Our Team

The Picture Book Summit Core Faculty Includes These Four World-Class Picture Book Experts

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KATIE DAVIS

FOUNDER / FACULTY

Katie Davis is Director of the Institute of Children’s Literature, where over 405,203 people have learned to write since 1969. Katie’s an award-winning writer/illustrator whose published work includes kidlit genres from picture books to middle grade to young adult. Her first picture book, Who Hops? turns 20 next year, and Kindergarten Rocks! has been a perennial favorite since 2005. Her books have sold over 755,000 copies and her two guides for writers, How To Promote Your Children’s Book and How to Write a Children’s Book both debuted at #1 on Amazon. 

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JULIE HEDLUND

FOUNDER / FACULTY

Julie Hedlund is an award-winning picture book author, 21st century publishing expert and founder of the 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge. Since 2012, 12 x 12 has encouraged thousands of picture book writers to get their stories out of their heads and onto the page. Julie is a frequent speaker at writing retreats and conferences. Her picture book credits include My Love For You is the Sun and A Troop is a Group of Monkeys. 

LAURA BACKES

FOUNDER / FACULTY

Laura Backes is publisher of Children’s Book Insider, The Children’s Writing Monthly, and co-owner of WritingBlueprints.com (along with husband Jon Bard). Laura has edited and critiqued thousands of picture book manuscripts. Her credits include Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read (Random House); articles for Writer’s Digest, The Writer and Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market; and technical editor of Writing Children’s Books for Dummies.

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EMMA WALTON HAMILTON

FOUNDER / FACULTY

Emma Walton Hamilton is a best-selling children’s book author, editor and writing coach.  With her mother, actress/author Julie Andrews, Emma has co-authored over thirty children’s books, eight of which have been on the NY Times Bestseller list, including The Very Fairy Princess series. She is Director of the Children’s Lit Fellows program at Stony Brook University.

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JON BARD

Founder and Emcee

Jon Bard is the co-owner (and half of the husband and wife team) of Children’s Book Insider, The Children’s Writing Monthly and WritingBlueprints.com. Before he teamed up with Laura, Jon owned a public relations company in New York, with numerous high-profile clients in the toy, game, and book industries. Jon is the creator of the Easy Author Marketing program on WritingBlueprints.com. He can be heard twice a week as his alter ego, disk jockey Brother JB, on krfcfm.org.

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KRISTIN AMMERMAN

Project Manager

Kristin is a project manager and marketer who’s worked with dozens of companies including HowDoesShe.com and Playful Learning. For Picture Book Summit, she fights organizational fires and coordinates behind the scenes… loving every minute of it. In her “spare” time she writes SF&F and Historical NF stories.

KELLI PANIQUE

Customer Service Manager

Kelli is the service backbone to everything going on behind the scenes at Picture Book Summit. She is involved with everything from the nuts and bolts of the website to responding to each email that we receive. You’ll also find her supporting other literary entities including 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge and Institute for Writers. When she’s not helping customers or managing a Facebook group, you’ll probably find her looking up movies on IMDB or reading a book.

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AARON BROWN

Producer

Aaron is a leadership and management facilitator by day, and a devoted dad, swing-dancing enthusiast, and committed bibliophile in the extra hours. In addition, he has been supporting and organizing online conferences on a variety of topics for close to a decade. Picture Book Summit is his favorite because of the people; from participants to presenters, everyone is amazing.

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