Fox Benwell is a passionate author, educator, and academic, with a particular interest in the intersections between culture, literature, and learning. He holds a BA in international education, an MA in writing for young people (distinction) from Bath Spa University, and is working on his PhD, examining disability representation in current anglophone young adult literature. He teaches creative writing, as well as teaching in a SEN setting. He's delivered several academic papers and school workshops on the topics of disability and LGBTQIA+ representation. Mostly, he's an author and lover of stories. His debut novel The Last Leaves Falling was a CBC Notable Children's Book in Children's Studies, a USBBY Outstanding International Book, on the Arkansas Teen Book Award Reading List, and longlisted for the Carnegie Greenaway Medal. He also wrote Kaleidoscope Song, has contributed to three anthologies: Unbroken, Proud and Out Now, and is currently working on several new adventures.
Tanya Boteju is a teacher and writer living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, British Columbia). Part-time, she teaches English to clever and sassy young people. The rest of her time, she writes and procrastinates from writing. Her novel, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens was named a Top Ten Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association, as well as selected for the American Librarian Association 2020 Rainbow List. Her work appears in the anthology Out Now and her latest young adult novel, Bruised, has been selected as a Gold Standard book by the Junior Library Guild. In both teaching and writing, she is committed to positive, diverse representation. Visit her at TanyaBoteju.com.
Will Kostakis is an award-winning author, but his real claims to fame are a Twitter spat with Guy Sebastian, and that time a member of Destiny's Child said his name. Visit willkostakis.com to find out more.
MEREDITH RUSSO was born, raised, and lives in Tennessee. She started living as her true self in late 2013 and never looked back. If I Was Your Girl was partially inspired by her experiences as a trans woman. Like Amanda, Meredith is a gigantic nerd who spends a lot of her time obsessing over video games and Star Wars.
Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Visit her at www.jessicaverdi.com and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.
Kate Hart has worked as a teacher and grantwriter and currently builds treehouses. She is a blogger for YA Highway and hosts the Badass Ladies You Should Know series online. After the Fall is her first novel. She lives in northwest Arkansas.
C.B. Lee is a Lambda Literary Award nominated writer of young adult and middle grade fiction. Their works include A Clash of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix (Feiwel and Friends), the Sidekick Squad series (Duet Books), Ben 10 graphic novels (Boom! Studios), Out Now: Queer We Go Again (HarperTeen), Minecraft: The Shipwreck (Del Rey Books), and From A Certain Point Of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Del Rey Books). Lee's work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, Hypable, Tor's Best of Fantasy and Sci Fi and the American Library Association's Rainbow List.
Tara Sim can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area in California. When she's not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives.
Katherine Locke lives in a very small town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with her feline overlords. In addition to fiction, she writes about books and reading and has contributed to The Forward, The GayYA, Teen Librarian Toolbox, and other sites. The Girl with the Red Balloon was her YA debut.
Mark Oshiro is the award-winning author of the young adult books Anger Is a Gift (Schneider Family Book Award) and Each of Us a Desert as well as their middle grade debut, The Insiders. They are also the coauthor (with Rick Riordan) of the #1 New York Times bestselling novel The Sun and the Star. When not writing, they are trying to pet every dog in the world. Visit them online at markoshiro.com.
Caleb Roehrig is an author of young adult thrillers, including Last Seen Leaving, White Rabbit, and Death Prefers Blondes. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, he has also lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Helsinki, Finland. As a former actor and television producer, Roehrig has experience on both sides of the camera, with a résumé that includes appearances on film and TV -- not to mention seven years in the stranger-than-fiction salt mines of reality television. In the name of earning a paycheck, he has: hung around a frozen cornfield in his underwear, partied with an actual rock star, chatted with a scandal-plagued politician, and been menaced by a disgruntled ostrich.
Eliot Schrefer is a New York Times bestselling author, has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature, and has won the Green Earth Book Award and the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award for Children's Literature. His novels include the Lost Rainforest series, Endangered, Threatened, Rescued, Orphaned, and two books in the Spirit Animals series. He lives in New York City, is on the faculty of the Hamline University and Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA in creative writing programs, and reviews books for USA Today. Visit him online at www.eliotschrefer.com.
Julian Winters is the author of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award-winning Running With Lions; the Junior Library Guild Selections How to Be Remy Cameron and The Summer of Everything; the multi-starred Right Where I Left You; and As You Walk On By. A self-proclaimed comic book geek, Julian currently lives outside of Atlanta. He can usually be found swooning over rom-coms or watching the only two sports he can follow--volleyball and soccer.
Cam Montgomery (non-binary she/her) spends her time teaching dance to queer kids, bingeing anime, tending bar and writing romancey novels. Two of her YA novels--HOME AND AWAY and BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY--are available now. Having ditched LA, the transplant now lives in Seattle and has made a habit of complaining about the weather even though she secretly loves it.
Kosoko Jackson is the author of YA novels championing holistic representation of Black queer youth across genres, including Yesterday Is History and Survive the Dome. He also writes adult romance and works as a digital media specialist focusing on digital storytelling and email, social, and SMS marketing. His work has also been featured on Medium, Thought Catalog, The Advocate, and in several literary magazines. He lives in New York, NY, and you can visit his website at kosokojackson.com.
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.