Keynote Presenter Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novelist and the author of American Born Chinese (2007 Michael L. Printz Award winner, 2007 Eisner Award winner, and 2006 National Book Award nominee), and Boxers & Saints (2013 National Book Award nominee). He is currently the author of the graphic novel series Secret Coders, and writes for both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Superman. He was named the next National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress in early 2016, the first writer who works primarily in graphic novels to be named ambassador.
Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller. He is tall for no reason and writes full-time in New York City.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carey Corp wrote her first book, a brilliant retelling of Star Wars, at the prodigious age of seven. Since then, her love affair of reinvention has continued to run amuck. Writing both literary fiction and stories for young adults, she begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no consistent order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen. Her debut novel for teens, The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, earned her national recognition as 2010 Golden Heart finalist and more recently made the New York Times bestseller list. Coming August 2016: Forever Doon, book 4 of the Doon series, a young adult series loosely based on the concept of the musical Brigadoon!, used with permission from the Alan Jay Lerner Estate & the Frederick Loewe Foundation, and co-written with Lorie Langdon.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing poetry and stories in third grade and novels in junior high school. These days she writes fantasy fiction for teens of all ages. Her Heir Chronicles contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), The Dragon Heir (2008), The Enchanter Heir (2013), and The Sorcerer Heir (2014). Chima’s high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010), The Gray Wolf Throne (2011), and The Crimson Crown (2012). Chima’s Shattered Realms high fantasy series is forthcoming from HarperCollins. The first novel, Flamecaster, is scheduled for Spring 2016.
Emery Lord is a 20-something Midwestern girl who writes stories about high school and best friends and weird families and the crushes fluttery and so painfully awkward you could implode. She lives in Cincinnati in a 100 year-old pink row house with a scientist, a one-eyed beagle, and a dog named Winston Churchill. Open Road Summer and The Start of Me and You are out now with Bloomsbury. Her third novel, When We Collided, is out April 5, 2016.
Emily Henry is full-time writer, proofreader, and donut connoisseur. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. She tweets @EmilyHenryWrite can be found on Instragram @tltstw.
Jody Casella is a former high school English teacher. Her first novel Thin Space, a paranormal YA mystery published by Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster, received a starred review from Kirkus. She lives with her husband and two teenagers in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to writing books, she visits schools, libraries, and book clubs to talk about the creative/revision process. She sporadically cleans her house. And walks her dog. A lot.
Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, and METALTOWN (coming in September, 2016). She has worked with survivors of abuse and trauma as a mental health therapist, taught Jazzercise in five states, and is forever in search of a the next best cupcake. Currently she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, where she spends her days supporting the caffeine industry and chasing her delightfully rambunctious son.
Kurt Dinan is a high school English teacher living in Cincinnati. His debut novel, Don’t Get Caught, was released in April of 2016.
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.
Lisa Klein is the author of historical novels for teens, including Ophelia, Two Girls of Gettysburg, Lady MacBeth’s Daughter, Love Disguised, and Cate of the Lost Colony. She lives in Columbus, OH,
Liz Coley’s internationally best-selling psychological thriller Pretty Girl 13 has been published in 12 languages on 5 continents and was recognized by the American Library Association on two select lists for 2014: Best Fiction for Young Adults and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Liz’s other publications include alternate history/time travel/romance Out of Xibalba and the Tor Maddox “pink thrillers” series. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos Magazine and numerous print anthologies. Liz invites you to follow her @LizColeyBooks on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Wattpad, and to visit her website at LizColey.com.
Lorie Langdon is one half of the author team that writes the Doon series, a YA reimagining of Brigadoon!, published by Blink/HarperCollins. She has longed to write her own novels since she was a wee girl reading every Judy Blume book she could get her hands on. So a few years ago, she left her thriving corporate career to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her days tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word. Lorie’s first solo novel, Gilt Hollow, a YA romantic thriller, releases September 2016!
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before she learned English after moving to the U.S. She has never fallen out of love with words, fairy tale settings, or characters who have to find themselves. She is the author of the acclaimed and romantic Southern Gothic Heirs of Watson Island series, including Compulsion (2014), Persuasion (2015), and Illusion (2016). She is also the founder of three-time Writer’s 101 Best Websites for Writers blog AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, the CompulsionForReading.com book drive campaign for underfunded schools and libraries, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to the discovery and celebration of young adult literature and encouraging literacy through YA series. Locally in her home state, she is on the board of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, helping to promote literacy and adult education initiatives.
*Martina Boone will be appearing for a special Skype-in writing workshop during morning sessions.
Mindee Arnett is the author of the contemporary fantasy Arkwell Academy series and the science fiction Avalon series. She lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.
Mindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, Not a Drop to Drink, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film by Stephenie Meyer’s Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, In a Handful of Dust, was released in 2014. Her Gothic historical thriller, A Madness So Discreet, was recently nominated for the prestigious Edgar Award. Look for her upcoming release, The Female of the Species, in September 2016.
Natalie D. Richards won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn’t dare do the dishes.) Now she writes about awesome girls, broody boys, and all things dark and creepy. When she’s not writing or shopping her manuscripts, you can probably find her wading through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom. Natalie lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her techno-wiz husband, three amazing kids, and a seventy pound dust-mop who swears he’s the family dog.
Riley Redgate is a YA author from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and a senior economics major at Kenyon College. She loves thunderstorms, horrible puns, and the Atonement soundtrack. She often feels, when writing author bios, as if she is crafting some weirdly formal Tinder profile. Her debut novel, Seven Ways We Lie, a YA contemporary inspired by the seven deadly sins, is out now from Abrams/Amulet.
Sarah J. Schmitt is a K-8 school librarian and Youth Service Professional for Teens at a public library who, in addition to planning a variety of events, enjoys opening up the world of books to reluctant readers. She runs a teen writing program that combines Skype visits from well-known authors and screenwriters and critique group style feedback. Her debut novel, It’s a Wonderful Death, called “fun, funny, and full of life” by Kirkus Reviews, was released in October.
Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture-deliverer and a layout waxer. She’s dodged trains, endured basic training, and hitchhiked from Montana to California. She teaches herself languages, studies history, and makes paper for fun. She’s the author of Shadowed Summer, The Vespertine series, Mistwalker and the They Did What!? series. She always picks truth; dares are too easy. Visit her online at www.saundramitchell.com.
Vicki Leigh/Tori Rigby grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes. She’s a previous acquisitions editor for Curiosity Quills Press, also writes as Tori Rigby, and her YA debut, Catch Me When I Fall, released October 23, 2014.
Catch up on all the PTBF authors’ books with our handy book list!