Shawn Amos is a world-renowned Blues musician. Cookies & Milk is his debut middle grade novel, inspired by real-life events of growing up in a cookie store with his father Wally Amos, the founder of Famous Amos Cookies.
Andrew Auseon is the author of acclaimed novels for young people, including Funny Little Monkey, Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot, Alienated (with David O. Russell) and Freak Magnet, a Bank Street Best Book of the Year. His books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults, the Cybils, and state book awards. Auseon has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College and a BA from Ohio University.
Artist and writer Mira Bartók is the author of The Memory Palace (Free Press), winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and noted in The Best American Essays 1999 and other anthologies. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants for her art and for her writing.
Mary Jane Begin is an award-winning illustrator for several children's picture books including The Wind in the Willows, A Mouse Told His Mother, and Little Mouse's Painting. She is also a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Sheryl Berk most recently collaborated with Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn DiScala on her memoir, Wise Girl, and with Britney Spears on her autobiography, Stages. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Peter, and their own little miracle, daughter Carrie.
Alex Boersma is a hugely talented illustrator and artist who did illustrations for Spying on Whales and who works with Stanford University, the American Museum of Natural History, and Duke University Marine Lab, and has done editorial illustrations for Emergence magazine and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Tom Booth is an author and illustrator of eight children’s books. Most recently he illustrated Malamander with author Thomas Taylor.
Akemi Dawn Bowman is the author of critically acclaimed YA contemporary titles such as Starfish, Summer Bird Blue, and the forthcoming Harley in the Sky. The Infinity Courts is her YA sci-fi debut.
Waka lives in Portland, OR and works remotely for the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), a non-profit group. While I Was Away is her MG debut.
Anne Brusatte completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol and earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from The City College of the City University of New York. She has taught elementary school for more than a decade in both the United States and the United Kingdom. She lives in Scotland, the setting of her first book for children, Dugie the Dinosaur.
Grace Byers is an actor and activist who stars in Fox’s hit series Empire. As a multiracial young girl and a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Grace was bullied throughout her childhood. Her first book, I Am Enough, was born out of her desire to empower young girls against the effects of bullying. In her spare time, she volunteers with the nonprofit antibullying organization Saving Our Daughters. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Trai Byers, and is currently working on her third book.
A painter, playwright, and television creator of Tutti Frutti, Byrne has designed album covers for The Beatles, Donovan, Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly. He has several paintings hanging in The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
Angela Cervantes is the award-winning author of several popular contemporary middle-grade novels including, Lety Out Loud, which was named a Pura Belpré Honor Book by the American Library Association and selected for the Kids Indie Next List, Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring, which was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and included in the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet Master List, Allie, First at Last, which received a starred review from Kirkus, and Gaby, Lost and Found, named Best Youth Chapter book by the International Latino Book Awards and a Bank Street College of Education’s Best Book of the Year. Angela also authored Maritza: Lead with Your Heart, a part of American Girl’s new line of contemporary characters called World by Us, and the junior novelizations for Disney/Pixar’s animated films Coco and Encanto.
Angela is the daughter of a retired middle-school teacher who instilled in her a love of reading and storytelling. When Angela is not writing, she enjoys conducting school visits, traveling and reading. Angela writes, reads and dreams from her home in Kansas City.
Pan Cooke is a graphic novelist and cartoonist best known for his viral Instagram account @thefakepan.
Caroline Corrigan is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living and working in upstate New York. Her illustrations and design work can be found in books such as The Ultimate Easy Screen Printing Book and in Terre magazine. Her first children’s book, Women Artists A-Z, was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in February 2020.
Kayla Cottingham is a YA author and librarian. Her first book, My Dearest Darkest, was a New York Times and Publisher's Weekly bestseller, an ALA 2023 Rainbow Book List Selection, a New England Book Award finalist, made The Children’s Book Council’s 2023 Young Adult Favorites Award List, and a Barnes & Noble YA Monthly Pick. Her sophomore novel, This Delicious Death, published in April 2023 from Sourcebooks Fire and received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Kayla lives in Boston where she loves to go hiking in the woods, play RPGs, and snuggle on the couch with her ridiculously large black cat, Squid.
Auriane Desombre is a former English teacher currently pursuing an MA in English Lit at NYU and an MFA in Creative Writing for Children at The New School. She writes YA fiction to inspire and encourage young readers in the LGBTQ+ community. I Think I Love You is her debut.
Ani DiFranco is a Grammy Award-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter, activist, businesswoman, and New York Times bestselling author. She has released more than 20 albums, and is one of the first independent musicians to create her own label, Righteous Babe Records (based in Buffalo, NY). She is widely known as an activist and feminist icon, and the Righteous Babe Foundation supports causes ranging from abortion rights to gay visibility.
The embodiment of genius and the pre-eminent scientist of the modern age, his theories and discoveries have profoundly affected the way people view and understand the world and their place in it. Einstein was also known as a philosopher and humanist who was keenly interested in and concerned about the affairs of the world.
His sagacious, wise, and humorous quotations, letters, and articles are widely used throughout popular culture as well as in historical and academic works. Einstein’s name and image are instantly recognizable everywhere in the world.
Michael Emberley is a children’s author and illustrator based in Dublin, Ireland. His numerous works include the iconic nonfiction title It’s Perfectly Normal (Candlewick), the bestselling series You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You (Little Brown), and, more recently, Ms. Brooks’ Story Nook (Knopf). His latest children’s picture book is I Can Make a Train Noise with Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, published by Neal Porter Books.
Actor and producer Omar Epps was first introduced to audiences as Q in Ernest Dickerson’s cult classic Juice, opposite Tupac Shakur. He has gone on to star in the beloved romance Love & Basketball, as Dr. Eric Foreman on massively popular TV show House, as Jeff Cole in In Too Deep, as Isaac Johnson on Shooter, and as Darnell on This Is Us. He is the author of a memoir, From Fatherless to Fatherhood. Nubia: The Awakening is his first novel.
JR and Vanessa Ford are nationally recognized advocates for trans youth.
Michael and Ava Gardner are the father-daughter team behind the viral Instagram account @daddydressedmebymg.
Rhiannon Giddens is a Grammy Award- and MacArthur “Genius” grant-winning American artist of folk and traditional music, played on fiddle and banjo, who is rigorously committed to reclaiming Black contributions to the genre.
An American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, Goldberg received a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948. He was also a founding member and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society.
Brooks Hansen is a novelist, screenwriter, and illustrator. He is the author nine books, including novels both for adults and young readers. His first novel, The Chess Garden, was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and he won a Guggenheim Fellowship for his novel John the Baptist. His new novel, The Unknown Woman of the Seine, is forthcoming from Delphinium Books.
Tony and Emmy award-winning stage and screen performer, Neil Patrick Harris is best known for his roles as Barney Stinson in the popular CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and as the iconic and beloved Doogie Howser, M.D. He’s been in many movies, hosted the Tonys, the Emmys, and the Oscars, and performed in several Broadway shows.
Rochelle Hassan grew up reading about dragons, quests, and unlikely heroes; now she writes about them, too. She is the author of the middle grade novel The Prince of Nowhere and young adult fantasy novel, The Buried and the Bound. She lives in New York.
Dr. David Hone is a palaeontologist and zoologist at Queen Mary, University of London, where he is also Director of Biological Scienes Programmes. He has published nearly 100 academic papers on dinosaur biology and behaviour, with a particular interest in Tyrannousaurs. David includes among his writing credits the BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs. He has appeared on the Discovery Channel, BBC Radio 5 Live and RTE, acted as consultant for National Geographic documentaries, and written articles for The Guardian, New Scientist, The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, The New York Times, and many others.
Barry Jackson is a prolific production designer, director of storyboard teams, writer, and children's book author/illustrator. Jackson's screen credits include The Prince of Egypt, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Titan AE, and Ron Howard's The Grinch. He was one of several production designers on the Dreamwork's production, Shrek.
Alan Katz is a celebrated TV writer (The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Nickelodeon) and author of several humorous bestselling books for kids.
Kristin Kemper is a Missouri native who grew up reading library books and writing and illustrating her own stories. Now residing in Brooklyn, Kristin is a freelance illustrator and author of the webcomic Sylvania, as well as a graphic noveling instructor at Writopia Lab NYC.
Laura Krantz is a founding partner of Foxtopus Ink, where she runs the audio division and oversees the creation and development of shows such as Wild Thing and The Syndicate. Laura has been in audio for well over a decade—she recently served as the interim science editor for PRX, which included editing work on the Smithsonian’s Sidedoor and Air/Space podcasts, and her writing has appeared in Popular Science, Smithsonian Magazine, Outside, High Country News and Newsweek.
Melanie LaBarge has a B.A. in Women’s Studies and an M.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research includes performance art and queering memoir by contemporary female/femme/non-binary writers. Her first children’s book, Women Artists A-Z, was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in February 2020.
An Academy Awards-winning actress for her roles in Tootsie and Blue Sky, Lange is also the recipient of the Triple Crown of Acting: three Emmys, five Golden Globes, and one Tony award. She currently stars on the hit FX show American Horror Story.
As the steward of her father’s legacy, Shannon Lee serves as the CEO of the Bruce Lee Family Company and the chairperson of the Bruce Lee Foundation. Her mission is to provide access to her father’s philosophy and life through education and entertainment. She is the author of Be Water My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee (Flatiron Books). An in-demand speaker, she has spoken at TED, TEDx, Creative Mornings, among others. Shannon is the co-creator and host of the Bruce Lee Podcast, the executive producer of Cinemax’s Warrior series also based off of a treatment written by Bruce Lee, and is now working on GUARDIAN OF THE SCROLL, aYA duology, with award winning fantasy and science fiction author, Fonda Lee.
Lyla Lee is the bestselling author of YA books about K-pop and K-dramas as well as the Mindy Kim series and the upcoming Gigi Shin books for younger readers. Her books have been translated into multiple languages around the world. Originally from South Korea, she’s lived in various cities throughout the United States, worked various jobs in Hollywood, and studied Psychology and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She now lives in Dallas, Texas. Visit Lyla at lylaleebooks.com or on social media (IG, Twitter, and TikTok @literarylyla).
Bruce Littlefield, national television personality and author of numerous lifestyle books, including Merry Christmas, America and Airstream Living, has most recently written The Bedtime Book for Dogs, an illustrated read-aloud book for the canine community (Grand Central). He is the co-author of Bravo TV star Fredrik Eklund’s The Sell (Avery).
Violet Lumani was raised in a family of superstitious omen-watchers, absorbing the stories and myths her family brought to America with them. She holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, and an MBA from UCONN and lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and forever-dieting chihuahua named Kiwi. Foretold, part of the Scryer series, is her YA debut.
Sangu Mandanna lives in the UK. She is the award winning author of the YA SFF Celestial Series, and will make her MG debut with the Kiki Kallira series.
Amanda Marrone has authored four books for teens, Uninvited, Revealers, Devoured, and Slayed and the middle-grade series The Magic Repair Shop Books: The Multiplying Menace, The Shape-Shifter’s Curse and Master of Mirrors.
Claudia Guadalupe Martínez’s debut novel, The Smell of Old Lady Perfume, received the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, the Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book Award, and an Americas Award Commendation. Her sophomore novel Pig Park won the Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book and the NACCS Tejas Foco Young Adult Fiction Award. Her debut picture book, Not A Bean, illustrated by Laura González received multiple starred reviews and was named a Best Book of the Year by Bank Street College of Education. She also authored The Movie Novel for DreamWorks’ animated film, Spirit Untamed. Claudia grew up in sunny El Paso, Texas, where she learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns with her father. She now lives and writes in Chicago.
An actress best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, McKellar is also an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Mathematics from UCLA.
Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy, the ORPHAN QUEEN Duology, the FALLEN ISLES Trilogy (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), and the NIGHTRENDER duology (Holiday House). She is also a coauthor of New York Times bestsellers MY LADY JANE, MY PLAIN JANE, and other books in the Lady Janies series (HarperTeen). She lives in rural Virginia. Visit her at her website or subscribe to her substack for more!
Rhett Miller is a critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter known for fronting the popular alternative country band Old 97’s and as a solo artist who has released six albums. Miller has authored short stories, essays and articles that have appeared in a range of publications including Rolling Stone, Bookforum, Sports Illustrated, McSweeny’s, The Atlantic, and Salon. His first book, No More Poems!, was published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers.
Malcolm Mitchell is a star rookie for Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and founder of "Malcolm Reads"—a charitable organization focuses on building readers in disadvantaged homes.
Yesenia Moises is an Afro-Latina Author, Illustrator, and Toy Designer. She uses her colorful illustrations and whimsical designs to create wonder and magic for young readers. Kirkus described her debut picture book, Stella’s Stellar Hair (Imprint, 2021) as “an innovative, refreshing, out-of-this-world tale about the incredible versatility of afro hair” in their starred review, and it was an Amazon Editor’s Pick, as well as one of Parents magazine’s Best Children’s Books of 2021. Yesenia also serves as illustrator for Tennis Olympian Serena Williams’ The Adventures of Qai Qai (Feiwel & Friends, 2022), which received praise from Booklist as “[f]illed with richly colored illustrations that see a preponderance of velvety purples and pinks, this book will particularly catch the eye of dancers and the Fancy Nancy set.” Her work has been featured on Buzzfeed, SyFy, MSNBC, CNN, WNYC, and on the pages of publishers like DC and Image. In a time when the world can be a scary place, she wants it to be filled with big hair, bright colors, and lots of sazón from the heart!
Serena Molloy is a secondary school teacher living in Galway, West Ireland. She takes inspiration for her writing from her colourful classroom experience and her own children, who educate her daily. Serena particularly enjoys writing for young adults.
A former writer and producer at NBC News and The Today Show, Montalbano is the author of the middle-grade novel Breakaway. She is a longtime soccer player and coach, and her writing has been featured on the New York Times’s Motherlode blog and elsewhere
Oscar-winning actress, Moore won an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award for her portrayal of Sarah Palin in the HBO film Game Change. Her Freckleface Strawberry books are the basis for an Off Broadway show that opened in 2010. Her book Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully was a New York Times Bestseller.
Maria Ingrande Mora (they/she) is a content strategist and brunch enthusiast. Their love languages are snacks, queer joy, and live music. A graduate of the University of Florida, Maria lives near a wetlands preserve with two cats, two children, and two billion mosquitoes. They can often be found writing at their stand-up desk, surrounded by house plants. Unless the cats have destroyed them.
Heidi Moreno is a Mexican American author, illustrator, designer, and community cat advocate living in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been featured in galleries across the United States, and she frequently participates in group shows at Gallery Nucleus in Portland, Oregon. She has collaborated with Facebook, Papyrus, the OC Fair, and several cat rescues such as Kitten Rescue LA.
Heidi is constantly chasing the feeling that Halloween brought her as a child, when she ran through streets with only the warm, dim streetlamps guiding her way to the next orange-lit home with a jack-o-lantern calling. Her textures and use of watercolors, gouache, and colored pencils are inspired by her favorite childhood tools. She loves to create eccentric characters, and to imagine what their quirks and days might be like. Her debut illustrated book, Working from Home with a Cat (Chronicle Books), started out as a zine she printed at home. Luna Oscura (Lil’ Libros) is her first bilingual children’s book. On most days you can find her hanging out with her husband Danny and their neighborhood's community cats.
Luma Mufleh, immigrant, Muslim, gay, entrepreneur, mother, introvert, leader, and speaker, is best known as "Coach" by the students and families for whom she founded the first network of middle and high schools for refugee kids in the United States. She writes from her own experiences of both struggle and privilege, with a combination of humor, humility, and inspiration.
Cole Nagamatsu's fiction has appeared online and in print at Tin House, cream city review, West Branch, Bartleby Snopes, PodCastle, Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, Timber Journal, and other publications. She is the editor-in-chief of Psychopomp Magazine and is a visiting assistant professor of Creative Writing at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.
Catherine Newman is a beloved and widely read parenting blogger and author of Waiting for Birdy (Penguin) and Field Guide to Catastrophic Happiness (Little, Brown). Her work has been published in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Real Simple, O Magazine, and Whole Living.
Maya Soetoro-Ng is the Director of Community Outreach and Global Learning for the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. She holds a Masters degree in Secondary Education from NYU and a PhD in Multicultural Education from the University of Hawaii. Her first picture book, The New York Times bestselling Ladder to the Moon (Candlewick), was inspired by her young daughter Suhaila’s questions about her grandmother Ann Dunham, the mother of Maya and of our forty-fourth president, Barack Obama. Maya is an advocate for community service and peace education. Her debut young adult novel is being published by Candlewick.
Emma Otheguy is the author of the picture books Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal, which received five starred reviews, was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and the New York Public Library, and was the recipient of the International Literacy Association’s Children’s and Young Adult Book Award in Intermediate Nonfiction, and A Sled for Gabo, illustrated by Ana Ramirez Gonzalez, which was an NCTE Charlotte Huck Recommended Book and a Best Book of the Year by the Chicago and New York Public Libraries and Parents Latina magazine. Her middle-grade novels include Silver Meadows Summer, which was called “a magnificent contribution to the diversity of the new American literature for young readers” by Pura Belpré-winning author Ruth Behar; Secrets of the Silver Lion: A Carmen Sandiego Novel; and Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene. Emma also co-authored The Madre de Aguas of Cuba: Unicorn Rescue Society middle grade fantasy with Newbery Honor-winner Adam Gidwitz.
Shawn Peters has spent more than two decades writing professionally for television and advertising.