MFAC Faculty

Former visiting writers, editors, and publishers

Below is a sampling of those who have shared their knowledge and expertise with us during our residencies.

Christina Soontornvat, visiting author in MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults

Christina Soontornvat

Visiting author

Christina Soontornvat is the award-winning author of over a dozen books for young readers. Her picture books include The Ramble Shamble Children, illustrated by Lauren Castillo, and To Change a Planet, illustrated by Rahcle Jomepour Belle. She is the author of the beloved Diary of an Ice Princess chapter book series and the bestselling graphic novel The Tryout, illustrated by Joanna Cacao. Her middle-grade novel, Wish in the Dark, was named a 2021 Newbery Honor Book, and her middle-grade book of nonfiction, All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, was also named a Newbery Honor Book and received the Kirkus Prize for Young People’s Literature. Her recent middle-grade fantasy, The Last Mapmaker, was named a 2023 Newbery Honor Book and earned a place on many “Best” lists. Christina lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two young children.

Jerry Craft, visiting writer and illustrator, MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program

Jerry Craft

Visiting writer and illustrator

Jerry Craft is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels School Trip (2023), Class Act (2020), and New Kid (2019). New Kid won the Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the Kirkus Prize. It and Class Act have been on many “Best” lists. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City.

Dan Santat, visiting author and illustrator to the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults (MFAC) Program

Dan Santat

Visiting Author and Illustrator

Dan Santat is the author and/or illustrator of over 100 books for young readers. Books for which he served as author and illustrator include his new graphic memoir, A First Time for Everything; the graphic novels The Aquanaut and Sidekicks; the road trip/time travel adventure Are We There Yet?; and the picture books, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, for which he won a Caldecott Medal, and After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again. He has collaborated with Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver on an upcoming Detective Duck Series. He lives in California with his wife and children.

Alvina Ling, Editor-in-Chief, Little Brown books for children -- visiting editor at MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program

Alvina Ling

Editor-in chief, Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Alvina Ling is the editor-in-chief of Little Brown Books for Young Readers, where she acquires and edits books for children and teens. Her edited books have won Newbery and Caldecott Honors, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Medal, the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award, and the Golden Kite Award. She has worked with writers like Grace Lin, John Cho, Peter Brown, Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Holly Black.

Sara Crowe, visiting agent to MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program, Hamline

Sara Crowe

Founder, Sara Crowe Literary

Sara Crowe, formerly of Pippin Properties, is the founder of Sara Crowe Literary. Clients include current and former Hamline writers Ari Tison, Erin Entrada Kelly, Nina LaCour, and Elana K. Arnold as well as many other authors and illustrators.