Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Graphic Novel 101 Faculty

Sylvia Bi

Sylvia Bi is a designer at Dial Books for Young Readers, and has previously worked on middle grade covers at Random House Children’s Books, where she developed a passion for hand-drawn type treatments, finding new illustrators, and all things graphic novel-related. When she’s not busy designing books, Sylvia is illustrating them – her current project is Ink Girls, the first book in a two-book MG graphic novel series. In her spare time, you can catch her climbing rocks, expanding her collection of earrings, and consuming a terrifying number of fantasy novels.



Rivkah LaFille

Salut! I’m Rivkah LaFille (pronounced “lah-fee”), and I am a children’s writer, illustrator, and graphic novelist who specializes in slice-of-life type MG and YA stories with HEART. My graphic novel series, STEADY BEAT, was nominated to the American Library Association’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, and I was Illustrator Coordinator for the Society or Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (in Austin) in which I am still a very active member. I’ve been published in instructional books and children’s magazines, write tutorials, articles, and reviews, teach workshops, and help people pitch their own kidlit GNs, too!

I am also an instructor at Kids Comics Unite–an online resource for kidlit comics professionals!–where I teach classes on both writing and illustrating graphic novels for kids, from babies to teens. I lead multiple online communities dedicated to providing access to resources, information, and critiques to aid in furthering the careers of kidlit comics creators and growing the kidlit comics industry in general.

Currently, I am working on an all-ages graphic novel about Creative Writing with First Second as well as a young adult graphic novel with Candlewick about wishes, family, and learning to let go of someone you love. I’m making plenty of magic, and I hope I can help you make magic too!



Janna Morishima

Janna Morishima is a literary agent specializing in graphic novels and visual storytelling. She currently represents a diverse range of comics creators, including Misako Rocks, Shauna Grant, Andi Watson, and Black Sands Entertainment.

Janna started her career at Scholastic, where she co-founded the Graphix imprint. Later, she was the director of the Kids Group for Diamond Book Distributors, and launched and ran the NYC Department of Education’s “NYC Reads 365” literacy initiative.

She is the founder of Kids Comics Unite, an online community for kids and YA graphic novel professionals. Find out more at and



Rachel Sonis

photo credit: Don Calva

Rachel Sonis is a children’s book editor at Penguin Workshop, an imprint at Penguin Young readers, where she’s developed a number of critically-acclaimed and bestselling books, including Jessica Hische’s New York Times bestselling picture books Tomorrow I’ll be Brave and Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind, award winning nonfiction YA series the Pocket Change Collective, the Who HQ Graphic Novels series, and Respect the Mic: Celebrating 20 Years of Poetry from a Chicagoland High School. Her list primarily focuses on commercial middle grade, YA, and graphic novels — with the voicey, funny, form-bending picture book thrown into the mix. She’s always on the lookout for projects that center inclusion, joy, and exploration, contain well-crafted voice-driven narratives, and make readers ask themselves one fundamental question: what’s next? Follow her on Twitter: @RachelJSonis.



Alexandra Weiss

Alexandra Weiss joined the world of publishing in 2016, as an associate agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. In 2021, she joined Azantian Literary Agency where she represents fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, and select adult nonfiction. She holds a BFA in creative writing and publishing from Columbia College Chicago and has written for Bustle and Buzzfeed, among others. She regularly volunteers with literary organizations and has a soft spot for working with young readers.