KCU Pitchfest Jurors:
Andrea Colvin is the editorial director of Little, Brown Ink, the graphic novel imprint of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, where she has published such well-received graphic novels as Just Pretend by Tori Sharp; Shark Summer by Ira Marcks; Numb to This: Memoir of a Mass Shooting by Kindra Neely; Muhamad Najem, War Reporter by Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus, illustrated by Julie Robine; and the debut graphic novel from actor/athlete/activist Terry Crews, with Cory Thomas: Terry’s Crew.
Before coming to Little, Brown, Andrea was editor in chief of the independent comics publisher Lion Forge, where she published Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe; Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu; No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant; Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels; and the Amazon Graphic Novel of the Year for 2017, Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green.
Little Brown Young Readers began publishing books for children in 1926. We currently publish a distinguished and diverse list of about 135 books a year. Today the group is divided into three imprints: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers features our core list of picture books and hardcover and paperback fiction and nonfiction for middle grade and young adult readers; LB Kids produces novelty and brand/licensed tie-ins; and Poppy publishes paperback original series for teen girls.
Anjali Singh is a literary agent at Ayesha Pande Literary. In the comics space, she represents Steenz, Ivy Noelle Weir, Gillian Goerz, Priya Huq, Kate Glasheen, Joel Christian Gill, Rhea Ewing and forthcoming works by Mary Shyne, Fouad Mezher, Deena Mohamed and Aubrey Nolan.
Ayesha Pande Literary is a boutique literary agency based in Harlem.
- Shirley + Jamila's Big Fall by Gillian Goerz
- Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noel Weir
- Heart of the City by Steenz
Britt Siess began her publishing career at the Taryn Fagerness Agency, working in foreign rights before moving on to the Quarto Group’s becker&mayer! imprint where she specialized in licensing and in selling both domestic and foreign rights. In 2018 she joined Martin Literary & Media Management focusing on graphic novels. In 2020, she founded Britt Siess Creative Management, which represents some of the biggest names in graphic novels and comics.
Founded in 2020, Britt Siess Creative Management LLC is a Seattle based full service literary and illustration agency with an emphasis on graphic novels. We are editorially focused and hands on as we work closely with our clients to develop their projects and guide them through publication and beyond. We aim to find the perfect home for each project.
Raised in Texas and Nigeria, Bunmi Ishola spent most of her childhood reading. After three years of working for different newspapers and magazines, and seven years teaching middle school, Bunmi decided to take a chance and find a job working with one of her biggest passions: books. She now works as an editor for Penguin Random House, primarily focusing on faith-based children’s books. She has high hopes to add a graphic novel to her list someday soon!
About RH's Christian:
The RH Christian children's group seeks to publish books that inspire young readers to find rich, spiritual purpose in their daily lives. We seek books that draw on the Bible, experiential learning, strong storytelling, and/or practical guidance to invite kids into a deeper relationship with God and thrive in their faith. While not all stories need to explicitly faith-based/heavily theological, they must be ecumenically friendly and child-affirming. We do not accept un-agented submissions.
- Crowned with Glory by Dorena Williamson
- If I Were a Tiger by Caroline Coleman
- Hues of You by Lucretia Carter Berry, PhD
Chelsea Eberly is the Director of Greenhouse Literary Agency and represents award-winning and New York Times bestselling graphic novel creators and illustrators writing picture books. As a former Senior Editor at Penguin Random House, she has an editorial eye and is an expert advocate for her clients. Her client roster includes Gavin Aung Than, Gabriela Epstein, Rebecca Mock, and Ngozi Ukazu. She is on the lookout for creators with a distinct point of view, taking risks on big ideas with heart.
About Greenhouse Literary:
Greenhouse Literary Agency is a boutique, transatlantic agency with an exceptional track record for launching successful careers. We put our clients and their stories at the center of everything that we do. Our vision is to provide personal attention to each client, helping them develop their voice and craft and then being their advocate and partner throughout the publishing process and beyond. We seek talented creators who are ready to put down roots and grow their careers.
- Check Please! by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second Macmillan/2018)
- Myth Valley Medical by Gavin Aung Than (First Second Macmillan/2024)
- Love Light by Mela Rogers (Holt Macmillan/2025)
- Cramming by Brigitta Blair (Little Brown Ink/2027)
Andrew Arnold is the founder and editorial director of HarperCollins’s graphic novel imprint. He is also an author-illustrator and cocreator of the award-winning Adventures in Cartooning series from First Second Books. He writes and draws from his home in Brooklyn, New York, in the company of his rescue dog, Jerry.
About Harper Alley:
HarperAlley is a collaborative, creator-focused publisher of graphic novels for kids and teens that connect with readers of all ages. Our authors and artists define us through their unique, visual voices and thought-provoking storytelling. Simply put, HarperAlley publishes exceptional graphic novels for all readers, everywhere.
Chris joined Union Square Kids in 2021. He has written and edited comics and graphic novels for thirty years, taking time out for meals and whistling breaks. For Nickelodeon Magazine’s award-winning comics section, Chris gathered the world’s best cartoonists into one place to create original comics for kids. In addition to editing many anthologies for First Second, Chris worked directly with SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg to launch and produce the popular comic book series.
About Union Square & Co.:
Union Square & Co.’s diverse list showcases top-tier talent and brands and gives space to unique perspectives and strong voices. It features books, decks, stationery, games, and calendars focused on fiction, narrative nonfiction, food & drink, decorating, health, wellness, and pop culture.
- QUEST KIDS AND THE DRAGON PANTS OF GOLD by Mark Leiknes
- SCHNOZZER AND TATERTOES TAKE A HIKE by Rick Stromoski
Erinn Pascal joined Andrews McMeel Kids in 2021. She primarily works on kids' graphic novels. Erinn is proud to have edited Sarah Burgess's Skip!, Liza N. Cooper's Meems and Feefs series, Eric Geron and Jannie Ho's Fry Guys, and Dora Wang's Pocket Peaches, among many others. Prior to AMU, Erinn held editorial positions at Scholastic, Disney, and Simon & Schuster. Erinn grew up in Pembroke Pines, FL and graduated with a BFA in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.
About Andrews McMeel:
Andrews McMeel Kids ""have all the fun!"" Andrews McMeel Kids is devoted to uplifting creators' authentic visions. We publish books kids want to read, full of funny and fresh content, such as Big Nate, Phoebe and Her Unicorn, and Cat Ninja. The books that kids choose to read help bolster a confidence for a lifelong love of reading.
- BIRTLE AND THE PURPLE TURTLES by Tara J. Hannon
- MEEMS AND FEEFS: FERRETS FROM PLANET FERRETONIA by Liza N. Cooper
- FRY GUYS by Eric Geron and Jannie Ho
Kristie Choi is a queer, Korean-American editor who, prior to publishing, sleuthed as a private investigator. Kristie has had the opportunity to work with multiple award-winning and bestselling authors as an assistant. She's been building her list as the editor of her own talented authors/illustrators, working on a range of YA, MG, picture books, and graphic novels. Kristie lives in Denver with her partner and two cats. In her spare time, she loves to rock climb, garden, and be in the outdoors.
Atheneum is known for publishing enduring literary MG, teen, picture book, and graphic novel titles. The imprint has garnered more than 40 Newbery and Caldecott Medals and Honors. It's also published a list of books that have won innumerable other awards and accolades, including Coretta Scott King medals, National Book Award medals and nominations, Printz medals and honors, PEN USA Literary Awards, NYT bestsellers, with titles that have been named to numerous state reading lists.
- KING OF DEAD THINGS by Nevin Holness
- A SUFFRAGIST'S GUIDE TO THE ANTARCTIC by Yi Shun Lai
- TRICKY CHOPSTICKS by Sylvia Chen
Associate Director of Original Content for Epic! Kids; author of Kiss Number 8, the Katie the Catsitter series with Stephanie Yue, Mervin the Sloth is About to Do the Best Thing in The World with Ruth Chan, The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom with Lian Cho, and the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series, also with Stephanie Yue.
About Epic! Kids:
Epic is the leading digital reading platform—built on a collection of 40,000+ popular, high-quality books from 250+ of the world’s best publishers—that safely fuels curiosity and reading confidence for kids 12 and under.
Eileen Robinson has worked with children’s writers for over twenty years as Executive Editor at Scholastic, Editorial Director at Harcourt and most recently building a new children’s trade imprint, Reycraft Books, publishing over 150 titles before returning to Move Books to continue to build her own imprint. She teaches revision with Harold Underdown and Emotional Impact in Picture Books/Novels through the Highlights Foundation. She is now on to new endeavors which will be announced soon.
About Move Books:
Move Books publishes books to get more boys reading, focusing on middle-grade novel (including graphic novels) and chapter books.
- The Lost Tribes Series by Christine Taylor Butler
- Surviving Bear Island/Follow the River by Paul Greci
- Carlos Gomez Freestyle: Heavy on the Style by Chuck Gonzalez
Rachel Diebel is an editor at Feiwel & Friends (an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group), acquiring middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. Throughout her career, she has worked on multiple New York Times bestsellers, as well as celebrity projects including books by Lili Reinhart, Jimmy Fallon, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Though she now calls Brooklyn home, her heart will always be in the Pacific Northwest, where she grew up.
About Feiwel and Friends:
Feiwel and Friends is a publisher of innovative children’s fiction and nonfiction literature, including hardcover, paperback series, and individual titles. The list is eclectic and combines quality and commercial appeal for readers ages 0-18. The imprint is dedicated to “book by book” publishing, bringing the work of distinctive and outstanding authors, illustrators, and ideas to the marketplace. Feiwel and Friends is defined and guided by our principle: Our books are friends for life.
- SWING by Audrey Meeker, colors by Sarah Davidson (upcoming F24)
- HOLLOW MAGIC by Mars Lauderbaugh (upcoming F26)
- OPHELIA AFTER ALL by Racquel Marie (prose; 2022)
Jill Davis has been making books for children since 1992, where she began her career at Random House. Since then, she has held editorial positions at Viking, Bloomsbury, FSG, HarperCollins, and now--all these years later, she has her own imprint called Hippo Park at Astra. Hippo Park focuses on illustrated books for ages 0 to 12, and focuses on picture books, graphic chapters books and middle grade graphic novels. Some graphic novels she has enjoyed working on are Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere and Arlo and Pips by Elise Gravel; Catherine's War by Julia Billet and Claire Fauvel, One Cool Duck by Mike Petrk, and The Love Report by BeKa and Maya.
About Astra Publishing House Hippo Park:
Our list reflects the joyful, surprising, often befuddling, and endlessly fascinating world our children live in. Hippo Park books are fun and funny—because laughter brings people together, and it brings kids to reading! Done well, funny goes deep, too—helping kids feel seen and understood.
Jon Moisan started his career in comics at Marvel Entertainment where he worked on top selling titles such as Secret Wars, Thor and more. After honing his skills there, he moved onto Skybound/Image where he edited titles such as I Hate This Place, Sea Serpent's Heir and Stillwater, with the latter being nominated for multiple Eisner awards. He brings over a decade of experience to his role at Boom Studios and loves comic books very, very much.
About BOOM! Studios:
BOOM! Studios was founded in 2005 with the singular focus of creating world-class comic book storytelling for all audiences. Through four distinct imprints—BOOM! Studios, BOOM! Box, KaBOOM!, and Archaia—the company has produced award-winning work, including Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR, Something is Killing the Children, and Lumberjanes, while also breaking ground with licenses such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Magic: The Gathering, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and The Jim Henson Company properties.
- Sea Serpent's Heir by Mairghread Scott, illustrated by Pablo Tunica
- Stillwater by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Ramon Perez, Mike Spicer
- I Hate This Place by Kyle Starks, illustrated by Artyom Topilin, Lee Loughridge
JuYoun Lee is the Deputy Publisher & Editor in Chief at Yen Press, overseeing all editorial programs including manga, light novels, Korean comics, kids’ comics, and original titles through their Yen Press, Yen On, JY, and Ize Press brands. She has maintained a close relationship with many Japanese and Korean publishers on licensed titles while also working directly with creators on development of properties.
About Yen Press:
Founded in 2006, Yen Press is one of the largest and most prolific publishers of manga and original graphic novels in North America. JY, the middle grade graphic novel division of Yen Press, LLC, was established in the fall of 2017. This imprint is a sign of the Yen Press commitment to actively grow the catalog of quality content targeting middle grade audiences.
- Enemies by Svetlana Chmakova
- Kyle's Little Sister by Bonhyung Jeong
- The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, illustrated by Cassandra Jean
Instructor/fearless leader of Kids Comics Intensive; author-artist of the forthcoming Five Wishes (Candlewick Press), illustrator of forthcoming graphic novel with First Second, and author-artist of Steady Beat (Tokyopop).
As senior editor of IDW’s Originals editorial division, Russ Busse will work with some of the industry’s finest creators and talented newcomers to develop brand-new original graphic novels for the middle grade and young adult markets.
Prior to joining IDW, Busse honed his skills at Abrams Books and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and more recently pursued freelance opportunities. He loves finding voices with unique perspectives, charm, and heartfelt emotion.
IDW is a premier publisher of comics and graphic novels, both on the licensing and trade side of the business.
- CatStronauts series by Drew Brockington
- My First Mighty Marvel Books series, with various classic artists
- Generation Wonder with Barry Lyga and various contributors
Sarah Alpert is an avid culture vulture, an editor at Algonquin Young Readers, and a long-time lover of comics and graphic novels. The only thing she loves more than reading and watching stories and playing narrative games is talking about them, and exploring how and why they work. Sarah lives in Connecticut with her husband, and is a little too obsessed with her cats.
About Algonquin Young Readers:
Algonquin Young Readers is a boutique publisher of books of enduring quality for children and teenagers. Our list spans gorgeous picture books, award-winning novels, powerful works of narrative non-fiction, and unique and bold graphic novels.
- Nancy Spector Monster Detective by Stephen W. Martin, illustrated by Linh Pham
- Slip by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Aatmaja Pandya
- Cub by Cindy Copeland
Whitney Leopard is the senior editor at RH Graphic. She works on award-winning books like Trung Le Nguyen's THE MAGIC FISH, or best sellers like Sophie Escabasse's The Witches of Brooklyn series. Before RH Graphic, she was an editor for KaBOOM! and worked on titles like LUMBERJANES and ADVENTURE TIME. She gets to work with super talented creators on helping them bring their beautiful stories to life. Whitney is thrilled to be part of the process and below are the books that she's been a part of.
About RH Graphic:
RH Graphic is the graphic novel imprint for Random House Children's Books.
Zohra has worked within the editorial departments of several NYC publishers including Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, and Scholastic. She was recently a web comics editor at Tapas Media but has now joined forces with the children’s graphic novel publisher, Papercutz. She most enjoys fantasy and magical realism, with sweet spot for contemporary fiction and historical fiction with engaging, nonfiction elements. Above all, she's keen on giving voice to BIPOC stories, experiences, and cultures.
Papercutz is all about publishing great graphic novels for all ages. Popular with reluctant readers and gifted readers alike, Papercutz books for kids and tweens include a wide range of genres, including humor, action, adventure, mystery, horror, and favorite characters. Papercutz is proud to be one of the first publishers exclusively dedicated to children’s graphic novels.
- Jackson Wilder's Adventures by Sarah Davidson
- Innkeeper Chronicles Clean Sweep series by Ilona Andrews
- Ice by Ashley Taylor