LINE UP 2022
DANIEL ALEMAN - Natasha Bowen - Danica Brine - A R Capetta
Tziporah Cohen - Natasha deen - Alyson Derrick - Maelle Desard
prajwala dixit - JF dubeau - Judith Eagle - manon fargetton
estelle faye - huda fahmy - namina forna - June Hur
H.N. Khan - Adib Khorram - Wab Kinew - Nina Laurin
Kristen R Lee - Rachael Lippincott - kekla magoon - Duncan major
Karen M. McManus - Jarrett Melendez - Haley Neil
Molly Knox Ostertag - Nathan Page - TALYA PARDO - erica perl
monique polak - jennifer pool - Natasha Preston
Sarah Raughley - Gavriel Savit - Drew Shannon - ashley shuttleworth
Christina Soorntornvat - A.F. Steadman - ADRIEN TOMAS - vanessa l. torres
Julian WInters - Laura E. Weymouth - Alexandra leigh young
musical guests Victoria carbol & nina segalowitz
Daniel Aleman was born and raised in Mexico City. A graduate of McGill University, he currently lives in Toronto. Indivisible is his first novel.
Natasha Bowen is a New York Times bestselling author, a teacher, and a mother of three children. She is of Nigerian and Welsh descent and lives in Cambridge, England, where she grew up. Skin of the Sea is her debut novel and the start of an epic series born out of her passion for mermaids and African history. Natasha is obsessed with Japanese and German stationery and spends stupid amounts on notebooks, which she then features on her secret Instagram. When she’s not writing, she's reading, watched over carefully by Milk and Honey, her cat and dog.
Danica Brine is walking sass in a leather jacket, forged in the icy lands of New Brunswick, Canada. From her waking hours to the moment she slumps over asleep at her desk, Danica can be found with a drawing tool in her hands. Her work has been featured on the covers of Wayward, Elephantmen, Exorsisters, and Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor. She's also contributed artwork to All We Ever Wanted, featured in the New York Times, and The Comic Kitchen. When not working as a comic artist, she illustrates children's books for a Canadian French-language publisher. Danica lives in Moncton, NB, Canada, with her husband, Nick, and their shiba inu, Taro.
A. R. Capetta (all pronouns), the author of Echo After Echo and The Lost Coast, has lived in Austin and worked as a professional baker and holds a master of fine arts in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A. R. Capetta is married to author Cory McCarthy, and they live in Vermont with their young baker.
Victoria Carbol is a writer, musician, and YouTuber from Vancouver, Canada. She may or may not also be an actual cave troll. When not actively loathing sunlight, she can be found creating fictional worlds full of monsters and magic, singing her icy heart out, and talking all things bookish on her YouTube channel, Inquillery. Best known for creating theme songs based on her favourite Young Adult reads, Victoria is also an agented writer working on her own novel, a sapphic contemporary fantasy retelling of Beowulf.
Tziporah Cohen has an MD from Harvard Medical School and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut novel, NO VACANCY, for middle grade readers, was published in September 2020 by Groundwood Books and won a Sydney Taylor Honor. Her first picture book, ON THE CORNER OF CHOCOLATE AVENUE: HOW MILTON HERSHEY BROUGHT MILK CHOCOLATE TO AMERICA, will be published in December 2022 by Clarion Books. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three children.
Award-winning author Natasha Deen writes for kids, teens, and adults and believes the world is changed one story at a time. As a Guyanese-Canadian and a child of immigrants, she’s seen first-hand how stories have the power to shape the world. When she’s not writing, Natasha enjoys visiting schools, libraries, and other organizations to help people to find and tell the stories that live inside of them. She also spends an inordinate amount of time trying to convince her pets that she’s the boss of the house. Visit Natasha at http://www.natashadeen.com.
Alyson Derrick was born and raised in Greenville, Pennsylvania, a town where burn barrels take the place of recycling bins. After making her great escape to Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s in English writing, Alyson started her own food truck, but soon realized she much prefers telling stories over slinging cheesesteaks. Alyson currently resides in Pennsylvania with her wife and their dog, Hank.
Prajwala Dixit, a journalist/columnist, playwright, documentary filmmaker and author is an award-winning community catalyst. With bylines in CBC, SaltWire Network and the Globe and Mail, she's had creative pieces featured in respected publications such as the Newfoundland Quarterly. Her annual fundraiser, Diyas for Diversity, highlights diversity within the public libraries of Newfoundland and Labrador. A mother, wife, and daughter, she makes sure to catch up on Hindi cinema when she has a free minute!
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.
Judith Eagle grew up in North West London, the daughter of librarians, surrounded by books. Following in the family footsteps, her first job was as a Saturday assistant in the local library, with special responsibility for the ballet section, which she loved. After studying Fashion at Saint Martins, she worked for a variety of magazines and newspapers, first as a fashion assistant, then as an editor, and later as a freelance stylist. Switching from fashion to features writing, she spent some years writing articles on pregnancy and parenting, before taking a job in a secondary school library. Her new role bought into focus the brilliance of children’s books. She studied part time for an MA in Children’s Literature, choosing the critical, rather than the creative pathway, believing she no longer had the imagination to write stories. However, on graduating, she joined a writers group and the ideas, born out of her childhood reading, began to flow. Judith lives in South East London with her husband and her cat Stockwell. She writes in the morning, and works in the school library in the afternoon. Her first book, The Secret Starling was published in the US last year. The Pear Affair launched April 2022.
Huda Fahmy grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, and has loved comics since she was a kid. She attended the University of Michigan where she majored in English. She taught English to middle and high schoolers for eight years before she started writing about her experiences as a visibly Muslim woman in America and was encouraged by her older sister to turn these stories into comics. Huda, her husband Gehad, and their children reside in Houston, Texas.
Née en 1987, Manon Fargetton a grandi à Saint-Malo. Régisseuse lumière, elle est passionnée par le théâtre et les littératures de l’imaginaire. Elle a été publiée dès 2005 puis a écrit chez Mango Aussi libres qu’un rêve. Chez Rageot elle a notamment écrit la série Les plieurs de temps, Le livre de toutes les réponses sauf une, Le suivant sur la liste l'Intégrale et la trilogie June. Elle vit à Paris.
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.
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, The Forest of Stolen Girls, and The Red Palace, and currently lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.
H.N. Khan is a first-time author. Born in Pakistan, he immigrated to Canada at age seven and grew up in Regent Park, a low-income community housing project. After graduating with a business degree he decided to drop out of law school to pursue a career in Toronto's start-up scene. Since then, he's helped build and market software that's used by millions around the world. He is a recent graduate from Humber's School for Writers' correspondence program.
Adib Khorram lives in Kansas City, Missouri. When he isn't writing, you can probably find him trying to get his hundred-yard freestyle under a minute, learning to do a Lutz jump, or steeping a cup of oolong. His debut novel, Darius the Great Is Not Okay, earned several awards, including the William C. Morris Debut Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. He is also the author of Darius the Great Deserves Better and the picture book Seven Special Somethings: A Nowruz Story.
Wab Kinew is the bestselling, award-winning author of the picture book Go Show the World and the memoir The Reason You Walk. A member of the Midewin and an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, he is a former journalist, hip-hop artist, and television host. Kinew, who is leader of the provincial NDP in Manitoba, lives in Winnipeg with his family. This past fall, he published his first YA novel, Walking in Two Worlds.
Nina Laurin studied Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal, where she currently lives. She speaks and reads in Russian, French, and English. She is the bestselling author of the adult suspense novels Girl Last Seen, What My Sister Knew, and The Starter Wife. The Last Beautiful Girl is her debut young adult novel.
Kristen R. Lee is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. After graduating from college, she began to write her experiences attending a predominantly white institution, which led to the first draft of her YA novel Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman. She’s worked as a mentor for foster youth and has interned in a school setting, where she counseled middle-school-aged children. Writing stories that reflect often-unheard voices is what she strives to do.
Rachael Lippincott is the coauthor of All This Time, #1 New York Times bestseller Five Feet Apart, and She Gets the Girl and the author of The Lucky List. She holds a BA in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, she currently resides in Pennsylvania with her wife and their dog, Hank.
Kekla Magoon’s young adult novel The Rock and the River, which won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award, was the first mainstream novel for young people to feature the Black Panther Party. She is the Margaret A. Edwards Award-winning author of more than a dozen books for young readers, including Fire in the Streets and How It Went Down. She is also the coauthor, with Ilyasah Shabazz, of X: A Novel, which was long-listed for the National Book Award and received an NAACP Image Award and a Coretta Scott King Honor. Kekla Magoon grew up in Indiana and now lives in Vermont, where she serves on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @keklamagoon.
Duncan Major juggles several artistic pursuits, including animation, letterpress printing, writing, illustration, and graphic design. He calls St. John’s, Newfoundland, home, and lives there with his wife, son, and daughter.
Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, One of Us Is Next, The Cousins, and You'll Be the Death of Me. Her work has been published in more than 40 languages. The television adaptation of One of Us Is Lying premiered on NBC Peacock in Fall 2021. McManus lives in the Boston area.
Jarrett Melendez grew up on the mean, deer-infested streets of Bucksport, Maine. A longtime fan of food and cooking, Jarrett has spent a lot of his time in kitchens, oftentimes as a paid professional! Jarrett is a regular contributor to Bon Appetit and Food52, and is the author of The Comic Kitchen, a fully illustrated, comic-style cookbook. When not cooking and writing about food, Jarrett usually writes comic books (like this one, Chef's Kiss!) and has contributed to the Ringo-nominated All We Ever Wanted, Full Bleed, and Murder Hobo: Chaotic Neutral. He is currently writing a graphic memoir for Oni Press. Jarrett lives in Somerville, MA, with his partner, Stuart, and their collection of Monokuro Boo plush pigs.
Haley Neil is a recent MFA grad from The New School, where she specialized in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She previously obtained her Masters in Education while working full time as a preschool teacher. She lives in Massachusetts town and Once More with Chutzpah is her first book.
Molly Knox Ostertag is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the acclaimed Witch Boy trilogy: The Witch Boy, The Hidden Witch, and The Midwinter Witch, as well as a writer for animation. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Molly was featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30: Media list in 2020. She's married to another writer and artist, and they live in Los Angeles with two cats and a very cuddly dog. You can visit her online at mollyostertag.com.
MTL YA FEST founder Talya Pardo is an intuitive mentor, life coach, writing coach and freelance editor. All of her work deals with people's lives and the stories their souls want to tell. As an editor, she loves to work with and guide authors in developing and honing their story. Her expertise is in children's literature, young adult fiction, science fiction/ fantasy, romance, historical fiction, self-help, blogs or articles. Along with her freelance work, she is Senior Editor at White Rose Magazine and Associate Editor at The RIght's Factory.
Erica S. Perl is the author of popular and critically-acclaimed novels, including ALL THREE STOOGES (National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor Honor Book), WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU O.J. (Sydney Taylor Notable Book, ALA Notable Book), and ACES WILD (NPR Best Book of the Year). Her picture books include THE NINTH NIGHT OF HANUKKAH, GOATILOCKS, and FEROCIOUS FLUFFITY. And she writes the TRUTH OR LIE!, WHALE, QUAIL, SNAIL, and CRAFTILY EVER AFTER (written as “Martha Maker) serieses. Erica is a crowd-pleasing presenter at schools, libraries, and community events. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her family. Visit her at: ericaperl.com
Monique Polak is a three-time winner of the Quebec’s Writers Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (now called the Janet Savage Blachford Prize). She is the author of 31 books for young people. Her newest books are the middle-grade novel For the Record (Owlkids) and the non-fiction title Why Humans Work (Orca). Her first picture book will be released by Scholastic in fall 2022. This was Monique’s 35th year teaching at Marianopolis College. One of the courses she taught is called Writing for Children. Monique is a columnist on Rad-Can’s Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!
Jennifer Pool lives with her husband, her children, and a zoo of animals on a farm in Norfolk County, Ontario, where she founded the Norfolk Farm School. She loves traveling the world as Linda McCartney in her husband’s touring production, The McCartney Years. Her husband headlines as Paul McCartney, and they share the stage with four other talented musicians. Their children travel with them. Jennifer has a PhD in public health, she loves to write, ride horses, adopt animals, and travel, but what makes her happiest is being a wife and a mother.
Natasha Preston is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar, The Cabin, Awake, You Will Be Mine, The Lost, The Twin, The Lake, and her most recent book, The Fear. A UK native, she discovered her love of writing when she shared a story online, and hasn't looked back. She enjoys writing romance, thrillers, gritty YA, and the occasional serial killer.
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to sci-fi fantasy TV to Japanese role-playing games and other geeky things, all of which have largely inspired her writing. Sarah has been nominated for the Aurora Award for Best YA Novel and works in the community doing writing workshops for youths and adults. On top of being a YA writer, Sarah has a PhD in English, which makes her a doctor, so it turns out she didn’t have to go to medical school after all. As an academic, Sarah has taught undergraduate courses and acted as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research concerns representations of race and gender in popular media culture, youth culture, and postcolonialism. She has written and edited articles in political, cultural, and academic publications. She continues to use her voice for good. You can find her online at SarahRaughley.com.
Gavriel Savit is a New York Times Bestselling author. His writing has been shortlisted for the National Book Award and has been translated into nineteen languages. As a performer, he has appeared on and off-Broadway and on stages around the world.
Drew Shannon is a Toronto-based illustrator whose past clients include the Globe and Mail, the Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, NPR, UNICEF, and more. He is a frequent collaborator with Nathan Page, and they worked together on The Montague Twins: The Witch’s Hand, The Montague Twins: The Devil’s Music, and Who Was the First Man on the Moon?: Neil Armstrong.
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. You can find them online at AshleyShuttleworth.com
Christina Soontornvat grew up in a small Texas town, where she spent many childhood days behind the counter of her parents’ Thai restaurant with her nose in a book. She is the author of many books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor Books A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, also a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults finalist. Christina Soontornvat lives in Austin, Texas.
Biologiste de formation, passionné de sciences naturelles, Adrien Tomas a aussi toujours été porté par la lecture et l’écriture. Après un master d’écologie marine, il a travaillé plusieurs années comme scientifique au sein de parcs zoologiques. Son premier roman publié, La Geste du Sixième Royaume (ed. Mnémos) a reçu le prix Imaginales du meilleur roman français en 2012. Depuis, Adrien a ajouté plusieurs romans et nouvelles à sa bibliographie. Il vit désormais de sa plume en tant qu’auteur et traducteur.
Vanessa L. Torres is a Latinx writer who has worked as a flight medic and currently works as a firefighter paramedic. She’s a founding member of the B.R.A.V.E. Foundation, a volunteer organization that works with firefighting and medical personnel in developing countries and is the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow award from Rotary International for her work in Guatemala. Vanessa is also the co-coordinator of The Olympia Writers Group, a critique group with one-hundred-plus members, and an active member of SCBWI and The Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Transplanted from Minnesota, she lives in the Pacific Northwest. The Turning Pointe is her debut novel.
Julian Winters is a bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary young adult fiction. His novels Running with Lions, How to Be Remy Cameron, and The Summer of Everything (Duet, 2018, 2019, 2020, respectively) received accolades for their positive depictions of diverse, relatable characters. A former management trainer, Julian currently lives outside of Atlanta, where he can be found reading, being a self-proclaimed comic book geek, or watching the only two sports he can follow--volleyball and soccer.
Laura E. Weymouth is the author of several novels, including the critically acclaimed The Light Between Worlds, A Treason of Thorns, and A Rush of Wings. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, Laura now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animal friends. Learn more at LauraEWeymouth.com.
Alexandra Leigh Young currently produces the New York Times podcast The Daily. She produced tours for pop bands for three years before moving to South Korea as a freelance journalist. An assignment on K-pop for NPR’s Radiolab became the basis for Idol Gossip, her first novel for young adults. She lives in New York City.