Kerry Aradhya is the author of a dozen poems published in Highlights High Five, Ladybug Magazine, and Stories for Children Magazine. Represented by Stephen Fraser of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she is also on a long and winding journey to become a picture book author. When not writing for children, Kerry writes for public health professionals as a science writer and editor at an international nonprofit organization. She also writes about the integration of children’s literature and dance on her blog, Picture Books & Pirouettes. Kerry lives with her family and their unruly pooch in Mountain View, CA.
Rebecca Behrens lives and writes in New York City, where she also works as a copy editor. She is the author of When Audrey Met Alice, which BookPage called “a terrific work of blended realistic and historical fiction.” Kirkus praised her latest novel, Summer of Lost and Found, as “a good find indeed.” Her next novel, The Last Grand Adventure, was published in March 2018. Some of Rebecca’s favorite things are: the beach, history, running, doughnuts, and laughing.
Joanna Ho Bradshaw
Joanna taught English for five years before becoming the Dean of Students at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy. As the Dean, she focused her work on educational equity. She transformed the school’s punitive discipline system into one of restorative justice and worked to increase dialogue about race and inequity in the school’s charter management system. In 2014, she received San Mateo County’s Honored Teacher award for her commitment to social justice in education. Following her Dean role, she became the Director of Education for The Reset Foundation, an organization creating alternatives to prison for young men in the system. She designed Reset’s holistic, interdisciplinary program and ran the program pilot. Currently, Joanna works at Nearpod, an interactive educational technology company, where she designs student content and teacher professional development projects.
Dave Butler lives in an old house and works in a study where one of the biggest bestsellers of the twentieth century was written. He has kept the room’s original shag carpet and wood-veneer walls. He likes games, guitars, languages, and, most of all, his family. Dave lives in Provo, Utah. You can find him on the Web at davidjohnbutler.com.
Ernesto Cisneros is a veteran English teacher currently serving the colorful city of Santa Ana, California. He holds an English degree from the University of California, Irvine; a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach; as well as a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University. His first published novel, Efrén-Divided, will release in early 2020.
Whenever his knees will allow it, he enjoys playing basketball, running, and swimming. He likes to read contemporary books with realistic characters and meaningful storylines full of heart. He is an avid music and ketchup lover, and he still follows the Lakers—even post Kobe.
Kim Culbertson is the author of the YA novels Songs for a Teenage Nomad (Sourcebooks 2010), Instructions for a Broken Heart (Sourcebooks 2011), which was named a Booklist Top Ten Romance Title for Youth: 2011 and also won the 2012 Northern California Book Award for YA Fiction, Catch a Falling Star (Scholastic 2014), The Possibility of Now (Scholastic 2016), which was named a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year (2017 edition), and The Wonder of Us (Scholastic 2017). Much of her inspiration comes from her background teaching high school since 1997. In 2012, Kim wrote her eBook novella The Liberation of Max McTrue for her students, who, over the years, have taught her far more than she has taught them. Kim lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter.
Jill Davis is a children’s author and executive editor for Katherine Tegen Books, a division of HarperCollins Children’s Books. Her work includes The First Rule of Little Brothers and Orangutans are Ticklish. In addition, she was the editor of Elizabeth Partridge’s Printz Honor winner John Lennon: All I Want Is Truth and NBA finalist This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie. She edits picture books, middle-grade fiction, and teen fiction.
Mandy’s first novel, Superstar, was published in 2017 by HARPER (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers). She received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University where she won an award for her critical thesis The Way to the Chair: Zen and the Practice of Writing. Mandy is represented by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
Before being bitten by the writing bug, Mandy was an elementary school teacher, a record store clerk, and once she even sold hamburgers on the sidewalk. When she’s not writing, Mandy can usually be found taking pictures or playing games of some sort. She also sings at least twice a day. Mandy spent her childhood and early adult life in Indiana. She currently writes, games, sings (and lives) in Minnesota with her partner Tony and their two ridiculous cats.
Marilyn Hilton is the author of two novels and two nonfiction books. She has also published numerous articles, devotions, short stories, and poems in literary and consumer magazines, and has contributed to various compilations. Her work has won awards including the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, a Jane Addams Peace Association Children’s Honor Book Award, the Sue Alexander Award, and the Associated Writing Programs Intro Journals Award. She holds an MA in English/Creative Writing and has worked for several years in the computer software industry as a technical writer and editor.
Ann Jacobus earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, writes children’s and YA fiction, and teaches writing. She also volunteers weekly on a suicide crisis line. She’s published short fiction, essays, and poetry in anthologies, journals, and magazines, and her debut YA thriller, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2015. San Francisco is home to her and her family.
Beth McMullen is best known for the Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls trilogy, middle-grade spy thrillers, packed with action, adventure and humor. She also writes the Sally Sin series for adult readers. Beth lives in Northern California with her husband, kids, cats and a very tolerant parakeet named Zeus. Visit her website at BethMcMullenBooks.com or follow her on Twitter at @bvam.
Patricia Newman is the author of several books that connect young readers to scientific concepts in the news. In her free time, she enjoys nature walks, the feel of garden dirt between her fingers, and traveling. She lives in Northern California with her husband.
Mitali Perkins (mitaliperkins.com) has written ten novels for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (nominated for the National Book Award), Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years), Bamboo People (an American Library Association’s Top Ten Novels for Young Adults), and Tiger Boy (winner of the Charlotte Huck Honor Award and the South Asia Book Award.) She was honored as a “Most Engaging Author” by independent booksellers across the country and selected as a “Literary Light for Children” by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India before immigrating to the United States. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Shannon Price is a YA author living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating magna cum laude from Santa Clara University with a degree in English, she interned and later worked for Counterpoint Press in Berkeley, CA. As a publicist at Counterpoint, she garnered coverage for her clients’ books in media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and many more.
In 2014, she was accepted into the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School at the University of Edinburgh where she studied Creative Writing and Contemporary Literature under the tutelage of best-selling Irish writer Ruth Gilligan. In college, she worked as the Art Editor of the Santa Clara Review and represented the Review at AWP 2015 in Minneapolis, MN. She was a mentor in the second round of Author Mentor Match and regularly attends writing events around the Bay Area.
She is represented by Elana Roth Parker of Laura Dail Literary Agency and thanks her lucky stars that she is.
Helen Pyne has worked as a children’s book editor in New York City and currently writes, edits, and teaches creative writing classes in the Bay Area. Her published work includes magazine articles and two novels in a mystery series for kids. The mother of four children, she loves to hike, travel, and cook. With an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, she blogs with other professional writers at www.throughthetollbooth.com. She’s taught writing workshops in foreign countries like Mexico and Kenya and believes in the power of a good story to unite people.
Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile, Drama, and Sisters, all #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Babysitters Club series, and has contributed short stories to many anthologies. Raina’s accolades include two Eisner Awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Best Of and Notable lists. Her newest graphic novel is Ghosts. Raina lives and works in San Francisco, CA.
Elizabeth writes a mix of nonfiction and fiction for children. She is a graduate of Hamline University’s MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and has taught writing classes and done manuscript critiques to help other writers with their craft. She lives in Minnesota, a state with a vibrant kid-lit community. Before she was a writer, she was an editor of children’s books.
Ashley Walker is an author with a strong background in science. In her early career, she taught and worked as a computational scientist at UC Berkeley, the University of Edinburgh, and Glasgow University, as well as at NASA Ames. Her scientific work has appeared in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Bioacoustics, Advances in Biological Sonar and more. She has also worked as a citizen scientist – teaching in schools and scouting programs, and hosting ecological projects for organizations like US Fish and Wildlife. Currently, she is pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Pam Watts lives in the Bay Area where she teaches and writes fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels for children, teens, and adults. She is a two-time Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ summer writing fellow, and excerpts of her fiction and GN scripts have appeared in the 2015 and 2016 Emerge: Lambda Literary Anthology. Her essays have appeared in Teaching Tolerance and Odyssey Magazine, and she has four published children’s science books: Ocean Ecosystems (2015), The Rock Cycle (2016), Soil (2016), and How it Works: Gasoline Engines (2017). She studied the Classics at St. John’s College (MA) and Physics at Wellesley College (BA). She earned her MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Kristi writes for children of all ages (including grown-ups like herself.) She’s married to a great guy and has a really cool daughter, a wacko dog, and two cats—one oh so sweet and the other a bit more dangerous. She has a background in marketing, public relations, and computer programming. Now, she writes full time and is represented by literary agent Kurestin Armada at P.S. Literary. Kristi is a regional team member for the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators and the assistant editor and founding contributor for kidlitcraft.com, a new blog that provides craft analysis of middle-grade novels. She has independently published a futuristic trilogy, The Basker Twins in the 31st Century. Her favorite authors are J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, and Madeleine L’Engle.
Anne Young is a picture book author and an active member of SCBWI SF/South, the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge, and PiBoIdMo. She loves attending writing conferences and is always excited to meet new people and learn more about the craft of writing. Anne enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction and is currently working on “faction.” She earned her master’s degree from Hamline University in 2009 and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2004. Anne taught elementary school for 8 years and now she’s working full time on writing books and raising kids. Anne enjoys practicing yoga, taking pictures, hosting game nights, exploring new places, and reading and writing picture books, of course! Anne is from La Crosse, WI and currently lives in San Jose, CA with her #1 fans…her husband, 3 daughters and 4-legged friend, Mocha.