Jacqueline Alcántara is the award winning illustrator of The Field and its companion Climb On!, both written by Baptiste Paul, Freedom Soup, written by New York Times bestselling author Tami Charles, Jump at the Sun, written by Newbery honoree Alicia D. Williams, and Your Mama, written by NoNieqa Ramos, which was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. Her works have received multiple starred reviews and been named Best Books of the Year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness and The Horn Book, among others. Forthcoming books including Jam, too? written by JaNay Brown-Wood, Ordinary Days, written by Angela Joy, Wifredo’s Jungle, written by Newbery honoree Margarita Engle, and Tíos and Primos her debut as author and illustrator.
Jacqueline created the artwork for the Chicago Women’s March “Ladies Marching” poster, and has done editorial work for the Obama Foundation, NPR, The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Foundation for Women, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Elle Decor, and the University of Chicago, among others. She spends her days drawing, teaching, rehabbing houses, and adventuring with her dogs. She is fueled by dance music, carbs and coffee, and has a boundless interest in learning new skills and taking on new challenges.
Shawn Amos is a world-renowned Blues musician. Cookies & Milk is his debut middle grade novel, inspired by real-life events of growing up in a cookie store with his father Wally Amos, the founder of Famous Amos Cookies.
Andrew Auseon is the author of acclaimed novels for young people, including Funny Little Monkey, Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot, Alienated (with David O. Russell) and Freak Magnet, a Bank Street Best Book of the Year. His books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults, the Cybils, and state book awards. Auseon has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College and a BA from Ohio University.
Artist and writer Mira Bartók is the author of The Memory Palace (Free Press), winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and noted in The Best American Essays 1999 and other anthologies. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants for her art and for her writing.
Mary Jane Begin is an award-winning illustrator for several children's picture books including The Wind in the Willows, A Mouse Told His Mother, and Little Mouse's Painting. She is also a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Sheryl Berk most recently collaborated with Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn DiScala on her memoir, Wise Girl, and with Britney Spears on her autobiography, Stages. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Peter, and their own little miracle, daughter Carrie.
Alex Boersma is a hugely talented illustrator and artist who did illustrations for Spying on Whales and who works with Stanford University, the American Museum of Natural History, and Duke University Marine Lab, and has done editorial illustrations for Emergence magazine and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Anne Brusatte completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol and earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from The City College of the City University of New York. She has taught elementary school for more than a decade in both the United States and the United Kingdom. She lives in Scotland, the setting of her first book for children, Dugie the Dinosaur.
Grace Byers is an actor and activist who stars in Fox’s hit series Empire. As a multiracial young girl and a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Grace was bullied throughout her childhood. This book was born out of her desire to empower young girls against the effects of bullying. In her spare time, she volunteers with the nonprofit antibullying organization Saving Our Daughters. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Trai Byers. I Am Enough is her first book.
A painter, playwright, and television creator of Tutti Frutti, Byrne has designed album covers for The Beatles, Donovan, Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly. He has several paintings hanging in The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
Angela Cervantes is the award-winning author of several popular contemporary middle-grade novels including, Lety Out Loud, which was named a Pura Belpré Honor Book by the American Library Association and selected for the Kids Indie Next List, Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring, which was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and included in the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet Master List, Allie, First at Last, which received a starred review from Kirkus, and Gaby, Lost and Found, named Best Youth Chapter book by the International Latino Book Awards and a Bank Street College of Education’s Best Book of the Year. Angela also authored Maritza: Lead with Your Heart, a part of American Girl’s new line of contemporary characters called World by Us, and the junior novelizations for Disney/Pixar’s animated films Coco and Encanto.
Angela is the daughter of a retired middle-school teacher who instilled in her a love of reading and storytelling. When Angela is not writing, she enjoys conducting school visits, traveling and reading. Angela writes, reads and dreams from her home in Kansas City.
Caroline Corrigan is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living and working in upstate New York. Her illustrations and design work can be found in books such as The Ultimate Easy Screen Printing Book and in Terre magazine. Her first children’s book, Women Artists A-Z, was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in February 2020.
Kayla Cottingham is a Youth Services Library Assistant at her local library and an MLIS candidate at Simmons University. After receiving her BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kayla worked as an editorial intern for The Horn Book and Page Street Publishing before switching to librarianship.
Auriane Desombre is a former English teacher currently pursuing an MA in English Lit at NYU and an MFA in Creative Writing for Children at The New School. She writes YA fiction to inspire and encourage young readers in the LGBTQ+ community. I Think I Love You is her debut.
Ani DiFranco is a Grammy Award-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter, activist, businesswoman, and New York Times bestselling author. She has released more than 20 albums, and is one of the first independent musicians to create her own label, Righteous Babe Records (based in Buffalo, NY). She is widely known as an activist and feminist icon, and the Righteous Babe Foundation supports causes ranging from abortion rights to gay visibility.
Matt Diffee is an author and award winning illustrator who has been contributing cartoons to The New Yorker since 1999. His work has also appeared in Time, The Huffington Post, The Believer and Texas Monthly magazines and he is the editor of three volumes of “The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw and Never Will See in The New Yorker”
The embodiment of genius and the pre-eminent scientist of the modern age, his theories and discoveries have profoundly affected the way people view and understand the world and their place in it. Einstein was also known as a philosopher and humanist who was keenly interested in and concerned about the affairs of the world.
His sagacious, wise, and humorous quotations, letters, and articles are widely used throughout popular culture as well as in historical and academic works. Einstein’s name and image are instantly recognizable everywhere in the world.
Michael Emberley is a children’s author and illustrator based in Dublin, Ireland. His numerous works include the iconic nonfiction title It’s Perfectly Normal (Candlewick), the bestselling series You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You (Little Brown), and, more recently, Ms. Brooks’ Story Nook (Knopf). His latest children’s picture book is I Can Make a Train Noise with Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, published by Neal Porter Books.
Valiant Entertainment is a leading character-based entertainment company that owns the largest independent superhero universe in comics. With more than 81 million issues sold and a library of over 2,000 characters including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong and more, Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of the comic book medium.
Actor and producer Omar Epps was first introduced to audiences as Q in Ernest Dickerson’s cult classic Juice, opposite Tupac Shakur. He has gone on to star in the beloved romance Love & Basketball, as Dr. Eric Foreman on massively popular TV show House, as Jeff Cole in In Too Deep, as Isaac Johnson on Shooter, and as Darnell on This Is Us. He is the author of a memoir, From Fatherless to Fatherhood. Nubia: The Awakening is his first novel.
Rhiannon Giddens is a Grammy Award- and MacArthur “Genius” grant-winning American artist of folk and traditional music, played on fiddle and banjo, who is rigorously committed to reclaiming Black contributions to the genre.
An American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, Goldberg received a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948. He was also a founding member and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society.
Brooks Hansen is a novelist, screenwriter, and illustrator. He is the author nine books, including novels both for adults and young readers. His first novel, The Chess Garden, was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and he won a Guggenheim Fellowship for his novel John the Baptist. His new novel is The Unknown Woman of the Seine (Delphinium Books, 2021).
Tony and Emmy award-winning stage and screen performer, Neil Patrick Harris is best known for his roles as Barney Stinson in the popular CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and as the iconic and beloved Doogie Howser, M.D. He’s been in many movies, hosted the Tonys, the Emmys, and the Oscars, and performed in several Broadway shows.
Rochelle Hassan is a middle grade and young adult fantasy author. Her work includes The Prince of Nowhere, which will be released in 2022 from HarperCollins, and The Buried and the Bound, due out from Macmillan in 2023.
Sir Lenny Henry is a comedian, actor, singer, writer and TV presenter as well as co-founder of the charity Comic Relief.
Maria Hinojosa’s nearly thirty-year career as a journalist includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WGBH, WNBC, CNN, NPR, and anchoring and executive producing the Peabody Award–winning show Latino USA, the longest running national Latinx news program in the country, distributed by PRX. She is also a contributor to the long-running, award-winning news program CBS Sunday Morning and an on-air contributor on MSNBC. She has won several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, four Emmys, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also been inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010 she founded Futuro Media, an independent nonprofit newsroom and production company with the mission of producing multimedia content from a POC perspective. Through the breadth of her work and as the founding co-anchor of the award-winning podcast In the Thick, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. Her adult memoir, ONCE I WAS YOU was an NPR Best Book of 2020. In 2022, she adapted ONCE I WAS YOU for young readers, blending her story with perspectives on history in the vein of Jason Reynolds’s Stamped. She lives with her family in Harlem, New York City.
Dr. David Hone is a palaeontologist and zoologist at Queen Mary, University of London, where he is also Director of Biological Scienes Programmes. He has published nearly 100 academic papers on dinosaur biology and behaviour, with a particular interest in Tyrannousaurs. David includes among his writing credits the BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs. He has appeared on the Discovery Channel, BBC Radio 5 Live and RTE, acted as consultant for National Geographic documentaries, and written articles for The Guardian, New Scientist, The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, The New York Times, and many others.
Barry Jackson is a prolific production designer, director of storyboard teams, writer, and children's book author/illustrator. Jackson's screen credits include The Prince of Egypt, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Titan AE, and Ron Howard's The Grinch. He was one of several production designers on the Dreamwork's production, Shrek.
Laurence Jones was born and raised in London. His short stories have been published in literary journals including Storgy, New Zenith Magazine and Collages, as well as the forthcoming Seven Hills Review, Sanctuary and Impermanent Facts anthologies. He has been shortlisted/longlisted for multiple literary prizes including the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and TLC’s Pen Factor.
Alan Katz is a celebrated TV writer (The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Nickelodeon) and author of several humorous bestselling books for kids.
Kristin Kemper is a Missouri native who grew up reading library books and writing and illustrating her own stories. Now residing in Brooklyn, Kristin is a freelance illustrator and author of the webcomic Sylvania, as well as a graphic noveling instructor at Writopia Lab NYC.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of the NYT Bestseller Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals.
She is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability.
Laura Krantz is a founding partner of Foxtopus Ink, where she runs the audio division and oversees the creation and development of shows such as Wild Thing and The Syndicate. Laura has been in audio for well over a decade—she recently served as the interim science editor for PRX, which included editing work on the Smithsonian’s Sidedoor and Air/Space podcasts, and her writing has appeared in Popular Science, Smithsonian Magazine, Outside, High Country News and Newsweek.
Melanie LaBarge has a B.A. in Women’s Studies and an M.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research includes performance art and queering memoir by contemporary female/femme/non-binary writers. Her first children’s book, Women Artists A-Z, was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in February 2020.
As the steward of her father’s legacy, Shannon Lee serves as the CEO of the Bruce Lee Family Company and the chairperson of the Bruce Lee Foundation. Her mission is to provide access to her father’s philosophy and life through education and entertainment. She is the author of Be Water My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee (Flatiron Books). An in-demand speaker, she has spoken at TED, TEDx, Creative Mornings, among others. Shannon is the co-creator and host of the Bruce Lee Podcast, the executive producer of Cinemax’s Warrior series also based off of a treatment written by Bruce Lee, and is now working on GUARDIAN OF THE SCROLL, aYA duology, with award winning fantasy and science fiction author, Fonda Lee.
Sophia Lee is a Korean American writer and is currently a medical student in Dallas, Texas. Sophia deeply cares about the intersection of storytelling and representation. ELIZA PARK’S RECIPE FOR LOVE AND SUCCESS is her debut YA novel.
Bruce Littlefield, national television personality and author of numerous lifestyle books, including Merry Christmas, America and Airstream Living, has most recently written The Bedtime Book for Dogs, an illustrated read-aloud book for the canine community (Grand Central). He is the co-author of Bravo TV star Fredrik Eklund’s The Sell (Avery).
Violet Lumani was raised in a family of superstitious omen-watchers, absorbing the stories and myths her family brought to America with them. She holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, and an MBA from UCONN and lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and forever-dieting chihuahua named Kiwi. Foretold, part of the Scryer series, is her YA debut.
Sangu Mandanna is the author of the critically acclaimed Celestial series, a YA SFF trilogy. She’s also the author of the MG Kiki Kallira duology and forthcoming Vanya and the Wild Hunt. She’s also the author of adult fantasies which include The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches and A Witch’s Guide to MagicalInnkeeping.
Claudia Guadalupe Martínez’s debut novel, The Smell of Old Lady Perfume, received the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, the Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book Award, and an Americas Award Commendation. Her sophomore novel Pig Park won the Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book and the NACCS Tejas Foco Young Adult Fiction Award. Her debut picture book, Not A Bean, illustrated by Laura González received multiple starred reviews and was named a Best Book of the Year by Bank Street College of Education. She also authored The Movie Novel for DreamWorks’ animated film, Spirit Untamed. Claudia grew up in sunny El Paso, Texas, where she learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns with her father. She now lives and writes in Chicago.