BOOKS | DIGITAL | MEDIA
Justin Aclin has written and created comic books for all ages, including two middle grade graphic novels in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. He also co-created the sci-fi action comic S.H.O.O.T. First with Nicolas Daniel Selma, and the superhero graphic novel Hero House with Mike Dimayuga. Justin began his career satirizing pop culture mainstays as the head writer of the award-winning comic strip “Twisted ToyFare Theatre,” while he was editor of ToyFare magazine. His work has appeared in the Eisner-winning anthology series Dark Horse Presents, and in the short story collection Apollo’s Daughters.
Justin’s new project is a middle grade fantasy graphic novel, which is currently in development.
A recently retired elementary school principal, Gwen Agna has worked with many families as well as the educators at her school to create a safe and supportive environment for children to express their genders in their own ways—a critical factor in children’s healthy development. As a school teacher, she has firsthand knowledge of the challenges children and families face in seeking acceptance and in navigating a world that others do not yet understand. Gwen Agna’s school has a regional and national reputation for allowing children to express their gender exploration, and is known to be a joyful and accepting place for all.
Gwen Agna is the co-author, along with photographer and author Shelley Rotner, of TRUE YOU: A GENDER JOURNEY, a photo illustrated book for children ages 3-7.
Art is a creator, author, writer, and a multi-award winning, super-cartoonist machine. Art started doing his unique designs and telling his heartwarming stories at his funky secret art studio in 1994 and has since created self-published comics including the famous Patrick the Wolf Boy along with being a creative force behind The Eisner Award winning Itty Bitty Hellboy and The New York Times Best Selling, Eisner Award, Harvey Award Winning DC Comics' Tiny Titans. Art Baltazar is also the artist for The DC Super-Pets children’s book series from Warner Brothers Books.
Art Baltazar is currently writing and drawing an original children’s graphic novel series, CORA DE FLORA FROM BORA BORA, about a confident and independent island girl who is living for creating her art through fun, love, joy and peace with her crazy family and eclectic group of island creatures and friends.
No one would have imagined that Larry Barnhill, a University of Florida track star and successful event promoter in Miami, would become involved with three other men in a string of bank robberies in and around the Atlanta area. The gang, dubbed the Morning Glory Boys by the media and the FBI, all lived otherwise respectable, even exemplary, lives. Finally, in 2000, they were apprehended, convicted and sent to prison. Larry has just been released from his twenty-year-sentence in the Jessup (Georgia) Federal Correctional Institute.
Larry Barnhill’s book, Control, Move, Dominate: The True Story of the Morning Glory Boys, is a compelling true crime narrative with social justice overtones and ultimately, the promise of redemption.
Don Bolognese and his wife, the late Elaine Raphael, illustrated more than 250 children’s books for Simon & Schuster, Viking Press, HarperCollins, Scholastic, Macmillan, Farrar and Straus, J.B. Lippincott, Delacorte Press, Grosset & Dunlap, and more. Don collaborated with Jean Craighead George on an environmental book, All Upon a Stone, which was selected by the New York Herald Tribune as its “Picture Book of the Year, 1973.”
His latest project is a picture book called Starlight, featuring a wild horse who is leading and protecting his herd at a time when settlers are moving West and threatening the ecological balance of the community.
Megan Brain grew up in Los Angeles California and specializes in 3-dimensional paper sculpture designs. Her career in the arts began in 2004 at Cartoon Network Studios when she art directed an animated paper sculpture music video for Andre Benjamin’s "Class of 3000". Since that time, Megan has created paper sculpture pieces and consulted for Walt Disney Imagineering, various Disney Theme Parks, Nickelodeon, United Airlines, and Dreamworks Animation. In 2016 she collaborated with her husband, Shannon Tindle, in creating the paper character designs for his Laika Studios film KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS.
Currently Megan is working on her new picture book idea which is about the digestive tract and nutrition for kids. Megan intends to give kids a new take on what happens when they eat their favorite treat. She has many new book ideas in store for picture book stories and more paper design sculptures.
Belinda Brock had a multi-lingual upbringing, which inspired her love of stories, words, language, and languages. She’s followed her passions to be a teacher, editor, actor, writing coach, essayist, and author. Her P.B. bio UNIQUELY EUNICE: THE STORY OF EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER AND SPECIAL OLYMPICS is slated for a 2022 release. When writing for children, Belinda strives to craft nonfiction that calls readers to action and inspires them to think about how they want to live their lives.
Belinda’s current project WE TELL THE STORY profiles, in verse, 13 pioneering women journalists and activists who pursued a world rooted in truth and justice.
Judith Bruder’s first novel, Going to Jerusalem, was a funny, quirky account of a modern-day Jewish pilgrimage to the land of Israel. Then the unthinkable happened, as she found herself unexpectedly and irrevocably embarking on a spiritual journey that eventually led her to become a Roman Catholic. Judith told that story in her second book, Convergence.
Her latest manuscript, Begin Again, is an inspirational autobiography: part memoir, part spiritual journey, always a love story. It is well-suited for these uncertain times, as we all reflect on our lives, our beliefs, and our choices.
For over 15 years, Shauna worked as a creative director, designer, and illustrator on a wide variety of award-winning art and writing teams. Recently, she returned to her first love, teaching. Shauna’s art reflects the hours she spends outdoors, with students or her children, immersed in weird and wild places. She writes and illustrates books that are emotional, clever, and funny. Shauna lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and their two mostly feral, often bare-chested boys.
Addie and the Amazing Acrobats, Shauna’s debut, whimsically spotlights a delightful and ‘human’ little bat. It’s a tale of adventure, redemption, and love.
Melanie Cataldo is an illustrator, writer, and arts educator. She has illustrated picture books for Learning A-Z, Candlewick Press, and Flyaway Books. Melanie has also worked as an illustrator/designer of textiles, packaging, and educational materials. She lives in central Massachusetts.
Melanie is currently working on writing and illustrating Elephants Do Not Like Bees. The humorous picture book presents readers with interesting elephant facts as they follow a very hungry herd of elephants through a very wild day!
Lauren Chaitoff is a mind-body-fitness expert who founded Yogi Beans, a children’s yoga company, in 2007. The idea "sprouted" from her innate ability to connect with children and her love and knowledge of yoga. Yogi Beans enables kids ages 18 months to teenagers to explore and experience the body-mind-heart foundations of yoga through content-rich programs specifically designed for them. Through partnerships with American Girl, Rosewood Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel, equinox, and The Ronald McDonald House, among others, Yogi Beans has become a respected name in the children's wellness and kids yoga world.
Lauren's latest creation is a visual book of yoga poses and associated imagery titled the Yogi Beans Pose Book. The Pose Book is a visual reference guide and teaching tool that is educational and uniquely engaging, and has a place in the home, in schools, yoga studios, and beyond.
Benjamin B. Cohen is an award-winning writer, professor, and performer. In his writing, Benjamin likes to play with dark and challenging material from an honest, comedic perspective. Raised in Atlanta and based in Brooklyn, Benjamin worked on projects selected by the Austin Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, and The High Museum of Art. He also appears in the Emmy-Nominated PBS short documentary, "What Makes a Great Book." Benjamin has taught Writing and Film History at NYFA since 2012 and is an active member of the WGA-E. When he's not writing, teaching, or performing comedy on the NYC stage, you can find Benjamin with his lovely wife and two dogs.
His debut graphic novel-in-progress, Undrafted, explores the intersections of mental health and toxic masculinity in the NBA.
Author/illustrator Lynn Curlee has published fourteen magnificently illustrated, non-fiction picture books for middle grade and YA readers. His most recent book, The Great Nijinsky, was a 2019 YALSA Finalist. Three of his books, Capital, Liberty and Rushmore, were chosen by the Barbara Bush Literacy Campaign as their book of the year. Curlee has won numerous awards for his work, including but not limited to a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book (Brooklyn Bridge), Orbis Pictus Award (Rushmore), ALA Notable Books for Children (Liberty), and Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year (Parthenon).
Lissette Decos is a Cuban-American television producer with over 15 years’ experience in reality formats of the love-wedding-relationship-disaster variety (i.e. Say Yes to the Dress and 90 Day Fiancé).
Her debut novel, Four Frogs, has been acquired by Forever Books in a two-book deal, for publication in 2023. The romantic comedy is about a single reality show producer who decides to date four different men, each of whom embodies one core quality from her “perfect man” list. How hard can it be to turn four frogs into one Prince? You might say Lissette’s got the story and the soundtrack for romantic angst down.
Author/Illustrator of the beloved Gilbert and Friends series, and illustrator of Ree Drummond’s wildly successful Charlie the Ranch Dog series.
Diane deGroat’s latest picture book is The Adventures of Robo-Kid, tracking two parallel stories, one in the real world and one inside a comic book. They intersect when the real-life kid and the comic book superhero find they need each other’s help. The Adventures of Robo-Kid will be published by Neal Porter Books/Holiday House in Summer 2022.
Dhaval Desai was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and completed his undergraduate studies at Emory University. He completed medical school at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in St. Maarten, performed his clinical years of medical school in New York City, and had the opportunity to rotate through various community hospitals. He is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics and is currently Director of Hospital Medicine at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. He is also a pediatric hospitalist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Over the past several years, he has developed a passion for the patient and human experience in medicine through sharing perspectives, knowledge, and stories.
His current project is a personal narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic and his experience of it as a doctor, leader, and father.
Robin Storey Dunn was born to a German immigrant family in a small West Texas town. She left home at sixteen, queer, punk, and feral, and was rescued by an all-Black spiritualist church. She lived communally with the congregation for ten years, trying and failing to become a saint. Ultimately, she was delivered from fundamentalism to a pragmatic understanding of the importance and soul of kindness. Today, she lives with her wife and children in Austin, Texas, in the same neighborhood where she was once homeless and struggling for redemption.
Her debut, SOME KINDA LOVE: A Queer Punk Meditation on Leaving and Finding Home, tells a story that carries readers across juxtaposed cultures of white and Black, punk and gospel, queer identity and religious extremism.
Originally from Philadelphia, Chris has also lived in Berkeley, Paris, Sydney, Berlin, Antwerp, Chicago, and now Atlanta, where he teaches Health Humanities at Emory University. He is the author of Dysfluencies: On Speech Disorders in Modern Literature (Bloomsbury 2014). His fiction has appeared in AGNI, Louisiana Literature, and Sortes. He received his Ph.D. in English Lit from U.C. Berkeley and is a former Fulbright scholar.
His current project is a dark comedy titled Dwell Here and Prosper, a novel based on a diary his father kept while recovering from a stroke in a dysfunctional assisted living facility somewhere in Delco, PA.
Annie Evans is a nine-time Emmy winning, former Sesame Street staff writer.
Her latest project is Sebastian, A Black Cat Tale, an exciting middle grade animal fantasy. Annie makes good use of her experience writing for muppets, voicing sharp and funny animal characters who star (along with their humans) in this exciting adventure.
Naila Farouky is a Peabody Award-winning Executive Producer with extensive experience in developing and producing quality children's programming. Of Palestinian-Egyptian origin, with dual Jordanian and American citizenship, Naila has worked as an Executive Producer and Project Manager on Sesame Street co-productions in 17 countries around the world. She is currently the CEO of the Arab Foundations Forum based in Cairo.
Cindy Faughnan writes contemporary middle grade fiction that often takes place in Vermont where she taught seventh and eighth grade English, hiked through the woods and fields, and milked cows. She completed an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts and was a recipient of the PEN New England Children’s Book Caucus Discovery Award.
Her work-in-progress, FIVE QUESTIONS, is a contemporary middle grade mystery about a super-smart detective’s daughter whose passion to solve real-life whodunits takes precedence over her real question. Why does she have trouble reading and writing?
Emma Fick’s new book, Border Crossings: A Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, will be published by HarperDesign in 2022. This extraordinary book chronicles her epic train journey from Beijing to Moscow in 240 pages of watercolor illustrations and hand-written text.
Emma started drawing and writing in this style while on a Fulbright Scholarship in Serbia, teaching English. She began to chronicle Serbian culture, from grandiose themes to minute details, in a series of watercolor illustrations she called “Snippets.” Eventually she published both Snippets of Serbia (Komshe), and Snippets of New Orleans (UL Press).
Chris Fleming is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities at Western Sydney University, where he is also a member of the Writing and Society Research Center. He is the author or editor of ten books and has written widely on literature, philosophy, and culture. His fiction and nonfiction work has appeared in both scholarly and popular media, including The Guardian, The Sydney Review of Books, Kill Your Darlings, The LA Review of Books, Parallax, The Saturday Paper, and The Chronicle Review.
His most recent project, ON DRUGS, is an equally humorous and contemplative memoir that discusses addiction, obsession, the intellect, and masculinity.
Kermit Frazier has been a writer—both a playwright and a television writer—as well as a teacher of writing, literature, and theater for nearly forty years. He is a recipient of the McKnight Foundation Fellowship in Playwriting. As a television writer, Frazier has written for such television series as the popular children’s mystery series Ghostwriter (which he helped to create and for which he was a head writer), Gullah Gullah Island (co-producer and executive story editor), and many more.
His latest manuscript, Piecing the Puzzle: A Coming of Age Memoir takes the reader on a journey through the life and mind of a precocious Negro boy in the 1950s and 60s in Washington, D.C.
Janice Hechter is both an author and illustrator whose debut picture book, Adventure Girl, will be published by Alazar Press in 2021. She is an award-winning illustrator and fine artist who has exhibited her paintings in various galleries and museums throughout the country. Janice has illustrated six picture books, including SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist The Great Elephant Escape, for Pelican Publishing. One of her illustrations was selected by jurors Brian Lies and Susannah Richards to be included in the 2018 SCBWI New England Illustrators Exhibit at the Wedeman Art Gallery of Lasell College.
Janice’s most recent project, NEXT YEAR IN THE WHITE HOUSE, is illustrated non-fiction. It tells the story of the origins of President Barack Obama’s annual White House seders through the point of view of a young Jewish staffer on his first campaign.
On a sunny September morning in 2013, Marti Hill, a graphic designer and single mother of two, was home alone, preparing to leave for work. The doorbell rang and a friendly, familiar face asked if he could come in. She opened the door and within minutes Marti was left for dead, crumpled in a five-foot-wide pool of blood, her throat and neck cut in three places, skull broken, and face beaten to an unrecognizable mass of red flesh. Miraculously, Marti Hill not only survived, but recovered, and is finally telling her own story in A Millimeter from Murder: The Anatomy of a Survivor.
Author and Photographer Jonathan Hollingworth's books of photography include Left Behind: Life and Death Along the U.S. Border; Everybody I Ever Met in L.A.; and What We Think Now: Young People's Response to the War in Iraq. He has had solo exhibitions at the UCR / California Museum of Photography, Santa Fe Art Institute and Center for Photography at Woodstock. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Independent, The Sunday Times (London), Die Welt, and BBC News Magazine, among others. He lives in New York, where he works in the publishing industry.
Judith Joseph is a Chicago-based artist whose paintings, woodblocks, and calligraphic works are held in many collections. As a child, Judith’s love for art was inspired by picture books and her precocious interest in illuminated manuscripts: the more she looked, the more she saw. Joseph brings the influence of intensely detailed narratives to her illustrations and books.
Her author/illustrator debut is Toby and Sonia, a story is based on true-life. Toby, a bright and bold child, rescues Sonia, her beloved cow, away from the Kaiser’s army.
Determined to live the most fully realized life possible, young Claire Kahane defied norms, lived dangerously, and took to the road in the 1950s. She crisscrossed this continent, then traveled across Europe and North Africa in a manner reserved for the men of her times. Drawn back to Berkeley during the roiling 60s, she eventually completed a PhD and taught at U at Buffalo, becoming an influential psychoanalytic-feminist literary critic. At age 65, she set out for another adventure: to become a psychoanalyst. But life took her elsewhere.
In Kahane’s picaresque memoir, Nine Lives, she vividly paints a sense of place, time, and identity as she recreates herself 9 times over 9 decades, involving herself in as many dramatic relationships.
Maryam Kia-Keating is an author, professor, and child psychologist whose writing blends themes of compassion, interconnectedness, and courage. Her unique perspective is shaped by early years of emigration, crossing borders, and immersion in new languages. Her family eventually settled on the island of O'ahu, among tropical abundance and the wonder of rainbows.
Maryam’s current works include THE HERO’S HANDBOOK, (MG non-fiction) which provides children with the compass to set a course for resilience and wholeness during unprecedented and difficult times and a poetic picture book MINOO, about the importance of living in harmony with nature.
Vanessa Konoval is a picture book author whose path has taken her from small-town upstate New York to San Francisco to Pittsburgh to the Philadelphia suburbs, with excursions across the pond and into the High Desert of SoCal along the way. A licensed attorney and mother of two, she can usually be found scrambling for a pen to jot down another picture book idea into one of her many notebooks. Vanessa is the daughter of a school psychologist and an early intervention special educator, both from big Italian-American families. Her upbringing and her experiences practicing law and raising her own little ones have impressed upon her that nothing is more important than the stories we tell to children.
Her first manuscript takes the form of the sea shanties that gained such popularity this summer, and tells the swashbuckling tale of the “Pickle-Toe Pirates,” a crew of smelly scalawags who refuse to take a bath.
Emily Perl Kingsley has received 21 Emmy Awards for her writing work on Sesame Street. The mother of a child with Down Syndrome, Ms. Kingsley is the author of the inspirational essay Welcome to Holland, about parenting a differently abled child, which has been reprinted in many languages and in many forms all over the world. She is a frequent lecturer on Down syndrome and disability rights. Ms. Kingsley has received the Secretary’s Highest Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in recognition of her 39 years of spearheading the inclusion of individuals with disabilities on Sesame Street in the United States and 140 countries around the world.
Tanya Konerman writes because she is compelled to share her innate curiosity with young readers. She was awarded the Indiana SCBWI's Helen Frost Mentorship in 2020. Before authoring children's books, her stories were published in magazines, newspapers, and websites. When not at her desk, Tanya can be found hiking the Appalachian Trail or exploring the slot canyons and hoodoo-blessed lands of the Southwest— while adding birds to her life list.
Tanya's newest picture book, 'Til Spring, intertwines themes of poverty, hunger, and hope into a story based on rural American history.
Krysia Kurzyca was born and grew up in Wroclaw, Poland, where she attended art schools for six years and became a successful jewelry designer. She moved to the United States in the early eighties. Several years ago, she started to apply her skills and sensibilities to the illustration and writing of children's books. She resides in Great Barrington, MA where in addition to making art, she is the founder of a medicinal plants farm and CSA.
Krysia’s latest book, Away from Gray, tells the story of a child who brings color and imagination to her world in the context of a city healing from war.
Ann Landi holds degrees in art history from Princeton and Columbia, and has been an art journalist for 25-plus years. She is currently the publisher and editor of a website for artists, Vasari21.com. Ann started her magazine career as copy editor at Blair & Ketchum’s Country Journal in Manchester, VT, before moving back to New York to become the Executive Editor of Savvy Magazine. Ann Landi has written for numerous magazines, including GQ, Glamour, Travel & Leisure, Psychology Today, ARTnews, Manhattan, inc. and Self. She also writes for The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and Smithsonian.
Ann’s latest project is a book titled SELLING WOMANHOOD: THE SEDUCTION OF WOMEN BY THEIR MAGAZINES, and is a collaboration with designer Wendy Palitz.
As an artist, writer, and designer, it's only natural that Jenn's favorite form of expression is comics—whether on her own long-running, long-form webcomic Dicebox, or as a letterer, designer, colorist and artist-for-hire on strips and books ranging from superhero to horror, fantasy to young-adult romance, and more.
Kathryn Lefroy is an Australian-born writer of middle-grade novels and screenplays. Energetic and prolific, she’s as well-versed in art history as technology. She holds a Ph.D. in marketing and consults and writes on tech branding and marketing for some of the world’s top companies.
Her first middle grade novel was called Alex and the Alpacas Save the World (Freemantle Press).
Kathryn's latest project is The Trouble with Superpowers, a contemporary Middle-Grade mystery with an SFF twist.
Working under the name Regina Linke, Joy Lin is a Taiwanese American writer and illustrator who blends traditional Chinese, meticulous-style brush painting with digital art techniques. Her favorite subjects include themes and characters out of East Asian philosophy, religion, and folklore. Her Instagram webcomic The Oxherd Boy enjoys a highly engaged audience from all over the world and has been translated to more than ten languages by volunteer fans.
Her latest project is adapting the Oxherd Boy comic to a series of picture books for children
Robert Love is a critically acclaimed artist and writer best known for co-creating Fierce, Shadow Rock, and Number 13 for Dark Horse Comics. Robert is also the co-creator of the animated web series The Adventures of Venus Kincaid, which was developed by FOX 2000. In addition to his creator-owned properties, Robert was the artist for Alpha Girl (Image Comics) and Never Ending (Dark Horse). He has also done illustration and design work for Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, B.E.T., Vibe Magazine, and the Sacramento Kings.
Robert is currently writing and drawing a comic series called Children of the Plague, for Dark Horse Comics, and is developing a middle-grade graphic novel called Life on Doom Street.
For an artist who made his reputation working with material that was “100% Guaranteed Overheard,” Stan Mack has one of the most distinctive voices in American letters. Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies, the strip he drew weekly for the Village Voice for more than twenty years, has had an outsized impact on the development of one of today’s most popular and culturally revered forms—the literary graphic novel.
His new project, Socialism: What's It Good For?, explores the history of American Socialism, including debates over—and the promise of—Democratic Socialism in the 21st century.
Author John A. Marley is an Irish television producer and writer with a proven track record in creating and producing distinctive, original entertainment and factual programming for both the UK and international audiences.
In his new thriller, London Interrupted, master thief Danny Felix finds himself propelled into the heist of the century, masterminded by a psychotic, crooked cop named James Harkness. In order to succeed he will not only have to outwit the ruthless Harkness; he will also have to bring the city of London to a halt.
Demree McGhee is a writer currently studying at the University of California San Diego. Her poetry and prose have been published in literary journals such as Lunch Ticket, Palette Poetry, Free State Review, SORTES, and more.
She is currently working on a short story collection centering on femininity, queerness, and desire.
Brooke McIntyre’s writing focuses on connections between people and between people and their environment. Her two most recent picture books are set in nature. In What We Found on the River, a child and her mom search a river habitat for an elusive otter. Under It All, An Oyster lyrically examines an overlooked creature with enormous environmental importance.
Making connections is also at the heart of Inked Voices, the well-reputed, international, online writers’ platform established by Brooke McIntyre to inspire professionalism, nurture creativity, and foster community for rising authors as well as published w
In their 25-year career, Carla has written and drawn eleven volumes of a science fiction series called FINDER, contributed prose short story MOVE THE WORLD to THE VERGE's Utopia project, collaborated with amazing writers and artists on books such as survival drama NO MERCY, folk-horror HARROW COUNTY, and a wild list of other projects varying in length and genre. Carla has never wanted to be anything other than a cartoonist making comics in all different ways.
Linda Morganstein grew up in the Borscht Belt, a Jewish resort area outside of NYC. She went to Vassar and then drove a VW bus to California and later studied with Jane Smiley and currently resides in Saint Paul. Due to her unique background, she has a distinct interest in humor as an antidote to life's complications.
Linda's latest novel, Kaplan's Oasis Hotel, focuses on the intertwining stories of three women who spend the summer of 1972 at a failing Catskill hotel. Influenced by each other, their lives change irrevocably.
Janet Harvey Nevala is an award-winning writer of comic books, movies and games. As a comic book creator, she wrote the YALSA finalist Angel City for Oni Press, the upcoming CURIE SOCIETY from MIT Press, and the first adventure of Cassandra Cain in No Man’s Land for DC Comics. As a game writer, she was the staff writer on the DC Universe Online MMORPG. Her feature film debut, A Million Hits, screened at festivals around the world and was distributed by Summer Hill Films.
Janet's current project is a YA graphic novel being developed in collaboration with Angel City illustrator Megan Levens.
Wendy Palitz has had a long career in publishing, both in magazines and books, including a stint as the Art Director at Savvy: The Magazine for Executive Women. Prior to working at Savvy, Wendy was the Assistant Art Director at Us and the Associate Art Director at New York magazine. Her later experiences included Art Director at Travel Holiday, and the founding Art Director of Brooklyn Bridge. Under her watch, both publications won awards for design, photography, and illustration. She freelanced at Self, Mother Jones, and Men’s Health. She worked as a book designer at Workman Publishing for four years, was the Creative Director at Storey Publishing and also served as the Design Director for Sterling Juvenile Books. She is currently design director at Palitz + Robbins.
Her current project, a collaboration with author Ann Landi, is SELLING WOMEN: THE SEDUCTION OF WOMEN BY THEIR MAGAZINES, for which Wendy is designing a striking visual overview of the evolution of women’s magazines over the years.
Julie Peppito has been telling stories with various media, including trash, for over 30 years. Her work has been the subject of eight solo exhibitions, and you can visit her installations at J.J. Byrne Playground, Underhill Playground, and Slope Park in Brooklyn, NY. Orginally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Julie is a Brooklyn-based artist, activist, author, illustrator, and art educator.
She is currently working on her picture book debut, OTHER PEOPLE’S SHOES, a fanciful exploration of empathy told through richly layered mixed-media illustrations.
Award-winning writer and journalist Lisa N. Peterson worked as a crime reporter at The Newtown Bee in the 1980s, covering two high-profile murder cases—the woodchipper murder and the disappearance of Regina Brown—in Newtown, Connecticut. She is the foremost expert on these two interwoven domestic violence murder cases—both without bodies.
Her new manuscript, The Look-Back Window: A Journalist’s Memories of Murders and Men, is a true crime memoir.
Sandra Price is an Emmy Award winning animator and a classically trained artist, illustrator and designer who has been drawing since she could hold a crayon. Sandra was accepted at the Pasadena College of Art and Design, with emphasis on illustration. She began working in animation on Emmy Award-winning animated programs such as Batman Beyond, Superman & Batman Adventures, Darkwing Duck and The Zeta Project, among others. She worked in comics at Marvel, DC, and Independent Publishers for her original properties. Sandra continues creating stories, writing, drawing and filling her world with art and design every day while living her best life with her husband, daughter and 2 rambunctious cats.
Erin is an author, 4th grade teacher in Vermont, and a UPenn Literacy Network facilitator. Her first book, CHARLOTTE’S BONES: The Beluga Whale in a Farmer’s Field, won silver for nonfiction from The Moonbeam Children's Book Awards and will be featured in an upcoming edition of NSTA’s Picture Perfect Science. When she isn't writing about science, nature, or remarkable human subjects, she's a sports mom hauling two kiddos to fields and courts around the state.
Her current work, BOTS WHO FLY THROUGH SNOT, playfully introduces readers to the drone that collects whale mucus to study these magnificent creatures and the health of oceans they swim in.
Eric Rosenblum’s YA short stories have appeared in Guernica Magazine, Washington Square and Hobart Press. His non-fiction writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Playboy.com, and many other publications. Eric has an MFA from the prestigious creative writing graduate program at Syracuse University. He teaches Fiction Writing in Pratt Institute’s BFA in writing program in Brooklyn, New York.
His first YA novel is called Everybody Knows.
Shelley Rotner is the author and photo-illustrator of 50 award-winning children’s books. She has traveled extensively for UNICEF documenting programs about children and education. She has a Dual Masters in Elementary Education and Museum Education from the Bank Street College of Education.
Shelley is currently collaborating with Gwen Agna on a photo-illustrated nonfiction picture book called TRUE YOU: A GENDER JOURNEY.
Ashley is a writer, producer, and an initiated Priestess. She has been practicing magick for over half her life. Ashley earned her BA in Philosophy and Theology which propelled her deeper into the magical world where she was a professional ghost hunter for two years. Ashley teaches witchcraft at Pythian Mystery School to help those find and responsibly walk their spiritual path.
She is currently writing a magical book under her online persona, Pythian Priestess, advising on spells, creations of rituals, and the basics of witchcraft. All the tips and tricks you could ever need from the witchy big sister you never had!
Hailing from the sunny shores of Canada, Dorian Scar is a Storyboard Artist and Cryptid who has been known to haunt California as well. After earning a degree from CalArts they have gone on to work with clients such as Cartoon Network, Frederator, Katy Perry, and Ellation Studios.
They are currently developing a queer, time travel, rock opera graphic novel entitled, F8ED. This graphic novel explores the concept of gender throughout time, queer relationships and finding your own self-worth in a complicated world.
The author of three previous books, Stephanie Sellers brings together her work as a journalist, college educator, expert in gender studies, and advocate for women to her sensibilities as a writer. Sellers is the founder of Sedna's Daughters, an international virtual community for women who have been shunned or 'mobbed' by their families.
Stephanie Sellers is in a unique position to fit the pieces of shunned daughters' experiences into a cohesive picture. Healing the impact of this cross-cultural and pervasive phenomenon is the topic of her forthcoming book.
Dana Sherwood is an American artist/writer/illustrator. Her distinct style uses dreamlike magical realism to explore the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world and humans and non-human animals, including our companion species and those who live on frontiers of human civilization: raccoons, possums, foxes, and others. Like Alice’s mad tea party, food plays an important role in the mise en scene. The result is both enchanted and down-to-earth; her diverse work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.
Sherwood’s debut, THE NIGHT FEAST is about a child’s attempts to make friends with forest creatures.
Seymour Simon, whom the New York Times called. “the dean of the [children’s science] field,” is the author of over 300 highly acclaimed science books, more than seventy-five of which have been named Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
His latest book, CLIMATE ACTION: WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT WE CAN DO was published by HarperCollins in February 2021.
Crystal Simone Smith is the author of Down to Earth (Longleaf Press, 2021), Running Music (Longleaf Press, 2014), and Routes Home (Finishing Line Press, 2013). In 2020, she received a Duke University fellowship to research and compose African American haiku. She is the Founder and Managing Editor of Backbone Press Inc., which publishes emerging & established poets of color.
Her forthcoming YA book of blackout poetry, Dark Testament, was created from the text of George Saunders' experimental novel Lincoln in the Bardo, and written during the days and weeks of demonstrations that followed the death of George Floyd.
Author/Illustrator Rebecca Solow creates imaginative worlds from her home studio in Maryland. She's illustrated projects for Penguin Random House, Highlights Magazine, Spider Magazine and others and focuses on children's books, ranging from picture books through YA. She's drawn to animal stories, updated folk and fairy tales, middle-grade fantasy, and stories with humor and heart. Rebecca has a particular interest in narratives that feature strong girls who solve their own problems.
Though Rebecca has numerous books in the works, her latest work focuses on the lively and (literally) ‘explosive' true story of a young woman of particular courage and stamina.
Renowned percussionist and storyteller Carol Steele has a resumé that reads like a who’s who of popular music. She has performed or recorded with Peter Gabriel, Steve Winwood, Joan Baez, Tears for Fears, Diana Ross, Mongo Santamaria, and many other well-known artists. Carol realized her life-long dream of going to Cuba in 1987, where she was the first woman to play with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, one of Cuba’s iconic folklore groups. Carol calls Cuba her spiritual home, and now spends most of her time there.
She brings the depth all of these experiences to her solo performing and writing, hoping to honor her 30-year career in the telling of her stories. Currently, Carol is working on her memoir, titled A Different Drummer.
Maryam A. Sullivan is an educator, writer, storyteller and mother from Western Massachusetts. She penned the first Urban Muslim fiction book in 2006 before moving abroad to teach in North Africa and the Gulf. Currently, she is a program coordinator at Springfield Technical Community College, a fellow at Indiana University's Lilly School of Philanthropy, and the co-editor of Black Muslim Reads. She enjoys working on urban literacy initiatives in her community, spending time with her family, and traveling.
Maryam’s current project, DEAR MUSLIM GIRL, is an illustrated book of affirmations in verse.
Charles B. Strozier has written or edited ten books, has been nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize, and was recently shortlisted for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. His articles frequently appear in periodicals and he’s often participated, on camera, in documentary films and audio interviews. He’s written extensively on the noted 20th century psychoanalyst, Heinz Kohut. Chuck, a practicing psychoanalyst, is Professor Emeritus of History at John Jay College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
His current project, Empathy, Peacemaking, and the Troubles (working title) focuses on how the peace process in Northern Ireland was facilitated and stabilized through the work of politician/psychiatrist John Alderdice.
Transformed by the study of yoga and the journey into conscious compassionate heart-centered living, Jamie is constantly encouraging seekers to look within and awaken their inner vibrancy and guidance. Her current manuscript, a collaboration with Shelley Rotner, is called Living Yoga in the Present Moment.
Kellie Tune is an Australian picture book author who leads a double life as an academic occupational therapist. She has 20 years experience as an occupational therapist and has worked with people of all ages in acute, community, project and academic roles. She has also worked in academia for over 10 years, lecturing in undergraduate and masters degree programs in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia on topics relating to occupational therapy, mental health, clinical leadership and research. Kellie has authored textbook chapters, academic papers, and poems. She has a passion for lyrical picture books with STEM and social themes.
In 'ROXY RACES,' Kellie Tune’s latest manuscript, 8-year-old Roxy wants to race like the wind. But her wheelchair is heavy, bumpy and slow. When she crashes yet again she is inspired to re-engineer her chair. Through trial & error she works through generations of wheelchair design, gaining knowledge, speed and hope.
Erica Simone Turnipseed is a writer who has published two adult novels, a wife, a mom, and a teacher, not necessarily in that order. She’s also a student of popular culture and an everywoman philanthropist who founded the Five Years for the House Initiative, a fund-raising drive for the Afro American Cultural Center at Yale.
Her forthcoming picture book, Bigger Than Me, will be published by Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / Atheneum.
Kim Watson got his start as a bandleader, writer and performer on the New York music scene. After segueing into film he established himself as an innovator and director of over 40 music videos, garnering “Best Music Video” nominations from both MTV and the Soul Train Awards, and NAACP recognition for his presentation of positive images of African Americans. Watson went on to write for Disney, Nickelodeon, Simon & Schuster, Warner Brothers Films, MTV Films, Kidz Bop, movies of the week, and the Universal Pictures hit HONEY, starring Jessica Alba, before directing and conducting the interviews for A&E Biography’s groundbreaking documentary on LL Cool J.
Watson’s current photo series, TRESPASS, spotlights Los Angeles' homeless and highlights his skills as a “thought leader” and passionate, multi-dimensional artist who stirs people’s deepest emotions and promotes social change through his creativity.
Luce Williams grew up with mountains on one side and seashore on the other and her writing often reflects her love of creation. An outdoor enthusiast, she enjoys running, camping, and hiking — especially with her husband and kids. In addition to a diverse professional background that includes working in the intelligence community and in emergency management, Luce is also multilingual and has her Master's Degree in Deaf Education. She has taught in elementary schools on both US coasts and now loves the adventure of homeschooling her own children.
What happens when hermit crabs outgrow their shells? They line themselves up in size order and swap! Luce Williams’s scientifically accurate, debut picture book manuscript, HERMIT CRAB WAITS, introduces readers to an amazing natural phenomenon.
A. Wild is a 2019 graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts with an MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults. Wild coaches competitive rock climbing and describes herself as a “maker, musician, and artist of many mediums.”
Her YA work-in-progress is a contemporary work of magical realism, told in prose and poetry. Not surprisingly, the final harrowing action scenes turn on life or death rock climbing.
Jessica Wolf is a writer and editor of (mostly) creative non-fiction. She is co-author of Deep Listening: Healing Practices to Calm Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and Open Your Heart/Rodale Press. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Huffington Post, AARP’s The Girlfriend, Istanbul Literary Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, among others.