The day is officially here for the Let’s Get Lit online book festival! We have so many authors featured that we can’t wait to introduce you to. Everyone one of these authors are extremely talented and coming out with some exciting books, and you shouldn’t miss a single one of them.
But before we get to that, take a card!
Save it, download it, store it for later, because you’ll need them when you earn Lit badges later (and as a bonus, you’ll get one for free just for participating in our hashtag game #LGLfestprompts, so keep an eye out for that coming up on the 25th!)
Anyway, on with the featured authors! (we may add to this list as the fest goes on)
Thank you to Natalia Martinez for hosting Latinx week! Check out her blog for her part of the tour!
Author of GHOST SQUAD. Claribel A. Ortega is a former reporter who writes YA & MG fantasy inspired by her Dominican heritage. When she’s not busy turning her obsession with eighties pop culture, magic and video games into books, she’s filming videos for her YouTube channel or making GIFS for her small graphic design business, GIFGRRL.
Author of LOBIZONA. Romina Garber (RUSSELL) is a New York Times and international bestselling author. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in Miami, Florida, Romina landed her first writing gig as a teen—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.
Author of FIVE MIDNIGHTS. Ann is a novelist and Director of Recruitment for Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA). She has a B.A. in Latino Studies from Norwich University, an M.A. in sociology from UI&U and an MFA in Writing from VCFA. She also helped create VCFA’s winter Writing residency in Puerto Rico.
Ann’s first novel, SISTER CHICAS was released from New American Library in 2006.
Author of THE LAST 8. Laura Pohl is a Brazilian YA author. She likes writing messages in caps lock, quoting Hamilton and obsessing about Star Wars. When not taking pictures of her dog, she can be found curled up with a fantasy or science-fiction book. She makes her home in São Paulo, where she graduated in Literature.
When not writing, she likes reading science fiction and fantasy, and enjoys deep discussions about conspiracy theories and alien life.
Author of RUNNING. She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature, Latina magazine, McSweeney’s Publishing, and the Austin American-Statesman.
Natalia’s first novel, CHASING THE SUN, was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad. Her latest novel, EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME, won an International Latino Book Award, the 2018 Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Real Simple magazine.
Author of Efrén Divided. He is a 20-year veteran teacher currently serving the city of Santa Ana: the colorful but mostly dismissed section of Orange County, California. He teaches reading and writing to local students at an inner-city intermediate school.
He holds an English degree from the University of California, Irvine; a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach; as well as a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University.
Author of BLAZEWRATH GAMES. Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast. Her short story comic, “What Remains in The Dark,” appears in the Eisner Award-winning anthology Puerto Rico Strong (Lion Forge, 2018), and SAVING CHUPIE, her middle grade graphic novel, comes out with HarperCollins in Winter 2022. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.A. in Psychology from the UPR’s Río Piedras campus. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, devouring as much young adult fiction as she can, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical. Her debut novel, BLAZEWRATH GAMES, hits shelves on October 6,2020 from Page Street Kids.
Author of TASTE OF SAGE. Yaffa S. Santos was born and raised in New Jersey. A solo trip to Dominican Republic in her teenage years changed her relationship to her Dominican heritage and sparked a passion for cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing and visual art. She is a member of RWA. She has lived in New York, Philadelphia, Santo Domingo, and now lives in Florida with her family.
Author of THE DREAM WEAVER. Reina Luz Alegre lives in the Miami area with her family. She’s dreamed of becoming an author since the second grade, and grew up to work on various other professional dreams—including as a freelance journalist and lawyer—before debuting her first novel, The Dream Weaver. When she’s not writing, Reina loves to read, sing, and salivate over baking shows.
Author of INTO THE TALL, TALL GRASS. Loriel Ryon spent her childhood with her nose in a book, reading in restaurants, on the school bus, and during every family vacation. When she wasn’t reading, Loriel built volcanoes, made jewelry, rescued tadpoles with her siblings, and raised butterflies. Now an author of middle grade and young adult fiction and a nurse, she lives in the beautiful New Mexico desert with her husband and two daughters.
Author of CEMETERY BOYS. Aiden Thomas is a YA author with an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. As a queer, trans Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, Harry Potter trivia, Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.
Author of Where Are You From? Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She’s a PB, MG, and YA author. Yamile is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.
Author of MUSE SQUAD. Called “a master storyteller” by Kirkus Reviews, Chantel Acevedo is the author of Love and Ghost Letters (St. Martin’s Press), winner of the Latino International Book Award; A Falling Star (Carolina Wren Press), winner of the Doris Bakwin Award, The Distant Marvels (Europa Editions), which was a finalist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and most recently, The Living Infinite (Europa Editions), hailed by Booklist as a “vivid and enthralling tale of love and redemption.” Her essays have appeared in Vogue and Real Simple, among others. MUSE SQUAD: THE CASSANDRA CURSE, is Acevedo’s new middle grade series forthcoming from Balzer + Bray. She is Professor of English at the University of Miami, where she directs the MFA program.
I’m the blogger hosting Black authors week, so stick around right here for updates!
Author of RAYBEARER. Fan of revolutionary girls, 4c curls, & Jesus. Will work for fried plantain.
Author of Maya and The Rising Dark. Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction and fantasy, ghosts, and superheroes. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.
Author of GIVEN. Nandi Taylor is a Canadian writer of Caribbean descent based in Toronto. She’s a two-time Watty award winner, and her Wattpad story Given has garnered over one million reads and earned the 2018 Worldbuilders Watty award.
Nandi grew up devouring sci-fi and fantasy novels, and from a young age wrote books of her own. Her books are an expression of what she always wanted more of growing up—diverse protagonists in speculative settings. Common themes she writes about are growth, courage, and finding one’s place in the world.
Author of CINDERELLA IS DEAD. Kalynn Bayron is an author and classically trained vocalist. She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. When she’s not writing you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, attending the theater, watching scary movies, and spending time with her kids. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with her family.
Author of THE GILDED ONES. Namina Forna is a young adult novelist/screenwriter based in Los Angeles, and the author of the upcoming epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina loves spicy food and witchy-looking cats, and has been known to wear unicorn onesies to the nearest taco truck.
Author of A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN. Roseanne “Rosie” A. Brown was born in Kumasi, Ghana and immigrated to the wild jungles of central Maryland as a child. Writing was her first love, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to use the power of writing—creative and otherwise—to connect the different cultures she called home. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and was also a teaching assistant for the school’s Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program. Her journalistic work has been featured by Voice of America among other outlets.
Author of Hush of Storm & Sorrow. Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance.
She was born in the Bronx, just after the birth of hip hop, but left before she could acquire an accent. Equally left and right-brained, she studied Film at Howard University and minored in Computer Science. This led to a graduate degree in Multimedia and a career in website development. She’s also an award-winning independent filmmaker, co-founded a literary magazine, and sometimes dreams in HTML.
Leslye lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents.
Evette Dionne, known across the internet as “free Black girl,” is a Black Feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar. She’s the author of the forthcoming Fat Girls Deserve Fairytales Too: Living Hopefully On the Other Side of Skinny, and Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box, a young-adult book about Black women suffragists that will be released in 2020 from Viking.
Presently, she’s the editor-in-chief of Bitch Media where she oversees the BitchReads program in conjunction with Powell’s Books as well as the quarterly magazine and the daily website. Before joining Bitch, Evette worked as a founding senior editor at Revelist.
Author of AND THE STARS WERE BURNING BRIGHTLY. Born in Manchester, Danielle Jawando’s previous publications and broadcasting credits have included a short story “Paradise 703”, which was published by DeadInk in 2012 (and long-listed for the Finishing Line Press Award in 2011). She has also had several short plays performed at the King’s Arms in Manchester, and at Stratford Circus in London. In 2015, she worked on Coronation Street as a storyline writer and last year, her short story “The Deerstalker” was selected as one of the six finalists for the We Need Diverse Books short story competition.
Author of LOVE LOST REVENGE. Porsha Deun (pronounced like Dion) wrote fictional stories as a child but never thought about making that into a career. In trying to find her creative entrepreneurial path, she tried everything from wedding planning, making hair accessories and lapel pins, and many other things. All the while, she worked multiple jobs and went to school for Accounting.
After receiving her B.B.A., she found herself unemployed for about nine months. Six months into this unemployment, Love Lost came to her in a dream. She got up the next morning and wrote the first six chapters of the first draft in two days.
Author of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN. Blair Cousins is an author, daydreamer, and social bumblebee. In her free time, she enjoys pursuing the great American pass time of sleeping. During her waking hours, she grinds hard to make her dreams come true.
Author of Children of the Shadows. C.C. Uzoh originally hails from southeastern Nigeria where he draws the base knowledge of the rituals portrayed in these three volumes.
He lives with his wife and children in Canada. He swims and plays basketball. His goal as a writer is to engage, entertain, enlighten, and create a new experience for the reader.
Author of THESE GHOSTS ARE FAMILY. Maisy Card is a writer and a public librarian. Her writing has appeared in Lenny Letter, School Library Journal, Agni, Sycamore Review, Liars’ League NYC, and Ampersand Review. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Maisy was born in St. Catherine, Jamaica, but was raised in Jamaica, New York. Maisy earned an MLIS from Rutgers University and a BA in English and American Studies from Wesleyan University. She is the author of These Ghosts Are Family.
Author of THE SOUND OF STARS. Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, food critic, culinary teacher, and Youth Services librarian. When not writing YA sci-fi featuring determined black girls (like herself), you can find her having epic dance parties with her daughter, baking, mentoring, or taking teeny adventures around Europe.
Author of THE BECKWITH BROTHERS. Ivana aka The Novelette ~ Master’s Degree student getting my M.A. in Media and Worship, Editor-in-Chief of The Writer’s Block, Proofreader with Penmob, Lover of Books, and Book Fairy. Also, a Net Galley, Bookouture, Bookish First, Corvus Books, Harlequin Publishing, etc. Book Reviewer. Working on her debut novel, a YA Thriller set in the 1990s, Ivana has a love for Mystery, Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers, Dystopian stories in literature and film. Ivana has written and self-published a Murder Mystery Short Story titled “Chronicles of a Cover-Up”.
Author of OMG Is He Also a Witch. Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be an author. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write multicultural children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. She and her family live in Connecticut with a little pond.
Talia Aikens-Nuñez quería ser meteoróloga, política y abogada. Ella nunca pensó que sería una autora. Fue el nacimiento de su hija lo que la hizo comenzar a escribir. Criar a un niño bilingüe inspiró a Talia para que escribiera libros infantiles multiculturales. La familia de Talia ama tanto la naturaleza que ella y su esposo prometieron que siempre intentarán vivir cerca del agua. Ella y su familia viven en Connecticut con un pequeño estanque.
Thank you to Arina for hosting LGBTQ+ authors week! Check out her blog for her part of the tour!
Author of THE SCAPEGRACERS. Hannah Abigail Clarke was born in the Leo season of 1997 and has since lived in various places around the American Midwest. They have been published in Portland Review, PRISM international, and Chaleur Magazine, and will be a 2019 Lambda Literary Retreat Fellow. His debut novel, THE SCAPEGRACERS, is slated for release in 2020 via Erewhon Books with two impending sequels following suit. She’s currently pursuing a Masters in the Program of Humanities at the University of Chicago, studying queerness and monstrosity.
Author of NO FRILLS. Erin Elizabeth Grammar writes YA fantasy for quirky teens. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Fine Arts and is passionate about inspiring young readers. When she isn’t writing, she searches the Southern California hills for gems, thrifts Hello Kitty collectibles, and plays mom to one incredible daughter and two demanding cats.
Author of WE ARE TOTALLY NORMAL. She is a novelist whose first book, Enter Title Here (yes, that’s its real title), came out on August 2nd, 2016 from Disney-Hyperion. Her second book, We Are Totally Normal, will be out on March 31, 2020. Since the age of 18, she’s been writing and submitting stories. Most of these have been science fiction and fantasy short stories. A number of these stories have been published. If you want to read some, she’d recommend Corridors (very short) and The Girl Who Escaped From Hell (a bit longer).
He loves Star Wars (yes even the dreadful prequels. Don’t judge him, but he actually thought The Phantom Menace was good…)
He’s read all the Harry Potter books and enjoyed all the movies.
He was obsessed with the extended version of all three Lord of the Rings movies, and forced his mom to watch them with him.
He has watched the Behind-the-Scenes bonus features for Jurassic Park, most of the Star Wars movies, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Born in Michigan, Meryl lived in Portland, Oregon and Jackson, Mississippi before recently returning to the Mitten State. Some of Meryl’s favorite things include: all four seasons, button down shirts, the way giraffes run, and their wife.
Author PLAYING HOUSE. Suzanne is an asexual woman with a great love for writing erotic romance and enjoys spending her time confusing people with that fact. She believes there is a need for heightened diversity in erotic fiction and strives to write enough stories so that everyone can see themselves mirrored in a protagonist. She lives with her spouse and cat, and, when not writing, Suzanne enjoys reading, playing video games poorly, and refusing to interact outdoors with other human beings.
Jack is your typical eccentric college student, writing stories much more interesting than his real life. If he’s not writing, he’s either reading books about magic girls, watching shows about blackmail and murder, or baking coconut macaroons.
Author of HEART AND SEOUL. Erin Kinsella is a romance and historical fantasy author dedicated to sharing stories of love, heartbreak, and triumph. You can also find her on YouTube, where she educates writers about the publishing industry, world building, and how to make your readers swoon. She attended the University of Alberta where she studied psychology and history. When she’s not writing or YouTubing she’s hanging out with her husband and their three cats.
Author of AUGUR OF SHADOWS. As many other authors, He read every book that he could get my hands on when he was a child. Now, he musters up the strength to put his own words on paper, and he want to share them with the World.
Author of DIAMOND CITY. Francesca Flores is a writer, traveler and linguist. Raised in Pittsburgh, she read every fantasy book she could get her hands on and started writing her own stories at a young age. She began writing DIAMOND CITY while working as a corporate travel manager. When she’s not writing or reading, Francesca enjoys traveling, dancing ballet and jazz, practicing trapeze and contortion, and visiting parks and trails around San Francisco, where she currently resides.
Author of OFFICE HOURS. Katrina is a college professor by day who writes romances by weekend when her cats allow. She writes high heat, diverse and mostly queer erotic romances and erotica. She also likes sleep, salt-and-pepper beards, and sunshine.
Author of CAMP. Lev Rosen is the author of books for all ages. Two for adults: All Men of Genius (Amazon Best of the Month, Audie Award Finalist) and Depth (Amazon Best of the Year, Shamus Award Finalist, Kirkus Best Science Fiction for April). Two middle-grade books: Woundabout (illustrated by his brother, Ellis Rosen), and The Memory Wall. His first Young Adult Novel, Jack of Hearts (and other parts) was an American Library Association Rainbow List Top 10 of 2018. His books have been sold around the world and translated into different languages as well as being featured on many best of the year lists, and nominated for awards.
Author of A CURSE OF ROSES. Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home. She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norbert. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.
Author of STIM. Lizzie Huxley-Jones is an autistic writer and editor based in London.
She can be found editing at independent micropublisher 3 of Cups Press, and she also advises writers as a freelance sensitivity reader and consultant. In her past career lives, she has been a research diver, a children’s bookseller and digital communications specialist.
Author of I KISSED ALICE. She was born ‘n’ raised in a rural area on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama. She traded thick forests and dirt roads for the heart of the city, where she lives now with her husband, three children, and dog. She loves knitting, brie, and hanging out with her family.
Author of THE BEAUTY OF YOUR FACE. Sahar Mustafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. Her short stories have been awarded the Guild Literary Complex Prize for fiction, a Distinguished Story honor from Best American Short Stories, and three Pushcart Prize nominations, among other honors. She writes and teaches outside of Chicago.
Author of CROWNING SOUL. Sahira started her website Essentuate Life to inspire others with her poetry and share her love of books to encourage other writers.
Sahira is the author of Bitter Sweet and Hot Ice, her two poetry books she published in 2011. Her latest poetry book Crack of Dawn was released August 2017. She is working to get her Fantasy novel published.
Author of THORN. She was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and grew up a nomad, with multiple stints living in Saudi Arabia, boarding school in New Hampshire, and college split between Minnesota and Colorado. Her family is from Pakistan, and still has extended family there. She, her husband, two young daughters live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Until a few years ago, she worked with the Cincinnati Health Department on projects to improve community health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing.
Author of No True Believers. Rabiah York Lumbard is an award-winning author of the picture book The Conference of the Birds (Wisdom Tales, 2012). Her latest picture book, The Gift of Ramadan (Albert Whitman, 2019) was highly recommended by SLJ as “a perfect addition to holiday book collections,” while her deeply personal debut novel No True Believers (Crown, 2020), which draws on her experience as an American Muslim at home and abroad has been hailed by Booklist as “taut debut novel” and “a page-turner that carries a message of radical love, regardless of faith.” She is also the 2015 winner of the Middle East Book Award for her picture book When the Animals Saved Earth. This multicultural environmental tale is inspired by a 1,000-year-old animal fable from 10th century Muslim Iraq that was originally translated by a Jewish rabbi at the command of a Christian king in the 14th century. Her interfaith book Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World received the Eric Hoffer Award in 2015.
Author of Hamza’s Pyjama Promise. Home-baker, picture book maker, Mom by day, dreamer by night.
Author of This Is All Your Fault. Aminah Mae Safi is a Muslim-American writer who explores art, fiction, feminism, and film. She’s the winner of the We Need Diverse Books short story contest. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her partner and two cats. She is the author of NOT THE GIRLS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR (Feiwel and Friends), TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL (Feiwel and Friends), and the forthcoming THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT (Feiwel and Friends, October 2020) and the Reclaimed Classics ROBIN HOOD (Winter 2022).
Author of THE THIRTY NAMES OF NIGHT. Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of the novels The Map of Salt and Stars (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2018) and The Thirty Names of Night (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2020), a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI), and a member of American Mensa. His work has appeared in Salon, The Paris Review Daily, The Kenyon Review, The Saturday Evening Post, PANK Magazine, and elsewhere, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net. The Map of Salt and Stars, currently being translated into twenty languages, was a 2018 Middle East Book Award winner in Youth Literature, a 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist in Historical Fiction, was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, and received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and others.
Author of Afraid to Fall. Romance author. Muslim, wife, and mother.
Author of LIKE THE MOON LOVES THE SKY. Like so many other writers, she grew up with her nose in a book. Her mother believed children should be seen reading and not heard whining about boredom, and regularly took her to the Rockville Public Library with grocery bags to fill with books. Along with grabbing new titles each visit, she often chose the same ones over and over again. And she reread treasured personal copies of my favorites until they fell apart.
The books she connected with as a child left a bigger impression on her than almost anything she comes across today. She still thinks of the characters, stories, random facts and tidbits that she absorbed years ago. That’s why she loves writing for kids—in the hopes that they’ll pick up something she write more than once, and let it become part of who they are.
Author of The Candle and the Flame. Nafiza Azad was born in Fiji and spent the first seventeen years of her life as a self-styled Pacific Islander. Now she identifies as an Indo-Fijian Muslim Canadian, which means she is often navigating multiple identities. Nafiza has a love for languages and currently speaks four. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Children’s Literature from the University of British Columbia and co-runs The Book Wars (thebookwars.ca), a website dedicated to all things children’s literature. Nafiza currently lives in British Columbia with her family.
Author of A PLACE AT THE TABLE. Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author, essayist and interfaith activist. She writes the children’s early reader series “Yasmin” published by Capstone and other books for children, including middle grade novels “A Place At The Table” (HMH/Clarion 2020) co-written with Laura Shovan, and “A Thousand Questions” (Harper Collins 2020). She has also written “Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan” a short story collection for adults and teens. Saadia is editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret, a magazine for Muslim art, poetry and prose, and was featured in Oprah Magazine in 2017 as a woman making a difference in her community. She resides in Houston, TX with her husband and children.
Author of The Hour of the Oryx. As a young girl, Farah spent many hours with her head buried in books of mystery, intrigue and adventure. The inevitable outcome was picking up pen and paper to create her own stories and poems, which she enjoyed sharing with family, friends and classmates alike. Farah has spent most of her life working with words, something that she loves doing. One of her greatest treats to herself is curling up with a good book and getting lost in it. Her love of reading coupled with her love of writing gave Farah the impetus to start her journey as an author. Farah presently lives in New York with her family.
Author of I’LL BE THE ONE. Although she was born in a small town in South Korea, she’s since then lived in various parts of the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. Inspired by her English teacher, she started writing her own stories in fourth grade and finished her first novel at the age of fourteen. After working various jobs in Hollywood and studying Psychology and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. When she is not writing, she is teaching kids, petting cute dogs, and searching for the perfect bowl of shaved ice.
Author of STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG! Jessica Kim writes about Asian American girls finding their way in the world. Before she was an author, Jessica studied education at UC Berkeley and spent ten years teaching third, fourth, and fifth grades in public schools. Like Yumi, Jessica lives with her family in Southern California and can’t get enough Hot Cheetos, stand-up comedy, and Korean barbecue
Author of If YOU Only Knew. Prerna Pickett was born in India, grew up in Northern Virginia just outside of Washington DC, lived in Idaho for a while, then in paradise AKA Hawaii, before moving back to the mainland. If You Only Knew is her debut and set to release winter 2020 with Macmillan/ Swoon Reads. She is represented by Veronica Park with Fuse Literary.
Author of THE ARCHER AT DAWN, which has appeared on both Barnes and Noble and Book Riot’s Most Anticipated Novels lists.
After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BS in finance and BA in history, she tumbled into the marketing side of the technology industry. She’s passionate about many things, including how the right ratio of curd-to-crust in a lemon tart. She currently lives in New York City.
AJ Rosen is a twenty-three years old Wattpad Ambassador who splits her time between full-time school and writing YA romance. She’s the founder of online movements like #ilovemyflaws (which supports victims of bullying) and #CareforCancer (which supports the loved ones of those battling cancer). She currently lives and studies in Singapore. Entwined is her first book. She loves to write Fantasy, Romance, and Mystery.
Author of FOREST OF SOULS, first in the Shamanborn series, as well as GATES OF THREAD AND STONE and THE INFINITE. She’s also a contributor to the anthologies A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS and COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES. She considers herself a unicorn aficionado, enjoys marathoning TV shows, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family.
Author of THE SILENCE OF BONES. June Hur was born in South Korea, raised in Canada, and studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. She began writing her debut novel, The Silence of Bones, after obsessing over books about Joseon Korea. She lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.
Author of RUN, REBEL. She’s worked as an actress for many years and about five years ago she started writing and producing herown work. As an actress she’s worked up and down the country touring plays and filming bits of TV and Film as well as a stint on the radio drama company.
As a writer she spent a year as an associate artist with The Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Soho Writers Lab.
She was commissioned by The Birmingham Rep and Women and Theatre to write for Starting Out. A collection of five monologues, which ran at The Birmingham Rep and Hackney Showrooms. Starting Out is currently being recorded as a podcast and will be published in 2019.
Author of WINDBORN. Mary Fan is a sci-fi/fantasy writer hailing from Jersey City, NJ. She is the author of the Jane Colt sci-fi series, (Red Adept Publishing), the Starswept YA sci-fi series, (Snowy Wings Publishing), the Flynn Nightsider YA dark fantasy series (Crazy 8 Press), and Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon, a YA steampunk fantasy (Page Street Publishing).
In addition, Mary is the co-editor (along with fellow sci-fi author Paige Daniels) of the Brave New Girls young adult sci-fi anthologies, which feature tales about girls in STEM. Revenues from sales are donated to the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.
Author of THE PERFECT ESCAPE. Suzanne Park is a Korean-American writer who was born and raised in Tennessee.
In her former life as a stand up comedian, Suzanne was a finalist in the Oxygen Network’s “Girls Behaving Badly” talent search, and appeared on BET’s “Coming to the Stage.” She found this to be the funniest thing in her comedy career because, well, she is not black. She was also the winner of the Seattle Sierra Mist Comedy Competition, and was a semi-finalist in NBC’s “Stand Up For Diversity” showcase in San Francisco.
Suzanne graduated from Columbia University and received an MBA Degree from UCLA. She was selected for PitchWars and is represented by Brent Taylor of Triada US Literary Agency. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, female offspring, and a sneaky rat that creeps around on her back patio. In her spare time, she procrastinates.
Author of THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS. Janie Chang writes historical fiction with a personal connection, drawing from a family history with 36 generations of recorded genealogy. She grew up listening to stories about life in a small Chinese town in the years before the Second World War and tales of ancestors who encountered dragons, ghosts, and immortals.
Her first novel, THREE SOULS, was a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and her second novel, DRAGON SPRINGS ROAD, was a Globe and Mail national bestseller. Both these books were nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award.
Author of FRONT DESK, THREE KEYS. Kelly Yang is the New York Times bestselling author of FRONT DESK, winner of the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature, PARACHUTES (YA debut novel, May 2020, Harpercollins) and THREE KEYS (Front Desk Sequel, Sept 2020, Scholastic). FRONT DESK is Kelly’s award-winning middle grade debut novel about a 10 year old Chinese American immigrant girl who manages the front desk of a motel while her parents clean the rooms. FRONT DESK was awarded the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal, is the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and has earned numerous other honors including being named an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a NPR Best Book of the Year, and a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year.
Author of UNRAVEL THE DUSK. Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and she turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Author of WICKED AS YOU WISH. Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.
Author of WE ARE NOT FREE. Traci Chee is an author of YA fiction. An all-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts, though she also dabbles at bonsai gardening, egg painting, and hosting potluck game nights for family and friends. She studied literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog.
Author of VANESSA YU’S MAGICAL PARIS TEASHOP. Roselle Lim is a Filipino-Chinese writer living on the north shore of Lake Erie. She loves to write about food and magic. When she isn’t writing, she is sewing, sketching, or pursuing the next craft project.
Author of ANY DAY WITH YOU. She writes middle grade books with heart and hope. THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT won the 2019 APALA Honor Award in Children’s Literature, was an NPR Best Book of the Year, and was included on numerous state reading and “Best Of” lists—it’s out now in a library or bookstore near you! (Woohoo!) Her next books are ANY DAY WITH YOU (out 5/5/20) and EVERYTHING STARTS WITH NOTHING (out 2021). Take a look at the beautiful Any Day With You cover on Mr. Schu’s blog!
Thank you to Wendy for hosting Disabled/Chronically ill authors week! Check out Check out her blog here for her part of the tour!
Author of TENDERNESS. Xan West is the nom de plume of Corey Alexander, an autistic queer fat white Jewish genderqueer writer and community activist with multiple disabilities who spends a lot of time on Twitter.
Xan’s erotica has been published widely, including in the Best S/M Erotica series, the Best Gay Erotica series, and the Best Lesbian Erotica series. Their work has been described by reviewers as “offering the erotica equivalent of happy ever after”, and “some of the best transgressive erotic fiction to come along in recent years”. You can find a full listing of their publications here, and a list of content warnings for their short stories here.
Author of SECONDHAND ORIGIN STORIES. After about a decade drawing comics independently or with small presses, Lee started writing prose out of a combination of peer pressure and spite, then continued out of attachment to their favorite made-up people. They live in Minnesota even though it is clearly not a habitat humans were ever meant to endure, with their lovely wife/editor, the worlds most perfect baby, and books in every room of the house.
If you like categories, they’re an ENFJ Slytherin Leo. If you’re looking for demographics they’re an agender bisexual with a couple of disabilities. If you’re into lists of likes: Lee loves comics, classical art, round animals, tattoos, opera, ogling the shiner sciences, and queer stuff. Please have a look around and get to know their work!
Author of Could Be Something Good. She’s an American author, originally from Oregon, now living overseas. That gives her some excellent real-life fodder for Abbie and Edward as they criss-cross the continent, running into cultural difficulties and dilemmas. It’s possible some of these situations actually happened to her…likely, even. So she writes for herself (and people like her) who feel a bit out of place at times.
She’s been married to Mr. West for more than 15 years, and they’ve got two great kids. Being a full-time mama means She’s a part-time writer; it means she writes a bit slower than the average author, but it doesn’t impact their quality (though it does sometimes impact dinner’s quality…). Also, it means that reading counts as work…She’s got it rough, She knows.
Their name is Eli Kwake, pronounced ˈilaɪ kwāk. They are pansexual, polyamorous, and genderqueer. Their pronouns are they/them. They are a musician, an artist, a writer, a drag king, a lover, a spouse, a friend, a foe, a human, a dragon. They make no apologies for who and what They are. They were forged in fire. They are bigger on the inside.
Author of DISFUGURED, out now with Coach House Books. She is also the author of the novel THE MIRACLES OF ORDINARY MEN, published in 2013 by ECW Press. Her new novel, THE CENTAUR’S WIFE, is forthcoming with Random House Canada in the spring of 2021.
Her essays and stories have appeared in LitHub, The Rumpus, Little Fiction | Big Truths, The National Post, Open Book Ontario, and other publications across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia. She has previously been longlisted for both the CBC Nonfiction Prize (2019 and 2014) and the CBC Fiction Prize (2014), the StoryQuarterly Fiction Prize (2015), the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Fiction (2015), the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest (2014), and the 2007 PRISM International Short Fiction Contest. She is represented by Samantha Haywood at the Transatlantic Agency.
Author of SILENCED. Ekaterine writes love stories. Be it reuniting estranged lovers in alternate universe dynastic China or star-crossing lovers in a gigantic space-faring jellyfish, the end goal is the same: to explore love, its meaning, and the price of love.
She currently lives in Taiwan, home to some of the best food you’ll find on the planet and flying cockroaches. No, the two don’t quite balance each other out, but thanks for asking.
She is a 26-year-old author, mom, and adoptee. You can find her writing for Zora by Medium, HuffPost Personal, That’s Inappropriate, Scary Mommy, Motherly, Her View From Home, and more. She’s been interviewed on podcasts such as BBC Radio 4: Growing Up Britain, NPR’s Code Switch, The Adoption and Fostering Podcast, and more.
Author of SUPER SICK: MAKING PEACE WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS. Allison Alexander is a Canadian writer and editor who loves turning words into magic. On her spare time, she can be found in Hyrule, Middle-earth, or a galaxy far, far away, probably in the company of her husband and imaginary pet owl.
Author of WITWORTH DOOM BABY. Coffee addled, twitter addicted, forgetful, cat owning, a perverse lover of handbags, despises high heels, Stefanie Simpson is at her leisure writing the books she loves.
A Brit, a feminist, a humanist, a despiser of ignorance and hate, she is proud of her heroes and heroines, who are first and foremost people.
Expect strong adult content and themes, language, explicit material, and love.
Author of TOO STICKY! Her debut children’s picture book, Too Sticky!: Sensory Issues with Autism (Albert Whitman, April 2020), is about a girl who has to overcome her fear of sticky hands to participate in a slime experiment. The main character is based on her own and her daughter’s experiences living with autism and sensory issues.
She knew doctors were wrong when they said her daughter had just a language delay. She spent hundreds of hours looking for answers. She came across research on the gender differences with autism that helped her daughter get the right diagnosis. She realized that not only was her daughter autistic—she was, too. She was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in her late 30s, on the same day as her daughter. Her son was also diagnosed with ASD a year later.
Author of Finding Balance. Kati is a recovering actor who has spent the last few years keeping tiny humans alive. In high school she was determined to play a doctor on General Hospital and possibly add in a love story with Jonathan Jackson. She would spend hours toiling away on FanFiction for my AOL community and dreaming of the day she would accept a Daytime Emmy Award. In college she majored in Theater arts and spent lots of time hanging out in the box office.
Before any of that happened though, Kati had cancer. She was eight. She responded to chemotherapy and had an amputation of her entire left leg. She still advocates for childhood cancer research and accessibility for all individual with disabilities.
Author of AWAKENING. Her mother read LOTR aloud to her twice growing up and it is her that she both credit and blame for my complete absorption with the world of fiction. Growing up in a haunted mansion sandwiched between an abandoned mine and endless pine plantation should have been all the fuel her imagination needed, but then her parents filled her life with stories. About themselves, their lives, and the ones they had found through the pages of books.
Author of BEGINNERS WELCOME. Cindy Baldwin is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Where The Watermelons Grow and the forthcoming Beginners Welcome. She grew up in North Carolina and still misses the sweet watermelons and warm accents on a daily basis. As a middle schooler, she kept a book under her bathroom sink to read over and over while fixing her hair or brushing her teeth, and she dreams of writing the kind of books readers can’t bear to be without. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and daughter.
Author of GET A GRIP, VIVY COHEN. Sarah Kapit writes fiction for children. Her debut novel GET A GRIP, VIVY COHEN! will be released by Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House) in February of 2020.
In her previous life, Sarah earned a PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is active in the neurodiversity movement, serving as chairperson of the Association for Autistic Community.
Sarah lives in Bellevue, WA with her partner and their goofy orange cat, Allie.
Author of THE DEGENERATES. J. Albert Mann is the author of six novels for children, with S&S Atheneum Books for Young Readers set to publish her next work of historical fiction about the Eugenics Movement and the rise of institutionalism in the United States. She is also the author of short stories and poems for children featured in Highlights for Children, where she won the Highlights Fiction Award, as well as the Highlights Editors’ Choice Award. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and is the Director of the WNDB Internship Grant Committee.
We can’t wait to see you guys over the duration of the festival!