Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 9, 2020

Opportunity: Meet the Co-Teachers by Mira Reisberg

Hi Kathy, thank you so much for inviting me to tell folks about the latest and greatest Craft and Business of Writing Picture Books e-course with 2 awesome new co-teachers and moi,  hard working Editor/Art Director and the Director of the Children’s Book Academy. Each of our new co-teachers is brilliant, warm, kind, and excited about both sharing their hard-earned knowledge of writing picture books and directly helping them. And if any illustrators join, well that’s a double winner! And heads up, either BookEnds Literary Associate Agent James McGowan, Penguin Random House/Dial Assistant Editor Rosie Ahmed or I will be with students every single weekday of the course. Also I had to share about our two new “LIVES” critiquers who will also be doing individual critiques for those lucky enough to sign up with them (and of course they’ll be joining us along with 10 other editors and agents in the Golden Ticket Submissions Showcase).

Here are our four main goals:

  1. Provide a warm, supportive, safe, lifelong community for students
  2. Inspire and teach skills using scaffolded learning for beginning to high level students by providing information and resources that students can refer back to and reuse over and over
  3. Help students publish top quality picture books
  4. Have lots of fun
  5. And here’s a 5th bonus goal (this ones for us) – go from over 550 books published or contracted by former students to 1000!

So let’s meet the co-teachers and learn about our two new editor and agent one-hour critiquing opportunities.

First Up Meet the Co-Teachers

Staten Island native, James McGowan, holds a Master’s Degree in English and is a passionate lifelong reader. Since interning at BookEnds in 2015, he has continuously leveled-up to become an acquiring Associate Agent and Social Media Manager for the team.  James is open to picture books of all kinds, but is especially drawn to humorous, and nonfiction picture books. He only recently realized he could also be a writer and his debut picture book, Good Night, Oppy, is launching Fall 2021. James is warm, generous and super smart. He is very passionate about helping to bring funny and/or informative books into the world and is especially excited about both sharing his knowledge and directly helping students.

Rosie Ahmed is an Assistant Editor with Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers. Before that, she was an editorial assistant at Dial and the former Kathy Dawson Books. Rosie has interned with Bloomsbury Children’s and the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency, and earned her MA in Creative Writing at the University of South Dakota. She works on picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and nonfiction that give children the stories they need in order to thrive. Rosie has co-taught the Middle Grade course with us before and was so smart and so loved that we asked her to come back.

Dr. Mira Reisberg has helped MANY authors and illustrators get published. She has worn just about every hat in the industry including illustrator, author, and literary agent. Mira holds a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies with a focus on children’s literature. She has taught children’s literature survey and making courses at Washington State University, Northern Illinois University, San Francisco City College Extension, and US Berkeley Extension. Mira also works as an editor and art director at Clear Fork Publishing’s children’s imprint Spork and is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and writer. You can follow her on Twitter at @ChildrensBookAc. In fact, Mira took a job with Clearfork Publishing’s children’s book imprint, Spork Kid’s Books, so she could further help students by acquiring, editing, and art directing their books. And while she is thrilled by all the books her students, she has a special spot in her heart for the ones she’s been able to edit and art direct herself.

So what are the LIVES? The LIVES are a special feature exclusive to  CBA’s highly interactive courses where each week a different editor or agent (or art director depending on the course) joins the co-teachers in critiquing students work, and every single student who submits work regularly receives at least one of these short focused critiques and also  learns from each other.

Meet these TWO EXTRAORDINARY “LIVES” critiquers who will be doing a limited number of live one-hour critiques

Charlotte Wenger is a literary agent in the Boston area with Prospect Agency. Prior to joining Prospect, she was an associate editor at Page Street Kids. She has her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from Simmons College (now University) and serves on the national advisory board of the Mazza Museum, the world’s largest collection of original artwork by children’s book illustrators. Charlotte is drawn to children’s literature and art for all ages—board books through YA, but especially picture books. You can find her on Twitter at @WilbursBF_Char.

Joni Sussman has been the Publisher at Kar-Ben Publishing for 17 years. Celebrating almost 50 years of publishing award-winning Jewish-themed picture books for children. Kar-Ben publishes both fiction and non-fiction for preschool through middle school readers, including Jewish holiday books, life-cycle stories, Bible tales, folktales, picture book biographies, stories about American and world Jewish history, Israel, the Holocaust, the rich diversity within the Jewish community, and other Jewish topics.

I received a critique from Joni and was so blown away by how astute and helpful she was that I asked her to join us. And heads up you don’t need to be Jewish to publish books with Kar-Ben, just create something that in some way connects with one of the many kinds of Jewish experience.  And your manuscript doesn’t need to be Jewish either for Joni to work her magic on it.

Go ahead and click the link below to find out more about this highly successful, mentored e-course starting January 11th at

Talk tomorrow,



  1. […] Opportunity: Meet the Co-Teachers by Mira Reisberg — Writing and Illustrating […]


  2. Great info, Kathy. Thanks for sharing with us!


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