Amber Alvarez
Amber Alvarez grew up on a white strip of sand bordering the Pacific Ocean. While other kids had cats and dogs, she had a pair of green sea turtles. Amber holds a BFA in film from Pratt Institute in New York City. Now she lives and makes art in Utah, under a mountain, but above a railroad track. Her steamy chef husband lives there too.
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Irena Freitas Irena Freitas is an illustrator from Manaus, Brazil. She recently graduated from an MFA Illustration program at SCAD at Savannah, Georgia, but she is already back in her home country. As a kid, she wanted to be a full-time TV critic and an artist on the side, turns out life had other (and much better!) plans and she became a full-time illustrator and only rants about TV on her Twitter feed. Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Diandra Mae
Diandra Mae has a love of stories as big as the Lone Star State. Thanks to a steady diet of  comics and cartoons while growing up, her work is full of emotion and humor. She is currently exploring what it means to be a storyteller through a variety of media. Diandra lives in Houston, Texas with her family.
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Shannon McNeill
Shannon is an illustrator from San Diego. Her fate as a young artist was sealed when she took on the Drawing Book of Animals by Ed Emberley and made it all the way to the dragon. The creative momentum that followed led to a degree at Art Center, a stint at Disney Interactive, and lots of freelance work including several picture books. Two countries and two children later, she is back in San Diego doing what she loves best: working with shapes, line, nature, and books. Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Heidi Sheffield
Heidi's favorite memory is of her mom giving her a crayon and letting her draw all over the wall (just before wallpapering it). Her world has been about words and pictures ever since. In a previous life, she worked as an Art Director for Young & Rubicam, but is ever-happy now illustrating for children. Heidi looks forward to the day when a child will hold one of her books. You might find her walking down the street, staring at the ground, taking a picture of some cool texture in the cement. It's sure to be seen in one of her collages.
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Alexandra Thompson
Alexandra is an illustrator and maker based just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.  She's been making pictures since she could wield a crayon. As a child she was always inventing imaginary worlds and dreamed of illustrating picture books one day. After graduating with a BFA in Fashion from MassArt she spent several years in the apparel industry as a print designer. She decided to go freelance and happily discovered SCBWI along the way. She currently spends her time creating prints and graphics for children's apparel and illustrating her own cute and whimsical characters just waiting for their stories to be told.
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