These are the awesome people that will speak at the SCBWI NL Conference in Amsterdam on November 5. Remember the deadline for registration is OCTOBER 1. Seats are filling and so are the spots for portfolio and manuscript reviews!

Doug Cushman is author and illustrator of award winning children’s picture books for over 30 years and the creator of many memorable heroes as the intrepid Aunt Eater, the grasshopper gumshoe Inspector Hopper, and the ace reporter Dirk Bones. A sample of some of the honors: Reading Rainbow Review Book for Aunt Eater Loves A Mystery; National Cartoonists Society 1996 Rubuen Award for Book Illustration for The Mystery of King Karfu; New York City Public Library Best 100 Books of 2000 for Inspector Hopper; New York Times Extended Children’s best Sellers for What Dads Can’t Do; 2004 Christopher Medal for Never Ever Shout In A Zoo; 2007 Sakura Award and 2009 California Young Readers Medal for Mystery at the Club Sandwich; 2007 Maryland Blue Crab Award for Dirk Bones. Find out more on Doug’s website

Ben Norland is the Executive Art Director at Walker Books in the UK. Ben graduated from the RCA after studying fine art. As he tried to make a living as a painter, he drifted into the world of children’s books and ended up instead a full time designer working at Walker Books. He’s worked on most every kind of publication for children, from teen fiction to pop-ups and from board books to graphic novels. Visit the Walker Books website to find out more about their books.

Martine Schaap started her career in a bookstore in Munich, at that time already having a preference for children’s and young adult literature. Soon she switched to publishing, working for several publishing companies, from the family-owned Gottmer, where she was a children’s book editor for over 8 years, to concern publishers like PCM and WPG. As publisher at Van Holkema & Warendorf for 15 years and now already 9 years at the publishing helm at Ploegsma, she has edited hundreds of books for children. Martine introduced successful children’s book authors like Jet Boeke (Dikkie Dik, Dutch Sesame street), Carry Slee, Mirjam Oldenhave and Caja Cazemier. She publishes internationally famous characters as well as classics of authors like Astrid Lindgren, Beatrix Potter, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. In addition Martine translates English and German books into Dutch and, with her husband illustrator Alex de Wolf, she wrote for many years the series Mop and Family, which was published in the US in Ladybug, the Magazine for Young Children.

Omar Curiëre started his own company OC Graphics 15 years ago, specializing in 3D visualization and interactivity. When his son was 3 or 4 he bought him his first Roxie Munro book called Mazeways and then another, and another, and another. Often he found is son and daughter on the floor drawing their own mazes. The introduction of the iPad had a huge impact on his company and, by watching his children, he realized OC Graphics could make apps. So… Omar mailed Roxie Munro. Together they set out on an amazing adventure and created apps that stand out and gain praise all over the world. You will find more information on the website

Erszi Deàk is founder and president of Hen & Ink Literary, and works in the traditional publishing arena, encouraging and developing projects across cultural borders, genres, and media. A writer and editor, she worked with La Martinière Groupe in France, acquiring approximately 40 English language titles a year for their Le Seuil and La Martinière Jeunesse imprints. Erzsi is the only SCBWI member to receive the prestiguous SCBWI Member of the Year award twice. She launched the SCBWI France chapter in 1996 and as SCBWI International RA Chairperson and creator of the SCBWI Bologna Conference, she oversaw the growth of 28 regions and mentored writers and illustrators around the world. Her website is

Sarah Blake Johnson has stepped in quicksand in Brazil, walked on the Baltic Ocean in Finland, cooked dinner in a geyser in Iceland, learned to play an ancient Chinese instrument in southern China, and explored abandoned castle ruins in Germany, all places she has lived with her family. She is a seasoned creative writing instructor with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sarah blogs at and is a member of the group blog, Through the Tollbooth. Currently, she lives with her family in Frankfurt, Germany.