Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet the NJ SCBWI Regional Team


Tisha Hamilton  Regional Advisor

We are very pleased to have Tisha as our new Regional Advisor for the New Jersey chapter of SCBWI. A bio and photo are forthcoming. We will also have information on our first event as a new team–Fall Craft Weekend 2018–appearing shortly. Stay tuned!


Rosanne Kurstedt  Assistant Regional Advisor 

Rosanne Kurstedt has a Ph.D. in education and is the acclaimed author of the self-published book, And I Thought About You (illustrated by Lisa Carletta-Vietes), an honorable mention recipient at the New England Book Festival and the New York Book Festival.  She was also the recipient of a 2013 Barbara Karlin Grant Letter of Commendation.  In addition, she’s the author of a professional book for teachers, Teaching Writing With Picture Books as Models (Scholastic, 2000). You can visit Rosanne at, or at her blog,, and on Facebook,, and on Twitter too! @rlkurstedt


Kelly Calabrese Co-Assistant Regional Advisor 

Kelly Calabrese – has been a proud member of SCBWI since 2002. She writes mainly YA, while also embracing every form of Kidlit creative expression. In addition to writing, Kelly works as an on-camera host, actor, and marketing copywriter ( PLUS! she’s a small biz owner – Follow Kelly on Twitter! @KellyCalabrese


Barbara DiLorenzo  Illustrator Coordinator

Barbara DiLorenzo graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in illustration and studied painting at the Arts Students League of New York. She is the author-illustrator of RENATO THE LION (Viking/Penguin Random House), which was chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection, and QUINCY (Little Bee Books). When she isn’t working on books, Barbara teaches at the Arts Council of Princeton. She is an illustrator member of the Society of Illustrators, a member of SCBWI, and the co-president of the Children’s Book Illustrators Group of New York (CBIG). Barbara lives with her family in central New Jersey. You can find Barbara online at


Laurie Wallmark  Systems Analyst Advisor/Tech Support Coordinator

Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark’s debut picture book, ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE (Creston Books, 2015), received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal) and many national awards including Outstanding Science Trade Book and Cook Prize Honor Book. Her picture book biography, GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE (Sterling Children’s Books, 2017), earned a Kirkus star, is a Parents’ Choice Gold Medal winner, and is on several public libraries’ “best of” lists, including New York. Her next book, HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE (Sterling Children’s Books), releases in February 2019. Laurie has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. When not writing, she teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College. You can find Laurie on the Web at and @lauriewallmark.

Kim Pfennigwerth  Volunteer Liason Co-Captain
A writer, reader, lover of children’s picture books. Often found in the middle of two to seven dogs. Loves to travel both in the real world and in her imagination – those stories are often confused for one another. Moderator of two critique groups and member of SCBWI.

Annie Silvestro  Volunteer Liason Co-Captain

Picture book writer, active SCBWI member, passionate kidlit champion. Mom to two young bookworms and one seriously temperamental cat.

Charlotte Bennardo  General Support/Events Special Needs Support

As the co-author of the YA Sirenz Series (Sirenz, Sirenz Back in Fashion- Flux) and Blonde Ops (Thomas Dunne 2014) Charlotte also writes solo novels (MG, YA) which she is working on and shopping around. She has written numerous articles for publications like NJSCBWI ‘Sprouts’, Centauri, Happy, Working Mother and other magazines, and given numerous workshops at the NJSCBWI annual conferences. She’s looking for her backyard squirrel who lost his home when the tree was trimmed (He answers to “Jack.”)

 Natalie Zaman  Event Bookfair Coordinator

Author Natalie Zaman lives in central NJ with her family and several fine looking chickens. Find out what she’s up to at The Nearly Daily Nut (