Kody Keplinger was born and raised in a small Kentucky town. She wrote her first novel, The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), during her senior year of high school. The DUFF was a YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers and a Romantic Times Top Pick. Since then, Kody has written two more young adult novels, Shut Out and A Midsummer's Nightmare, and a middle grade novel, The Swift Boys & Me. She is the cofounder of Disability in Kidlit, a website devoted to the representation of disability in children's literature. Currently, Kody lives in New York City, where she teaches writing workshops and continues to write books for kids and teens. You can find out more about Kody and her books on her website: www.kodykeplinger.com.
DAHLIA ADLER is an editor by day, a freelance writer by night, and a Young Adult author at every spare moment in between. She is the founder of LGBTQReads, editor of several anthologies, and author of many novels, including the Kids' Indie Next picks Cool for the Summer, Home Field Advantage, and Going Bicoastal. She lives in New York with her family and an obscene number of books.
Sara Farizan is an Iranian American writer and ardent basketball fan who was born in and lives near Boston. The award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, she has an MFA from Lesley University and a BA in film and media studies from American University. Here to Stay is her third novel.
Patty Bryant is a cafe-based writer who publishes in the romance genre under several different pen names. She has an MA in archaeology from New York University and, when she is not in the field, lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is passionate about tea, nail polish, and horror movies.
Robin Talley studied literature and communications at American University. She lives in Washington, DC, with her wife, but visits both Boston and New York regularly despite her moral opposition to Massachusetts winters and Times Square. Her first book was 2014's Lies We Tell Ourselves. Visit her online at robintalley.com or on Twitter at @robin_talley.
Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture deliverer, and a layout waxer. The author of eighteen books for tweens and teens, Mitchell has written work that includes Edgar Award nominee Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine series, and Indiana Author Award Winner and Lambda Nominee All the Things We Do in the Dark, as well as the Camp Murderface series with Josh Berk. She is the editor of four anthologies: Defy the Dark, All Out, Out Now, and Out There.
Shaun David Hutchinson is the award-winning author of several books for young adults and the editor of multiple young adult anthologies. A native Floridian, Shaun currently resides in Seattle, where he spends his free time running, baking, and designing virtual worlds. He can be found online at shaundavidhutchinson.com or on Twitter @shauniedarko.
Natalie C. Parker is an author, editor, and community organizer. She has written several award winning books for teens and young readers and has edited multiple anthologies including the Indie Bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old. Her work has been included on the NPR Best Books list, the Indie Next List, and the TAYSHAS Reading List, and in Junior Library Guild selections. In addition to writing, Natalie also runs Madcap Retreats, which has partnered with We Need Diverse Books and Reese's Book Club to host the writers workshops for their new internship Lit Up. She grew up in a navy family finding home in coastal cities from Virginia to Japan and currently lives with her wife on the Kansas prairie.
Tehlor Kat Mejia is a bestselling and award winning author of young adult and middle grade fiction.
Their debut young adult novel, We Set the Dark on Fire, received six starred reviews, as well as the Oregon Spirit Book Award for debut fiction, and the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award runner up honor for debut speculative fiction. It has been featured on Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and O by Oprah Magazine's best books lists, and was a 2019 book of the year selection by Kirkus and School Library Journal. Its sequel, We Unleash the Merciless Storm, followed to continuing acclaim, while Miss Meteor (co-written with National Book Award Nominee Anna-Marie McLemore) was named to the American Library Association's 2021 Rainbow List, honoring outstanding contributions in LGBTQIA teen fiction.
Tehlor's debut middle grade novel, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, was published by the Rick Riordan Presents imprint at Disney/Hyperion. It received four starred reviews, and was named Amazon's best book of 2020 in the 9-12 age range. It is currently in development at Disney as a television series to be produced by Eva Longoria.
Tehlor lives with their daughter, partner, and two small dogs in Oregon, where they grow heirloom corn and continue their quest to perfect the vegan tamale.
Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Atlas Obscura, the Boston Globe, Crixeo, and the Newport Review, among others. Her debut novel, This Monstrous Thing, won the PEN New England-Susan P. Bloom Children's Book Discovery Award. Her second book, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, was a New York Times bestseller and an ABA bestseller, earned five starred reviews, was a #1 Indie Next Pick, and received a 2018 Stonewall Book Award Honor and a New England Book Award. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Salt Lake City home.
Elliot Wake (formerly known as Leah Raeder) is a transgender author of four novels: Unteachable, Black Iris, Cam Girl, and Bad Boy. Aside from reading his brains out, Elliot enjoys video games, weightlifting, and perfecting his dapper style. He lives with his partner in Chicago.
Anna-Marie McLemore (they/them) is the author of The Weight of Feathers, Wild Beauty, Blanca & Roja, Dark and Deepest Red, Lakelore, Venom & Vow (co-authored with Elliott McLemore), and National Book Award longlist selections When the Moon Was Ours, The Mirror Season, and Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix. They have received the Michael L. Printz Award, the Stonewall Honor, the Otherwise Award, three Northern California Book Awards, and an Américas Honor.
Born in a mountain cabin to a punk-rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a pack of dogs and a growing colony of feral cats. You can find her on twitter @sharpegirl.
Kate Scelsa is a novelist, playwright, and part time witch. Her debut novel Fans of the Impossible Life was an Indie Next pick, a Rainbow List Top Ten book, and has been published in ten languages. Her play Everyone's Fine With Virginia Woolf has been produced in New York, Dublin, and was published by Dramatists Play Service. Kate's identity as a witch can be traced back to second grade, when she founded her first coven. These days her witchy activities include reading tarot from the (only slightly) haunted house in upstate New York that she shares with her wife, and writing songs and performing with her band The Witch Ones.
Nilah Magruder is the author of the picture book How to Find a Fox and winner of the 2015 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity. She has written for Marvel and storyboards for animated television in Los Angeles. Visit her online at nilahmagruder.com and @nilaffle.
Tessa Gratton is the acclaimed author of six young adult novels. She currently lives in Kansas with her partner, two cats, and her mutant mutt named Grendel.
Scott Tracey is the author of seven young adult novels. Currently living in Ohio, he makes his living working as an analyst for a financial firm. He loves villains, witches, and sarcasm. His first novel, WITCH EYES, was listed as a YALSA Popular Paperback for 2011, and an Amazon Best of 2011 book in the LGBT category.