Paul Acampora writes novels and short stories for young readers. Kids, parents, and critics praise Paul’s work for its laugh-out-loud humor, rollicking dialogue, and heartfelt characters. With a variety of starred reviews and state library award nominations, including the Texas Blue Bonnet Award Master List, Paul’s books are top picks with booksellers, classroom teachers, librarians, and readers of all ages. Paul and his family live in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Rachael Allen is a scientist by day and writer by night. She is the winner of the 2019 Georgia Young Adult Author of the Year award, and her books include 17 First Kisses, The Revenge Playbook, The Summer of Impossibilities, and A Taxonomy of Love, which was a Junior Library Guild selection and a 2018 Book All Young Georgians Should Read. Her next novel, Harley Quinn: Reckoning, will be out in 2022. Rachael lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two children, and two dire wolves.
Kirsten Amann is the co-author of Drinking Like Ladies: 75 Modern Cocktails From The World's Leading Bartenders. She is the Boston-based brand ambassador for Intrepid Spirits’ Egan’s Irish Whiskey and Mad March Hare Poitin and the local brand ambassador for Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Kitty partners with Jonathan Pogash of The Cocktail Guru as his Marketing and Business Development Guru, representing brands and presenting cocktail events nationwide. Kitty spent four years as Boston’s first Brand Ambassador for Fernet‑Branca and her past clients include Plymouth, Beefeater, Bols Genever, The Bitter Truth, No. 3 Gin, and more. Kitty works with clients to champion their brands, develop dynamic events, create delicious cocktails, and find a little healthy balance while doing it. She is a founding member of the Boston chapter of LUPEC and the U.S. Bartenders Guild. She writes a monthly cocktail column for the MA Beverage Business under the byline “Pink Lady,” and her cocktail writing has appeared in Daily Candy, The Weekly Dig, and Chilled Magazine, among others.
Denis Angelov is an author/illustrator whose first book, The Big Scream, will be published in 2022. He has experience working as a greeting card illustrator and graphic designer at an ad agency. During an internship with a comic book publisher he developed his style and character designs, while creating his own graphic novel project. He currently lives in Sofia, Bulgaria, with his best friend, where he enjoys drinking coffee and watching birds flock to the cherry tree outside his kitchen window.
A former champion swimmer, Elizabeth Baddeley is an award-winning illustrator of such notable titles as I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark; A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country; Women Who Broke the Rules: Mary Todd Lincoln; and The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation) among others. In addition to her books, she has also created work for Highlights, Cricket, The New York Times, Hallmark, Tiny Prints, Storybird, The Stranger, Improper Bostonian, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Sarah Lawrence College, Notre Dame Magazine, and Deloitte. Elizabeth resides in Kansas City, Missouri, with her family and a small menagerie—one of whom, her dog Franklin, was recently named "Most Improved" in his obedience class.
Jessixa Bagley is an author and illustrator who has been making her own picture books since she was 8 years old. She has a BFA in painting and printmaking and has worked as fine artist, comics creator and illustrator since 2002. Her comics have been in numerous publications ranging from The Chicago Reader and The Seattle Weekly to Nickelodeon Magazine. She has also been featured in New American Paintings for her fine art drawings. Jessixa was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Her debut picture book Boats for Papa (Roaring Brook Press) was a Junior Library Guild selection, an ALA Notable Book and garnered four starred reviews. She collaborated with her husband, Aaron Bagley on their picture book, Vincent Comes Home, and they are currently working on a graphic novel collaboration. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her family in a castle in the sky surrounded by books, fake food, and miniature toys.
Aaron Bagley is an author, illustrator and comics artist. His work has been featured in many publications including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Seattle’s The Stranger, The Seattle Weekly among others. His first children's book, Vincent Comes Home (Roaring Brook Press), was published in 2018 which was a collaboration with his wife, Jessixa Bagley. They are currently working on an graphic novel together.
Aside from making art, here are a few of Aaron’s interests (including but not limited to): cats, Nintendo Entertainment System (especially Zelda), houseplants, literature, oversize and miniature versions of anything. He lives in Seattle with his wife and son.
Emily Ansara Baines is the author of The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook and The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Narrative, Jezebel, The Independent, Read It Forward, and Peaceful Dumpling. She lives in Los Angeles with family. Her favorite word is murmur.
Suzy Becker is an award-winning author, artist, educator and activist. She entered the world of books with the internationally bestselling ALL I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM MY CAT and she has since written and illustrated ten other books for children and adults. She lives with her wife, daughter, and two well-intentioned dogs in central Massachusetts.
Josh Berk is the author of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin; Guy Langman: Crime Scene Procrastinator; the two novels that make up the Lenny and The Mikes mysteries: Strike Three, You're Dead and Say It Ain't So; and the co-author with Saundra Mitchell of the terrifyingly funny Camp Murderface series. He has been a journalist, a poet, a playwright, and a guitarist (mostly in bands known for things other than fine guitar-playing), and now is a librarian. He lives with his family in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Bonnie Berry LaMon writes middle grade fiction, and is currently collaborating with Kwame Alexander on a historical novel-in-verse. She has a MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She practices entertainment law in Los Angeles, CA where she lives with her husband, three sons and an unruly pup named Rook.
Meagan Black is the youngest of six children. Her writing has appeared in Sterling, Carousel Magazine, and on the Mad Hatters' Review website. Her play Alcohol Poisoning was produced by the Ottawa Youth Infringement Festival. She won the 2012 Lillian I. Found Award for lyric poetry and is currently the editorial assistant for Arc Poetry Magazine.
Brian Broome's debut memoir, Punch Me Up to the Gods, was a New York Times Editor’s Pick and the winner of the 2021 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Poets and Writers, Medium, and more. Brian was a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and an instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University's Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019. His film Garbage won the Audience Choice Award at the Cortada Short Film Festival and was a semi-finalist in the Portland ShortFest. He is a 2022 Writer-in-Residence at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a writer, budding beekeeper, and a rising seamstress currently residing in the enchanting pine tree forest of Blackhawk, Ms. She is a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University with a BA in English, and Mississippi University for Women with an MFA in Creative Writing. Exodus has been published or has forthcoming work with Electric Lit, West Branch, Denver Quarterly, F(r)iction and more. Her writing has been selected for Best MicroFiction [2022 and 2021], and Wigleaf Top 50 . She is the recipient of the 2022 "The Changing American South" fellowship at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow, and serves as an Associate Editor with Fractured Lit. Exodus has perfected the French Seam by hand, and is unequivocally in love with the color green.
Andrew Brumbach is the author of the historical middle grade adventure novel, The Eye of Midnight (Delacorte, 2016). He grew up square in the hippie community of Eugene, Oregon, surrounded by artists and musicians and storytellers. He studied art in Texas, traded options in Chicago, and spent a few years lost in the neon neighborhoods of Tokyo. Somewhere along the way, he married the girl of his dreams and had four practically perfect kids, but he never overcame his weakness for the power and transport of story. Now he lives in suburban Illinois but secretly daydreams of chasing bandits across the desert with Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell under cloudless, starry skies.
Alena Bruzas grew up in Seattle, spent some time in Olympia, and somehow ended up in Lincoln, Nebraska. She writes books for teens and adults of all sorts, and hopes her writing finds the people who need it most. When she’s not writing she volunteers for progressive nonprofits and sometimes makes dinner for her family, when she’s not too busy worrying about commas and wandering the prairie.
Ellis Alexander Carrington enjoys writing whenever he can and would like to give a quick shout out to the American University MFA program as well as his undergraduate alma mater Towson University. His debut middle grade novel, The Kinda Sorta Normal Life of Joshua Jones, will be published by HarperAlley in 2023.
Jody Casella is an author and a former high school English teacher. Her young adult novel Thin Space received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and was a finalist on the 2014-15 Florida Teens Read List. She blogs, reviews books, speaks at libraries and schools, and teaches workshops at the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. She is the Regional Director of the Ohio Central/South region of SCBWI.
Marisa Churchill has worked as a pastry chef in some of San Francisco’s most notable restaurants. She’s been called “one of the city’s top pastry chefs,” by Michael Bauer, head food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle for over thirty years. She was a competitor on Top Chef season 2, and has appeared multiple times on Food Network Challenge. She is the author of Sweet & Skinny, as well as My Sweet & Skinny Life. Her recipes have appeared in everything from Food & Wine to Oprah.com. She has written for Huffington Post, Chowhound, and 7x7. When Marisa isn’t baking or writing, she can be found chasing after her toddler, and trying to please the most difficult food critic she’s ever faced…her six-year-old daughter.