Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2018 Conference Faculty: Christina Soontornvat

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.

Christina Soontornvat, Author

Christina Soontornvat is the author of the middle grade fantasy novel, THE CHANGELINGS (Sourcebooks), which was named an ABC Best Book for Young Readers by the American Booksellers Association. School Library Journal called the sequel, IN A DARK LAND, “A great choice for fantasy-loving tweens or anyone looking for an exciting story full of heart.” Her middle grade writing has been awarded the Hunger Mountain literary journal’s Katherine Paterson prize by Newbery award-winning judge Rebecca Stead. She will soon announce another middle grade book deal for 2020 with a major publisher. Christina’s upcoming picture books will be published with Nancy Paulsen Books and Candlewick Press. She is an active member of SCBWI and lives with her family in Austin, Texas.

Christina Soontornvat
Christina Soontornvat

What attracted you to children’s books?

As a child, books were vitally important to me. They helped me find my place in the world, or escape it when things got tough. I want to write those same types of stories for children today.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love that my job is to be creative and make stuff up! I love the work of imagining worlds and characters, and coming up with their stories.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Balancing my writing work with my other “day job” work (which I also love) with being a parent, a spouse, and a person. Everything seems to demand all my attention all at once!

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

“Play the long game,” said author Paige Britt. For me, dedicating energy to my work, my craft, and building a career that will span my lifetime has made me more happy day-to-day than focusing on one specific project or one sale. It has also helped me become a better writer, which in turn leads to more projects getting acquired!

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