Authors Appearing at Children's Institute 2017

    An Indies Introduce Author

    Keynote Speakers

    Ilsa Govan
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Strategies for Facilitating Conversations on Race, Rowman & Littlefield

    Ilsa Govan is the co-founder of Cultures Connecting ( and has more than 15 years of experience as a facilitator, consultant, writer, and social justice activist. She has led conversations about racial equity at workshops and conferences across the country and helps coordinate the white caucus at the annual national White Privilege Conference. Prior to Cultures Connecting, Ilsa worked as an equity and race specialist for Seattle Public Schools and was an elementary school teacher. She earned her bachelor's degree in special education from Western Washington University and her master's degree in bicultural human development from Pacific Oaks College Northwest. Ilsa is deeply invested in examining how her own identity influences her interactions with others, particularly through the lens of privilege and oppression. With co-author Caprice D. Hollins, she wrote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Strategies for Facilitating Conversations on Race (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). 

    Rachel Ignotofsky
    Women in Science, Ten Speed Press

    Rachel Ignotofsky is a New York Times best selling author and illustrator based in Kansas City, Missouri.  She grew up in New Jersey on a healthy diet of cartoons and pudding and graduated with honors from Tyler School of Art's Graphic Design program in 2011.  Rachel works for herself and spends all day and night drawing, writing, and learning as much as she can. Her work is inspired by history and science. She believes that illustration is a powerful tool that can make learning exciting and has a passion for taking dense information and making it fun and accessible. Rachel hopes to use her work to spread her message about scientific literacy. She is the author of Women in Science, the I Love Science journal, and the forthcoming Women in Sports which will be published in July 2017 by Ten Speed Press.


    Jason Reynolds
    Long Way Down, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

    Jason Reynolds is the author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning novels When I Was the GreatestBoy in the Black Suit, and All American Boys. His middle grade debut, As Brave As You, was a Time Book of the Year and Ghost, the premier book in his middle grade Track series, was a Kirkus Prize winner and a National Book Award finalist.  Patina, the next installment in his Track series, will be published by Simon & Schuster Children's Books in August 2017, and his upcoming young adult novel, Long Way Down, will be published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books in October 2017. You can find his ramblings at

    Featured Presenters

    Marley Dias

    Marley Dias is the 12-year-old social activist behind the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive, which launched in November 2015. Having collected over 9,000 books to date, she has far exceeded #1000BlackGirlBooks’ goals. Marley has spoken at the White House’s United State of Women Conference where she shared the stage with Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sophia Bush, and Amy Poehler. She has also been awarded the Making a Difference Award by Black Girls Rock. Marley continues to use her voice to advocate for social justice, a commitment reflected by her ambitious life goals: she dreams of founding and editing her own magazine, and plans to use media to promote positive messages and to perpetuate more social consciousness in pop culture. Marley resides in West Orange, New Jersey, with her mother and father.

    Frances Gilbert

    Frances Gilbert is the associate publishing director of Random House Books for Young Readers, where she manages the Doubleday Books for Young Readers imprint and the editorial team responsible for brands such as Little Golden Books, Richard Scarry, and the Berenstain Bears. Prior to joining Random House in 2012, Frances established and ran the children’s editorial department at Sterling Publishing for 12 years. Frances first worked in children’s books at the age of 15, in the children’s department of her town's library. She continued library work as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto and began her career in publishing at Scholastic Canada in 1994 as a book club editor. Frances’s first two authored children’s books were published in 2017: I Love Pink, a Step Into Reading leveled reader, and an abridgment of The Secret Garden for Little Golden Books. Frances is the editor of The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Philip and Erin Stead, which will by published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers in September 2017.

    Allison Risbridger

    Allison Risbridger is a client development specialist at NPD Book (previously Nielsen Book), where she analyses book sales data and consumer research for publishers, booksellers, and other players in the industry. She is passionate about the marriage of data and all things publishing. Prior to coming to NPD Book, Allison worked at a non-profit organization that advocates for the arts in education.

    Philip Stead
    The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, Doubleday Books for Young Readers

    Philip Stead and Erin Stead are the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2010. Together, the Steads also created Lenny & Lucy and the acclaimed Bear Has a Story to Tell, a Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2012. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine will be published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers in September, 2017. Philip and Erin live together in Michigan. Visit them online at and

    Erin Stead
    The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, Doubleday Books for Young Readers

    Erin Stead and Philip Stead are the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2010. Together, the Steads also created Lenny & Lucy and the acclaimed Bear Has a Story to Tell, a Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2012. Erin’s And Then It's Spring was also named a 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book and a Kirkus and Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2012. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine will be published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers in September, 2017. Erin and Philip live together in Michigan. Visit them online at and

    Appearing Authors

    Tara Altebrando
    The Possible, Bloomsbury Children's Books

    Tara Altebrando is the author of several middle grade and teen novels, including The Leaving and Roomies, an ALA 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, co-written with Sara Zarr. She lives in New York City with her family. Her newest book, The Possible, will be published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in June, 2017. Visit Tara at and on twitter at @TaraAltebrando.

    Mary Amato
    The Riot Brothers: Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and The Secret of Life, Holiday House

    Mary Amato grew up scribbling in her diaries in Libertyville, Illinois, and graduated from Indiana University with a teaching degree. She taught in public and private schools, worked as a dance teacher and choreographer and wrote many magazine articles. As soon as she became a mother, she turned to her first passion: writing for children. Mary attended the graduate writing program at Johns Hopkins University, where she received her MA in fiction. She is also a storyteller, poet and musician. In addition to writing children’s books, she teaches popular workshops on writing and the creative process around the country and lives in Maryland with her family. She is known for her comic middle-grade fiction, including the hilarious Riot Brothers series, Please Write in This Book, and The Naked Mole-Rat Letters. Holiday House will re-release the first Riot Brothers book, Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and The Secret of Life: The Riot Brothers Tell All, in a new hardcover edition this September, 2017. Visit Mary online at

    Armand Baltazar
    Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic, Katherine Tegen Books

    Armand Baltazar was born in Chicago’s North Side, not far from the famed Wrigley Field. After attending the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Armand began a visual storytelling career in feature animation as a background artist, visual development artist, and art director for DreamWorks Studios, Walt Disney, and Pixar Animation. He currently resides in Northern California with his family, creating the art and stories for the epic adventure series Timeless. The first book in this series, Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic will be published in October, 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books. You can visit him online at

    Bonny Becker
    A Christmas for Bear, Candlewick Press

    Bonny Becker is the author of several books about Bear and Mouse, including the New York Times bestseller A Visitor for Bear. She is also the author of a number of other award-winning titles, both picture books and middle-grade novels. A Christmas for Bear, is the newest title in the Bear and Mouse series and will be published by Candlewick in September, 2017. Bonny lives in Seattle.

    Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
    The Unbreakable Code, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

    Jennifer Chambliss Bertman was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds an MFA in creative writing and has worked for literary agencies, magazines, educational publishers, and as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader. Her debut novel Book Scavenger, was a Children's Summer/Fall 2015 Indies Introduce pick, and the sequel, The Unbreakable Code is due out in April, 2017 from Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. Visit Jennifer online at and

    Dusti Bowling
    Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Sterling Children’s Books

    Dusti Bowling grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Education, but she eventually realized that her true passion was writing. Her self-published YA novel, The Day We Met, has sold over 20,000 copies. Her upcoming middle grade book, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, will be published by Sterling Children’s Books in September, 2017. She currently lives in Carefree, Arizona with her husband, three daughters, one bobcat, a pack of coyotes, a couple of chuckwallas, several rattlesnakes, and a few herds of javelina.

    Loryn Brantz
    Feminist Baby, Disney-Hyperion

    Loryn Brantz is a two-time Emmy Award-winning author, illustrator, and design professional. Her picture book, Harvey the Child Mime, was the recipient of the 2010 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Best First Picture Book. Loryn lives in New York City, where she is on staff at BuzzFeed writing and illustrating about feminism and body image. Her newest book, Feminist Baby, will be published by Disney-Hyperion in April, 2017. Find her online at or

    Amy Brashear
    No Saints in Kansas, Soho Teen

    Amy Brashear was born in Arkansas but spent her elementary school years in Garden City, Kansas, just six miles from Holcomb. Amy heard about the Clutter family murders from a childhood friend, though it wasn’t until she read In Cold Blood that she finally understood its significance. No Saints in Kansas is her debut novel which will be published by Soho Teen in November, 2017.

    Peter Brown
    Creepy Carrots!, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including The Curious GardenChildren Make Terrible Pets, and Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. His illustrations for Creepy Carrots! (2012, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) earned him a Caldecott Honor. Visit Peter at

    MarcyKate Connolly
    Shadow Weaver, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

    MarcyKate Connolly is a writer and arts administrator living near Boston with her husband and pugs. She is the author of Monstrous, which was a New England Book Award finalist, and the companion novel, Ravenous. Her new middle grade fantasy, Shadow Weaver, will be published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in January, 2018. You can visit her online at

    April Daniels
    Dreadnought, Diversion Publishing

    April Daniels graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in literature. She completed her first manuscript by scribbling a few sentences at a time between calls while working in the customer support department for a well-known video game console. She has a number of hobbies, most of which are boring and predictable. As nostalgia for the 1990s comes into its full bloom, she has become ever more convinced that she was born two or three years too late and missed all the good stuff the first time around. The first book in her young adult series Nemesis, Dreadnought,  was published in January, 2017.  Sovereign: Nemesis - Book 2, will be published in July, 2017 by Diversion Publishing.

    Jacky Davis
    Ladybug Girl: The Super Fun Edition, Dial Books Books for Young Readers

    Jacky Davis co-writes the Ladybug Girl books with her husband, David Soman, who also illustrates the books. They live with their two kids in upstate New York and the books are inspired by their own children and family experiences. Jacky Davis's first non-Ladybug Girl picture book, Black Belt Bunny, illustrated by Jay Fleck, will be published in Summer, 2017 by Dial Books for Young Readers.

    Mark Fearing
    Giant Pants, Candlewick Press

    Mark Fearing is the author-illustrator of several award-winning books, including The Great Thanksgiving Escape. His newest book, Giant Pants, will be published by Candlewick in October, 2017. Mark lives in Oregon.

    Maureen Fergus
    Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby, Groundwood Books

    Maureen Fergus is an award-winning author of books for kids of all ages. Her novels include The Gypsy King trilogy and Ortega; her picture books include InvisiBill, The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten and the Buddy and Earl series. Her picture book, Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby was published in August, 2016. Buddy and Earl Go To School will be published in August, 2017 by Groundwood Books. She lives in Winnipeg with her family and her dog, Buddy.

    Anne Fleming
    The Goat, Groundwood Books

    Anne Fleming is the author of Pool-Hopping and Other Stories (shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Danuta Gleed Award, and the Governor General’s Award), Anomaly, and Gay Dwarves of America. She is a long-time and highly regarded teacher of creative writing who has taught at the University of British Columbia, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Douglas College, Kwantlen University College, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. The Goat is her first full-length work for young readers and will be published by Groundwood Books in March, 2017.

    Amanda Foody
    Daughter of the Burning City, Harlequin TEEN

    Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, surrounded by her many siblings and many books. Daughter of the Burning City is her first novel and will be published by Harlequin TEEN in July, 2017. Her second novel, Ace of Shades, will follow in April, 2018.

    Cornelia Funke
    The Book No One Ever Read, Breathing Books

    Cornelia Funke is a NYT-bestselling author, multiple award-winning storyteller and illustrator who creates fantasy for readers of all ages. Her books have sold over 16 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than thirty languages. Her newest endeavor is a picture book called The Book No One Ever Read, and will be published by Breathing Books in May, 2017. She was born in Germany and resides in Malibu, CA. For more information, visit  

    Jack Gantos
    Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers

    Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages. His works include Hole in My Life, a Michael L. Printz Honor memoir; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, and Dead End in Norvelt, a Newbery Award winner. The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He began to collect anecdotes he overheard, mostly from eavesdropping outside the teachers’ lounge, later including many of these anecdotes in his books. His newest book, Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Grioux Books for Young readers in August, 2017. Jack devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. You can visit him online at

    J.C. Geiger
    Wildman, Hyperion

    J. C. Geiger ( has eaten the beating heart of a snake, been deported from a full-moon party, and spent a short time locked in a Bolivian prison. He also writes fiction. His short works have appeared in the pages of Murky Depths and Horror Garage, and on stage at The Second City in Chicago. His upcoming young adult novel, Wildman, will be published by Hyperion in June, 2017. J. C. now writes, teaches, directs, and performs in the Pacific Northwest, where he can often be spotted behind the wheel of a 1993 Buick Century. It still runs like a dream.

    Ryan Graudin
    Invictus, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    Ryan Graudin is the author of Blood for Blood, Wolf by Wolf, The Walled City, and the All That Glows series. She was born in Charleston, South Carolina with a severe case of wanderlust. When she’s not traveling, she’s busy photographing weddings, writing, and spending time with her husband and wolf-dog. Her forthcoming YA novel, Invictus, will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in September, 2017. Please visit her online at and follow her on Twitter @RyanGraudin.

    Jennifer L. Holm
    Swing It, Sunny, Graphix

    Jennifer L. Holm is the New York Times bestselling and three-time Newbery Honor-winning author of multiple novels for young readers. With her brother Matthew, Jennifer created the graphic novel series Babymouse and Squish. Her sequel to Sunny Side Up, Swing It, Sunny, illustrated by Matthew, and published by Graphix, hits shelves this September, 2017. Jennifer lives in California.

    Matthew Holm
    Swing It, Sunny, Graphix

    Matthew Holm was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has been drawing comics since he was in middle school. With his sister, Jennifer, Matthew created the graphic novel series Babymouse and Squish. He is the illustrator of Swing It, Sunny, written by Jennifer, and published by Graphix, which hits shelves this September, 2017. Matthew lives in Portland, Oregon.

    Victoria Jamieson
    All's Faire in Middle School, Dial Books for Young Readers

    Victoria Jamieson is the creator of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Roller Girl, which has also won a Newbery Honor, and was called a Best of Book of 2015 by Parents, New York Times, Publishers Weekly,  and Kirkus Reviews. Jamieson received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked as a children's book designer before moving to Portland and becoming a freelance illustrator. She has also worked as a portrait artist aboard a cruise ship, and has lived in Australia, Italy, and Canada. She maintains a not-so-secret identity as Winnie the Pow, a skater with the Rose City Rollers roller derby league and has a not-so-secret past as a Renaissance Faire groupie. Her new graphic novel All’s Faire in Middle School will be published in September, 2017 by Dial Books for Young Readers.

    Gregory Scott Katsoulis
    All Rights Reserved, Harlequin TEEN

    Gregory Scott Katsoulis is a former educator who has worked extensively with children of all ages across a broad range of subjects. He’s taught at enrichment programs like the Exploration Summer Program, hosted by Wellesley College, and The Saturday Course at the Milton Academy. He has a background designing educational multi-media material for companies such as Simon & Schuster and Pearson. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His debut novel, All Rights Reserved, will be published in August, 2017 by Harlequin TEEN.

    Brigid Kemmerer
    Letters to the Lost, Bloomsbury Children's Books

    Brigid Kemmerer is the author of More Than We Can Tell, the YALSA-nominated Elementals series, and the paranormal mystery Thicker Than Water. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States. Brigid is now settled near Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and children. Her upcoming novel, Letters to the Lost, will be published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in April, 2017. Visit her at and on twitter at @BrigidKemmerer.

    Todd Kessler
    The Good Dog and the Bad Cat, Coralstone Press

    Todd Kessler is the co-creator of the highly successful children's television series Blue's Clues. His artistic and innovative creations have garnered him the Peabody Award, seven Emmy nominations, two Television Critics Association awards, and five Parent's Choice awards. He is the author of The Good Dog, and the second book, The Good Dog and the Bad Cat, which was published by Coralstone Press in October, 2016. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

    Good Night, Planet, TOON Books

    Liniers’s U.S. debut, The Big Wet Balloon (TOON Books), was nominated for an Eisner Award and selected as one of Parents Magazine’s Top 10, and his follow-up, Written and Drawn by Henrietta (TOON Books), was named one of ​School Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year. Ricardo Siri Liniers is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but he now lives in Vermont as the artist in residence at the Center for Cartoon Studies. He, his wife, their three daughters, and their puppy Elliot love looking at the night sky in New England. His upcoming picture book, Good Night, Planet will be published by TOON Books.

    Mariah McCourt
    Stitched, Charmz

    Mariah McCourt is the New York Times bestselling author of the comics True Blood, Angel, Illyria: Haunted, and the Emily And The Stranger series. She is also  editor of the graphic novel The Last Unicorn and Womanthology. An industry veteran, McCourt has held editorial positions at Vertigo and IDW publishing. She is currently the Editor of Papercutz's Charmz imprint and the author of Stitched, which will be published by Charmz in May, 2017.

    Jon McGoran
    Spliced, Holiday House

    Jon McGoran has written several books for adults, including the D. H. Dublin series and the eco-thrillers Drift and Deadout. He is also the author of The Dead Ring, based on TV’s The Blacklist. Jon McGoran is a founding member of The Liars Club, a blog for and by writers. Spliced is his first book for young adults and will be published by Holiday House this November, 2017. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family. Visit him online at

    Sandhya Menon
    When Dimple Met Rishi, Simon Pulse

    Sandhya Menon was born and raised in India on a steady diet of Bollywood movies and street food, and blames this upbringing for her obsession with happily-ever-afters, bad dance moves, and pani puri. Now she lives in Colorado, where she’s on a mission to (gently) coerce her husband and children into watching all 3,220 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite. Her book, When Dimple Met Rishi, will be published in May, 2017 by Simon Pulse. Visit her online at

    Tim Miller
    Moo Moo in a Tutu, Balzer + Bray

    Tim Miller grew up on a dairy farm in Snohomish, Washington with lots of cows and ducks, who inspired him to write his newest book (although none of them ever wore a tutu). After milking one too many cows, Tim moved east to study at the School of Visual Arts, where he earned his bachelor’s in cartooning and his master’s in art education. He illustrates the Hamstersaurus Rex series for middle grade readers, written by Tom O’Donnell. Moo Moo in a Tutu is Tim’s picture book debut as an author-illustrator, and will be published by Balzer + Bray in April, 2017. He lives in New York City, and you can visit him online at

    Linsey Miller
    Mask of Shadows, Sourcebooks Fire

    Linsey Miller is a wayward biologist from Arkansas who previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. She is active in the writing community and can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee. Mask of Shadows is her first novel and will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in September, 2017. You can follow her on Twitter @LinseyMiller.

    Bethanie Deeney Murguia
    Toucans, Too, little bee books

    Bethanie Deeney Murguia graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with an MFA in Illustration and has created numerous picture books, including Zoe Gets Ready, Snippet the Early Riser, and I Feel Five. Her upcoming picture book, Toucans, Too, will be published by little bee books in May, 2017. Bethanie lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her two daughters and her dog Thunder Paws.

    James Nicol
    The Apprentice Witch, Chicken House

    James Nicol has loved books and stories his whole life. As a child he spent hours absorbed in novels, watching epic 1980s cartoons, or adventuring in the wood at the bottom of the garden. He lives on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens in England with his partner and a black-and-white cockapoo named Bonnie. The Apprentice Witch is his children's debut, and will be published in July, 2017 by Chicken House. Follow him at @jamesenicol.

    Eucabeth Odhiambo
    Auma's Long Run, Carolrhoda Books

    Eucabeth Odhiambo is a professor of Teacher Education at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. As a classroom teacher she has taught all grades between kindergarten and middle school. Auma's Long Run is her first novel for young people and will be published by Carolrhoda Books in September, 2017.

    Daniel José Older
    Shadowhouse Fall, Arthur A. Levine Books

    Daniel José Older is the author of Bone Street Rumba, an adult urban fantasy series and the short-story collection Salsa Nocturna. His essays on race, power, and publishing have been published in the Guardian and on BuzzFeed, and his short stories have appeared in many science-fiction and fantasy magazines and anthologies. He also writes music and plays bass in the soul-jazz band Ghost Star. Daniel lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decades-long career as a New York City paramedic, and hear his music at his website,, and follow him on Twitter at @djolder. Shadowhouse Fall, the sequel to Shadowshaper, will be published in September, 2017 by Arthur A. Levine Books.

    Susan Patterson
    Big Words for Little Geniuses, Jimmy Patterson

    Susan Solie Patterson has dreamed of writing and art directing a children's book since she received her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Big Words for Little Geniuses is her first book with her husband, James Patterson, and will be published in September, 2017 by Jimmy Patterson.

    Miranda Paul
    Blobfish Throws a Party, little bee books

    Miranda Paul is an award-winning children’s author who has worked as a freelance writer, teacher, volunteer zookeeper, and more. She began writing in elementary school, thanks to her wonderful teachers. She also enjoys science, trivia, and board games. Most of Miranda’s heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things—including her own kidbots, who invent all kinds of gadgets with their super-handy dad. Her upocoming picture book, Blobfish Throws a Party, will be published by little bee books in May, 2017. When she’s not traveling, you can find Miranda chugging around Green Bay, Wisconsin, or online at

    Bonnie Pipkin
    Aftercare Instructions, Flatiron Books

    Bonnie Pipkin believes in prose, performances, puppet shows, and public displays of affection. Originally from California, Bonnie now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, teaches literature courses at Kean University, officiates weddings, and looks after a very cute cat. Aftercare Instructions is Bonnie’s first novel and will be published in June, 2017 by Flatiron Books. Follow her on Twitter @bonnie_pipkin.

    J.L. Powers
    Broken Circle, Akashic Books

    J.L. Powers is the award-winning author of three young adult novels: The ConfessionalThis Thing Called the Future, and Amina. She is also the editor of two collections of essays and the author of the picture book, Colors of the Wind, the story of blind artist and champion runner George Mendoza. She works as a publicist for Cinco Puntos Press, and is founder and editor of the online blog The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children’s Literature. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition for Skyline College in California’s Bay Area, and served as a jurist for the 2014 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. Her upcoming book, Broken Circle, is co-authored with her brother M.A. Powers, and will be published in October, 2017 by Akashic Books.

    Amy Reed
    The Nowhere Girls, Simon Pulse

    Amy Reed is the author of the several edgy contemporary YA novels including Beautiful (2011 YALSA Quick Pick), Clean (2012 YALSA Quick Pick, Junior Library Guild Selection, Northern California Book Award Nominee, and YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee), Crazy (Bank Street College Best Book of the Year), and Over You (2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee). The Nowhere Girls will be published by Simon Pulse in October, 2017. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina. You can visit her online at

    Natalie Riess
    Space Battle Lunchtime Volume One: Lights, Camera, Snacktion!, Oni Press

    Natalie Riess is from a distant, unknown star. Her motives are unknown, but she seems to like drawing weird cats and comic books. She lives in Pennsylvania. Space Battle Lunchtime Volume One: Lights, Camera, Snacktion!, was published in October, 2016. Space Battle Lunchtime Volume Two: A Recipe For Disaster will be published in July, 2017 by Oni Press.

    Sherri Duskey Rinker
    Mighty, Mighty Construction Site; The 12 Sleighs of Christmas, Chronicle Books

    Sherri Duskey Rinker is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction SiteSteam Train, Dream Train and the eagerly awaited Mighty, Mighty Construction Site which was published in February, 2017. She loves cooking, gardening, and old oil paintings. Sherri lives with her photographer husband, two sons, one dog, and one hedgehog in St. Charles, Illinois. Her newest picture book, The 12 Sleighs of Christmas, will be published by Chronicle Books in October, 2017. Find out more about her at

    Melissa D. Savage
    Lemons, Crown Books for Young Readers

    Melissa D. Savage is a writer and therapist working in bereavement counseling with children and families who have lost loved ones. Her desire to write purposeful, issue-driven books for young people, coupled with her interest in cryptozoology and the mystery of Bigfoot, inspired her to write her debut middle grade novel, Lemons, which will be published by Crown Books for Young Readers in May, 2017. Melissa lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can follow her on Twitter at @melissadsavage, and visit her at



    Allen Say
    Silent Days, Silent Dreams, Arthur A. Levine Books

    Allen Say is the beloved author and illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including the highly acclaimed Drawing from MemoryThe Inker's Shadow, and The Favorite Daughter. He was awarded the Caldecott Medal for Grandfather's Journey; and was a Caldecott Honor winner for The Boy of the Three-Year Nap. He is known for his technical skill and varied style, and many of his books pay tribute to Japanese culture, as well as his own personal experiences. His upcoming picture book, Silent Days, Silent Dreams, is about the artist James Castle and will be published by Arthur A. Levine Books in October, 2017. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

    Jennifer E. Smith
    Windfall, Delacorte Press

    Jennifer E. Smith is the author of seven novels for young adults, including The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. She earned an MA in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and spent years working as an editor on a number of bestselling books, including Ballantine's New York Times bestseller Tell the Wolves I'm Home. Her work has been translated into thirty-three languages and four of her novels are currently in development for film. She lives in New York City. Her upcoming young adult novel, Windfall, will be published by Delacorte Press in May, 2017. Learn more about Jennifer on her website, and on Twitter @JenESmith.

    Laurel Snyder
    Orphan Island, Walden Pond Press

    Laurel Snyder is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the author of many books for children, including Bigger Than a Breadbox, an ABC Best Books for Children Selection; Penny Dreadful, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Award Honor Book; Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, an ALAALSC Notable Children's Book and a Parents' Choice Silver Honor Book; and Orphan Island, forthcoming from Walden Pond Press in May, 2017. Though she grew up in Baltimore, Laurel now lives in Atlanta, far from the water. Often, she spends her nights dreaming of waves, salt air, and bonfires in the sand. Visit her online at to learn more.

    Tracy Subisak
    Cy Makes a Friend, Boyds Mills Press

    Tracy Subisak was born and raised in the flatlands of Ohio and studied industrial design at the University of Cincinnati. She has design experience over a vast variety of products from soft goods to consumer electronics, having worked with companies such as Priority Designs, One and Company, Smart Design, Design Continuum Seoul, PEGA Design, and Intel Corporation. It was through her design work that she discovered a passion for visual storytelling. Cy Makes a Friend, written by Ann Marie Stephens and illustrated by Tracy, will published in Marych, 2017 by Boyds Mills Press, distributed by PGW. Tracy currently resides in Portland, Oregon, and can often be found traveling the world. She is fond of hiking, bacon, monster sounds, and high-fives!

    Liara Tamani
    Calling My Name, Greenwillow Books

    Liara Tamani went down a winding path of vocations—she was a marketing coordinator for the Houston Rockets, a production assistant on the TV series Girlfriends, a home accessories designer, a floral designer, and a yoga and dance teacher, before finally finding her way back to writing. Liara holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College and a BA from Duke University. She was born in Akron, Ohio, and lives in Houston, Texas, with her daughter. Calling My Name is her first novel, and will be published by Greenwillow Books in October, 2017.

    Joe Todd-Stanton
    The Secret of Black Rock, Flying Eye Books

    Joe Todd-Stanton grew up in Brighton and was taught to draw by his mother, who is also an illustrator. He studied at Bristol University, receiving a first class degree in Illustration. Stanton has been commissioned to work for clients such as Oxford University Press, Usborne Publish, and Aquila magazine. His first two picture books, Arthur and the Golden Rope and The Secret of Black Rock, will be published by Flying Eye Books in 2017.

    Jessica Townsend
    Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    Jessica Townsend is from the Sunshine Coast in Australia, but has lived on and off in London for a few years. She was a copywriter for eight years, and in a previous role, was the editor of a children's wildlife magazine for Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Nevermoor is her first novel and will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in October, 2017.

    Catherynne M. Valente
    The Glass Town Game, Margaret K. McElderry Books

    Catherynne M. Valente is a New York Times bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry. She has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, and has won the Locus and Andre Norton award. She lives on a small island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, one enormous cat, a less enormous cat, six chickens, a red accordion, an uncompleted master’s degree, a roomful of yarn, a spinning wheel with ulterior motives, a cupboard of jam and pickles, a bookshelf full of folktales, an industrial torch, and an Oxford English Dictionary. Her upcoming book, The Glass Town Game, will be published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in September, 2017.

    Marit Weisenberg
    Select, Charlesbridge Teen

    Marit Weisenberg has a master’s degree from UCLA in Cinema and Media Studies and worked as a film and television executive for a number of years in Los Angeles. She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two daughters. Select is Marit’s debut novel for young adult readers, and will be published by Charlesbridge Teen in October, 2017.

    Cat Winters
    Odd & True, Amulet Books

    Cat Winters is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels The Steep and Thorny Way, The Cure for Dreaming, and In the Shadow of Blackbirds, which collected three starred reviews and was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award for debut YA fiction. Her upcoming book, Odd & True, will be published by Amulet Books in September, 2017. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at