S.K. Ali · Amelinda Berube · tanaz bhathena
Natalie Blitt · Gmb Chomichuk · kristen ciccarelli
Cherie Dimaline · JF Dubeau · maurene goo
Sabina khan · lizzy mason · Sarah mlynowski
kaGiSo lesego molope · shenaaz nanji
ben phillipe · monique polak · nicki pau preto
david robertson · laura sebastian · marsha skrypuch heather smith · kim turrisi · ria voros
tim wynne-jones · jeff zentner
S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S.K. Ali’s debut YA novel, Saints and Misfits, is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith. Her newest novel, Love from A to Z, publishes this spring.
Amelinda Berube is a public service editor with a small department in the Canadian public service. She holds a bachelor of humanities from Carleton University and a master of arts from McGill. Amelinda is the author of The Dark Beneath the Ice and her next novel, Here There Are Monsters, will be published in August 2019. She lives in Ottawa.
Tanaz Bhathena was born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada. Her critically acclaimed novel A Girl Like That was nominated for the 2019 OLA White Pine Award and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Globe and Mail, CBC, Quill & Quire, Seventeen, PopSugar, and The Times of India among others. Her newest book The Beauty of the Moment is out now.
Natalie Blitt is the author of the young adult romances The Truth About Leaving and The Distance from A to Z. Her middle grade titles, Carols and Crushes and Snow One Like You, have been featured in Scholastic catalogues and book fairs. She was a double 2017 Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist for Best First Book and Best Young Adult Romance. Raised in Canada, she now lives in the Chicago area.
GMB CHOMICHUK is an award-winning writer and illustrator whose work has appeared in film, television, books, comics and graphic novels. His most recent work with HighWater Press, Will I See?, was a collaboration with writer David A. Robertson and singer/songwriter Iskwe. He writes and/or illustrates occult suspense stories like Midnight City, science fiction works like Red Earth, or inspirational all-ages adventure stories like Cassie and Tonk. He is the host of Super Pulp Science a podcast about how genre gets made. His newest full length graphic novel Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal was featured on The Hollywood Reporter, The Nerdist and Billboard Magazine.
Kristen Ciccarelli is the internationally bestselling author of The Last Namsara and The Caged Queen. Before writing books for a living, she worked as an artisanal baker, an indie bookseller, and a ceramic artist. These days she resides in a blustery seaside cove on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula with her blacksmith and her rescue dog. She likes her coffee dark, her weather broody, and her house warmed by a wood fire. Learn more at www.kristenciccarelli.com
Cherie Dimaline is an award-winning Métis author and editor whose award-winning fiction has been published and anthologized internationally. In 2014, she was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and became the first Aboriginal Writer in Residence for the Toronto Public Library. Her fourth book, The Marrow Thieves, is a national bestseller and has won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Kirkus Prize, the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature, and the Sunburst Award. It was also selected for CBC’s Canada Reads in 2018 and has been a finalist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the Trillium Award and the White Pine Award.
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.
Maurene Goo grew up in a Los Angeles suburb surrounded by floral wallpaper, one thousand cousins, and piles of books. She studied communication at UC San Diego and then later received a Masters in publishing, writing, and literature at Emerson College. Before publishing her first book, Since You Asked, she worked in both textbook and art book publishing. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two cats.
SABINA KHAN writes about Muslim teens who straddle cultures. She was born in Germany, spent her teens in Bangladesh, and lived in Macao, Illinois, and Texas before settling down in Surrey, British Columbia with her husband, two daughters, and the best puppy in the world. Visit her online at www.sabina-khan.com.
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.
Kagiso Lesego Molope was born and educated in South Africa. Her first novel, Dancing in the Dust (Mawenzi House) was on the IBBY Honour List for 2006. Her second novel, The Mending Season, was chosen to be on the school curriculum in South Africa. This Book Betrays My Brother was awarded the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize by the English Academy of Southern Africa, where it was first published. Her latest novel, Such a Lonely, Lovely Road, was released in 2018. She lives in Ottawa.
Shenaaz Nanji’s Child of Dandelions, a novel about the expulsion of Uganda’s Asians, was shortlisted for the 2008 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. Her other books include Indian Tales, An Alien in my House!, and Treasures for Lunch. She holds an MFA from Vermont College and lives in Calgary.
Ben Philippe is a New York-based writer and screenwriter. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and an MFA in Fiction and Screenwriting from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He teaches screenwriting at Barnard. This is his debut novel. He can be found online: benphilippe.com.
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.
Nicki Pau Preto is a graphic designer and YA author living just outside Toronto, Canada. Her favorite stories have always been the ones that take her somewhere new, with characters she can love and worlds she can get lost in. Like all starving artists, she considers bargain shopping a competitive sport and Froot Loops a suitable meal replacement. Crown of Feathers is her first novel.
DAVID A. ROBERTSON is an award-winning writer. His books include When We Were Alone (winner Governor General’s Literary Award), Will I See? (winner Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award), Betty, The Helen Betty Osborne Story (listed In The Margins), and the YA novel Strangers (winner of The Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction). David educates as well as entertains through his writings about Indigenous Peoples in Canada, reflecting their cultures, histories, communities, as well as illuminating many contemporary issues. David is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.
*Appearing via Skype
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the author of more than a dozen books, including Underground Soldier, Making Bombs for Hitler and Don’t Tell the Enemy. She has won many awards for her work and is one of Canada's most respected authors of historical fiction for young people. Much of Marsha’s writing focuses on stories from her Ukrainian heritage, and she has been and presented with the Order of Princess Olha by the President of Ukraine and named a Canadian Ukrainian Woman of Distinction. She is also a tireless promoter of her own books and Canadian children’s literature in general.
HEATHER SMITH is originally from Newfoundland, and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her husband and three children. Her east coast roots inspire much of her writing. Her previous novel, The Agony of Bun O'Keefe, received a starred review from Kirkus and Quill & Quire and was named a best book of 2017 by Kirkus, Bank Street College of Education, The Globe & Mail, and Quill & Quire (honorable mention), as well as selected as an Outstanding International Book by USBBY (United States Board on Books for Young People).
Ria Voros is a YA author, teacher and obsessive reader. Her novels have been finalists for the Silver Birch, White Pine, the Rocky Mountain Book Awards, and most recently, on CBC's Spring 2019 recommended list. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. When she's not writing, teaching or eating sweet things, Ria can be found hiking to the tops of mountains or buying books at any bookstore she happens upon. She lives in Victoria, BC, with her husband, daughter and son.
Tim Wynne-Jones has written 37 books for people of all ages. He has won The Governor General’s Award twice and been short-listed six times. He has also won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award twice, the Arthur Ellis Award of the Crime Writers of Canada, twice, and the Edgar Award presented by the Mystery Writers of America, once. His books have been translated into a dozen languages. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012. His most recent novel, The Ruinous Sweep, recipient of many starred reviews, will be out in paperback this year, as will Tim’s latest novel, The Starlight Claim, the much awaited sequel to The Maestro.
Jeff Zentner is the author of The Serpent King, a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the William C. Morris Award, and recipient of many other accolades; and Goodbye Days, named an ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults title. Jeff was a Publishers Weekly Flying Start and an Indies Introduce pick. Before becoming a writer, he was a musician who recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee is his ode to best friends who make things together. He lives in Nashville with his wife and son.