Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet Our 2020 Conference Faculty: Danielle Carnito

Meet the faculty of the 2020 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.

Danielle Carnito, Art Director, Lerner Books

Danielle Carnito is the Trade Art Director for Lerner Publishing Group in Minneapolis, where she art directs and designs a wide variety of books both photographic and illustrative, picture books through novels. She started her career in Advertising, then moved North, changed careers to book publishing, and has now spent many happy years collaborating with iIllustrators, editors, designers, and authors to create award-winning books for kids of all ages. Danielle has had the honor to hire and work with many illustrators including Victo Ngai, Floyd Cooper, Gordon C. James, and Sean Qualls & Selina Alko.

Danielle Carnito
Danielle Carnito

What attracted you to children’s books?

Initially the art, of course. But as that’s much too easy an answer, looking deeper, it’s being a part of making something that can help open new worlds and understandings to young readers through images & words.

What’s the best part of your job?

Constant learning: through the process of making books, from the people we work with, and from our readers.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Challenging in a bad way: telling an artist their work on a project isn’t good enough for one reason or another. It happens, and it’s never fun.
However there is challenging in a good way as well: the work and research of ensuring proper representation in our books.

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

Make sure you have a reason.
(Either that, or “Yeah, Danielle, maybe don’t be so esoteric.”)

Come see Danielle Carnito at the 2020 Austin SCBWI conference, May 2-3, 2020