Check back often as we finalize author participation at the Symposium!
Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi, Of Curses and Kisses, and many other novels that also feature lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony boys. Her books have been included in several cool places, including the Today show, Teen Vogue, NPR, BuzzFeed, and Seventeen. A full-time dog servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado.
Renée Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. She is the author of Flame in the Mist and Smoke in the Sun as well as the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn and its sequel, The Rose and the Dagger.
Shaun David Hutchinson
Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author ofand the Carve the Mark series (Carve the Mark, The Fates Divide). Her short stories and essays have appeared in the anthologies Summer Days and Summer Nights, Shards and Ashes, and Three Sides of a Heart. The Divergent Series was developed into three major motion pictures. Veronica grew up outside of Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University. She now lives in Chicago proper with her husband and dog and writes full-time.
Author Luncheon (ticketed event)
Tiffany D. Jackson is the critically acclaimed author of YA novels including the NAACP Image Award-nominated ALLEGEDLY and MONDAY’S NOT COMING, a Walter Dean Myers Honored Book and Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. She received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University, her master of arts in media studies from the New School, and has over a decade in TV/Film experience. The Brooklyn native is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking. Her most recent novel, LET ME HEAR A RHYME (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books) was published in May 2019.
Vince Vawter was reared in Memphis and spent forty years in the newspaper business as a writer, editor, and publisher. He is the author of PAPERBOY, winner of a 2014 Newbery Honor. Vince has also authored COPYBOY. He and his wife live on a small farm near Knoxville.
S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S.K. Ali’s debut YA novel is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.
Seeking Justice through Nonfiction
Zetta Elliott is an award-winning author, scholar, and activist. Born in Canada, she moved to the US in 1994 to pursue her PhD in American Studies at NYU. She taught Black Studies at the college level for close to a decade and has worked with urban youth for thirty years. Her poetry has been published in New Daughters of Africa; We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices; the Cave Canem anthology The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South; Check the Rhyme: an Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees; and Coloring Book: an Eclectic Anthology of Fiction and Poetry by Multicultural Writers. She is the author of over thirty books for young readers and currently lives in West Philadelphia. Visit zettaelliott.com to learn more.
Carole Boston Weatherford
LGBTQIA+ in YA: Representing All Teens
Ryan La Sala grew up in Connecticut, but only physically. Mentally, he spent most of his childhood in the worlds of Sailor Moon and Xena: Warrior Princess, which perhaps explains all the twirling. He studied Anthropology and Neuroscience at Northeastern University before becoming a project manager specialized in digital tools. He technically lives in New York City, but has actually transcended material reality and only takes up a human shell for special occasions, like brunch, and to watch anime (which is banned on the astral plane). Reverie is Ryan’s debut novel. You can visit him at ryanlasala.com.
Gabby Rivera is a Bronx-born queer Latinx babe on a mission to create the wildest, most fun stories ever. She's the first Latina to write for Marvel comics, penning the solo series AMERICA about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. In 2017, Gabby was named one of the top comic creators by the SyFy network, and one of NBC's #Pride30 Innovators. Gabby now makes magic on both coasts, currently residing in California. She writes for all the sweet baby queers and her mom.
Using Latinx Literature Past and Present to Cultivate, Activate, and Amplify Teen Voices
NoNieqa Ramos, educator and author of The Truth Is and The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary
Alexandra Villasante, author of The Grief Keeper
Michelle Ruiz Keil, author of All of Us with Wings
Tehlor Mejia, author of We Set the Dark on Fire;
Claribel Ortega, author of Ghost Squad
Yamile Mendez, author of Blizzard Besties