Leigh Gaddy


Leigh is a pre-published writer of middle grade fantasy, a wife and mom of two kids, and they have recently moved to Dillon. (If you live in Summit County, she asks that you reach out to her…maybe y’all can start a new Connect!). Leigh is an email marketer for NoveList, and loves that her personal and professional life is surrounded by books and libraries. When she’s not writing, she’s reading other middle grade fantasy or hiking in her beautiful new hometown. This is her second Letters and Lines conference, and she is really excited to see everyone there! She tells us that she’s been to a lot of conferences and that ours is a really, REALLY good one.

Rondi Sokoloff Frieder

Conference Safety Team

Rondi Sokoloff Frieder writes MG fiction and spends a part of every day escaping into the worlds of her adventurous characters. She has degrees in Human Development and Education, was a classroom teacher for close to thirty years, and often works with children who struggle with reading and writing. Rondi has been the PAL LIAISON for the RMC-SCBWI for the past nine years and thoroughly enjoys connecting authors and illustrators with teachers, parents, and bookstores. When she’s not writing, meeting with her critique groups, or taking a writing class, Rondi can also be found cruising down the slopes and up the trails of the Rocky Mountains, singing in her car, or cooking elaborate meals for her family and friends!

Kara Williams

Since joining the RMC chapter in October 2020, Kara has enjoyed meeting members and being part of such a supportive community. In the role of Historian, she applies her experience from event planning, publishing marketing, learning and development, and visual facilitating. She is a pre-published author.

Andy Patton


Andy Patton is an author, illustrator, and relentless doodler creating graphic novels.  When he’s not writing or drawing fantastical silliness, he can be found designing parks and playgrounds as a practicing landscape architect.

Dea Brayden

Critique Coordinator

Dea Brayden cowrites picture books with Lindsay Ellis. Dea and Lindsay live around the block from each other in Golden, Colorado, and rely on mom/daughter mind-meld powers, the wizardry of their critique groups, and the magic of Google Docs when writing manuscripts. They are huge fans of conferences, workshops, webinars and contests. They aim to create confidence in early or struggling readers, glee in competent readers, and go-to stories of compassion and triumph for audiences no matter their age. Free time? Dea is a busy gran who drops everything to read to her grandsons. She plays banjo, makes stained glass art, and is in heaven hosting a crowd belting out tunes around her player piano.

Aaron Hickman

Conference Coordinator + ARA

By day, I make learning math enjoyable for my high school students. By night, I wrangle all the weird, eclectic ideas stampeding through my head into quirky, whimsical, and, occasionally scary, MG and YA stories. I live in Colorado with my wife (who is an illustrator/author), my two teenagers, and my two rescue pups.

Wendi Silvano

Wendi Silvano

Conference Safety Team

WENDI SILVANO (a long-time member of SCBWI) is the award-winning author of numerous picture books, early readers, magazine stories and a variety of educational materials. Her picture books TURKEY TROUBLE and JUST ONE MORE both won the IRA’s Children’s Choice Award, while TURKEY CLAUS was named one of the ‘TEN BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2012’ by YABC. She is the mother of 5, a former teacher and the owner of a menagerie of assorted crazy pets (none of whom are as clever as Turkey). She loves doing school visits and working with other children’s writers. She lives and writes near the stunning red sandstone canyons of Western Colorado, and is the Connect leader for the Western Slope region. She is represented by agent Marie Lamba of the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency.

Roxanne Troup

Grants & Speaker Shepherd Coordinator

Author, ghostwriter, and speaker, Roxanne Troup writes kids books that celebrate wonder and family. With a background in education, she also writes engaging nonfiction for all ages. She grew up along the waterways of Missouri, surrounded by farmland and legends. Her childhood home, built in the late 1800s, was often visited by members of Jessie James’ gang and full of stories about hidden passageways, underground tunnels, and false floors. In that house, Roxanne learned to read and create her own imaginative stories. Today, she lives in the mountains of Colorado but still loves old houses and history. She is the author of over a dozen books for kids, including My Grandpa, My Tree, and Me. When not writing, Roxanne enjoys hiking with her family, cheering at her kid’s sporting events, and reading a good book. She loves to visit schools to water seeds of literacy and teach about writing. (And sometimes remembers to water the plants in her own garden.)

Jackie Peveto


Jackie Peveto is a writer, artist, reader, and enthusiast for anything else involving imagination and paper. She has a master’s degree in creative writing and studied in Japan and at the University of Oxford, where she read as many books as she could. Her work has been published in The Garbanzo Literary Journal, YARN, and Kite Tales, and she currently runs a small editorial business with her twin sister.

Hilary Faith Hickman

Hilary Faith Hickman

Regional Illustrator Coordinator

Hilary lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, two children and two doggies. When not making pictures or websites in her studio, she enjoys reading, hiking and breaking into song. Hilary has a healthy yoga practice and a worrisome Earl Grey habit.

Amy Ellerman

Assistant Regional Advisor

Amy Ellerman is a writer and educator in Arvada, Colorado. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Stan Yan

Co-Regional Advisor

Stan is an award-winning, first generation American-born-Chinese, Denver-based writer, illustrator, caricature artist and instructor.

His PETER CADAVER kidlit comic strip can be seen weekly in THE SUNDAY HA HA and his late middle-grade graphic novel, THE MANY MISFORTUNES OF EUGENIA WANG is being published by Atheneum (S&S), scheduled for Fall ’25.

His work was the grand prize recipient of the 2022 SCBWI-FL Conference Portfolio Excellence Award! He currently teaches illustration at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design and via the Cuddlefish Academy kidlit art school.

Susan Wroble

Co-Regional Advisor

Susan Wroble has degrees in electrical engineering and foreign affairs—but her great love has always been kid’s literature. She is published in the work-for-hire and magazine markets with books and articles on climate science, neurodiversity, and the human-animal bond. Her nonfiction picture book DAWN CHORUS: PROTECTING BIRDSONG AROUND THE WORLD is being published by Holiday House, scheduled for Spring 2026. When she’s not writing or gardening, you can find her working at Colorado Children’s Hospital with her therapy dog.