This directory lists SCBWI Tokyo Members who are available
to speak to schools, libraries or other organizations.
Interested parties should contact the authors and illustrators
Honorarium fees for visits are to be negotiated directly
with the author or illustrator, not via SCBWI Tokyo.
Fees for SCBWI writers and authors generally start at
30,000 yen for a school visit of up to three classes
for less published speakers, and can be 100,000 yen or
more for more established big-name authors and illustrators.
Suzanne Kamata Writer
American writer Suzanne Kamata has lived in Tokushima Prefecture since 1988. She taught English as a foreign
language in public schools for eleven years and is the author of Losing Kei,
a novel for adults, and editor of three anthologies. Kamata's stories for young people can be found in
Cicada, Ladybug, Skipping Stones
and the anthology Summer Shorts (Blooming Tree Press). Her story
"Pilgrimage" was awarded the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for fiction.
Playing for Papa, her first picture book
for children, was published in 2008 by Topka Press with illustrations by Yuka Hamano.
Suzanne Kamata is happy to visit schools or other groups. She would like to promote an awareness
of individuals with special needs via readings and writing
workshops for all levels, K-12.
Trevor Kew Writer
Trevor Kew is a Canadian writer currently living and working in Yokohama, Japan. His two novels Ý
Trading Goals and Sidelined Ý
follow the on- and off-field antics of soccer goalkeeper Vicky Parker, a half-Chinese,
half-Caucasian girl growing up in Vancouver. His third novel, Goalscorer,
will be published in September 2011. Trevor also writes for several magazines on travel,
sport and culture.
I am able to speak to high school or adult groups about sports writing, writing for children or the writing process.
I have spoken at several high schools in Canada, Japan, England and South Africa
(and will soon be appearing at a school in Egypt, albeit this time via Skype!).
I am also able to read my novels to younger students (elementary to early middle school)
and answer their questions. I have visited elementary schools in Japan and Canada.
My seven years of experience as an A-Level and IB teacher makes me ideally suited to classroom visits.
My school visits always include participatory, interactive elements.
References can be supplied upon request.
Leza Lowitz Writer
Leza Lowitz was born in San Francisco and grew up in Berkeley, California. She attended NYU and received her
B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in English Literature. She received her M.A. in Creative Writing
from San Francisco State University, and subsequently taught there and at Rikkyo University
and Tokyo University. She has also worked as an editor for Tokyo University Press and as an
art and literary critic for Art in America,
The Japan Times, The Asahi Evening News,
and many others.
She has published over 15 books, many about Japan, and her fiction, poetry and
translations have appeared in hundreds of publications around the world. Among her writing
awards are the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Award for her best selling book,
Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award,
grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities,
a California Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, and the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission
Award from the Donald Keene Center at Columbia University, with Shogo Oketani.
She is the translator and author of the children’s book
The Essence of Japanese based on works by Gomi Taro (Metalogue),
popular author of Everyone Poops.
Her newest book is Yoga Heart: Lines on the Six Perfections,
forthcoming from Stone Bridge Press (Summer 2011). She is completing a YA novel about a ninja together
with her husband, Shogo Oketani. They also own a popular yoga studio in Tokyo,
Sun and Moon Yoga.
For more information.
Programs available: Leza Lowitz is happy to visit schools or other groups to talk about writing, yoga,
writing and movement, yoga and creativity, multicultural families, the process of writing, working in the
literary field, editing, co-translation. She is available to give readings and conduct workshops as well.
Shogo Oketani Writer
Shogo Oketani is the author of Cold River (poems), co-author of
Designing with Kanji, and co-translator of America
by Ayukawa Nobuo, for which he received the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Award and an NEA grant.
His work has appeared in Language for A New Century (W.W. Norton),
The Poem Behind the Poem (Copper Canyon), Wingspan,
Kyoto Journal, and Another Kind of Paradise.
His forthcoming middle grade book is J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965
(trans. Avery Udagawa), and he is at work on a YA novel about a female ninja. He teaches Self-Defense in Tokyo.
Shogo Oketani, author of J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965, is happy to
visit schools or other groups to talk about his experience growing up in Tokyo in the 1960s and
witnessing various culture and social changes, including discussions on the influence of American
culture on post-war Japan. This included the proliferation of American TV shows and the effect of
the Tokyo Olympics and McDonalds. He can talk about other issues pertinent to Japanese society such
as Koreans in Japan, day laborers, migrant workers, and Ainu culture. A martial artist, professional
editor and translator, and the husband of an American raising a bicultural child, he can also talk
about his work and his personal experiences bridging these disparate cultures. He can read from
J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965 either in English or in Japanese.
John Shelley Illustrator
Born in Birmingham, UK, John Shelley studied illustration
under Tony Ross in Manchester then began a career as
an illustrator in London, co-founding Facade Art Studios
and working extensively in editorial and publishing.
His first major picture book The Secret in the Matchbox
was runner-up for the 1989 Mother Goose Award in the
UK, and received a Parent's Choice Award in the US. Fascinated
by Japanese art, Shelley moved to Tokyo in 1987 and quickly
established himself in the commercial illustration market.
In addition he has continued to illustrate over 20 children's
books for both the Western and Japanese markets. Recent
releases include a 4 volume series of Hans Christian
Andersen tales Anata no Shiranai Andersen for Hyoronsha.
Shelley is a committee member of JAGDA (Japan Graphic
Designers Association) and is the Illustrator Coordinator
of SCBWI Tokyo.
John Shelley does illustration presentations for libraries,
schools, art organizations and universities. He will
also do portfolio critiques.
Teri Suzanne Illustrator
Thirty year resident and author/illustrator of 10 books, Teri Suzanne attained her BA in Graphic Design (UCLA), Masters in Multi-Cultural Education and Bilingual Specialist Credential (USF). For 15 years as International Department Manager at the Children’s Castle she initiated150 Bilingual Family Theater productions in the Aoyama Round Theater.
Her bilingual expertise has created best-selling edutainment multi-media for kids. Incorporating her original TERIGAMI scissor art technology she is busy crafting books and media for children, parents and educators. She currently writes and illustrates monthly articles for parents, educators, pediatricians and health professionals.
Illustrated monthly articles include: “Teri Suzanne’s Super Bonding” (Akachan to Mama), “Teri’s Talk” (Japan Journal of Well-Being for Nursery Schoolers) , “Teri and Mayuka’s Paper World”, (Meito Publishers). “TERIGAMI” scissor art for kids showcased in Ooki na Pocket magazine, April 2010 (Fukuinkan Publishers).
Teri welcomes school and library visits and is comfortable speaking Japanese, English or bilingually to pre-K through university students. She has given over 800 speeches, Professional Development Workshops, and school visits throughout Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and California. She collaborates with administrators, educators, school librarians to create dynamic and educationally strong scissor art programs.
Kiyo Tanaka Illustrator
Born in Kanagawa in 1972, Kiyo Tanaka studied oil painting
and print making at Tama Art University in Tokyo. Her
first children's book Mizutama no Chihuahua (text by
Areno Inoue) was published in 1997 (Fukuinkan Shoten).
Since then she's enjoyed considerable success as a children's
book author and illustrator while continuing to produce
and exhibit print works throughout Japan.
She has participated twice in the illustrators' exhibition
at Bologna Book Fair (Italy) in 1995 and 1996, as well
as the Biennial of Illustrations in Bratislava (Slovakia)
in 2001 and 2003. For her illustrations she uses a
technique of copper plate printing on Japanese paper.
Kiyo Tanaka will visit schools or other groups to talk
about her books, read from her Japanese children's
picture books, or conduct workshops for children (such
as make your own planetarium in a cup).
Holly Thompson Writer
Holly Thompson has an M.A. in fiction writing from New York University and teaches creative and academic
writing at Yokohama City University. Thompson’s fiction is often set in Japan. In her YA verse novel
Orchards (Delacorte/Random House), a half Japanese and half Jewish-American
girl spends the summer with Shizuoka relatives after the death of a classmate. Her picture book
The Wakame Gatherers (Shen’s Books) depicts a bicultural girl who goes
seaweed gathering with her American and Japanese grandmothers. Her novel Ash
(Stone Bridge Press) is set in Kagoshima and Kyoto. Raised in New England, Thompson is a long-time Japan
resident and serves as regional advisor of SCBWI Tokyo.
Please see www.hatbooks.com for Holly Thompson’s school and library presentations.