Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Graphic Novel Conference Faculty

This page will be updated as we receive more info – be sure to check back!

Our stellar faculty in alphabetical order:

Danielle Burby

Danielle has been a full-time agent at Nelson Literary Agency since 2017. Prior to that, she worked at a New York agency where she handled foreign rights and built her client list. She is currently building a list of young adult, middle grade, graphic novel, and select picture books. She gravitates toward stories with a high concept and strong voice. She particularly enjoys complex female characters, quirky/humorous adventures, narratives that explore social justice issues, stories with a sense of wonder, complicated family dynamics, girls with swords, seaside narratives, and narratives that prioritize intersectionality and inclusivity. She finds it hard to resist gorgeous writing and is a sucker for romantic plotlines that are an element of the narrative, but don’t dominate it. She is always looking for stories that will leave her spellbound, no matter the genre.



Kiara Valdez

Kiara Valdez is an assistant editor at First Second Books. She was born and raised in New York City (shout out to Washington Heights) and has been an avid comics reader all her life. She graduated from Williams College with a double major in English Literature and Japanese, and spends her free time reading, writing, and enjoying a long list of other hobbies she can’t keep up with.

She is interested in middle grade and young adult graphic novels doing with magical realism, memoir, #ownvoices stories (especially those from Latinx creators), and stories with LGBTQ+ characters and romance. The long list of First Second books she’s worked on include: the Cucumber Quest series, Check, Please! series, Bloom, Kiss Number 8, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, and Grimoire Noir.





Shannon Watters

Shannon Watters is the senior editor and head of BOOM! Box line at BOOM! Studios, the imprint behind critically-acclaimed comics and graphic novels like GIANT DAYS, THE BACKSTAGERS, LUMBERJANES, FENCE, GOLDIE VANCE, HEAVY VINYL, THE AVANT-GUARDS, and many, many others. She is also the co-creator and co-writer of the award-winning hit comic book series LUMBERJANES. She lives with her partner in Los Angeles, CA.







Special non-faculty guest:

Natascha Morris

Natascha joined The Tobias Agency in 2020 after previously working at BookEnds Literary. With a B.A. in English Literary Studies and a M.S. in Publishing, Natascha is a self-described “publishing nerd.”  Her editorial philosophy stems from the idea that all books should be well written and entertaining, and that all children should see themselves and their lives in books.  Some of her books include ALA award winning Queen of Physics by Teresa Robeson, Grandpa Grumps by Katrina Moore, JLG selected We Wait for the Sun and Oona illustrated by Raissa Figueroa, and The Library of Lost Things and A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey.

She’s is primarily looking for picture books, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including graphic novels. She is also open to illustrator submissions.


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