Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Virtual ShopTalk: Soaring into Marketing with a Debut Group

Date(s) - Tuesday, September 22, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join NESCBWI and Soaring ‘20s members Elisa Boxer, Kelly Carey, Mary Wagley Copp, Abi Cushman, Carrie Finison, Angela Kunkel, and Rajani LaRocca as they chat about the camaraderie, support, and cross-promotional opportunities that come with forming a debut group.

Panelists will share ideas for forming a group, divvying up the workload, using virtual communication tools, platforms to help get the word out about your books, and more.

Cost of the workshop is $10.  You need to be logged in to your SCBWI account to register.


Elisa Boxer is an Emmy-winning journalist and columnist whose work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Fast Company, and Inc. magazine. She has reported for newspapers, magazines and TV stations, and is thrilled to bring her journalism experience to the world of nonfiction children’s literature. THE VOICE THAT WON THE VOTE: How One Woman’s Words Made History (Sleeping Bear Press, March 2020) is her first book, and she hopes it inspires young readers to know how much their voices matter. Learn more at

Kelly Carey is the author of  HOW LONG IS FOREVER? (Charlesbridge,  April 2020).  Her award winning magazine fiction stories have been published for over a decade in Highlights for Children, Girls’ World, and Clubhouse Jr. She is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature and an active member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and  The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA. Kelly is the proud co-founder of the blog 24 Carrot Writing ( Kelly lives in Upton, MA with her husband and three children. Learn more about Kelly at her website


Mary Wagley Copp is the author of WHEREVER I GO (Atheneum/S&S, 2020), illustrated by Munir D. Mohammed. This story was inspired by a documentary Mary produced about refugee resettlement. Mary currently works as an ESL teacher to newcomers. She is an active member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA. Mary lives with her husband on a farm in Westport, MA. They have three grown children. You can connect with Mary on her website or Instagram @marywcopp or on Twitter @Maryfkwc


Abi Cushman is the author-illustrator of SOAKED! (Viking, 2020) and the upcoming ANIMALS GO VROOM! (Viking, 2021). She has also worked as a web designer for over 15 years, creating websites for libraries, towns, and local businesses. She runs two popular websites of her own:, a pet rabbit care resource, and, which was named a Great Website for Kids by the American Library Association. In her spare time, Abi enjoys running, playing tennis, and eating nachos. (Yes, at the same time.) She lives on the Connecticut shoreline with her husband and two kids. Learn more at or connect with her on Twitter (@AbiCushman) and Instagram (@Abi.Cushman).


Carrie Finison writes picture books with humor and heart, including DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (2020) and the forthcoming books DON’T HUG DOUG (2021) and HURRY, LITTLE TORTOISE (2022). She lives in the Boston area with her family. Connect with her online at or on Twitter @CarrieFinison, Facebook at carrie.finison, or Instagram @carriefinison.


Angela Burke Kunkel is the author of the DIGGING FOR WORDS: JOSÉ ALBERTO GUTIÉRREZ AND THE LIBRARY HE BUILT, illustrated by Paola Escobar (Schwartz & Wade/Random House) and available in both English and Spanish editions. After soaking up the sun in the Southwest for a number of years, she now lives in Vermont with her family, two dogs, two guinea pigs, and one rapidly-growing bearded dragon (really, it’s rather alarming). Angela currently works as a school librarian and is a former English Language Arts teacher. You can find her at or on Twitter and Instagram @angkunkel.

Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she spends her time practicing medicine and writing books for young people. Her middle grade debut, Midsummer’s Mayhem (Yellow Jacket/Little Bee Books, 2019), an Indian-American mashup of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and competitive baking, was an Indies Introduce selection, an Indie Next pick, a Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book of 2019, and a 2020 Massachusetts “Must-Read” title. Her debut picture book, Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math (Lee & Low Books, October 2020) is set in ancient India and involves a math puzzle and an explanation of binary numbers. You can learn about her other forthcoming books at and find her on Twitter and Instagram @rajanilarocca.


Cost of the workshop is $10. You need to be signed in to your SCBWI account to register. If you do not see the registration form, please click here to sign in and then return to this page.