Sarah Dessen: Morning Keynote
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her latest novel, Once and for All, was released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.
Margaret Peterson Haddix: Afternoon Keynote
Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois.
She has since written more than 40 books for kids and teens, including Running Out of Time; Double Identity; Uprising; The Always War; the Shadow Children series; the Missing series; the Children of Exile series; the Under Their Skin duology; and The Palace Chronicles. She also wrote Into the Gauntlet, the tenth book in the 39 Clues series. Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and numerous state reader’s choice awards. They have also been translated into more than twenty different languages.
Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio. They are the parents of two grown kids.
Chelsea Bobulski was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised on Disney movies, Broadway musicals, and Buckeye pride. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in history and promptly married her high school sweetheart. As a writer, she has a soft spot for characters with broken pasts, strange talents, and obstacles they must overcome for a brighter future. She now lives in Northwest Ohio with her husband, her daughter, and one very emotive German Shepherd/Lab mix. Her debut young adult novel, The Wood, is out now, and her second YA novel, Remember Me, will be published by Feiwel and Friends in Spring 2019.
Jay Coles is a graduate of Vincennes University and Ball State University. When he’s not writing diverse books, he’s advocating for them, teaching middle school students, and composing for various music publishers. His debut novel Tyler Johnson Was Here is based on true events in his life and inspired by police brutality in America. He resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, and invites you to visit his website.
Sarah Glenn Marsh
Sarah Glenn Marsh is an author of young adult novels including Reign of the Fallen and Fear the Drowning Deep, as well as children’s picture books like Selfie Sebastian and A Campfire Tail. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, three birds, and many fish. When she’s not writing, she’s often painting, or engaged in nerdy pursuits from video games to tabletop adventures.
Saundra Mitchell is the author of Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine, The Springsweet, The Elementals, and Mistwalker. In non-fiction, she’s the author of the They Did What!? series for middle grade readers. She’s also the editor of the YA anthologies Defy the Dark and All Out. An Edgar and Pushcart nominee, she enjoys fandom, studying history, papermaking, and spending time with her wife and her daughters.
Ellen Oh is co-founder, President, and CEO of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in children’s literature. A former adjunct college instructor and corporate attorney, she is the author of the middle grade novel The Spirit Hunters, Book 1, and Book 2, Island of the Monsters, and the YA fantasy trilogy The Prophecy Series. She is the editor of WNDB’s middle grade anthology Flying Lessons and Other Stories, and the YA anthology A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, out in June 2018. Originally from New York City, Ellen lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and three children and has yet to satisfy her quest for a decent bagel.
Writing is one of the great loves of Kristen Orlando’s life and she has been lucky enough to make it her living, first as a television producer, then as a marketer, and now as a novelist. Kristen graduated with a BA in English literature from Kenyon College. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with the two other great loves of her life―her husband, Michael, and daughter, Samantha. Kristen has two books out in the world, You Don’t Know My Name and You Won’t Know I’m Gone. The third book in The Black Angel Chronicles trilogy, You Won’t See Me Coming, releases in January.
Riley Redgate is the author of Seven Ways We Lie, Final Draft, and Noteworthy, which was named a Best Teen Book of 2017 by Kirkus and the New York Public Library. She grew up in North Carolina, majored in economics at Kenyon College, and now lives in Chicago. She has also written for The Onion, thereby lightly contributing to the decline of fact-based journalism in modern American society.
Margaret Rogerson is the author of the New York Times bestseller An Enchantment of Ravens. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses.
Kerry Winfrey is the author of Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It and Love and Other Alien Experiences. She grew up in Bellville, Ohio, where she spent most of her time reading inappropriate books at the library. Not much has changed. Kerry has written for many websites, including HelloGiggles, and she blogs about romantic comedies at ayearofromcoms.tumblr.com. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, their son, and their dog, Merlin.