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Writers Lab Members

A brief biography of each current member is provided below.

  • Selene Castrovilla

    Selene Castrovilla is an award-winning teen and children’s author. Her titles include By the Sword and Upon Secrecy (historical picture books) and Saved by the Music & The Girl Next Door (YA.) She holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School. Visit her website:

  • Caron Lee Cohen

    Caron Lee Cohen has written 15 successful picture books.  She's especially proud of How Many Fish? a My-First-I-Can-Read Book, and Broom, Zoom! an ample story with a minimal text.  Noteworthy also is The Mud Pony, a retelling of a Pawnee tale, as it has revealed valuable spiritual truths to her.  She has two graduate degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, has taught young children and lives in New York City.

  • Yvonne Wakim Dennis

    Yvonne Wakim Dennis is the author of several award-winning books, curriculum materials and websites. Publications include A Kid’s Guide to Native American History, A Kid’s Guide to Arab American History and Children of the USA.  She is a multicultural consultant and the Education Director of the Children’s Cultural Center of Native America. Yvonne's writing celebrates a multicultural world.

  • Barbara Shook Hazen

    Barbara Shook Hazen has published more than 90 children’s books, including Tight Times; Where Do Bears Sleep? and Amelia’s Flying Machine. Favorite genre? The picture book. Also beginning readers, chapter books, and books in verse. (She was once a poetry editor.) Favorite subjects? Relationships, overcoming fears, the environment, animals and, always, wordplay.

  • Arlene Hirschfelder

    Arlene Hirschfelder has authored more than 25 award-winning books for children and young adults dealing with American history and contemporary social issues. Her nonfiction works include Children of Native America Today; Kick Butts: A Kid’s Action Guide to a Tobacco-Free America, and Photo Odyssey: Solomon Carvalho’s Remarkable Western Adventure, 1853-54.

  • Elisabeth Jakab

    Elisabeth Jakab's children’s books include Louis Pasteur: Hunting Killer Germs, The Halloween Party, and The Mummy Who Wouldn’t Die. She's also written adult fiction and nonfiction, reviewed for the New York Times Book Review, and served as senior editor at major book publishers and editorial director of a small literary magazine. Most recently, she was manager of the Bank Street Writers Lab, and a writer/editor and project manager in Bank Street’s Division of Institutional Advancement.

  • Jackie Azúa Kramer

    Jackie Azúa Kramer earned her Masters of Education from Queens College and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  

    Her picture book, The Green Umbrella (North South Books) debuts February 2017 in English/German. Publish dates TBD-The Boy and the Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla (Candlewick Press) and If You Want to Fall Asleep (Clavis Books) in English/Dutch. Visit

  • Arlene Mark

    Arlene Mark is the author of To the Tower, a middle-grade novel about a mysterious tower on an island in Greenwich, Conn. Her short story "Racing Team" received the Best in Issue Award from Highlights for Children. Arlene is a member of SCBWI and chairs the Greenwich Pen Letters Group.

  • Susan Milligan

    Early childhood educator and storyteller Susan Milligan combines jazz music with stories. She co-authored three jazzy fairy tales included on CD in Jazzy Fairy Tales: A Resource Guide for Introducing Jazz Music to Young Children (Alfred Music Publishing). Jazz Mosaic: Jazz Activities for the Early Childhood Classroom will be published in 2013.

  • Orel Protopopescu

    Orel Protopopescu, children’s author and poet, has been published by major houses. Her most recent picture book, Thelonious Mouse (FSG, 2011) was SCBWI’s Crystal Kite winner, 2012, for the New York Metro Region. A Word’s A Bird, an interactive, animated, bilingual poetry application for Apple iPad, launched in May, 2013.

  • Cynthia Weill

    Cynthia holds a doctorate in education from Teachers College Columbia University. She has worked as a teacher, art historian and in humanitarian assistance. She has lived in Europe, South East Asia and Latin America. Her books Ten Mice for Tet, ABeCedarios and Opuestos reflect her travels and use local artisanal work to illustrate basic concepts. See