Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Mentorship Contest Winners: 2017

Cassandra Federman

First-place prize winner of a six-month mentorship
with PAL member Carmel O’Mara-Horwitz

Self-taught via YouTube tutorials, books and other resources, Cassandra Federman has a whimsical style featuring young characters and storytelling. She had her first child in 2016 and now reads children’s books for someone other than herself. Favorite illustrators include Jon Klassen, Mary Blair and Dan Santat, whose illustrator intensive at the 2015 summer conference still influences her work. After graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology, Federman worked for 10 years as an actor and now dreams of being published as an author/illustrator. Her new mentor believes “she is ready” for the next step toward that goal.

Teen Namiko Liu

Honorable mention

A skilled painter with a strong sense of graphic design, Liu is an Art Center graduate who worked as a designer and paper engineer on pop-up and novelty books at Sabuda & Reinhart, and now hopes to write and illustrate her own books.