Randa Abdel-Fattah is the award-winning author of 11 novels and is published in over 15 countries. She has worked as a lawyer, human rights advocate and community volunteer with different human rights and migrant and refugee resource organisations. She has a PhD in Sociology and is a researcher on Islamophobia, racism and everyday multiculturalism in Australia. Randa is currently working on the feature film adaptation of Does My Head Look Big In This? In 2017 her novel Where the Streets Had A Name was adapted to the stage by Australia's leading children's theatrical company. Randa is a regular guest at schools around Australia addressing students about her books and the social justice issues they raise and is a regular guest at writer's festivals. She is regularly sought for comment in the media. Randa lives in Sydney with her husband and children. Find out more about Randa Abdel-Fattah at her webpage.
Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she studied West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. She is the author of Children of Blood and Bone, which is currently being made into a movie. Find out more about Tomi Adeyemi at her webpage.
Tomi Adeyemi on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Justina Ireland enjoys dark chocolate, dark humor, and is not too proud to admit that she’s still afraid of the dark. She lives with her husband, kid, cats, and dog in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Vengeance Bound, Promise of Shadows, and the New York Times bestselling novel Dread Nation, which received six starred reviews. Find out more about Justina Ireland on her webpage.
Until recently, Lita Judge was known merely for her beautiful picture books, which were featured during last year's Authors in April program in our district. However, with the making of MARY'S MONSTER and its publication in January 2018, she leaped into young adult writing. Mary's Shelley's life intrigued Lita to the point where she began extensive research about who Mary was and how she created something so tragic and dark as the Frankenstein monster (see the video, 'The Making of Mary's Monster," below). Her graphic novel in verse about Mary Shelley's life is a product of that research. Born in Alaska, Lita now lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two cats, and a green parrot. Find out more about Lita Judge (and check out her amazing studio!) at her website.
Brendan Kiely is The New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), Tradition, The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in more than ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His work has been selected twice as one of the American Library Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults and was a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in New York City. Find out more about Brendan Kiely at his website.
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. She is the #1 NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. Find out more about Kerri Maniscalco at her website.
Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. The American Booksellers Association’s 2017 and 2018 spokesperson for Indies First, his many books include When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), and Long Way Down, which received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at his website.
Neal Shusterman is the author of many novels for young adults, including Unwind, which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, Everlost, and Downsiders, which was nominated for twelve state reading awards. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows such as Animorphs and Goosebumps. The father of four children, Neal lives in southern California. Find out more about Neal Shusterman and see the full list of his published books at his website.
Kristin Bartley Lenz is a writer and social worker from metro-Detroit who fell in love with the mountains when she moved to Georgia and California. Now she’s back in Detroit where she plots wilderness escapes and manages the Michigan Chapter blog for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her debut young adult novel, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, was the 2016 Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize winner, a 2016 Junior Library Guild Selection, and chosen for the 2017-2018 Great Lakes Great Books state-wide literature program.