Ali bryan | tanya Boteju | Angeline boulley | Dhonielle Clayton | Kacen callender | laura dail JF dubeau | namina forna | Aimee Friedman | Regina M. Hansen | June Hur | Anne - Sophie Jouhanneau | GORDON KORMAN | Loan Le | Crystal Maldonado | sarah mlynowski | Chief Mi’sel Joe | Sheila O’Neill | Lynn Painter | celia c. perez | erica perl | monique polak | kelly powell | Anuradha Rajurkar | Debbie Rigaud | Liselle Sambury | tess sharpe | Ashley Shuttleworth | sarah suk | courtney summers | Diane Terrana | Aiden thomas | Lindsay Wong
Ashley Shuttleworth is a young adult fantasy author with a degree in English literature and a slight obsession with The Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy. They currently live in Ontario, Canada, with their cat named Zack and a growing collection of cosplay swords.
Photo by Ashley Shuttleworth
Sarah Mlynowski is the bestselling author of Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have); I See London, I See France; Don’t Even Think About It; Think Twice; Milkrun;Fishbowl; Bras & Broomsticks; the Whatever After series; and more. Her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages and optioned to Hollywood. Sarah was born in Montreal but now lives and writes in New York City. Visit her at and find her everywhere @sarahmlynowski.
Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA (Holiday House), will be released on Feb. 2, 2021. By day, she is a social media manager working in higher ed, and by night, a writer who loves Beyoncé, shopping, spending too much time on her phone, and being extra. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog. Follow her everywhere @crystalwrote or visit her website at crystalwrote.com.
Born and raised in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, Kacen Callender is a bestselling and award-winning author of the middle-grade novels Hurricane Child and King and the Dragonflies, the young-adult novels This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and Felix Ever After, and the adult novel Queen of the Conquered and its forthcoming sequel King of the Rising.
They enjoy playing RPG video games in their free time.
Kacen currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.
Dhonielle Clayton is a New York Times Bestselling author of The Belles series, the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things duology, a Netflix original series, and the author of the forthcoming middle grade fantasy series The Marvellers. She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side. She taught secondary school for several years, and is a former elementary and middle school librarian.
She is also the COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and owner of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent—and decidedly diverse—literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers.
She’s an avid traveler, and always on the hunt for magic and mischief. Up next: Shattered Midnight (Fall 2021), The Rumor Game, and a few surprises. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter: @brownbookworm.
Tanya Boteju is an English teacher and writer living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada). She believes feminism, diversity, committed educators, sassy students, and hot mugs of tea will save the day. She is also grateful for her patient wife who builds her many bookshelves! Tanya may have been a drag king in her well-spent youth and knows that the queer community is full of magic and wonder. With her books, she hopes she’s brought some of that magic to those who need it most.
Photo by Greg Ehlers
Diane Terrana is the Executive Editor at The Rights Factory—a Toronto literary agency, an award-winning instructor in the University of Toronto’s SCS Creative Writing program and the author of a debut YA novel, The World on Either Side. Diane spends a lot of time in her head and sometimes needs to get out of it. To that end she went skydiving with her son on his twenty-first birthday: an experience that seemed out of body as well.
Loan Le holds an MFA degree in fiction from Fairfield University, also her undergraduate alma mater. A Pushcart Prize–nominated writer, her short stories have appeared in CRAFT Literary, Mud Season Review, and Angel City Review. Loan works in book publishing and lives in Manhattan. A Pho Love Story is her first novel. Visit her website at WriterLoanLe.me and find her on Twitter @LoanLoan.
Lindsay Wong is the author of the bestselling, award-winning memoir The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family. She has a BFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University, and she is now based in Vancouver, Canada. My Summer of Love and Misfortune is her first YA novel. Visit her online at LindsayMWong.WordPress.com or on Twitter @LindsayMWong.
Photo by Shimon
Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the water, taking film photos, or eating a bowl of bingsu. Made in Korea is her first novel. You can visit Sarah online at SarahSuk.com and on Twitter and Instagram @SarahAeliSuk.
Liselle Sambury is a Toronto-based Trinidadian Canadian author. Her brand of writing can be described as “messy Black girls in fantasy situations.” She works in social media and spends her free time embroiled in reality tv because when you write messy characters you tend to enjoy that sort of drama. She also shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to helping demystify the sometimes complicated business of being an author.
Photograph by Liselle Sambury
Ali Bryan is an award-winning novelist and short-form writer based in Calgary. Her first novel Roost, won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and her second novel, The Figgs, has been optioned for TV and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. Her debut YA novel, The Hill, a feminist dystopia, will be released in early 2021 from Dottir Press. She has a wrestling room in her garage and regularly gets choked out by her family.
Monique Polak is the author of over twenty novels for kids and young adults. She has also written two nonfiction books for kids as well as a board book for toddlers. Monique teaches English literature, creative writing and humanities at Marianopolis College in Montreal, Quebec. For more information, visit moniquepolak.com.
Aiden Thomas is the New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys, received their MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Born in Oakland, California, Aiden currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where they get most of their inspiration from the lush wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Aiden is notorious among their friends for always being surprised by twist endings to books/movies and organizing their bookshelves by color. When not writing, Aiden enjoys exploring the outdoors with their dog, Ronan. Their cat, Figaro, prefers to support their indoor hobbies, like reading and drinking too much coffee.
Lynn Painter lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and pack of wild children. She’s a biweekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald’s parenting section, even though she is the polar-opposite of a Pinterest mom. When she isn’t chasing kids, she can be found reading, writing, and shot-gunning Red Bulls.
Photo by Jackson Okun.
Regina Hansen was born on Prince Edward Island and grew up there, Montreal, and Boston. She teaches at Boston University and is also a contributor to The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Filmic Monsters. She has written regular articles for the nationally circulated children’s magazine DIG into History, and her essays have also appeared in The Wall Street Journal Review and The Conversation. The Coming Storm is her first novel. Visit her at ReginaMHansen.com.
Photo by Dominic Kemmett
Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is a storyteller who writes about her Ojibwe community in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She is a former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Angeline lives in southwest Michigan, but her home will always be on Sugar Island. Firekeeper's Daughter is her debut novel.
Courtney Summers is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of several novels for young adults, including Cracked Up to Be, All the Rage, and Sadie. Her work has been released to multiple starred reviews, received numerous awards and honors - including the Edgar Award, John Spray Mystery Award, Cybils Award and Odyssey Award - and has been recognized by many library, 'Best Of' and Readers' Choice lists. She lives and writes in a small town in southeastern Ontario.
June Hur was born in South Korea and raised in Canada, except for the time when she moved back to Korea and attended high school there. She studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. She began writing her debut novel after obsessing over books about Joseon Korea. June is the author of The Silence of Bones and The Forest of Stolen Girls, and currently lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.
Erica S. Perl is the author of many popular and critically acclaimed books for young readers. Her novels include All Three Stooges, When Life Gives You O.J. (Sydney Taylor Notable Award, Amazon Best Book of the Month, P.J. Our Way selection), Aces Wild (NPR Best Books of the Year, P.J. Our Way selection) and The Capybara Conspiracy: A Novel in Three Acts. Erica’s picture books include Chicken Butt!, Goatilocks and the Three Bears, and Ferocious Fluffity. She is a crowd-pleasing presenter at schools, libraries, and community events. Erica honed her skills working as a trial lawyer in New York City, and, before that, studying theater and driving an ice cream truck. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, daughters, and dogs.
Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau is a bilingual French author of young adult fiction and nonfiction. Her books have been translated into seven languages. Kisses and Croissants (Delacorte Press, 2021) is her U.S. debut. After graduating university in France, she moved to Amsterdam to begin a career in advertising. She then spent a few years in Melbourne before settling in New York City, where she lives with her Australian husband and their American cat.
Anuradha D. Rajurkar is the national recipient of the SCBWI Emerging Voices Award for her contemporary debut novel, American Betiya. Born and raised in the Chicago area to Indian immigrant parents, Anuradha earned two degrees from Northwestern University, and for many years had the joy of being a public school teacher by day, writer by night.
J-F. Dubeau is a Montreal native learning to cope with a crippling addiction to storytelling and long-form narrative. So far, writing seems to be the only treatment. His first book, the Dragon Award–nominated and Sword & Laser Contest–winning The Life Engineered, is an optimistic science-fiction tale of the future published by Sword & Laser (Inkshares). A God in the Shed is Dubeau’s second novel.
Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the upcoming epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina loves telling stories with fierce female leads and works as a screenwriter in Los Angeles.
Born in a mountain cabin to a punk-rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a pack of dogs and a growing colony of formerly feral cats. She is an author and anthology editor, and has written several award-winning and critically acclaimed books for children, teens and adults.
Celia C. Pérez is the daughter of a Mexican mother and a Cuban father. Her debut book for young readers, The First Rule of Punk (Viking / Penguin), was a 2018 Pura Belpré Award Honor Book, a 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards honor book, and a winner of the 2018 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award. Her second book for young readers, Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers (Kokila / Penguin, 2019), is an Association of Library Services to Children Notable Children’s Book and was named to several best-of-the-year lists. She lives with her family in Chicago where, in addition to writing books about lovable weirdos and outsiders, she works as a community college librarian.
Laura Dail graduated from Duke University and received her Master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College. She founded her literary agency more than 20 years ago, and represents, among others, New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, Marie Benedict; National Book Award nominee, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, as well as her brilliant and deeply wonderful fellow panelists, Sarah Mlynowski and Debbie Rigaud.
Please see more at www.LDLAInc.com and follow her on Twitter at @LCDail.
Aimee Friedman is an Editorial Director at Scholastic Inc, where she has worked for twenty years, and edits such bestselling authors as Sarah Mlynowski, Debbie Rigaud, Alan Gratz, Victoria Schwab, and many more. Aimee is also a New York Times bestselling author of several books for young adults, including Two Summers and Sea Change, which was adapted into a movie for Lifetime Television. She lives with her husband in New York City. Find out more at aimeefriedmanbooks.com
Debbie Rigaud is the coauthor of Alyssa Milano’s New York Times bestselling Hope series and the author of Truly Madly Royally and Simone Breaks All The Rules. Debbie grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, and started her career writing for entertainment and teen magazines. She now lives with her husband and children in Columbus, Ohio. Find out more at debbierigaud.com.
Gordon Korman is the author of more than ninety books for kids and young adults, most recently WAR STORIES and UNPLUGGED. His writing career began at the age of twelve when his Grade 7 English assignment became his first published novel.
Now, four decades later, he is a full-time writer and speaker, with over thirty-five million copies of his novels in print in thirty-three languages. Each year he travels extensively, visiting schools and libraries, bringing his trademark humor and adventure styles to readers everywhere.
A native Montrealer, he lives with his family in Long Island, New York.
Chief Mi’sel Joe, LL. D, CM, is the author of Muinji’j Becomes a Man (available in English and Mi’kmaw) and An Aboriginal Chief’s Journey. He has been the District Traditional Chief of Miawpukek First Nation since 1983, appointed by the late Grand Chief Donald Marshall. Mi’sel Joe is considered the Spiritual Chief of the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland and Labrador. He recently lead efforts to repatriate Beothuk remains and was, happily, successful.
Sheila O’Neill, B.A., B.Ed., is from Kippens, NL, and is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. Sheila is a Drum Carrier and carries many teachings passed down by respected Elders. As a founding member and past president of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network (NAWN), she has been part of a grassroots movement of empowerment of Indigenous women within the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador.