The Children’s Book Academy began in 2010 as a single course and grew and grew into the Children's Book Academy. It was founded by editor and art director, Dr. Mira Reisberg, who co-teaches courses with editors, art directors and award-winning authors and illustrators. Mira loves helping her students make and publish wonderful books using systematic teaching methods and both acquiring student’s work whenever she can and providing access to other decision makers. She has worked in the industry in just about every capacity including working as a children’s literature and art education university professor; a literary agent; and an award-winning illustrator and author.
Writing and Illustrating Courses
We have been fortunate enough to work with some extraordinary people over the years.
Here are our current faculty members:
Kelly Delaney is an Editor at Random
House/Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, where she acquires and
edits picture books and middle grade and young adult novels. Kelly co-teaches the
Craft and Business of Writing Children's Picture Books with Mira Reisberg.
Hillary Homzie is the author of many, many chapter books and middle grade novels, some of which have won awards and also been adapted for television series. Hillary co-teaches the following courses - Middle Grade Mastery with Rachael Stein and Mira Reisberg and The Chapter Book Alchemist with Mira.
Rachael Stein is an acquiring
Editor at Sterling Books for Children where she works on books for
kids of all ages. Rachael co-teaches
Middle Grade Mastery
Jennifer Swanson is the author of over thirty award-winning books. Jennifer co-teaches our instant-access Writing for Love and Money course with Mira. This course will only be available through December 31st 2019 so grab it now!.
Marsha Diane Arnold is a multi-award winning author with over one million books sold. Marsha co-teaches our fabulous instant access course - Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books.
Andrea Miller is an art director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Children and a published illustrator. She co-teaches the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children's Books the Craft and Business of Illustrating Children's Books with Mira Reisberg. Find out more about Andrea here https://blkdiamond.art/about/
Julia Maguire is an Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers. Prior to that, she worked at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. She currently edits picture books and middle grade and YA novels. Julia received her degree in communications from the University of Massachusetts and her Masters in Publishing from NYU. She started her publishing career interning at Bloomsbury Children’s Books in 2006 and has worked on picture books ever since. Julia has taught our picture book writing and illustrating courses in the past and co-created some wonderful webinars.
Miranda Paul is the award-winning author of 12 books including One Plastic Bag, Water is Water, 10 Little Ninjas, and The Great Pasta Escape. Her books have been named to several Best of lists and have been translated into multiple languages. Miranda is a frequent presenter at schools and libraries. Along with Ariel Richardson and Mira Reisberg, they co-created the wonderful workinar Rules to Break to Make Your Picture Book. Unfortunately, this awesome offering will only be available until November 2019, after which it will either be reconfigured or will disappear forever. Find Miranda at http://mirandapaul.com/
Ariel Richardson is an editor at Chronicle Books where she primarily acquires and edits board books, picture books, and novelty books. She has a master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College in Boston. Ariel co-created our Rules to Break to Make Your Picture Book workinar.
Mira Reisberg is the Director of the Children's Book Academy and an award-winning children's book illustrator and author. With a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies focused on children's books, she has worn just about every hat in the industry. Besides running the Academy, Mira is also an acquiring editor and art director at Clearfork Publishing/Spork where she has acquired, edited and art directed many of her former students. Mira has been instrumental in helping many authors and illustrators get published and teaches the fabulous Let's Get Funny: Writing Humor for Kids instant access course. She co-teaches way too many of the courses to mention. Find out more about Mira at http://www.mirareisberg.com/
Jed Alexander self-published his first picture book Almost Wordless, which was later acquired by a traditional publisher. Since then he has written, illustrated and traditionally published Red. Jed co-teaches our instant access Self-Publishing with Crowdfunding course with Dr. Mira. If you are interested in going that route, this is the way to do it. Visit Jed at http://jedalexander.com (which needs updating).
Leda Chung is a published illustrator currently living in jolly old England. Leda teaches our awesome instant access Fun with Photoshop for Children's Book Illustrators course. Find her wonderful work at https://www.ledachung.com/illustration
Bri Davey is a children's book illustrator, letterpress printer, calligrapher, dog mom, and a huge believer in the power of creativity. She recently discovered creating as her life's purpose and will be teaching our Hand Lettering and Calligraphy course. Find out more about Bri right here!
Catherine Felt is an avid writer of fantasy and historical young adult fiction. She lives in California with her beloved husband and a very barky chihuahua. Catherine has been using Scrivener for many years and swears by the software, having found it immensely helpful to organize what was formerly unwieldy binders full of material. She is our wonderful teacher in our Rock Your Writing With Scrivener course! Find out more about Catherine right here!
Sharismar Rodriguez is an exquisite art director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Children. Previously, she taught our Craft and Business of Illustrating Children's Books course and co-created the instant access Steal This! workinar with Mira Reisberg. This workinar teaches students how to draw from history, mythology, art history and all sorts of places to radically improve their writing and illustrating!
Mira and The Children's Book Academy have been mentoring and giving scholarships to diverse authors and illustrators for as long we've been working in the field (over 30 years). We give scholarships to people who identify as being of color, LGBTQ, having a disability, or being low-income and have given around $70,000 worth over the years.
Because we invest a lot of time, money and heart in our scholarship recipients, many of whom have become very successful, we only give scholarships to the following courses and require students to really show up and participate to help us help them be successful.
In addition to having a pretty phenomenal faculty, we also have a fantastic team of former students, who are now published or contracted, behind the scenes helping to ensure that the courses are extra awesome and that our students have a fantastic learning experience.
The Children's Book Academy Team
Besides wearing too many hats, Mira also works behind the scenes often calling students to make sure that they are well taken care of. Mira has published eight books and has a new one coming out this year.
Melissa Stoller is a former student who now has 4 published books with more in the hopper. These include the chapter book series: The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Book One: Return to Coney Island and Book Two: The Liberty Bell Train Ride; and the picture books: Scarlet's Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla!
Sandra Sutter has her first reality questioning picture book coming out very soon, The Real Farmer In the Dell followed by Stan's Frightfully Clumsy Halloween in 2019.
And Tina Shepardson has her first picture book also coming out in 2019, Walkout! We are proud to say that this book is bound to be both an important and controversial book.
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