Children & Young Adults
We are seeing an unprecedented number of stories written for children and young adults that are unique, diverse, and unafraid to take risks – and students across the country are clamoring for more.
2016 – 2017 Visiting Professor Announced!
Celebrated Young Adult novel author Ellen Hopkins will be the 2016 – 2017 Visiting Professor in the Writing for Children & Young Adult (WCYA) track! Her work includes the New York Times bestselling novels Crank, Identical and Burned, which engage with difficult teenage issues such as mental health, prostitution, and drug addiction.
Children need to see themselves in books; they need to be connected to the uniqueness of their own stories. At SNC we train writers to go out into the industry upon graduation armed and ready to meet those challenges.
The MFA is a two-year degree program that consists of five weeklong residencies, in early January and early August, and four distance semesters. For the first three semesters students work with the award-winning authors on our faculty; for the final semester each student works closely with a professional editor who ushers them through the final stages of their manuscript.
Residencies are held on the stunning SNC Tahoe campus, at 6200′ above sea level in the the Sierra Nevada mountain range. In summer, the shoreline of Lake Tahoe is an easy 10 minute walk. In winter, heated sidewalks wind through tall pines. One of every five residencies is held overseas, with the 2017 winter residency in Jamaica.
There is no formula to writing compelling work for children and young adults; the program is dedicated to fostering each writer’s unique voice and craft. The WCYA track at SNC Tahoe is a safe place to challenge yourself to write without fear and from your deepest creative self. We are all writers here. We all have a voice that needs to be heard.
Program Coordinator and Graduate Admissions Counselor
Writing for Children & Young Adults Faculty
Our faculty are creators and editors of award-winning, New York Times bestselling, and groundbreaking books of literary and commercial quality for children and young adults.
- BA in English, California State University, San Bernardino
- MA in English Composition, California State University, San Bernardino
Isabel Quintero’s first novel, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces (Cinco Puntos Press), is the recipient of the 2015 William C. Morris Award for Debut YA Novel, the 2015 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the California Book Award Gold Medal for Young Adult, 2015 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, Grades 7-12, and the 2015 Peggy Miller Award for Young Adult Literature. It has been included in the Amelia Bloomer Project List of Recommended Feminist Reading for ages 0-18, School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014, 2015 Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens, Booklist’s Best Books of 2014, Kirkus’ Best Teen Books of 2014, and the 2015 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults lists, among others.
Her forthcoming chapter books, the first two in the Ugly Cat and Pablo series for young readers, will be released in Spring 2017 from Scholastic, Inc. Her first graphic novel, a biography about photographer Graciela Iturbide, will be released by Getty Publications in Fall 2017. She also writes poetry and her work can be found in The Great American Literary Magazine, Huizache, As/Us Journal, The Acentos Review, The Pacific Review, and others.
Isabel Quintero, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, was born, raised, and resides in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Isabel also sits on the board for a non-profit literary arts organization, PoetrIE.
Jess Regel is a literary agent at Foundry Literary and Media. She represents all genres of young adult and middle grade books, as well as a select list of adult general fiction, women’s fiction, and adult nonfiction. She works closely with her authors to develop their ideas for submission and collaborates with them throughout the stages of publication. She is passionate about discovering projects that are compulsive, contagious, and creative. She’s particularly interested in books that are “conversation staters” and novels that bridge the literary-commercial divide, combining a high-concept plot with beautiful writing.
Originally from Iowa, she has a BA from Hunter College. She was working at her local library when she was offered a job at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency representing subsidiary rights and building her list of authors, including: Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange (HarperTeen), Emily Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Balzer and Bray), J.C. Carleson’s The Tyrant’s Daughter (Knopf), Jillian Cantor’s Margot (Riverbed), Pablo Cartaya’s The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora (Viking Children’s), Linda Liukas’ Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding (Feiwel and Friends), Nora Mclnerny’s It’s Okay to Laugh (Dey Street), Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (Thomas Dunne/SMP) and Mark Andrew Ferguson’s The Lost Boys Symphony (Little, Brown).
- MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Vermont College of Fine Arts
- MA in Writing, Rowan University
Joe McGee is the author of the picture book, Peanut Butter & Brains (Abrams 2015), about which the Kirkus Review said “Run, don’t shamble to get this original zombie tale.” The New York Time praised it for “amusingly unit[ing] the seemingly unrelated contemporary obsessions of zombie and food,” and the Washington Post noted “Joe McGee keeps the story moving with flowing and engaging text.” Aliens and Jelly, a follow up to Peanut Butter and Brains, is scheduled for Fall 2017. Abrams will be publishing a third, as yet untitled, picture book in Fall 2018.
Joe’s writing has garnered many awards, to include the 2014 Vermont College of Fine Arts Holy Smokes! short story award, the 2013 Vermont College of Fine Arts Critical Essay award and a Vermont College of Fine Arts merit scholarship. He was the recipient of the 2012 Medallion Award for the outstanding graduate writing student at Rowan University and the winner of the 2012 Denise Gess Literary Prize for Poetry. He has been awarded 1st place honors in fiction, short story writing, YA/teen writing and poetry from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. His short story, Ink Soul, won 2nd place in the 2011 national Writer’s Digest genre fiction awards. Los Angeles Book Prize winner and Printz Honoree, A.S. King called Joe’s short story, Leaves of Brass, “one of the best short sorties” she ever read. National Book Award finalist and Newberrry Honor recipient, Kati Appelt, said of Joe’s short story, Tooth Fairy, that it was “one of the most authentic child’s voices” she’d ever read.
He teaches Creative Writing, Writing Fiction, and The Writer’s Mind at Rowan University. He is a former airborne Army platoon leader and the father of three school-age boys. He is an amateur cartoonist, has flown fixed-wing aircraft, and hiked an active volcano. Joe currently lives in rural Pennsylvania with his girlfriend, a YA and middle-grade writer. He is represented by Linda Epstein of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency. Joe has several picture books in the works and is finishing a middle-grade novel, as well as a graphic novel collection, and continues to write picture books.
MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts
After graduating from Vassar College, Lisa was hired to teach English at Colegio Evelyn Rogers, a private bilingual k-12 school in Guatemala City. After two years of teaching she returned to the states and moved to New York City, where she was hired at Scholastic as an editorial assistant in the books division.
After Scholastic, Lisa worked for Daniel Weiss Associates (now Alloy), HarperCollins, and Disney Press. At Disney, Lisa helped launch the Lizzie McGuire book series, and did both development and writing for the Disney Fairies books, among others.
Lisa’s first hardcover novel, Sixth-Grade Glimmers, Norks, and Me (Hyperion, 2005), was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, a Family Fun Best Books of the Year, and was nominated to several state award lists. She has written many books for middle-grade readers, including the Accidentally Fabulous series and the Confectionately Yours series, and has co-authored two books with James Patterson, Homeroom Diaries and Middle School: Big, Fat Liar (A New York Times bestseller). She has also written several books for young adults, including M or F?, The Wizard, The Witch, and Two Girls From Jersey, and the Siren’s Storm.
Her next book Apartment 1986, is slated for publication in 2016. Lisa lives in Florence, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.
- BA in Writing, Loyola Marymount University
- MFA in Writing, Vermont College of Fine Arts
Pablo Cartaya is the author of the forthcoming middle-grade books, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora and Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish (Viking Children’s Books/Penguin Random House), and is the co-author of the picture book, Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes (Random House Children’s Books). He is a contributing editor for the online literary journal, LitChat, a contributing author to the forthcoming anthology of writers from Iberoamerican cultures, and is currently finishing a nonfiction young adult novel about Cuba from the 1950s to the Bay of Pigs.
Pablo has been a guest lecturer at Florida International University’s Exile Studies Program, visited schools throughout the northeast and South Florida, and hosted many literary events throughout the region. Pablo has led the development of various literary programs though The Betsy Hotel South Beach PACE (Philanthropy, Arts, Culture, and Education) initiative – including the Writers for Young Readers program and the Escribe Aqui-Write Here initiative that highlights Iberoamerican culture and literature. Pablo also led the development of the Miami: City of Refuge program through Miami Dade College that made South Florida a safe haven for persecuted writers to live and work free of oppression. Both the Escribe Aqui and Miami: City of Refugee initiatives were recipients of the John and James L. Knight Foundation arts grants. Pablo has served on many panels and presentations and was the author liaison for the Miami International Book Fair – one of the largest such fairs in the western hemisphere. He calls Miami home.