CMA Newsletter | March 2017

Meet the Newly Elected Officials!

Congratulations to our new Board of Officers! Please feel free to read about the newly elected team of Directors.

Jordana Gilman

Director of Events
Jordana Gilman
bio »

Alexandra Cassel

Director of Membership
Alexandra Cassel
bio »

Adrian Rothschild

Director of Digital Content
Adrian Rothschild
bio »

Ali Sussman

Director of Marketing
Ali Sussman
bio »

Elizabeth Hummer

Director of Development
Elizabeth Hummer
bio »


We are always looking for new volunteers! Here are some of our currently available positions.

This position would be responsible for writing CMA event summaries, posting industry news, conducting interviews, and supplying creative content to the CMA blog. We are actively looking for a skilled writer with availability to attend regular CMA events.

Membership Coordinator
This position will assist the Membership Director as the Children’s Media Association continues to grow in New York and other cities. They will mostly manage the membership database back-end system, as well as negotiate and secure new discounts and exciting member benefits.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A VOLUNTEER POSITION: Please send a short statement (200 words or less) as well as a current resume to

For more info Click here.

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Tracey Keevan, Executive Editor, Disney-Hyperion


How did you get involved in children’s publishing?

I knew in college that I wanted to work in some capacity with kids. I majored in English and took a class where we read a lot of middle grade fiction. That class changed everything for me. I realized then that I naturally connected with the middle grade audience. I thought, I’ll be a middle school teacher. But…I also had a passion for environmental issues. One of my writing professors suggested that I combine my two interests and look into nonprofit/educational publishing. I moved to DC and did just that, interning at the World Resources Institute and later working for a national youth environmental group.

I worked in DC for four years, with a full-time job and a part-time night job. I was saving up to backpack around Europe for three months-a life-changing experience that inspired me to move to New York City. I wanted to switch from nonprofit work into magazine editing. I eventually landed at The New York Daily News, then Workman Publishing, then at Nickelodeon as a magazine editor. I was at Nickelodeon for nine years, working as an editor for Nick Jr. Magazine. It was dreamy. . . And then the magazine division folded. That was not dreamy. Though, in retrospect, maybe it was. I ended up writing for preschool television at Nick Jr. and loved it. From there, I went to Disney Publishing Worldwide, first as a digital editor, and now as print editor for Disney-Hyperion. And that was a long answer to a short question. You should edit me.


What is it like to work with well-known authors like Mo Willems?

The thing about publishing that is so satisfying is spotting your work out in the wild. I love seeing a kid on the subway, in a store, on the street-wherever-with her face planted in a book by one of my authors. Fortunately, working with Mo I get to see kids’ faces light up all the time. It’s awesome. It’s also incredibly inspiring to collaborate with people who are passionate about their work and committed to literacy.


Are there any personal projects that you are currently working on?

I have an active creative life outside of the office. I write. I go birding. I manage a band. And I spend a lot of time daydreaming about learning to play the guitar.


Is there anything on your list coming out this season that you are particularly excited about?

I have a lot of exciting stuff coming out. If I have to pick one, it would be Mo’s latest picture book, Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals. The book is a new style and format and I’m excited to see how it resonates. If I get to pick two, I’d add Rhode Montijo’s The Gumazing Gum Girl: Gum Luck! It’s adorable, hilarious and it smells like grape gum.


What types of books do you work on?

I edit picture books, early readers, chapter books, graphic novels, middle grade and young adult fiction. The mix keeps things fresh and interesting.


Was there any title that you felt was “the one that got away?” or in other words, was there a book that you were outbid for?

There is more than one that “got away.” I think that’s true for everyone with acquiring. You win some, you lose some. But ultimately you’re really happy the book is out there in the world. That’s satisfying.


Has your background in environmental nonprofits ever crossed into your current role in book publishing?

Definitely. What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein and The Wolf’s Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn are two examples. Dinerstein is a world-renowned scientist and conservationist. His middle grade novel is rich with environmental issues and cultural themes. It’s a beautiful and an important story that speaks to me as a person and as an editor. Beckhorn’s novel is the fictionalized story of the first domesticated dog, set in Paleolithic times. The writing is stunning. She brings to life a prehistoric world replete with universal, coming-of-age struggles that transcend time. I love these books and I feel lucky to help shepherd them into kids’ hands.

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