SCBWI is a nonprofit organization and the Nevada chapter of SCBWI is wholly operated by volunteers. The regional team consists of an Advisor, Assistant, and Illustrator Coordinator who are responsible for organizing all events; however, the regional team is not paid staff but volunteers as well.
Cynthia Mun, Regional Advisor (Las Vegas)
Cynthia Mun has two decades of experience in strategic and product marketing. As Vice President of Marketing, she worked in emerging technology sectors in Silicon Valley and in hospitality in Las Vegas. She launched the first e-Book and Pandora.com. She switched careers in 2011 to write children’s novels.
Cynthia immigrated to the US from South Korea as a child. She graduated from Westridge All Girls School in Pasadena, CA. She graduated from Yale University and was the first to receive a college degree in her family.
When she isn’t working, she is an active community advocate. She serves on the board of Communities in Schools of Nevada, a nonprofit that helps at-risk students graduate. She is the past President and Founder of the Yale Alumni Association of Nevada (Yale Club). She is also responsible for Yale undergraduate recruitment for Nevada as the ASC Director.
Julie Dilliard, Assistant Regional Advisor (Reno)
Julie Dillard facilitates our events in northern Nevada in addition to assisting in general SCBWI NV events. Julie Dillard was a high school English teacher and recently transitioned to being a librarian working on her masters in Library Science.
She is Mom to four kids, and is an aspiring YA and middle grade author. She has been an active member of SCBWI for over eight years and is dedicated to growing our community of writers and illustrators of children’s and young adult books.
Illustrator Coordinator (Las Vegas)
Kenneth Kit Lamug is an author/illustrator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. His debut picture book A Box Story has won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, Literary Classics, Pinnacle Awards and the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
In 2014, Ken launched a Kickstarter campaign which funded his first all-ages graphic adventure book, The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca. His most recent books include the macabre children’s fairytale, The Stumps of Flattop Hill (One Peace Books) and the parenting parody book, HURTS LIKE A MOTHER (Doubleday).
He has contributed to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Tiny Books of Tiny Stories and many other publications. Ken has also worked in movies, comics and his photography has been showcased internationally. To see more of his work and daily musings, please visit www.rabbleboy.com.
Suzanne Morgan Williams, Regional Advisor Emeritus, PAL Coordinator
Suzanne Morgan Williams is the author of the middle grade novel Bull Rider and eleven nonfiction books for children. Bull Rider is a Junior Library Guild Selection, is on several state award lists and won a Western Heritage Award from the National Western Heritage and Cowboy Museum. Her nonfiction titles include Piñatas and Smiling Skeletons, The Inuit, and China’s Daughters. Suzanne has presented and taught writing workshops at dozens of schools, professional conferences, and literary events across the US and Canada. She is a Nevada Arts Council Artist in Residence and was Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Member of the Year, 2012. Visit www.suzannemorganwilliams.com
Cindy Leopold-Ritsko, SCBWI Event Photographer & Lead Volunteer
Originally from Ohio, Cindy Leopold-Ritsko holds an A.A. in Business, a B.A. with emphasis in education, and a M.A. in theology. In pursuit of aspirations, she has taken college courses in graphic and fine arts and has recently joined the Storyteller Academy Community.
Residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, Cindy is an active member of SCBWI Nevada, community volunteer, and contributing writer for LV Pet Scene Magazine under the name, C. A. Ritz. Representing Pet Scene, she writes for children and visits classrooms to engage students and encourage literacy. Cindy loves to inspire reading, writing, and illustration from one’s heart.
David McMullin, Volunteer
David McMullin is an author/illustrator who mostly writes comic picture and chapter books. Several of his pieces can be found in anthologies and Babybug Magazine. In former lives he studied marine biology, performed on Broadway, and taught special education. Other passions include world travel and being a bird nerd. Go to his website to learn about the year he wrote 52 picture books for his 52 First Drafts Project or the year he read 1000 picture books to learn about recent trends. Take a peek at his cut paper art while you’re there. David works for the Henderson Libraries, and has been a member of SCBWI since early 2014.
Sarah Elliott, Volunteer
Sarah Elliott grew up in Sparks, Nevada where she graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a BA in Theater and a minor in English. She currently resides in Las Vegas, NV where she is a mother of 2 and an author/illustrator. Her self-published book entitled EARL THE CURL is on Amazon KDP.
Sarah previously worked for the Walt Disney Company at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, and at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA. She was also Assistant Director and an original team member to open the gift shop at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, TX.
Sarah’s hobbies include walking/hiking, yoga, rummaging through antique malls and flea markets (especially for pinups and children’s books!) and traveling. She has visited France, Scotland/ North England, and Italy, and lived a year abroad in Brazil as an exchange student.
Myrna Foster, WriteRider Newsletter Editor
Myrna Foster has written for newspapers and sold six poems to Highlights High Five. She writes picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult novels. She has three kids, too many cats, and a moody parakeet.
SCBWI Nevada Webmaster, WriteRider Editorial Assistant
Megan “Jade Griffin” Kellermeyer joined SCBWI in 2016 but she’s been writing about far off lands and people since her teens. She currently writes and illustrates the column/comic Author Ity in the SCBWI Nevada Chapter Newsletter WriteRider. She has created and maintained websites like www.zomboo.com for local businesses for over eight years and sometimes writes for the late-night TV show, Zomboo’s House of Horror Movies. Known online as Jade Griffin, she is both writer and illustrator for the webcomic 56shards.com, which has been running for over seven years.
Whether writing, drawing, or delighting in the screams of people exiting the home haunt she helps put on every Halloween, Megan is constantly creating and is working toward the publication of her first middle-grade novel.
Critique Group Leaders
Stephanie Espinoza – has lived in the Las Vegas area since she was six weeks old. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in Film and from San Jose State University’s online program with a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Stephanie has always loved books and stories, especially for young people. She worked as editor of a youth magazine in college and later in the children’s department of the public library. Stephanie is currently an academic librarian at the College of Southern Nevada, where she helps students and continues to write for the library’s news blog and social media. Her writing interests outside of work include middle grade and young adult novels, both realistic fiction and fantasy. Her stories have appeared in local publications such as CLASS! Magazine, and the Henderson Libraries’ creative writing anthology, Impressions.
Kim Harnes – Sparks, Nevada
Kim Harnes learned to read at the age of two and never looked back. Growing up as an avid lover of horror novels, campfire stories, and the obsession with ghost towns and cemeteries, it only made sense that her own writing would incorporate the paranormal, the bizarre, and the unexplained. She is an award-winning songwriter, an Active member of the SCBWI, and currently lives with her family and numerous pets in Sparks, Nevada.
Lisa Hallett – Boulder City, Nevada – Thanks to the unending knowledge and inspiration infusion she constantly receives from the writing community, Lisa, a long time SCBWI member, has moved beyond writing and revising her own grocery and to-do lists. She has settled into the world of writing chapter books and middle grade novels, and recently wrote a cover story for a regional magazine. Her critique group is magical, because when they meet, sprinkles from the clouds of creativity and encouragement plink down onto the table splattering shiny puddles of insight into their writing.
Tina Kirchner – Henderson, Nevada – Although writing is my passion, my first loves are my husband, two children, and furry menagerie known as the Kirchner Zoo, which includes four dogs and three cats. I wish I had more time to paint, draw and play tennis, and I’d spend all my time outdoors. Anything wolf, pirate or zombie-related will grab my attention.
My middle grade Pirates Off series is non-stop action/adventure in four books. My YA/safe-for-middle-grade zombie series is The Troubled Souls of Goldie Rich. My latest published series is the YA supernatural horror, Dagger & Brimstone.