Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2018 Conference Faculty: Lucy Ruth Cummins

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.

Lucy Ruth Cummins, Art Director, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Lucy is the executive art director of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Paula Wiseman Books, and Salaam Reads, handling titles from picture books, to middle grade, on up to young adult novels. She is the art director for numerous New York Times and international bestsellers from authors and illustrators including Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, Andrew Smith, Tommy Wallach, Jon Klassen, Ben Clanton, Alice Provensen, and Mark Pett. She is also both art director and illustrator for Stuart Gibbs’s New York Times bestselling middle grade mysteries. Lucy made her author-illustrator debut in 2016 with A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals, a finalist for the 2016 Governor General’s award, an ALA Noteable Book, and an Irma Black Honor book. She also illustrated This Is Not a Valentine, written by Carter Higgins. Her next author-illustrated book Stumpkin releases in July 2018. Her favorite food is the French fry.

Lucy Ruth Cummins
Lucy Ruth Cummins

What attracted you to children’s books?

I love how well a good picture book works for audiences from babies up to older folks—there are few art forms that have that reach! I love a great story well told, and I love pouring over illustrated texts as both an adult fan of picture books and a mom who reads alongside my toddler.

What’s the best part of your job?

When a finished book hits my inbox, and after 18 months of toiling and love, I get to pour over a bound object in it’s completed form that I hope will touch so many people.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

When people don’t make deadlines and I have to be meaner than is fun.

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

Don’t write what you think will sell, write what makes you happy (and it will sell).

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