Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2018 Conference Faculty: Joy Preble

Meet the faculty of the 2018 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We’ve asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.

Joy Preble, Author, Bookseller

Joy Preble is the author of a medium-long list of young adult novels including the DREAMING ANASTASIA series, the SWEET DEAD LIFE series, and FINDING PARIS, which SLJ called, “An intricate guessing game of sisterly devotion, romance, and quiet desperation.” Her newest novel, IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THIS, was called “epic and addictive” by Beautiful Creatures’ author Kami Garcia and “a suspenseful treat with a gooey romantic center” by the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. In no particular order, Joy is fond of her family, her basset-boxer, clever cocktails, and people who don’t whine. She teaches writing widely, including at Writespace Houston and The Writing Barn, and is also the Children’s Specialist and Buyer at Houston’s Brazos Bookstore. Visit Joy at or follow her on Twitter @joypreble

Joy Preble
Joy Preble

What attracted you to children’s books?

That’s where the exciting stories live–the first times, the intensity of emotion, the characters who speak to both who you are and who you hope to become. I can’t think of a better job than writing for children and young adults.

What’s the best part of your job?

As a writer: Telling stories that mine the authentic truth of what it means to be human and seeing them on shelves and in readers’ hands. As a bookseller: Matching the right book to the right reader and also getting to see all the books a season or two in advance from all the publishers!

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Balancing writing and the day job and my life and making sure each novel is as honest and authentic as possible.

What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?

For a writer: Keep your eyes on your own paper. Tell the story that only you can tell.

Come see Joy at the 2018 Austin SCBWI conference, April 28-29, 2018