Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI PAL Author Critiquers

Fleur Bradley

Fleur Bradley is the author of the spooky middle-grade mystery Midnight at the Barclay Hotel
(Viking Books for Young Readers) which recently made NPR’s Best of 2020 Books list. She
also wrote the Double Vision trilogy (Harper Children’s) as F.T. Bradley, and her story The
Perfect Alibi appeared in Mystery Writers of America’s MG anthology Super Puzzletastic
Mysteries, edited by Chris Grabenstein.

Fleur is passionate about two things: mysteries and getting kids to read. She regularly does
(virtual) school visits and speaks at librarian and educator conferences on reaching reluctant
readers. Originally from the Netherlands, Fleur now lives in Colorado Springs with her family
and entirely too many cats.

For more information on Fleur and her books, visit, and on Twitter


Tara Lazar

Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things
Tara Lazar has never been.

Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books where anything is possible.
Her picture books include The Monstore, I Thought This Was a Bear Book, Little Red Gliding
Hood, Normal Norman, Way Past Bedtime, 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story, Your First Day of Circus
School, The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City, and Three Ways to Trap a Leprechaun.

Tara is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
Her last name rhymes with “bazaar”—you can listen to Tara pronounce her name on She’s not Tara Laser-beam (although that would be awesome).


Pat Zietlow Miller

Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.” (Thanks, Mrs. Mueller! You rock!)

Pat started out as a newspaper reporter and wrote about everything from dartball and deer-hunting to diets and decoupage. Then, she joined an insurance company and edited its newsletter and magazine.

Now, she writes insurance information by day and children’s books by night. She has 11 picture books currently available and nine more coming out over the next few years. Her picture book BE KIND was on the New York Times bestseller list for 10 weeks, and SOPHIE’S SQUASH won a Golden Kite Award, an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor.

Pat has one wonderful husband, two delightful daughters and two pampered cats. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

You can follow Pat on Twitter at @PatZMiller or on Instagram at @patzmill. She also blogs about children’s books with other kidlit creators at Picture Book Builders (


Sue Fliess

Sue Fliess is the award-winning, bestselling author of Robots, Robots Everywhere!, I’m a Ballerina!, How to Trap a Leprechaun, and dozens of other children’s books, including Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins, Mary Had a Little Lab, The Princess and the Petri Dish, and many Little Golden Books. Her books have sold over 850k copies worldwide. She’s been published in O Magazine, HuffPo, Writer’s Digest, & more, and has also written for Walt Disney. Her books have received honors from SCBWI, have been used in school curricula, museum educational programs, and have been translated into multiple languages. Two of her books, The Bug Book and The Hug Book, have been selections in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Sue is a member of SCBWI & Children’s Book Guild of DC. She does school visits and speaking engagements and lives with her family in Virginia. Visit her at


Susan Montanari

Susan McElroy Montanari spent the majority of her life on the beach and tidal creeks surrounding Savannah, Georgia. She obtained a Bachelors of Arts degree in English and Literature from Georgia Southern University. While living in Connecticut, Susan was a finalist in two categories for the 2010 Tassy Walden Award for New Voices in Children’s Literature: one for her picture book, My Dog’s A Chicken, and the other for her middle grade novel, The Day Sasquatch Ate My Journal. Susan’s publishing credits include; from Schwartz & Wade at Penguin Random House— My Dog’s A Chicken, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf, Who’s the Grossest of Them All? illustrated by Jake Parker (2016), Hip-Hop Lollipop (2018) (“School Library Journal” starred review) illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Brian Pinkney, and Goldilocks for Dinner? (2019) (a Junior Library Guild selection) illustrated by Jake Parker, and from Source Books— The Halloween Tree (2019) illustrated by Theresa Martinez.  Susan’s hobbies include gardening, scuba diving, natural science, legend tripping, and cryptozoology. Susan currently lives in Savannah, Georgia, with her husband, Dan, and a cat named Tybee. Erzsi Deak of Hen & Ink Literary represents Susan. Visit her at And follow her on Twitter @susanmontanari.


Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

Bio: Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of Zeus, Dog of Chaos, The Story Collector series, A Dog Like Daisy, John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy (written as E.F. Abbott), The 13th Sign, Selling Hope and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different. In 2021, watch for the companion book to Daisy and Zeus, titled Luna Howls at the Moon. Kristin lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her bouncy-loud family. Just like her two dogs, she can be bribed with cheese. Kristin can be found far too often on Facebook (, Twitter (!/ktubb), and Instagram ( .  Oh, and she has a website, too:


Reem Faruqi

When Reem Faruqi taught second grade, her favorite time was “Read Aloud” time. Now, her favorite time at home is reading with her daughters. Of Pakistani origin, she moved to Peachtree City, Georgia, from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, when she was 13 years old. Reem based her first award-winning children’s book Lailah’s Lunchbox on her own experiences as a young Muslim girl immigrating to the United States. She has three new books projected for 2021, her debut middle grade book Unsettled (HarperCollins 2021), and two picture books: Amira’s Picture Day (Holiday House 2021) and I Can Help (Eerdmans 2021). She also has a new non-fiction picture book based on her grandmother, Milloo’s Mind (HarperCollins 2023). Reem seasonally works as a photographer at Reem Faruqi Photography and currently works as a Scheduler for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. She loves to doodle, write, and take photos at Currently, she lives with her husband and three daughters in Atlanta.


Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the 2021 NSK Neustadt Laureate and a New York Times bestselling
author of books for young readers, including HEARTS UNBROKEN, which won the American
Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award in the young adult books category. Her
2021 releases are the middle grade anthology ANCESTOR APPROVED: INTERTRIBAL
STORIES FOR KIDS and the middle grade novel SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA.
This year her first three books—JINGLE DANCER, INDIAN SHOES, and RAIN IS NOT MY
INDIAN NAME—are all being re-released in updated and paperback editions with new cover
designs and new authors notes.

She is also the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins
Children’s Books, and serves as the Katherine Paterson Inaugural Endowed Chair on the faculty
of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Cynthia is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and the Austin chapter of SCBWI has
instituted the Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award in her honor.


Monique Fields

Monique Fields is the author of Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color, a picture book about a
biracial girl who discovers her skin color. She is the mother of two biracial girls who inspired her to write
the book when they asked questions about their racial identity. Monique’s essays about race and identity
have appeared on-air, in print, and online, including NPR’s All Things Considered, Ebony magazine, and An adviser for student journalists by day and a children’s book writer by night, Monique
received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Auburn University at Montgomery and a
master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Monique lives in Tuscaloosa with her
husband, two daughters, and a rescue pup named Andrew. Visit Monique online at


Megan Lacera

Writer Megan Lacera grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, with a book always in her
hands. She became a writer and creator of characters and worlds for entertainment companies
like American Greetings, Hasbro, and Goldieblox and later formed her own creative company
where she creates original content and consults on marketing, social media, and strategic
direction for start-ups and large corporations.

Her debut picture book Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! with partner Jorge Lacera received several
honors Best of Kirkus, Best of New York Public Library and was selected for SAG-AFTRA’s
Storyline Online virtual library and the Junior Library Guild. Her second picture book launches
in 2022 and she is completing her first middle-grade novel. She is a #PBchat mentor and is
represented by John Cusick at Folio Jr.