SCBWI Canada East Blog

Welcome here!  Poke around a bit and find out more about our contributors.

Ellie Arscott

Ellie Arscott, a Toronto-based artist passionate about creative expression. I graduated from Sheridan College in Interpretive Illustration and am a member of SCBWI Canada East. I teach children art at Rebellion Gallery in Toronto.

and have been painting and drawing for over 15 years. I illustrate from the whimsy to the corporate (and everything in between.) I create scenic art for theatre companies. I share my passion for all things creative by providing new art experiences to kids in schools. I teach children and adults art at Rebellion Gallery and Art Academy in Toronto.

colour. Paint (and the sound of the word.) Painting in groups. Paper, Hearing my kids laugh. And standing in the wind.

my artwork at Studio 210 in Toronto’s East End and online at

Charlene Chua

Charlene Chua spent her youth growing up in Singapore, where she divided her time between drawing, reading comics and failing her Mandarin classes. She started her working life in 1998 as a web designer, and went on to become a senior graphic designer, web producer and interactive project manager. She then decided to follow her real dream and became an illustrator some time around 2006.

Since then she has worked with clients from North America, Europe, Singapore and Australia on a wide variety of illustration projects. Her work has appeared in the American Illustration, Spectrum and SILA’s Illustration West. She has illustrated 3 picture books; the "Julie Black Belt" books for Immedium Publishing, and an upcoming title for Inhabit Media.



Pierre Collet-Derby

Pierre Collet-Derby is an illustrator and author of children’s books currently based in Montreal. However he will be relocating to Kingston, Ontario in the spring of 2017.

​Born and raised in France, Pierre spent most of his childhood doodling (particularly during math class) and always knew he would grow up to make his living as an artist. Happily, he now spends his days drawing pictures, writing stories and strumming his guitar (or ukulele depending on his mood).

​His clients include Candlewick Press, Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Blue Apple Books, Dreamworks Animation and Highlights Magazine. He recently illustrated "The Boulder Brothers: Meet Mo & Jo" by Sarah Lynn and "Goodnight Selfie" by Scott Menchin. Pierre’s debut author/illustrated picture book, "Barnaby Never Forgets", will be out this summer (2017) published by Candlewick Press. He also illustrated "Bossy Flossie", a chapter books series published by Penguin Workshop coming out this fall (2017).

Twitter: @pcolletderby

Adrian Croft

Adrian is a fan of both fantasy writing and art (hang out with him at and picture book writing and art (www.croft You can usually find him in some corner of the internet doing one or the other, and he'd be happy to have some company!

Picture book writing and art:

Peggy Collins, IC SCBWI Canada East

Peggy Collins is an award winning children's author/illustrator/crafty mama living in Forest Mills, Ontario. She has illustrated over 20 books for children for clients domestically and internationally - including Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Simon and Shuster, Scholastic and Red Robin Books. She is a mom of two, a college professor and has recently moved into a brand new studio built by her wonderful partner.

Peggy is a PAL member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Canadian Society of Children's Authors Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), the Picture Book Artists Association (PBAA) and the Canadian Children's Book Council (CCBC).


Suzanne Del Rizzo

Suzanne is a Children’s Book Illustrator and member of SCBWI and CANSCAIP. She is represented by Patricia Ocampo of Transatlantic Agency. She creates low-relief dimensional illustrations using plasticine, polymer clay, and mixed media which are then photographed for print. Suzanne illustrated Lisa Dalrymple’s Skink on the Brink (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award and finalist for the Rainforest of Reading Award. She also illustrated mixed media and polymer clay elements for the cover of Marty Chan’s YA novel, The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Demon Gate (Fitzhenry & Whiteside). Above all, Suzanne loves the challenge of creating lovable and memorable characters, rich in textural detail, who are bursting with personality. She lives in Oakville, Ontario with her husband and four children. 

Twitter: @SuzanneDelRizzo
Facebook: Suzanne Del Rizzo Studios

Holly DeWolf

Holly DeWolf is an illustrator and author. She attended NSCAD University where she took a class in making verbal and visual narratives. After that, her design days were over and she focused fully on illustration. Over 20 years later Holly is still pushing ideas through words and visual storytelling. Since freelancing does not come with instructions, she wrote a handy book called Breaking Into Freelance Illustration: the guide for artists, designers, and illustrators published by How Books. All this love for words and images led to illustrating children's books. What's Going On At The Time Tonight is the first book she illustrated through Nimbus Publishing. This book was all about an underwater party set in NewFoundland so it was a really fun book to illustrate. Her second children's book, Port City Champ was used by the city to help promote the Port of Saint John. As an added bonus, they created a mascot from her character that can be seen around town promoting the love of reading. Holly currently lives in Quispamsis, NB where she happily writes, blogs and illustrates daily. She is also a member of WFNB, ArtsLink NB, and The Canadian Children's Book Centre.


Jan Dolby

Jan Dolby spends her days working in her Pink Suitcase studio creating whimsical illustrations and designs.  She draws her inspiration from her childhood favourites Dr. Seuss, television cartoons and magical movies like Mary Poppins and  Bed Knobs and Broomsticks and her quirky sense of humour.

Jan has illustrated four children's books and is currently working with Fitzhenry and Whiteside Publishers on "Gabby" written by Joyce Grant to be published fall 2012.

Very active in her community, Jan is a OMHA hockey trainer, volunteer organizer for the Latcham Gallery's Beyond Craft Show & Sale and a member of the Stouffville Studio Tour and Sale. She plays floor hockey, ball hockey and loves to golf with her husband. And her favourite colour is orange.

She lives in a century home in Stouffville with her husband and two children Jack (13 years old) and Georgia Mae (11 years old).  Both kids play rep hockey, skim board and kite surf.  One is a graffiti artist and the other a musician. In the summer, you can find Jan working at the beach keeping her artistic groove happy. Jan is a Fine Art graduate of the University of Guelph.


Alma Fullerton

Alma Fullerton was born in Ottawa Ontario Canada. She grew up in a large military family and has lived in various cities in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Germany. Alma struggled with reading and instead memorized most things, until the age of nine when with the help of her grade four teacher, she realized she had dyslexia. By grade nine Alma loved reading. She now lives in Ontario with her husband and two daughters.

Her six first books have been nominated and/or have won over two dozen awards including the Governor General Finalist 2008, TD Canadian Children's Literature Award finalist 2009, 2011 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award winner 2009, CLA Children's Book of the Year Honor Book 2009, 2011 Golden Oak Award winner 2009, Once Upon a World Children's Book Award Winner - 2009, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award shortlist - 2010, SilverBirch Award shortlist -2010 Bank Street College Best Children's Books 2009, 2014, Blue Spruce Award 2014, and Kentucky BlueGrass Award 2014/15.


Annette Gaffney

Annette Gaffney is an artist whose creative journey (according to her Mother) began with drawing spiders as a toddler. In a quest to find her true artistic passion, she has ventured into many disciplines, including fashion, jewellery and graphic design. In early 1990, she realized that making her hair as big as possible was not where it was at, and that painting (on canvas) was really the medium she found the most fulfilling. Then she had this crazy idea to pursue a career in exhibiting at shows and art galleries in Toronto, Ottawa and P.E.I. Canada. Using a lot of mouth-watering primary colours, Annette paints in a whimsical, bold and outlined style, which reflects her love of colour, line and shape, hailing back to her early colouring book period. One day at an outdoor exhibit, Annette noticed the children liked her art so much that they kept trying to put their little hands on it. Rather than insist their parents purchase the art, she took this as a sign she should create art in a form that was okay for sticky little hands to caress. Since then, she has been hooked on making art and stories for children. Still a bit of a kid herself, she has worked with Canadian school children as an Artist-In-Residence for the Arts Smarts program, whose goal is to engage young people in artistic activity, nurture creative thinking and develop future supporters and practitioners of the arts. Annette is a member of CARFAC, the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and a family of three (four, if you include the cat). She has received awards from other like-minded souls at group shows in Toronto and Ottawa and has also been fortunate enough to find others who like her art enough to buy and display it in both private and corporate collections in Canada.


Chris Jones

Chris Jones has a passion for visual storytelling, and his colorful style focuses on humor and expressiveness. Chris, graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), has worked as both a graphic designer and an illustrator. His illustrations appear in books, graphic novels, magazines and educational materials.

Chris is inspired by good music, good books, long walks, and generous amounts of coffee.



Hilary Leung

Hilary Leung was born in Hamilton, Ontario where he grew up throwing things, climbing stuff and drawing cartoons. Only one of these activities kept him out of trouble. In grade five, he wrote and illustrated his first picture book, Rover’s Adventure. It was epic, but remains unpublished.

He created his second picture book in art college entitled, "Orpheus & Eurydice". It too was pretty epic, but also remains unpublished.
"Third time's a charm!"

With the help of his good friend David Bruins together they created, "The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear". It took nine months to write, illustrate and self-publish 2000 copies. After quickly breaking sales of 1000 copies, David and Hilary were approached by Kids Can Press about licensing their book. Since then, they have also released, "The Way of the Ninja" and "The Call of the Cowboy".

They are currently developing an animated Ninja Cowboy Bear television series.

Hilary has also teamed up with his brothers ( on "The Pirate Girl's Treasure An Origami Adventure".

Hilary is following his dream of illustrating children’s books and drawing for a living. He currently lives and works as a freelance graphic artist in the GTA.


Tia Mushka

Tia Mushka is a writer, artist and children’s illustrator. Growing up in rural Bruce County surrounded by tall grass, trees, fireflies and plenty of frogs provided her with a magical start to life.  She has lived in Montreal, Vancouver, and Cardiff, Wales and now lives in Cambridge,ON.  Although she has tried her hand at many more serious endeavors, it was having her own children that brought her back to her magical roots and now enjoys being a self-employed children’s illustrator and writer and working in her studio along side her children. She uses cut paper collage, pastel and mixed media to create three dimensional illustrations.


Julie Prescesky

Julie Prescesky loves working with her hands - creating, shaping, constructing and deconstructing in a variety of mediums. She's also incredibly practical and eternally optimistic, leaning on humour in the rough spots.
Julie was raised in BC in an enchanting place called Columbia Valley, nestled in the mountains. When she wasn't climbing trees or riding her bike or fishing in small mountain streams, she was drawing. Soon she was writing, too.

Julie went on to study Fine Arts at the University of the Fraser Valley, and then to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design after a year long visit to the Middle East where she taught children with nationalities ranging from Swedish to Canadian to South African and more. Currently, Julie operates an independent illustration and design studio in Montreal.


Christine Tripp


Sue Todd

A childhood fascination with words and pictures led Sue Todd to an eighteen-year career as a professional illustrator. After graduation from OCAD in Toronto, Sue worked as a freelance retail-advertising designer. Looking for a more creative challenge, Sue took up lino carving, an ancient printmaking technique similar to woodcut. Sue’s client list includes Crown Publishing, Barnes & Noble, Klutz Press, Carus Publishing, Highlights for Children, The Detroit Festival of the Arts, McClelland & Stewart, Pearson Education, The Wall Street Journal, and others. Her art was chosen to appear in the 2012 “Three by Three Illustration Annual”, the 2008 volume of Showcase “200 Best Illustrators Worldwide” and the 2002 “Communication Arts Illustration Annual”. Sue particularly enjoys folktales and legends from around the world and any story involving animals.