Upcoming Webinars

A Chat with Author Shirin Shamsi

A chat with Author Shirin Shamso
This September we are chatting with author Shirin Shamsi!

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, September 18 at 7pm CST

Shirin Shamsi

About Shirin

Shirin was born and raised in the UK, and now makes her home in the Chicago suburbs.  Laila and the Sands of Time is her debut middle-grade novel.  Shirin has raised six children- three human and three cats- all of whom have provided much inspiration for her stories.  When she is not writing, Shirin enjoys reading,  oil painting, and spending time with family.

Book Cover: Laila and the Sands of Time by Shirin Shamsi

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A Chat with Author Tamara Barker

A Chat with Author Tamara Baker
This October we are chatting with author Tamara Barker!

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, October 9th at 7pm CST

Tamara Barker

About Tamara

Tamara is a graduate of Indiana University, Purdue University Columbus, and holds a Bachelor’s of science degree in nursing. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator and has been a nurse for over 13 years.
Her debut board book “Babies Around the World Dancing” is set for release September 17th by Duo Press, an Imprint of Workman Publishing.
She enjoys writing whenever she has a free moment, or journaling the wonderful and crazy moments that take place in her life. Music, books, comedy, and crafts were a household staple in Tamara’s childhood. She believes that these influences have all played a major role in her writing.
Being a true “Canuck” or Canadian, you may hear some “Eh’s” slip out of her mouth, when trying to finish up her sentences. You can find Tamara volunteering at shelters, her church children ministry, and The Greater Chicago Food Depository; also hanging out with her husband, two daughters, and dog at her home in Chicago, Illinois.
Book Cover: Babies Around the World Dancing by Tamara Barker and Violet Lemay

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Past Webinars

Meet Author Silvia Acevedo

For August we are shining the Indie Spotlight on Slivia Acevedo.

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, August 28 at 7pm CST

Silvia Acevedo Headshot

About Silvia

Silvia Acevedo is a journalist and novelist. In her 20 years in news, she’s interviewed presidential candidates, covered national and international stories, and given breaking news reports for CNN and local television and radio stations around the country. She even guest hosted a television morning talk show on Milwaukee’s NBC station. Silvia currently freelances at various news publications and performs voice-over work.

Reporting objective fact all those years enticed her to delve into her imagination in her off time, so Silvia also writes funny, adventurous mythology for teens on up. She deftly weaves vignettes of ancient myth into wholly new and laugh-out-loud stories of the modern age. Her books include her debut, GOD AWFUL LOSER, its sequel, GOD AWFUL THIEF, and the final book in the trilogy, GOD AWFUL REBEL.

Silvia speaks and teaches at many writers’ conferences and is on the leadership team of the Wisconsin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators as their assistant regional advisor.  She lives just outside Milwaukee with her husband, Jeff Miracola, who is an accomplished fantasy illustrator and children’s book artist.

Find Silvia at silviaacevedo.com

A Chat with Editor Russ Busse

May 2019 Webinar: A chat with Editor Russ Busse
Join us for a chat with editor Russ Busse.

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, May 15th at 7pm CST

Meet Author/Illustrator Duo Megan and Jorge Lacera

April 2019 webinar: Meet Author/Illustrator duo Megan and Jorge Lacera
Join us as we pick the brains of Megan and Jorge Lacera.

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, April 10th at 7pm CST

Jorge Lacera

Jorge Lacera was born in Colombia, and grew up in Miami, Florida, drawing in sketchbooks, on napkins, on walls, and anywhere his parents would let him. After graduating with honors from Ringling College of Art and Design, Jorge worked as a visual development and concept artist at AAA video game companies (Irrational Games, Ghost Story Games) and entertainment studios. As a big fan of pop culture, comics, and zombie movies, Jorge rarely saw Latino kids as the heroes or leads. He is committed to changing that, especially now that he has a son. He lives in Cypress, Texas. You can find him online at studiolacera.com.

Megan Lacera

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 (Hasbro, GoldieBlox, American Greetings), and later formed her own creative company with husband Jorge Lacera. After reading many stories to their son, Megan realized that very few books reflected a family like theirs—multicultural, bilingual, funny, and imperfect. She decided to change that by writing her own stories. You can learn more about Megan and Studio Lacera at studiolacera.com.

Indie Spotlight – Meet author Evan J. Roberts

Webinar: Indie Spotlight - meet author Evan J. Roberts, Wednesday April 24th at 7pm CST
 Our first Indie Spotlight webinar! Come chat with us and meet author Evan J. Roberts.

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, April 24th at 7pm CST

Author Evan J. Roberts headshot

Evan J. Roberts 

Evan J. Roberts is a children’s picture book author. He also writes fiction and non-fiction for teens. Evan’s interest in writing was influenced by his early experiences as a classroom teacher. He has worked with youth for more than a decade emphasizing the importance of self-education, literacy, developing clarity of purpose and pursuing excellence in their endeavors.

Publisher Chat with Donna Beasley

Free Webinar: Publisher Chat with Donna Beasley of Kazoom Kids Storybooks
Join us as we chat with Publisher, Donna Beasley.

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, March 27th at 7pm CST

Donna is also giving away two one-time year subscriptions to KaZoom Kids iStorybooks Reading App.

Donna Beasley headshot


Donna Beasley is the President/Publisher of KaZoom Kids Books, an interactive multicultural children’s digital publishing company. The company’s flagship product, KaZoom Kids iStoryBooks, is an interactive digital reading App of books focused on Black and Latino characters and stories for children ages 3 to 8.

Beasley says, “we’re changing the face of children’s literature to be inclusive of multicultural communities. By taking advantage of interactive technology our books will engage a child with sight, sound, music, touch and animation.” Children can choose to read it themselves or have the narrator read it to them. Our interactive storybooks allow multicultural kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works. My vision is to invigorate multicultural children’s book publishing by creating stories that Black and Hispanic children can relate to and that inspire a love of reading; and that allows multicultural writers and illustrators to break into this field.

Donna is also the author of the books, Family Pride, the Complete Guide to Tracing African
American Genealogy, The Family Reunion Planner and the children’s books, Music In The Family
and Kason’s Kite.

Donna has worked as a marketing professional in a variety of industries. She started her career at Burrell Advertising handling media planning for Coca-Cola and the United States Navy, and later, as an account supervisor on Coke, McDonald’s, Verizon, Soft-Sheen Carson and General Mills. Most recently she worked at The Genesis Pod advertising agency as account manager for Namaste Labs and Luster Products.

Contact Information: Donna@kazoomkidsbooks.com
Website: www.KazoomKidsBooks.com
Twitter: @kazoompub

Author Chat with Jerry Craft

Author Chat with Jerry Craft
Join us as we chat with Award-winning author, Jerry Craft

DATE AND TIME: Fenruary 27th at 11am CST

Jerry Craft Headshot


JERRY CRAFT is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels. His newest book, New Kid, is a middle grade graphic novel that has earned four starred reviews, including one from Booklist Magazine that called it “Possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year.” Kirkus Reviews called it “An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.”

Jerry’s books have been Junior Library Guild selections, and he has won five African American Literary Awards. He is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 – 2013. He is a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival which has drawn close to 50,000 fans since its inception in 2013. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.

Book Cover: New Kid

Working with a Small Publishers

October 17th Webinar: Working with a Small Publisher with Angela Isaacs
Join us as we chat with Illinois author and Kidlit Nation volunteer, Angela Isaacs. Angela just published her second board book with a small press and will be telling you all about it.
AUDIENCE: Writers and Illustrators

DATE AND TIME: October 17th at 7pm CST


After getting an M.A. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Illinois, Angela began working as a freelance educational writer and editor. Angela’s freelance work has included educational materials from kindergarten to college. She has worked with textbook publishers, curriculum companies, and with academic researchers.

Along the way, Angela began writing children’s books. Her first board book, GOODNIGHT JESUS, entered its second printing within weeks of publication. Her second board book, I PRAY TODAY, was published in September 2018. She also has a forthcoming picture book series, THE LITTLE ELEPHANTS’ BIG ADVENTURES, that was written in conjunction with early childhood researchers at Purdue University. The LITTLE ELEPHANTS’ bring together Angela’s academic training, educational writing background, and children’s writing experience to bring educational best-practices into engaging picture books for kids.

Angela blogs at www.angelamisaacs.com

You can also find her on Twitter at @aisaacswrites and on Instagram at @aisaacswrites

A Chat with Publisher Joy Triche

Joy Triche webinar November 14
Join us as we chat with Joy Triche, who founded Tiger Stripe Publishing.
AUDIENCE: Writers and Illustrators

DATE AND TIME: November 14th at 7pm CST

Joy Triche headshot


Having spent my life as a book lover, I was disheartened by the lack of diversity among children’s titles available when looking for books for my three children. I founded Tiger Stripe Publishing to help fill the void.  

While being a mom has provided me with insight as to what makes a high-quality children’s book, my career in educational publishing has bolstered that. As part of my 18-year career in publishing, I had the honor of serving as a managing editor at National Geographic School Publishing for nearly a decade. I have also been an instructional designer and developmental editor for educational publishing houses and associations in Phoenix, Atlanta, and Chicago.

A Chat with Author Barbara Binns

Webinar announcement: A chat with author Barbara Binns
Join us as we chat with Illinois author and diversity community member, Barbara Binns, and celebrate her debut middle grade novel, “Courage” (Harper Collins).
AUDIENCE: Writers and Illustrators

DATE AND TIME: September 19th at 7pm CST


Barbara Binns is an award-winning African American author of contemporary, multicultural children’s novels and short stories. She is the eldest of five children and grew up on Chicago’s south side. Like many of her characters, she was forced to assume adult roles at a young age. Now she hopes to inspire both readers and fellow authors of color.

She finds writing the perfect follow-up to her life as an adoptive parent and cancer survivor. Barbara has connections in both the writing and librarian communities and is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and BCALA (Black Caucus of the ALA). She has spoken at numerous venues, including the American Library Association national conference and the National Conference of African American Librarians. In October 2018 she will speak at the Illinois Library Association conference.

Her debut middle grade novel, Courage, was published by Harper Children’s in July, 2018. In addition, she has published several young adult novels under the name B A Binns.

She blogs about YA and multicultural issues on http://babinns.com/barbarabinnsblog, She also guest blogs once a month at the Romancing the Genres blog –http://romancingthegenres.blogspot.com/

Novel cover: Courage by Barbara Binns

Inside Lee and Low Books with Jalissa Corrie

Webinar: Inside lee and Low books with Jalissa Corrie August 15 at 6pm cst
Join us as we chat with Jalissa Corrie, marketing associate of Lee and Low Books, about their imprints and types of books they publish. Also, find out more about Lee and Low’s New Voices and New Vision Award for authors and illustrators of color.
AUDIENCE: Writers and Illustrators

DATE AND TIME: August 15th at 6pm CST

Photo of Jalissa Corrie


Jalissa Corrie is a Marketing Associate at Lee & Low Books, the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the United States. She previously interned at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and before that, worked at different companies within the apparel and home furnishings industry. When she isn’t working, you can find her at bookish events across New York City.

Opportunities in the Magazine Market with Jestine Ware

Webinar: Opportunities in the magazine market with Jestine Ware
Join us as we chat with editor Jestine Ware about writing for the magazine market.
AUDIENCE: Writers and Illustrators

DATE AND TIME: June 6th at 7pm central

Jestine Ware Headshot


Jestine is a lifelong creative writer with a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Rhetoric and Composition. She started out as a freelance editor and grant writer, worked in academic writing centers, taught both creative writing and composition classes, and has written for 8 of Cricket Media’s 11 magazines. Now, as editor of Spider magazine, she helps authors craft children’s media to introduce her readers to a blend of classic and contemporary literature, to new cultures and ideas, and to children just like them. With childlike delight, she and her talented design team strive to publish the slimiest, wackiest, and most enchanting stories, poems, activities, and comics they possibly can.

Website: https://www.jestineware.com/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jestineware

Editing with Lisa L. Owens

Editing webinar with Lisa L. Owens
Join us as we chat with editor Lisa L. Owens about editing as it relates to pre-published authors preparing to query. For indie authors, she will explain how to find and work with an editor.
AUDIENCE: Writers and Illustrators

DATE AND TIME: May 10 at 7pm central

LisaLOwens photo


Lisa L. Owens has worked in children’s publishing for 25 years. She is the editor of hundreds of books and the author of 100 (and counting) children’s titles. Her most recent book is Attack on Pearl Harbor (Lerner, 2018). Lisa enjoys sharing tales from the trenches and can’t wait to talk with KidLit Nation about the various ways children’s authors work with editorial professionals. Find her online at llowens.comowenseditorialink.com, and @LisaLOwens.

Diversity in Kidlit with Tanusri Prasanna

Webinar: Diversity in Kidlit with Tanusri Prasanna
Join us as we chat with Agent Tanusri Prasanna of Foundry Literary + Media about diversity in children’s literature and what she’s looking to acquire.
AUDIENCE: Writers and Illustrators

DATE AND TIME: February 28, 12 pm CST

Being a Work for Hire Author with Rachel Ruiz

Webinar: being a work for hire author with Rachel Ruiz

Rachel Ruiz will discuss the ins and outs of being a Work For Hire author including her personal experience.


DATE AND TIME: March 28, 7 pm CST

Rachel Ruiz - Author

Rachel Ruiz is the author of several children’s books. She was inspired to write her first picture book, When Penny met POTUS, after working for Barack Obama on his re-election campaign in 2012.   When Rachel isn’t writing books, she writes and produces TV shows and documentaries. She lives in her hometown of Chicago with her husband and their daughter.

Free Webinar with Silvia Acevedo Wednesday August 28th at 7pm CST

Get Involved

We are a donation-supported, volunteer organization that helps serve underrepresented writers and illustrators of children’s books.