Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan, Regional Advisor
Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan writes fiction and non-fiction for all ages. Her stories, crafts, and recipes have appeared in Highlights for Children, Muse, Cricket, and more. She also writes for the educational market, from PK to high reading level middle schoolers. She’s written for Heinemann Literacy Project (Fountas & Pinnell Classroom), Capstone, and KPS Storybook Development.
She was named a “Promising Writer to Watch” at the 2015 PA: West SCBWI conference. In 2016, she became a Pen Parentis Fellow. In 2018, she became ARA for PA: West, and in 2019, became the Regional Advisor.
Sarah Maynard, Assistant Regional Advisor
After living in New York, Vermont, Virginia, Texas and Maryland, Sarah now lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, their four kids, a dog, a cat and books in every room. While in Maryland, Sarah was the Event Coordinator on the MD/DE/WV SCBWI Regional Committee and she is excited to share what she learned there in WPA. When she’s not reading or writing, Sarah loves hitting the water on her stand up paddle board, practicing her ukulele, trying out a new recipe in the kitchen, or finding zen on her yoga mat. Sarah is represented by Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary.
Julianna Zito, Regional Illustrator Coordinator
Julianna is from the North Hills of Pittsburgh. She grew up as an 80’s child with all the quirky imagination and bright colors that represent that era. She graduated from Deer Lakes High School and was determined to move beyond her country girl roots. She has lived all over – Santa Cruz, CA, St. Louis, MO, Philadelphia, PA and even Honolulu, HI. She is now settled down in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh with her husband, two kids, chihuahua, and cat. Her background is full of variety both wonderful and traumatic – all of which inspire her to make people laugh – especially children.
Stephanie Keyes, Webinars/Online Learning
Michelle Vattula, New Members
Joy Givens writes “fresh, fantastic, fierce” fiction, mostly for children and young adults. Her most recent projects include several pieces of award-winning short fiction, most recently published in WOW! Women on Writing, Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove (2019) from Atthis Arts, and the anthologies Beach Life (2017) and Beach Fun (2018) from Cat & Mouse Press.
Amy Wagner, Summer Brain Food Coordinator
Amy Wagner writes young adult contemporary fantasy. She is an active member of SCBWI and Pennwriters. She is thrilled to coordinate the Summer Brain Food Program for SCBWI and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Amy has attended the 2016 Rutgers One-on-One Plus Conference and is a PitchWars 2018 Alumni with her novel, A GOOD STORY IS HARD TO FIND.
Thomas Wright, Conference Coordinator
Thomas Wright has been a member of SCBWI since 2009. With a passion for children’s literature, he primarily writes MG and YA in both the contemporary and fantasy genres. He was an attendee to the 2018 Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature. This year he is acting as Event Coordinator for SCBWI-Fall West Conference.
Dana DiSante, Assistant Conference Coordinator
Dana DiSante is the author of two children’s picture books about Penny the Pink Nose Poodle and is currently the Events & Features editor for CAPITOL STANDARD magazine. This year she is acting as the Assistant Conference Coordinator for the SCBWI-PA West Fall Conference.
Sabrina Fedel, Assistant Conference Coordinator
Sabrina Fedel is an award winning writer from Pittsburgh. Her debut novel, Leaving Kent State, brings to life the tragedy of the 1970 Kent State shootings, and her poetry and prose have appeared in various journals including The Pedestal Magazine and Lunch Ticket.