Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet Our 2021 Conference Faculty: Joanna Cárdenas

Meet the faculty of the 2021 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.

Joanna Cardenas, Senior Editor, Kokila, Penguin Random House

Senior Editor Joanna Cárdenas has worked on such critically-acclaimed and award-winning books as The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez and Stand Up Yumi Chung by Jessica Kim. Joanna is co-founder of the Representation Matters Mentor Program for aspiring editors of color. In 2015, she was an honoree of Publishers Weekly’s Star Watch, which identifies book publishing talent making waves in the industry. She is looking for books across age categories, genres, and formats that center joy, creativity, and imagination; explore our roles as global citizens; use comedy to deconstruct big life questions and events; and celebrate romantic and platonic love. Follow her on Twitter: @joannananamc.

Senior Editor Joanna Cardenas

What attracted you to children’s books?

Books for young readers engage, entertain, illuminate, and inspire. A sense of hope is the undercurrent, and I can always use more hope.

What’s the best part of your job?

Helping connect authors with readers and helping connect readers with stories that they’ll think about for years.

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

Approach life as a student. Stay curious and hungry for learning.

Come see Joanna Cardenas at the 2021 Austin SCBWI conference, May 1-2, 2021.