Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 16, 2020

CBA Golden Ticket Judges

Every year when the Children’s Book Academy launches their Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books interactive e-course, they seek out a group of extraordinary agents and editors to help students directly in live critiquing with kindness webinars with the co-teachers. These are incredibly helpful, insightful, lots of fun, and provide students with access to publishing decision makers in a uniquely warm way. Aside from the comprehensive 6 week curriculum, the daily online interaction, the optional small critique groups, the optional one-on-one critiques with either co-teaching agent Allison Remcheck and special brilliant guest critiquer Frances Gilbert, fabulous now published former student assistants and weekly now published former students guests, and so on, The Lives have absolutely contributed to students now publishing over 377 books. Please stay tuned for the even larger group of Editors and Agents (including the Lives) who will be looking at students work at the end of the course with an eager eye for acquisitions. CBA calls these The Golden Tickets and they are very exciting. Meanwhile, here are this year’s LIVES.

After you learn to write that fantastic marketable book, we teach you to write a perfect pitch and bio to submit to these hungry editors and agents!

FRANCES GILBERT – Editor in Chief at Random House/Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Frances started her career in children’s books when she was still a child, working in the children’s department of her town library throughout high school. After graduating from university with an M.A. in English, Frances’s first job in publishing was as a Book Club Editor at Scholastic Canada in Toronto. She moved to New York in 2000 to set up a children’s editorial division at Sterling Publishing, where she stayed till 2012. Frances then moved to Random House Children’s Books, where she is Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday Books for Young Readers. Titles she has acquired and edited include: The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain, Philip Stead, and Erin Stead; I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt; the Hello, World! board book series by Jill McDonald; Bunny’s Book Club by Annie Silvestro and Tatjana Mai-Wyss; and Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer and Dave Mottram. In addition to helping others publish children’s books, Frances writes them. Her latest, Go Girls, Go! is quite spectacular!


Nicole Geiger – Agent at Full Circle Literary

Nicole Geiger has 30 years of experience in publishing and has worked in just about every capacity in the industry. As an agent, she is focusing on both fiction and nonfiction in board books, picture books, young chapter books, and middle grade. For 18 years, first as VP and Publisher of Ten Speed Press/Tricycle Press then VP and Publisher of Random House/Tricycle Press, Nicole was the primary acquirer and directed the production and marketing of up to 30 children’s titles yearly.

Books she has either edited or acquired have garnered the Jane Addams Peace Award and Honor, the Pura Belpré Honor, the Ezra Jack Keats Award, The Christopher Award, Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, as well as numerous ALA Notable Books, CBC Children’s Choices, and Reading Rainbow titles.

Christina Pulles – Exec. Editor at Albert Whitman and Co.

Christina Pulles is the Executive Editor at Albert Whitman and has been passionate about children’s books since she was a young child. She remembers enduring a punishment of a promised library visit being taken away—and her parents still driving  her past that glorious building! Prior to Albert Whitman, Christina worked at Sterling Children’s Books and Simon & Schuster and has been lucky to work with authors Dusti Bowling, Alice Faye Duncan, Josh Funk, Casey Lyall, and more. Christina particularly enjoys books with strong underlying themes that help children do well and be well in the world. In her spare time Christina enjoys baking and running (and there’s a direct correlation between the two).

Kelly Delaney – Editor at Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Kelly Delaney is an Editor at Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, where she acquires and edits picture books, middle grade and young adult novels. She has a master’s degree in Publishing: Digital and Print Media from NYU and has been at Random House Children’s Books for five years. In that time, she has been fortunate enough to work with many esteemed authors, including R.J. Palacio, Markus Zusak, Anita Lobel, Eileen Spinelli, Kevin Hawkes, and Norton Juster, and many others. Among the many books she’s edited are: Duncan the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll, Sewing Stories by Barbara Herkert and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop, Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung, and Fly! by Karl Newsom Edwards. She is always on the lookout for quirky humor, bright characters, and writers that don’t underestimate their readers.

Alyza Liu, Assistant Editor, Simon & Schuster

Alyza is excited to be acquiring her first children’s picture books. As assistant to Justin Chanda, she’s had the honor of with some incredible talents like Aaron Reynolds, Jessie Sima, Morgan Matson, and many, many more. Prior to Simon & Schuster, Alyza interned at Laura Dail Literary Agency, InkWell Management, Overlook Press, Foundry Literary + Media, Roaring Brook Press, and graduated magna cum laude from New York University, where she majored in East Asian Studies and minored in English and Studio Art. Alyza loves a good story and is particularly looking to acquire diverse, atmospheric, character-driven books with strong voices, distinct sensibilities, and tender hearts among others.

Holly West  

Senior Editor at Swoon Reads and Feiwel & Friends, Holly West is a giant geek. Dedicated fangirl. Half-Elven Rogue Cleric who also answers to That-Girl-Who-Reads-A-Lot. Holly has a wicked sense of humor and loves stories that make her laugh as well as stories that are more meaningful or that have a bit of an edge to them. 

Jessica Anderson 

Jessica Anderson is an Associate Editor at Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. She has worked on a wide range of picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction and is on the lookout for lyrical picture book biographies, hilarious middle-grade diary fiction, and gritty contemporary realistic YA. Jessica especially enjoys working on books that encourage imagination and free-thinking, foster a sense of family and community, target the feelings of children, and speak directly to young people’s interests as they explore various milestones, creating contemporary classics that both challenge and entertain inquisitive readers.

Caitlyn Averett

Acquiring Editorial assistant at JIMMY Patterson Books, Caitlyn Averett is a passionate book lover with an MA in English/Creative Writing with a particular passion for diverse kids books. Diversity in all media is important to her, but especially in children’s publishing so that young readers can see how vast the world is and how many types of people exist—from race to sexual orientations—and so they can learn that being different is not wrong.

Callie Metler-Smith

Author/ Illustrator Callie Metler-Smith is the owner of Clear Fork Media Group in Stamford, Texas. She has owned the Stamford American since 2009 and Clear Fork Publishing since 2014. When not working on her corner of the Stamford Square, she is spending time with her husband, Philip and two sons, Logan and Ben.

Allison Remcheck

Associate Agent Allison Remcheck at Stimola Literary has known what she wanted to be when she grew up—ever since the age of eight when she read in the back of a Baby-Sitters’ Club book that the author, Ann M. Martin, was an editor before she became a writer. She had no idea what the word “editor” meant—but she knew it had to be a person who read a lot, and she knew she wanted to work in publishing. She’s so lucky to say that she has only ever worked with books—a journey that has taken her from a library, to a bookstore, to a publishing house, and finally to the Studio—and books, particularly those for children, have been her lifelong passion. She believes there is simply nothing better in the world than putting the perfect book in a child’s hand. 

Dr. Mira Reisberg

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 and co-teaches way too many courses to mention. 


Talk tomorrow,


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