Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet Our 2021 Conference Faculty: Vanessa Roeder

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.

Vanessa Roeder, Author/Illustrator

Vanessa Roeder is the author and illustrator of Lucy and the String (Dial Books, 2018), The Box Turtle (Dial Books, 2020), a Spring 2020 Kid’s Indie Next List pick and Indie bestseller, and the forthcoming book, The Stack (Dial Books, 2022). Vanessa lives in Austin, TX with her husband, 3 kids, and two dogs. When she’s not making messes in her studio, Vanessa enjoys impromptu dance parties, putting the last piece into puzzles, and going on long walks mostly to impress her FitBit.

Vanessa Roeder
Author/Illustrator Vanessa Roeder

What attracted you to children’s books?

I love the idea of creating something that kids might carry with them throughout their lives. Books are teachers, friends, confidants. They connect a child with the world around them, expose them to new worlds, cultures, and experiences. To be a part of an industry that can have such a lasting impact, well, it’s just magic.

What’s the best part of your job?

Besides getting to make art everyday (which is amazing), it’s the kids! I love meeting and connecting with kids through my art and stories. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that a child enjoyed my book. Plus, kids give me the best ideas for new books.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

It took a lot of sweat and tears to break into the children’s book industry, and I mistakenly thought that once in, the hard part was over. I know now that as a published author, I have to work just as hard if not harder to continually grow in my craft and to create stories that will be read and reread.

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

Hold dear to the reason you fell in love with writing and illustrating in the first place. This industry takes persistence, perseverance, and bravery, so having a constant reminder as to why you’ve chosen this path can help you slog through the difficult and disheartening times. Also, surround yourself with a great support system of creatives who will inspire and encourage you at every step of your journey.

Come see Vanessa Roeder at the 2021 Austin SCBWI conference, May 1-2, 2021.