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2020 Authors

Jonathan Auxier

Middle-Grade Guest Author

headshot of jonathan auxier alongside the cover art for his book 'Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster'

Jonathan Auxier (he/him) is a New York Times Bestselling author of strange stories for strange children. His first novel Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes was an ABA New Voices pick and a BookPage Magazine "Best Book" of 2011. His bestselling Night Gardener is a Junior Library Guild selection, an ABA IndieNext pick, an Amazon Editor's Pick of the Month, and winner of the TD Book Prize and ILA Book Award. His latest novel, Sweep, received six starred reviews as well as the Governor General’s Award, Charlotte Huck Award, and Sydney Taylor Award. He lives in Pittsburgh with his family and their adorable pet umbrella.

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Kacen Callender

headshot of Kacen Callender alongside the cover art for his book 'This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story'

Kacen Callender (they/them, he/him), born and raised in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, is the 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.

They enjoy playing RPG video games in their free time, and they really wish they had a dog. Kacen currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.

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Caroline Carlson

Middle-Grade Guest Author

headshot of caroline carlson alongside the cover art for her book 'the very nearly honorable league of pirates: magic marks the spot'

Caroline Carlson (she/her) is the author of funny and fantastical books for young readers, including The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy, The World’s Greatest Detective, and The Door at the End of the World. Her novels have won accolades from the New York Times, the American Booksellers Association, Bank Street College of Education, the American Library Association, and Junior Library Guild, among others.

Caroline holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A Massachusetts native, she now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her family.

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Brittany Cavallaro

headshot of brittany cavallaro alongside the cover art for her book 'A Question of Holmes'

Brittany Cavallaro (she/her) is the New York Times bestselling author of the Charlotte Holmes novels, including A Study in Charlotte and, most recently, A Question of Holmes (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books). With Emily Henry, she is the author of Hello Girls (Katherine Tegen Books). She is also the author of the poetry collections Girl-King and Unhistorical, both from University of Akron Press. She received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her PhD in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, she teaches creative writing at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.

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Roshani Chokshi

headshot of Roshani Chokshi alongside the cover art for her book 'The Gilded Wolves'

Roshani Chokshi (she/her) is the New York Times bestselling author of Aru Shah and the End of Time, The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and The Gilded Wolves. Her work has been nominated for the Locus and Nebula awards, and her books have appeared on Barnes and Nobles Best New Books of the Year and Buzzfeed Best Books of the Year lists. Chokshi lives in Georgia, but doesn’t have much of a Southern accent. Alas.

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Nick Courage

Middle-Grade Guest Author

headshot of Nick Courage alongside the cover art for his book 'Storm Blown'

Nick Courage (he/him) is a New Orleans-born writer and publishing professional who lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two cats. His work has recently appeared in The Paris Review Daily, Story, and Writer's Digest. He is also a co-founder of Littsburgh.com ("Celebrating Literary Pittsburgh Since 2015")! His most recent book, Storm Blown, is now available.

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Julie C. Dao

headshot of Julie C. Dao alongside the cover art for her book 'Song of the Crimson Flower'

Julie C. Dao (she/her) is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. She is the author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns and Kingdom of the Blazing Pheonix, as well as the upcoming Song of the Crimson Flower. Julie lives in New England.

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Mason Deaver

headshot of Mason Deaver alongside the cover art for their book 'I Wish You All The Best'

Mason Deaver (they/them) is a non-binary author who lives in Charlotte, NC, where the word ‘y’all’ is used in abundance. Typically, they’re writing incredibly queer stories, but when they decide to take a break, they love gardening and baking.

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Heather Demetrios

headshot of Heather Demetrios alongside the cover art for her book 'Bad Romance'

Heather Demetrios (she/her) is a critically acclaimed author and writing coach. Her novels include Little Universes, I’ll Meet You There, Bad Romance, and Exquisite Captive. She is the recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real, which is not at all impressive to her cat or imaginary friends.

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Natasha Díaz

headshot of Natasha Díaz alongside the cover art for her book 'Color Me In'

Natasha Díaz (she/her) is a freelance writer and producer. As a screenwriter, Natasha has been a quarterfinalist in the Austin Film Festival and a finalist for both the NALIP Diverse Women in Media Fellowship and the Sundance Episodic Story Lab. Her personal essays have been published in the Establishment and the Huffington Post. Color Me In is her debut young adult novel. Originally from New York City, Natasha now lives in Oakland, California.

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Kit Frick

headshot of Kit Frick alongside the cover art for her book 'All Eyes On Us'

Kit Frick (she/her) is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press and edits for private clients. She is the author of See All the Stars, All Eyes on Us, and the forthcoming I Killed Zoe Spanos.

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Emily Henry

headshot of Emily Henry alongside the cover art for her book 'Hello Girls'

Emily Henry (she/her) writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it.

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Isabel Ibañez

headshot of Isabel Ibañez alongside the cover art for her book 'Woven In Moonlight'

Isabel Ibañez (she/her) was born in Boca Raton, Florida, and is the proud daughter of two Bolivian immigrants. A true word nerd, she received her degree in creative writing and has been a Pitch Wars mentor for three years. Isabel is an avid movie goer and loves hosting family and friends around the dinner table. She currently lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her husband, their adorable dog, and a serious collection of books.

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Tiffany Jackson

headshot of Tiffany Jackson alongside the cover art for her book 'Monday's Not Coming'

Tiffany D. Jackson (she/her) is the author of critically acclaimed YA novels including the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning Monday’s Not Coming, the NAACP Image Award-nominated Allegedly, Let Me Hear A Rhyme, and her forthcoming 2020 title GROWN. She received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University, her master of arts in media studies from the New School, and has over a decade in TV/Film experience. The Brooklyn native is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.

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S. Jae-Jones

headshot of S. Jae-Jones alongside the cover art for her book 'Wintersong'

S. Jae-Jones (she/her), called JJ, is an artist, adrenaline junkie, and New York Times bestselling author of Wintersong and Shadowsong.

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Tiffany Jewell

headshot of Tiffany Jewell alongside the cover art for her book 'This Book is Anti-Racist'

Tiffany Jewell (she/her) is a Black biracial writer, parent and Montessori educator who has been doing the work of dismantling white supremacy through education for twelve years. In addition to her job as a teacher, she has designed curricula, given workshops, and presented at conferences on her work addressing social inequity through the lenses of race, class, immigration, and gender. She is also the cofounder of #AntiRacistBookClub, an Instagram campaign that recommends anti-racist books.

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George M. Johnson

headshot of George M. Johnson alongside the cover art for his book 'All Boys Aren't Blue'

George M. Johnson (he/him) is a writer and activist based in New York. He has written on race, gender, sex, and culture for Essence, The Advocate, Buzz Feed News, Teen Vogue, and more than forty other national publications. He is a columnist for Afropunk, and has appeared on BuzzFeed's AM2DM as well as MSNBC. All Boys Aren't Blue is his debut.

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Claire Kann

headshot of Claire Kann alongside the cover art for her book 'Let's Talk About Love'

Claire Kann (she/her, they/them) is the author of Let’s Talk About Love, If It Makes You Happy, and an award-winning online storyteller. In her other life she works for a non-profit you may have heard of where she daydreams like she’s paid to do it. She also loves cats. A lot.

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Rebecca Kim Wells

headshot of Rebecca Kim Wells alongside the cover art for her book 'Shatter the Sky'

Rebecca Kim Wells (she/her) is the author of Shatter the Sky and Storm the Earth (Fall 2020), published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. She holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Simmons College. When not writing, reading, or talking about writing or reading, she sells books at a fiercely independent bookstore in Massachusetts. She can also be found drinking tea, singing along to musicals, or playing soccer. (Usually not all at once.) If she were a hobbit, she would undoubtedly be a Took.

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Ryan La Sala

headshot of Ryan La Sala alongside the cover art for his book 'Reverie'

Ryan La Sala (he/him) grew up in Connecticut, but only physically. Mentally, he spent most of his childhood in the worlds of Sailor Moon and Xena: Warrior Princess, which perhaps explains all the twirling. He studied Anthropology and Neuroscience at Northeastern University, before becoming a project manager specializing in digital tools. He technically lives in Harlem, NY, but has since transcended material reality and only takes up a human shell for special occasions, like brunch, and to watch anime (which is banned on the astral plane). Reverie is Ryan's debut novel.

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Roselle Lim

headshot of Roselle Lim alongside the cover art for her book 'Natalie Tan's Book of Luck & Fortune'

Roselle Lim (she/her) was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.

She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother's) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.

An artist by nature, she considers writing as "painting with words."

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Rachael Lippincott

headshot of Rachael Lippincott alongside the cover art for her book 'Five Feet Apart'

Rachael Lippincott (she/her) was born in Philadelphia and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, splitting her time between writing and running a food truck with her partner. Her debut novel, Five Feet Apart, was a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

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Emery Lord

headshot of Emery Lord alongside the cover art for her book 'When We Collided'

Emery Lord (she/her) is the author of Open Road Summer; The Start of Me and You; When We Collided, which was a Schneider Family Book Award Winner, a YALSA-ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and a YALSA-ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults Books; and The Names They Gave Us. She lives in Ohio with her family and several shelves of books that she considers friends.

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Mindy McGinnis

headshot of Mindy McGinnis alongside the cover art for her book 'The Female of the Species'

Mindy McGinnis (she/her) is an Edgar Award-winning novelist who writes across multiple genres, including post-apocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy.

While her settings may change, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.

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Mark Oshiro

headshot of Mark Oshiro alongside the cover art for his book 'Anger Is A Gift'

Mark Oshiro (he/him, they/them) is the Hugo-finalist (in the Fan Writer category) creator of the online Mark Does Stuff universe (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where they analyze book and television series unspoiled. They were the nonfiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction! and the co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2015 with Foz Meadows. Their first novel, Anger is a Gift, is a YA contemporary about queer friendship, love, and fighting police brutality, out now with Tor Teen. It was winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for 2019 in the Young Adult category; it was also nominated for the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category in the 2019 Lammy Awards. When they are not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters, or ruining lives at conventions, Mark is busy trying to fulfill their lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world.

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Nicki Pau Preto

headshot of Nicki Pau Preto alongside the cover art for her book 'Crown of Feathers'

Nicki Pau Preto (she/her) is a YA fantasy author living just outside Toronto, Canada. After getting a degree in visual arts, a masters in art history, and a diploma in graphic design, Nicki discovered two things: she loved to escape the real world, and she wasn't interested in a regular 9-5 life. Luckily, her chosen career covers both.

Her debut novel Crown of Feathers is available now and the sequel, Heart of Flames, is releasing February 11, 2020.

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justin a. reynolds

headshot of justin a. reynolds alongside the cover art for his book 'Opposite of Always'

justin a. reynolds (he/him) was most recently a registered nurse, specializing in hematology and oncology, before trading his stethoscope for a pencil, but likes to think both instruments reveal the heart. He lives in northeast Ohio, home to snow, Lake Erie, and the Cavaliers. His novel Opposite of Always, a tale of time-travel, love, and basketball debuted in 2019, and his sophomore book Early Departures will be published this September.

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Randy Ribay

headshot of Randy Ribay alongside the cover art for his book 'Patron Saints of Nothing'

Randy Ribay (he/him) was born in the Philippines and raised in the Midwest. He is the author of Patron Saints of Nothing, After the Shot Drops, and An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes. He earned his BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master's Degree in Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He currently teaches English and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Jim Rugg

headshot of Jim Rugg alongside the cover art for his book 'The PLAIN Janes'

Jim Rugg (he/him) is a comic book artist, bookmaker, illustrator, and designer. His books include Street Angel, The PLAIN Janes, Afrodisiac, Notebook Drawings, Rambo 3.5, and Supermag. He is a recipient of both the Eisner and Ignatz Awards and he teaches visual storytelling at the School of Visual Arts and the Animation Workshop in Denmark. He lives and draws in Pittsburgh.

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Michelle Ruiz Keil

headshot of Michelle Ruiz Keil alongside the cover art for her book 'All Of Us With Wings'

Michelle Ruiz Keil (she/her) is an author and playwright with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. She teaches writing with a focus on archetype and myth and curates All Kinds of Fur, a fairytale salon in Portland, Oregon. Her short fiction can be found in Cosmonauts Avenue and the forthcoming anthologies Color Outside The Lines and Dispatches from Anarres: Portland writers Pay Tribute to the Vision of Ursula K. Le Guin. All of us with Wings is her debut novel.

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A.K. Small

headshot of A.K. Small alongside the cover art for her book 'Bright Burning Stars'

A.K. Small (she/her) is a French-American writer. She’s a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts. She’s attended literary events such as Bread Loaf, One Story, and Writers-In-Paradise. She was the 2016 YA Aspen Summer Words Fellow and a scholar at Writers-In-Paradise, 2017. Her debut novel, Bright Burning Stars came out May 21, 2019 with Algonquin Young Readers and her new novel Feather Girl is due out Spring 2021. A.K. lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and daughters. She loves hot yoga and long walks with her dog.

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Sarah Tarkoff

headshot of Sarah Tarkoff alongside the cover art for her book 'Sinless'

Sarah Tarkoff (she/her) is a novelist and television writer, whose TV credits include: Arrow, Mistresses, and Witches of East End. The first two books of her YA sci-fi series, Sinless and Fearless, are in stores now; the final installment, Ruthless, publishes in March 2020. An alumna of North Allegheny high school, Sarah graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in screenwriting and currently lives in Pittsburgh.

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Siobhan Vivian

headshot of Siobhan Vivian alongside the cover art for her book 'Stay Sweet'

Siobhan Vivian (she/her) is the critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author of The List, The Last Boy and Girl in the World, and Stay Sweet. Siobhan's novels have been published in more than 15 countries worldwide, and celebrate the complexity, strength, and resilience of modern teenage girls.

Her latest work — We Are the Wildcats, a story told over twenty-four hours through six shifting points of view — will be released in April 2020.

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Ashley Woodfolk

headshot of ashley woodfolk alongside the cover art for her book 'The Beauty That Remains'

Ashley Woodfolk (she/her) has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and currently works in children's book publishing. She wrote her first novel, The Beauty That Remains, from a sunny Brooklyn apartment where she lives with her cute husband, her cuter dog, and the cutest baby in the world: her son Niko. When You Were Everything is her second novel.

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Adrienne Young

headshot of adrienne young alongside the cover art for her book 'Sky in the Deep'

Adrienne Young (she/her) is the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep, The Girl the Sea Gave Back (September 19) & the upcoming Fable duology (Fall 2020). A born and bred Texan turned California girl, she is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

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