Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet our Volunteers

Eileen Boggess – Regional Advisor

Eileen is the author of Mia the Meek, Mia the Melodramatic, Mia the Magnificent, and playwright of Mia the Melodramatic. A native Iowan, Eileen currently lives in Urbandale and works at the Urbandale Food Pantry. She is presently working on several young adult manuscripts. For more information, please visit her website at @EileenBoggess

To contact Eileen, email her at



Brooke Van Sickle | Regional Webmaster

Brooke Van Sickle- Assistant Regional Advisor & Webmaster 

Brooke has been a member of SCBWI for 5 years and is an avid children’s book writer of both Picture Books and Middle Grade novels. She is the upcoming picture book author of 3 books in 2020 through BiblioKid Publishing — the new imprint she started to give back to low-income schools. You can learn all about her books on her publishing website here.

When she’s not writing her own books, Brooke also teaches other aspiring writers how to write and publish kids’ books on her blog, Journey to Kidlit. To learn more about what Brooke Van Sickle is up to, follow her on social media @journeytokidlit or

To contact Brooke, email her at



Candace Camling Illustrator Coordinator

Candace Camling – Illustrator Coordinator 

Candace Camling lives in Des Moines, Iowa where she writes and creates artwork in her attic studio. She is the illustrator of 6 picture books including the forthcoming “Hello Iowa”. She is also the 2019 winner of the Don Freeman Grant.

Candace lives with her husband, two children and three naughty cats. When she isn’t making art she loves to walk in the forest, pick up insects and tend to her garden. She tries to visit her home state of Michigan as often as possible to dip her toes in the lake. Her favorite books are usually about unlikely friendships or magical childhood moments.

Candace Camling has been a member of SCBWI since 2008. You can visit her at or on Instagram @candacecamling

To contact Candace, email her at


ConnieConnie Heckert- RAE 

Connie is Regional Advisor Emeritus for Iowa and a published author of 10 non-fiction books for teens and adults, and two picture books for children. She is former college faculty and taught the books and magazine courses for the Institute of Children’s Literature. Connie earned degrees from Black Hawk and Augustana College, the University of Iowa (M.A.) and Hamline University (MFAC, Writing for Children and Teens). Dribbles (Clarion Books), Miss Rochelle and the Lost Bell, To Keera with Love (Sheed and Ward), and The Swedish Connections are for young readers. For adults, historical projects include Roots and Recipes (Pelican Publishing) and seven commissioned pictorial histories. She has published hundreds of features in newspapers and magazines, most with her own photos, contributed to The Writing Group Book (Chicago Review Press) and The Writer, Cricket Magazine and Highlights for Children. She is addicted to SCBWI and it seems to be incurable. Visit:

To contact Connie, email her at


Cindy Johnson – Conference Registrar

As a kid, Cindy’s favorite things were camping, and listening to the grown-ups tell family stories.  She studied biology so she could become a park ranger and camp full-time, but her first genetics class steered her down the path of genetic counseling, which is all about family stories.  It’s no surprise that her debut picture book was about family.   Russell Wrestles the Relatives (Aladdin, 2018), was a Texas 2 X 2 reading list pick for 2019-2020.  Cindy no longer lives near her extended family, like she did growing up, but is lucky to have found a fantastic writing family where she lives now in Iowa. You can visit her at

To contact Cindy, email her at

Jill Friestad Tate Author


Jill Friestad-Tate – Webinar Chair

Jill Friestad-Tate is the author of Priscilla’s Perfect Tea Party and a college professor who loves lists. She uses them in while writing, at work, and to keep her two boys’ schedules organized. When not teaching or writing, Jill loves to travel, spend time with her family, laugh, and pretend that everything in her life is organized. Visit or follow Jill on Twitter @friestadtate for more.


To contact Jill, email her at


Linda Skeers Nonfiction Chair


Linda Skeers – Nonfiction Chair

Linda Skeers writes both fiction and nonfiction but especially loves digging deep to find fascinating and quirky facts about people and events in history. She co-teaches a writing workshop each summer and frequently presents at conferences. She loves mentoring other writers and talking about all things related to writing and books! Her WOMEN WHO DARED — 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers was an Amazon #1 bestseller and DINOSAUR LADY — The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist comes out July 1, 2020.

To contact Linda, email her at

Jenny Moyer


Jenny Moyer – Des Moines Network Chair

Jenny Moyer is the author of the young adult sci-fi/fantasy FLASHFALL, and its sequel FLASHTIDE (Henry Holt/Macmillan.) She is a regional Emmy-nominated scriptwriter and co-owns Luminary Creative with her filmmaker husband. She lives with her family in Des Moines, Iowa. Visit: for more.

To contact Jenny, email her at


 Brigitte Brulz – Cedar Rapids Network Chair

Brigitte is a homeschooling mom and author of Jobs of a Preschooler and Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles. Her writings have also appeared in various other publications. She enjoys volunteering, reading, writing, and learning. She is currently working on multiple children’s book manuscripts. Please visit her website at for more information.

To contact Brigitte, email her at



Susan Benton – Iowa City Network Chair

Susan is a retired teacher and an aspiring author. She is drawn to middle grade nonfiction and historical fiction as well as picture books.  Susan lives in Iowa City with her husband and two cats. She has two grown children and two smart and funny grandchildren. She posts a Strange but True Fact of the Week every Monday on her web site at

To contact Susan, email her at