BITSY KEMPER (REGIONAL ADVISOR) is author of 16 children's books so far. You may have seen her on CNN, CBS This Morning, heard her on national radio, or read her musings in hundreds of newspapers and magazines across the country. Maybe you drove by her on the freeway and didn't even know it… Her corporate marketing and management background has come in handy as she leads this fabulous North/Central region of California that's packed with about 400 people from 35 counties. She loves a good laugh almost as much as a good book. No, wait, she loves dark chocolate more than either one of those. Mom of three kids (four if you count her husband), she is active in sports, theater and church (but not all three at the same time). She has held author visits and conference workshops from CA to NY and can't wait to do more! Visit her at www.BitsyKemper.com
NIKKI SHANNON SMITH (ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADVISOR and CONFERENCE COORDINATOR) Nikki Shannon Smith is an author, second grade teacher, wife, and mother of two. Her first book, The Little Christmas Elf (Random House, Little Golden Books) published in 2011. In additiion to picture books, she writes chapter books and young adult novels. One of her passions is bringing more diversity to children's books, and many of her retweets are from #WNDB (We Need Diverse Books) and from others who share this goal. She is an experienced presenter of school visits and conference workshops. She steals time for all things writing related, but hasn’t been arrested for it yet. You can find her on Facebook, twitter @nikki2smith, and at www.NikkiShannonSmith.com.
ANGELICA R. JACKSON (ILLUSTRATOR COORDINATOR), in keeping with her scattered Gemini nature, has published articles on gardening, natural history, web design, travel, hiking, and local history. Other interests include pets, reading, green living, and cooking for food allergies (the latter not necessarily by choice, but she’s come to terms with it). Her debut novel, Crow's Rest, a darkly funny young adult urban fantasy, is coming from Spencer Hill Press in May 2015. Ongoing projects include short fiction, poetry, novels, art photography, and children’s picture books.
LOUIS "BOOK LOUIE" ARREDONDO (MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR) @BookLouie. Husband. Father of eight, including three internationally adopted children. Writer of children's picture books bound for publication. Secretly works as a data center manager near an undisclosed government location. Mission Statement: "Bringing Children and Parents Together Through Books."
SUZI GUINA (EVENTS COORDINATOR–SOUTH) has been writing stories all her life, but it wasn’t until after her kids were born that she realized writing for children needed to be more than a hobby for her. She has written two children’s poetry collections and a YA fairy tale retelling, and is currently at work on a middle grade fantasy. Suzi teaches high school and college English and composition courses, where she regularly incorporates fairy tales and children’s literature. She recently developed a creative writing course for her high school that will run for the first time this fall. She lives in Turlock and looks forward to bringing more SCBWI events to the southern area of our region! Connect with her on social media @SuziGuina.
JEN BARTON (ACORN REGIONAL NEWSLETTER/BLOG EDITOR) is a writer, idea junkie, and the author of some fun kids’ books, including the whimsical picture book If Chocolate Were Purple. Just a short girl with a tall imagination, Barton lives in Rocklin, Ca. with her husband and very sassy dog and spends most of her time thinking of silly things to amuse children.
JEN GARRETT (CRITIQUE CAROUSEL COORDINATOR) cultivates a writer’s callus, a full library card, and an even bigger home library. She thrives on finding typos and seeing light bulbs go on in others, and also loves receiving feedback on her own work. JEN has a gift for brainstorming, but isn't so good at knowing which of her many ideas stink. She is currently on a quest for a down-to-earth agent who loves her writing and can help her decide.
MARTHA LONGSHORE (WEBMASTER) writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She also designs and maintains websites—sadly not including her own, which is in dire need of updating. She lives with her daughter and sweet, though demented, pets, in the far reaches of the North/Central region, so she’s happy to have a way she can volunteer online.