 2022.
Originally from Los Angeles, he was raised in New Mexico and now makes his home and studio in Pittsburgh.


Picture book writer and poet, Kelly Conroy, is 50% silly, fun-loving, never-grow-up big kid and 50% hard-working, focused, analytical actuary. She loves all things magical, whimsical, and numerical, and her goal in life is to make people smile.

She was initially inspired to write by her cousins, Stan and Jan Berenstain, creators of the Berenstain Bears, and continues to be inspired by her two rambunctious sons and mini goldendoodle, Chewy.

To learn more about her, please visit or follow her on Twitter @ConroyBooks. Kelly is represented by Sarah Stephens at Red Fox Literary.


Leah Pileggi grew up in Kane, Pennsylvania, a tiny town in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest. She started writing for publication in her late 40s, after having lived in California, Connecticut, and Texas. She now lives in the big smalltown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she studied creative writing at Chatham University and professional writing at Carnegie Mellon. Her work has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Chautauquan Daily, Hopscotch Magazine,, and The New York Times Magazine. Prisoner 88 is her first novel. Awards for Prisoner 88 include: NCTE Notable Book in the Language Arts, IndieBound Kids’ Next List, Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award List (Vermont), Golden Sower Award List (Nebraska), the Charlie May Simon Honor Book (Arkansas) for 2016, and Idaho Kids Vote Book List for 2022. Leah also blogs and writes poetry and screenplays. Read more at


Children’s book illustrator AMANDA ZIMMERMAN has worked as an art director, science illustrator, and librarian.

To feed her passions for the natural world, she’s spent many hours at natural history, art and science museums delving into the mysteries of dinosaurs, bugs, birds, animals of all shapes and sizes, and even those wily ancient humans.

Her illustrations have been featured in a variety of scientific journals, a gallery show about seahorses and their kin and the science illustration exhibit Focus on Nature XII at the New York State Museum. She has honed her mapmaking skills depicting mollusks locations on the Delmarva peninsula, recreating Middle Earth, Pern and her own Tolkienish world. Her debut picture book, DIEGO, THE GIANT GALAPAGOS TORTOISE, releases June 1 2022.


Joy Givens is a pun-slinging, hymn-singing storyteller and the lucky mother of four small superheroes. She has published several award-winning short stories and writes children’s and YA fiction to celebrate the fresh, fierce, fantastic side of life. Raised in a big Midwestern family, Joy now lives in the blossoming literary community of Pittsburgh, where she works with Jewish Family & Community Services of Pittsburgh as the coordinator of an after-school program for resettled refugee children and teens.



Rebecca E. Hirsch is the author of ninety-five children’s books for the trade and educational markets. Of those books, more than eighty have been written for educational publishers like Scholastic Press, Lerner, and ABDO. They include nonfiction, informational fiction, hi-lo books, and easy readers. She has also written workbooks, lesson plans, and test passages for educational companies, as well as articles for children’s magazines like Spider, Ask, and Muse. Her newest books include Night Creatures: Animals That Swoop, Crawl, and Creep while You Sleep (Millbrook), Sensational Senses: Amazing Ways Animals Perceive the World (Millbrook), and Where Have All the Birds Gone? Nature in Crisis (Twenty-first Century Books). Learn more at